Archive for the ‘In the News…’ Category
December 19th, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted in » Christian Living, In the News..., Worth Reading
Last Friday, we were all hurting. Tragedy had struck Sandy Point Elementary, as a madman entered and took the lives of 26 people, including 20 kids.
All of us were struggling with questions, and searching for answers, trying to process this unthinkably evil act.
For those of faith (and perhaps even those not), there’s a big gaping question: where was God during this?
I can’t pretend to have all the answers. We’ll never know why God allowed this, but the fact remains… God is STILL sovereign, STILL in control, and NOTHING escapes his foresight and power.
Sadly, many Christians don’t seem to get this. Many rant about how we need prayer back in schools, how we’ve kicked God out of so much of public life, that it’s no wonder stuff like this happens when God isn’t present.
SUCH a short-sighted view. Have we forgotten everything about God?
This article by David Price was brought to my attention today on just this topic. It may not provide answers for everything, but it certainly is worth reading. Especially for those well-meaning Christians who say things out of frustration that simply make no theological sense.
Think before you rant next time, Christians.
December 14th, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted in » In the News...
Tonight, our nation is wounded. A community in Connecticut is torn apart. 27 people (if I read the last media account right) are dead, among those 20 children.
At around 9:30 this morning, a deranged person entered into what should have been the safest of places, a kindergarten classroom, and opened fire. Within minutes, the lives of far too many innocent victims were cut tragically short.
Forgive me if this is hard for you to read and process.
It is for ALL of us.
With that as our backdrop, our nation grieves. We are hurting people, questioning why. We wonder how anyone could possibly do this… what kind of person could kill children, innocent five and six year old kindergarteners, no less?
As the night comes, and we begin to process these horrific events, we look to each other for comfort. We hold our children tightly, assuring them they’ll be safe. We struggle with answers to their questions… even moreso, our own.
What kind of world do we live in?
Tomorrow, the questions will persist.
We’ll learn more about the shooter, apparently a 20 year old man named Adam Lanza. We’ll learn more about his days prior to this. His friends. His family. His issues. We’ll speculate as to what drove him to do it. What kind of monster? How mentally ill? Why?
Our answers will be woefully inadequate.
Worse? This tragedy will be used as a springboard for political discussion. Our politicians will question whether we have appropriate gun control laws. Whether the types of weapons used should be banned. Broad statements will be made. “This wouldn’t have happened if…” “This could have been prevented by…” “This wouldn’t have been so bad if…”
We’ll see the worst of political finger-pointing; statements made by legions of opportunists who will let no tragedy go to waste.
And victims’ families will continue to suffer this horrific loss.
We’ll continue to hurt as a people.
We’ll struggle with unanswerable questions.
With all of the finger-pointing, all of the political opportunism, all of the psychological profiles, all of the background information… with all of the information we’ll be presented with over the coming days, we’ll still be left with a question we can’t answer.
This question will be asked in a million different ways. What can be done with school-shooter training to keep these children safe? What can be done with background checks before guns are purchased to keep people like this from obtaining weapons? What safety nets were missed such that this deranged individual was not stopped? Who could have done something? What happened in this person’s life to drive them to this point?
No matter how many of these questions are answered, that one central question we all struggle with will persist.
The fact is, we KNOW the answer to that question. We just don’t want to admit that it’s not enough.
Why did this happen?
Because evil… unthinkable evil… exists.
Unthinkable evil was made manifest before all of us today.
And we don’t know how to process it.
We want to believe that people are inherently good, and that unthinkable evil like this is beyond us all.
We want to believe that this shooter was simply mentally unstable… that a chemical imbalance in his brain caused him to lose his mind and do something we don’t want to imagine.
We want to believe that there’s a reason for this, because we want to believe that this kind of unthinkable act has some sort of rational, believable, preventable cause.
We want to believe that evil isn’t really the sole root.
But it is.
Somehow evil prevailed in the shooter’s life. Whether he was overcome by evil somehow, or had a heart filled with it? We’ll never know.
Does it matter? Our questions won’t have sufficient answers. Our search for understanding will be left unfulfilled.
There are no rational answers that will suffice for the “why” behind this unthinkable evil.
So where do we go from here?
As we struggle.
As we hurt.
As we deal with the reality of unthinkable evil?
For me, I rest in the reality of unimaginable GOOD.
I could preach my faith to you, but I won’t… you can read my story here on this site and learn much about what I believe. You can contact me, and I’ll try to explain. Whatever you need, I’ll try.
