Can you bind the chains of the Pleaides, or loose the cords of Orion? Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, and guide the Bear with her satellites? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens or fix their rule over the earth?”
Recently, I felt compelled to pen a letter to the editor of a Christian magazine after an article on India’s space exploration program. The letter is re-printed here for your consideration in part due to a conversation I had with a brother-in-Christ just this morning. We spoke of enjoying and encouraging the imagination of our young children and grandchildren. We reminded each other of times spent as children ourselves staring at a sky with white puffy clouds and calling out what animal or other images we saw the clouds forming. It is an amazing joy I share with my grandchildren as we sway lazily on our hammock under the shade of a sprawling oak tree. Imagining ourselves in the clouds ourselves must be on the mind of many future space explorers! With that in mind, I wrote the following to Mr. Arno Froese.
Arno Froese, Executive Editor The Midnight Call P.O. Box 84309 Lexington, SC 29073
Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I write to say how much I enjoy Midnight Call and to beg a question of you from the September 2019 Issue, under World Focus “Moon Landing”. You pose a question as to the purpose for India to be so involved in space exploration and putting a rover on the moon. You answer your question with, as you say, “one word: pride.” For those who set themselves a nest among the stars, Obadiah declares the Lord, those shall be brought down. Still, I could not settle myself on the idea of condemning the Indian exploration as sin, i.e. pride and leaving it go at that. I think of God who is the Creator magnificent who takes great joy in His creation, all of it, man, animals, earth and space. God, in putting Job into a correct understanding of God’s greatness, asks, “Can you bind the chains of the Pleaides, or loose the cords of Orion? Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, and guide the Bear with her satellites? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens or fix their rule over the earth?” (Job 38)
I believe God is quite pleased with his heavenly creation and
given proper attitude of His human creation, He would welcome and has blessed
our exploration of it. God proclaims in Genesis 1:14 of the heavens which sepearate
the day and the night, “let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days
and years.” Men of Issachar could watch the heavens and thus understood the
times (1 Chron.12
Can we begin to know, even in these last days what wondrous
discoveries that might lead to cures of human maladies, stop the suffering of
children or feed more poor than gleaning will be spun from a laboratory’s accelerator
after exploration of space? More importantly, can we know another man’s heart?
Can or should we ascribe guilt of sin to everyone attached to a nation’s space
When considering the purposes of space exploration, we should
also mention, the very real threats now looming like the Sword of Damacles
across the globe for any maleficently minded country leader to shock our world
with electronic pulses. Must we not know and have a command of space to stop
such threats? I venture to say there are many noble purposes for space
exploration. Although pride may be the Achille’s heel for some within such
programs, still let us ask God to bless such work for learning more about our
Creator and His creation as well as what boon to mankind it might bring.
I am reminded of the poem by Jahn Gillespie Magee Jr., the last lines
which read, “while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod, the high untrespassed sanctity
of space, put out my hand, and touched the face of God.” President Regan quoted
this poem after the Shuttle disaster many years ago. When it comes to space
exploration, the heavens are a creation which reveals the very nature of our
God. We should relish every touch we can have with it.
t may be a pity too few may read this post for, even though many seem driven to cast a pall over America’s horizon and bemoan how Americans will never be what they once were, there is a brighter hope I see emanating from the shadows cast by all the nay say-ers
InSCIghts is one of a half-dozen titles under which this author writes
some basic and other more detailed and complex concepts of law enforcement
relations with their communities. Sadly, it is also one which has been bereft
of any serious works of late. In thinking about why and trying to explain it to
my son, I made the comment, ‘life happened’ but such has more in common
with an excuse than an explanation. In hopes of filling the void on my web’s
blog sites and reviving what once was a plethora of article submissions – to
which several quality magazine editors would let out a long sigh when they saw
the familiar SCI logo in their ‘in-box’ – I take pen and paper in hand and
begin to swipe at the cobwebs of my mind and see what awakens! Okay, so I use a
laptop and mouse not pen and paper and most of the cobwebs which have begun to
take over my ‘attic’ are too entrenched to go with just a swipe. It is going to
take a shop-vac on full suction to get those bad-boys out of the corners!
is a combination of the ‘Patriot Day’ just passed which brought with it friends
lamenting how communities and neighbors were so much closer in the weeks
following 9-11 and the simple realization that students now high school
seniors, to graduate in the Spring of 2020, were not yet born in 2001. They
cannot share the common experience of Americans from that fateful day; nor can
any of their classmates who come after them. These thoughts began to stir in me
a desire to write. I realize when I pen an article or blog, there may be only a
handful of people taking the time to read it. But, that’s okay. Writing is
cathartic for me and if, by chance, it does some smattering of good for someone
who is inclined to read it; all the better.
