A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth


Showing posts with label Tragedy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tragedy. Show all posts

October 7, 2016

What Do Job and Hurricane Matthew Have In Common?

     I find this to be an intriguing question.  And before we can even consider it, I think we need to determine what Christians believe about God and judgment.  We must come to agreement that God is a God of Justice.  It is one of His attributes and He is deeply concerned with making wrongs right.  He lets no sinner off the hook without a fitting punishment, or a fitting substitutionary atonement.
     I recognize that this is a hard concept for some Christians, who do not believe God sends judgment upon people or nations since He is a loving and merciful God.  They will also point out that God expressing wrath against people was part of the Old Testament covenant, citing Paul saying in Romans 4:15, "The law brings wrath"; the law here being the Law of Moses or the Torah. They will argue that law and justice are tied to covenant in the Old Testament, and we are set free from God's wrath in the New Testament by the blood of Jesus, as Romans 5:9 states:  “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!”
     But a few years ago, God showed me that His Bible is not divided into two separate covenants, or a "before" and "after" timeline.  The Bible is one continuing covenant, extending from the covenant He instituted with Abraham [and all those who would share His belief in YHWH],  through the "renewal" of that same covenant in the life of Jesus Christ. So God is just, and His attributes remain the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
As reported by major news outlets,
a Weather Channel meteorologist spotted
an eerie face in an untouched satellite
image of Hurricane Matthew.  
     Yes, the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  And I do not believe that the Spirit-filled, blood-washed Church of Jesus Christ will suffer God's wrath.  But remember those churches that Jesus speaks about in the Book of Revelation?  We would do well to go back and read His warnings.  And let's not forget Paul's own warnings in Romans 2:5-8, But because of your hard and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.  He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.  I am not so foolish to think that just because one claims to be a Christian, that they will get an automatic free pass from experiencing God's wrath.
     Okay, I'm pretty sure that we are all not going to agree on this matter of God's wrath in the last days, so let's consider the question that I posed in the title of this blog.  The underlying debate in this issue is if weather events such as Hurricane Matthew can be a tool of a God who judges individuals and nations for wickedness?  There are plenty of Scriptures that tell us that God is Sovereign and He has the power to save and to destroy at His will.  And if you look at some recent weather disasters in our history, you have to be blind to not draw some conclusions from our national actions.  (See this post for a list of our indiscretions against the nation of Israel, and some interesting correlations).
     And if you doubt God uses weather to judge people and nations, just take a look at these unambiguous verses in Job, Chapter 37:

9 The stormy wind comes from its chamber,
and the driving winds bring the cold.
10 God's breath sends the ice,
freezing wide expanses of water.
11 He loads the clouds with moisture,
and they flash with his lightning.
12 The clouds churn about at his direction.
They do whatever he commands throughout the earth.
13 He makes these things happen either to punish people
or to show his unfailing love.
14 "Pay attention to this, Job.
Stop and consider the wonderful miracles of God!

