What will You Risk

On February 18, 1952, four men risked their lives in perilous seas to attempt to rescue an unknown number of men. The Coast Guard web sight has this to say, “During a violent winter gale the tanker SS Pendleton broke in two in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Cape Cod, MA.  Shortly thereafter, Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat No. CG-36500 with BM1 Bernard C. Webber as officer-in-charge and EN2 (P) Andrew J. Fitzgerald, SN Richard P. Livesey and SN Ervin E. Maske as crew members departed the Lifeboat Station to render assistance.  The seas were extremely high and rough, with northwest winds between forty and fifty miles per hour.  Visibility was poor due to darkness and intermittent snow squalls.”

When these brave men departed on their journey they did not know if they would find any survivors. They did not even know if they would survive this rescue attempt. What they did know is there were people in danger and they were going to do their best to save them.

We hear stories like these and part of us want to be able to be that heroic. So what stops us from doing it? Today there are millions at risk of facing eternal judgment yet we sit safely in our pews doing nothing. On that day Webber and his crew gave 32 souls another chance to live. How many souls will you give the chance at eternal life? Christians, it is time to get off the pews and into the streets!

There’s a Drug for That

We have been at war since the late 1970’s with the ever growing drug problem in this country. On one side you have the well meaning people that wish to do away with all illegal drugs. While on the other side you have the cartel, the pushers, and the users. But wait it does not stop there. You have to include the government and big pharmaceutical companies.

Most would say that government is against drug use. This is not completely the truth. The proof is in the herb, since proving itself to be a wonderful source of tax revenue it seems the government is actually beginning to look at Marijuana the same way they see the drug alcohol. It seems that what the government is actually against is not getting their fair share.

Big Pharmaceutical companies in my humble opinion are the real cartel. I know they provide a lot of good medicines for the sick. However, they also seek anyway they can to make sure everyone is taking some sort of drug. The latest is Oxytocin, which they claim may boost spirituality. Really, a drug to get closer to God, what’s next?

I have a suggestion. If you want to become more spiritual consider James 4:7-8 which says, submit to God resist the devil, draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Spirituality is not a feeling that can be induced by a drug, but a commitment we need to make.

Why be Racist

It seems like everywhere I look this week there are racially charged stories. One would have to have been on a desert island to think that racism does not exist. However, one story I read said that before our current political administration there was no racism. Obviously that person has been on said desert island.

Here is what I do not get, what difference does skin color actually make? No, I am not on the desert island now, I realize there is discrimination. However, if we are honest with ourselves most of us are not pure anything. Our heritage has taken various ethnic paths to get us where we are.

Why then can’t we all appreciate the differences between us. It is the differences between us that makes this world so wonderful. Imagine if all our food tasted the same. Can you say boring? History should teach us that every race and culture has added and enriched our world.

Those of us who call ourselves Christians really need to take this to heart. Heaven will be filled with souls from every ethnic background imaginable, not that it will matter then. And if you have not really thought about it Jesus is from the Middle East, do you really think he has blond hair? John says if you love God then you should love your brother. If we are truly in Christ then our brother is not the one who looks like us, but the one who acts like Christ.

Never Forget!

15 years ago I came home from working the night shift. The day was just starting for most people but for me it was just ending. I was carrying out my normal routine without a clue of the events taking place. That all came to a mind numbing change when I turned on the morning news. The first of the two towers was in flames and just as I dropped onto the bed the second plane struck the second tower.

15 years and I still cannot think about those events without tears coming to my eyes. I relive every emotion of that day all over. Unless you were alive you cannot imagine what it felt like to see such a terrible act of hatred carried out on our country. I can only imagine that I felt the same things as my grandparents the day Pearl Harbor was attacked.

15 years has made me realize something, hatred fighting hatred breeds hatred. That is exactly what we are seeing in our world today. It seems like every group imaginable is finding a reason to hate the other groups. The very thing we started out fighting 15 years ago has become the way of life.