It may be a pity too few may read this post
for, even though many seem driven to cast a pall over America’s horizon and
bemoan how Americans will never be what they once were, there is a brighter
hope I see emanating from the shadows cast by all the nay say-ers. What began
as a faint glow and then was just an unsteady glimmer has begun to brighten and
is overcoming the darkness one front porch at a time, or perhaps a back deck;
maybe one kitchen at a time or within the family rooms of people who share a
traveling abroad for many years; Karin and I were taken by how a sense of
community existed in a bond between people of the town and it seemed founded
upon the small groups which would appear like magic on front steps or back
patios, even along fence rows, as men and women, their work done for the day
did not retreat behind closed doors,
shuttered windows and loud televisions. Instead in what were some of the most financially destitute villages, we
enjoyed these visits; when the evening light was fading and the one or two
streetlights would crackle and buzz until the dim light within came on,
brightening and lessening as the available amount of electrical current along
the line would fluctuate and neighbors sought out neighbors to do nothing more
than share time. In a world driven by money and possessions, those with the
most of each seem to have less time than those who could not afford a
cellphone, even if service was available. These folks were rich because of the
way they valued and used their time.
people who graciously gave us of their time and allowed us to share ours, in
these far-flung villages were Christ followers. Not Christians because their
names were dutifully entered into a ledger of some national church at their
birth but people who had found the richness of the grace of God irresistible
and they had given in, fully and completely plunging themselves into the love
of Christ and learning what it meant to live in a community of believers. The
New Testament has a name for such communities of believers, they are called the
I am finding refreshing and the provider of hope for America, is these
‘old-world’ ways – the appreciation of time, the enjoyment of being involved in
an event for the event’s sake and not for what each may get out of the event as
another notch on their social status belt or recognition of their worldly
wisdom. Men and women of America, more and more, are re-learning the joys of being.
They are enjoying being together, being involved in others
lives, being accepted and even needed – not for some thing they
offer to the group but needed to just be part of the group. Those who
seem to be succeeding at this new adventure seem as if they are living in an
older, simpler time. Likely it was not truly simpler – maybe – just less
complex, but not simpler. What I mean by that is; those who lives
were less complex back in my parent’s and grandparent’s days were still not simple
lives. There was pain and hurt, financial troubles, World Wars and much
more. Still, their lives were less complex. They took time to have
time and to share time with others. Family time was held sacrosanct.
You did not find an excuse to miss family time, no matter how, as a teenager
one might believe family time to be lame; or as a young adult might have too
much work or something else as a priority, there was no excuse for missing family
is, thankfully, an extension of family time. People, some related by DNA
matches but many more who are together, making time, sharing time, enjoying
time in simpler ways on front steps and back patios, even over fence rows and
no one is looking to see what time it is or how late it is getting. These people
begin to grow together and learn to care for one another building into one
another’s lives. It all happens because they are blood relatives. All are saved
by the precious blood of Jesus. They are Christ followers, not perfect
people, hopefully not legalistic people or judgmental but similarly they have
come from a past of yuckiness and brown stuff and found how
Christ can forgive and forget and He loves them all the same, anyway. These
followers of the Yeshuah are laughing and loving; learning and praying; hurting
and crying; living and thriving – enjoying time together. Seldom is the
television on (unless its football season – there can be a little leeway here –
and it doesn’t matter because you would not be able to hear it over the talking
and laughter anyway. Sometimes when they gather, they study their Bible or
discuss ways to cope. No matter the mix – within it is hope. They are communities
of believers in Jesus Christ who love one another and love getting together –
the New Testament called it the church.
it perfect and without problems? Nope. But, there’s hope.
this group, when it is believers who are mostly American citizens, there can be
a range of political beliefs but politics which divide are not part of the
ingredients of these groups. What is incredible is how these groups can become
the strongest fiber, the most level foundation, the walls of support for a
nation such as ours who desperately needs to know Jesus. These men, women, both
young and older people of prayer will be what holds the American experiment
together – not just because America is exceptional but also because
these Americans are exceptional. What makes them exceptional? The God
who made them. Their faith and trust in Him will hold them while the ship of
state rocks on heavy seas.