     The Hebrew word for "stormy wind" is cawphah and means a hurricane.  And keeping verse 13 in mind, let's not forget that America is far from being a righteous and virtuous nation!  We lead the world in porn production - Yes, lead the world with our filth. One of the major criticisms of Islam against America is our penchant for nudity, porn, and homosexuality, and it is criticism well deserved.  Add to that our involvement in the sex slave trade, pedophilia, and abortion.  And our nation, as a whole, has abandoned God nearly as fast as the Israelites built their golden calf.  Did you know that there are surveys that show an alarming number of the population, especially our youth, do not believe they are born sinners, or for that matter that they even sin?  Instead, sin has become just a mistake and not part of human nature. Our society has lost the knowledge that we are in need of a Savior from our inherent sins, and this has resulted in absolutely no fear of God. But the warnings given to Job, make it clear that God controls the weather and He can use it "either to punish people or to show His unfailing love."
     Yes, I know that the Book of Job is about Satan being given authority to test Job, and No, I do not believe that Satan or his demon angels can control the weather or affect natural disasters.  But, IF Satan could impact the weather, it would only be by God's permission, and restrained, as in the case of Job. Remember, Satan was allowed by God to torment Job in order to test him, and this included "the fire of God" (possibly lightning) which "fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants" (Job 1:16). This was followed by a "mighty wind" (maybe a tornado) that destroyed his home and killed his children (vv. 18-19). So even if the fire from heaven and the tornado were somehow caused by Satan, they were still under the ultimate control of God for His purposes.
     Ultimately, we know that God is in control of all things, including the weather. Through His providence, God provides for and protects His children, but He also ordains or permits Satan, demons, and mankind to exercise their free will to commit acts of sin, evil, and wickedness. These same beings are fully responsible for any and all man-made disasters and tragedies they cause.
     We know that God has ordained whatever comes to pass (Ephesians 1:11; Romans 11:36), and therefore His invisible hand is in our pain, even though He cannot sin or be the perpetrator of evil (James 1:13-17).  So is Hurricane Matthew judgment from God?  I am not privy to His counsel.  There are enough reasons to suggest that it might be, even though there are still righteous and repentant people in the nation, and we are not appointed to His wrath.  Unfortunately, just like Job, we do not always escape the judgment that comes from and against our fellow countrymen.  There will be good people who will most likely suffer from the flooding and destructive winds of Hurricane Matthew; perhaps even losing their lives.  But they will not be alone.  Jesus will be beside them, extending His peace and mercy and delivering them through this impending tragedy.  Until we leave this earth, there is no guarantee that we will leave it unscathed. But whatever the aftermath of this powerful storm might bring, let us pray that we see God's mercy on the righteous, and the repentance that saves coming forth from the wicked.

Matthew 5:45    "For he makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."
     
       

July 18, 2016

Connecting More Dots

     Chaotic events in the world are beginning to happen at breakneck speed; like contractions during a birth.  Dallas ... Nice, France ... Turkey ... Baton Rouge ... all in less than two weeks.  And we are facing the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week; God help us!  I fear that the New Living Translation of Matthew 24:8 is playing out: "But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come."  
     Saturday evening into Sunday morning I wrote the following post and think it is important enough to still run it this morning.  But I wanted all to know that I am not impervious to the tragedy that happened in Baton Rouge yesterday.  Sadly, it is a continuation of the rage that I believe is being orchestrated against all of us in the country, regardless of our race.  It is spiritual in nature, and regrettably, there are far too many people with hearts of stone who are only willing to listen to the devil's lies, and those of his collaborators.  If you know nothing else to do, just get on your knees and pray.  (Click here for my suggestion, if you're not sure how to pray). Ask the Creator of all men to change the hearts of wicked men.   Recognize Him as Jehovah Nissi, our banner or battle standard.  He is our forward Guard and our rear Guard.  As long as we are under his banner, our victory is always assured.  If we ever depart from it, our defeat is a certainty.  
     We need to face it --- this Christian life is a picture of warfare.  Just as in ancient battles, we are to obey every command of our King, and run to His banner, which is the Cross, when the fight becomes too much for our flesh.  But we also need to realize that the battle is won in the spiritual realm, and we are to put on our full armor of God and get to the battlefront!  No matter what the news says today, or tomorrow, next week, or next year ... trust in our Lord and Savior!  These birth pangs will soon give way to His justice and righteousness.  We are in the heat of the battle at the moment, and we need to keep drinking the Living Water that is Christ!

