My Book

LIFE CHANGER!!

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!

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.”

A Plain Mystery

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?

Valuing Life!

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!

Race to Prejudice

Prejudice must first be understood. It is basically a pre-judging or judging before there is a more perfect or an accurate knowledge. We all tend to do this. It is part of our fallen nature. It is also part of a sense of pride that makes one believe he or she has a better understanding or knowledge than others. This tendency toward pride and prejudice is particularly a problem in an age of computerization and instant access to knowledge. Prejudice fights against objectivity and gets us into trouble! How often have you pre-judged something or someone, only to learn later than you had misjudged? How many friendships are hurt or lost due to prejudice and people saying things that first come to mind before thinking them through or spreading their first thoughts and ruining someone’s reputation? How often are situations brought to a point of worry or distress because someone raced to judge prematurely?

 

This now brings me to the discussion of the prejudice of race, which is in the forefront of many minds in the world, especially since the passing and memorializing of Nelson Mandela. Educated in law and working as a lawyer, Mandela argued and fought against the prejudice of what was called Apartheid (literally meaning: “the state of being apart”). He eventually became the first black President of South Africa from a fully representative democratic election and served in that capacity from 1994-1999, after having spent 27 years in prison for his efforts to overthrow the Apartheid government. During Apartheid, the ruling party’s prejudice led to segregation in all aspects of society, meaning that blacks had separate and even inferior education, medical care, and access to public services. Sadly, this prejudice had gone on for many years, having come about through the Dutch Rule following British Colonization. What is referred to as racial prejudice is actually indicative of an error in thinking about what is said to be “races.”

 

When speaking of human beings, we should not race to prejudice and believe that there are different races of human beings. This actually stems from an evolutionary philosophy which says that people have evolved from different animals in various parts of the world and thus have become different races of people. There is no archeological evidence for this! Yes, we do see how certain physical characteristics in human beings have developed and become dominant over the years in the various regions of the world. We do not, however, see different “races” of people developing in physically inferior or physically less human ways than other people! Human beings are just that, regardless of their skin color or national origin. There are various nationalities or ethnicities, but NOT various races! If however, one talks of different races of people, it must be understood that all humans (mankind) are created equally human. The United States Founding Fathers had it correct in The Declaration of Independence, stating, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”

 

Friend, I trust you will not be one who races to prejudice, before you fully know or understand a situation or person. I trust you will understand the theology of what the Apostle Paul said in Athens long ago. When speaking to people on Mars Hill about their Creator, God, he said: “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” (Acts 17:26). I trust you will be certain that you know this Creator in the Person of Jesus Christ and not race to prejudice!