I believe what I believe…….

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I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

According to Wikipedia, the purpose of a creed is to provide a doctrinal statement of correct belief, or Orthodoxy.  The creeds of Christianity have been drawn up at times of conflict about doctrine: acceptance or rejection of a creed served to distinguish believers and deniers of a particular doctrine or set of doctrines. For that reason a creed was called in Greek a σύμβολον (Eng. symbolon), a word that meant half of a broken object which, when placed together with the other half, verified the bearer’s identity. The Greek word passed through Latin “symbolum” into English “symbol”, which only later took on the meaning of an outward sign of something.

In the year 325 AD a controversy arose whereby Arius, a Libyan presbyter in Alexandria, had declared that “although the Son was divine, he was a created being and therefore not co-essential with the Father, and “there was when he was not,” This made Jesus less than the Father, which posed soteriological challenges for the nascent doctrine of the Trinity. Arius’s teaching provoked a serious crisis.”

The Nicene Creed of 325 explicitly affirms the co-essential divinity of the Son, applying to him the term “consubstantial”. The 381 version speaks of the Holy Spirit as worshipped and glorified with the Father and the Son. The Athanasian Creed (not used in Eastern Christianity) describes in much greater detail the relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Apostles’ Creed makes no explicit statements about the divinity of the Son and the Holy Spirit, but, in the view of many who use it, the doctrine is implicit in it.

On its own, this statement of belief would be only a collection of words, however, since it is rooted and grounded in the Holy Word of God it stands forever as a unifying standard that applies to all Christian Churches. I never recited this growing up as a Baptist but when I visited other churches and they would recite it, I always loved it though inwardly I cringed a bit with the “Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church” because I thought I was being hypocritical saying that part when I wasn’t Catholic. But in this case, the word “catholic” is derived from the Greek adjective καθολικός (katholikos), meaning “general”, “universal. (Although some Catholics might disagree on that point)

This morning, millions of churches will gather together and break bread over these words. In this instance, we are totally unified despite our different denominations. I found myself saying these words this morning as a awoke, well really singing them. In the 1970s Rich Mullins wrote a tune to these very words and I played it on the way to work yesterday. Of these words he says:

And I believe what I believe
Is what makes me what I am
I did not make it, no it is making me
I did not make it, no it is making me
I said, “I did not make it, no it is making me”
It is the very truth of God
And not the invention of any man…….

Amen, dear Rich, you have been living that out with Jesus for years already. I can’t wait to meet you……..

My prayer for today:

“Oh Father, though the streams of culture and the world flow swiftly and changeably around us, Your words are like a mighty rock it swirls around. The world has its eyes turned elsewhere, but ours are forever turned to you. You are the first and the last, and your words were formed long before this world existed and they will stand for all eternity. We thank you that though everything else changes, you never do. In an unsettled world, we draw tremendous comfort from that. I pray that the church will continue be an open door for people coming in from the world battered and bruised and that we in the church might be a conduit for the great love and mercy you have shown to us. You are light in our darkness, without you, we have nothing.” Amen

Why traditional marriage doesn’t need defending

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I was going to stay silent. I thought maybe my two cents really didn’t matter. But then, I kept getting these thoughts and they weren’t going away. Usually the ones that don’t go away turn into blog posts because I feel it’s the Holy Spirit nudging me to speak. I will start with these thoughts:

Marriage is a perfect institution, made up of imperfect people.

Marriage will never go away on this earth because it was instituted by God in the garden of Eden.

Marriage is Holy.

Marriage is a physical depiction of a deeper spiritual illustration of Christ (the Groom) and the Church (the Bride)

These aren’t my ideas, they come from the Bible. That’s why marriage (and when I say that, I mean the traditional kind) can stand on its on. God started it and God will end it as well.

Jesus answered this question when He was on earth.

That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for him. Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. Finally, the woman died. Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”

Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you,  ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’ He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.

So, marriage was started by God and it will be ended by God in eternity. End of story.

Marriage has really taken a beating in our modern society. I have heard it mocked, seen it twisted into all sorts of shapes and sizes and kinds. I have heard cynics blast holes in it, and I have seen people ignore it completely. I have heard the argument that it ruins a good relationship. I have seen people scoff at it and roll their eyes over it. I have seen people marry over and over again until it’s just about stripped of any meaning.  

But none of that taints the perfection or the Holiness of the institution itself.

