Where Was God? (V.Tech) [v99]

MAY 2007

WHERE WAS GOD DURING ‘VIRGINIA TECH’?: Classes at Virginia Tech were cancelled and the campus began to quiet down as many students left for home after the April 17 shooting massacre that claimed 33 lives, including the gunman, Seung-Hui Cho. The prevailing question was “Why?”

Many faced the inevitable question “Where was God?” or “Why did God allow this to happen?”

This question was also asked eight years ago when 12 students, a teacher, and two rampaging teens died in the Columbine High School tragedy.

Regina Rohde, who had been a 15-year-old sitting in the lunchroom at Columbine High School when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris began their bloody rampage, explained the difficulty of having to go through the experience of living through that trauma. Though she did not actually hear the gunshots from Virginia Tech’s tragic killings as she did eight years ago, but Rohde said just reading about it reminded her of Columbine, and that she is “living through it again.”

While there are differences between the two events, experts do agree on one big thing—that the disasters had definite signs before they occurred, especially in violent writings, and that they could have possibly been avoided.

Among many of the problems linking the two incidents, some people have noted the constant influence that media has had with both of the shootings, including other tragedies.

Teresa Tomeo (former Detroit WXYZ anchor and WRDT radio show host), author of “Noise: How Our Media Saturated Culture Dominates Lives and Dismantles Families,” made the following conclusions: “We saw a connection between the school shootings in Paducah Kentucky and the fantasy scenes in the film ‘Basketball Diaries.’ We saw it with violent video games, specifically the game ‘Doom’ and the gunmen in Columbine. With Cho, we see him angrily posing with a hammer in his hands ready to strike. The image, according to the New York Times, is a carbon copy of a scene right out of ‘Oldboy.'”

The two incidents also share the similarity that the culprits felt that they were standing up for injustices against perceived tormentors—Columbine shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold against bullying and “jocks,” and Virginia Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho in opposition to female peers and wealthy “brats.”

“They’re both avengers of perceived injustices,” said John Nicoletti, a Denver-area police psychologist, according to the Denver Post. “All these people did something wrong in their view, and they had to get even.”

The most startling likeness is the mentioning of Harris and Kleboid in Cho’s video testimonial. In it, he describes the two, as well as himself, as “martyrs.”

While some observers continue to point to the possible causes behind Cho’s deadly rampage, many religious leaders have tried to point out the importance of going to God for healing.

“They always tag this on God,” evangelist Franklin Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. “God has given us a free choice and there’s evil in this world. I tag this on the devil. He’s responsible. He’s the one who wants to seek, and he’s the one who wants to destroy.”

While God’s love is for every person, it doesn’t mean bad things are not going to happen to people, Graham explained.

“Every one of us is going to die. Every one of us is going to have to stand before God one day.” As the Virginia Tech tragedy reminds everyone of the brevity of life, the REAL QUESTION is, Graham posed, are we prepared to stand before God?

Another prominent evangelical, Dr. D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., restates the question, “Where was God while all this was going on?”

“He was hanging on the cross,” he states in his book “Turn It To Gold.”

“The ‘CROSS’ is God’s ULTIMATE SOLUTION to sorrow and suffering. Thus all of our pain is in His heart. Our God does not hold Himself aloof from our difficulties. He is right here, in the midst of our suffering, enduring more of it than any of us ever has or ever will. And not only that, but He gives us the power to bear our suffering.”

Offering further insight into the question, Kennedy said that God uses pain and adversity for ‘good’ in our lives. Suffering is used by God to make us more compassionate to others, to bring us closer to Him, and to shape in His followers the character of Christ, he said.

While some mourning the death of a loved one or a close friend may be questioning God’s ‘presence’, Christian groups from around the nation and right on the Virginia Tech campus have maintained a “ministry of presence,” as the BGEA put it, displaying God’s love through their prayers and counseling.

Graham’s ministry sent 20 chaplains from the Rapid Response Team to the shooting site beginning Monday to talk with students still shocked by the nation’s worst shooting rampage in U.S. history. Campus groups like InterVarsity and Chi Alpha Ministries are more focused on being available to hurting students and praying and ministering to them when opportunity arises.

Graham chooses to take a bold approach—by directing students to “Almighty God” for the answer.

“There’s nothing I can say to ease somebody’s heart,” Graham said. “But God can. God supernaturally can reach right into the heart [and] the soul of a human being to provide His comfort.”

“The Bible makes it very clear that God loves us. He cares for us,” he added. “I want students to know that God loves them and God has not abandoned them and that He’s there for them right now if they’ll just reach out by faith.”

