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Steven S. Billings

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

DEATH OF THE WICKED

Yesterday Saddam Hussein was hung from the neck until dead.  And many rejoiced.

For my part, I say this was a sad day. Not because I have any sympathy in particular for a man who embodied evil so vividly, but because Satan, death and hell have claimed another victim.

"Say to them, 'As I live!' declares the Lord GOD, 'I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live'" (Ezekiel 33:11a).

Justice has won. Thanks be to God. But we ought not celebrate in the streets. We hang our heads and grieve that it had to be won at such cost.

"The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD" (Job 1:21b).

9:29 pm est

Thursday, December 21, 2006

FOR ALL THE LONELY PEOPLE

This is for all the lonely people
      Who have suffered loss
      Whose loved ones have left them through
            Separation
            Divorce
            Death
            Moving miles and miles away
                  Figuratively and physically

      Whose spirits cry out
            For love
            For acceptance
            For family and friends
            For someone to hold on to in the night
            For someone to wake up to in the morning

      Whose fears overwhelm them
            Fear of losing self
            Fear of losing control
                  Autonomy
                  Independence
            Fear of intimacy
                  Discovery
                  Exposure
            Fear that no relationship can be what it should be
                  Loving
                  Supporting
                  Accepting
                  Affirming
            Fear that things are never as they first appear
                  You can't possibly really love me
                        You only think you do
                        You don't know me enough to hate me yet
            Fear that nothing good can ever remain
                  You'll never let me be who I want to be
                  You'll never accept me as I truly am
                  You'll be unfaithful to me too
                  You'll leave me when I need you most
                        Just like all the others
                        Just like "her"

            Whose fears keep them at arm's length
                  Secluded
                  Sequestered
                  Isolated
                  Alone
                  Separated from
                        Love
                        Joy
                        Peace
                        Happiness
                        Understanding

Please know that I am your brother
      A kindred spirit
            A fellow bearer of the cross
            A wounded soldier on the field

      I weep with you
            I weep for you
            I know your pain
                  For I suffer it too

      But there is hope
            There is always hope
      Someday, somehow, somewhere
            We will find
                  Healing
                  Strength
                  Courage
            To reach out
                  To open up
                  To take that first step
                  To be willing once again
                        To risk
                              All that we have suffered before
                              All that we might suffer again
                                    Because love is worth it
                                    Because we are worth it

      And we will love
      And we will be loved
      And life will be good
            As good as it's supposed to be
            Better than we've ever known it before
            Better than we could possibly imagine
                  And we will glorify God
                        With singing and
                        With joyous praise

But for now
      We tread the lonely mile
      We struggle against our
            Fears
            Hurts
            Anxieties
            Feelings of inadequacy
            Sense of worthlessness
      And find our rest in Him who
            Heals
            Restores
            Loves beyond reason
            Proclaims our great value and worth by
                  Loving
                  Living
                  Suffering
                  Dying and
                  Rising again
                        For us
                        For you
                        For me

      And He who loves us beyond measure
            Will set us free from our guilt and fear
                  And we will soar into blue skies
                  And swim in crystal-clear waters
                  And we will love and be loved
                        As He sees fit
                        In His time
                        According to His good and gracious will

But until then
      We wait
      We hope
      We heal
      We pray
      We trust
            That He who has begun a good work in us
                  Will bring it to completion
                        In the day of our Lord Jesus Christ

This is my prayer for you
      And for me
            Amen

12:34 pm est

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For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
(Philippians 1:21)

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