Christian martyrdom & persecution: Counting the Cost (Accurately)
“The number 100,000 is a well-meant but gross exaggeration …”
Duncan, OK & murder [my hometown]: * Police: Australian Baseball Player Killed by Oklahoma Teens — Just Because; * Fund for Slain Australian Player Tops $100,00; * The Fear Upon Us
* “Christopher Lane, who was from Australia, was gunned down in Duncan, Oklahoma, while he was out jogging last week. The motive? Three teens who had nothing better to do, according to police.”
* “… Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, where Lane’s girlfriend is a student.”
* “The real issue is that these young men, just like all of us, are the direct result of a broken world. They are broken just like I am. My brokenness manifests itself in other, less formidable ways, but it’s the same brokenness. And it’s not just here in Duncan, Oklahoma. It’s everywhere. That’s why God sent His Son to die in our place. He loved us to much to leave us broken and hopeless in a world that is decaying before our eyes.”
Jesus, Nazareth & war: Nazareth—Jesus’ Hometown with a View to the Past and the Future
“From this one location, many battles have marked the pages of Scripture.”
Loving your enemy & non-violence: Love Your Enemies
“Turn the other cheek. Ok, I’ll try it, but I’m keeping my gun close in case you try anything. … Jesus takes this a step further. He does not want us to respond with violence at all.”
Non-violent response: * Antoinette Tuff Hailed as ‘True Hero’ for Handling Georgia School Gunman [essential reading];* School Clerk In Georgia Persuaded Gunman To Lay Down Weapons [essential reading]; * CNN Exclusive: A Hug, Then ‘We made it!’ as School Bookkeeper, Dispatcher Reunite [essential reading]
* “A man slips behind someone else into a packed elementary school with an AK-47-type weapon. He goes into the office and shoots at the ground, then darts between there and outside to fire at approaching police.
“So what do you do?
“If you’re Antoinette Tuff, who works in the front office at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy just outside Atlanta, you don’t run. You talk. You divulge your personal struggles to the gunman, you tell him you love him, you even proactively offer to walk outside with him to surrender so police won’t shoot.
“And then the nightmare ends with the suspect, later identified as Michael Brandon Hill, taken into custody and no one inside or outside the Decatur school even hurt, despite the gunfire. …
“That day, for everyone at that school, everything did turn out OK. Shots were fired, but no one got hurt. The gunman never made it to the classroom area, deciding instead to give up and lay down.”
* “‘I just started praying for him,’ Antoinette Tuff . ‘I just started talking to him … and let him know what was going on with me and that it would be OK. And then [I] let him know that he could just give himself up. … I told him to put [the guns] on the table, empty his pockets. He had me actually get on the intercom and tell everybody he was sorry, too. But I told them, ‘He was sorry, but do not come out of their rooms.’ … I give it all to God, I’m not the hero. I was terrified.'”
* “God has a way of showing you what’s really in you.”