My wife and I are in deep sadness over the death of 17 students and teachers in Parkland, Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
We’re also grieved by the fact that the gunman, Nikolas Cruz, had a long history of mental illness and had been diagnosed with autism. Reports show he regularly faced rejection from classmates and neighbors.
Every part of this story is incredibly sad and heart-wrenching.
But while many will weigh-in to talk about political, legal, and psychological factors, I want to go back to a foundational issue, which is actually theological.
Yesterday afternoon, Hudson squinted up into the sky and proclaimed to our little daughter, “Hey Everlynn! Winter is over! It’s warm and I can see the sun!”
“Not quite,” I remarked, much to Hudson’s chagrin. But winter is definitely receding. Within several weeks we may see crocuses begin to emerge from the frosty ground with their cheerful blossoms. A warm breeze will melt away the icy wind. Cool April showers will bring forth life hidden dormant within. . . .
The most vital work is not first serving, teaching, preaching, exhorting, evangelizing, giving, or even Bible reading (all good things) – but prayer! Prayer must preface, saturate, and finish all we do as Christians. Prayer isn’t merely the bookends or a magnet on the fridge of the Christian life….
On December 3rd, I accepted the call to serve as Lead Pastor for Mayfair Bible Church of Flushing, Michigan. Our hearts are overwhelmed with praise to God. Below is a short video we produced and letter I’ve written to the wonderful flock at Mayfair…
“Why do people think Thanksgiving is all about eating turkey, Papa?” Hudson remarked. Our inquisitive little man looked into my eyes with a concerned gaze as his giant bowl of oatmeal grew cold.
“Well Hudson, most people know the basic story of Thanksgiving Day as a piece of history. But, today, many don’t seem to think about why we celebrate this holiday and specifically to whom we are giving thanks.” I responded.
“Yeah, Papa… I know what Thanksgiving is all about. And it’s NOT about turkey!” Hudson declared with a professorial tone….
…many of us adults (and teens, too) have a monster we rather like to coddle and feed on a regular basis. His name? Harry Ego Monster. Or perhaps her name is Penelope Popularity Monster. Parker Pride Monster? Take your pick.
In the age of social media you and I are easily entrapped into feeding this insidious monster. We begin to, perhaps, subconsciously act on this line of thinking: