Las Vegas shooting - After this tragedy, can we still find calm in chaos?
Our nation is reeling from yet another national crisis. On Sunday(2017 Oct. 1st) more than 50 innocent lives were taken and thousands were put in danger while attending a country music concert in Las Vegas.
As we watch the horrifying images on television news reports with our hearts breaking, what if we stopped and asked ourselves a question? What can I do to make a difference? So many of these situations are out of my control, but are they out of God’s control? Does he want me to panic or ask me to pray? Is there a way to find calm in the chaos, strength in the strife?
One thing is sure: It is not God’s will that you lead a life of perpetual anxiety. It is not his will that you face every day with dread and trepidation. He made you for more than a life of breath-stealing angst and mind-splitting fear. And he made you to be a voice of peace in a wild, worry-wart world.
How many tragedies have been averted because one person refused to buckle under the strain? It’s this kind of composure Paul is summoning when he says, “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything…” (Philippians 4:5-6 NIV).
Pursue this gentleness. The Lord is near– you are not alone. You may feel alone. You may think you’re alone. But there is never a moment in which you face life without help. God is near—be anxious for nothing!
The Greek word translated here as gentleness describes a temperament that’s seasoned and mature. It envisions an attitude fitting to the occasion, levelheaded and tempered. This gentleness is evident to all. Family members take note. Your friends sense a difference. Coworkers benefit from it.
The gentle person is sober minded and clear thinking. When this world is spiraling toward violence and confusion the contagiously calm person is the one who reminds others, “God is in control.” Pursue this gentleness. The Lord is near– you are not alone. You may feel alone. You may think you’re alone. But there is never a moment in which you face life without help. God is near—be anxious for nothing!
Max Lucado is a San Antonio pastor and best-selling author.
Light In The Darkness
The gunman’s shooting spree — the worst in modern US History — has been labeled by the President an “act of pure evil.” And yet, the horror was met with acts of heroism and humanity as the attack unfolded.
“I saw a bunch of people trying to help,” Las Vegas shooting survivor Taylor Benge said. “Unfortunately, I also saw a lot of loved ones with their significant others holding them as they passed.”
Taylor recounts how his own sister risked her life to shield him — a moment etched into his memory forever.
“My sister, being as noble as she, she actually threw herself on top of me and was saying, ‘I love you Taylor, I love you.’ And I’ll never forget that.”
The Bible cautions against being lukewarm in our faith. And in the midst of the attack, Taylor had to choose whether to lean into faith or abandon it entirely. And we’re so glad to hear him tell of how he completely surrendered his fate to God during the terrifying time.
“I was agnostic going into that concert and I’m a firm believer in God now,” he said.
In this broken world, you’ll always find evil. But you’ll also find the light pushing back against the dark. And we know to whom the ultimate victory is promised.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn’t overcome it.” John 1:5
h/t: The Courage
Teen Survivor of Las Vegas Turns to God
by Stephanie Riggs
LAS VEGAS (CBN news)– When a gunman slaughtered 59 people and wounded more than 500 others Sunday night, Lynette Martinez was right there in the middle. And she tells CBN News her life will never be the same after surviving the deadliest shooting attack in U.S. history.
"It was just gun shots and gun shots and gun shots, and a guy fell behind me, and he was covered in blood. My boots were covered in blood," she recalled.
Martinez thought she was hearing fireworks, but when country music singer Jason Aldean ran off stage, she ran for her life.
"I am just so grateful I get to see another day because there are people who couldn't, and I see the videos online of what happened and I can't hear it because I am numb to it and I shouldn't be getting used to gunshots," she said.
This 16-year-old grew up overnight.
"My heart goes out to everyone," she said. "I understand I was there and I am just praying for every single person for healing and peace."
When Martinez sees all the people filling blood banks in Las Vegas, working overtime to keep up with the life-and-death demand, she sees hope, healing and good overcoming evil.
"It's amazing to see the blood donations banks with hundreds of people lining up because they are not thinking of politics; they are not thinking about religion while they are doing it; they are thinking about other people and they are thinking about people who are helpless," she said.
Martinez still can't believe she made it out alive.
"I was waiting to get shot. I wasn't waiting to come out alive," she said.
Asked how she sees the world now, she said, "So different, so different – I have so much compassion, and I thank God every single day, and I just want to be more like Him."
Church is only place she wanted to go and she's so grateful for this community.
"My heart is warmed by the many people coming together even now at this church, and it's just amazing," she said.
Martinez said she's forgiven the gunman.
"I don't think it's his fault. He's not right. It wasn't God, it wasn't him. It was another thing, an evil thing. I forgive him," she said.
Martinez plans to take one day at a time and cling to her faith in God.
"So I am going to read his Word and I am going to worship and I am going to pray because that is the only thing that can get me through it," she said.
While no one really knows how they'll respond when their world comes crashing down, this young woman wants to love people more than she ever has.
"I am going to love people more, think of people as if they were my best friend or as if they are my brother and my sister because they are. We are all together here for a reason," she said.