     Over the weekend, as I followed the events in Turkey, I couldn't help but discern that God gave me a huge download of knowledge that connected more dots in the evolution of His cosmic chess match with the devil.  I'm still trying to fit all the pieces together, so I hope you'll be patient with me, as I try to write this down as fast as I'm receiving it.  Hopefully, it will make some sense to you, or one of you can expand on what I'm presenting.
     My journey over the last few days began with receiving a book that my Spiritual Warfare mentor suggested I read, called Rulers of Evil, by F. Tupper Saussy.  At the expense of offending faithful Catholics, I must recommend this book as a fascinating book of the history of the Catholic Church and its influence on the world empires, as well as the founding of America.  Moreover, the author gives an intriguing account of the history of Biblical knowledge and how it interacts with the Roman Catholic papacy.  PLEASE, I am not recommending this book under the pretense of Catholic-bashing!  I am a lover of history and the author is able take a vast amount of historical information and present it in a chronological and coherent manner.  I had barely begun reading (page 24 to be exact) when I saw a link between what happened in history to what is unfolding in Turkey and here in the United States.  Let me start with the historical impetus for my "aha" moment....
     As a student of history, I have been aware that the reading of the Bible was largely limited to Kings and Church leaders until the invention of the Guttenberg Press made it accessible to the masses.  The control and domination by these rulers could be undermined if the general population ever learned that they had direct access to the Bible and God's Word.  (That's an over-simplification of all the intrigue that surrounds the maintaining of power among history's ruling class, but it gives you a general view of how things work).
     As I was reading this fascinating book, it was inevitable that the conflict between Martin Luther and the Catholic Church would surface.  In case you're unfamiliar with the background of this story, Luther was a Catholic monk who defied the edict of the Archbishop of Mainz against unauthorized Bible reading, and began reading the first edition of the Greek New Testament, printed by Renaissance theologian Desiderius Erasmus.  That led to Luther's explosive document, Ninety-five Theses Upon Indulgences, which he promptly nailed to the door of the castle church of Wittenburg. (The historic idea of Indulgences was centered upon a grant by the pope of the remission of punishment in purgatory that was still due for sins, even after absolution. The unrestricted sale of indulgences by pardoners was a widespread abuse during the later Middle Ages ... as an example, for the payment of four ducats, one could be forgiven for murdering one's father; or Sorcery was pardoned for six ducats --- you get the picture).  You can see how the ability for the common man to begin reading and understanding the Truth within the pages of the Bible could seriously erode the authority of those who claimed divine power.
     But it was more than these familiar historical facts that I was seeing; I suddenly saw the collusion between Pope Clement VII, Niccolo Machiavelli, the inventor of modern political science, and Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Chancellor of England. These men determined that the printing press could now be used to their advantage --- they, themselves, could produce literature that would ultimately confuse, diminish, and marginalize the influence of the Bible. Cardinal Wolsey characterized this project as putting "learning against learning".  (Remember that phrase, because it is going to come back into focus as I connect the dots to what happened this weekend).  The result of this vast amount of printed material was the famed Medici Library-- which opposed the Bible's teaching that man could have eternal life simply by believing in Christ's death and resurrection on our behalf, in favor of Gnostic teachings that man could achieve eternal life by doing good works (Christ-centered learning versus man-centered learning).  So extensive was this Library's philosophical influence, that many scholars today consider it the cradle of Western civilization.
     Martin Luther, discerning that this learning against learning philosophy was the future of Christianity, prophetically wrote in 1520, "Though our children live in the midst of a Christian world, they faint and perish in misery because they lack the Gospel in which we should be training and exercising them all the time.  I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount [my emphasis].  Schools will become wide-open gates of hell if they do not diligently engrave the Holy Scriptures on young hearts.  Every institution where men are not increasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt".  (While I also have huge problems with Luther's later opinions regarding the Jewish people, he hit a home run with this school of thought).
     So, now let me make a huge leap, by connecting this dot with one from this weekend.  As I awoke Saturday morning, I was curious to see what had happened in Turkey overnight.  As I often do, I took a look at what foreign news outlets were reporting; often finding them less restrained in their communication of facts.  The UK's Daily Mail was showing astonishing pictures of the citizens who backed President Erdogan confronting and attacking the members of the Turkish military who had dared to try to overthrow the President.  One particular sentence jumped out at me:  "Erdogan has blamed his old scapegoat, Fethullah Gulen for orchestrating the uprising. Muslim cleric Gulen, the president's rival who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, as the head of a billion dollar religious movement, has often been blamed for political unrest in Turkey."
     If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you might recognize the name of Fethullah Gulen.  I wrote posts here (2013) and here (earlier in 2016), regarding this imam's influence in our American educational system.  Yes, you read that correctly ... Trained as an imam, Fethullah Gulen gained notice in Turkey some 50 years ago, promoting a philosophy that blended a mystical form of Islam with staunch advocacy of democracy, education, science and interfaith dialogue.  Erdogan has long accused Gulen of plotting to overthrow the "officially secular government" from a gated 26-acre compound in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, which has a population of about 1,100. The President of Turkey is now asking for Gulen's extradition, but Secretary of State John Kerry says our government is unlikely to comply.
     Why should the internal politics and history of political rivalry in Turkey be of particular interest to us here in the United States?  Because, as I have made mention in past blog posts, Fethullah Gulen and his Gulen Movement (his liberal Islamic transnational religious and social movement) runs the largest charter school network in our nation - the list is at 146 to be exact, with sad to say, 45 schools in my state of Texas!  How could this be, you ask?  Well, he is very clever ... the name of these influential schools go by different names in each of the states.  In Texas, they are the Harmony Science Academy; in Ohio, the Horizon Science Academy; in California, the Magnolia Science Academy ... you see what he's doing, right?  Appealing to the ever-competitive nature of the American psyche, he promotes his schools as academies of higher learning to help Americans excel in math and science; so that students will get a higher level of education than they do at public schools.  And it is a multi-billion dollar business!
     And students get a higher "level" of learning alright!  While the schools are not overtly teaching Islamic philosophy and religion, I contend that Fethullah Gulen's influence is predicated on eliminating and destroying Christianity's influence among our nation's youth.  That's where the dots are connected!  Remember Luther's concern over learning against learning?  Well, we are seeing it in action before our very eyes, and we are blinded.  I say that because Gulen's influence has not only infiltrated our education system, but his tentacles reach into banks, newspapers, universities, charities, research institutes, and the halls of Congress, where according to an article by Ariel Cohen, and a USA TODAY investigation, over 200 trips for congressmen and congressional staff have been sponsored by G├╝lenist entities.
     All this being said, I have to admit that I sometimes feel like I'm shouting in the wilderness.  I have written several posts now on this man, and pointed to others who have done extensive research on him, and now the name of Fethullah Gulen pops up once again in the attempted coup in Turkey.  If you're tired of me harping on this subject, I apologize, but the chance that I would receive this fascinating book, and read of the anti-Bible reference to learning against learning, at the exact moment that an influential Islamic businessman (deeply ensconced in our educational system) is suggested as influencing the attempted downfall of a sovereign nation ... well, I could not ignore it.
     I will leave you by repeating the words of Martin Luther ...  I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount.  Schools will become wide-open gates of hell if they do not diligently engrave the Holy Scriptures on young hearts.  Do you think that the mega-success of the Gulen Schools shows us that man-centered learning is surpassing Christ-centered learning in our culture?  And what happens when the Word of God is eliminated entirely, in favor of Islamic-flavored curriculum?  The fingerprints of satan have been on the knowledge of man from the beginning, and this is just another of his strategies.  We must be diligent in our discernment, and continue to connect the dots!

