The end of evil

… Nobody robbed a liquor store on the lower part of town
Nobody OD’ed, nobody burned a single buildin’ down
Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain
We sure could use a little good news today

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Anne Murray released “A little good news” in September 1983. The song rose on the billboard charts and reached #1 and remained there for 20 weeks. The lyrics of the song are timeless because the pain and problems do not change in our world. Sadly, they only get worse and are reported more often than ever. The headlines were the same for previous generations and continue to darken the monologues on the nightly news. Evil is among us and evil is here to stay. For now but not forever.

A feel good story is refreshing to our souls like a spring rain and soothing as lap full of puppies. Yes, we all sure could use a little good news today Ann Murray.

There are countless philosophies that people hold concerning evil. I don’t occupy myself with philosophical speculations as to why a man shoots into a concert venue killing 58 people. Or why a man rents a Home Depot truck with the sole intent to kill. I don’t need to wonder why these things continue and get increasingly worse because I know why.

I am a simple-minded evangelical Christian. I believe and teach the Bible. I believe in absolutes and I believe in truth. In a world of speculation concerning evil there is an answer to the big one word question.Why? I need not speculate as a Christian because truth is absolute and unchangeable. I know the truth about evil because my God has revealed it to me in his book of truth.

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— Romans 5:12 

This inflexible position is intolerable in our post-modern and post-Christian American culture. Christians are perceived as stupid, uneducated and arrogant pin heads. I accept this false diagnosis of me. The world did not accept Jesus and his diagnosis of evil and its cure. As I proclaim his message I can expect to treated with contempt as well.

Consider for a moment the following scenario.

Is an Oncologist a stupid, uneducated, ignorant liar when he accurately diagnoses cancer? Does a reasonable patient brush off the truth? Does he reject the doctor, the diagnosis and the treatment? No, because when the facts are absolutely true the patient will accept them and do all that is required so that the cancer does not kill them.

Life is full of facts, truth and absolutes. But when it comes to evil, its origins, and its consequences, the world rejects truth and enters into all kinds of religious philosophies and off the wall speculations. They reject the doctor, they reject the diagnosis and in so doing they reject the cure.

The bible diagnoses every man as having terminal spiritual cancer. There is evil present in us all that brings forth death for the soul and the flesh. The payment for sin is always death. That’s the bad news for all of us. We can reject the truthful diagnosis, we can reject the treatment, we can reject the gracious cure but if we do death will win and we have only ourselves to blame.

Breaking news! This is the moment where the headlines speak of rescue and heroism. A breath of fresh air in a landscape that reeks of death and disaster. When hope is seen in a hopeless world. We sure could use a little good news today, and there it is on the front page of the bible. Spiritual cancer was cured, life is given and death has no more sting! Yet the world turns off the good news and rejects the story of truth to their own demise. The story of the cross is foolishness to those who do not believe.

I stand with a few who hold this unbending way of thinking and faith. I am a Christian therefore I stand with Jesus and he stands beside me, therefore I am on solid ground. He humbly proclaimed, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” and affirmed the scriptures saying to his Father, “Your word is truth.” I say what he says, and I proclaim the good news today of what he has done to crush evil.

The good news story concerning evil and its ultimate destruction took place in Jerusalem over 2000 years ago. On a cross, on account of sin, Jesus, the Righteous One, took our evil. He was made sin for us and imputed his righteousness unto all who believe in the good news, the gospel concerning him, his death, burial, resurrection and ascension to the right hand of God.

But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not ony that, but we rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now  received the reconciliation.  Romans 5:8-11

There is no greater good news story in the headlines than this. Evil was overcome, evil must run its course but evil has an ultimate end. Evil will eventually be history and evil has no future storyline. That’s the good news for today!

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21;3-5

 

 

 

 

 

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…What a wonderful world!

I am on a patio at 6:34 AM enjoying the sights, the sounds and the smells of Playa Del Carmen Mexico. Sunrise was amazing with all the shades of blue green water that a person could drink in. The birds are singing, the sound of softly rolling waves breaking on the beach and a warm south breeze is hitting my face. I love Mexico, it’s not just a nice place to visit, I could live here

imageIt is now 6:54. My wife is wandering the sand searching for me, I called to get her attention. 7:02 and we are enjoying morning coffee together with the rising sun. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world. Louis Armstrongs famous song and iconic voice keep ringing through my mind this week. “I see skies of blue, and clouds of white, the bright blessed day, the dark sacred night, and I think to myself what a wonderful world.”

