Safe Place with Ruth Graham

Safe Place with Ruth Graham

Suicide

posted by Ruth Graham

I didn’t wake up today thinking my life would change. But it has.

Suicide. The word is so cold and ugly. It is so stark and final. And yet it leaves so much behind. Unanswered questions. Unfinished business. Unspeakable grief.

The word means “the intentional taking of one’s own life”. Intentional destruction. I hate it.

Today a dear friend of mine died at his own hand. I am heart broken for his dear wife and family, our community.

Why? Why? Why?

There are no words…and even if there were, can the broken hear them? They are numb. They are in shock – thankfully.

It is easy to fall into platitudes…it makes us feel better. But words cannot begin to touch or heal the wound that has been inflicted upon his family, friends and community.

In reality the only voice that will make any difference is the soft gentle whisper of God Himself. And we want to reject Him. Rage at Him with our questions. Our anger has to go somewhere…why not at God who could have prevented it. He could have intervened. But He didn’t. Why?

In the turmoil, utter grief, we do turn to God, if only in rage. He can handle it. He isn’t threatened by it. Perhaps He welcomes it as He knows we need to express our emotions and get them out – He is safe. He is bigger than our anger, doubts, questions. He’s heard it all before. He knows and understands how we feel. In total despair, one of the twelve disciples committed suicide.

To live fully is to live in double reality: to know our pain and loss and to know His love. When a tsunami has hits and everything is upside down, nothing is secure, we can run to the Strong Tower, our Refuge. Our Shield and Defender. Our Shepherd. Our Rock. Our Help, Sustainer. He is our hope.

We do not grieve as those who have no hope. We do have hope. We just celebrated Easter. We have hope.  “Hope” is not like you are waiting on someone hoping they show up. Hope is clinging. Like a vine wraps around a tree.  When nothing makes sense we can wrap ourselves in the unchanging character of God.

My mother used to say of suicide, “God may not have called them home, but He welcomed them.” He keeps His covenant and His promises. In the midst of the storm, He gives peace – His peace. He is our peace.

 

He is Risen!

posted by Ruth Graham

Hallelujah! 

Guns, My Mother and Easter

posted by Ruth Graham

The news is full of the gun control issue. Everyone seems to be concerned…I am beginning to wonder if I should go out and buy one just because I can and perhaps one day I will not be allowed to or  so the pundits would make us think. Members of my family – even the women – have armed themselves. I am quite sure that if I had one, I would not  know where to store it so that I might have easy access in case of an emergency. And I am very sure if there was such an emergency, I’d be so frightened I’d never shoot the thing correctly. Plus I don’t have an extra several hundred dollars to purchase one. Am I being foolish? Naive?

For now I think I will take my mother’s attitude. Many years ago when the FBI insisted my parents build a fence around their property for safety concerns (there had been death threats against my father) my mother was dead set against it. For one it was ugly even though they tried to camouflage it in the woods. She was overruled. The fence was built. She told those that would listen that she was going to apologize to her guardian angels!

My mother believed in angels. I do too.

What does that have to do with Easter? Easter is about security. Come again? Let me continue…

Where is your security? For our earthly security we take precautions and do all that we can to protect ourselves, our families, our homes, our finances. Security systems are a big business these days. We want to handle our responsibilities wisely. And some might argue that a gun would be a wise precaution. My mother used to say, “We take care of the possible and leave the impossible to God.” But she never owned a gun. Four of her children do own them – one is a gun collector.

But earthly security is not what Easter is about. It is about eternal security. All of us have eternal life. Yes all of us do – we are eternal beings. We will live forever. Think about that. How do you want your life to be? You get to choose. We get to choose where we will spend eternity and we have to make that decision while we are still alive. We will live somewhere for all of eternity  in a world without God (hell) or a world with God (heaven). I’d suggest you make that decision now. This Easter.

Jesus was born, lived among us, suffered the horrible death of crucifixion and was raised to life in order to open the door to heaven for us. We can live forever with Him! That is eternal security! But it’s your choice. The alternative is pretty grim. I’d love for you to be with me in heaven. And yes, when I die I know I am going to heaven. You can know it too by putting your faith and trust in Jesus as your Savior. It’s very simple. Just tell Him you are sorry for the wrong things you have done. You want to turn your life over to Him and ask Him to come into your life and help you. No fancy words or posture necessary.

It’s that simple. As soon as you tell Him that He will come into your life and be your constant companion and guide. Your best friend.

Happy Easter!

 

 

 

 

Dennis Rodman

posted by Ruth Graham

The last post I wrote about silence in Heaven. Perhaps you are wondering – or not – why I have been silent. I have been traveling! My creativity does not travel well and my focus is on the task at hand.

And to be honest I have not yet figured out to use my technological gadgets to write and post while away from home. I do not have a laptop…writing in a hotel business office on a PC makes me crazy. I have an iMac at home which talks a different language – not altogther but different enough. It leaves me in a quandry.

Anyway…

What did you think about Dennis Rodman? In my wildest dreams I never would have expected him to show up in North Korea. Or be allowed to with all his tattoos and piercings – sign of the decadence the North Korean eschew. (But in which their leader indulges.)

Makes me wonder how the channel of communication was opened in the first place. Did the President of North Korea, Kim Jung-un, happen to pick up his phone, introduce himself and say, “Dennis, come on over and see me next week?” I don’t think it is that simple. But I sure would like to know how it began – through basketball, no doubt. Did Dennis just have a hankering to go to North Korea? It was an odd picture to see big, tall Dennis standing beside the less than tall North Korean President.

Did Dennis see anything but what he was shown by the propagandists? Did he see the poverty? Did he see the starvation with the resulting chronic malnutrition? (3.5 million have starved to death since 1995) The devastated country side of drought and famine? Did he talk to one of the thousands of political prisoners in the prison camps? Was Dennis aware that the country is the most militarized country in the world with a nuclear and space program which is used to threaten the world’s stability while it’s citizens have NOTHING? Was he aware that North Korea ranks as the lowest nation in the world when it comes to human rights?

Why did Dennis want to go to North Korea? Not for the weather! Certainly not as a good-will ambassador. Certainly not as a human rights advocate. My bet is that it was purely a self-serving caper. When folks are used to fame and they slowly are edged out by the next “hot thing” they become desperate for attention. And have been told he is near bankruptcy so maybe he is hoping to cash in on this escapade. Maybe he is a front for some legitimate cause – maybe a back room diplomacy effort… I have been reading too many “who-done-its”.

In my heart, I wish Dennis had gone to maybe make a positive difference. I wish that he had used his celebrity and his access with this opportunity to make a difference. But he hasn’t in this country so I why he would in North Korea?

As someone once said, “Do not deny the sinner his earthly pleasures. It is all they will have in this world or the next.” While I do not like his lifestyle or the hedonism he represents, I can pray for him.

Am I , are we,  to using every opportunity to make a difference in our corner of the world?

 

 

 

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