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I recently completed leading a Bible study on the Book of Revelation. Attached is a word document with some initial reflections on the study. I included several resources that I recommend.

Reflections on Studying the The Book of Revelation

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Earlier this summer, I was back at The Citadel taking my son Jack to a soccer clinic Monday through Thursday mornings. The clinic was led by the girls’ soccer team coaches. (I played soccer all four years at The Citadel, but now they only have a girls’ team – but that is a whole other story.)

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, I demonstrated serious vacation motivation. While Jack was in the clinic, I ran around campus, worked out at the gym, juggled the soccer ball for a while, ran around some more, etc. On Thursday, however, I was sore from the previous three mornings and decided to spend the morning in the chapel and watching Jack play.

During my four years at The Citadel, I spent considerable time in the chapel—not in services but in solitary prayer. One place every cadet goes at least once a day is to Mark Clark Hall – home of the mailboxes where sometimes letters or care packages await. On the way or returning to check their mail (the old-fashioned mail,) cadets walk past the chapel. At some point in my knob (freshman) year, I committed to myself to step in the chapel at least once a day when passing it to pray for a while. Of all of the vows to myself or goals I have made, by God’s grace this one I kept thoroughly. Sometimes I stepped in for a short prayer and stepped out onto my way; other times, I prayed for an hour.

After more than 20 years since graduating in 1991, there I was again praying in the chapel, and I had all morning to spend. As I prayed and read Scriptures, it was surprising to think that I was a priest now—ordained to actually celebrate Holy Communion at this altar. Wow! I had actually come a long way in many regards. In other ways, I was still the needy, desperate supplicant before a mighty and holy God whose words I longed to hear and touch I yearned to feel.

It was in this chapel, that I experienced God’s peaceful presence during my four years as a cadet. It was there that God especially surprised me one day. During the Spring of my Junior year, I was feeling burdened and stressed. I prayed in the chapel for a while, and as I turned to leave I walked down the side aisle. I looked up and it seemed as though all of the sunlight shining from outside was focused through one small panel of a stained glass window. That small panel had one word: “Hope.” “Hope” literally glowed that day.

When I returned to my room, God led me to a Scripture I had recently read, “we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4 There was hope, and I knew that through the sunlight in the window and through the Scriptures, God had really spoken to me and answered my prayers, because “hope does not disappoint.” (Romans 5:5)

I know it is all by grace that we can pray to God or even sit in his presence. How often as an adult I have neglected that grace that brought such fruit to me as a cadet at The Citadel. We don’t always have a chapel on our way to step into to pray. We all need to find some place, some time, and some way to daily step out of the world and into God’s presence for a few minutes or a few hours. I’m thankful for God’s leading me back to that sacred space of quiet stillness that is God’s workshop.

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Bud Wright’s latest rant glosses over the offenses of radical Islam by comparing them to the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC).  (Is this the best the Daily Advance can do in op-ed’s—rehash Facebook memes?) The WBC spreads hate and shows egregious disrespect for fallen soldiers and families.  The rest of Christendom disdains the actions of the WBC.

On the other hand, this week in Nigeria Islamic radicals killed 42 children and teachers in a school.  The children were burned alive.  Last week, Fr. Francois Murad, Roman Catholic priest in Syria, was shot inside his church for his faith by Islamic zealots.  A Coptic priest was shot dead in Egypt. In Iran, American Pastor Saeed Abedini remains imprisoned for his faith.  Murders of Christians by Muslims occur in churches, villages, marketplaces and in homes throughout the Middle East and Africa. Any reasonable person can easily see Islamic zealotry is more than a verbal annoyance or a single unit of the religion like the WBC. 

Similarly, Wright’s assertion that American Christians and Muslims value American freedom equally is an unfounded and unquantifiable statement.  The burden of the proof lies with Wright.  We have freedom in this country, because America’s founders were informed by Judeo-Christian values that established freedom to worship.  The same cannot be said of countries with governments informed by Islam where Christians and Jews are often persecuted if tolerated at all.

Wright also rejects any proposed restraints against abortion providers.  Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the abortionist recently convicted of murder and manslaughter, operated without meaningful oversight in the name of “Women’s Health.”  Wright essentially argues for this libertine prerogative for abortionists.  Wright eschews the types of prudent medical standards that prevent deaths of mothers like Maria Santiago who died following a botched abortion this year in Maryland. 

The closing argument of a recent Wright column attempts to show the irrelevance of Biblical sexual ethics pertaining to marriage.  He compares Biblical sexual morality to the Old Testament law prohibiting work on the Sabbath.  A writer should have at least a pedestrian knowledge of the Bible before attempting to turn it against itself.  Wright only proves his own Biblical ignorance and general foolishness. 

The above examples, I think, are a few of the plethora of Wright’s asinine assertions that consistently insult readers by their incoherent content, unreasonableness and unoriginality.   Wright is like a schoolyard bully who verbally insults people because he has an older and bigger brother to stand behind him.  I honestly don’t understand how or why Wright is afforded half a page of Saturday’s paper each week. 

Link to Daily Advance site