Day 5

It’s now day five and I am in the same chair enjoying the same sights and sounds I have enjoyed for the past 4 sunrises. We went snorkeling yesterday in a few cenote’s. The limestone formations, the fish, the sunshine, the water and time with my wife was wonderful. Louis is still being hummed in my heart,”I see trees of green, red roses too, I see them bloom, for me and for you, and I think to myself, what a wonderful world.”

I am soaking in the sun. I am soaking up life. Excuse me for a moment while I get my sunrise latte and banana muffin. The resort staff are working hard to make our stay wonderful. The Mexican’s are a kind and friendly people, I really love them. They greet you with a smile and a hola all day, every day. I can hear Armstong singing again, “The color of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky, are also on the faces of people going by. I see friends shaking hands, sayin’,”How do you do?” They’re really saying’, “I love you.”

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world!

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My vacation meditatation

As a Christian I believe God is good and does good all the time. There is no darkness in him at all so I can trust that, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights. With whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)

My senses are on overload here in Mexico. God is so good to me; he is so good to us and this is never going to change. His good hand is everywhere I look in all that I see, in all that I taste, in all that I hear, smell and experience. Vacation has been refreshing! God has provided all things for me to enjoy, and I think to myself, what a wonderful God.

Yesterday we snorkeled  in a cenote that had an opening in the ceiling. The hole was perhaps 4 foot across and allowed the sun to come into the cavern. The sunbeam was simply amazing to behold as it cut through the darkness into the water and danced on the limestone floor below us. I thought of my boy Jacob as I put my hands and feet into the light that looked as if were angels dancing for Jesus. God gave me this to enjoy too. And I thought to myself, what a wonderful world- what a wonderful creator.

Life is good but life is not always pleasant. Children are a blessing from God and sometimes God takes our children away to be with him. Mexico is reminding me of all the good things God has provided for me to enjoy and of my beloved son whom he has taken away. Though terribly painful, but in a much lesser degree than Job experienced, I must respond the same way he did to the loss of my child. He lost all his children and in deep grief he lamented, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away: blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21) God is worthy to be blessed in our pleasures and in our pain. Regardless our circumstances, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.” (Psalm 145:3)

God gave me 22 good years of joy with my boy. Jacob isn’t my creation he is a creation of God given to me to enjoy. I enjoyed his life thoroughly but like a sunset his life disappeared behind the horizon. With every sunset there is the hope of a sunrise. I look ahead with the psalmist who said the following.

Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. – Psalm 30:4-5

There is a sunrise coming, my son will rise again and we will dwell in a place where the sun never sets. “And the night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light and they wil reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:5)

Adios my friends, I am going to the pool!

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Precious memories: Grief and comfort during the holidays


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remembering Jacob- a blessing in a box

Last evening I sat down and went through a shoebox of old family pictures. Not a big deal to most people but for myself it was a step towards healing my grieving heart this holiday season. It was an impetuous decision I made with guarded apprehension knowing the pain I was exposing myself to.

Memories. I suppose most people would assume that parents of deceaced children reminice continually about their child. I don’t know about other grieving parents but I have yet to allow my thoughts to plunge too deep. Don’t misunderstand me, I think of Jacob often every day but the thoughts are only flashes of his life. Small things like his laugh, his love and kindness, his smile, his likes and dislikes in this life. Just small things, small events and quick stops I have made into wealth of my memories that are stored away.

For 417 days I have found it rare to actually think intently through an experience I had with my son. People say, “Oh, you have the memories to cherish.”Yes, but till this day I have pushed down the memories knowing the pain it stirs up within me.

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remembering family Christmas- a shoebox photo

Sifting through a shoebox of photos was a big deal, it is a big step because every captured image speaks a thousand words. There was a time that the images would speak a thousand words of joy and love. But in the infancy of grief the images speak a thousand words of joy and a love that can never be again; the images hurt. This is slowly changing now. This time the words they spoke to me were not so sharp and they didn’t bruise my heart as much; they brought me comfort.

By this I recognize that God is healing my soul and comforting my broken heart.

I don’t believe for a minute that time heals all wounds. I never heard of a parent who got over the death of their child. It is a rediculous notion. Does time  heal the wounds of a soldier whose legs were lost from an IED? He survives, he is scarred for life, he has phantom pains and nightmares the rest of his life. The same is true for us who have had limbs cut off from our souls.

Time for me  is nothing more than a soft cushion between the day of the tragedy and today, December 1st 2015. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but timeless eternity will.