Suffice it to say that because I see the reality of unthinkable evil in our world, I cannot live without faith that unimaginable good must also exist.
Suffice it to say that because I see the reality of evil in my own heart, I am left with no hope without the intervention of the author of good.
Unthinkable evil MUST be countered by unimaginable good.
And if unimaginable good has an author?
The author is MORE than worthy of my faith and devotion.
That author is worth living for.
That author gives hope.
In the face of unthinkable evil, which we cannot begin to rationalize or understand?
We’re confronted with matters of faith.
Where will you turn for answers?
November 7th, 2012 | Comments Off | Posted in » Christian Living, In the News..., My Life / Family
In case it wasn’t clear to you already, I’m a child of the 80′s.
The first president I vividly remember was Ronald Reagan. I remember his election in 1980, crazy as that may seem (I was only four at the time, but for some reason I remember my mom and dad watching the election returns come in on TV). I remember his re-election campaign in 1984… how my family supported him 100% (and as such, I did), but one of my closest friends thought Mondale / Ferraro was a MUCH better ticket. The landslide win. At eight years old, you’re just starting to get a handle on this part of the world.
I remember his support of the space program. NASA was in its prime… every kid dreamed of becoming an astronaut. The Challenger disaster turned our worlds upside down.
Then there was the Soviet Union… our rival superpower. We worried about nuclear threats and World War III. Were taught the phrase, “better dead than red”. The “Commies” always seemed to be the enemy in movies and games. Remember Red Dawn?
But change was coming. Boy was it ever.
Reagan and Gorbachev developed a friendship. The two rival leaders genuinely seemed to enjoy each other, and the winds of change began to blow. The Soviet Union started to seem less scary; less of a threat. Nuclear disarmament treaties were signed.
And then, one day, seemingly spontaneously… communism fell. The Berlin Wall came down. The Soviet Union crumbled.
Talk about change.
Scorpions wrote a song about it… I remember it vividly.
Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change.
1989. All of these world-changing events going on. I was 13. Maturing. About to enter high school. Rejecting religion.
Change. Both in the world, and in my life.
Today, the winds of change are blowing again.
I’m 36 years old. Jesus is an integral part of my life. And the world is changing before my eyes.
China is an economic superpower. Europe is in decline. Social change is everywhere: gay marriage, 40% of children born to single moms, drug use becoming legal, pornography rampant, abortion the holocaust of our time. Our president re-elected in spite of all historical precedents.
We’re all scratching our heads… it feels as though our America is being blown away by the winds of change.
And they’re blowing strong. Our culture here in America isn’t what it was 20 years ago… certainly not 40 or 60.
How do we respond, as Christians?
I think I tweeted the options earlier:
Our culture is changing. We can either curse the darkness or shine a light. What’s it gonna be?
You see, the challenge of today is this: change is a fact of life. The world doesn’t look like we want it to. Odds are, it’s not going back.
How do we respond to the fact we don’t like this change?
How do we respond to the fact we’re sickened by the influence of sin and evil we see?
How do we respond when we come under attack for our faith because our views are no longer the societal norm?
Do we curse the darkness or shine a light?
It appears to me we really don’t have an option if we claim to follow Christ.
November 20th, 2011 | Comments Off | Posted in » God at Work, In the News...
On Friday morning, I attended the Operation Christmas Child wrap-up chapel at St. Joseph Christian School. While there, I was blessed to witness the kids, parents, and staff bring a huge mound of shoeboxes filled with gifts.
411 shoeboxes, to be exact.
Turns out, that’s the most of any organization in St. Joseph, according to our local newspaper.
So St. Joseph Christian has something they can be proud of. They’ve got LOTS of other things (if you ask me), but that’s not the point I want to make.
It’s the response, as evidenced by the first comment to the news article referenced above. It’s a comment I see almost every time there’s news about an organization making a difference in the lives of people overseas.
“Don’t forget about all of the kids here in the United States that need help too!”
Sure, it’s an innocent statement. It’s well-intentioned. And there’s truth… there ARE kids here with needs.
But not to the level of those overseas.
Have you seen the needs of a third-world child? Have you looked into their eyes, seeing their hurt first-hand? Have you seen their distended bellies, their scabies-infested skin, or lice-filled hair? Have you seen where they live? The food they eat (when they’re fortunate enough to have it)? The polluted streams they drink from?