Nearly 2000 years ago Jesus said, “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,” (Lk 6:27). The Roman Empire was the most powerful empire in the world in Jesus’ day. History teaches that the persecution they dealt Christians was not overcome with vast armies or gorilla warfare. Instead, Christians acting like Christ eventually won the favor of the Emperors.

So yes, let us never forget that hatred and bigotry only work to divide. Love on the other hand, can work to overcome the hatred.

Doze Your Neighbor

The old saying goes, “Good fences makes good neighbors.” However, I am pretty sure the person who first uttered these words never considered bulldozers.

According to Matthew, when Jesus was asked what the greatest command was He said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22:37–40 KJV) The idea here is you cannot do one or the other and be right with God, you must do both.

Ever since man has started laying claim to parcels of ground, fences have helped to keep the peace. By keeping all your people animals and possessions on your side of the fence you keep your neighbor happy.

It would seem that two men from Tipton County, Tennessee failed to realize the importance of good fences. Neighbor one allegedly thought it would be entertaining to randomly allow his family to run out of the woods onto his neighbor’s property. When this happened neighbor two allegedly shot into the woods landing himself in jail. It gets worse though. While neighbor two was in jail neighbor one allegedly decided to use his bulldozer to level neighbor two’s house, landing neighbor one in jail. There was no indication if they ended up sharing the same jail cell.

It is unfortunate that neither of these two men practiced what Jesus said about loving their neighbor. Their arrest record would be smaller and their wallets thicker. When God gives us commands they are for our own good. As my dad would say, “God didn’t talk to hear his own voice.”

It’s a Conspiracy I tell You!

The attacks on September 11, 2001 was actually an inside job. Those long clouds that come off of airplane wings are actually chemicals the government is spraying in the air to control our minds. HIV was created by the CIA to wipe out homosexuals and African Americans. What do all of these have in common? They have absolutely no basis in reality.

It seems that People want to flock to the most elaborate scheme they hear. The more outlandish it is, the more they cling to the idea as truth. Sadly, it is easier to get people to believe some off the wall story than it is for them to believe the truth.

When it comes to the Bible, people are no different. There are tens of thousands of different divisions among religious groups. Each of these groups all have different beliefs which causes major trouble for unbelievers. In my humble opinion, it is the human desire to have things fit into their own preconceived idea of the way things are that causes this problem. People that believe the conspiracy theories do so because that is how they believe the world works. Likewise, all the false teachings about the Bible are accepted as fact because that is the way people want religion to work.

However, when it comes to any false theory, at some point we are forced to see the truth. Once enough proof is submitted it is then up to us to either accept the truth or reject it. It does not matter if you accept it or not; the truth will always be the truth. It is not subject to our idea of what it should be. It is indeed the truth simply because it is the truth.

Going for Gold

The Olympic games are a wonderful event where people from all walks of life put down their differences and compete in the spirit of friendly competition, or do they? Friday during the Judo competition we were sadly reminded that there remains hostility between nations.

Shehaby from Egypt was competing against Sasson from Israel. According to Maria Cheng and Maggie Michael, Shehaby was under pressure not to participate in the match. To Shehaby’s credit he decided that he would face Sasson in the ring. However, after the match was over Shehaby refused to shake the hand of Sasson and abruptly departed the ring without so much as bowing. Only after being summoned back to the ring did Shehaby concede and gave a quick nod before leaving again.

From everything I could gather these men did not know each other. Other than Sasson beating Shehaby there was no personal reason for the obviously hostile gesture by Shehaby. The reason can only be placed on the fact that one man was from Israel and the other was from Egypt. It is sad that because of this one thing these men could not even shake hands.

I cannot help but to wonder, if these men were born right next door to each other would they get along? What if they were brothers, Could they sit at the same table together? In truth we are all related, no matter how you believe. If you prescribe to evolution, the primordial ooze is our origin. Or if you believe the Bible, then Adam is dad to all of us. No matter how you look at it we are all part of one big family.

Let us remember that if it is our goal to make it to heaven, then we must learn to love while we are here.