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remembering grandma’s and her girls

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:3-4 ESV

I have had 417 days of grief since March 26, 2014. With each passing day the cushion expands and I learn to live without my son. Time passes and grief remains but the cushion makes grief more bearable. I am grateful for the passing time, the healing, and the precious memories of those I love.

I attempted to look through the shoebox about a year ago, I remember that night very well. My wife and I had gone Christmas shopping and I became overwhelmed with grief inside a store. This was our first Christmas without Jacob and grandma. We came home and I went through the same shoebox I opened last night and found myself falling into depression for a couple of weeks.

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remembering shared moments

This year was different, I was able to look with a few tears and a few smiles as the photos jogged my memory. I finished the box and was reaching for another and I stopped myself. “No, that is enough.”I thought.

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remembering a brothers love

I was brought back in time to enough places for one day. I viewed perhaps a hundred photos that communicated a hundred thousand words to my heart- it was enough. I found the memories to be sweet, enjoying and reminiscing of love filled days of my past.

I had my fill, I didn’t get depressed, I am healing and that for that I give thanks to God who promises to mend the broken hearted.

Memories. For me memories are controlled by bridle and bit and I have the reigns in hand. Yesterday I loosened the reigns and galloped for a short refreshing ride to another place and time. When it was enough I pulled in the reigns and came to a full stop and tied the straps to a hitching post.

I will get back on the horse again soon and a little less fearful of the beast I ride. Each time I expect to be a bit more relaxed and willing to loosen my grip on the memories that I have restrained. In time I expect remembering will be a sweet and welcome friend.

Memories. There are many more photo boxes and albums waiting to speak to my heart. Not to mention the countless videos of family gatherings, sporting events, school plays and vacations. Memories are what remain and the memories have brought me pain. Memories are becoming precious to me.  Last Chrismas I ran to the shoebox and was deeply distressed. This Christmas I cautiously opened the same box to find the precious gift of comfort.

 

Precious memories how they linger, how they ever flood my soul. Alan Jackson does the old hymn as good as anyone, have a listen, you will be glad you did.

 

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dhGOFC3kPDcfile:///watch?

 

 

Laughter is the best medicine

When laughter stopped

I have always been a cut up and totally appreciate a good belly laugh. My laughter was silenced for a long time after all the death of my son and 3 other loved ones. I had to think deeply as to the last time that something made me laugh hard enough to make me cry. Then it came to me. We had just finished watching an episode of Bob’s Burgers and were ready to call it a day. The Family Guy came on as we got off the couch and I was about to turn off the TV. I decided a long time ago to not watch this show because it goes over the edge too much for me. Peter Griffin happened to catch my attention that night. I watched about 90 seconds of the episode, turned it off, laughed till I cried as I climbed into bed for the night. The whole thing was a spoof on grief and total nonsense but it made me and my wife laugh hysterically. You may not appreciate it but I still giggle a little when I watch it. Grief needs levity and the sorrowing need their funny bone touched on occasion.

When laughter is inane

There are times in grief that laughter is a great antagonist to the sorrowing. We have days when nothing seems funny. There are solemn days when the laughing people and what they laugh about bring me great irritation. Those times are fewer as I move forward in my journey. I understand better the wisdom of Solomon who said laughter is vainity and madness.  (Ecclesiastes 2:2) The king would also record, “Even in laughter the heart may ache and the end of joy may be grief.” (Proverbs 14:13 ESV) 

When laughter is medicinal

There are certain people I need to see and hear from when I am down. I seem to run into them at the most needed times of my grief journey. These are male friends who have wept with me and have laughed with me in one sitting. A couple of them in particular lighten my heavy load and have a way of extracting laughter out of my soul like a turkey baster. These people are a medicine to me that cannot be purchased over the counter or prescribed by a physician. “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22 ESV) Somehow these friends make me laugh and refresh my heart when I need it most. I am so thankful to have a few funny friends. Certainly Readers Digest knew something of this natural remedy for sorrowing hearts. I love to read their articles, Laughter is the best medicine

When laughter leaves us

I battle depression from time to time, I have been struggling with it of late. When depressed I lose my laugher. I determined early in grief that I wasn’t going to use medications to help me to cope. Not that I oppose it for others but I personally decided to endure the pain and not sedate it. Why did I make such a choice? Because Jesus Christ endured the sorrow, pain and grief of the world without narcotics or anti-depressants. Isaiah records, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; on him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5 ESV) Grief, sorrow, stricken, smitten, afflicted, pierced, crushed, chastised and wounded all without pain relievers. Read on.