there was ever a time in America’s history when people of faith needed to be
strongly united in being Behind the Line – the Thin Blue Line – it’s
now. Together, prayerfully asking for God’s blessing and faithfully following
His lead; Americans can overcome all of the dark forces which are vying for
America’s lifeblood. Behind the Line – that is where I want to be – yet at the
same time, Christ has asked His believers to be on the front line and it
is possible be both. Christ is who He says He is, and He will do what He has
said He will do. In the in-between time; when the day’s work is done and the
streetlights falter, then flicker on; its good to get together and spend the
most valuable resource you have in life – time, and it’s better when you
spend it together.
The ONLY person who is absolutely, positively, guaranteed to be with you when danger threatens is YOU. You must prepare yourself to be Situationally Aware, Mentally Ready to Act, and Know Your Options.
“The world is a dangerous place. ‘Although there is danger in the world, one does not have to become resigned to fate and passively wait for acts of violence to occur. There are some simple steps ordinary people can take to help them avoid danger – or at least to mitigate its impact.’”[i] Those simple steps begin the process, or better, the lifestyle called SITUATIONAL AWARENESS.
Knowing what is going on around you is the basic premise. Seeing a man wearing a black mask, body armor, hearing protection and carrying an AR-15 rifle walking into the patio area of your millennial packed bar on a busy street, in Dayton Ohio, is a clue things are about to get ugly. Such was the scenario on August 3, 2019, just about 24 hours before I am writing this blog. In an El Paso, Texas Walmart, a man wearing all black comes in carrying a long rifle. It is time to act. Situational awareness gives you the advantage, the few extra seconds someone, whose face is buried in their Smart Phone, will not have. Those few seconds can save your life…. IF.
I intend to answer the IF,
but first, there needs to be a true understanding of situational awareness,
what constitutes a threat and what it means to be prepared for an event. The
third is the first piece of the IF answer.
When I was first asked if there would be a blog about this weekend’s
horrific shootings, my intention was to speak to one of the causal elements for
why people go out with the purpose of killing as many other human beings as
possible, usually people whom they have never met. Most of the answer to this
question is dealt with in my book in sections titled, The Battle for Our
Homes, Keeping the Faith, Retaking the Castle and Keeping the Drawbridge
Up. Please, take advantage of not just what I write here, but go to our
website and order the book. It’s a cheap investment which just might save your
life or the lives of your family. The link is simply, www.security-consulting.usand from there you can
order the book, “Stretching the Thin Blue Line: Policing America in Times of
My intent is to give you the basic information you need to survive an Active Shooter terror. First, a very short video which will clearly show you, between two cowboys in a cantina, one who is aware of his surroundings and one who is not. You can guess which one is about to die. Go to: https://youtu.be/czb2xfmmJDM
Assuming you viewed the video, provided with SCI’s great thanks to TCM Classic Movies, the clip from El Dorado, you have the basic concept. If the man about to be killed had seen James Caan circling him, he would have had a few extra seconds to act. I’ll give you a spoiler alert, bad cowboy never gets to finish the cigarette he was so intent on rolling. Notice, even the cowboy who watched Caan circle the table did not perceive there was a threat requiring him to act. He read Caan (and, likely, he’d read the script too) and could see Caan’s focus, although worrisome was not on him and, something that was not noticeable in the clip, Caan is not wearing a gun. Our alert cowboy had little reason to act. He was aware enough, however, to act if the need arose. Such speaks to our second point. The question is: “What constitutes a threat?”
Being situationally aware is not limited to seeing the bad guy come
in. It is knowing, wherever you are, bar, movie theater or church, where the
exits are, where the choke points are, and what your options are. Staying aware
of these things, you can gain extra seconds when you can recognize the threat.
The two instances this weekend, El Paso in the Walmart and Dayton at the nightclub patio are obvious threats. The minute they are seen, it is time to act. Not all threats are as obvious. There are a great many profiles on active shooters. The current FBI director was quoted as saying currently, most active shooters in the U.S. are young white males and are often linked to a white supremacy belief system, whether formally or personally.