If you remember, as I do, in the 1980’s and 1990’s, news reports of personal and community violence became almost ‘routine’. It was common to hear about a local post office or factory where a disgruntled employee murdered co-workers, or a distraught lover who killed his estranged girlfriend and then ended his own life, or gang members killing other gang members in drug-related incidents around the country.

But there was something about the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999, that shocked us to the core. The killings of Columbine didn’t fit the normal pattern of teen murder and suicide. It seemed motivated by something deeper and more sinister. In fact, it reflected changes that have been developing for decades within American society. These teen murderers seemed to express a growing capacity for violence that had been steadily gathering strength, feeding on the dark currents of Western civilization like a tropical storm feeds on the hot humid air rising from the open sea.

It was ironic that such a grim and tragic event occurred in the pleasant suburbs of the most technologically advanced, economically powerful, and culturally influential nation in the world. In our civilized culture in this “enlightened” age, shouldn’t violence be in decline?

The 20th century began with great promise, as the industrialized West anticipated an age of unbounded progress. Science seemed poised to conquer unruly nature once and for all—to bring disease, hunger, and poverty to an end.

But just as the “unsinkable” Titanic failed to live up to its own billing, so also those Victorian ‘dreams’ were no match for the VIOLENT CAPACITY of human nature. Not only did the 20th century fail to be the beginning of an age of boundless peace and prosperity, but it was also marked by human violence and atrocity on a scale far greater than anything the world had seen. Zbigniew Brzezinski estimates that during the past century, 167 to 175 million lives were “deliberately extinguished by politically motivated carnage.”

What are some of the factors contributing to the increasing violence around us?

– Loss Of Identity: Two hundred years ago a person’s identity was more closely tied to family, community, and God. More people worked their own farms, ran their own businesses, and carried on their own trades. More laborers had personal relationships with their employers. In contrast, people today are strangers without identities.

– Loss Of Healthy Family Relationships: “Healthy family relationships are foundational to social stability. Yet in 1998, one in every three births in the US was out of wedlock. According to a recent British study of the relationship between family structure and child abuse, child abuse is:

– Six times higher in a family where a divorced mother has remarried.
– Fourteen times higher for children living alone with their biological mother.
– Twenty times higher for children living alone with their biological father.
– Twenty times higher for children living with cohabiting but unmarried biological parents.
– Thirty-three times higher for children living with a biological mother who is cohabiting with a man who isn’t their father.

These statistics apply to a broad cross-section of society. They don’t say what will happen in all single-parent and blended families. They do, however, show trends that need to be counteracted by conscious parental care and consideration.

Trends for the future are not good. Criminologists predict a wave of “super-criminals” who are raised without positive male role models, proper guidance, or affection.

– Loss Of Innocence: In the Bible, Proverbs 22:6 declares, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” The experiences of infancy and childhood have great influence on adult behavior. In her 1981 book Children Without Childhood, author Marie Winn describes how our culture has changed from nurturing children to providing them with early exposure to adult experience in the hope of preparing them for the challenges of life. This cultural shift has brought a relentless assault on children’s innocence by the media. Popular musicians and movie stars model increasingly violent and promiscuous behavior before ever-younger audiences.

Research from the 1970’s to the present consistently demonstrates a connection between media sex and violence and the self-destructive behavior of young people. In their book “Saving Childhood,” Michael and Diane Medved report:

A September 1997 Los Angeles Times poll found that 87 percent of respondents agree that “TV has more sex and violence than 10 years ago,” and 71 percent say shows depicting nudity or sex encourage immorality. A survey of 570 Hollywood elite found that even within the industry itself, half “said that TV had a negative impact on the country, and strong majorities said TV only did a fair or poor job in encouraging such things as lawful behavior, sexual abstinence, and respect for police.”

In spite of overwhelming agreement about the causal factors, we seem to lack the collective will to do anything about it. Even though the danger is self-evident, we seem too often to be guided by the lowest common moral denominator of our culture.

– Loss Of Community: The Bible emphasizes our responsibility to neighbors [Exodus 20:16-17; Matthew 22:38-39]. This isn’t surprising. It is in the context of relationships with neighbors—people we know well—that good character is nurtured. American culture, like other modern cultures, has taken a decidedly un-neighborly turn. Fewer Americans are living in the same place for more than a few years. Most move hundreds or thousands of miles from their childhood community to get employment. In fact, few people today seem to consider established friendships a factor when given an opportunity to move to a new house in a nicer community.

