There are many lessons to learn from the VT Tragedy, just as there are also with the increasing number of shootings and tragedies today! I am writing about these in a book (the book was published in 2010). I wonder if you would like to comment on some things that you have learned since 04/16/07 or in response to things that I have written about? This revised version of my original website allows you to like and easily share any blog article and even make a comment. Keep visiting this site and even mark it on your favorites, as there is a lot to consider here and there will also be blog additions. These blog articles weave together Biblical and logical truth with current world events, in order to challenge and encourage you—the reader—to be learning the life lesson needed to help you truly prevail in your own life and help your own community learn to prevail!
October 1st, 2017: a new “low” of “Pure Evil” in the high number of casualties in American Mass Shootings, with the Las Vegas Massacre (59 dead, including the perpetrator, and some 851 injured). This horrific event surpassed what had become the new “worst shooting massacre” of June 12th, 2016 (The Orlando Pulse Nightclub Massacre, where 50 died, including the perpetrator, along with 58 injured; see my response there in the blog: The “Pulse” of our Nation!). Barely a month past that new “low” of what the President called “Pure Evil,” was that Evil in the more “Pure” place of a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, when on November 5th, 2017, 26 worshippers were gunned down and 20 others injured before the perpetrator was killed. The April 16, 2007 Virginia Tech Massacre remains the “deadliest mass school shooting” (33 dead, including the perpetrator, and 17 injured) and the one personally changing my own life. Sadly, many Americans (if not ignoring or continuing to entertain themselves to death) are now reeling from yet another act of what is again being called “Pure Evil,” in the February 14th, 2018 “Mass School Shooting” that has devastated Parkland, Florida. This “Pure Evil“ has again claimed 17 lives (and physically injured at least 15 others) from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. What is going on in our Country? Is this tragedy yet another example of “Pure Evil,” if there even is such a thing?
Now, due to this latest tragedy deemed “Pure Evil,” there are many calling for more purity in gun or mental health laws. Most certainly, some people failed to act appropriately or purely, which would have likely prevented this tragic, evil shooting. The FBI was notified at least 2 times about the danger (last September and as recent as January 5th) and failed to act properly and report this to the local office for specific follow up! Officials have reported there were more than 20 occasions where the increasingly evil actions of Nikolas Cruz were brought to their attention. Just like with the sinking of the Titanic and with so many of these tragedies, warning signs were missed or ignored! Certainly, this tragedy cries for us to learn more!
“Pure Evil” is really an oxymoron. It is a self-contradictory or paradoxical, rhetorical device of language, which can sometimes blur the meanings of the individual words. “Pure Evil” is a great illustration of this. Purity involves an absence of evil and evil, by definition, is not pure! Indiscriminately destroying life is evil! Mass shootings or other life destroying methods are the extreme actions of highly self-centered people. They are humored when destroying any life. Mass shootings involve people who are self-motivated through increasingly evil thinking (most often with Evil Spiritual support) to kill and destroy other human life, until the reality hits them that they might suffer too much, so they often take their own life as well. ☹ These are NOT Pure actions; they are Evil! Most may use the term “Pure Evil” to mean “absolute evil,” but Evil is NOT Pure!
Shooting people up and destroying lives and families is NOT a right we have and is EVIL! It is a more obvious evil! Life, particularly human life created in the image of God, is PRECIOUS and PURE! In the scope of this earth and the grand enormity of the universe, self-centeredness is EVIL and it is absurd! Despite what the ego (or pride) may say, any individual is NOT the center of the universe! In the way so many people live, as this and so many other things in pop culture illustrate, this self-absorbed, hedonistic thinking is common and certainly EVIL! Unless done in defense to ultimately protect life, any action of abuse or injuring another is evil! Most people accept this yet have not thought through this enough to better understand purity.
Our society (though not every individual) is already sick, far worse than any flu epidemic! Each of us is infected by an evil disease, gradually destroying our thinking and the purity of life. Unless you accept the Pure remedy of what GOD HIMSELF provided in the PURE sacrifice of The PERSON of JESUS CHRIST, evil will at some point ultimately overcome you! Pray for these families who have been so traumatized! Pray for our Country to truly be pure in its understanding of evil and how to overcome it! Seek to better understand PURITY and righteousness through HIS Holy Word and work to overcome the EVIL in and around you!
