Sadness and Madness

Saturday shortly after noon, I filled up the dog bowl on the back porch with water and pitched dishes in the dishwasher so that I could head out with Melissa for a bite to eat and maybe a little shoe shopping. She’d spent the night with Keith and me in the country and we’d had a lazy Saturday morning over coffee and conversation. I’d set out my purse and keys and decided to wipe down the kitchen counter before we walked out the door. Just as I sprayed the cleaner and grabbed the dishtowel, Melissa walked in staring at the screen of her phone with the oddest expression.

“Mom, I don’t know if it’s true or not but I’m seeing references on Twitter to Rick and Kay Warren losing a son.”

She was ashen. My stomach flipped and, over the next few minutes as she read to me bits and pieces of breaking news, we feared the worst. I felt a hot sickness in my throat. My relationship with the Warrens is the same as most of yours. I have simply been served and led well by them. Although I had the joy of ministering to women on the Saddleback campus some years ago, my stay was brief and our schedules were wrapped entirely around the event. I have not had the opportunity to get to know the Warrens in the way that personal friends know one another but I always knew in my heart that I’d like them so much. We’re similar ages and in similar seasons with our families. Meanwhile, I have  loved them and esteemed them in Christ as faithful and mighty servants of the living Lord Jesus Christ. And quite possibly, among the mightiest to ever serve this generation.

Within an hour of Melissa walking into the kitchen with those first pieces of news, someone very close to the Warren family confirmed the tragedy on Twitter. We were heartsick and not for media personalities or even public servants. We were heartsick for a family of real people with breakable hearts. And we wept. Many of you undoubtedly did as well.

An odd mix of feelings overtook me with increasing force through the afternoon and into the early evening. The sadder I got, the madder I got. Mad at an astonishing satanic force that stoops viciously and swoops in unscrupulously to attack children and to prey on their weaknesses as they grow up, shooting so relentlessly at one spot that they can barely get to their feet between arrows. I’ve been that child and many of you have, too. Madder still that the devil in all likelihood delights in nothing more than targeting the children and dearest loved ones of true servants of God. Nothing tries our faith like the suffering of our children. At the end of the day, our faith is what the devil is after most. Without it, it’s impossible to please God. This is why Paul could say with relief nearly palpable on the page of his final letter, “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.

We’ll all finally make it to our finish lines but the cliffhanger along the way will be this: will we keep our faith? That isn’t the same thing as keeping our salvation. I don’t believe my salvation is something I can give back. I received it by grace through faith from Christ Himself and my works don’t secure it no matter how my woes obscure it. His grip never loosens. Nothing can snatch us out of our Father’s hand. What’s at risk is our active belief in who God says He is, what He says He is like, and what He says He can do.

Is He good? Is He faithful?

So the enemy sets out to knock the feet of our faith out from under our walk. And there is nothing more effective toward that end than targeting the ones we love most on this planet.

I don’t say that to scare you. I say it because I believe it is the hair-raising truth. No, we are not abandoned here as victims on this damaged sod. We are not abandoned at all. Our God is with us. The Spirit of His Son is in us. We are more than conquerors through the One who loves us. We are not at the mercy of Satan. We are at the glorious, life-breathing mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, a mercy that leads, as Jude 21 says, to eternal life and will ultimately spill like a river into a sea of reality where no sufferings of our past will compare with the glory of our present. In the meantime, greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world but make no mistake. This is a vicious world we’ve been left to serve. One God still loves or we would not still be here.

And then, in that mixture of emotions Saturday afternoon, I got madder and madder at the bullies in the Body of Christ. I thought how much it turns out that the Warrens have been through personally and, if they are like most leaders, all the while putting out fires and putting up with a bunch of trash-talk from people who would call the same Jesus Lord.

God help us. In the words of James, These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters.

I don’t believe one of us here in this community thinks that leaders should be immune to questions, constructive criticism, and accountability.  That’s not the kind of thing I’m talking about here. I’m talking about bullying. There are Scriptural means for going to a brother or sister to reason with them about matters we genuinely consider to be off base, misleading, or in error. You and I both know that much of what happens out there in public forums is the furthest thing from biblical.

It is slander.

I went on a walk through the woods Saturday late afternoon and did something I don’t often do. I cried angry tears. I got so mad that I could have hit somebody. I kept thinking how believers attack one another and sling stones at each other like the other can’t bruise or break. And all the while that person may be in so much personal pain that it’s nearly unbearable. I’m not transferring this to the Warrens. I do not know them personally. I’m telling you what I know to be true about most people out there. Most of us are in significant pain of some kind. That doesn’t mean defeat necessarily. It just means pain.

