To Live is Christ…To Die Is Gain: He Is No Fool

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen:”

Milad Makeen Zaky

Abanub Ayad Atiya

Maged Solaiman Shehata

Yusuf Shukry Yunan

Kirollos Shokry Fawzy

Bishoy Astafanus Kamel

Somaily Astafanus Kamel

Malak Ibrahim Sinweet

Tawadros Yusuf Tawadros

Girgis Milad Sinweet

Mina Fayez Aziz

Hany Abdelmesih Salib

Bishoy Adel Khalaf

Samuel Alham Wilson

Worker from Awr Village

Ezat Bishri Naseef

Loga Nagary

Gaber Munir Adly

Esam Badir Samir

Malak Farag Abram

Sameh Salah Farug

“13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.  39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.” Hebrews 11:1, 13-16 and 39, 40



I know that we have all been overwhelmed and extremely frustrated by what is taking place in Ferguson, MO since August and also last night after the DA’s announcement that the Grand Jury has voted not to indict Officer Darren Wilson. Will you indulge me for a minute or two to express my heart on this matter? This is how I see things:

Racism and hatred have existed since the beginning…in Genesis Cain hated Abel and killed him. Cain was angry that God accepted Abel’s sacrifice to the LORD, so rather than repenting and being obedient…he chose to hate and then murder.

The Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt for 430 years (Exodus 12:20). The Pharoah’s worked them extremely hard and many where killed during that time by the Egyptians. While they were able to escape slavery by God’s grace, the Jewish People (Hebrews) have remained hated throughout the centuries. Why? Because God shows them favor and loves them. In fact, in Scripture He calls Israel (its beautiful Jewish People) the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8).

Sin causes people to do terrible and awful things. Sin breeds hatred, jealousy, resentment and those feelings, if fostered, cause us to hurt people. If we allow sin to take root, it will destroy us and those around us. As such, if Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman would have BOTH chosen to go home, Trayvon Martin would still be alive today. In my opinion, they are both at fault. Further, if Michael Brown had listened to Officer Darren Wilson and moved to the sidewalk, he would still be alive today. For every action of sin there is a consequence. Sometimes an ultimate consequence, as we see with Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

It is very tragic that two young men lost their lives. It is disheartening that George Zimmerman chose to pursue Trayvon Martin, even after calling the police to handle the matter…he took matters into his own hands. However, I feel Officer Wilson was put in a vulnerable position.

My father, Jim Shook, and several of my uncles and a cousin were policemen. I know that my Daddy would have never shot anyone unless provoked and he had no other choice. My cousin, Robin, shared her thoughts this morning with us cousins about our fathers. She shared something my Uncle Tommy said, “My Dad told me this morning that every day or night before he went to work he prayed Lord don’t let me be in the position to have to hurt someone and please don’t let someone hurt me.” That statement from my uncle embodies the heart of a policeman. Yes, there are corrupt policemen and racist policemen however, that is not the norm.

Our fathers would work crazy, long shifts to protect all of us…white, black, hispanic and so on. They put on the uniform, kissed us goodbye and went to work. I remember many times when my Daddy worked his shift how my Momma would fret until he was home. There were no cellphones where he could call her and check in. Even if there were, his work ethic would not have allowed him to. I am proud of my family who have served in the police force and it breaks my heart when lawless people accuse all police of being racist because of a few. It angers me that President Obama would stand up, face the nation and say police need more training. The public, at large, does not realize the ongoing training they already receive. The time spent at the shooting range to re-qualify to shoot their firearms. My Daddy had excruciatingly painful rheumatoid arthritis and was always concerned that he would not qualify at the range and thus lose his job; or that his arthritis would cause him not to be able to protect the public, if he had to shoot. President Obama spoke out of pure ignorance and only to appease certain people.

The only solution to sin is turning toward the Savior. We have turned our backs on God…children are not being raised according to the Scriptures. They are thrown into public schools that are teaching them that Islam is right….what are Muslims doing….killing. They are taught that it is wrong to submit to authority, it begins in the home when a mother undermines the father’s authority in the home. It continues when a teacher disciplines a child at school for doing something wrong and the parents go up to the school and have the teacher disciplined for correcting and embarrassing their child and so it goes. It begins in the home….

Sin is not a discriminator…its target is whites, blacks, hispanics and so on. God is not a discriminator either…He sent His son, Jesus, to die on Calvary for us all…Praise His Name! That’s my nickle’s worth today. Thank you for reading.


Cattle Grates and Chastening

My mind has been flitting off in at least 1,000 directions — I had a rough night sleeping — maybe I should say, rather, that I had a rough night falling asleep — my hips were hurting and my shoulders were hurting — mostly my mind was hurting. The grey matter between my ears kept wanting to go on long walks down memory lane and insisted we go.  There were a flood of memories — smells that I remember — sights — a longing to return to some memories and an urgent need to flee from others. However, the thoughts that meandered through my sleeplessness last night were of my grandparents. I was remembering this one time that I was staying at my Mammaw and Pappaw’s house for a couple of weeks during the summer — I was probably all of 6 or 7 years old — and I wanted to go home so bad. They lived in Goochland, VA and my house was in Powhatan, VA (about a 30 min. drive) and I was CERTAIN in my little mind that I could walk home. So, I packed up my little suitcase and headed down the long driveway through their field and stopped at the end of the driveway where the cattle grate was — I paused and thought long and hard on whether or not I should cross that cattle grate and head to Powhatan — I knew somewhere inside of me that crossing that grate was like walking through a door you could not walk back through. I don’t know how long I stood at the end of the lane before the good sense God gave me crept back in and I turned around and headed back to the house. Unbeknownst to me, Mammaw was watching me out of the window and in her wisdom she was letting me reckon it all out for myself! However, she told me later in life that she had purposed in her heart that if I crossed that cattle grate, she was coming after me and was going to give me a whooping!!!

God also allows us to reckon things out, but I think that He also watches from the window, as it were, and purposes that if we attempt to cross the cattle grate — He’s going to give us a whooping. Hebrews 12:5,6 “My son do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him: For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” I will always be grateful for my Grandparents chastening and even more thankful that God loves me enough to chasten, rebuke and scourge me — from time-to-time when I am in need of it. Sometimes God uses Grandparents, sometimes friends but most assuredly He always uses His Word — like a cattle grate!