The most appropriate question for Easter Sunday!!!!
The most appropriate question for Easter Sunday!!!!
“It is terrible to wake up Easter morning and have no voice to shout, “He is risen!” It is more terrible to have a voice and not WANT to shout, “He is risen!” – W.E. Sangster.
*posted from a friends’ Facebook page, which was on a Fox station affiliate. Please feel free to share, like, post, re-tweet and re-blog!!!!
COLUMBINE STUDENT’S FATHER 12 YEARS LATER!!
Guess our national leaders didn’t expect this. On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful. They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness. The following is a portion of the transcript:
“Since the dawn of creation there has been both good &evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.
“The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart.
“In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA – because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest opponent.
I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy — it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.
Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You’ve stripped away our heritage,
You’ve outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question “Why?”
You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!
“Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact.
What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs — politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws.
Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.
“As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America , and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him.
To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA — I give to you a sincere challenge.. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone!
My daughter’s death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!”
– Darrell Scott
Do what the mainstream media did not – - let the nation hear this man’s speech.
Like most people, I hate change; especially when it is suggested that I “go first”.
A different way of thinking. A different way of doing. A different way of acting. A perspective. A though. A feeling. An attitude. A habit. Or something really hard..a BELIEF.
When I have been mistreated, whether in word or deed, my response has not always been the best. Nor, sad to say, always like Christ. Which wouldn’t be an issue, except I have accepted Him as my Savior, whereby, I follow Christ.
Thus, as my brother has so eloquently reminded me in the past handful of conversations we’ve had, that my life is not my now. I was bought with a price. I was redeemed. Dead in my sin, Christ traded His life in Heaven to have a personal relationship with me. My acceptance of that relationship, means that I have traded my, dead, sinful live for His plans and purpose.
Therefore, whatever upsets me, must be viewed through the eyes of Christ. My response should be that like of Christ. My words and deeds and thoughts, should extend from my relationship and understanding of Him…not a free-for-all expression of human emotion and frustration. Which I have vented, to my dear brother extensively. Thankful for a brother who sticks close.
And, yet, each of us are called to more like the one who sticks closer than a brother! We are to be conformed to the image of Christ. It’s not for us to be heaven’s robots. The choice is still ours. And just because the decision is difficult doesn’t mean it can be avoided. Anyone following the state of affairs in D.C. will agree with that.
And so the choice is will we stick to our own selfish desires or will we submit to the much needed change that Christ would desire to accomplish in us. And as I listened this morning to a podcast on Esther, from the pastor at CityLife Church in Philadelphia, God has a plan and purpose for each of us for “just a time as this.”
Any engineer will tell you that in order for a plan to come together, each part must fit and work together. For integrity. For strength. For fortitude. For longevity. And if anything is out of place, blemish, uneven, unpolished, ill-fitted, the project is halted…indefinitely…until corrections are made.
So, it is, sadly at times, that God does the same with us. If we’re not ready, perhaps the plan gets put on hold. God wouldn’t position a person who isn’t up to the task anymore than an engineer would use a part that wasn’t “up to spec”. Keep in mind, it’s not that God doesn’t use people unless their perfect. That’s not what I’m saying.
What I am saying is you don’t buy your 16-yr old, newly licensed driver a Ferrari for his or her first car. Most pastors don’t start off their ministry with thousands in attendance in their first few Sundays. Most people’s first paycheck doesn’t touch the 6-figure stratosphere.
God will use you where you are. But where you are and where you are going can not change, if you are not willing to change in the direction that requires preparation. And by “you” I mean “me”.
If I don’t acknowledge the change God desires of me as preparation for where He wants to take me, then I am a resist His plans, that I desire Him to reveal for my life, that I continue to confess is His! No wonder if feel as though I am stuck in a round-a-bout.
And yet, as God so clearly demonstrated through the podcast on Esther, and then through a divine appointment at mid-day, God has to work in certain ways, often “behind the scenes”, so that when we look back on our life, we actually have “scenes” that are actually worth looking at.
Sure, change is often hated. But it is also desperately needed. The decision is yours. It’s also mine. And as I often stated, “why do I have to change first?”, perhaps, just perhaps, it’s so God can use me more quickly to accomplish His plan and His purpose. And who knows, I may even get used first. But that won’t matter. It’ll be for His glory and honor, since I’ve traded my life for His. Additionally, since His is worth more, I think I’m getting a pretty good trade. And since He died for me, I’m sure He thinks He’s getting a pretty decent trade as well. Perhaps.
for a tid-bit more info on today’s events, check out my post @ http://bringme70.com/1/post/2013/01/perhaps.html
The first week of the new year has passed. The indicators are coming in. Projects. Ideas. Attempts. Conversations. The “figuring out” of what has carried over, unresolved, unsolved and unknown.
In an uncharacteristically, shorter post here on AvantGuard, I encourage you…
Keep the faith. New years always give way to new opportunities. Opportunities give way to challenges. Challenges give way to frustrations, that will either lead to determination to press on or a drainage that spirals downward.
Don’t let what hangs in the balance; the unresolved, unsolved and unknown, influence how you will act. Determine how you will proactively go after those matters and relentlessly see them through, as much as is within your power, both humanly and with God’s help to pursue.
Leave the past where it belongs. The future is yet unwritten. God’s writing it, but people will remember your character. Don’t waste your 15 minutes, whereby you might miss the most incredible opportunity to display God’s glory through your life.
On New Years Day, I launched Bring Me 70, in an effort to engage congregations take a more active role in praying for, supporting and building quality friendships with their pastors, church staff and the families of those in ministry.
Part of my hesitancy in starting this ministry/community, was that I feared it was to simple to work. “This seems like common sense! If helping to prevent pastors from burning out was a simple as making sure their had a close friend, by being a close friend to them myself, then maybe so many wouldn’t be leaving the ministry.” Yet, they continue to fall out.
So, maybe church-goers and attenders and members aren’t aware of the burden that pastors carry, not only for the church, but they still have a home life that calls for their attention as well.
Thus; I making the effort to prevent pastoral burn-out, as much as it is within my time, resources and insight to do so.
The website is simply www.bringme70.com
You can read the vision behind the name, of course, and on a special note, are two blog pages…one for daily prayers; specific thoughts and ways to pray for needs of pastors and an insight page; thoughts on ministry and things to think about as it relates to church life.
As the community builds, there’s also a page where, with discretion, feedback or requests or positive reports will be posted.
Pastoral burn-out is a trend that can be easily reversed. The solutions are simple, yet, I believe the impact made and the results that transpire will be found. I encourage you to share the site, as well as the corresponding facebook (wwww.facebook.com/bringme70) and Twitter pages (www.twitter.com/bringme70) or @bringme70 with as many pastors and friends as possible.
**Apparently the White House referred to Christmas Trees as “Holiday Trees” for the first time this year which prompted CBS presenter, Ben Stein, to present this piece which I would like to share with you. I think it applies just as much to many countries as it does to America . . .
The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.
I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejewelled trees, Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.
It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, “Merry Christmas” to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a crib, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.
Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her: “How could God let something like this happen?” (regarding Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said: “I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?”
In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbour as yourself. And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said okay.
Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Are you laughing yet?
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
Pass it on if you think it has merit.
If not, then just discard it…. no one will know you did. But if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.
My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,