Yet having roots in community is civilizing. One is less likely to steal from a neighbor if he is a friend. One is less likely to cheat a customer or a businessman if he is someone you see on a weekly basis. A husband is less likely to be an adulterer if everyone he knows will be indignant at the harm he has done to his wife and family. That’s the way it used to be. Now, however, in an impersonal culture, sin is anonymous. Our loss of social moral restraints leads to antisocial attitudes and an illusion of independence from moral law.

Ironically, feelings of resentment and entitlement grow stronger as a sense of personal and community responsibility diminish. It is easier to feel resentment and hatred in isolation. If we don’t know or care about our neighbor, it is easier to covet his house, his wife, and his possessions. It is far easier to act violently toward those we don’t know—and don’t want to know.

– Loss Of Satisfaction: Historically, most people were too occupied with the struggle to survive to even compare themselves with the wealthy. Today food, clothing, and shelter are considered a ‘birthright’. Those who have less have the leisure to resent those who have more. Adding to the passion of their envy, our culture offers people the demoralizing values of crass materialism and consumerism [Proverbs 27:20; Ecclesiastes 5:10-13].

– Loss Of Responsibility: Not too long ago, a driver with a gun was cut off in traffic. He began a wild chase that ended when he shot the other driver. As he waited for the police to arrive, he asked onlookers, “Did you see what he did?”

People today often feel they aren’t responsible for what they do, that they are victims of circumstances or “irresistible impulses.” This mindset often results in violence. In the Bible, Job 5:2 declares, “Wrath kills a foolish man, and envy slays a simple one.”

– Loss Of Authority: Many of our universities have reinforced the cynicism and despair that are at the core of modern values. Teaching that there is no absolute truth or reliable authority, they maintain that what is important is political power.

When all spiritual and moral authority is denied, important social restraints are lost. Truth is replaced by “spin,” and “spin” is condemned only if it doesn’t work. If it continues, this denial of objective truth will produce disunity, hatred, and violence.

– Loss Of Control:  Some of us are deeply disturbed by these dangerous cultural trends. Knowing that our freedom depends on personal responsibility, we view our society’s drift with alarm. We find ourselves acting contrary to our deepest convictions, and sometimes may even respond violently. But violent reactions only lead to more violence.

These losses and others contribute to the violent spirit of the age. However, they are just symptoms of a more profound underlying problem. The most important explanation for violence is found in a loss of peace at the deepest levels of our existence.

– Loss Of Relationship With God: In the beginning, there was peace. According to the Bible, our first parents lived in a perfect world. They were innocent, with nothing to hide [Genesis 2:25]. They walked and talked with God when He appeared in the garden of Eden [Genesis 3:8-9]. As long as they enjoyed peace with Him, they had peace with each other and everything they needed.

In the beginning, life had the peaceful characteristics that, according to the Bible, will once again characterize the earth in the last days. The prophet Isaiah said of this future messianic kingdom: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them” [Isaiah 11:6].

The Hebrew word for such peace is shalom. Shalom is more than the mere absence of violence—it pictures life in harmony with God, the presence of spiritual well-being, material provision, righteousness, wholeness, and victory over evil.

– The Violence Of Self-Protection: According to the Bible, healthy relationships flow from a healthy dependence on our Creator [John 4:13-14; 6:32-35,49-51]. Emotional and spiritual security are found by those who believe that “man shall not live by bread alone; but . . . by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord” [Deuteronmy 8:3].

Only in our reliance on God can we be secure enough to care for one another out of the generous provision He makes for us. Those who lack this confidence are more inclined to believe that if they don’t look out for themselves, no one else will. Such a mindset causes self-protecting persons to try to provide for themselves at the expense of others.

– The Violence Of Envy And Unrestrained Desire: When people have no fear of God and no reliance on Him, they have no internal boundaries. Greed turns a plentiful world, which God created to provide abundance to all [Genesis 1:26-30], into a battleground [James. 4:1-2]. Alienated from God, self-reliant people become like hungry animals competing for prey.

– Violence Will Continue To Be A Parasite On The ‘Back’ Of Truth: The evil that produces violence depends on truth for its strength. Evil has no power apart from the distortion and misuse of truth.

Adam and Eve took paradise for granted. They had never been exposed to a lie. Posing as a messenger of truth, the evil spirit speaking through the serpent told them a half-truth. He told them that by rejecting God’s word they would gain knowledge and freedom [Genesis 3:4-5]. They soon discovered that without a right relationship to God, freedom and knowledge became a curse. Without a relationship to the principles of God’s kingdom, freedom and knowledge become tools of self-destruction.