A couple of years ago, the focus was more on Middle Eastern males with the intent of jihad related attacks. Such profiles can be useful, but not particularly tangible for the average American shopping in their local Walmart, enjoying a drink at a local nightclub or parking in a busy parking garage before a large sports event. You must try to articulate what is setting off your spider senses. We all have them, though not spider bite incurred. We have a God-given ability to sense danger if we tune ourselves into our brain’s proper frequency.
The person who looks so intently focused on where they are going, moving deliberately as if on a mission; unable to make eye contact they seem almost under a spell, for lack of a better term. Those should be watched carefully and, as is always taught in police training, watch their hands. Are their hands visible and what, if anything are they holding? Are their hands hidden? What are they wearing… a long coat in the summer? Something which appears to be body armor? If it is someone you know, have they been articulating dangerous comments on social media? It isn’t a one answer for the total picture, but more like a puzzle, the pieces you put together as you watch the individual. Is there an air of despondency or virulent anger? Put all your observations together in a very quick analysis and prepare yourself, if your internal alarm starts going off, to act.
A recent shooting incident in our small town of Louisville, Ohio
began when a person, known by his wife to be violent and capable of assault
threatened to shoot her and others. She knew his violent record and how he
previously had guns taken from him because of domestic violence. Since he got
the firearms back from the court, he was stockpiling large amounts of
ammunition and putting them in large capacity magazines long before the
shooting incident occurred. She saw the danger signs but waited until he began
firing to notify authorities. Two police officers were pinned down behind
bullet riddled police cars, a large number of neighboring houses and vehicles
were shot. Hundreds of rounds were fired before SWAT was able to secure an
arrest. One person was wounded from other than a bullet round but there were no
other casualties. The threat escalated over time, as most do, and those who are
in such a scenario need to talk to authorities long before the body count begins.
Those who could be impacted by a threat must be prepared to act.
While training in Israel with persons from the IDF, we were taught the simple action known to all those regular residents of Israel, particularly in the cities of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Following many episodes of bombings, the practice of yelling “UNATTENDED BAG” while in public and seeing a package or bag which had no one with it. The people within earshot of the alert will scatter, quickly in every direction.
If you have prepared
yourself mentally to act when a threat presents itself, those few seconds can
save your life and the lives of those with you. Why is it necessary to mentally
prepare? Your first instinct when seeing a threat is to not believe what you
are seeing. This cannot be happening here! This can’t be happening to me! You
must quickly accept the reality of danger.
If you have opted to carry a firearm, whether it is open carry or concealed, you must be mentally prepared to act. One can say, ‘I have no doubt, I’ll waste the sucker!’ When it comes time to pull the trigger and end another human’s life, you must be reconciled to the fact you are protecting countless others and doing the only thing possible at that moment.
If the use of a firearm is not an option, then PLEASE understand the concept of Run, Hide, Fight. A short video put together by the City of Houston a few years does a great job of explaining it. . You can view this video on our website at: https://www.security-consulting.us/resources
The ONLY person who
is absolutely, positively, guaranteed to be with you when danger threatens is
YOU. You must prepare yourself to be Situationally Aware, Mentally Ready to
Act, and Know Your Options.
May God bless you and
may you use all your faculties God has given you to stay safe and keep those
around you safe as well.
Riggs, Dr. Ross L., Stretching the Thin Blue Line: Policing America in Times
of Heightened Threat, Motivational Press, 2017
(Dr. Ross L. Riggs
is a retired Chief of Police, a lifetime Certified Law Enforcement Executive, a
graduate of the FBI National Academy and owner and president of Security Consulting
Investigations, LLC. He is the author of the book Stretching the Thin Blue
Line: Policing America in Times of Heightened Threat and numerous published
articles on police tactics and security. Dr. Riggs spent over fifteen years
consulting to mission teams in difficult places around the world and has
appeared on radio and television programs in relation to his work and doctoral
dissertation on developing contingency plans for mission groups and agencies.
He may be reached through SCI at 1-888-719-5636 or 1-330-956-9561.)
Like sand through the hourglass… seems like the hole between the upper and lower chambers of the glass has gotten wider these last few years.
By Ross L. Riggs, D Min.
