Keep Telling
November 13, 2017, 2:54 PM

   I can’t help but feel sick about Sutherland Springs TX. Yesterday, Ben Mereness, from Eastern European Ministries said something yesterday I believe; it will happen again.  I struggle with what I should do as a Christian, it’s one thing when it happens far away, but it’s getting too close to home now. How do we respond to these, seemingly unending events? 

     First, pray. Pray for the families, pray for Sutherland Springs 1st Baptist church, pray for……this gets tougher, evil doers. Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies. Of all the things we do, this one is truly unique to Christians. I admit it’s not easy, but Jesus calls us to do just that. I said a prayer this morning for the evil doer’s family; I know they are devastated too.

     Second, love the hurting. I know none of us live in Sutherland Springs. I do know this, there are Christians there loving those who have lost so many loved ones. From right here in Haskell, I can love. Paul tells us in one of his letters, “Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.”

     Third, we must love our enemies. Again, this is one of the things that make Christianity unique among the world’s religions. I admit it’s not my first natural reaction to events like these.  It IS what we are called to do anyway. Jesus says; "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy’ but I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” He didn’t say it was going to be easy; I just want to be a son of my Father in heaven.

     Those are a few things we should do, there are also a few things we should not do.

     First, don’t hate. That is exactly what my human nature wants to do. I think it’s natural to feel anger, especially toward an evil we have absolutely no control over. When I dwell on my anger, those emotions lead my soul to some dark, dark places. We can never hate and reach people at the same time. Pray for my heart to be protected from hate.

     Second, don’t be paralyzed by fear.

     We need, I believe to figure out how to help the helpless. The “Good News” first says we are a people of compassion, not fear, Let’s be filled with compassion, not fear.

    Third, don’t mistake the real enemy. I believe all people need Jesus, especially those driven by evil. Paul writes, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

     It is times like this that I need the fruit of the Holy Spirit more than ever. What happened is horrible, but the story we are part of is bigger, the story of the life, the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  That story ends with realized hope. Mourn for those hurting in ways I hope I never understand, pray for them, love our enemies, don’t hate, and remember who the enemy is. And maybe the most important, KEEP TELLING THE STORY. God help us all.


I love to tell the story of unseen things above, Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love; I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true, It satisfies my longings as nothing else would do. I love to tell the story, ’Twill be my theme in glory, to tell the old, old story Of Jesus and His love.


01-02-2018 at 7:12 PM
Steve Gardner
Hi Phil, I would like to invite you to join the new “Church of Christ at Blogs and Bloggers” group on Facebook.

Its goal is a community to post, read, and discuss blog posts and other articles relevant to the Churches of Christ, conservative or progressive, .... All are welcome.

Of particular interest to bloggers is that bloggers in the group are asked to comment substantively on other bloggers’ posts so all can receive substantive feedback.

Here is a link to the group:

If the link does not work, search on Facebook for Church of Christ at Blogs and Bloggers.

I hope you will join!

Best regards,
Steve Gardner (blogger at
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