Colossians 2:8    "See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ."






October 3, 2015

When Will We Face The Truth?

     First of all, let me say, that I grieve over the deaths of the students who were tragically killed on that college campus in Oregon.  No loss of life is ever justified in this manner, and we are just at the beginning of all the theories, conjectures, speculations and accusations.  The internet is abuzz with "information" on the shooter.  What is the real truth, and will we ever know all the facts surrounding the perpetrator, or why he did what he did.  Was it his seeming isolation coupled with his alleged involvement with magick and the occult?  Was it his purported interest in paramilitary groups like the IRA or ISIS?  Was he really a Christian-hater and/or a proponent of the Black Lives Matter group?  Or just like all the latest murderers who use a gun as their weapon, are we simply willing to lay his actions at the feet of "mental illness"?  I'm sorry, but all of these questions and suppositions just aren't lining up to give us a clear picture of who this killer was.
     Yet instead of trying to solve the mystery of how all these similar shootings committed by disgruntled, alienated malcontents are connected, we get another lecture chastising the American people and Congress for not pursuing stricter gun control laws.  Frankly, I am tired of this argument, and exhausted by the political posturing.  Guns, in this case (and the other mass shootings), are the choice of weapon that evil uses to create mayhem, chaos, and death.  In fact, the definition of a weapon is "a thing designed or used for inflicting bodily harm or physical damage; [and in this instance] a means of gaining an advantage in a conflict."  Why can't we ever get beyond the instrument of violence to focus on the slayer?
     And I'm not talking about the particular shooter or gunmen; I'm talking about the murderer who "has been since the beginning" (John 8:44), and who is behind every deluded person who picks up a gun thinking it will settle a score, give him notoriety, eliminate his enemies, or just because he hears "the voices in his head."  This murderer is the devil, and he is actually a thief ... the one who robs the shooter of the truth -- which is that the devil/murderer has only one objective: to steal, kill, and destroy humans.  And the shooter is simply his instrument.  The truth is that the shooter's murderous rampage will not silence his demons nor fill the emptiness inside.  It only serves to feed the devil's lust for power and his insatiable appetite to devour.
      As I have pointed out time and again, we must decide to quit looking at surface issues as a way of explaining away the growing evil that is coming upon the earth.  None of the things that the media or pop psychologists wish to suggest as the reasons why mass shootings are occurring is the root of this epidemic.  Yes, being a loner; social media; anger; feeling marginalized -- these are all elements that feed into a profile of a mass shooter.  But these men have listened to the lies of the Tempter; lies that suggest the world will appreciate their violent deeds and their names will be celebrated.
    The very fact that this shooter asked his victims to state whether they identified as Christians or not leaves no doubt in my mind that the devil is ramping up his agenda.  He is no longer being subtle or hiding his motives.  The shooter -- the devil's instrument of murder -- targeted, as his victims, those who believe in Jesus Christ.  They were shot point-blank in the head.  Those who didn't answer or said, "No" were shot in the leg.  What could be more apparent?  God's enemy destroys those who are loyal to Him.  Yet, that narrative is already beginning to fade from the media reports -- if it has been mentioned at all!  We can't have that piece of the puzzle out there front and center, now can we?  But a note left behind by the shooter clearly states his purpose: he would be "welcomed in Hell and embraced by the devil."  I hope he is enjoying his eternal damnation.
    In the meantime the news media and politicians will spend the next days, weeks, and months discussing how and why [or why not] stricter gun laws, or more regulations regarding the mentally ill will eliminate the next mass shooter.  But this should be a big warning flag for those of us who recognize Jesus as our Savior; we should be spiritually discerning that the devil is getting bolder and more confident in his attacks.  We should be spiritually preparing to resist the coming attacks, and above all else, be ready to declare our allegiance to God --- even unto death.  What courage it took for that second, third, fourth ... ninth student to identify themselves as belonging to Christ; to stand for Him in what was a certain and unavoidable death at the hands of the devil's proxy.  If there is any comfort at all in this tragedy, it is the steadfastness of faith displayed by these saints.  When my time comes, may I be as bold and unflinching as they.