Precision. August 21, 2017 marked a predictable and Fascinating Total Eclipse of the Sun! Millions of people around the country along the path of this Total Solar Eclipse were involved and engaged. Many more, as I did, observed a partial solar eclipse (the entire U.S. saw a varying degree of partial eclipse), but were aware of nearby areas where it was the Total Solar Eclipse! The Total Eclipse path was only about 70 miles wide, but it traversed a 14 State, coast to coast path across the lower 48 States of America from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. The last Total Solar Eclipse in the contiguous U.S. was on February 26, 1979, where only 5 States saw it. The last coast to coast Total Solar Eclipse was on June 8, 1918. The next Total Solar Eclipse effecting the U.S. is scheduled for April 8, 2024 from Texas to Maine and the next one coast to coast in 2045. How is all this known and predicted? It’s Like Clockwork!
Stop to consider this—Like Clockwork. Like Clockwork is an idiomatic expression meaning, “With machine like regularity and precision; perfectly.” Doesn’t this describe the moon rotation? The Sun too? What about the earth and its tilt and rotation? These are so stable, we measure time by them! We have our days and seasons and years measured by all these highly stable bodies of mass and energy that our Creator has established (see Genesis 1:14-18). How could a Big Explosion produce such stability? Do you ever know of an explosion that has produced such order and stability? There are at least 80 different parameters that scientists have described that are finely tuned and working like clockwork to make life possible on earth!
Did you know that the Solar Eclipse on this 08-21-17 day was only possible because of the size of our Moon relative to the Sun (which is 400 times wider) and the distance of the Sun from the Moon (400 times further away)? Because they appear to be about the same size during the new moon phase, it is possible to observe a Total Solar Eclipse! Why wouldn’t our Creator create (4 being the number associated with Creation) this 400 times parameter to make this sight possible and do so across our Country over the course of what was exactly 1 hour and 33 minutes (HE, Being One, yet 3 or 3 in 1; also see how the 1-3 connection is in my Top Ten Lessons to Learn and the 133 a number HE brought to my attention and frequently still makes stand out to me!)? It’s all Like Clockwork!
Friend, our CREATOR, JESUS CHRIST (see John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-18) is the One Who Created all and Who sustains all like clockwork! HE is the One that established your pulse (see my last blog article posted) and your involuntary, like clockwork heartbeat (unless your heartbeat clock is off a bit from the curse of sin). HE is the ONE that wants to soften and heal your hardened and broken heart. HE is the ONE that gave HIMSELF as the Sacrifice demanded by the JUSTICE of The Godhead. A THRICE HOLY GOD must be just with us, as HE is JUST and disobedience and sin must be punished! HE is a GOD of Order—like clockwork and HE wants you to think about the Order—like the clockwork observed in today’s Total Solar Eclipse and get your life in order! Trust in the Son, Who Created the Sun, moon, stars, this earth and You! HE gave HIS Life to offer you Eternal Life! When you trust HIM, it won’t simply make your life in this sin cursed world easier, but as you walk with HIM, you will find that HIS burden is light and This ULTIMATE CLOCKMAKER will make your life work better—Like Clockwork!
Thump, thump…thump, thump…thump, thump…thump, thump—your pulse. It’s what helps you know you’re alive. It’s what helps you know if you are healthy. If you don’t have a pulse, then you’re dead or soon will be! If you know what happened today at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, you’ve likely had an increase in the rate of your pulse! The horrific news of this shooting today, brings us to another new low, eclipsing The Virginia Tech Tragedy as “the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. History.” As of the writing of this blog, 50 souls have lost their pulse and 53 more are said to be injured, with more deaths expected. What does this say about us, in yet another “record year” of mass shootings? What do you say is The “Pulse” of our Nation?
It has been some time since I’ve posted a blog article. Today’s tragic massacre drives me to post yet again in an attempt to think through another news event that raises our pulse and challenges us to learn all we can! There is so much we can and are still learning from this massacre today! There is much I have wanted to write about with so many shootings at educational institutions and even churches over the past year (reports are that there were a record 372 last year)! Why are these shootings increasingly happening? Do we just need better gun laws? Perhaps GOD is trying to get our attention, by removing some of HIS protection over this most blessed Country? Is this all an indication of a waning pulse in the health of our Nation?
