Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Littlest Lambs

Jesus told his disciples to let the children come to him and hinder them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven. I found this delightful little print of Jesus and the children, his lambs. The artist depicts the children not only as human children, but as lambs who are watched over by the Great Shepherd himself. Note that both children and lambs are looking to Jesus and resting at his feet. It's a beautiful picture.
It was natural that at the anniversary of Beau's birth and then death, the baby in this print - the littlest lamb - was being brought to Jesus who tenderly receives him. Because Jesus received the children unto himself and blessed them while He was here on earth, we can know for certain that He still receives his children in Heaven, for He never changes. What a sweet assurance to know that our Lord tenderly received his little lamb on the day of Beau's entrance into eternity, and this print offers a sweet idea of what that must have looked like. All praise to Jesus, our hope of glory!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Birthday, Beau!

It's not as raw this year. The searing, ragged grief has subsided. We still sorrow for our loss, but there's the key - "our loss." Beau is growing up in the presence of the Lord Himself - knowing and being perfectly known. He knows none of earth's ills; no sickness, so sorrow, no pain, no tears. He knows perfect joy. He knows Jesus face-to-face.

I'm sure it wasn't a coincidence that my daily Bible reading was in Isaiah 25 and 26. Verses 6- 8 of Chapter 25 tell us:

"On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine will-refined.
And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations.
He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken."

And in Chapter 26 verse 19:

"Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy!
For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead."

Though we only had Beau with us for a very brief time, he continues to point us to Jesus. His life's purpose was quickly fulfilled and the effects of his life are eternal and many. Not only did Beau's life open up new vistas of life and of knowing the Lord for us, but his work will continue in the halls of knowledge and of searching out the Lord in all of creation, for a scholarship was named after him at New College Franklin. Who knew a tiny infant would do so much.

So today we will celebrate Beaus' life by supplying Ronald McDonald House with toiletries and by visiting Beau's grave to decorate it with fresh flowers and a little red fire truck. We will shed some tears, but we will also thank God for giving Beau to us. For though we had him with us for only a short time here on earth, we will ultimately have him for all eternity. Because of Christ's work on the cross we have redemption of our sins and the promise of life eternal. What hope! What joy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Dignity, Please?!

(Disclaimer: Having been on vacation, I only heard the recent uproar in the news about body-scanners after this was written. This came strictly from personal experience.)

As I write this, I am sitting out a 2-hour layover in Houston while making my way home from a really wonderful trip. My vacation was relaxing, refreshing and restorative in every way. When I prepared to begin my journey home, sporting a happy and thankful heart, I entered airport security only to be confronted with one of the new full-body scanners that are being installed in airports across the country. Because of the articles I'd read about the scanners exposing people to unnecessary radiation and of the digital body images being broadcast (against regulations) into cyberspace, I had already decided that if I were ever confronted with one of these imaging monstrosities, I would opt out for the pat-down instead. So today when I came face-to-face with the latest freedom-stripper, double entendre intended, I declined entry into the scanner and opted for the pat-down. I'd had one before when I was randomly selected by the all-knowing TSA gods of airport security. No big deal, right? Right .......

After choosing the pat-down instead of the scan, I was given the choice of having it given in public or in a nearby cubicle with a female officer and a 2nd female officer as witness. Thank goodness I chose the cubicle because the pat-down I got should never be done in public. It was intrusive and offensive, certainly not the brief, light-touch experience I'd been given in the past. As I stood there suffering humiliations galore, I grew more and more incensed that, in the name of national security, I was being treated like a criminal. I allowed myself only one carefully-controlled comment to my offenders to express my outrage and when it was finished, I gathered the shreds of my dignity along with my assorted laid-aside possessions and huffed out of there. The sweet glow of a great trip was rudely stripped away. "The Land of the Free..." indeed.

Our national worship of the gods of tolerance has led us to extreme points of absurdity and abuse. The National Guard has been sent to protect our border with Mexico because of the real and serious threat there, and yet they aren't even allowed to apprehend a suspected illegal alien. Our government and society allow the invasive, tenacious tenants of Islam to sink it's deadly tentacles into our American legal system and way of life, and we bend way over backwards as we seek to not offend our Muslim neighbors. If we refuse to identify the enemy, we will never be able to defend our lives, liberties, or property; and for that matter, we will be exceedingly stupid. Well ... are exceedingly stupid.

Now please don't go reading that I'm singling out Muslims. I believe that all people are to be afforded dignity and respect for we are all made in the image of God. I also believe that we should not blindly follow the dictates of socio-political prophets and pretend that things are not what common sense tells us obviously IS. The Emperor has no clothes, dear. Admit it.

Our national enemy is real and definable, and he is the radical Islamist Fascist who will not hesitate to kill anyone and everyone who does not bow the neck to Allah. The enemy is not John and Jane Doe, American Citizen. In the name of all that is good and decent STOP treating the citizen as criminal and the criminal as citizen. Let true justice and true freedom ring across our land lest we sink into the oblivion of servile desperation.