Tag Archives: forgiveness

Powerful Mercy

“The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.” – Proverbs 11:17

“I Pardon You”

As I thought about this verse, a scene from a movie came to mind. In Schindler’s List, the 1993 masterpiece by Steven Spielburg, two characters, Oskar Schindler and Amon Goeth, discuss what should be done with Jewish prisoners.

Seeing that Goeth (Ralph Fiennes) was a cruel and sadistic concentration camp commander, Schindler (Liam Neeson) tries to convince him that the greatest exhibition of power is not in killing people, but pardoning them.

Schindler:  They fear us because we have the power to kill arbitrarily. A man commits a crime, he should know better. We have him killed and we feel pretty good about it. Or we kill him ourselves and we feel even better. That’s not power, though, that’s justice. That’s different than power. Power is when we have every justification to kill – and we don’t.

Goeth: You think that’s power.

Schindler: That’s what the emperors had. A man stole something, he’s brought in before the emperor, he throws himself down on the ground, he begs for mercy, he knows he’s going to die. And the emperor pardons him. This worthless man, he lets him go.

Goeth: I think you are drunk.

Schindler: That’s power, Amon. That is power. (Schindler gestures toward Goeth as a merciful emperor) Amon, the Good.

Later in the film, Goeth almost decides to not punish a young boy for not cleaning his bath tub well enough. Instead of beating him, he looks at the boy (remembering Schindler’s words), and says, “I pardon you.” The boy then runs outside as Goeth begings to stare into the mirror, pointing to himself like a Michelangelo painting, and repeating the words, “I pardon you.”

It was only a moment later that Goeth notices a stain on the bath tub. His anger boiled as he picked up his rifle and shot the boy who was now walking to his barracks.

Mercy is Medicine

Just the other day, even though I was broke, I gave the last $20 I had to a man and his wife who had nothing. I am not writing this in order to get a pat on the back, but in order to make a point. The point is that I had no problem sleeping that night. My kindness was a small sacrifice.

However, to show mercy to someone who has wronged you, to someone who has hurt you, can be a tremendous sacrifice. Showing mercy means you give up something, like justice, payback, and revenge. But, there is no greater salve to the soul than showing mercy to the one who least deserves it.

The cruel person feels justified for his actions. But cruelty, no matter how it is rationalized, whether it be towards man or beast, is an acid that eats away at the soul.

Are you suffering from the effects of bitterness? Are you troubled by your anger? There is a cure. It’s called mercy.

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” – Micah 6:8 (NKJV)

I pray that those who are protesting and rioting would keep this in mind.

– from Proverbial Thought

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Christian Living, Christian Maturity, General Observations, Life Lessons

Ferguson Justice

It seems to me that the only “justice” the rioters, the looters, the lawless, the race-baiters, and the opportunistic politicians in Ferguson, Missouri will accept is the public execution of a white man.

Evidently, the public execution of a Jew wasn’t good enough.

 

"Father, Forgive" by Gustave Doré

“Father, Forgive” by Gustave Doré

 

Would somebody please remind the “Reverends”?

7 Comments

Filed under America, Christian Maturity, Culture Wars, current events, General Observations, places, politics

He Forgave. So Can We.

1N3

Not long ago I had the chance to go to an outdoor music festival in Chattanooga. It was there at JFest that I met an incredible couple, Tiki and Tom Finlayson, with a powerful story to tell.

You see…

van writingOn July 31, 2011, a young man was hit head on by a drunk driver. On July 1 Kevin “Sunshine” Yates died from the injuries he received in the crash. The tragic loss of a son could have driven his parents crazy, but instead of living with hate and bitterness, they decided to do something radical – the decided to forgive.

I would encourage you to go check out the website for 1N3, the ministry that Kevin’s mother and brother (Derek Yates) founded to increase awareness of the tragedy of drunk driving. There you can read the whole story of what happened, about Kevin, and about the lives that have been saved through organ donation. But for now, I would just like to share with you what Tom, Kevin’s dad, told me as we stood looking at the van Kevin was driving.

“Who Am I…?”

I know people who have a hard time forgiving others for wrongs done. Others I know have a hard time getting past the death of a loved one; always grieving, always mourning the loss. The Yates and Finlaysons are not that way. All it takes is one look at the smiles on their faces to see that hope and love have drowned hate and bitterness.

