Month: October 2014

You are blessed!

The good/great news is that you are blessed!  You are loved.  Let that soak in.
Ephesians 1:3  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Hannah thanksgiving
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Anger

There are times of intense anger when dealing with suicide.. .  I almost wrote suicide victims – but who are the victims?  Are the ones who ended their lives the victims of suicide or the survivors that loved them?  One is gone and out of their misery.  The others will live with the fallout for the remainder of their lives.  Anger is a normal emotion with any death.  We have anger towards God for allowing it to happen.  We have anger against illness, accidents, and everyone involved.  Suicide only adds another level of anger – anger against the one who opted out.  Words like selfish, quitter, hopeless come to mind.  The eternal question of “why” is tattooed on our hearts and the longing fearful thought “was there something that I could have done?”

The anger boils and spills over and soaks everything close by.  I find myself looking at pictures and saying “You bastard!  Why did you do that?”  I don’t even talk like that.  Why do I say it to my own son?

Am I missing the last two words in that question: “to us?”  Am I mad that he did it “to us”? or am I mad that he is gone by his own hand?  Am I mad that he was so abused that he saw no way out?  Am I mad that he didn’t give healing one more try?  One more day?  Am I mad that I wasn’t there to stop it?  Does it matter?  I’m angry.  I’m angry every time I see a picture of him with a big smile and wonder why it couldn’t have helped him like it helped others.

Anger.  Can I forgive him while I’m still angry?  Will the anger subside?

Two years have gone by.  The questions linger but life continues.  I pray for forgiveness to come.  I pray for love to overflow rather than anger.

because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Isaiah

Assisted Suicide

Here are two very heart felt approaches to euthanasia.  I have also included a link to a previous blog that I wrote on the subject.  For those of you who know me, I am a very conservative guy on almost every subject.  It’s interesting that I fall far to the other side on this subject.  I know all the dangers in opening the door for assisted suicide but no one should have to face a long horrible painful death when they could go out in peace.  Bottom line to me: if we don’t treat our pets in this manner, we shouldn’t treat our loved ones this way either.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/10/08/terminally-ill-brittany-maynard-29-has-scheduled-her-death-for-nov-1/

http://www.aholyexperience.com/2014/10/dear-brittany-why-we-dont-have-to-be-so-afraid-of-dying-suffering-that-we-choose-suicide/

http://doesitlookinfected.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/euthanasia-part-2-my-thoughts/

http://doesitlookinfected.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/euthanasia/

What are your thoughts?

Love is a Battlefield

Since we are looking back two years – I wrote this in June 2012 – 4 months before Isaiah took his life. This is a snippet of what we were going through.

missiontomission

This was a popular song by Pat Benatar in the late 70’s.  We’ve all read Ephesians 6:12 that states that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces.  This is very true until the battle becomes physical as it did in our house this week.  I picked my wife up off the floor this week after she had been punched in the face by our son who continues to rage against battles in his spirit.  His battles include pornography, abuse, and abandonment (to name a few) from his birth family and years in an orphanage.  We don’t totally understand his battles.  We try.  We try to help but the battles linger.  We hear his pain and love him through it but sometimes love is a battlefield and we experience the pain of it too – Laurie’s face is black and blue, very sore, and she probably…

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The God Card

How many times have you heard a leader say, “God is telling us to . . .”?  If you are in any kind of church leadership I’m sure that you have heard it many times.  A situation arises.  Leadership debates options.  One leader says “I believe God is telling us . . ”  How do you argue against that?  I mean, if God has given exact instructions then it is hard to argue against it.  If you stand opposed to this leader, you are standing in opposition to God.  Scary isn’t it?  I call this “pulling the God Card.”

The question is, “did God really say that?”  What happens if those directions don’t work?  Was God wrong?  Did that leader hear wrong?  Are we giving up before God has a chance to bring it to completion? Example:  “God is telling us to plant a church.  We start a church plant.  No one comes.  We end the church plant.  Did we hear wrong or didn’t we give it enough time or effort?”