Isaiah wrote of Jesus 600 years before Bethlehem and the Psalmist records his experience looking down from the cross centuries before the tree ever gave root into the dry ground. “Reproaches have broken my heart, so that I am in despair. I looked for pity, but there was none, and for comforters but I found none. They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me sour wine.” (Psalm 69 20-21 ESV) Poison was offered to him but the poison was refused.

Some time ago I had the medical marijuana subject defended by a young user who was not ill or in pain. He made the defense that since the herb is natural that surely God would be supportive of him using. I pointed out the fact that God certainly would never roll a fatty with him and here is the reason why. On the cross while being crushed for the sins of mankind Jesus began to thirst. “They offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it he would not drink.” (Matthew 27:34 ESV) Jesus was offered a mind altering drug to ease the grief and pain and he refused it. I personally think it best to refuse it too.

When laughter is restored

I believe God has provided us with laughter. But it is somewhat odd to me that Jesus is never recorded laughing in the scriptures. However as a man I surely think that he did laugh. But he is remembered as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Our sorrows and our griefs he carried so someday all sorrow would fade away.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4 ESV)

Perhaps laughter is the sound of joy that flows from our contented souls. I want to laugh, I need to laugh but laughter for those who grieve children is slow in restoration. Somehow I know that the laughter I once knew will never be restored as it was. But I also know that I can smile and I can laugh more and more as days go by.  Laughter truly is the best medicine but for now my dosage is small with the expectation of more belly laughs are in my future. Someday all I will ever know is joy, till then I have his joy in my heart with an occasional   chuckle to help me along the way.

These things I have spoken to you that you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation;

but be of good cheer

I have overcome the world- Jesus

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Me not laughing 🙂

 

 

 

 

Jacob’s hope, a tree of life

A fear of forgetting

I was afraid that I would forget my son. I was afraid that I would not remember the sound of his voice, the smell of his clothes and gait of his steps. A strange and unfamiliar fear overtook me in the first hours, days and weeks after his death. I have heard others speak of this same kind of fear, I feared that my memory of Jake would be lost. Love reacts to this fear of forgetting by doing many wonderful things to remember the one we love. We want to remember the dead, we want to memorialize a life and to never forget. So we have a memorial stone made, a memorial tattoo inked, a memorial scholarship established, a memorial benefit hosted or a memorial fund started in the name of the deceased. My wife and I memorialized our 4 loved ones on one day by planting 4 trees in their memory.

Jacob's tree

Jacob’s tree

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GLMA cadet

What I want to forget

The fear of forgetting was graciously replaced with daily memories of his life. The fear of forgetting faded, yet there are many things that I have purposefully tried to forget. I want to forget the phone call, the sound of my wife’s sobbing voice, the ride home in unbelief and the sight of my dead son on the basement floor. I want to forget calling his brother and sister, choosing his casket and the moment I first seen him in it. I want to forget the funeral and the burial of 3 loved ones six weeks later on May 15th 2014. I would like to forget it all, yet it is all there in my memory. I don’t go there often, it is terrible place and very difficult to ponder and to write about. I refuse to live in those moments in time but I wander there from time to time in my mind, reliving the terrible aguish all over again. I want to forget but it is always there, forever burned into the memory of my life and all the things that surrounded his death.

Ways to remember

I have watched grievers very closely since since all this grief poured into my life. I have noticed many great and wonderful things being done on behalf of somebody who has died. Generally the cause is closely related to how the loved one died. Some join the fight against cancer, or get involved in suicide prevention. Some take up arms and join the fight against drugs or drunk driving with the hope that one life might be spared because of their effort. We honor the memory of a loved one by crusading with purpose. We hope to help someone else with the very thing that took the precious life that we lost and remember every day. These are all commendable causes but are not the things I have chosen to remember my son by.

What I cannot change

Jacob had anxiety, depression, panic attacks and self medicated with prescription opiates. There are many avenues I could have gone when he died. He was near graduation from the Great Lakes Maritime Academy, I could have establish a memorial scholarship fund for him there. I could go the route of drug awareness, education and enforcement to remember his life and perhaps prevent another person from overdosing. I could bring attention to depression and anxiety dissorders in our youth and crusade about that. All these things people are already doing and they are commendable causes pursued by hurting people. But I have never personally felt compelled to honor my son’s life in any of these areas. I certainly want to honor him and remember him for the greater good of somebody else but not in any of those ways. Why not you may ask? I see them all as being helpful, valuable, necessary and good but I find them to be temporal and not eternal. I am for education about drugs, depression and support greater law enforcement on narcotics, especially the drug dealers that have the MD embroidered after their name. But realistically I feel there there will never be enough education, cops or laws to slow this enormous problem down. Especially in a culture that seeks to numb every ache and pain imaginable by the ready pen of their family physician. I want to have an impact, I want to invest in something that has eternal reward and not just temporal value in this short fleeting vapor we call life.