Tiki and Me

Tiki Finlayson and me. They carry the van around to show what happens when people drive intoxicated. The picture is of Kevin Yates, her son.

As we stood there talking, Tom Finlayson told me how that they had truly forgiven the lady that had hit Kevin. As a matter of fact, they have reached out to help her. Believe it or not, she is even scheduled to help in their ministry upon her release from prison.

Tom talking

Tom Finlayson telling the story.

Tom told me, “You know, we’re all murderers…we are all responsible for the death of God’s Son, Jesus…we killed Him…and if God can forgive me for killing his Son, then who am I not to forgive her?”

What more is there to say? 

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:32

3 Comments

Filed under Alcohol, Christian Maturity, Life Lessons, Relationships and Family

Time to Tour the Camp

WARNING:

The following post contains GRAPHIC language and material and is NOT suitable for all ages.

Buchenwald

In April of 1945 the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald was liberated. Just outside the camp were German civilians who refused to believe the atrocities they were told of actually happened. Therefore, something had to be done.

On April 15 allied soldier brought the residents of the surrounding community inside the camp for a tour. It took actually seeing the corpses of dead Jews, stacked like wood, for them to believe what they had heard. The average response was, “We didn’t know.”

Buchenwald01As we look back on those horrendous days, we find it hard to believe that the citizens of Buchenwald could actually go about their daily lives and never know anything about what went on inside those death camps. Yet, 40 years ago today, a virtual death camp was erected into law, the results being the slaughter over 50 million human lives, and people still deny the horror.

I believe it is time to tour the camp.

The Womb

On Sunday the 20th I stood and proclaimed without compromise that I think abortion on demand is immoral and nothing short brutal murder. I publicly took that stand because of my belief that human life begins at conception, and that human life, especially the innocent in the womb, is precious.

Now, on the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, I want to state my conviction here. I know some of you will disagree, maybe even in anger. I know some of you will stop reading this blog. But I cannot remain silent about such a controversial subject all for the purpose of maintaining subscribers. People have to know how horrible the act of abortion really is.

I believe that, as with the citizens of Buchenwald, if more people were exposed to what actually goes on with the most common type of abortion, minds and hearts would change. The truth is so disturbing and sickening that I refrained from reading in my church what I am about to reveal to you, now.

The following lengthy quote describes how to perform a Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) abortion (82.3% of all abortions in 2009). Keep in mind less that 2% of abortions are done in the cases of rape, or for the need to save the life of the mother. The rest of the 1.5 million abortions performed in America are done other reasons – some of which are said to be in the baby’s best interest.

The surgical portion of a D&E abortion begins with the insertion of the speculum. “Late in the second trimester,” the NAF notes, “a weighted speculum accommodates larger fetal parts and allows more angulation of the forceps.”60 Throughout the procedure, “strong and steady traction” on the cervix must be maintained with a tenaculum.61 This allows forceps to be inserted through the dilated cervix for the dismemberment and removal of the human fetus. Ring forceps require a minimal cervical dilation of 10-12 mm, but are not sufficient for gestations beyond 17 to 18 weeks, when longer and weightier forceps must be used. The NAF reports that “Bierer forceps are the weightiest and largest-jawed [with] fenestrated and sharply serrated jaws (to) provide the most traction.”62 The NAF recommends that ultrasound guidance be used “in cases that require a considerable degree of force to remove fetal parts.”63 This helps ensure that the abortionist does not accidentally grasp and tear the myometrium (uterine wall) while grasping and tearing apart the fetus.

The National Abortion Federation instructions for a D&E abortion are as follows:

Once the forceps has passed through the internal os, open the jaws as widely as possible to encircle the fetal tissue and avoid pushing fetal parts deeper into the fundus… After 16 weeks’ gestation, fetal skeletal development is such that the surgeon can manually sense the presence of fetal parts within the closed jaws… After grasping a fetal part, withdraw the forceps while gently rotating it. This maneuver brings the fetus into the lower uterine segment before the grasped fetal part is separated (if necessary) and removed from the cervix… If a fetal extremity is brought through the cervix without separation, advance the forceps beyond the extremity to grasp part of the fetal trunk. Bringing the fetal trunk into the lower segment markedly reduces the number of instrument passes into the fundus… During the procedure, try to identify and keep track of fetal parts as they are removed. A “pouch’ or surgical pan at the edge of the gable to catch fetal parts can assist this process.64

