Aug 262016

IMG_1079So, I had the outline of another cat centered TGIF in my head.

It was relatively clever as as most of these articles try to be…whether I’m successful depends on how you define “relatively” and “clever”.

Adopting Chester has resulted in difficulties at times.

He’s eating us out of house and home…I’ve never seen a cat put away so much food.

He’s used to stealing his food so he eats it really fast and swallows a lot of air…which exits out the other end having been converted to weapons grade gas.

I have to use industrial strength Febreeze air freshener to be able to sit in my own home.

He and Miss Kitty fight over food, attention, and affection.


Like I needed more stress in my life…

He’s one more thing that wears me out.

There are moments when I wonder if I should have adopted him.

After I admitted that, I would point out that “I wonder if I should have adopted him” is something that God never has said, nor ever will say about you and me.

He never has second thoughts about His adopted kids.

He has one thought…”They are mine and they are loved”.

That’s another difference between me and God…

That’s the Gospel and it’s good to hear it.

Slap the familiar “make your own application” tag line on it and another Friday article is finished.

That was the plan until I read the story from a city I know.

The child would have turned ten the next day.

A birthday party had been planned by those who loved her.

Unfortunately, those in her home did not love her and her death certificate will read that she died at nine years of age.

Her death was too brutal, too evil to comprehend, let alone write about on these pages.

Something similar happened here long ago, but not long ago enough to stop me from occasional moments of shaking and tears.

I want to do something or at least say something profound.

All I have are cat stories…and the Gospel.

It’s not enough.

I don’t know what is.

May the child rest in peace…and may we not rest until our stories and our Gospel bring peace into places like her home.

Make your own application…

  45 Responses to “TGIF”

  1. I saw that story about that little girl, it brought me to tears as well. Then it made me very angry.

    God allows all this for some reason, doesn’t bring justice immediately oftentimes, still loves you and me and others despite our own sins and we all want grace and mercy. It’s a very complex dynamic that is not logical, but it “is”.

  2. Some days…it’s more than I can handle.
    Like today…

  3. As a parent of two adopted kids (now adults) I commuicated the security of their adoption consistently. Because fir adoptees, the doubts always haunt them.

  4. The story is very difficult to process. How human beings could not only murder an innocent child, but one they new and one of whom brought the child into the world. It appears as though it was gratuitous and I haven’t heard of any remorse whatsoever. Are these adults human beings? Do they have a soul?

  5. We have a 3 year old girl who was murdered this week by her mother’s boyfriend. Beyond awful.

  6. All those evil murderers who also had sex with that little girl have to do is pray a prayer and ask Jesus into their heart and they avoid Judgment, correct? And then “Abide in the vine” and profess an agreement with an evangelical narrative and then “try” not to sin anymore and they are then spared from hell, correct?

  7. Technically, they don’t have to do anything to be saved.

    Jesus’ death and resurrection even payed for rape and murder.

  8. Alex,
    The short answer is “yes”…if the conversion is genuine.
    That’s how significant the death of Christ was.

    When it happened here it was two little girls…and if imaginable,even more horrific.
    Upon the capture of the perp we surrounded the courthouse and demanded that we be able to bring him the justice he deserved.
    He was sentenced to death by the court…but the state repealed the death penalty.

    After a couple of years came the story of his “conversion”.
    Women would go up and take him gifts and help him study the Bible.

    I damned the whole lot of them.

    I know the proper doctrines,but my soul still cries for justice.
    I am probably wrong and in sin, but content to enter the kingdom with this error on my record.

  9. Josh – which is harder to believe – Josh’s statement or that I agree with him?

  10. Just wanted to remind everyone of the extreme nature of the Gospel the underpins all these issues.

  11. I agree Michael. It makes me very angry and angsty, this whole “justice” thing and the seeming injustice that happens every second and that evil men get away with so much, yet there is the Gospel message that then says “doesn’t matter” but then in another breath Christianity says it does matter? But then it doesn’t really matter. But then it does matter, you have to be “transformed” or something? But then you depose a guy like a former drug user and then go, “Um, you’re still an addict, nothing really changed, you just got a piece of paper that says all those same chemicals are legal to take now”

    I don’t understand it, how the whole “Transformation Gospel” works as sold by evangelicalism.

  12. Can you put the “prosthetic arms” on that “God gives you” as MLD says is Lutheranism, and then grab hold of the means of Grace through the Gospel….and then sin like the devil?

    Where is the line after that? One sin? Two sins? Three sins? At what number is that “salvation” rendered “Well it wasn’t real, you didn’t really believe right or accept the gift right or you’d be sinning less”

    Is it a certain type of sin? Like, you can be a pastor and lie like it’s your native tongue, but as long as you don’t have gay sex you’re still “saved”?

    Very bizarre Belief Systems.