The apostle Paul told the Corinthian Christians that he feared, “As the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” [2 Corinthians 11:3]. He warned them that false apostles were “transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light” [2 Corinthians 11:13-14].

Jesus warned in the parable of the tares [Matthew 13:24-30,36-43] that evil people would so effectively disguise themselves as the children of God that they wouldn’t be fully exposed until the time of judgment. Evil always clothes itself in half-truths—in twists, convolutions, and inversions of the truth.

Jesus, the One who is truth [John 14:6], gives His followers the Word of truth [John17:17] and the Spirit of truth [John15:26] to guide us into all truth [John16:13] and to protect us from Satan’s attacks [Ephesians 6:13-18].

– Violence Will Continue To Be Rooted In The Rejection Of Truth: Violence doesn’t just happen. It’s a symptom of rejecting the truth. Whether that truth resides in the world of nature, in the words of the prophets, or in the basic understanding of the Scriptures, the principle is the same—violence follows in the steps of evil that rejects the knowledge and rule of God.

– The Violence Of Seeking A “Scapegoat”: Without the peace (shalom) and purposefulness that flow from a relationship with God, people are fearful and angry. The uncertainty and meaninglessness of their lives fill them with anxiety. Their futile search for satisfaction fills them with frustration and rage. The pressure of these bad emotions keeps growing inside.

Since it is hard to live with bottled-up emotions, such persons often look for someone else to blame, someone to be the lightning rod for their accumulated rage and fear. Separated from God and unwilling to take responsibility for their own bad feelings, people are seething beneath a surface of forced civility and seeking a scapegoat to blame.

The characteristics of society and culture are in part the sum of fallen individuals living together in recurring moments of despair. Reflecting the frustrations and anxieties of the individuals who form them, societies and their institutions struggle with boundless desire (lust), anger, and fear.

Governments exist to restrain these tendencies and to assure a social order that can resist anarchy and uncontrolled violence [Romans 13:3-5]. But without a foundation in truth—which requires relationship to God—all social systems are destined to develop their own lies and threats to try to hold the masses in check.

Cultures create religions and ideologies in their own likeness [Romans 1:21-23]. These false religions repeat the mistakes of the individuals who have devised them. As organized systems of belief, they too look for someone to blame for the frustration, fear, and anger that everyone feels.

In ancient times, the “scapegoat” might have been a virgin girl or young man specially chosen for sacrifice—someone slain before the eyes of the people to “appease the gods.” In modern times, when mankind no longer looks to the gods for security, the scapegoat could be an unpopular race, a despised minority, or an enemy nation. Now, as in the past, the scapegoat gets the blame for society’s fears and problems.

Having lived under one of history’s most violent regimes, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn remarked, “Let us not forget that violence does not have its own separate existence and is, in fact, incapable of having it. It is invariably interwoven with the lie. They [violence and the lie] have the closest of kinship, the most profound natural tie. Violence has nothing with which to cover itself except the lie, and the lie has nothing to stand on other than violence” (from his Nobel lecture, 1970).

Because truth is the ‘victim’, when people deny their own culpability, the prophets and ministers of truth are often the ones who suffer violence.

The Bible says, that Jesus told His enemies:

“I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth” [Matthew 23:34-35].

It is at this point that the truth brings us to a dangerous crossroads. The human obsession with a scapegoat might lead us to believe that this natural fallen tendency would explain the death of Christ. Many believe that Christ is the ultimate example of our attempt to pawn off our guilt on someone else.

Christ, however, is the only legitimate “scapegoat” who can break the ‘cycle’ of violence. He is the only scapegoat who was not chosen by men, but by God. With unsurpassable irony, it was the Son of God who voluntarily bore the undeserved condemnation of our anger and sin. It was God’s own Messiah who intervened in our behalf to bear sin that could never be borne by the scapegoats of our own choosing.

By fulfilling prophecy, by living a perfect life, by performing miracles, by revealing extraordinary wisdom, by dying an undeserved death, by rising from the dead, and by ascending to heaven, Jesus proved He was the one Scapegoat and Savior chosen by God Himself.

Why does all this happen? Violence is ‘rooted’ in personal evil. 

We need to remember that the evil against which we struggle in this world is not merely outside of ourselves. Neither is it random or accidental. This evil cannot be rightly attributed only to defective systems of education, religion, community, or government. The evil seeds of violence have been and always will be found in our own personal opposition to the kingdom and rule of God. Before our conversion, according to the apostle Paul, we are at the mercy of “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” [Ephesians 2:1-3]. Only after we are indwelt by the Spirit of God do we have the spiritual resources to resist him [James 4:7].

