It's hard to know how to even write about the tragic shooting of Pastor Fred Winters in Maryville, IL on Sunday. Along with many people across the nation, I'm shocked and saddened.
Jeremiah Beck of WIBI radio is a Facebook friend of mine. He responded to my comment that the church and community are in my prayers:
"Thank you Cindy. This is a senseless tragedy. The only meaning that can be found in it will have to come from Jesus. His promise to turn that which was intended for evil to good will be the foundation for building a future. I keep thinking of the last time I had dinner with Fred. He and his wife were so excited about what God was doing in their community and what God was doing at WIBI (they are supporters.) I asked about his new building (it is beautiful) - and he said 'the building isn't who we are. We are a church working to reach people.'"
Jeremiah asks for continued prayers, particularly for the pastor's two daughters.
Losing Our Religion
Fewer Americans are Christians, and more Americans say they have no religion at all.
This news is not really surprising, given the condition of our world and our nation today. But I think those of us who call ourselves Christians have to take a long, hard look at ourselves in the mirror. What's wrong with this picture?
Obviously we are not being the salt and light that God wants us to be, and that saddens and convicts me.
I've been hearing a lot of Keith Green lately. My daughter has recently been introduced to his music, and my son gave her a CD for her birthday.
Keith Green was still in his twenties when he died in a plane crash in 1982, and he had only been a Christian for some six years. His zeal for God was so avid it was sometimes overwhelming, even to fellow Christians. To some, he was a little too tactless and harsh in his indictments of modern Christianity. But Green's heart cry was palpable in lyrics like these, from "Asleep in the Light":
Do you see, do you see
All the people sinking down
Don't you care, don't you care
Are you gonna let them drown
How can you be so numb
Not to care if they come
You close your eyes
And pretend the job's done
"Oh bless me Lord, bless me Lord"
You know it's all I ever hear
No one aches, no one hurts
No one even sheds one tear
But He cries, He weeps, He bleeds
And He cares for your needs
And you just lay back
And keep soaking it in,
Oh, can't you see it's such a sin?
You can hear Keith Green sing "Asleep in the Light" here.