Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Three shots. Three dead pirates. Freedom for the captain. For Captain Phillips, on that day, in those circumstances, those three shots were the best sounds he could hear! The bad guys lay dead; the good guy gets to go home to his family.

It was time to take decisive action. The pirates had threatened a life. Their actions could no longer be tolerated. The command was given, and the Navy SEALs performed flawlessly.

I know this could have happened on any day, but it happened on Easter. Perhaps I am reading more into the significance of the day than I should, but it certainly caught my attention.

What an example for us as Christian men! In today's world, our beliefs, values, and freedoms are being taken hostage by evil forces bent on silencing Christian voices everywhere. Yes, Satan is pulling out all of the stops. He's using every means possible to turn us from God, cause us ignore Him, and to follow the desires of our sinful heart. Satan holds our tongue hostage and declares, "Don't speak out for Christ or I will make sure you are ridiculed." He binds our hands and whispers, "If you show acts of Christian compassion, I will make sure you are taken advantage of." He holds our actions hostage and proclaims, "Go anywhere you want; do anything you want. No one can take that from you. Hey, if you want to golf instead of go to church, go for it!"

It's time for the shots to ring out. It's time for us to stand up and silence Satan. It's time to speak up for Christ. It's time to not only proclaim our faith, but to show our faith by deeds. It's to remind Satan -- the filthy liar -- that he's lost the battle on Easter morning and is going to lose the war.

We know how this story ends...


agedwirehead said...

I spent my youth trying hard to be invisible. I got way too much negative attention for a number of reasons, many of them complications of my eyes being profoundly crossed from birth. As such I don't handle attention well, even many years later.

This does not provide me an excuse to not proclaim Christ. It does not provide me an excuse to not give the glory to God. Here are a few things I've discovered:

1. Since it seems so hard to do the big things, start by doing the smallest things regularly.

For example, preaching and speaking in public probably seem impossible. However, I can give a stranger a New Testament. I can buy them for about $1.50. Is that still too large to imagine? Can you smile at someone and with conviction say, "May God bless you today." Start with your spouse and children and then branch out: the postman, the clerk at the convenience store, etc.

If you want to build a house, you have to start with the little things. This is the way we learn to do anything.

2. And speaking of small things, learn to give God thanks and praise for all of the "small" things that happen in your life. Not just answers to prayer. But thanks for everything that happens.

If you can learn to thank God for great toast and strawberry jam you had this morning, and the quiet drive to work, and the smile your wife gave you when you hugged her, you will find you can still thank him and praise him for the harder things life brings you, like your CPA telling you, "Surprise, you owe 10 thousand more dollars to the IRS!" Why can you thank God for such news? Lots of reasons: 1) he blessed you with the income; 2) you have an opportunity to find a better, more attentive CPA, one that will work to protect you from even bigger surprises; 3) you have the opportunity to grow together as a family as you work to pay the tax; ...

We recently experienced hurricane Ike, and we are very thankful to God that that hurricane is long gone. We thank God for our survival, our wonderful neighbors, for the opportunities to help our neighbors, for the generator, for gasoline to put in the generators, for extension cords, for keeping our food safe, for clean water, for all the years we enjoyed air conditioning but had not thanked Him, for the restoration of our electric service after 2 weeks of outage...

3. Instead of worrying about what to say to someone, ask God for understanding and read the Bible. The Word will provide you what to say.

I am one of those folks that scare the bejabbers out of sensitive relatives when I show up at Funerals or visit the sick in the Hospital. For some reason my finely honed and sophisticated sense of humor departs me in these situations and I will tell some horrible and inappropriate story. If I just spend a minute or two reading an appropriate verse from Scripture to myself before I walk into the somber situation I become inspired and I do not embarrass my family.

4. If you want to learn to do something well, find folks that do it well, associate with them, pay attention, and practice doing what they do well. Lots of practicing bad methods makes for bad habits that are hard to change. Lots of practicing good methods makes for good habits and good results.

5. Never assume that any result is inevitable. Even Paul, who knew he was saved, still knew he had to run the race. Don't give up. Have faith. It is a gift. Thank God for even the smallest glimmer of it. Permit yourself to have hope. God is powerful beyond your imagination, and He has won. Clothe yourself in love. Love is the greatest power and spills over and bathes all around you. Learn to look for the evidence.

May the Lord bless all of you.

Anonymous said...

As for the three shots, I guess it is alright to punish those who are doing wrong. However, people do desperate things when they are desperate, so as Christians it doesn't seem right for us to allow the conditions that precipitate these desperate actions to prevail. Perhaps we should be looking for solutions that save lives rather than end them.