The thing that concerns me the most about this whole debate is what it means for the future of our nation. For I still believe that a nation that supports a healthy view of the traditional family will remain strong, while a nation that loses its moral fiber will perish. (Think of Rome, for instance)

Those of us who don’t recognize the validity or right of two people of the same-sex to marry will be called all sorts of ugly things. I have already seen it. We will be labeled as hateful, bigoted, homophobic, unkind, and intolerant. Not to mention ignorant.

While those who do support it will be painted as loving, tolerant, compassionate, kind and wise.

Both sides will forget to love.

Both sides will forget that we are all in this together.

And with all this talk of love and rainbows floating across the news feeds of America and the world right now, there is really only One great love worth celebrating.

His name is Jesus, and He came to this world to defeat sin and save sinners (of whom I am chief, right along with the Apostle Paul) He was and is love personified. Love with a capital “L.”

He came down here to defeat sin and death forever, and He had to die a terrible and tortuous death meant for you and me in order to do that.

He even went to hell so we would never have to go there because He doesn’t want us to be separated from Him ever again.

That is the Love I am celebrating today and everyday. And everyday, I am grateful and in awe of His great Grace that continues to cover my great sin.

 That’s a Love worth celebrating.

Lent Day #13: What is Truth?

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Pilate seemed to be haunted with the question: “What is truth?”  He was in fact standing right in front of the embodiment of “Truth,” Jesus Himself, and he still missed the mark. Pilate’s wife, however, had a brush with truth and it terrified her: “While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him.”

I was asking myself this morning, why is it that so many young people have become disillusioned with the churches of their youth? Why are they so willing to grab at any other counterfeit philosophy, religion or way of life this world has to offer? Even ISIS, God forbid. What have they found so very attractive in the world?

What makes a seven-year old stand in front of a congregation, face alight with truth and knowledge and love of God, to declare their faith and plunge under the waters of Baptism only to abandon that same faith 14 years later?

I don’t think there is any one answer, but a combination of many things, but right now I would like to write a letter to all those young adults out there who think God no longer has any relevance in their daily life.

 

Dear Twentysomethings:

This is Jesus, remember me?

I’m still here. I remember you, even if you no longer remember me. First of all, I just want to say that I miss you, and so does my Father. We see you going about your daily life, with all its joys and heartaches and lost loves. We see how you smile and laugh with your friends, how you are learning so much. We see how you are burning the candle at both ends; falling asleep in class and working that part-time job.

We are deeply interested in all your comings and goings. Each day we try to get your attention in thousands of little ways. Did you see that sunset last night? I saw you look up briefly but I didn’t hear a prayer of thanks. In fact, I haven’t heard any prayers at all. I miss our talks. And remember that heavy rain storm last fall? Those were our tears as we watched you wrestle with that terrible decision. We wanted to help, to guide you. We could have offered a way out but you didn’t ask us. We stood aside as we felt the agony in our own Spirit, even as you told all your friends and family you were fine.

Let me remind you of something about my Father. He is less interested in telling you what to do and much more interested in infusing your life with meaning and truth and total fulfillment. He knows all have fallen short but He loves you anyway. We see your heartache and deep loneliness. We see the tears that fall when no one else is watching.

We know that the world is doing its best to make you believe that everything that looks good to you is truth. That whatever you feel in your heart must be right and that all those things you grew up learning in church were nothing but empty lies and fairy tales written by old men. Things that have no or impact or relevance in your life now.

Let me remind you that the Bible is my love letter to you, inspired by My own Spirit and written in my own blood and the blood of others who died for it. My Word will never steer you wrong, the world always will. There is an enemy out there who would like nothing better than to destroy your soul.

The soul I died to save.

You might think that your life is really exciting right now, but I promise if you really get to know me I can give you excitement and power and meaning like you never dreamed possible. More than you could ever ask or think. I am that kind of God. I am the One who calmed the waves with a word, the One that put this whole thing into motion. I long to take you to the far corners of the universe to hear the stars sing.

But only if you come back to the truth. To the only love that will never let you down. You may feel that your are free right now, but you have made yourself a prison of your own wants, needs and desires. Those can never give you true fulfillment or the peace and rest your soul so desperately craves. We can. It’s never too late to come home.

Our arms are always open. The Lover of your soul, Jesus.

“For although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.”

Lent Day #11: Putting my heart through the wash cycle

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I head out to my car, again for some quiet time. And today I really have nothing, nada, no idea what “word manna” will come down if any. All I have is my inner assurance that something will. I have never done anything like this. It’s like a Holy experiment because I have determined that I will not write anything just for the sake of ticking one more post off the list, but to be silent until I receive something from the Holy Spirit. And like the manna that fell like snow for the Israelites in the desert, words can’t be left over. And neither can they be written ahead.