Those of us who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s often heard a familiar voice in the mid-afternoon come across the television. For me, it was usually as my mother was ironing clothes. (For those of you who are much younger than I, ironing was something a mother, usually, would do using a steam iron and an ironing board. The purpose was to take clothes, particularly shirts, which had been dried on the clothesline in the backyard [I’ll explain that another time for sake of space] and iron the wrinkles out of them before folding and placing back in the drawer or, for dress shirts on a hanger)
voice solemnly told us, “Like sand through the hour glass, so are the days of
our lives” the introduction to the soap opera Days of Our Lives. Soap operas were great for those
who were hooked on them because even if you missed a few days, or weeks, even
months, you could come back and find the storyline not very far advanced from
when you left it. But, I digress.
The Bible also speaks of the fleeting
nature of life. Solomon, a man who was given more wisdom than any man before or
since once bemoaned, ‘Vanity, vanity, all is vanity..” He found little purpose
in striving in life because no matter what, one was not getting out of life
alive and whatever you had accomplished was left for someone else to claim. A
pretty depressing line of thinking. Still, the Bible does give us analogies
such as “For He
Himself knows [a]our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.15 As
for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so
he flourishes.16 When the wind has passed
over it, it is no more, And its place acknowledges
it no longer.” (Psalm 103:14-16) A great analogy, though
editors are always cautious about the use of the word but; whether it is
a adjective or a noun, of course spelling helps to clarify.
There is Jack Nicholson
who, in Bucket List, declared life to pass like smoke througha
keyhole. Of course, the origin of the thought is somewhat less clear. Google
lists 166,000 answers as to the origin of the term.
James, the brother of Christ,
a leader in the early church and co-author of the Book of James in the New
Testament writes, “Yet you do not know what your life will be like
tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears
for a little while and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14 NASB)
What got me thinking about the brevity of life, or
rather, the speed with which life seems to pass by came as I left Bethany Nursing
Home, the finest facility with the
nicest folks where I had been watching the All Star Game with my brother Rod.
The neighborhood around was apparently the night before trash pick up because the
street had numerous trash receptacles out to the curb and some bags of trash
awaiting pick up. Have you ever noticed how quickly you get from one trash day
to the next? The week in between just blows by and the amount of stuff you have to throw away from the week is
Allow me to go back to those childhood years when Mom was ironing and the man was solemnly warning us about the sand in our hourglass, we had something in our basement not uncommon in those days; but, now a thing of the past, an incinerator. Think of it as a family size crematorium for trash. You, (meaning the children in the house old enough to reach the top of the incinerator which was about the size of a washing machine) had the job of taking the bag of trash each evening, just after supper, to the basement to be thrown into the incinerator which had a gas fed fire always burning in the bottom, like a port-a-hades. The evening air in the neighborhood was always tinged with the smell of the days garbage being destroyed by the third element of nature. Later, we moved to a newer housing allotment and surprisingly the new homes did not have incinerators. Rather, in the back yard of each home was a burn barrel and it was exactly what the name disclosed.
Now the children of the house old enough to handle matches unattended would carry the bag of trash out to the burn barrel and light it up and standby long enough to know the days garbage was nothing but flecks of black soot rising into the air. Not bad duty on a cold winter night but not the best chore in the middle of summer unless you really enjoyed, perhaps too much, watching things burn. I suppose it was the environmental movement of the 70’s which brought an end to burn barrels and a new suburban glimpse into city life, the appearance of garbage trucks! Still, life revolved, to some degree over the trash pick-up. My Mom would only fry chicken on the nights before trash pick-up so as to not have the bones lying in the garbage for several days…
The trash of our week gets tossed out and forgotten, hopefully being composted or recycled so my great-grandchildren don’t have to live on the waste dump we created. The weeks for which the trash accumulates go by more quickly with each passing year. Going out to retrieve the garbage can and taking the garbage can out, one begins to feel like the guy in the old “Dunkin Donuts’ commercial, who finally meets himself at the door he is coming and going so quickly and so often…
Solomon’s warning of life like a flower, the wind
passes over it and it is remembered no more. We should acknowledge the brevity
of life and rid ourselves of the trash which accumulates around our lives and
we must do so prayerfully and purposefully. We need, at the same time to hold
on to what really matters. Hang on to the precious moments which will fill our
lives if we allow them .