Since that former “worst shooting massacre in U.S. history” on 04-16-07 turned my own life upside down, I’ve learned much and written much about what we all need to learn to get our Nation’s health back to the place where our pulse is good! There is much written here and in my book of how we can truly learn to prevail, despite tragedy! There are over 200 blog articles on this website dealing with “lessons to learn” that will help keep our pulse healthy! It is not merely about standing together in solidarity, as many in Orlando are saying and as is typically said after a shooting or attack like this! We need not cower down in fear, yet we must stay humble before ALMIGHTY GOD, if we expect to have HIS Hand of protection against any enemy! The true enemies are spiritual (Ephesians 6:12ff.) Fearing GOD above all is the top lesson to learn! Our pulse here is weak!
This U.S. citizen, Omar Mateen, is the perpetrator of what is now the worst U.S. massacre in history. He certainly did not learn to “Fear GOD above all” (the #1 lesson to learn) and apparently never even had a true pulse with GOD! Omar Mateen somehow learned a perverted view of Who GOD actually is. He must have become disillusioned by the emptiness in his own soul and the groping seen throughout the culture. He found solace in a radicalized Islamic thinking (which kills)—see my 11-15-09 Blog: “RADICAL CHRISTianity” (which heals). This radicalized Islamic American came to believe that an individual has the right and even the responsibility to take life into his or her own hands. Biblical Christianity teaches that GOD is the author of life (Genesis 1:1) and JESUS CHRIST is even the one Who sustains all (Colossians 1:16-17). We do not have the right to take life into our own hands!
JESUS is the ONE Who controls the beating of our hearts—our pulse! HE is the one Who protects us as individuals and as a Nation. HE doesn’t want to see the death of any gay person or anyone else, no matter how they view HIM (2 Peter 3:9). JESUS allowed Himself to be crucified to pay the penalty of our sin and proved HIS Deity in rising from the dead! HE wants to extend HIS Grace in this horrific tragedy! HE wants to heal lives and promises to give HIS PULSE to those who believe in HIM! JESUS wants to again, as HE once was considered to be, The “Pulse” of our educational institutions and The “Pulse” of our Nation!
Wow! It has been 8 years since the worst mass shooting in American history and the Life Changing event that rocked Blacksburg, Virginia and sent rumbles of impact into campuses and communities throughout the world! What have we learned? What still needs to be learned? 2014 gives evidence that much still needs to be learned, given the record of at least 40 school related shootings throughout the year! Each school incident, along with every other incident of violence throughout our society, brings specific life changes to all those directly involved and changes our lives as we hear and reflect on whatever is happening. What is it that makes parents abuse and murder their children? What is it that leads a person to stabbing or shooting their fellow human being? What makes someone have so much anger to act out and hurt their self or even take their rage out on others? We need answers! We need a Life Changer!
What will it take to wake you up? What will it take to bring your life to change for the better? Perhaps you do not think you are in need of changing anything in your life? It would appear that most are in this place, for when you ask the average person, they basically consider their self to be a good person. Too often, we look at the life changing events mentioned in the news and think of how bad others are or perhaps how grateful we are that we aren’t like them. All the crime and violence we hear about can also numb us and even bring about a back-door pride that eventually trips us up. We each should be somber about the life tragedies we hear about. We each should pray for those in these horrible situations, that they might have a life change to rescue them from the chains of their old sinful nature!
As Americans, we do have so much, yet we so often neglect to thank the source of our blessings (Consider my “Think To Thank” poem). America needs a change! We need a National repentance and Awakening, starting with a life changing Revival in our churches!! Perhaps GOD will have to send more signs for us to get it? Perhaps HE will just let us, as a society, experience more of the reaping we all have sown? We need to be a more sober minded and humble people! We need to take life more seriously and take more responsibility to help change our families and bring positive change in our communities!! We need to learn to Fear GOD Above All (the number one lesson I talk about here and in my Lessons To Learn book)!!!
04-16-07 was a life changer for many and also for me! The personal tragedy I faced following that horrible tragedy at Virginia Tech taught me much and reminded me of the life changing lessons I had come to learn. What I experienced from family and supposed friends helped me to see how deep of a change we all really need. What I learned from my interaction with the mental health community and our judicial system further showed me the necessity for change. What I went through because of the apathy, complacency and all of the responsibility shifting in the churches, revealed to me the Greatest Need—REVIVAL! We need to be plugged into THE LIFE CHANGER!!
