One of the most disturbing trends is how quick people are to react on social media to news events without taking in all the facts. I completely agree with Denzel Washington’s statement that if you don’t read (and watch) the news, you’re uninformed, and if you do, then you’re misinformed.

That being said, I don’t have a position on the current refugee situation. I don’t know all the details and I don’t necessarily trust all the news reports and how much they decide to include or leave out.

I do know a few things that have been on my mind lately.

I do know that God has a special place in His heart for the poor, the orphan, and the widow. God blesses those who look after the least of these. It’s all over the Bible.

I also know that every refugee is someone’s daughter or son or brother or sister or mother or father. Every single one is a person that Jesus loves and for whom Jesus died.

I remember that the Bible says that one time I was an alien and a stranger to the promise of God’s kingdom, but now I who was far away have been brought near. I truly believe that no one should be denied hearing the gospel of Jesus because of where they were born or what ethnicity they are or what language they speak or the color of their skin.

I remember that God told His people that He desires mercy above sacrifice.

I know that refugees are human beings and not a statistic that we can shut off or deny. The Christlike response is never one of fear or alienation.

I see the Statue of Liberty and I see the part written about giving her the poor, the wretched, those longing to be free.

I’m sure that people on both sides of the issue have valid arguments. I just can’t get away from how the grace of God is not limited to certain races or nationalities or cultures or people groups. It’s for all. It’s for everywhere.

Take it however you want. I’m too tired at this point to make lucid applications at this point. Well, maybe one. If you were the least of these how would you want to be treated. Better yet, how did Jesus treat you when you were one of the least of these.

Then go and do the same.


A Certainty that Cannot Be Shaken

“We say, then, to anyone who is under trial, give Him time to steep the soul in His eternal truth. Go into the open air, look up into the depths of the sky, or out upon the wideness of the sea, or on the strength of the hills that is His also; or, if bound in the body, go forth in the spirit; spirit is not bound. Give Him time and, as surely as dawn follows night, there will break upon the heart a sense of certainty that cannot be shaken” (Amy Carmichael).

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around what happened in Paris.

Granted, I didn’t even hear about it until I’d gotten home from work.

I turned on CNN and saw where at least 153 people had been killed in what looks like ISIS terrorist attacks on innocent civilians.

If it happened there, it could happen here. But still, the fact that it happened anywhere matters. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Attacks on liberty are a threat to liberty anywhere and everywhere.

I still don’t know why things like that happen. I know it’s a fallen and broken world. I know that people are capable of the worst acts, as evidenced by the Holocaust and Slavery and a million other atrocities.

I also know that God is in control.

I know that God can take the worst tragedies and turn them into something beautiful.

I still believe that in the end, Love wins. Jesus wins.

I know and believe with all my heart that, try as it might, darkness can never truly drive out the light. The only failure is a failure of the light when it refuses to shine.

I’m praying for Paris. I’m praying for all those who are burdened by oppression and injustice tonight.

May God have mercy on us all.


Fathers And All That


I can imagine Joseph on a break from his carpentry job, hanging around the water cooler that just happens to be on the construction site. Go with me on this.

He’s listening to the other guys brag about their sons:

“My son made the honor roll again. That boy is just plain smart.”

“Yeah? Well, my boy is All-State in both football and basketball. He’ll be getting a free ride to any college he wants.”

“My boy is going into the ROTC and into the Army after he graduates from college. He wants to dedicate his life to defending freedom.”

Then Joseph can’t resist any longer. “My boy is Savior of the World.”

They all roll their eyes. One of them says, “Yeah, yeah. We know. Jesus is soooo great. He can walk on water. He’s the perfect Man, God incarnate, yada, yada, yada. You don’t have to keep reminding us of how great your son is.”

OK. That probably never happened. But I do think Joseph is a good example of a good father.

He’s the one who raised a child he didn’t father. Sure, it was a miraculous event, but still, Jesus was not his biological child. But he was man enough to take responsibility. He did the best thing any good father can do by loving his wife, Mary, day in and day out.

Also, he raised Jesus in the right way. Jesus knew how to work hard with his hands and was taught the importance of integrity and honesty. When the Bible says that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, Joseph had a part in that.

Actually, the Bible never records any of Joseph’s actual words. It merely says that when Joseph heard what the angel said, he obeyed. Jesus learned obedience from a human perspective by watching his earthly father. Joseph knew that most of the most important life lessons are caught rather than taught, so he lived out his faith and his integrity and back up what he said by what he did.

Fathers, take a few notes from Joseph. Learn to lead by example and to be the man you want your son to become and your daughter to marry.