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The Victims of Ferguson
Thursday, December 04, 2014
For the past week, areas of this nation have been embroiled in violence, the aftermath of the grand jury’s decision not to indict a Ferguson, Mo., police officer over the death of a local hoodlum.

As tragic as the loss of any life is — no matter whether young or old, we need to recognize that the image of Michael Brown portrayed by those advocating violence in Ferguson, and even many citing non-violent protest, is faulty… probably one could even describe it as fictional.

This was not Mahatma Gandhi, Cora ten Boom or even Rosa Parks. This was an 18-year-old thug who seemed to enjoy throwing his considerable weight around.

This is a young man who apparently succumbed to the same type of anger that has been demonstrated by looters and violent offenders in Ferguson ever since his death.

This is a young man who when confronted by a law enforcement officer reacted in a manner that reportedly caused fear in the mind of the previously celebrated officer.

When the family, friends and liberal journalists — as well as certain national leaders, refer to Michael Brown as the victim in the shooting it’s with eyes and hearts filled with loving memories, and in certain cases prejudiced by a personal agenda.

Apparently, these individuals haven’t had to deal with Brown in the throes of avarice and anger, such as the store clerk who was a victim of strong-arm robbery shortly before Brown’s fatal encounter with Officer Wilson.

Nor have they had to face a much larger individual — no matter the age, who responded to a lawful command with anger and violence.

In comparison, if circumstances require you to shoot someone breaking into your home, the person shot isn’t a victim.

There were three victims associated with the fatal shooting on Aug. 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo., and the young man whose death sparked the recent riots wasn’t one of them.

Obviously, the store clerk was victimized, as was this nation’s sense of justice — which was warped by those supporting a racist agenda that says any time a Black man is shot by a law enforcement officer that the officer is to blame.

And, the third — whom so many want to ignore, is Officer Darren Wilson who no doubt went to work on Aug. 9 unknowing his life would be forever judged — and wrongly, by a violent encounter he did not initiate.

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Even At Christmas, The Circle Of Life Is Often A Whirlwind
Thursday, June 12, 2014
By the time you read this, the Christmas “mini-pageant” our church kids are presenting this year will be history.

But although this church is definitely a non-prophet organization, I can already tell you, as I’m writing two days before the event, it was cute and sweet, beautiful and full of meaning.

Right now, pageant practice is in the morning. If you walked through our church fellowship hall today and took a look at the stuff on the tables, you’d think a flock of Wise Men had molted.

Bethlehem didn’t see those wise fellows every day. Their appearance in our fellowship hall is a little unusual, too. We don’t do the pageant every year. Though, come to think of it, when we remodeled the sanctuary a number of years ago, straw still lurking in the crevices of steps up to the pulpit bore mute witness to more than a few past Christmas nativity plays!

It’s good to be encouraged to think about what that first Christmas must have been like. Some little wise “men” (one-third of whom is a wise girl, my granddaughter) who’ve not broken into double digits age-wise, but still look wise for their age, help our minds start mulling.

As do some shepherds in bathrobe attire, a few sheep, a donkey (my grandson), and some sweet angels who’d never have to say, “Be not afraid!” because just looking at them makes folks smile.

Of course, if the wise folks had been a little wiser, they’d have told the shepherds that herding little siblings dressed up as sheep is uphill business.

But it all “works,” drawing our minds slowly but steadily away from bathrobes and escapee sheep; it points us to Bethlehem.

My mind needed some focusing this week. It was promising to be a bit challenging schedule-wise even before it got started.

Some of the “busy-ness” was wonderful! One grandson was to be born on Monday (and he was!). Another was due on Wednesday. (Still holding, at this point.)

Then I got the call that a church member, dear friend, and amazing lady—91 years old—had passed away. I officiated and sang at the service Monday morning, jumped in my truck and made it to my newest grandson’s birth 100 miles away by early afternoon.

He and I arrived at the nursery at almost the same time, a sweet meeting.

The “circle of life”? More like a whirlwind! My head was spinning. even before the new fellow’s siblings—later cast as wise gal and cute donkey—came down with the flu. Then another granddaughter got bit by a stomach bug. (Two other grandchildren were still okay.) And one little grand-guy-to-come was still putting off his appearance.

Oh, well. It was into a world far from calm that the Babe of Bethlehem made his own entrance.

It was a sinful, needy world. That’s why he came. And it’s into a heart, not a stable, that he wants to be welcomed again today. Yours.

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