I open the sunroof and the sound of birdsong drifts in. A mockingbird is singing his heart out from a nearby Mesquite tree and clouds are blowing in. A change is in the air. The wind in the trees somehow mimics the sounds of ocean waves. Imagine that, here in the desert! God brings me the ocean even here. He loves to give us little surprises to see if we will notice.

Slowly I scroll through the Bloglists on Facebook until I get to one that leads further in to this site: www.21martyrs.com and I hear Jesus words and they stop me in my tracks and then it hits me. This is my message for today:

Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that.” Luke 12:4
But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!

“Surely not these atrocious acts, Lord.” Then I remembered how Saul looked in approval on as Stephen was stoned to death, before the Lord called him and he was renamed Paul. Ever since I have seen those 21 paraded out before the world, I have felt a searing hate for those with the knives. After all, I am an American patriot. We go after our enemies don’t we? Yes, part of me would love to see them wiped off the face of the earth. And yet.

Don’t I call myself a disciple of Jesus? A follower of the Way?

To forgive the unforgivable, that’s what Jesus did. Even while He was still hanging on the cross. And He calls us to do the same, impossible as it may seem. One thing I do know, everyone who dies for the sake of the Gospel and for Jesus will never die in vain. I believe God is calling us to pray, more now than ever before.

And I believe that these horrific acts that continue to color the ground red will lead to Heaven’s gates swinging open to others that may never have entered in otherwise.

As I sat there in my car listening to the trees that sounded like waves, I felt like my heart was being washed clean. I felt convicted. I felt the tide of hate in me recede just a little bit. I still hate what those people did, and God does too. But Jesus had to go to the cross because of my sin too, not just theirs. For there is no “little sin” or “big sin” in God’s eyes. It’s all the same.

And I know the only way I can possibly hope to forgive the unforgivable is to do it with His power and not my own. And by believing that anyone can be redeemed.

Because I was.

Let’s all pray. Join me over the next 40 days. For further reading please check out what Ann Voskamp has to say below.

http://www.aholyexperience.com/2015/02/the-call-for-the-next-40-days-to-the-nations-people-of-the-cross/

 

 

Lent Day 8: When we tell God He’s not enough

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Each day I choose to give in to fear and anxiety, I am telling God He is not enough. It all begins with a choice doesn’t it? Faith is an everyday active choice of opening our eyes to what’s right in front of us and actively saying:

Despite the circumstances, the uncertain road ahead, the panic and indecision that threatens to smother my soul, I am choosing right now this day to open my eyes to the gifts you have given me today. I am making a conscious choice to live a life that says, “You God, are more than enough.”

When we are preoccupied with everything that might happen if we make a wrong choice we make ourselves God. We are telling God that He’s not big enough to make something wonderful come out of it. When we wake up under a cloak of fear, we rob the people around us. We are less than God wants us to be. The people I care about deserve more than that. I don’t want to rob them or myself of being less than what they deserve: A conduit of God’s love and grace. I don’t want to miss what God has for me today.

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The Christian life more than any other, should be full of optimism, hope, life, joy…….laughter should come easy. (Thankfully most of the time, that is one thing that does come easy for me.) Lent for me this year is becoming a process of emptying myself of all the junk that threatens to pollute my spirit and replacing it with what God wants to put there.

When I started this 40 day journey I didn’t know where it would lead. I still don’t know if I have enough words to do this 40 days straight. It’s a process of waiting each day until the Holy Spirit moves me to write. Honestly, today I felt pretty empty. But God showed me how incredibly vast my fortune was. I couldn’t ignore it.

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But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:33,34

 

And thank you Elaine, for the “Mini-Daffys” they make me smile……..

Lent Day #6: Living with Loss

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Part of being human is actively living each and every day with a certain amount of loss. We carry it about like an anchor. It’s like paddling around in a boat that we know is leaking, taking on more water, more loss with each passing day. We look at that picture and it hurts to see the smile, we only feel the pang of passing years too many. More water, more loss.

We get so used to it we don’t realize just how much we are taking on until it gets to the alarming level and now it’s chilly and covering our legs.

It’s crucial now to do something.

At first glance it seems there are only two choices, we either bail faster or give up to despair. There is a third and best answer and that is to find the repair kit to fix the leak. God is the repair kit. Not only can He fix the leak that enables us to stay afloat, He can also repair the damage that was caused by the taking on excess water. He can take our pile of losses.

