It is said that when part of the church hurts we all hurt. Oh God might that be so. May we be on our knees for those in the west and the east , in the north and the south where violence jars the image of the peace of the Christ Child.

On Sunday in America the church of New Life and YWAM (in 2 different places and locations) were affected by shootings.

The shooting at New Life Church saw Matthew Murray, a former Homeschool student from a religious family (didn’t attend the church) kill two sisters and injure several others. It is here where God’s grace, mercy, wisdom and all those other words that I want to be start to glimmer despite the horror.

Murray was killed by an armed female security volunteer at the church before police arrived. The security guard was not on duty but felt the Holy Spirit urge her to take her gun that day**.HT boundlessline Despite the shooter wearing a bullet proof vest, the guard’s aim killed the shooter and in effect saved hundreds of lives as he did not get that far into the building. There were 7000 people in worship when the shooting erupted. They were safely evacutated downstairs to a basement where they stayed for 4/5 hours as the church ground was cleared of a range of smoke generating devices around the grounds.

It is here where I am in awe of the people of New Life and God’s work in them :

Ashley Gibbs was getting into a car with David Harris when they heard the gunshots — a sound like someone kicking ice from the side of a car, she said.Harris said he saw the gunman, and it looked like he knew how to handle a weapon…… They stayed in the vehicle and prayed for the gunman. “It was obvious that he was in some sort of pain and going through a lot,” Gibbs told “Today.” “I just prayed God would bring him peace– Fox News

From the press conference – quotes from Pastor of New Life, Brady Boyd.

… our hearts go out to the family of this young man, the attacker, he has a mom and dad somewhere, he has a family, and we want them to know that at New
Life Church we are praying for them. We know that there is a grieving process
for them as well, and we certainly are praying for that family

We had a detailed evacuation plan in place given all kinds of scenarios, and had a large group of people that knew what to do, we had places on our campus that were designated as holding areas, and people were taken there immediately. People were ushered off the campus or taken to safe places. We had security details in each of those locations to keep people safe. That’s the reality of our world. I don’t think any of us grew up in churches where that was a reality, but today it is. So we prepared in advance for that, and because of that, although we are grieving today because of the loss of two lives, hundreds of lives were saved because of the plan we had in place. We are grateful to God for giving us the wisdom to do that and for protecting us yesterday.

** I am not one in favour of Arms control, however this is not what this post is about. The fact that this is what this woman felt she was urged to do by the HS is what is at call here. One’s cultural perceptions (of arms control or any other matter) should not get in the way of allowing God to move or in being able to see God move. It is a sad day when ones cultural perceptions become moral absolutes. You may like to refer to my previous post on this issue….

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