Friday, July 20, 2007
All of these words have been flying around with the indictment of Michael Vick for dog fighting. I've never witnessed sponsored dog-fighting (although our two dogs sometimes have pretty loud if temporary tussles of their own), and I imagine that the dogfights are brutal and cruel...especially for the losers. Our family enjoys our canine pets, and some dogs have even been movie stars and heroes. There's even a United States law prohibiting the organization of and engagement in dog-fighting. But in the end, they're just dogs.
Where's the loud outcry for the hundreds or thousands of babies, who are barbarically and sadistically killed in the name of convenience? The cries of these human beings fall on the deaf (and apparently dumb) ears of the media. Hurt a dog or a salamander and PETA warrants prime time coverage on every station in America. But kill a defenseless child by abortion and the media is content to sweep this under the rug of freedom.
Disclaimer: Our home hosts several pets, and we do not mistreat them in any way. My sister is a wildlife rehabilitator. The Bible instructs mankind to rule over the animals and the planet with prudence. I hope cruelty to animals becomes a thing of the past. But the value of human life has been and continues to be degraded when these animal mistreatment trials gain popularity over real problems.
Prediction: Michael Vick will probably not do jail time for dog-fighting. He'll plea-bargain and get a huge fine and community service after being found guilty of an activity you you find somewhere on TV right now...gambling.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
At one point in the book Jim gets entangled with the pirates and makes a promise to them not to run away from the buccaneers during a meeting with the good doctor. The doctor urges him to flee with him while escape was possible, but Jim refuses because of his promise. I found myself rooting for Jim to escape since this was probably his only chance. My own thoughts were, “Jim, you can escape. They’re only pirates! Your word does not bind you since they’re thieves.” But upon reflection I realized that Jim did the right thing. He honored his word even though the pirates were crooks and untrustworthy themselves.
My conclusion from this story is that the integrity of one’s word is not to whom a promise is given but to Truth. True character and integrity does not require one to justify your actions. It is instead the truthful fulfillment of one’s responsibilities, thoughts, and words.
Monday, July 2, 2007
Wednesday night in the middle of CIY, the director of the conference, Nate, came up to me and asked me if I would be willing to participate in a powerful event for the youth. Now, the theme of the day was Injury, and throughout the day, we had taught the youth about how to handle hurts and pains with which they had struggled.
He explained to me that during the evening session, there would be six 4X8 foot sheets of Plexiglas around the auditorium. During the session, the youth would be invited to write their biggest hurts and pains in black marker on the Plexiglas sheets. At the end of the session, the sheets would be brought together on stage to make an isolation chamber of sorts, and the climax of the night would be to have someone stay inside the chamber all night and pray for the youth and their hurts. As the memory of my prayer cards resonated within me, I agreed to be the advocate.
It was a difficult and powerful time to be surrounded by the hurts and pains of 800 youth and adults. At first it was overwhelming, but my youth group and many others at CIY and beyond were praying for me. With the Lord’s help, I wrote down each injury on scrap paper and erased every bit of black marker on those walls. Each hurt was prayed for and brought before the Lord for 10 hours. I learned about grace, and forgiveness and the meaning of love. God taught me to be unselfish and that my problems are not worth complaining about. While these are not new concepts to me, they were embossed into my spirit. Other people are hurting, and God provided healing and hope through prayer.
While, I was not physically refreshed at 8AM for the start of the morning session, it brightened my morning and re-invigorated me when the youth began to file into the auditorium to offer words of appreciation and encouragement.
It was sad to me that I wrote down abandonment, betrayal, rejection, depression, and “problems with parents” enough times to abbreviate the words. My encouragement to the youth, and to those reading this blog is simply John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” This is not our home, and when we have tribulation and troubles, we can smile knowing that the longing for our Heavenly home is a safe haven from the sufferings of this world.