Connecting the Dots in an Unconnected World

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Evil is Everywhere

Ruthi shared with me a news article concerning teenagers vandalizing and burglarizing the home of a Wesley Chapel woman and soldier. The soldier was away in Virginia caring for wounded soldiers. When she shared the story with me she asked me the question, “How could teenagers do something like this?”

The answer to Ruthi’s good question is: evil is everywhere. In spite of the remonstrations of the politically correct crowd this event and the uncounted others like it are caused by evil in the human heart. There is a sin nature in men, women, boys, and girls that causes them to remove any and all restraints. It causes them to behave out of selfishness and a lack of respect for others and the things of others.

We no longer teach either righteousness or restraint in our schools. In our homes, parents are too busy to give positive direction and oversight to their children. We live in a fast food, video saturated culture where our children learn they are entitled to anything they desire right now, that nothing is real and our actions carry with them no consequences. From far too many pulpits we proclaim pious platitudes in the place of a call to Holy living. The powerful gospel message has been replaced with a compromising feel good patter. Obviously there is enough blame to go around.

What would have happened if these teenagers had been led to know Jesus as their Savior and taught to live for Him? Our task as the church impacts every segment of life and culture. We must become militant about sharing the gospel of Jesus with a sin-sick world. Jesus is the only answer.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

“Men's minds are too ready to excuse guilt in themselves.”
~ Livy

Monday, June 15, 2009

Misplaced Priorities

Across the years I have used many promotional plans to attempt to reach people. Among these ideas has been Bring a Friend Sunday, Bring your Bible Sunday, Bring a Covered Dish Sunday, Bring a Chocolate Dessert Sunday (one of my favorites), and even Bring your Tithe Sunday. I could name a few more but I suspect you get the point. However, this week I have found a new one to add to the list, Bring your Gun Sunday. Before you think I have lost my mind check out this link Bring your Gun Sunday to a church in Kentucky.

While I support our Second Amendment Rights, it would seem to me that the attempt to be relevant, if that is what this is, is a tad misguided. If this is an attempt to make a political statement it has no place in the house of God.

The church of the Lord Jesus has more important things to emphasize than the right to bear arms; Biblical preaching, Christ-honoring living, passionate soul-winning, and commitment to missions to name just a few. Satan’s favorite trick is to cause the church to give first class loyalty to second class causes. His greatest efforts go to distract us from winning a lost world to Christ.

The church of the Lord Jesus is not a place for political activism but rather a place for spiritual activity.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

“The necessary has never been man's top priority. The passionate pursuit of the nonessential and the extravagant is one of the chief traits of human uniqueness. Unlike other forms of life, man's greatest exertions are made in the pursuit not of necessities but of superfluities.”
~~ Eric Hoffer

Thursday, June 4, 2009

True Heroes

My Brother Steve shared the following email with me. As we approach the 65th anniversary of D-Day I thought it worth consideration.

Look carefully at the B-17 and note how shot up it is - one engine dead, tail, horizontal stabilizer and nose shot up.. It was ready to fall out of the sky. (This is a painting done by an artist from the description of both pilots many years later.) Then realize that there is a German ME-109 fighter flying next to it. Now read the story below. I think you'll be surprised.....

Charlie Brown was a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot with the 379th Bomber Group at Kimbolton, England. His B-17 was called 'Ye Old Pub' and was in a terrible state, having been hit by flak and fighters. The compass was damaged and they were flying deeper over enemy territory instead of heading home to Kimbolton.

After flying the B-17 over an enemy airfield, a German pilot named Franz Steigler was ordered to take off and shoot down the B-17. When he got near the B-17, he could not believe his eyes. In his words, he 'had never seen a plane in such a bad state'. The tail and rear section was severely damaged, and the tail gunner wounded. The top gunner was all over the top of the fuselage The nose was smashed and there were holes everywhere.

Despite having ammunition, Franz flew to the side of the B-17 and looked at Charlie Brown, the pilot. Brown was scared and struggling to control his damaged and blood-stained plane.

Aware that they had no idea where they were going, Franz waved at Charlie to turn 180 degrees. Franz escorted and guided the stricken plane to, and slightly over, the North Sea towards England. He then saluted Charlie Brown and turned away, back to Europe. When Franz landed he told the CO that the plane had been shot down over the sea, and never told the truth to anybody. Charlie Brown and the remains of his crew told all at their briefing, but were ordered never to talk about it.

More than 40 years later, Charlie Brown wanted to find the Luftwaffe pilot who saved the crew. After years of research, Franz was found. He had never talked about the incident, not even at post-war reunions.

Charlie Brown
Franz Stigler

They met in the USA at a 379th Bomber Group reunion, together with 25 people who are alive now - all because Franz never fired his guns that day. When asked why he didn't shoot them down, Stigler later said, I didn't have the heart to finish those brave men. I flew beside them for a long time. They were trying desperately to get home and I was going to let them do that. I could not have shot at them. It would have been the same as shooting at a man in a parachute. Both men died in 2008.

It may be that we as Americans need to be reminded of the meaning of true heroism.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”
~ Arthur Ashe

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