You Are Not Alone

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Moonrise over the Sea of Galilee, the same body of water upon which Jesus called Peter to do the impossible, to set aside his fears and walk.

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Teach Your Children Well

“Though the boys throw stones at the frogs in sport, the frogs do not die in sport, they die in earnest.”  ~Bion of Borysthenes (325 – 250 B.C.)

Suicide is now the number three cause of death among children, and at least half of all suicides are related to bullying.

Just last week, in my city, Gabriel Taye, the 8 year old boy in these pictures hung himself. While decreasing slightly among older adults, suicides among youth have nearly tripled since the start of the millennium.

God, teach us to listen with the ears of compassion, to look with the eyes of protection, to speak with the voice of healing…and to teach our children to do the same.

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Live with Honor

“The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.”  ~Socrates

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They!

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“You know what They say…” I’ve heard all my life,

and I’ve often wondered just who They is,

to know so little and stir up such strife.

Without They the world would be in such bliss.

Then it happened one day as I travelled up north

that I stumbled upon a town called Rumor.

It seems I’d gotten completely off course

and by now was lacking my usual humor.

While there, I stopped at the Whispering Inn

and met a guileless waitress named Evy.

Not Evie, mind you, like Adam’s girlfriend,

but ev as in never and lever and heavy.

I learned as she chattered and slid me a beer

that her name was somebody-something-or-other.

I think she said, “Evelyn Thingyahear,”

but I couldn’t be sure, so I ordered another.

Evy told me that every passerby

had something important to reveal.

“I learn so much, oh, my, oh, my!”

she said with gullible gleeful zeal.

“And of course, I just have to communicate

such terribly, horribly meaningful facts!

Do you have something to tell me today?”

“Yes, I do,” I said, now I can’t take it back.

Then I told her the earth was made of soap,

scientists now were completely sure.

And she clapped and said that it filled her with hope

to learn that the world was perfectly pure.

As I left, the barkeeper beckoned me near

and whispered (so that’s why it’s called Whispering Inn),

“Hey, don’t believe Evy Thingyahear,

better find out where those facts have been.”

That night on the news: “They say Earth’s Made of Soap!”

At once I was finally able to see.

How could I ever have been such a dope?

I finally knew–yes, it’s true–

They is me!

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The Wishing Map 66

Would you be alive today if no one but you had ever looked out for you?

Mitch Teemley

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Note: To read The Wishing Mapfrom the beginning, click here.

The Wishing Map

Chapter Sixteen: Fisher Folk and Naims (Cont’d)

Previously: Returning to Ismara in search of the lost Objects, Gina and Zack suddenly realized they were falling into an ocean!

⇔ ⇔ ⇔

They hit the water like crash test dummies.

Why hadn’t they slowed down like they did on their previous descents? Had the High Faeries taken into consideration the fact that people can hit water at extremely high speeds and survive, or did they simply have twisted senses of humor?

Gina was in an off-kilter sitting position when she hit. Zack was perfectly horizontal. The smack as they struck the water was so bone-jarring it nearly knocked them out. Zack was six feet below the surface before he even began to slow down; Gina was closer to seven or eight. By the time either had any…

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Split

So, I watched the movie Split on Netflix last night…

and, dude, if anyone ever needed group counseling

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The Line of Despair

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I try to balance my posts between God stuff and other stuff. But, because of my passion to speak truth into people’s lives (including my own), God stuff tends to win. For me, all roads lead to God, not to Rome. Nevertheless…

Modern culture is taking the road to ancient Rome, toward two progressive beliefs: pantheism (everything is divine) and paganism (so take your pick). Conclusion: Life is a BYOG (bring your own god) party, and no god is any more valid than any other. The milestones on the road look like this:

  1. We’ve always allowed diversity, but now we “celebrate” it, affirming that all beliefs are equally valid.
  2. In doing so, we lose our former understanding of the distinction between rights and truths, i.e. that the right to believe something does not make it true.
  3. We denounce the “exclusionists” who disagree with this revised definition of diversity, labelling them judgmental and intolerant, and take steps toward (ironically) excluding them from public discourse.
  4. The jaded intelligentsia, perceiving that if everything is true, then nothing is true, reject all beliefs, crossing what philosopher Francis Schaeffer called “the line of despair.” Or, as one humorist puts it, “Zero times a dozen donuts equals zero donuts. What happened to my donuts?!”

Life without truth is not freedom, it’s despair.

Pontius Pilate, the governor of ancient Judaea, had jettisoned, as had the Roman masses, any innate sense of how to discern truth from lies (the God-given yardstick Jesus called “righteousness”). “What is truth?” he asked Jesus. It was a rhetorical question. Pilate did not believe there was an answer.

He’d crossed the line of despair.

But there is a way out (which, according some ancient writers, including Augustine and Eusebius, Pilate eventually took). Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). And “when you abide in my word [when you “live” there], you are truly my disciples [shaped by Jesus]. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (Matthew 6:33)

Our world isn’t ready for the exclusivity of Jesus’s words. But, like Pilate, they need them all the more. They need to see truth in action. Need to see what real disciples—people shaped by Jesus—look like. They need to see that they can be free, that there is a way back from the line of despair. Not everything is true, but something is. Someone is.

And that Someone is still setting people free.

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