Friend, The RISEN LORD JESUS CHRIST is THE LIFE CHANGER!! HE is The Creator of life and the Life Giver!! HE brings change to whomever comes to HIM and HE gives Eternal Life to all those who believe on HIM!! This LIFE CHANGER said in John 10:28:
“And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”
Trusting in JESUS CHRIST is what each of us needs to change our sin stained life! Letting This LIFE CHANGER control you through His Life Giving Spirit and HIS Everlasting Word (The Bible) is what will help you have the Abundant Life HE intends for you to have (John 10:10)!! HE will help you through every test, trial and tragedy that may come into your life! HE is The ONE Who can bring Life and Change back into HIS people, sending a change of life throughout our society!
May you come to know THE LIFE CHANGER as I have!!
One day, on a seemingly ordinary, but cold day, seven year ago today (04-16-07), the history of the world was changed forever. Breaking news started spreading around the world that a horrific shooting had taken place. It was in an unexpected place—the more solitary, small town of Blacksburg, Virginia on the campus of Virginia Tech. What was going on? The first frightening reports indicated that dozens were hurt or even killed, with a potential second shooter on the loose. Before long, the heartbreaking news was revealed that 32 people had been killed and many more wounded before the lone shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, ended the massacre by shooting himself. The death toll stood at 33, with 17 others wounded. What an awful way to start off what had seemed to be a more ordinary day! What a terrible tragedy, dubbed the worst shooting massacre in United States history! This one day, that turned out to be such a tragic day, sent ripples of impact all over the world!
One day, a year ago yesterday (04-15-13), unexpected bombings took place at the famous Boston Marathon. 3 people were killed, with some 264 others injured. What a horrible tragedy this turned out to be, after it even started remembering another horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School! On that one tragic day of 12-14-12, 20 elementary school children and 6 staff members were killed, before the shooter, Adam Lanza killed himself (having also fatally shot his mother earlier in the day). That shooting was the second deadliest mass shooting by a lone gunman, the worst being the Virginia Tech Massacre. Only a couple of weeks ago (04-02-14), there was yet another shooting spree at the Fort Hood military base in Texas, killing 4 people and injuring 16 others. The worst military massacre happened at this same Fort Hood base on 11-05-09, where 13 people were killed and more than 30 injured, by Virginia Tech graduate, Nidal Hasan (for a greater VT connection and philosophy comparison, check out my 11-15-09 article “RADICAL CHRISTianity”). All of these tragedies and life changing events happening in only one day!
One day or even one moment is all it takes to change everything! Just think of how many events in your own life were changed in just one day. We dare not take any day for granted or miss any opportunity to enjoy life with our loved ones! Think about your life. How many things have changed for you in just one day? Oh, how we need to be “redeeming the time because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). We dare not waste any day that GOD gives us to live!
One day, nearly 2,000 years ago, there was an even more tragic day than any of these tragic shootings and bombings. In fact, this day is the single most tragic, yet important day in history! It was around this time in what most accept as 29A.D. that your Creator, The LORD Jesus Christ, gave Himself to be crucified and make possible the eternal forgiveness from the penalty of your sin. The Passover Lamb was slain to give those who believe on HIM Eternal Life!! On the third day from this ultimate tragedy, there was the most momentous day that proved the Deity of this man. Early on that one Sunday morning, Jesus Christ forever defeated the worst enemy—death— and made it possible for us to have power over sin and ultimately death.
One day! One day changed everything! One day can change everything for you! Oh, that you may find forgiveness and hope in trusting in the Resurrected Christ—even today!! May each of us seek to redeem (buy back) every day and learn to number our own days. Consider the words of Moses in Psalm 90:12—the oldest Psalm in Scripture:
“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
By now, you have likely formed some opinion on the news surrounding the mystery of the missing Malaysian Flight 370. In an age of technology and nearly instant communication, it is quite odd that there could be a commercial jet with 239 passengers to simply disappear. How could this possibly be? Perhaps this is what has made this the world’s biggest story for over the past two weeks?! With the most recent announcement that a British company has determined that the plane necessarily, tragically crashed and all 239 perished, families and others looking for some closure are still torn. Why did this plane change its scheduled path? Why did it remain in flight for several hours, with no maydays for help or outside communication of any kind, aside from the last known words of the co-pilot: “All right, good night”? What kind of a plane mystery is this? Certainly, we hope that some wreckage will be found or better yet that the passengers are alive (even if held hostage). Will this mystery be made plain? Whether this is just another type of tragedy or else some sort of terrorism or combination of the two, this latest article will play off of this event and speak to this subject of a plain mystery.