Warren Hern, who the NAF credits as being an “American innovator”65 in D&E technique, offers the following instruction:

It is better to use smaller forceps and take smaller amounts of tissue each time than to deliver fetal parts intact while traumatizing the cervix… At 16 to 17 weeks, fetal tissue is much more easily identifiable with the forceps and in some ways is easier to grasp and remove than in earlier gestations. The [skull] is about the size of a Ping-Pong ball and usually can be grasped readily with the Bierer. Collapsing it gives a definite sensation… At 18-19 menstrual weeks… fetal parts are significantly larger and more difficult to morcellate (tear into pieces)… [Abortion after the] 20-week gestation… can be a significantly more difficult procedure accompanied by unnerving hemorrhage. Forceps use must be sure and relatively rapid. There is frequently not much time for exploring the nuances of different tissue sensations. Grasping and collapsing the [skull is] often difficult. Stripping the [skull] of soft tissue is sometimes the first step in successful delivery of this part, followed by dislocation of parietal bones. In this case, care must be taken in removal because ossification is occurring and the edges are sharp… Regardless of the amount of dilatation, delivery of the [skull] and pelvis is sometimes difficult… The advantage obtained by having a softened cervix could become a disaster if a laceration develops at the level of the internal os as the result of too much force… The procedure changes significantly at 21 weeks because the fetal tissues become much more cohesive and difficult to dismember. This problem is accentuated by the fact that the fetal pelvis may be as much as 5 cm in width… [The skull] can be collapsed. Other structures, such as the pelvis, present more difficulty… A long curved Mayo scissors may be necessary to decapitate and dismember the fetus, since it may be impossible to apply forceps or to do so while avoiding the thinned-out cervix.”66

After the abortion takes place, fetal parts must be examined “to verify complete evacuation.”67 A foot of the aborted fetus is often measured to “estimate gestational age after abortion.”68 Postoperative observation lasts for an hour or more so that the patient can be observed for “bleeding or pain that may signal uterineatony, retained tissue, disseminated intravascular coagulopathy, or uterine perforation.”69

Source:  http://www.abort73.com/abortion_facts/us_abortion_statistics/

For too long the media has avoided the reality of what goes on when a baby is aborted. If more people would read the above description they would refuse to allow this to go on. The argument, “Well, it’s just a lump of tissue,” would become absurd.

Please, before anyone starts screaming about the mother’s choice, do you think she would choose abortion if she could actually understand what goes on? If it is so horrible of a procedure, then why not tell her, unless of course we want her to stay in the dark, like the citizens of Buchenwald? Do we not care for the “health” of the mother?

Scars

It has taken many years for Germany to recover from what she did to the Jews and many others in those concentration camps. I can’t imagine the nightmares that came after witnessing the results of Hitler’s “final solution.”

But for women who have an abortion, there are also scars. I know this has been a long post, and one I am sure will result in the deletion of some hateful and vulgar comments, but I would like to leave you with one more quote…

Dr. Julius Fogel, an obstetrician-gynecologist and psychiatrist who performed more than 20,000 abortions during his career, perhaps explained best the psychological situation confronting many women after an abortion. He states, “There is no question about the emotional grief and mourning following an abortion. It shows up in various forms. I’ve had patients who had abortions a year or two ago … but it still bothers them.… There is no question in my mind that we are disturbing a life process.… Often the trauma may sink into the unconscious and never surface in the woman’s lifetime.… [But] a psychological price is paid. I can’t say exactly what. It may be alienation, it may be a pushing away from human warmth, perhaps a hardening of the maternal instinct. Something happens on the deeper levels of a woman’s consciousness when she destroys a pregnancy. I know that as a psychiatrist” (McCarthy, 1989).[1]

God, please have mercy on this nation. Many “do not know what they do.” Open their eyes. Help them to see. Change their hearts. Heal the wounded.


[1] Baker Encyclopedia of Psychology & Counseling, ed. David G. Benner and Peter C. Hill, 2nd ed., Baker reference library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999), 886.

4 Comments

Filed under America, Culture Wars, current events, politics, Uncategorized, World View