  13. When we were in process of adopting our son, the social worker encouraged us to foster him so as to get $. We were pretty poor then, so it was tempting, but with it came a lack of control. We wanted the security of a full legal adoption, so we spent a lot of $ to secure him.

  14. I love God just fine, love Jesus and his teachings and example just fine. The explanations of so many things, as well as the examples…make no sense to a Critical Thinker and logical mind.

    …and that is partly where the angst comes from.

    Oh well, good day, I’ll try to tune it all out and not think about it and just live and be and try to love my neighbor and try to love “God” and hope for the best.

  15. All our sin is to a certain degree scandalous. Which makes the Gospel appear to be scandalous.

  16. Thank you, Michael. It’s too horrible to begin to comprehend at the local level and impossible to dismiss.

    And we shouldn’t.

    God won’t, even if we think He has.

  17. Al, how many times have you sin since the time of your salvation – if you sin daily is that ‘sinning like the devil’?

  18. MLD, yup. I would say so. Partly why I don’t buy into the Calvary Chapel false gospel of “Transformation!” …and their own Pastors prove that false gospel of “Transformation” in spades.

  19. …either that or Chuck Smith is roasting in hell right now. The dude was an epic liar on so many many things and “God HATES liars” they are an “ABOMINATION! to him” or so the bible Calvary Chapel teaches “simply” says…

  20. Well, the point is that even people who do the worst of sins are covered by the work of Jesus. Again, sin is no longer the issue for anyone.

    Now, whether these people who do these terrible acts believe that or not is a different story – perhaps at that point they no longer have the capacity to believe the good news even when it is staring them in the face. Then they roast in hell. 🙂

  21. Some kicks to the gut are beyond the reach of platitudes, doctrines or dogmas. Most days for years now, I find that weeping with those who weep, rejoicing with those who rejoice, sitting through the pain of what I cannot change, and as strength allows rising up to help change what might still be changed the best I can do. No matter where they as humans fall on the spectrum of faith, politics, race etc. I’m drawn to those who tend to get the shorter end of the stick and those that care for them. Like Michael and his beloved cats. That’s the only application I have left for now.

    Doors to heaven left wide open but all confidence that there is a God who sees and loves the little children of the world pretty tattered over time. It is resting place for me after so long a time of seeking, asking, knocking. Never had confidence in what were the proper doctrines. Lost confidence that any so called spiritual experiences were anything more than emotional pyshological varieties of religious experience common throughout Faith’s worldwide. It is a tenuous peace of acceptance that life is prone to suffering and the best we can do is help one another through it without increasing one another’s burdens.

  22. I’m sorry Michael….. Cats are such a great distraction from the horrible realities of this life. Even with a bunch of too many cats, it’s sometimes not enough to shield me from the pain of the prayer groups I subscribe to….

    As much as I say that I trust (and ‘love’) God….. I will admit to being ‘mad’ with Him for things that are allowed on this fallen planet….. I confess. Some times I don’t ‘like’ God.
    “Lord, where else will we go? Only You have the words of eternal life”….

  23. man’s depravity can go far beyond the natural – how many children does Satan inflict his unspeakable hatred of our race upon?
    these are acts intended by him to make people doubt or hate God – i pray, rather, that people see the threat looming over the race and choose Christ … Scripture says that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (i think i would) and here’s why (IMHO) Rev 6:9-17 …

  24. Alex, you have mail.

  25. Thank you.
    This happened about a mile from where I live.
    It is horrific and has basically consumed my heart for the last two days.

  26. London,
    I saw the child’s picture last night and found everything else insignificant afterwards.
    May God bring you and the others living there some measure of peace.

  27. Just came back from a meeting of an alliance of non-profits we belong to.
    Heard details I wish j hadn’t.
    Pure evil

  28. I find I can’t hear or read these stories, they just hit far too close to home for me…. it tears me apart.

    I believe God does offer forgiveness , all the way from the “slightest sin” to utterly evil acts. I believe that, on His scale, there is no difference.

    But on our human level, there is a huge difference.

    I believe that is is possible for the perpetrators of such things to receive forgiveness from God (it’s already there, already finished.) I don’t know about what sort of transformation may or may not be possible.

    But on a human level, there will always be the necessary punishments. And they often don’t seem to be enough, either.

    You said “all I have is cat stories…..and the Gospel.”

    You have so much more than just cat stories – you have hope. You express it and share it here (even in your cat stories.)
    Keep doing that. It won’t change everything. But God’s word never returns to Him empty, either.

  29. Way too early for people to be talking about forgiveness around here. People are still trying to wrap their heads around what happened.

  30. London, no one is speaking of forgiving these people – we speak on these issues in the theoretical – as in, people who do such acts.

