We can use passports and background checks and metal detectors and any other security methods we can imagine. But nothing and no one can guarantee that we will be 100% safe from bad guys. Bad guys are notorious for finding ways to get around legal, technological, and physical barriers. While politicians hem and haw, millions of capable, intelligent, hurting people are waiting for a chance to live in a place that offers peace and opportunity.
I believe that Jesus was really a human like us, but he did have an advantage when it came to getting to know people. Since "He knew all men" and "knew what was in man" (John 2:24-25), he didn't have to spend time asking questions. In order for us to serve another person most effectively, we need to take time to understand where she is, where she is coming from, and where she wants to go.
I am reading Booker T. Washington's Up From Slavery for the first time. It addresses the issue of relations between black and white Americans, and Washington has a valuable perspective. But I want to highlight here some of his thoughts on education.
Before books became widely available, most people had to learn new things by listening to or watching others. Are we entering a post-book age, where instead of reading, we can listen to and watch others do things on YouTube?
I am re-reading a biography of Charles Wesley, and it described the week he spent ministering to convicted felons at Newgate prison in London. The following excerpts are taken from his journal. I am not sure what this narrative might tell us about the death penalty, but it tells us something important about how we look at condemned criminals.
I am sympathetic to those who advocate for a Consistent Life ethic, arguing that that we should oppose all forms of killing--abortion, euthanasia, execution, and war. But I'm still not sure what to do with incorrigible violent offenders. I have two tangential personal connections to the death penalty, one against and one for.
As we walk day by day and step by step in our journey, we should be willing to extend the same grace we have received to those around us. Every other person we encounter is still on his or her first attempt to survive this crazy world.
We can be thankful that most Christians in the United States have faced little state-sponsored persecution because of their faith. Unfortunately, this general freedom from persecution has given Christians (and those who profess to be Christians) many opportunities to endanger the life, liberty, and property of others. Not sure what I'm talking about? Here's a short list.
WARNING: This will probably be hard to read if you have lost a child of any age. And it will probably be uncomfortable if you haven't.