What I can do

Most people involved in these honorable causes will tell you that if one person can be helped then it would be worth all the effort. I believe that, I hope for that, I want that just like everybody else. I have come to realize that I will likely never help the masses with my message, but perhaps I can help one person at a time.

What am I doing to honor the life of my son? I offer hope, this is the greatest good that I can do for individuals. I offer hope to every man ever born who find themselves helpless and hopeless to overcome their greatest fear. Death! That unspeakable, feared and dreaded word that comes to our minds and causes us to shutter when we realize that our chances of dying in our lifetime is 100%.

Who has defeated our hated enemy Death? And if someone has overcome death, did he make a way for me to overcome it too? In the history of mankind only one man, the God man Jesus Christ of Nazareth had power over death. Follow his life and you will find him raising the dead on many occasions. The record of it was foretold and is undeniable. The prophets prophesied of it and the New Testament writers were eyewitnesses to it. Even his most hated enemies could not deny his power over it. When he died, they mocked him by saying, “He saved others but himself he cannot save.” Jesus was no victim, he was fully in control of all the events leading up to his death and trough his resurrection from the dead. He alone claimed something that only God could say or do. “For this reason my Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.” (John 10:17-18 ESV) 

The tree of life and hope

Eyewitnesses saw Jesus stop a funeral procession in the village of Nain and raised a widows young son out of his coffin. (Luke 7:11-17) The enemies of Jesus heard him say, “Lazarus come forth” and saw him walk out of his grave fully alive after being dead for 4 days. (John 11) Jesus walked out of his own tomb after three days by his own power. (Luke 24:6) He showed himself alive for 40 days (Acts 1:3) to his disciples and about 500 believers saw him after his death burial and resurrection, (1 Corinthians 15:6) then he ascended to the right hand of God. (Acts 1:6-11) The great hope of the Christian faith is that death has been defeated by the Son of God. The soul that sins will die, (Ezekiel 18:20) and “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 ESV) God placed the punishment for our sin on him so that we may live in a wonderful hope. (2 Corinthians 5:21) By his stripes we are healed! (Isaiah 53)This is my hope filled message, this is what matters most to me because it has eternal, not temporal, implications.

Who would die for a lie? 11 of the 12 apostles died proclaiming that Jesus was alive and repeated his words, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 ESV) The life of the apostle Paul was a life of constant persecution and suffering for this message of faith and hope in Jesus. Why would any man endure what he endured for a lie? He said, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead…What do I gain if I fought with beasts in Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, Let us eat drink fro tomorrow we die.”(1 Corinthians 15:19-20, 32 ESV) 

The bible begins and ends in a garden and in the each garden there is the tree of life. Mankind was expelled from the garden and was graciously forbidden to eat from it. Every man will taste of death, but Christ tasted death for every man that we might we might gain entrance into the paradise of God and eat of the tree of life. Jesus is the resurrection and the life! He is our only hope, he is the good news to all mankind, he killed death for all who believe. He gives us great hope and precious promises, He says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7) O taste and see that the Lord is good.

The trees we planted last summer serve as a memorial to the ones we have loved and lost. But each spring they push out new buds and flowers fill their branches. They serve as a reminder to me of the new life I have in Christ because of his resurrection from the dead. They are with the living one, the eternal one, the very God who became man so that we might have life through his name. Peter summed it up after he seen him alive from the dead. He said, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 ESV)

Grandmas tree

Grandma’s tree

Justins tree

Justin’s tree

If Jesus is in the the tomb, the words I type for you are a lie and a great self deception. But he is alive and this is the great eternal hope that I will present to everyone who is living a life of meaninglessness and hopelessness.

To you who believe I leave you with these words. “Now may the Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good word and work.” (2 Thessalonians 2: 16-17 ESV)

Granny's tree

Granny’s tree

For you who do not believe I ask you a few questions. If you cannot beat death why do you reject Jesus the only one who did? What or who is your hope hope in without him? The bible says that you are in a desperate place, “Having no hope and without God in the world.” It doesn’t have to be because, “Now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace.” (Ephesians 2:12-14a ESV) He offers you a real hope, and a peace that passes all human comprehension if you will only trust him. Trust him today, for he is trustworthy!