“If you’ve been watching the news coming out of Iraq, and wishing for a way you could help, please consider this. There are more than 1.5 million refugees and IDPs (internally displaced persons) in Kurdistan now. In a place with a population of 4.5 million, it’s not hard to imagine the struggle it is to care for everyone who needs help. There are big NGOs moving as quickly as they can to put up tents and bring supplies. But the need is massive. Overwhelming.
A little group of us here have been helping 23 families in a town nearby. We’ve gone to visit twice now with supplies: basic food, a change of underwear for the ladies, balloons for the kids. The money has come from family and friends in Chile and the US (thank you, friends!!!). We will continue to help as we are able. They aren’t getting any other aid yet, they’re just hanging on as best they can. We can’t supply all of their needs, but for these 23 families, we can do something.
If you already give to a relief organization, thank you! Your funds make a difference. If you haven’t given and feel that you’d like to join us, to buy some potatoes and eggs, bread and tea, you can send funds to the website below. If you’re American, you can get a tax receipt. If you’re not American, a virtual hug from me will have to do.
Please keep the people in Iraq in your thoughts (and prayers, if you’re the praying type).”
You can send your help to: www.mrds.org
Account designation: Irq-P.008
2. The domestic abuse cases involving NFL players Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson simply expose the deeper truth that spousal and child abuse are interwoven into our culture. Because we saw the video of Rice knocking out his wife and the pictures of what Peterson did to that child, we are enraged. We should be upset…but equally upset about all the abuse we don’t have visual evidence of that takes place all around us. Ask a local law enforcement officer what he spends most of his time dealing with…and what he hates dealing with the most. The answer will be the same…domestic violence.
3. The most shocking part of the dialog, especially involving Peterson, is the number of people who are defending his right to “discipline his child”. That’s not discipline, it’s violence against a defenseless child.
4. The second most shocking thing about the Peterson case is that he is genuinely surprised that he’s in trouble. He was beaten in a similar fashion as a child and comes from a culture that believes such “discipline” is an effective means of child rearing. In reality it simply passes on violence, rage, and anger down through the generations. The scars on that child’s legs will heal much more quickly than the ones on his soul.
5. Peterson acknowledged to police that he “may have gone a little too far”, but he would never “spare the rod’ with his children in the future despite this. The Bible is true…withholding discipline will spoil a child. Discipline doesn’t involve beating children until they bleed. Biblical discipline is loving correction meant to change behavior, not physical violence meant to break a body and a spirit.
6. I’ve heard that some folks want to boycott the NFL over these cases. You’ll have to boycott the rest of life as well, then. This behavior is in our churches, our neighborhoods, and in our homes. Take this as an opportunity to address it wherever it is…especially if you’re involved in it. Get help. Report any suspected abuse. 1-800-4-A-CHILD
7. Two things that trouble me greatly…we’ve become very good at expressing justifiable outrage over injustice, but we are pathetic in finding solutions…and our outrage only lasts until the next thing to be outraged about comes along in the “news” cycle. Thus, nothing ever gets solved, but we’re always in a rage.
8. The difficult truth is that the NFL is simply a reflection of the society that supports it…and it is far and away the most popular sport in this country. It’s a mirror, not a microscope.
9. If you need a break from all of this and want to read a good book with Jesus at the center, my friend Chris Canuel has a collection of six sermons that lift up Christ and Christ alone. Gazing at Grace is free on Kindle today…and worth a great deal more than that. Pick it up and clear your spiritual palate…because Jesus is the only answer to all of the things that concern us.
10. Finally, I’m taking a few days off of social media to address some pressing personal concerns and hopefully, “get better” in a few ways. I’ll be closing comments on the blog as I need to focus on things elsewhere. Lord willing, I’ll be back in a few days.