We don’t have to let our bad choices, past regrets, missed opportunities and the loss of so many people we held dear completely overwhelm us. Satan loves nothing better than to taunt us with all that. To get us to focus on how badly we screwed up, and how there is nothing we can ever do to fix it. To get us to dwell on everything we don’t have instead of everything we do have……right here and right now.

During this Lenten season, try to be still and listen to what God wants to say to you.  Let Him quiet your fears. The loss has happened and it will continue to happen, but the Holy Spirit can fill that sorrow flooding your heart and tearing down your soul.

And each day we live, He is actively working toward our healing. The culmination of which will be complete perfection when at last we stand before Him. Jesus lived His whole life in the shadow of the cross, yet He didn’t waste a single moment dwelling on it.

He loved, he laughed, he healed. He knew the end of the story. And it was the happiest ending this world has ever seen or will ever see. And we can be part of it!

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

I hope it bombs (but it probably won’t)

Gratitude for Grace

I’m talking about that movie that’s coming out in a few days. You’ve seen the previews. Maybe you’ve read the book. I won’t even post the name here or use any image from it because I don’t want to highlight it in any way. I am using it as an opener because it’s movies like this that are a barometer of just how morally sick our society has become. Last night I was at the gym and I was parked on the elliptical catty-corner to one of those shows where men and women were doing all sorts of things with very little clothing. There were all kinds of sexual situations, some of which were women with other women. And this was in a public place at six o’ clock in the evening.

I remember when Ricky and Lucy had to have separate beds, and they were married! (I think that is a little extreme, especially since they were really married)

You might wonder why my views are so extreme. Well, I guess because God has some pretty extreme views about when sex is appropriate. When two people: (one man, one woman) are married. This is what I believe: God is the creator of sex. Part of his purpose in creating sex was for our pleasure. But God also set limits for the enjoyment of sex, for our protection. When we go outside those boundaries, we enter into sexual sin. God even goes one step further than that, He says that sex between a married couple is actually Holy.

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Hebrews 13:4

People say, “God is love, He wants you to be happy, well no not really. Mostly He wants me to be Holy, and that in turn brings something far deeper than happiness. It brings lasting joy and peace of mind. I believe that as a Christian, God calls me to sacrifice a few things, because Jesus sacrificed everything. I was bought with a price, the Bible says. And that price tag was hefty. So if God tells me no to something I know it’s for my own good. All I have to do is look to the Word to find out what He expects.

Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Ephesians 5:3

Here’s where we are today:

Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. Ephesians 4:19

And God is not a cruel God, He is a loving God. He would never expect us to do something that wasn’t entirely possible for us to do, with His help.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

The best way I can describe the Christian life is how a Pastor illustrated it one Sunday. He stood in front of us with a long rope spread out across the stage. About 2 inches worth on the end was painted bright red. That represented our life on earth. The rest represented eternity, well the rope would have had to be endless, but we got the point. This life is short, friends and if you believe in Jesus and trusted Him for your eternal salvation then you have a future filled with hope. If not, there is still hope.

There is nothing we can ever do under the sun that could cause God to withdraw His offer of forgiveness and reconciliation. There in no place we could ever go where His love could not reach us. We have all fallen short, we all sin, yet each day there is a fresh supply of Grace manna, at every point during the day He stands ready to forgive and forget.

How Many Kings?

But would we notice?

Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe, after all we’ve projected, A child in a manger?
Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mother’s shawl – Just a child – Is this who we’ve waited for? ’cause…

How many kings step down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
And how many gods have poured out their hearts

To romance a world that is torn all apart How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

Bringing our gifts for the newborn Savior All that we have, whether costly or meek Because we believe.
Gold for his honor, and frankincense for his pleasure And myrrh for the cross he will suffer Do you believe?
Is this who we’ve waited for?

Only one did that for me
All, all for me…..All for you.

“How Many Kings” by Downhere
Written by Marc A. Martel, Jason Ronald William Germain.

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

Isaiah 7:14

Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

 Isaiah 53:1-3

All for you, all for me.

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Why it’s good to remember………

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As I left this morning in the dark, I straightened my flag out and remembered. That day 13 years ago. Frozen in front of the TV, incredulous; watching the news in disbelief. I remember my Mom calling and weeping on the phone. And now I am in disbelief again that so many years have flown by…..It doesn’t seem possible.

As I walked into work I passed the security guard who was raising the American flag which I thought looked a little dingy. It would have been nice to see a bright splash of red, white and blue against the sky. It felt like such an ordinary day…….too ordinary. I guess that day started out pretty ordinary too. And that’s not a bad thing.