This violent world may seem beyond hope. Jesus gave us the ‘task’ to carry on His work of healing and redemption. We are the ‘heirs’ of His kingdom. The darker the world, the more powerful and penetrating the kingdom’s light. Jesus said:

“You are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they may… glorify your Father in heaven” [Matthew 5:14-16].

The following prayer, attributed to St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), eloquently expresses the ‘light’ that is needed in a violent world:

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

This is the kind of attitude that can be expressed by those who have the security of knowing that they are loved and provided for by God. Out of the overflow of their lives they can seek the good of others.

Shortly after Christ’s resurrection, the apostle Peter said that Jesus would return at the “restoration of all things,” a time “which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” [Acts 3:21]. The apostle Paul spoke of the transformation of the entire world:

“The creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” [Romans 8:21].

The prophet Isaiah also described the hope of those who await the coming “Messiah”:

“The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge… He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth… The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them… They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain” [Isaiah 11:2-4,6,9].

This is the BIBLE’S ANSWER to a violent world—a hope proclaimed by angels in the fields near Bethlehem some 2,000 years ago—THE REASON ‘WHY’:

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men! [Luke 2:14].

– Hope Can Be Found In The ‘Kingdom’ Of Christ: Jesus can break the cycle of personal violence in the lives of those who ‘surrender’ to Him. He helps us to see that our worth is defined by the principles of His kingdom. He has restored our relationship with God and confirmed the infinite worth of every individual by His precious blood [Romans 5:1-2]. He has released us from the law of sin and death and given us the Spirit of life [Romans 8:2].

In the Bible, the Book of Hebrews, it tells us that Jesus is the “Mediator of the new covenant,” and that His blood “speaks better things than that of Abel.” Abel’s blood, as well as the blood of God’s other messengers, brought a curse on those who shed it. But Christ’s blood brings REDEMPTION and MERCY to lost sinners, expecting that they who have been forgiven will in turn have mercy on other offenders [Matthew 6:14; 18:21-35].

Jesus Christ is THE ANSWER!

[Excerpts from: Lillian Kwon; Deann Alford; Doug Huntington; Martin R. De Haan II ]

Blessings….
Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v99) for MAY 2007

If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@ameritech.net

Thanks to:
Richard Bachmann
Rozanne Zowada

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THE BRICK
A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag’s side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, “What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That’s a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?” The young boy was apologetic.

“Please, mister…please, I’m sorry but I didn’t know what else to do,” He pleaded. “I threw the brick because no one else would stop…” With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. “It’s my brother, “he said “He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.”  Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive,  “Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.”

Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. “Thank you and may God bless you,” the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy! push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home.

It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: “Don’t go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!”

God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don’t have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It’s our choice to listen or not.
[Received from Richard Bachmann]

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COLUMBINE ‘PRAYER’
Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You’ve stripped away our heritage,
You’ve outlawed simple prayer.

Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question “Why?”

You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!

“Men and women are three-part beings.
We all consist of body, soul, and spirit.

When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc.

Spiritual influences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation’s history.
[Darrell Scott–father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School massacre]

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PARADOX OF OUR TIME
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space; we’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.

We have higher incomes, but lower morals; we’ve become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are the times of tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships. These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.

These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes. It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to make a difference or just hit delete.”
[Dr. Bob Moorehead, Pastor]

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KEEPING IN ‘TOUCH’
The summer I was 10, the peach tree in Grandma’s backyard yielded a bumper crop. She said it was time for me to learn to can. I watched in awe as her experienced hands pared the peaches, quickly revealing the sweet meat. It wasn’t long before the juice was dripping off her arms. I started peeling, carefully following my grandmother’s example, when I noticed her eyes were closed. I knew she was praying. Quietly I asked, “Grandma, why do you pray so much?  You’re already so good.”

She put down her paring knife and cupped her hands around my face. “I talk with the Lord all the time,” she said, “so that when I really need him, he will know my voice.”
[Rozanne Zowada]

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THINK ABOUT IT
Dear God,
Why didn’t you save the school children in Littleton, Colorado?
Sincerely,
Concerned Student

and the reply…

Dear Concerned Student,
I am not allowed in Columbine School. Even the mention of my name is forbidden.
Sincerely,
God

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DEEP THOUGHT:
War does not determine who is right, war determine who is left.
[Chinese Proverb]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with!

Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”  [James 4:7].

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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