1 John 3:8    "He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil."
   

March 27, 2015

What If You Had Eight Minutes To Meet Your Maker?

   
     Yesterday, the news of the intentional downing of Germanwings Airbus Flight A320 shocked the world.  I must admit that I was not completely surprised.  Something felt "fishy" from the moment the media announced the crash in the French Alps.  According to the latest reports, Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz "intentionally" sent the plane into its tragic descent.
     I've heard news report after news report speaking to "what went on in that cockpit".  We have heard the reports of the captain banging on the cockpit door, demanding to be re-admitted, and the calm demeanor with which the co-pilot carried out his alleged plan.  We want to know why Lubitz did what he did ... was it depression, a suicide wish?  Was terrorism any part of the equation?  Eventually we will have those answers.
     For now, all the talking heads, professional pilots, and airline officials are discussing airline procedures in the fatal crash.  How can they reassess their procedures which were instituted in the wake of 9/11?  The airline policy of keeping the bad guys out of the cockpit seems to have backfired as, in this instance, the policy kept the good guys out.  And how can they overcome the obstacle of a co-pilot who manually blocks entrance to the cockpit?  Do they need to rethink the psychological evaluations of pilots?  There will be many man-hours spent on replaying this scenario.
     But my immediate thoughts were of the 149 passengers on board.  Rather than contemplating what went on in the cockpit, my emotions lie with what went on in that passenger cabin.  The cockpit voice recorder has already revealed the last minutes of that flight -- the pilot banging on the door and the screams of the passengers as they realized their fate.  So I ask the question I submitted in the title of this post ... What would you do if you had eight minutes to meet your Maker?
     I have read the writings of theologians, both past and present, who advise that "It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ, and what He has done for us."  But what if you only had eight minutes?!?  I cannot imagine the thoughts of those passengers who did not know Him.  Were they consumed with terror over the loss of their life, without any sense of what would happen to them in the seconds after? Were their thoughts only of their own fear, their families, and what it would feel like to die?  Were there any thoughts of their mortal souls or how they would spend eternity?
     Of course, eight minutes is ample time to make a decision to accept Jesus as your Savior, and to ask forgiveness for your sinful life.  I can only imagine that God can send the Holy Spirit in a split second, and salvation is yours.  But sadly, how many on that flight gave no thought to their eternal life, or had no inclination to seek the Lord in their last minutes on this earth?
     As I contemplate those who belonged to God, I try to put myself in their place.  Eight minutes is a long time to survey your life.  I'd like to think that I could master my fear quickly as I understood the implication of the pilot's actions and the rapid descent.  I hope that I would immediately surrender that fear to the One who is in control of my life; that I would reach out and commune with Him who is my Strength and the One in whom I trust.  I hope that I would have the sense to thank Him for my salvation and ask for His mercy as I prepared to stand before Him in all His glory.  Finally, it is my sincere desire that the Holy Spirit would help me to meet my end on this earth with a heart full of joy and praise for God's presence in my life.
     I know that the scenario I presented for myself probably sounds like a fairy tale; too good to be true -- nobody can be expected to have the presence of mind to look beyond their own human terror in those fatal moments, and to fixate upon their Creator.  But I only have to look upon examples in the Bible to know that it is possible.  Stephen did it, as he prayed for God to receive His spirit.  His death was as quick and unexpected as the tragedy in the Alps.  I cannot accept any other explanation but that God will flash the knowledge of Himself and His mercy into our minds at the very moment when it is needed.
     I pray for the souls on board that tragic flight, and for their families, who have to live with so many unanswered questions about the last moments of their loved ones' lives.  This tragedy is just one more reason that we should feast upon the Word of God; of His blessed assurances; and of the Joy in the world to come.  How many minutes do you have left?