    It is something what people can do. I am thinking first of the 12 yr old who blew himself up as a suicide bomber at the Turkish wedding – he is abused, his childhood and life taken from him.

    I just saw on a web site the children being used by ISIS to execute the Kurdish prisoners. Even though I gave up cable TV and have stopped watching the news, you still can’t get away from it..

  31. “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”

    How can this be? How could Satan have such vile access to a ten year old girl? Why, Lord? Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus. We need you desperately. Each one of us does. I just do not understand.

  32. MLD,
    Please do not speak to me about this.
    I wasn’t speaking to you.

  33. Oh, how I wish the knowledge of such horror did not exist. Just when I think my heart cannot break anymore…. How I wish I had an unshakable faith that all things meant all things. How I wish there were an answer to the pain this child suffered! To even imagine it could be part of some plan for the glory of God ala Job terrifies me. I pray in spite of my apostasy for her and those innocents past and present who through no fault of their own experience such depths of evil. Where oh where is the God who sees? But if we hide our eyes, shield our hearts can only prayer protect? Heal? I don’t know. I’m undone with grief. Oh , London how I wish I had not learned the details. I thought I had witnessed the worst of the worst. I wish I had been wrong.

  34. Don’t be trying to sweet talk me

  35. My mom died when I was five. My sister when I was a teenager. I have been bowled over by Crohn’s . I had a brain operation some months ago, I was an hour away from dying. Just a week ago, my intestines blew out of my stomach. Yet, the Lord spoke to me. He told me that I would be restored, though the doctors said it was impossible. I was restored last week.

    All that to say; even when life is impossible to understand or fully explain, the Lord will not let us go.

    He is holding that dear child right now.

  36. Costco,

    I’m floored. God bless you brother.

  37. She was murdered walking distance from my house. And I have a daughter of similar age.

  38. First you had me rolling on the ground laughing about a cat’s long-chain hydrocarbon emissions.

    Then suddenly with out warning you put the breaks on.

    Instantly I saw this in my mind as the smoke from the breaks cleared:

    Talk about both ends of the spectrum!

  39. JTK
    We must be neighbors.
    I drove past there twice today on my way to RR.

    I wish you had not learned the details either.
    Try to get other stuff in your head.

  40. Thank you all for the kind words about the article and your thoughts on the other matter at hand.

    I do not believe there is a theodicy that can explain these things…we simply weep with those who weep, knowing some will weep for the rest of their lives.

  41. London,

    Not sure if you were speaking of me in your #32 (and I apologize in advance if you were not…)

    I am sorry if my comments sounded like forgiveness should be handed out. I was speaking only of God’s ability, not ours. I have a couple of family members that I have yet to fully forgive for their evil deeds against my loved ones. Please know, I am aware of how impossible it is. And havng lost two children myself, I would not even attempt to minimize anyone else’s anguish.

  42. Sorry, I was mistaken in my above post. I was referring to #29.

  43. Jean… I’m floored, too. But like you, I shall rise.

  44. A friend at church avoids the news like the plague. I didn’t understand until a week ago. She decided to watch a story on the Middle East and they ended up showing the body of a child victim of the violence there. She broke down sobbing asking out loud saying how could someone do that to a child? I had never seen that kind of grief over a news story.

    I couldn’t wrap my mind around the intensity of her pain although I seemed to understand it. A group of us prayed over her as a woman in the church held her in her arms while praying.

    Knowing what I do about what happened in NM I can’t begin to imagine how this has impacted and changed lives forever.

    I’m thankful for those who will at some point be a source of comfort and a sounding board for those impacted. Some things just plain stink.

  45. After my father left the church, and left the faith, we never “really” talked. He was walking away right as I was running to. On one of the rare occasions we confronted each other on my motives to preach, and his motives to save me from it, he told me that you can’t change the stripes on a tiger’s back. It was a silly thing to hear at the time.

    The concept of salvation is truly maddening to me. It “does not require anything” but total allegiance. You are expected to change. Faith without works is dead, however, we are saved by faith alone.

    I’m no mathematician…

    After my father died, I thought an awful lot about the few things he said to me, stripes being one of them. The most evil people I have ever known are saved by faith alone. So the faith may or may not be capable of anything pragmatic. There is indeed no value to it unless it produces works, as James said. He spoke of people with tongues of fire, who destroy with their words, yet even that is reportedly overcome by the faith, for the accuser and the accused, and again, I am no mathematician.

    The fruits of the spirit… still a concept that is not exclusive to the faith, but really, only counted as valid unless done in the faith.

    “Created sick, commanded to be well.” The fall of humanity creates an inescapable scenario for those in the faith. They have to have Jesus, but like Paul said, there remains the war between the flesh and the spirit. The constant struggle between the two keeps us looking for that “faith alone” salvation, but even that is a work…


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