That’s what makes this all so significant. If 9/11 were to teach us anything, it is that each day holds within itself a wonderful capacity for complete normalcy and utter disaster. So we need to embrace the normal for what it is.

Ordinary life tinged with the miraculous.

In and around and through, each little insignificant moment of every day there is a thread of wonder. The thing we usually don’t realize though, is how fast it can all be taken away. I know, I’ve been there. I am one who stood at the edge of the great wide gulf of grief, wondering what I could have done differently, wondering how I would ever make my way to the other side.

We’ve all had loss, we’ve all had our times of wishing we could reel back all those little moments and see them for the small miracles they were. How clear it all seems from a distance.

Now I do my best to live in the moment. I don’t always succeed, but I am better at it than I used to be.

Set aside all the other lessons we could have learned that day 13 years ago. And set aside all the things we could be doing right now to prevent it from happening again.

The thing that matters most is that we live life with our eyes and hearts wide open. Knowing that each and every day we walk on Holy ground, and that person you wake up to? Ride that bus with? Work next to in that cubicle? They all have lives, hopes, dreams that matter to them. They all started out with a spark of Godness.

Tonight when you go home, go and sit beside the one you love, hold their hand and look into their eyes and ask them, really ask them how their day went. And then really listen. Who cares if they ask if you are alright. Thank God you still have them.

And in your reflection today, remember the ordinary heroes who died that day and the ones who tried to save them.

And everyday, remember the One who died to save you, for without Him nothing is possible.

With Him, everything is.

What Ferguson needs is what we all need.

Thankful to be Thankful

I was in prayer as to what to write about today, waiting for a direction……a word. I click on the news events, the chief one being the funeral of Michael Brown. I pause when I read these words by Jesse Washington in the A.P article:

He was a “gentle giant” headed to college. Pictures of Brown circulate that show him smiling, baby-faced — reminiscent of the childlike photos that first introduced us to Trayvon Martin.

I try to reconcile that with what I saw on the video of him strong-arming that clerk when he and his companion robbed the convenience store. My mind wants to make sense of it…..wants to reconcile it somehow, settle it. That’s what we want in times like this. We want a definite right and wrong. Black or white, if you will. But sometimes we are left with no right answers but only our emotions, anger, confusion, sadness.

Each side wants to paint a picture, this is how I see it anyway when I look at the media. One side wants us to believe Michael Brown was an innocent young kid on his way to college full of hopes and dreams. The other side wants us to believe he was a thug, a would-be rapper, up to no good and going nowhere fast.

Our minds and hearts grapple……..we want to know what to believe. When it happened, the barriers went up. The battle lines were drawn, and there were those of us who stood back and just wanted to get the facts. We wanted to make sense of the anger and the violence. And then there were those who just wanted to go and see for themselves, to stand in the gap and pray. And I know that’s always right.

To be truthful, right after it happened and I saw Al Sharpton spewing anger on the news, I rolled my eyes. “Here we go again,” I thought, “Why does it always have to be someone like him or Jesse Jackson when there are so many other more intelligent, well-spoken individuals out there who we might listen to.” I believe I am speaking for many people here and not just white people either.

And after that I kind of shut my ears to it all. It just got too noisy.

But now, this morning, I see family members and a community grieving and that’s never good. I know how it feels to put someone in the ground. You can never forget that sorrow.

I’ve read a little about the history of the town of Ferguson and I want to have a deeper understanding. I think of how I would feel if it had been my dear friend’s son standing in the street that night and what if it had been him who had been shot. I would be at that funeral right now. And it wouldn’t matter if he’d been in the right or wrong, or if he’d been inside or outside the law because grief is grief and heartache is heartache.

Kids aren’t perfect, any of them. Neither are any of us. We all have the capacity to make good decisions and bad ones. We sometimes find ourselves doing things we don’t want to do. I do know one thing, violence will never solve anything, but prayer is always right. My prayer is that healing can begin, not just for Ferguson but for the whole world.

In times like these I believe the Church has a unique opportunity to pull together, that’s what Jesus would have us do. Because the world is watching. In fact, that is what Jesus is praying for right at this moment. Unified hearts united with Him. We are called to love each other, and sometimes love means standing back and seeing things from a different perspective.

Deep down, it’s not about black or white or anything in between, it’s about the battle we each fight within our own hearts. And the only way we will ever have true peace, true healing in our hearts is when we invite Jesus in.

If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. Apostle Paul