My wife and I watched a DVR copy of the recent TV movie entitled “Amish Grace” last night. This is the movie about the man who shot ten girls in an Amish school house a few years back and then took his own life. Six of the girls died. The main theme of the movie was about forgiveness and not letting hate overpower you. The Amish community in Pennsylvania where it happened quickly forgave the man who committed the act and even helped the family of the murderer cope with the tragedy. As I have mentioned in the past the commitment to God that the Amish have totally impresses me. Fortunately the movie did not focus on the brutal act itself but instead on the forgiveness. It would have been very easy for most people who experienced this kind of tragedy to be filled with hate for the perpetrator.

This movie got me to thinking about just where hate comes from. Many discount the works of Satan in this world. They say that he is not a real being but instead just a concept. But I do believe that Satan exists and that hate is his primary tool for ensnaring his victims. It seems that there is much hate in the U.S. today so I guess I would say that Satan might be getting a strangle hold on us as a society. Being a U.S. history buff I am well aware that political partisanship has been a constant in one degree or another throughout our history. But I believe that it is morphing into something much more dreadful in very recent years among some of us. This is evidenced by the recent decision of several well respected people in congress who have decided to not run for re-election this year. Most often one of the primary reasons for not running is the tainted atmosphere in Washington today.

On a recent trip to Kansas I visited the high school that has been turned into a memorial to the Brown vs. the Board of Education lawsuit that started racial integration in the 1960’s. One picture on a wall is of a young girl, probably in the late teens, that is screaming at one of the black kids entering the segregated high school in Little Rock. I had seen this picture several times before but for some reason this time the pure hatred on the face of the girl totally struck me. I included a photo of it at the top of this post and as you can see it was a very scary thing. I often wonder about that young girl and how her life might be today. I have even said prayers for her even though I don’t know her. But that was not the last time I have seen that same look. It was also evident on several faces in the recent Tea Party rally in Washington that was protesting the healthcare reform law that recently passed. Their very antagonistic placards were also evidence of that hatred. Now I am not saying that all people in that rally were hateful but the ones shown in those pictures definitely were filled with hate. It was obvious from their faces and their signs. It was again a scary reminder of Satan’s presence in the world today.

“Filled with hate” is a very appropriate term. Hate starts out grabbing a small corner of our minds but if we don’t let it go it then, much like an aggressive cancer, it quickly overtakes much of the person’s total being. That is why there are numerous places in the bible where God tells us to fill ourselves with love, even for our enemies. He wants us to never allow hate even start within us. If we allow hate into our minds we are giving Satan a grip into our very souls. I know, given some circumstance such as the Amish incident I started the post out with, it is very difficult to not hate someone or something. But we, especially us Christians, must be very aware of the deadly effects of hate and fight it back when it crops up in our minds. We can disagree with someone but still love them. Hate simply does not have any place in a Christian’s life.

<<<Originally Posted on  by at RedLetterLiving.net>>>

These Old Barns…

January 31, 2015 — 2 Comments

I wonder what this structure has been during its life?

2015-01-22_08-30-05

Yeah, as usual more guns are the answer…. but maybe the only one in this situation.  ;)

Thanks Chan Lowe for giving me a chuckle today

I recently read an article in my small town newspaper that our local library is getting ready to sell a $2,000,000 bond to increase  and modernize its building space. This took me somewhat by surprise. In the age of budget cuts and downsizing it seemed strange that a library would get more funding when they say we don’t have enough to even fix our potholes on my county road. But then again bonds are something to be paid off in the future so the current public office holders don’t worry about them much.  In this electronic age where Wikipedia is a couple of button pushes away and e-books are now outselling the paper copies aren’t libraries kind of like horse and buggy shops of a century ago? I have to admit that it has been several years since I have been in our local library.  But when I started investigating, on-line of course this topic I learned some new things.  Here is a little about what Wiki says about the trends in library usage.

2015-01-19_08-32-59With over 17,000 libraries and 2.5 billion materials circulated annually in the United States alone, libraries are frequently used and highly valued by the public.  However, as libraries modernize, they face an increasingly harsh budget environment, as well as technological disruption in media, scholarship, and education. The political, social and technological environment is one of transformation and uncertainty….

Concerns about a general decline in library usage have proven to be unfounded. Instead, the impact of technology on libraries has been mixed. While usage of some library services, such as reference assistance, has declined, there has been a well-documented increase in the usage of public libraries in the U.S. and Canada over the last decade. Most libraries have added services such as public computers, free wifi, and digital materials such as web sites and e-books, leading to higher overall usage of the library. Counties and cities also continue to invest in library infrastructure. As of 2012, library construction and renovation has remained steady……

SOURCE:  Trends in library usage – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

It sounds like libraries are morphing into more of community resource centers than they are about housing dusty old books. For my local library in particular, a big part of it is about providing Internet access to over 60% of our county population.  AT&T, which is the primary internet provider in our area will not spend the money to upgrade infrastructure that would allow more of our citizens Internet access beyond a snail’s pace.  That is one of the things I really hope gets implemented in President Obama’s State of the Union address. Let the FCC force all those communications providers to give us folks in rural areas Internet access similar to what they have in the cities. It is probably the only way it will happen.

Getting back on topic, I kind of think the word “library” is too 20th century, we should start calling them community resource centers? It does have a nice ring to it doesn’t it?