Why the tragic events of Florida last week are a call to all Christians to get back outside
All of us mourned as we learned of yet another school shooting in Parkland, Florida last week. The 18th this year and 300th (yes.... 300) Since 2013. So many questions? Where does this level of evil come from and why does God allow it. More importantly for this email.. what in the world does this have to do with the Mission of Thriving Oaks and leading young people to Christ.
Well... to be honest....everything.
Christians have a much different worldview than the one we are saturated with from the secular media these days. According to them, guns are bad and protecting wildlife doesn't include hunting. Our divisions couldn't run deeper.
Thats exactly why ministries like Thriving Oaks are more important than ever. We seek to teach young people the proper order of the universe as God designed it.. as he clearly spelled out in Genesis 2:15. The young boys doing these shootings are often times fatherless and ALWAYS ALWAYS lost, usually deeply immersed in video games and isolated from their peers. The saving Gospel of Jesus Christ can change all of that. I laid awake long into the night last week wondering how things would have been different if Nikolas Cruz would have been able to attend one of our camps for young boys. If he would have had an authentic man in his life who told him how much Jesus loves him and give him a road map for life that encouraged him to pursue his God-given desires.
Last year, I was invited to write a devotional for Mossy Oak in their GameKeepers Magazine. Below is a pic from that article and the actual text below.
The real TRUTH is...God has indeed given us stewardship over the earth and the mission to influence everyone and everything in it. The more boys and girls we teach to love and appreciate creation... the less mourning... and the more joy there will be.
"After God created the heavens and the earth, He created man and gave him the responsibility of ruling over the fish in the sea, the birds of the air, and over every other living creature. "The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden to work it and take care of it." (Gen 2:15)
Each of us share in that responsibility as stewards of the land. But it goes farther than that. We are also responsible for stewarding those in our circle of incluence. So those of us with no ground to manage are not off the hook. We are to incluence in a positive way and steward the relationships in our lives. They too, are a vital part of our garden. Let's pray for the stewards he created us to be. God is good."