Life is hard enough without hatefulness rife in the Body of Christ. We are called to carry one another’s burdens, not pile relentlessly on top of them. We can still hold one another accountable. We can still ask questions. We can still disagree. But we can do it with respect.

I’m sick of the bullying. The mud-slinging and the meanness. I’m sick of careless, idle words thrown out there in the public square and professing believers in Christ standing on the necks of their own brothers and sisters to sound smart and superior. As if it’s not enough that we are surrounded in this culture by Christian haters, we’ve got to have our own hater-Christians. It’s insane.

When we turn people into caricatures, everything’s game. The moment we depersonalize them, our consciences harden and we can mock and slander at will and have a blast doing it. Snide blogs and tweets and Facebook posts about various leaders can also be effective ways to jump in their spotlight. Bullies aren’t just mean. They’re self-serving. They’re platform-hunting. They have to borrow one to perform.

No, I don’t think that saying all of this will change it much but some things still need to be said. Sometimes we need to speak up and call something wrong. There’s a bigger issue in the Body of Christ than immorality. It’s hatefulness. If the greatest priority Christ assigned to us was love, the gravest offender is hate.

Just about the time cynicism threatens to overwhelm us and turn us into the very people we can’t stand, genuine love – the real thing – erupts right here on this earth like concrete breaking open to a spring. Compassion and tremendous affection are pouring forth from the Body of Christ for the Warrens right now. It is right and it is lovely. We have been served well by them and have learned so much from them. To respond with expressions of love, comfort, and intercession is our honor and privilege. We must and we will.

But even now at the hardest moment of their lives the Warrens can teach something vital if we are willing to learn. Their heartbreak demonstrates what has always been true but has never been more profoundly overlooked: these who serve us publicly also suffer privately. They are not caricatures. They are not just personalities. They are people living on a painful planet with the rest of us.

The Warrens will come forth like gold. The enemy will not win. They will fight the good fight. They will finish the race. They will keep the faith.

I love the Body of Christ. I don’t want want to get cynical. I don’t want to sit around and hate the haters or I become one. But this morning I just want to say this. We can love each other better. Let’s do. People have enough hurt. Let’s be careful with one another.





735 Responses to “Sadness and Madness”

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  1. 601
    Sheila Mahnken :-) says:

    I also think it’s horrible that Christians respond to the news stories in the same ways as others in the ‘dark’ society…to non-Christians & fellow Christians…I wish there were more of what’s in the video in this link out there ~ and not just for people who have ‘visible’ pain and difficulties…

    Sorry it’s a bit off-subject, but it really made my day because I’m moving back to Nebraska and have always been a Huskers girl ~ and comments I’ve read on other articles (it even had a spot in a Denmark medium, although I didn’t read that article, along with ALL of the other articles) are so predominately positive…

  2. 602
    Teresa says:

    I wrote this on October 10, 2012, just 9 days after my son-in-law committed suicide. He had dated my daughter for 2 years and 8 months, they were married for just 4 short months. They had a fairy tale wedding and honeymooned at Disney World.

    I have so many thoughts and words to say. I really need prayers for wisdom on how and when to release those thoughts.

    I believe there is a silent form of bullying and the place that I have seen this the most is in our churches. No, I am not mad at God. I believe he is grieving because of how the church has failed our young people, especially young married couples. What is going on in our churches? Why are so many “so called” Christians allowed to act the way they do without any chatisement from God.

    For those of you that have made the statement, “we lose so many of our young people when they get out of the youth group.” WHY? What are you doing for them? It takes more than prayer! Church, you need to wake up!!!! Parents, you need to wake up!!!

    Premarital counseling needs to be more than just a few CDs and a 20 minute session. Schools need to be preparing students for life, not just teaching them how to take an achievement test. Churches need to look out for all of their kids, not just the ones that are “popular”.

    Parents, we have to remember that our children are gifts from God. We don’t own them, we are to train them to live for him only.

    6 months later we still have trouble being comfortable in church. My children who grew up in church, Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. Most years we also were involved in an additional day of Bible study at church. These children no longer see a need to be involved in church. They remain close to God, studying on their own, but see no need for the drama and hypocrisy of “church”.

    • 602.1
      The Lord's Bride says:

      My heart goes out to you, Teresa, and to your daughter.