Couple of pointers:

IF God tells you to do something you can’t quit no matter how hard it gets (you shouldn’t need examples of this – there are plenty in the Bible).

IF God didn’t tell you to do something it doesn’t matter how easy it is – YOU SHOULDN’T BE DOING IT!

IF you are a leader and you pull the God Card to trump the rest of the team, you own it.  You better be right.  If the direction fails, you better be confessing that you are a false (prophet or leader).  You decide on terminology.  Think I’m harsh?  Remember you’re the one who pulled the God Card.  I’m not saying God doesn’t speak to us but if you are a leader you better be clear on what God is saying and what you (personally) want to do.  We all make mistakes and we need to own up to them.  If we make a mistake on the God card then we need to repent.  False prophets in the old testament could be killed for this.  They definitely had their God cards taken away after making a mistake.

How’s your record on accuracy on pulling the God Card?  Don’t judge your neighbor.  Judge yourself.  How many times have you REALLY heard God and how many times have you had to change direction because you THOUGHT you heard from Him?  Be honest.  If you have a poor record, I suggest you put that card away for now until you figure out what you are hearing.

Oh, and if you bend the Card a little like this “I feel that God is saying” or “I believe that God is saying” then you have another issue.  I hope you’re not building an ark or leading the children out of Egypt.  That “feeling” won’t get you very far when the going gets rough.  And the going will get rough.

Mark 14:35-37

35 Going a little farther, (Jesus) fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba,[a] Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Exodus 7:16-17

16 Then say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness. But until now you have not listened. 17 This is what the Lord says: By this you will know that I am the Lord. . .

tree

Counting down to an anniversary

This was one of my toughest blogs to write. In glancing at it now – I skipped over reading it.

missiontomission

Many of you have been asking how we are doing.  Thank you.  We have really appreciated the prayers over the past year more than you will ever know.

We are at 11 months, 3 days; counting down the days to the one year anniversary of Isaiah taking his life.  It is hard to describe the range of emotions over the past year.  Losing a child to a tragic accident or illness is terrible.  Losing a child to suicide seems so defeating and so unfair.   In any death, the mourners go through a number of journeys.  You get through the first night, the first day, the first week, the first month.  And then it begins to slow down.  You click off the monthly anniversaries for awhile but they begin to fade in time.  At eleven months, the original emotions begin to fire up again while waiting for the big anniversary…

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We’re at our anniversary

We are now approaching our 2nd anniversary. So far it has been easier this year but Isaiah is still on our minds daily.

missiontomission

We made it to our anniversary.  1 year.  We are observing it today and tomorrow.  Isaiah died on October 23rd but last year the 23rd was a Tuesday.  Last week I planted a tree for Isaiah and his grandfather who died a month earlier.  Tonight I am helping one of his friends plant a tree in her yard.  She is still hurting and needs a lot of prayer and healing.

Tomorrow Laurie and I are going to sort through all of his belongings and clothes.  We haven’t touched anything in his room for a year.  We’re going to collect his things and donate them to charity.  We hope that they will help someone in need.  We are also applying to renew our passports.  They ran out two years ago and with everything going on we did not renew them.  It’s time for us to travel again.  It’s time for us…

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Loss – “I thought I saw you today”

I am reblogging some previous posts on Isaiah’s anniversary month.

missiontomission

Isaiah’s friend “I thought I saw Isaiah today. I know that’s crazy but I almost ran up to the boy and throw my arms around him.”

It’s not hard for me to understand – it happens to me all the time.  I see boys that look like him and take a second look with my heart stopping a beat.  I see him in pictures.  There are moments that just strike a memory.  Maybe food, clothes, smells, an activity that we did together.  Sometimes it strikes laughter.  Sometimes it brings tears.  It always leaves a hollow pit in my stomach.

It’s a loss.  I know it’s normal.  I’m not suffering every day but there are constant reminders.  There are pictures around the house – with and without him.  Which ones hurt more?  I don’t know.

I still get angry.  Any loss hurts.  Suicide hurts more because it was intentional.  It could…

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