hot topic: domestic abuse

With the latest NFL scandals with Ray Rice and others, domestic abuse is thankfully more front & center in the mainstream discussion.  I have yet to meet a person that thinks from a deeply heartfelt conviction that domestic abuse is a good thing – duh.  Domestic abuse is bad, full stop;  it shouldn’t happen and we shouldn’t allow it, end of story.

Here are some interesting questions from Bible people in relation to domestic abuse:

  • Jacob and Leah:  there is nothing overtly abusive that can be observed in this marriage, but there was certainly emotional trauma, neglect and preferential treatment.  While Leah didn’t leave Jacob, she nestled into her relationship with God, as is evidenced by the names she gave her first four sons (Reuben – I’m seen / noticed, Simeon – I’m heard;  Levi – attached;  Judah – praise)
  • Hosea:  this is an interesting perspective because it’s from the man’s viewpoint.  Hosea married a prostitute, Gomer, who was extremely unfaithful to Hosea and yet because of God’s help, Hosea remained faithful to Gomer and ultimately the marriage became a more healthy relationship for both participants
  • Abraham and Sarah: Abraham told Sarah twice to pretend that she wasn’t his wife, so as to protect himself from possibly injury.  Was this domestic abuse?  Interesting question – maybe it was domestic neglect?
  • Samartian woman at the well in John 4:  Jesus called out this really cool lady, exposing the litany of marriage failures in her life (5 broken marriages).  Was there domestic abuse in her life?  We don’t know any of the details of this woman’s broken relationships, but we do know that after her conversation with Jesus, she was a different person and she brought her transformation to her city, who also became transformed by connecting with Jesus

Moral of the story:  don’t accept domestic abuse and Jesus heals all things, including the damages from domestic abuse!

hot topic: S. Truett Cathy & Chick-fil-A

The Founder of Check-fil-A died yesterday at the age of 93 and I’m choosing (thanks Robert Bowman for the grammar help!!) to blog on him today since I blogged last week about Joan River’s death.  Please don’t get nervous & think that all of my hot topic blogs are now going to turn into obituaries – not so 🙂

But in all fairness, it seems appropriate to honor a man who achieved many commendable accomplishments. Mr Cathy is probably most well known for being the founder of the fast food chain Chick-fil-A and he also was a man of deep convictions, generosity and noteworthy business acumen.  Here’s a cool quote from Mr Truett,

“Nearly every moment of every day we have the opportunity to give something to someone else – our time, our love, our resources. I have always found more joy in giving when I did not expect anything in return.”

If you’d like to know more about him, there’s plenty of web links to explore, but here’s one for starting:  Truett Cathy 

One of the lessons I learned last week from my Joan Rivers blog is to request any comments to be respectful and not hostile or combative, please and thank you 🙂

With that being said, please be very free to leave your polite feedback and share this blog with your friends 🙂

hot topic: ebola

Puking blood, bleeding through the eyes, ears and other areas, coughing, fever, headache and some delirium – these are all symptoms of a person who could have the ebola virus.  As I’ve read up on the current outbreak, here are a few important things to note:

  • there’s no known medical cure nor vaccination
  • the current strain is killing between 50-60% of those who catch it
  • it’s spread through bodily fluid (blood, saliva, etc)
  • the World Health Organization thinks that this outbreak could kill 20,000 people before they can get it under control
  • it’s presently in these African nations:  Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria & Congo (DRC)
  • two US healthcare providers with the ebola virus were medically evacuated from Africa & have recovered & been released
  • this outbreak probably started with the orginal victim in December 2013 – a two year old in Guinea  #SavingMoses

Please be praying for Africa with this outbreak.  While I know that there are many deadly diseases that are dramtically more common than ebola, let’s pray nevertheless for protection for the healthcare workers who are on the front lines fighting this awful virus and let’s pray that the leadership for each country will have wisdom in how they communicate and the decisions that they make for their citizens.

