It is what it is…

“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

RSCN1851
(up close and personal with a sheep / Slieve League, Co Donegal, Ireland / Julie Cook / 2015)

Maybe I read more news then I should…
Maybe I read the stories that don’t receive the same amount of coverage or
attention as say… those stories which fill and flood our news outlets…
just as excessive rains fill a sewer system…

Sending a sea of garbage filled overflow flooding into all of our lives…
whether we ask for it or not…

For it seems that there are just too many “newsless” stories which seem to overshadow the truly more pressing stories…
those stories that we really should be focusing on…
especially as Christians…

Why as Christians you ask?
Why should I worry myself with the happenings and business of things which take place
“over there”
you muse?

Well…because in a plain spoken reminder, by one who did just that…
Dietrich Bonhoeffer reminds us that when Christ calls…
when He calls both you and I…
it is a call to die…
to die unto self.

We are united in the faith and fellowship in the single body of Christ,
with our brothers and sisters around this globe…
and when one part of the body hurts and aches,
so does the whole…

It behooves us to be mindful that we have a vested interest in the
honoring of God’s sovereign land of Israel…
of which the US and the current administration has opted not to do…

It behooves us to be aware of the sacrifices made globally
by our brothers and sisters in Christ who suffer because of their faith.
Those who are imprisoned, tortured and killed just for worshiping…
What will ever stop that happening say…one day to us…

It behooves us to be mindful that we in the West take for granted the freedom
to walk into our various houses of worship while so many others cannot…

It behooves us to note that if we fail to speak or act on their behalf,
on the behalf of countless others scattered around this ailing world…
then who will remain to act on ours…..

The following links are to recent stories…
stories reporting the events taking place in Israel,
the Christian genocide in Iraq by IS, the destruction of churches in China and
how 2015 was a very bad year for Christians worldwide:

http://news.yahoo.com/white-house-says-israels-netanyahu-opted-cancel-visit-211709688.html

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/03/08/separate-attacks-reported-in-israel-2-security-officers-injured.html?intcmp=hpbt3

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/03/08/beheadings-imprisonment-made-2015-worst-year-for-christian-persecution-report-finds.html?intcmp=hpbt2

https://www.yahoo.com/politics/catholics-urge-obama-to-use-1382330232389686.html

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/03/10/report-details-isis-atrocities-against-christians-presses-state-for-genocide-label.html?intcmp=hpbt1

http://uverse.com/uv/watch/c___Wbh9DOcn41YA?ref=yfp

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

Martin Niemoller

Doing the right thing is never easy, but must be done. . .

“It is always darkest just before the day dawneth”
Thomas Fuller

“There are stars who’s light only reaches the earth long after they have fallen appart. There are people who’s remembrance gives light in this world, long after they have passed away. This light shines in our darkest nights on the road we must follow.”
The Talmud

The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.
Dante Alighieri

DSC02640
(a tiger swallowtail visits the sedum / Julie Cook / 2015)

Ever since we were young, we were always told to “do the right thing”. . .
It seemed to be so much easier when we were younger. . .

As we aged, growing older and it doesn’t appear much wiser, the right thing seemed to become a bit blurry, out of focus and at times, difficult to discern.
We became pressed with increasing dilemmas.
The “right thing” could at times be hurtful to ourselves or worse, to others. . .
It became too much and overwhelming, it turned out to be more than we could bear.
It often seemed as if our very lives could fall into jeopardy over this whole doing the right thing business.
What were we to do?
What were our choices?
Doing the right thing became harder as doing not the right thing became easier.
“What’s a little fudging here and there” we’d rationalize.
We found ourselves justifying what they don’t know won’t hurt them, or rather, we meant us, as in ourselves.
A blind eye, became key.
Turning the proverbial blind eye to the those trivial details known as facts became common place.
Got the ol head stuck down in the sand, looking the other way and ignoring it all, hoping it would all just go away, leaving us and everyone else alone.

Complacency became our safe and happy place, our easy way out.

Yet the stakes, while we were busy not watching, have snuck in under the wire, growing bigger and higher.

To ignore it would be criminal.
To wish it all away, impossible.
To pretend it doesn’t exist, damning.

The children are dying and the world is bleeding and we can no longer afford not doing the right thing. . .

Part-PAR-Par8261894-1-1-0

“A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body of an unidentified migrant child, lifting it from the sea shore, near the Turkish resort of Bodrum, Turkey, early Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. A number of migrants are known to have died and some are still reported missing, after boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized.
(both images courtesy AP)

Full story:
http://news.yahoo.com/distraught-father-of-drowned-syrian-boy-recounts-ill-fated-journey-191139707.html

For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in you
Deuteronomy 15:11

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
1 John 3:17