What is a mystery? It is something unknown; something that has not yet been revealed. We come across mysteries every day! Mysteries are part of learning and growing. Curiosity drives us to learn and understand. Typically, we resolve the unknown things of life as we talk with others or study and learn more information on our own. Some unknown things cannot be known by regular observation or scientific discovery and are thus dependent upon special revelation. Through our daily observations and living under the laws of reality, we discovery things that are consistent and true within this reality. The more we record our discoveries or utilize storage devices and share knowledge, the more we can make mysteries plain! Certainly, we can only speculate or accept other’s commentary on things that happened before recorded history. If we accept that there is indeed a higher Power and Authority and that This Authority has revealed knowledge, then we can understand more and make a mystery plain.
We want to know What?, we would like to know Why? and we seek to know How?, as we learn and understand more about life and the things around us. What is going on in this world today? Why are all of these shooting and other tragedies happening or even the natural disasters occurring as they are? How are things going to work out or end for us personally and even in this world? We will not come to know everything, but we can understand and make many a mystery plain. Even when things are not plain, we can speculate as to the meaning of a mystery. For example, I think I know reasons why that 4-16 Tragedy at Virginia Tech occurred, as I discuss in my book. You can agree with me or not, but I trust you will consider my thoughts there. I also know there are things that we can have great confidence to accept, such as the words recorded in the Holy Bible. Archeology, History and Reality concur and this consistent record does make many a mystery plain!
Scripture, in particular in the New Testament, reveals many things that had previously been a mystery. More than a dozen mysteries are made plain there. Things going on in the world and the times we are living in are discussed at length there. We aren’t told there about specifics such as the mystery of this plane, but we are told about a mystery made plain: “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). This disappearance of far more than 239 people (known as the Rapture of the Church—1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), is imminent (to happen at any moment) and WE ALL NEED TO BE READY! Are you ready?
While many are discussing the State of the Union Address, this article will take this moment in time and history to consider the real state of this United States and where things need to change to turn us around and unite us as a Nation. There is so much yet to be learned or understood, as I have regularly written and talked about since my life was turned upside down following the still deadliest school shooting in U.S. history at Virginia Tech on 4-16-07. So far, as of this date in 2014, there have already been 9 school shooting incidents (including one just occurring at Roosevelt High School in Honolulu Hawaii), which puts us on track to have far more than the 28 school related shootings in 2013. On top of that, there was a recent mall shooting in Columbia, Maryland, where three, including the shooter, were killed and five others injured. What is going on with our society and with our values? A large part of the problem is that we are not valuing life as we should!
Did you hear about the recent anniversary of the terrible decision that has led to the loss of millions of lives? Last Wednesday marked the 41st anniversary of that landmark Roe vs. Wade Court decision that has since led to the extinction of around 57 million beating hearts…FIFTY SEVEN MILLION LIVES (far more than the 10-26 million Hitler had killed during the Holocaust)! Scientifically, when a woman becomes pregnant, she is carrying a human life (even from the moment of conception) and the heart begins beating by 18 days from conception (before most women even know they are pregnant). How are you valuing life when you are willing to take a life for what seems to be more convenient or better for your own situation? That is only self-centered thinking for your own life and not valuing life itself. How are you valuing life when you support this “choice” of a woman that ignores the choice of the life she is carrying? How are you valuing life, when you vote and support leaders who do not value the life of the unborn?
What is life anyway? It is not merely what scientists often use to describe it by pointing to the DNA and cell structures. Life is not merely a collection of chemicals and proteins contained in a body. Chemically, all of the DNA structure and makeup of a body is still there at the moment of death, even when the life of that body has departed. Life is something more than the physical. Life is spiritual. Life is something greater that is given to us by a Creator! Life never comes from non-life. One cannot reasonably say that matter alone brought about all of the life that we see and experience. Believing in evolution as the explanation for life and all that we see is only an example of the problem or a root of the problem—not valuing life. Only when we understand that we have a Creator, can we begin to properly value life. Only when we think about who we are and Who our Creator is, will we come to live our life as we should and appreciate all life as we should.
What does this United States need? What can we do to turn around our culture, which is increasingly devaluing life? We can learn to trust the One who came that we might have life (eternal) and that we might live it to its fullest (John 10:10). We can come to realize what our Founders understood and declared—that we “are endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” We can learn to accept that Jesus Christ is indeed The Way, The Truth and The Life (John 14:6), Who gave His life to offer forgiveness from our sin, that we might have eternal Life. We must be Valuing Life as our Creator has given and entrusted us with!