 

hot topic: Robin Williams death

I was really sad to learn about Robin Williams’ death & it’s even more tragic to learn that he committed suicide.  For my generation, he was a very significant person who made many valuable contributions in the entertainment industry and many other areas.  When I learned of his death, I of course thought of all the different roles that he played and only recently learned about his struggle with addiction & depression.

Depression is nasty stuff & we would be wise to be sensitive to people who are struggling in this area.  Cliche’ & quickie one-liners don’t usually help people who are depressed.  The “snap out of” talk, “pick yourself up by your boot straps”, “it’s all in your mind” along with other band-aid phrases can sometimes be nothing more than vaporous cotton candy, frothy & flimsy.  If you know someone who is wrestling with depression, here  are a few helpful tips:

  • be gentle & patient
  • genuine prayer is always valuable!
  • giving them some company can sometimes help

If you’re struggling with depression, here are some things that may help:

  • keep some regular routines: prayer, Bible time, church, going to sleep & waking at normal times
  • make healthy choices – food, sleep, water, relationships, . . . .
  • stay connected – isolation often makes depression worse

Let’s be sure to pray for the family of Robin Williams!

hot topic: Christians in Iraq

I’ve been reading recently about how many Christians have been under very severe persecution in Iraq from the ISIS (or IS) expansion & attacks.  According to the news, Christians in certain areas of Iraq are being given the choice to leave their homes, convert to Islam or die.  I find this to be very troubling for Iraq given it’s long & strong history of Christian & Jewish presence in this area.  From a broader perspective, Christianity has always faced varying degrees of persecution throughout the world at various times.  For example, currently North Korea, is a very dangerous place for a Christian to try & survive without denying their faith.  For that matter, it seems like sometimes Christians are the best at eating their own – being judgmental, exclusive, elitist and capricious, but that’s for a different blog ,)

Here are a few things to consider:

  • pray for our brothers and sisters – Paul talks about bearing each others burdens in Gal 6:2;  As the body of Christ, let’s be very prayerful for our fellow members who are in such difficult situations
  • persecution grows the church – hardship forces us to clarify our priorities & the right choices help our roots to go deep;  deep roots create great strength & healthy fruit
  • Gal 5:15 talks about being careful not to bite & devour each other – there’s enough external persecution that we don’t need to tear each other down;  let’s build up more than we cut down 🙂

hot topic: Gaza & the ceasefire

I’ve been watching the situation with Israel & Palestine over the last month & I was very happy to read this morning about the ceasefire and what seems to be the ramp down of the military conflict between Israel & Palestine.  If you have looked into any of the history of this area, you’ll quickly see that this area of the world has been unstable to varying degrees for millennia.  Regardless of which side of the conflict you sympathize, its good for everyone that they constructively work toward a peace that can be realisticlly achieved between these neighboring countries.

With that being said, I don’t see how you can be a neighboring country, endeavoring to build trust while concurrently telling your population that your neighbor is the enemy – both sides do this.  I also don’t see how you can build trust when an underlying tenant of your political existence is the obliteration of your neighboring country – there has to be mutual respect for mutual sovereignty.  Finally, you can’t build trust without first creating an environment for constructive conversation.

Let’s pray for peace in the middle East!

hot topic: Israel, Gaza, Palestine & Hamas

If you’ve been watching the news of late, you’ve probably heard about the recent escalation of tension between Israel & Palestine.  Over the last month or so, the hostilities in this region have become increasingly deadly to the point that Israel is considering the use of ground forces to move into the Gaza strip.  Regardless of your political opinions or persuasions, let’s join together & pray for peace in this region.  Indeed, all of the Middle East seems to be in a state of tremendous upheaval & in desperate need of prayer.  Please join me with a few quick actions:

  1. pray that the leaders in Israel & Palestine will have wisdom
  2. pray for the general population to say “yes” to peace & “no” to violence
  3. pray that each person may have the grace & power to forgive others for the pain that they’re experiencing
  4. pass along this blog to your friends to increase the awareness & prayer level for this very strategic area in our world