Reprinted by permission
See more at http://kohd.org.
Reprinted by permission
See more at http://kohd.org.
by G C Forsman
Jesus, friend of sinners, we have strayed so far away
We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth’s become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You but they’re tripping over me
Always looking around but never looking up I’m so double minded
A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks your
~ Casting Crowns
As Christians, we are doing an absolutely horrible job of sharing Christ with with world. I have thought this for some time now, and a recent post (An Open Rebuke… Er… Letter to the Western Church) by my friend Daniel M. Klem got me to thinking.
Certainly there are great people that God is using to make a difference, but what about each and every one of us who claim to be Christians? Are we doing our part? How many people have you spoken with about Christ lately? How many Gay people have you convinced that Christians do not hate them? How many times have you crossed the racial lines to show the love of Christ? Do your actions show others that Christ really does make a difference in your life? Do your actions make others want what you have, or do they drive people further from Christ?
Paula White said, “God doesn’t focus on your current state, He speaks to you from your future! He knows your potential!” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we saw the potential in each other instead of everything that’s wrong with a person. Maybe if we spent less time talking about people, and more time praying for them things could change.
Make an effort to love others through Christ as they are,
and leave it up to God to transform their lives!
~ Paula White
by G C Forsman
Now that everyone has had a night to sleep on it, let us take a realistic look at the Zimmerman trial.
In recent history, there have been a few trials that have captured the country’s attention and caused division among the American people. OJ Simpson, Casey Anthony, and now George Zimmerman are prime examples.
The days of news and information are long gone, Walter Cronkite must be appalled by what is happening in the media. Today’s newscasts are News Entertainment Shows, with the emphasis on entertainment. Have you stopped to think about why there is so much unrest about what happens in the courts? Let’s take a little journey, keep an open mind, we can figure this out.
OJ Simpson was crucified by media and others. He was tried and convicted before the trial even started. Casey Anthony was declared the most horrible woman in history, and George Zimmerman was branded a racist. Was their portrayal accurate, were they deserving of the infamous notoriety? News media filled our heads with so-called facts about what happened, when in reality their comments were based on pure conjecture unclouded by actual facts.
As these trial began, we thought we knew what the outcome would be. None of the presupposed outcomes were delivered. The actual facts delivered in the courtrooms did not match the media hype.
Now let’s look a bit deeper into the Zimmerman case. This was a horrible tragedy, a young man’s life was ended before it ever got started. According to the media, Martin was an innocent youth walking home from the store. According to Zimmerman, Martin was entirely to blame for the situation. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.
The media built a story that Martin was a good boy and the victim of racism. Information that came out in other markets claimed that Martin was a troubled youth on drugs, involved in a jewelry store robbery and the break in and robbery of a local home. In actuality, it is possible that both of these played a role in this situation? Is it possible that Zimmerman had racist issues despite having white, hispanic, and black heritage? Is it possible that Martin was acting suspiciously, and possibly known in the neighborhood as a young wanna-be gangster?
The real question in the Zimmerman case is about the stand your ground law. Does a person have the right to protect themselves and use whatever force they deem necessary to provide that protection? Is it possible to see into a person’s mind to determine whether or not they believed their life was in danger? Should the law be changed or abolished?
We all need to take a step back, stop attempting to make everything about race, and look at reality. In a recent poll on television, the “news entertainment world” has deemed that racism is once again growing in our country and that division along racial lines is worse now than it has been in quite a few years. Why is that? Who or what is driving people on all sides to foster hatred for each other?
God has been being systematically removed from our society in earnest since the 1960s. Without faith, there is no hope. And without hope, people wallow in the pool of darkness that has become our society unable to see good in anything or anyone. The morality of our society is unraveling at an unprecedented pace and instead of placing the blame where it belongs (on ourselves for allowing the moral decay of our nation) we blame everyone else. We refuse to take responsibility for our actions, and seek any reason we can conjure up to point at someone else because we could not have possibly been so stupid or morally inept to have caused any of this mess ourselves. Search for God while He may be found, turn from the wickedness, and begin anew. Allow God to show you the love and peace your life should have, and allow Him to use you to show that love and peace to someone else. Love, peace, and morality will begin to grow exponentially, and our society will begin to turn around.
A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She then pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.
She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.
The granddaughter then asked, “What does it mean, Grandmother?”
Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity — boiling water — but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”
Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity? Do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor of your life. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level?
How do you handle adversity? Are you changed by your surroundings or do you bring life, flavor, to them?
ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?