When visiting the Philippines back in 1998, I was impressed with a part of their culture which celebrated events rather than be slave to a clock. In the U.S., a time to meet with a friend for coffee is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. and is expected to be finished by 10:45, even placed in our cellphone calendar with a reminder ding and perhaps, too, an alert when time was up, next appointment. In the Filipino culture the event was time with a friend. Set for 10 but maybe it will begin at 10:30 or 10:45, whenever the parties arrive and it will last for as long as it possibly can, the friends taking over an hour to say goodbye even if it meant the next event would have to wait. Of course, a wait wouldn’t matter because the next meeting was also based on the event not the time.
I create for myself, now, a priorities list which is
designed to help my sometimes failing memory with what I would like to
accomplish each day. Notice, like to accomplish not need to
accomplish? A few things have been on the list every day for a month, I’ll
get to them; but, I won’t be driven by the list. It reminds me things I would
like to do and often an article on it will be a hammock nap. I always include a
prayer-time and some reading time. When life changes how the list will go on a
given day, no worries, tomorrow will have a new list. When I have a chance to
hang with a grandchild, I want to really be there with them not just be
in the same place they are but completely disengaged. When they say, “Papaw” I
want my eyes to meet theirs and they know they have my full attention. It doesn’t
always work and sometimes ol’ Papaw is just too pooped to pop; but, they know
my intention is to be part of their moments. When I was with my one grandfather, my papaw, I
knew I was the most important person in the world to him at that moment.
He might have six grandchildren lined up for a ‘toopie-too’ ride on his knee;
but, for that moment his attention was fully mine and I want my grandkids to
feel that same specialness.
Like sand through the hourglass… seems like the hole between the upper and lower chambers of the glass has gotten wider these last few years.
The Bible gives some truly great advice when it comes to living life. Karin and I are about to celebrate 40 years of marriage. Solomon wrote, “Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has give to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 9:9) Solomon concludes Ecclesiastes with this:
Hopefully though, every once-in-a-while, everyone can have an oportunity to realize easy, like Sunday morning
The late Michael Conrad, ‘Sgt. Esterhaus’ on Hill Street Blues with his famous admmonition to the cops from the ‘Hill’ precinct, “Let’s be careful out there!” He and most of the real-world cops and first responders who have been around the block more than once would agree Lionel Richie was using a metaphor which only exists in the minds of many. For the rest of us, first responders, cops, clergy, doctors, nurses etc. the idea of an ‘easy Sunday morning’ is laughable. Just when you think you are having one, BANG, the celing comes down with just one beep on the radio receiver.
I recall a frigid, sub-zero Sunday morning, our officers and an area SWAT team were surrounding a house where a male suspect has been shooting at anything he felt like for about three hours from inside his parents’ home. There were many reasons we wanted to get this settled as soon as possible. Daylight was coming, the neighborhood would soon be antsy about being evacuated, it was colder than an elf’s toes on Christmas Eve (you know those shoes they wear CAN’T keep your feet warm!), and most importantly to the cops with me from Rittmann PD, we had Cleveland Browns football tickets for us and our wives! Kickoff was at 1:00 and this was back in the old stadium when the Brownies had the ‘Cardiac Kids’ on the field!
No, there is seldom a ‘typical’ Sunday morning which fits the mental picture one gets listening to the Lionel Richie song.
Today, however, may be an exception. I am with my lovely wife and four of our grandchildren, ages 7,7, 5 and 10 months, at a campground in the middle of wooded hillsides. The sun is just coming over the rise of the hills to the East and the rays are making their way through the tree branches. The three older grandchildren have just come out with coloring pictures and donuts in hand, our plan is to do some fishing after breakfast. Yep, easy like Sunday mmorning.
Most Sunday mornings we enjoy being with fellow believers at our gathering of the church for worship, teaching and fellowship in preparation for service in the week ahead.Yes, there are many people who work diligently every Sunday to make certain things go off as they should. Hopefully though, every once-in-a-while, everyone can have an oportunity to realize easy, like Sunday morning.
we can, and should, awe-some. I choose to reserve such respect, admiration to very few; but at the top of my list is my wife, Karin Riggs.
