Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November 25, 2015

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or hear from me, or seen in me - put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."  Philippians 4:4-9

Christians don’t react, they act.

No one illustrates that better than young Wesleyan Pastor, Davey Blackburn. He and his toddler son face their first Thanksgiving without their beloved wife and mother. The lovely and vivacious young Amanda Blackburn was brutally assaulted and murdered by three thugs who invaded their Indianapolis home on the early morning of November 10th. She was thirteen weeks pregnant when murdered.

Yesterday those suspects were arrested and charged with murder and several other related charges. Upon the media release of this arrest, Pastor Davey issued his statement. The statement he released to his church is below and then the statement he made to the press. I urged to read them and then reflect honestly on how you would have responded.

“Though it does not undo the pain we are feeling, I was extremely relieved to get the news of the arrest made last night of Amanda’s killer. The investigators have assured me they have a solidly-built case to ensure justice is levied and the process is expedited. The family and I couldn’t be more thankful for the level of compassion and professionalism the IMPD and investigators have shown us through the last couple of weeks. My hope is for three things in the weeks and months to come:

1) That the court system would have wisdom on how to prosecute this man, so that no one else endures the pain Amanda and our family have had to endure because of his actions.
2) That through all of this and although there will be great consequences for his actions, he would become truly sorry for what he has done and would even begin to experience the life-transforming power of the Grace and Mercy of Jesus Christ.
3) That Jesus would give me and our family a heart of forgiveness.

Though everything inside of me wants to hate, be angry, and slip into despair I choose the route of forgiveness, grace and hope. If there is one thing I’ve learned from Amanda in the 10 years we were together, it’s this: Choosing to let my emotions drive my decisions is recipe for a hopeless and fruitless life. Today I am deciding to love, not hate. Today I am deciding to extend forgiveness, not bitterness. Today I am deciding to hope, not despair. By Jesus’ power at work within us, the best is STILL yet to come. Even when I don’t see it, I believe it to be true.”

Christians act, they don’t react.