Do you know any of their stories? Perhaps how one of their siblings has died due to malnutrition or lack of medical care? Or perhaps how their parents often see them as liabilities rather than blessings because of the poverty in which they live? Or perhaps how they’re forced into hard labor (or worse) just to survive?
And perhaps worst of all… have you seen how little hope their futures hold?
I have. And I can’t ignore it.
You see, simply by virtue of being born in the wealthiest country in the world, we have every advantage… every possibility… every chance we truly need at a future. Even the poor amongst us can have hope for a better tomorrow.
Not so in other parts of the world.
So forgive me if I get worked up about it. There’s just something inherently “unfair” about all of this.
Children everywhere deserve the right to hope.
If 411 shoeboxes can ensure that 411 more children have that right, that’s something all of us should stand up and applaud.
July 21st, 2011 | Comments Off | Posted in » In the News..., My Life / Family
This morning, before most of us here in the United States were even awake, the Space Shuttle Atlantis landed, bringing the space shuttle program to an end after thirty years.
It’s the end of an era. A dark day for America.
Why, you ask?
You see, millions of Americans from my generation grew up with the space shuttle program. Challenger. Columbia. Endeavor. Discovery. Atlantis. We were inspired by the brave astronauts who flew these amazing machines. We watched space walks on television with fascination. We witnessed satellites and telescopes launched from the cargo bay, and all kinds of amazing work performed in the weightless void of space. We enthusiastically awaited lessons from the Challenger with Christa McAuliffe… and were utterly devasted to see it explode 73 seconds into flight. We grew up wanting to attend Space Camp. We imagined what it would be like to experience lift-off. We dreamed about one day experiencing the weightlessness of space, and of seeing the earth from orbit high above. It was a part of who we were.
Today, that era… that era where children dreamed of growing up to become astronauts, scientists, and engineers… that era is over. Gone forever.
Don’t get me wrong. I know the program was expensive. I know the ships were getting old. And though I still am amazed by our manned space program and would love to see additional shuttle missions, I’m fine with retiring Atlantis, Discovery, and Endeavor.
But coming from a generation whose hearts were captured and whose dreams were fueled by the shuttle program? I can’t help but lament… what will take its place for the children of today and tomorrow?
Sports figures? Politicians? Hollywood? Musicians?
You get my point. There really are no worthy successors we as a nation can truly hold up as examples of the best America has to offer… nothing to capture the hearts and imaginations of the next generation.
Of course… today is a day for reflection and celebration of the past thirty years of the shuttle program. It’s been an amazing program, and has done amazing things for the United States and the world as a whole. We owe a tremendous amount of appreciation to all of the people at NASA who have made this possible.
But it’s also a very dark day as we look to the future.
February 1st, 2011 | Comments Off | Posted in » In the News..., Just For Fun...
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, you know that the weather forecasters in our area have been going insane over the past few days about this “historic weather event” (i.e., lots of snow). Based on what I’ve heard, I think this is probably the most accurate forecast I’ve seen yet:
(Wish I could take credit for this, but a friend e-mailed it to me.)
July 2nd, 2010 | Comments Off | Posted in » In the News...
So… recent news in Kansas City is that the Dan Quisenberry memorial tree was destroyed by mistake. Apparently, MODOT crews working in the area simply removed the tree, unaware of its significance. Sad, sure… but there’s a silver lining… the memory of Quiz is resurrected once again (as Joe Posnaski so eloquently shares).
As a Royals fan growing up, Quiz was one of my favorite players. Back in those years, we had George Brett, Frank White, Bret Saberhagen, Willie Wilson, Amos Otis, Kevin Seitzer, and a whole host of other solid players… but there was always something special about Quiz.
Maybe it’s because I was a pitcher, and I learned much of what I knew about pitching growing up by watching the Royals and emulating them. And Quiz… with that memorable submarine sidearm delivery… one of the best relievers in baseball… well, he was one I emulated most as a young ballplayer. I’m sure my Little League coaches hated it, but I’m pretty sure opposing batters did too. After all, it was hard enough to hit a pitched ball at nine years old, but when it’s coming from that impossible angle? That’s right. Strikeout city, baby.
To be completely honest though? In my post-1994-strike MLB baseball abandonment, I somehow missed the news of Dan Quisenberry’s passing in September ’98. And from Joe’s article, it sounds like the world lost an incredible person back then.
I’m glad the world is getting another chance to remember Quiz. And I sure hope the Royals get it right this time and honor him appropriately. There’s gotta be an appropriate place at the “K” for a REAL memorial… not just a tree that will be long forgotten in another ten years.