Escalating Violence

The Human Condition

As disturbing as the escalating violence is that seems to keep occurring in large, and small ways the nation over, there is something that is even more disconcerting. We’re wired this way. It is important to notice that I didn’t say, “they’re wired that way.” In truth, each of us react to injustice, whether perceived or actual. The reason for it is because that’s the way God made us. Our nation has insisted on taking God out of the equation, and this is what happens. With God banished, somebody needs to administer justice. Somebody needs to be feared. The police cannot be everywhere, nor can the looters, rioters, snipers, gunmen, and other terrorists. But because we’ve removed the fear of God from the equation, we’ve eliminated the only One who can be everywhere at once.

Many of the people who are destroying property in the name of justice are cowardly wearing hoods and masks, as if somehow that hides them. Marginalize God all you want, but a mask and a hood aren’t going to do the trick. There isn’t a one of us who can hide from God. If God can find someone in the abyss of hell, he can find me anywhere I might think I can hide. Yet that didn’t stop Adam, and it doesn’t stop me from trying. Why is that? We’re wired that way!

So, if we’re wired this way, and it’s faulty, how do we go about changing the wiring? That’s the great news. Jesus paid the price to change the wiring on the cross, and now I can be redeemed. I can let him change the wiring. The problem is that we think that Jesus is done with the work on our lives since our eternity is secure. The truth is I am still a diamond in the rough, and I think I’m ready to be set in the wedding band. I don’t consider my own life honestly and soberly. I think of myself more highly than I ought, and I buy into the culture that says, “nobody else is going to look out for me, so I need to look out for myself.”

Couple this looking out for myself, and being outraged over the perceived mistreatment of others, and the misguided idea that nobody should have any weapons for self defense and the defense of others, and you have a society that is out of balance ready to go full tilt on a hair trigger. So, our solution is to regulate guns? To excuse away riotous behavior giving them space to express themselves? No! Murder is already illegal by whatever means it is accomplished. And riots? Does anyone really think we should give them space?

Enduring Friendship

What Does a Baseball Glove Have to do with it?

These days when we keep up with what’s happing in each other’s lives more by reading Facebook, or on Instagram, the meaning of deep enduring friendship can seem to be completely lost. That is until a family of “wayfarers” decides to bless you by being the first place they visit outside of their immediate family. The honor is not lost, nor is the intention of their journey missed.

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On their blog, they talk about roots. Our roots in large part determine the direction of our future. And we share similar roots with our friends who are now camping in our driveway.

Today, I learned more about what’s growing in my yard than I’ve known in the nearly two decades that we’ve lived here. And I’ve had the opportunity in the process to share life up close and personal with some long-time friends as if we’d been living life together all these years. That’s where the connection to a baseball glove comes in. I haven’t worn my baseball glove in years, yet the other day when I put it on, it still felt just right, well worn, broken in, natural. I’ve put on a few pounds that wearing and using the glove would take care of if I would just do it more often. In the same way Michael, Bethany, Douglas & Fynn have shown us just how much fun living on the edge and challenging the status quo can be!

While I learned that we have Mulberry trees and wild grapes growing in our yard, I also was reminded that with pruning and better care, we could have a better crop, and better bunches of grapes. As if that wasn’t enough, I realized that both of our families have done quite a bit of pruning on the branches that have grown out of those family roots. And, while much of that pruning has been met with a skeptical eye by our families in the past, that at long last our families have come to realize that we have not abandoned the faith of our forebears. The reality is that we’ve embraced that faith for what it really is. It’s a gift, not from those who have come before us, but rather from the only One who could give the gift in the first place.

That’s not to say we didn’t get anything from those who have come before. They planted those roots by streams of water thereby giving the tree the ability to “yield its fruit in its season.”

They came to bless us, and bless us they have whether a single project we set out to accomplish, actually was completed or not. The bigger challenge for me is how to continue to bless them as they embark on this journey.

Discriminate |disˈkriməˌnāt|

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The national spotlight is on my home state, Indiana in a huge way. All over our enactment of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into law. Given my history of talking about such issues, rest assured I’ve been chomping at the bit to write. I’ve started on three different occasions, and haven’t quite hit on exactly what to say that’s really any different or helpful. Then it occurred to me what all the hubbub is about. Discrimination. 

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Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (Crown Business; 1 edition, April 15, 2014)

At first blush, it might seem that the apostle Paul would not agree with Greg McKeown that the Nonessentialist’s thinking is wrong. “All Things to All People” certainly sounds like something Paul said of his efforts to win converts for Christ. Digging deeper though, I think Paul would ascribe to the idea of doing what really matters, saying “no” to everything that doesn’t. As always, with everything you read, filter it through what God has to say about the matter! I am thoroughly enjoying this book so far. Join me in reading this, and let me know what you think!