      You nailed it when you said the churches need to equip our young people for life … and not just the “popular” ones.

      My grandson just went off to college this year. We’re all so very proud of him. However, he wasn’t counted among the “popular” kids in the church because he is “mixed.” Their treatment made him want to stay away, and I didn’t blame him.

      When the time came for all the new freshmen of the church to head off for college, there was a list of names for the church congregation to pick from, if they wanted to “adopt” a college kid, and send him/her notes, cookies, care package, etc. Great idea, right?

      Wrong. Their motives were wrong. They placed on the “list” only the “popular” kids, and our grandson’s name was excluded.

      When we asked why, we were told that it’s because he was not very active (although he was, from the time he was born, up until now)so, they didn’t feel like they knew him enough to include his name.

      Have you ever heard something sooooo ridiculous and painfully prejudice?

      Jordan Dean is attending Murray State University, and he has yet to ever hear from a single soul other than his family. He’s lonely, but, he’s a winner, and this is NOT getting him down.

      I just wanted to compliment your brave remarks, and salute you for saying them. Beth, too!

      God bless you,

    • 602.2
      Melissa says:

      PREACH IT!!!

    • 602.3
      cindy says:

      American church is about full time ministers being seen and known, about people getting rich, about shows. Come apart from that nonsense, is what the Lord says. God is not happy with the American church that exalts men and women in the platform more than anything else. I get so tired of it. I get so tired of the games. I get so tired I too want to die at times. But I will leave that in God’s hands to take me home. I am sorry for your son’s death. He was attacked by the enemy and gave in. May the Lord pay you back. God loves you.

  3. 603
    Ann says:

    May the Lord grant the abundant comfort of His presence to the Warren family and protect them from the accusations of the evil one during this vulnerable time.

    Thank you for this exhortation, Beth!

    “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

    “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” (Galatians 5:14-15)

  4. 604
    Pete Hamilton says:

    Thank you for sharing this story. I recently lost the most important person in my life. Never have I felt pain like this before. If not for the love of our father, his peace and the solace of prayercould I have made it this far. And the love of fellow Christians. To think that any person that knows the love of Christ could bring more pain on someone going through what the Warrens are may need to assess their walk. Love one another. Jesus words should be enough.

  5. 605
    Dean says:

    It seems very unchristian that you attack the body of Christ using the vile terms such as;
    Hateful,Relentless,Bullies, Mud slingers,Mean,Careless,Self seeking,Haters,Mockers, Slanderers,Snide,Self serving,Enemies…
    I’ve never seen any discernment ministries that call Rick’s theology into question attacking him on a personal level such as you are here.

    Here are some words of wisdom from Adrian Rogers…

    It is better to speak the truth that hurts than falsehoods that comfort.
    It is better to be divided by truth than united in sin.
    It is better to be hated for telling the truth than liked for telling a lie.
    It is better to stand alone with truth, than be wrong with the multitude.

  6. 606
    Julie Bottger says:

    The Spirit within me says “yes” and “amen” to every single word.

    • 606.1
      troy says:

      i haven’t seen anything but love and compassion extended to the Warren family from the Christian community, now that is a different story form the secular world but that is expected.

  7. 607
    Janet B. says:

    With all due respect, I don’t understand what Matthew’s suicide has to do with some Christians being critical of Rick Warren?

    I disagree with much of what Rick Warren does and I have not seen one article published by prominent Christians who disagree with the Warrens bash him after his son’s suicide. I have only seen love and support pour out to him.

    Disagreement, even strong disagreement is not “bullying.” Scripture calls us to contend for the faith and when someone as prominent as Rick Warren is sharing a church platform with leaders of other faiths…not to bring them to Christ but to join with them in spiritual ventures, I and many others have a big problem with that.

    The number of name-calling terms used in Beth’s article is shameful. When we are feeling angry and emotional and feel the need to write something public, we always should write it and then wait a day or two to publish.

    • 607.1
      Kara says:

      I doubt you have read every blog out there about Rick Warren since his son’s death. Unfortunately, they are out there, and not seeing it yourself doesn’t change that it has happened.
      Since when is “name-calling” wrong? If a person is mean, they’re mean. There’s no need to call it something else.
      Someone, especially a Christian, brother or sister in Christ, taking the opportunity directly after the Warren’s son’s death to call him out is mean. Plain and simple.

