That ye love
as I have
that ye also
love one another.”
This past Sunday morning, June 12th around 2:00 a.m., the place known as, "The City Beautiful", otherwise known as Orlando, Florida, became the spotlight of the entire world.
Of course Orlando is known to so many as the home of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Goofy, Cinderella, Princess Ariel, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, rip-roaring roller coasters, drenching water rides, and, oh, so much more FUN! That's why it's called, "The Happiest Place on Earth"!
However, on Sunday morning, the happiest place on earth became a place of great sorrow, unspeakable evil, tremendous grief, as a lone gunmen opened fire in a nightclub.
This horrific tragedy is now listed as the greatest mass shooting in America's history.
Brian and I live approximately thirty minutes from where this heinous event took place. All day Sunday every local news station was broadcasting the latest details. With each news report and update, my stomach tightened a little bit more and the tears flowed more freely.
One minute people were having fun and the next second they were running for their lives.
I am NOT going to get into a conversation about the fact that it took place in a very popular night club for the LGBTQ community. I am NOT going to discuss the political side of it and whether stricter gun control laws would have done any good. I am NOT going to address the ties the shooter claims to have had with ISIS.
What matters to me is the loss of life. The loss of life in such a senseless, cowardly, selfish act of violence.
NO ONE has the right to take life, except The Giver and The Creator of life, which belongs to God, and God ALONE.
That morning, moms and dads lost their sons and daughters. Brothers and sisters lost their siblings. Grandparents lost their grandsons and granddaughters. Sons and daughters lost their parents. And on and on it goes.
Because someone made a choice. A very wicked, self-centered, hate-filled choice.
Lives were FOREVER changed that day. There will be people recovering from injuries for days, weeks and months. The first responders lives were changed forever that day as they were first on the scene to witness the carnage. Family members will be preparing for funerals for those who died way before "their time". But most of all, my heart is broken in two for the lives that were changed that day for all Eternity.
I pray this tragedy will cause you to take YOUR Eternity very seriously.
We are all sinners in need of a Saviour. None of us can measure up to God's standard of holiness and that's EXACTLY why God sent His Son, the only One Who never sinned, to die and shed his blood on the cross for you and for me. If we could get to Heaven by our own good works or by not doing bad things, then Jesus never would have had to die. It REALLY is that simple.
The ONLY way to be forgiven of your sins and go to Heaven one day is by having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It's ALL about a relationship and NOTHING about religion.
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures."
I Corinthians 15:3-4
Trusting Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour is REALLY very simple.
You just talk to God. That's what prayer is all about. You don't need to use words like "thee" and "thou" when praying to God. Just tell the Lord what's in your heart.
Tell Him that you know you are a sinner in need of a Saviour and that you believe Jesus died for YOUR sins, was buried and three days later rose victorious over death. If you had been the only person living, Jesus still would have died just for YOU. Tell Jesus that you are asking Him to forgive you of your sins and that you desire for Him to be Lord of your life and you are looking forward to spending all Eternity with Him in Heaven because of His sacrifice on the cross. It's that simple!
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
This tragedy on Sunday morning reminds us that life is precious. Life is fragile. Life is fleeting. Those people had NO clue whatsoever that morning would be their last day here on Earth. And we have no idea either. None of us knows when our time on this Earth will end. We are living in perilous times. We are living in days we never would have imagined twenty years ago, even fifteen years ago.
Please take seriously the question, "Where will YOU spend Eternity?"
Another thing this tragedy has awoken in me, which I believe I have fallen asleep to, is that life is TOO SHORT TO MAJOR IN THE MINORS.
- Is it really that important to "get that last word in?"
- Is it necessary to type that comment on facebook just to make your point?
- Is that grudge you have been harboring against someone who did you wrong really worth holding onto?
- Is it so hard to apologize to your child for raising your voice at them because they spilled their milk and you just happened to be in a bad mood?
- Is it worth spouting off to someone who cut you off in traffic?
- Does your spouse deserve the silent treatment because they weren't giving you their undivided attention when you were talking to them?
- Does the couple at church who is sitting "in your spot" deserve that evil look you just gave them?
Will you please join me in praying for the families of the victims and those recovering in multiple hospitals around the area. For all those working the crime scene. For all the surgeons, doctors and nurses tending to the wounded. For our local and state leaders. It's an opportunity to show the Lord, and others, that as Christians, we can love like Jesus and lay aside our opinions and differences and pray for a community which is hurting deeply and grieving unbearable pain all due to a senseless, selfish act of violence.
Everyone deserves to be shown the unfailing, unconditional love of Christ.
If you happen to be reading this and you lost a loved one in the tragedy in Orlando, please know that I have been, and will continue, to pray for you. I am mourning along side of you. I am weeping with you. I love you. I can't begin to imagine what you are going through. If you would like specific prayer or need someone to "talk to", please don't hesitate to contact me through my prayer request tab on the home page or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Like the song says, as a child of God, with every act of love we show to others, we have the opportunity to show people the love of Christ.
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May God Bless You,