1 Corinthians 15:54            When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."

   

September 17, 2013

Navy Tragedy

   
     Here we go again!  My mind is full of jumbled thoughts ... the deaths at the Navy Yard are another in a long line of recent tragedies that America has faced.  And once again the facts are not clear, which allows for all kinds of speculation and conspiracy ideas to take root.
     We hear comments like "It is clear at this point, that terrorism is not involved" ... "Multiple shooters a possibility" ... "Disgruntled former employee?" ... "How did he gain access?"  At this point, it is anyone's guess as to the veracity of these statements, or the relevance of the questions.  And guess is the operative word here.  So that's why I would appreciate the news media limiting their frenzied news coverage until the facts are determined.
     I would ask them to please not jump to conclusions about who the assailant is (or isn't), his motives, or how he accomplished this horrific deed.  I would also ask that different groups be careful about offering their theories ... which can be a deceptive manner in which to suggest and drive motives that might not be accurate.  In other words, we have arrived at a sad place in our history, where deception can be easily manipulated to look like the truth.
     I wish we could return to the time when TRUST in our officials was paramount, instead of SUSPICION.  I hate it that I question every statement and news conference, looking for hints of false narratives.  It makes us lose sight of the lives that were lost; almost desensitizing us to the fact that we have witnessed Evil, which doesn't really care about motive, methods or misrepresentations.  Evil just wants to chalk up another victory.
     And when the sides start trying to outplay each other, looking for ways to use this tragedy to their benefit, then we all lose.  The families of the victims lose -- the story becomes more about the reaction to the event, than grieving the dead and injured.  Law Enforcement, Investigative agencies, and Politicians lose -- either their reluctance to tell us the truth, or their rush to give unverified facts raises the doubt quotient. Consistency has been lacking of late.  And perhaps saddest of all, our nation loses --- These incidents are used to separate and isolate us from each other.  We start viewing each other with  mistrust and categorizing each other, based on preconceptions (and often misconceptions) of each others' ideals.  Our individual humanity becomes lost in labels.
     The truth is that anytime Evil uses one human to destroy another, we should mourn.  It is another picture of our separation from God.  To let it be manipulated beyond its genuine significance is to elevate Evil's objective above God's purpose.  
     I'm sure that in the coming days we will see many "experts" give us their excessively inflated opinions as to the "whys" and "hows." And they will generate thoughts as to "what does this mean" and "how do we prevent it in the future"?  That's what worries me.  Whatever the official line turns out to be, it would be nice if it corresponded to reality.  All I keep thinking is, "Thy will be done."

Isaiah 14:24    "The Lord of hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand..."