Confession: I was somewhat unpatriotic as a youth. I always saw people around the world as equal. I learned in college that the belief in one’s superiority is ethnocentrism. I mixed in a bit of Christianity: God sees all people equal.
But when I was in dire straits, this country came through for me.After 16 years as a missionary, I fled kidnappers in Guatemala to the safety of America. My Guatemalan friends told me crime was everywhere, but it’s not true. Thank God for America. Thank God for godly principles upon which it was founded — and continue to be present despite a cultural distancing from God. Thank God for the blessings of America. Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again. He’s wrong; America hasn’t lost its luster.
I have seen the world, and there’s no place like America. No need to brag. America is still a light to the world, despite our many failings.
Thank God for men and women who have bravely defended our country, who have fought for freedom around the world, who have rained down upon evil men a hail of bullets and blasts. The university professors may criticize our government because we have the freedom to do so. I have been in countries where no one has the freedom to criticize governing authorities.
Today I wish to honor the dead and the living soldiers who keep America great.
Posted in America, Christianity, God
Tagged crime, Donald Trump, ethnocentrism, Faith, godly heritage, Guatemala, Jesus, Memorial Day, patriotism, United States
It was a contest of scary stories, but these were real — about assaults. The people one-upping each other were pastors in Guatemala. As the only gringo in the group, I begged them to stop since they worked worse in my mind. The Guatemalans gave accounts of the times they were held up at gunpoint or at knifepoint sometimes out of humor. I never got the joke.
Eventually the terror of the reigning insecurity in Guatemala got the best of me, and I high-tailed it to the U.S. Guatemala is nation dominated by drug-traffickers. Government officials are too busy stealing from the country. Police officers join the fray. You never know who to fear more, the crooks or the police officers.
By the time I succumbed to fear, God had raised up leaders to take over and keep the work going.
I held out in faith for 16 years, but when I got held up by pros, after exchanging money at the bank, I was afraid for my kids. They would rapt them and demand ransom.
Please don’t be glib. You can spout scripture (“perfect love casts out all fear” comes to mind) from here in the United States where you face virtually no threat. But I’ll listen to a person who has been through worse things than me.
The smiles are worth whatever fears I had. People have come to Christ.
Not all fear is bad. As David Bowie observed grimly: There are no atheists on the battlefield. Those who face death daily don’t have the luxury to flout their intellectual pride and declare themselves free-thinkers. Those who face fear hold to faith. I believe David Bowie, after promoting so much sin during his musical career, came to God at the end. Selling records and making money was cool, but it was useless to solve the death problem. Only God can do that.
Have you conquered all fears? Maybe you just haven’t had a big enough trial yet. You don’t fear God? Some go into eternity sticking to their pridefulness and insisting they don’t believe in God.
Posted in fear, Financial Talk, Guatemala, ministry, missionaries
Tagged believing, Central America, crime, Jesus, kidnappers, life, police, thieves, Third World, thougths