    • 607.2
      Chris says:

      Janet B
      You hit the nail on the head, and answered from the Heart of God!!! Printing anything now from what you said, would be like… trying to, as someone once said of imitating Jimmy Stewart, and thats all you could try to do…is imitate! So I’ll let your words of wisdom (Prophetic Words),lay as they rest, except for the fact that no/one…I mean no one caught the meanness of “The number of name-calling terms used in Beth’s article is shameful”, except you,
      Sister and you also gave the only antidote of wisdom for all who would read the article, and leave the fruit of Gods Spirit in tact!!! “When we are feeling angry and emotional and feel the need to write something public, we always should write it and then wait a day or two to publish.” Thus after a few days, one might have a double take and let that thought take rest…, in our minds, to allow Galations 5 vs 22-23 to take effect; Love, Joy, Peace, longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Patience, Meekness, Faith, Temperence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. 608
    Teresita Pascual says:

    AMEN!!!! Praise His Name! God has a greater purpose!

  9. 609
    Louise says:

    Beautifully said Thank you

  10. 610
    Rachel Marsh says:

    As God loves us with a love we can count on… described in 1Cor 13……

    “…….LOVE is patient, love is KIND, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is NOT RUDE, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love DOES NOT DELIGHT in evil but rejoices with the truth.
    LOVE always protects, it always trusts, always hopes, also perseveres……..” 1Cor 13

    And because we love God, and because we are His represenatives here on earth until he comes we should ALWAYS pattern our actions and words after His loving care for us ESPECIALLY in their time of hardship and grief !
    Satan would so like us to be discouraging and mean, etc….

  11. 611
    Lori says:

    With tear filled eye’s I said “Amen” through out this post. It is like you wrote from my heart and what I’ve been saying to people but you said it so beautifully and with such grace. Thank you!

  12. 612
    Brenda says:

    Amen. Amen. Amen.

    This is one of the biggest reasons why I refuse to get wound up about gay marriage. Because that is not the biggest issue facing Christianity today. We are supposed to be known by our love for one another – and too often, that is not the public image of Christians for all the reasons you cite. We need to address the log in our own eye before we pick at other peoples’ eyes.

  13. 613
    Sara says:

    I am in shock ive lost a child and can imagine the pain the Warrens are going through. But i never have seen such a horrid attack how can people be so cruel or some wrong.

    May God bless the Warrens and hold them close in their grief.

  14. 614
    Libby says:

    oh thank you so much for sharing what was in my heart but i was unable to put into words!
    I have suffered for many years with emotional and mental issues and have only recently been estranged from my child due to “christian” family and friends slandering, divisive, tearing down comments! Absolutely NO grace, NO compassion and NO love….so very disturbing that inside the church, inside relationships that call Jesus Lord and Savior this is happening!

    You see having walked this very dark road has taught me one very important lesson…never judge!

    and never fear….just say you don’t understand and take their hand anyway! hold their hand tight,look them in the eye, love them and pray!!!! That is what grace is…coming to the end of our understanding, our pride, our fears and letting God give us the compassion, love and wisdom we need to give away to others who are hurting!
    Simplest thing in the world is accepting Jesus, accepting His love! and letting HIS LOVE rule and reign in your life!

    Simple….and the bottom line is…my family can be as devisive and slanderous as they want but I was chosen by God to be my childs mother and no one can ever change THAT fact! I am and always will be the ONLY mother she will have…so I win and my great love and prayers for her travelling to heaven and back will overcome any estrangement in time….LOVE overcomes all evil….

  15. 615
    Theresa Haskins says:

    AMEN BETH! Nicely put!

  16. 616
    ARY says:

    Thank you so much Beth for this blog, you said what I was feeling and thank you for that conviction I share – the Warrens will come forth as gold. The enemy will not win. We are holding them up and the Almighty God we serve is still alive and he is faithful – in EVERY circumstance.

  17. 617
    Sue johnson says:

    Your words say it all, how most of us as fellow believers are feeling right now, and I thank you for posting this. My heart and prayers are with The Warren family too .

  18. 618
    D Ann says:

    I guess it’s because of my experience as a pastor’s wife that I’ve experienced many more hater-Christians than Christian haters. And it does make me feel cynical, but I’m working on that. Thanks for this post, Beth.

  19. 619
    Caroline says:

    Let me join the chorus. Amen.

  20. 620
    Rach says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Very well said.

  21. 621
    Mel Ann Sullivan says:

    Mel Ann Sullivan – Millry, AL – Praise the Lord. Praise O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord. Let the name of the Lord be praised both now and forevermore. From the rising of the sun til the place where it sets the name of the Lord is to be praised. The Lord is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God, the one who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the poor from the ash heep. He seats them with princes, with the princes of their people. He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord. Psalm 113 – NIV

  22. 622
    Pat says:

    Thank you Beth for this beautiful post!!!