AWESOME! We say it often. Too often. Like using the
word LOVE all the time for things that have nothing whatsoever to really do
with love. “I’d love to see someone kick such and such’s tail in!” “I love ice
cream,” “I love snowboarding,” “I love… yada yada yada…”
I say to my wife and my children, “I love you” – What do they hear? ‘WOW! I
mean as much to my dad as his new fishing rod! I wonder if he will throw me in
the lake if I don’t do what I’m supposed to?
on-line WORD dictionaries define AWE:
“a feeling of
reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder”
overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that
which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like: in awe of God; in awe
of great political figures.”
a little concerned about God and great political figures in the same example,
but it is what it is. Such was AWE as a noun. As an adjective AWESOME is
defined as: extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration,
apprehension, or fear. “The awesome power of the atomic bomb” – quite a bit
away from ‘Our God is an AWESOME God…’ to go to the atom bomb but, C’est la vie!
would most likely fall into a strange category of people who are trying their
best to not follow culture on this one but say rather, we should ‘AWE-some’ and in that ‘some’ are VERY few
is AWESOME. I am filled with AWE and wonder in the love of Christ! The Holy Spirit’s
work in my life is AWESOME! I will also exclaim such awe when viewing the majestic
grandeur of God’s creation. Usually it happens on a dark night, far away from
city lights, looking up at a host of heavenly lights; it can be an AWESOME
sight! The unmatched grace of an eagle in flight or the intricacies of a spider’s
web on a split-rail fence still wet with morning dew. Those things are awesome
because their creator is awesome. He is the
One for whom we should have an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration
are other parts of God’s creation which deserve at least a quiet moment of ‘awe’
or a grasp of the awesomeness of a particular part of nature.
title… AWE-SOME means just what it says. We should awe some and not very many. Many things might be ‘ah-some’; give
you a quick minute or two of amazement; but to really be in AWE, that is a very
brings me to write this after midnight, when I should be asleep, is watching my
wife these last few days and recollecting some things from the past.
and I will celebrate 40 years of marriage this August. Success in marriage is a
partnership, sometimes 80/20! in our
case, Karin is doing the heavy work!
On Friday night, after a long week at work, anticipating a long weekend, she arranged to have six of our eleven grandchildren overnight. Not just a typical overnight but a ‘let’s sleep in the camper in the driveway… Mamaw is bringing in a movie and food for us to celebrate the first night of summer vacation!’ It was that kind of overnighter.
On Saturday, she rode with me on our Harley trike for four hours to raise money for preventing veteran suicide. (“SAVE 22” a great cause, please get behind it if you can!) Then, once we were home, she was helping out another of our children. Did I mention she helped our granddaughter sew a custom designed dress ensemble for a horse-back riding show and a grade in school?
listened to her talk with patients everywhere we go. They love her and always stop
to talk to her. I’ve listened this week as she counseled a patient on the phone
as she does so often – no matter what she was supposed to be doing. I’ve watched tears fall as she shares a
prayer request for patients and others, she has learned of through a friend who
have suffered great losses. After 30 years of practicing medicine, she has not
become hard and calloused about her patients; but even more so she is touched
by them in ways I cannot explain. She shares her love of Christ through her
life, her actions, her words of comfort. I see how she aches and her heart
breaks over pain for people she loves dearly.
watch her feed and bathe the babies and I think to myself this godly woman, who
is so incredibly intelligent, so lovely, so loving, so self-effacing, has been
God’s precious gift to me for all these years. She hears me tell her ‘I love
you’ but she cannot know how very deeply, unendingly in love I am with her;
even when she frustrates the beejeebers out of me. I know how frustrating I am
to her… she ran out of beejeebers about a dozen anniversaries ago!
is a word, or at least an idiom – but I don’t like to call even strange words
names, so I won’t call it an idiom- the Free Dictionary and the Urban Dictionary
both include in the definition it is a
less heretical term than its origin ‘bejesus’ which of course I have to
look it up too since the dictionaries claim it is sacrilegious… In their
definitions I could not find any ‘religious’ connotation, other than an old
Irish exclamation of surprise. (I would absolutely LOVE -see, there I go again,
to share with you the Urban Dictionary’s example sentence they use for it; but
you’ll have to look that one up yourself. Hint: if you find the word ‘shizzing’
in it, you’re there. And, yes, I looked it up, and no – shizzing is not even an idiom!)
I apologize to for digressing but, to my
point, God the Father, Jesus Christ, His Son and the Holy Spirit deserve awe, our overwhelming admiration,
reverence and fear. His creation, we can attest, is awesome in many ways from the bubbling of a country brook to the babbling
of a baby and in His creation we can, and should, awe-some. I choose to reserve such respect, admiration to very few;
but at the top of my list is my wife, Karin Riggs.