Safe Place with Ruth Graham

Safe Place with Ruth Graham

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?

 

 

 

Silence in Heaven

posted by Ruth Graham

The 8th chapter of Revelation, verse 1 says, “And when He broke the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about half and hour.” Think about that. All through Revelation up to this point we have been told that the sound of heaven is like “many waters”,  peals of thunder, trumpets, horns, loud voices worshipping and praising God – it’s been noisy to say the least! Now there is silence. Why? What caused the abrupt change?

And can you imagine the effect it had on the heavenly residents. The silence must have been deafening. The glorious worship had ceased. God had their attention.

Is God silent in your world today?  How do you handle God’s silence? Do you settle in to hear from God? Or do you rail against the silence? Get angry with God? Do you become anxious and uncomfortable?

Silence can be uncomfortable. One Sunday the minister at my church stood in the pulpit and didn’t say a word. Those of us in the congregation got uncomfortable. After a few minutes we looked  around at each other. Some laughed. Some squirmed. It was truly uncomfortable. But it didn’t last long…he began to preach and we gave a collective sigh of relief. Silence gets our attention.

What is God saying to you in His silence?

 

 

Inauguration Day!

posted by Ruth Graham

Mr. Obama took the oath of office yesterday, privately. Today it will be public amidst pomp and pageantry. 

Let us pause and pray for this man. He has been placed in this office by God. “But God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another.” (Psalm 75:7 NAS)  Mr. Obama has a huge responsibility before God and man and he will answer to God for how he stewards this responsibility. Ours is not to judge but to pray. We may not agree. We may not have voted for him. We may not like his policies. But we are commanded to pray for him. “The first thing I want you to do is to pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way or Savior wants us to live.” (II Timothy 2:1-3 The Message)

Let us pray that the President would look to God for wisdom, not just his cabinet and advisers. Let us ask God to surround him with godly, wise men who will consistently point him to The Truth. Let’s pray for the leaders of Congress that a spirit of cooperation would descend upon them and they, too, would seek God’s wisdom to untangle the partisan mess they have before them. 

Decide to pray consistently for all in authority. Let’s pray as much if not more than we criticize!

And may we live simply and humbly before God as we live a life that glorifies Him.

Lance Armstrong

posted by Ruth Graham

Earlier this week I wrote about the desire that we all want to be fully known and understood. It was prompted by Jodie Foster’s comment at the Golden Globes.

Many of us live in fear that if we are known people will not love us. We protect our innermost selves at all costs. Lance Armstrong is such a person. And before we are critical of him, we are all like that – maybe not to that extreem but we still protect our own image – sometimes at great cost.

I don’t think anyone was surprised by his admission that he doped during his cycling career. His athletic feats were just too amazing. (He is a remarkable athlete even without the dope. Anyone to beat cancer and ride in the Tour de France is a remarkable athlete. And I give him credit.) I think what was shocking was his lies. The vehemence with which he protected his lies – even to the point of destroying others. We have seen that before in leaders.

It seems that the first response is denial – to lie and see if we can get away with it. Lying always compounds the problem. Perhaps the only one Lance really fooled was himself. And he is the one who will bear the consequences.

I am reminded of what Tiger Woods said, “I stopped living by the core values that I was taught to believe in. I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn’t apply. I never thought about who I was hurting. Instead, I thought only of myself. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me.”

Two great athletes with bright futures. Two huge falls and world-wide disgrace. Those kinds of stories have been repeated throughout history. Flawed leaders – great drama comes from such tragedies. We all have our own tragedies and dramas so we dare not stand in judgment. We are all sinners saved by grace. But we can take heed. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.”

Let us examine our own lives and where we are lying to ourselves or others, let’s begin to tell the truth. It will come out eventually. I admire folks who can come right out and own something rather than try to weasel around it. They just look like weasels!

 

Previous Posts

Forgive Again and Again and Again
I am sure you have experienced many occasions when someone has hurt you. Depending on the relationship with that person the hurt was a deep wound or you brushed it off. The ones we can brush off are easier to forgive. Like a friend who is late for an appointment, or a child draws on your freshly pai

posted 3:41:59pm Sep. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Good and Evil
The contrast between evil and good has been in the news and on our front pages this week. It was a thrill to see Dr. Brantley on the news yesterday as he left Emory University Hospital hand in hand with his wife. It is a miracle that he is alive and expected to live a full life. Ebola is a deadly

posted 7:46:59pm Aug. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Rest, Elijah!
Many of us are familiar with the story of the great Old Testament prophet, Elijah. Quite a man. He confronted the wicked Queen Jezebel many times - stood for God's truth and authority at his own risk. Jezebel, with her husband, Ahab, were formidable, powerful, calculating adversaries. They struck t

posted 6:17:33pm Aug. 11, 2014 | read full post »

Hope vs. Despair
Have you ever been depressed? Low? Lower than a "lizard's belt buckle", as my mother used to say. "Cast down", as King David said in Psalm 42. David wrote he cried day and night while men taunted him. He thought back to the good times which made him feel worse. He uses the word,  "disturbed" -

posted 3:49:07pm Jul. 22, 2014 | read full post »

The Iron Dome
Last Saturday night, my little town did its fireworks - we do them the week after the 4th. As I crawled into bed, I could hear all the booms and see the glow from the explosions in the distance. Of course, I couldn't help but think of those in war-torn areas of he world. I remember being in Sar

posted 4:37:58pm Jul. 15, 2014 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.