  23. 623
    Sarah says:

    Beth, yet again, your wisdom takes my breath away. Thank you for saying what needs to be said. Now, may it fall into ears that hear!

  24. 624
    michelle says:

    This message is so needed. I think we need to call a spade a spade. Many Christians have stepped into the role of bullies. Thank you for calling us to examine ourselves and whether we are part of the problem or the solution.

  25. 625
    Paula says:

    Way to depersonalize, attack, call names at, and vilify everyone who’s ever had a legitimate beef with Warren’s theology. Bravo.

  26. 626
    Kevin McCarthy says:

    Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam dílis…
    The messages on Daily Hope transcend all christian belief ..
    My prayers and thoughts are with the Warren family at this time..
    May the Blessings of OurLord Jesus Christ ease their pain at this time..

  27. 627
    John Stuart says:

    It was deeply saddening to learn of Mathew Warren’s suicide; I was in the process of writing *Warning Signal* about a similar story in my home city in Canada.

  28. 628
  29. 629
    Michael says:

    “Amen” to your post.

    Life is crazy and I agree 100% with your “Let’s be careful with one another.”

    Thanks for sharing this with your community.

  30. 630
    Paul Wiggins says:

    This is one of the most meaningful on target messages I’ve seen. I lost my only son when he was 16. I can’t imagine if that were compounded by him committing suicide. The support & the Love of the body of Christ & God himself were the only thing that sustained us. The grief of a public figure & the pain they have walked through is no less significant. Why do we tend to start judging public figures more harshly. I don’t desire to have scrutiny without Love. Rise up Church of God. “They will know us by our Love one for another”

  31. 631
    Tracie Gamblin says:

    Thank you so much for the reminder! We need to remember this in all facets of our lives. Everything we say/do/post is viewed by the world around us. Someone who needs a Christ-like influence may be looking when we are not at our best.

  32. 632
    Alison Fairfield says:

    I very rarely read blogs but did so because this one was commended by Rick Warren. Well said, Beth, with regard to the cliffhanger of losing faith while retaining one’s salvation. As this story continues to unfold, I am in awe of the Christlike responses of Rick in particular.

    As to the “madness” in your post, hopefully the Warrens will stand as a model as we in the Christian community engage in discussion of several hard issues now so palpably raised for them and now all followers of Jesus by this tragedy.

    Aren’t we all now inexorably drawn into our nation’s divisive and often very uncivil ongoing current debates regarding — not just regarding mental health — but guns and as Rick Warren himself has called, our “culture of violence?” A culture, I believe, in which many believers have been complicit or at the very least about which we’ve been complacent.

  33. 633
    Ron Woody says:

    Thank you!

  34. 634
    Faye says:

    Thank you, Beth.

  35. 635
    Hilda Camile says:

    To my Blessed Christ Family,
    I am so sorry as I read about the Warren’s and their son,I met Rick Warren last August at the Celebrate Recovery Summit, when he autographed my books I thought what a kind heart of a Christen man he is; not knowing he had a son with mental illness,(in which is not a sign of weak faith} now I think how he must have given his son in God’s hand. I just want the Warren family to know how I love them thru Christ our Savior.
    I ask God to forgive all those cruel hearts whom do not know Christ like “Love” We Must remember not all who say they are Christians are walking in the narrow road; they are religious. We must do as David did in the Psalms: he gave their hearts to God and took care of his heart; so must we and most of all Pray for the Warren’s and their families.

    Hilda Camille
    Austin TX.

  36. 636
    Teresa says:

    Tks Beth u touched me with ur comments, also I was in Greensboro and wow was I blessed, so thankful for u! God bless u and keep on keeping on. LOVE YA GIRLFRIEND BIG HAIR AND ALL. =)

  37. 637
  38. 638
    katiegfromtennessee says:

    Oh Beth, I didn’t know that the Warrens had lost a son…that has got to be so hard. I will definitely pray for them. You know, the other day, I came across some notebook paper I that I had used in a prayer journal, and on some of the pages that were still blank, I had written, “PRAY FOR THE CHAPMANS”. I hadn’t thought about them in a while, but at that point, I figured the Lord had brought them to my attention again for a reason. So, I prayed for them. Even after all this time, they are probably still hurting considerably…what you are saying is true. Love is what we need…((HUGS)) to you always Beth, I love you much Siesta Mama Beth.

  39. 639
    Melissa Lloyd says:

    How the words shared here touched my heart as I am one who has struggled mightily to hold on to my faith (though not my salvation, for it is sure)after being bullied viciously in more than one church body. I find myself in a place where I teeter between trying to remain invisible so that I can worship without fear while my heart cries out to be known and to serve again. I gave most of my life to leading, teaching and serving in the church, though imperfectly yet with passion, but when I needed the church to stand with my family, for my family, I was abused and bullied and pushed away for daring to speak truth in love to a group of teenage and grownup women bullies. It’s hard to separate Christ from his church and yet I know that the church is made up of imperfect people while His love is perfect and pure and never fails. Thank you so much for speaking so compassionately to the heart of those who struggle to hold on, to my heart. I have never seen the issue of bullying within the body addressed by anyone who is such a sweet and gentle leader. You seem to understand. Your words here meant so much to me and have encouraged me to hang on to Jesus despite being hurt by His people.

  40. 640
    Theresa says:

    Thank you, Beth! You stated so beautifully and lovingly what I felt but could not put into words.

    Disregard those who call you a hater or say that you indulged in name-calling in this blog. What you did in this blog was lovingly point out that there are those who express their disagreement with a person’s theology hatefully and publicly – when scripture is clear that we are to reason with those we consider in error.

    Every one of us must continually check our heart. Are we communicating love or hate to your Christian family?

    “Love one another, even as I have loved you.” John 13:34

  41. 641
    Lisa Curtis says:

    Lisa Curtis
    Jackson, MO

    bearing with one another and forgiving one another if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else, just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others. Colossians 3:13 NET

  42. 642

    We enter into detail to elucidate each a particular and most of the benefits that many offers.

  43. 643
    Joyce Abbott says:

    I think this article was well delivered and much needed. I share in Beth Moore’s uncertainty that saying these things will alter or shift the atmosphere of insensitivity, disrespect, lack of compassion and love coming not only from unbelievers, but sadly, believers alike. I cannot wrap my mind around what is motivating people of faith to celebrate another’s public pain and loss. It’s inconceivable to me why one would choose to, not only add, but multiply another’s grief and moment of anguish. It breaks my heart to see Christians attacking Rick Warren and his family. Yes, he is a phenomenal pastor, but more than that, he’s a man who has lost his dear son. I pray God continues to richly bless Pastor Rick and his family. Goodness will prevail because the Warren’s have HOPE. I have faith that the Saddleback Church family will lift them up in prayer and lavish them with love and encouragement during this difficult time. I’ve attended for 6 yrs and been a member for 5 yrs. This bible verse seemed fitting for this post:

    Ephesians 4:29-32

    “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

    And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

    Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

    Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

  44. 644
    Kari says:

    Beautifully said Beth!! Love you lady!

  45. 645
    Pattie Self says:

    Pattie Self, San Angelo, TX He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32 NIV

  46. 646
    sandi in Asheville, NC says:

    Ephesians 2: 11-12 “Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)’–remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.”

  47. 647
    Laura says:

    Beth, drawn to: “If the greatest priority Christ assigned to us was love, the gravest offender is hate.” Thinking that this hate is linked to pride. Lord, heal us of arrogance. Make Your bride beautifully humble and compassionate. You are the worthy Bridegroom.

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    Kim says:

    Beth, thank you for your post, I have much to say on this point having lost my own 23 year old daughter to suicide May 21, 2009. God is there to hold the Warren family and I expect to unveil his word especially about the sufferings of Christ.I believe our most grievious pain can come from others who are supposed to be our family. My heart and prayers go out to the Warrens. Godspeed to him 1 Cor 2:5-8

    5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

    6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

    7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

    8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

    What satan had planned to destroy us God will bring forth redemption ! I love you and your transparency as always

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    Jeannie Weller Cooper says:

    To moderator, re: “The Lord’s Bride” Please know I read your post and will be praying for Jordan Dean. I’ve lived all my life in the deep south and all but 10 years in the 1980s very involved in a local church. I am thankful I haven’t witnessed what you describe but I have seen less “popular” children ignored. Thank you Ms Moore for your closing remarks: “I don’t want to sit around and hate the haters or I become one. .. We can love each other better.”
    I really want Jordan’s family to know someone in Panama City, FL is praying for him at Murray State. As I was led by my dear aunt (see “Apr 26” post ‘Praying God’s Word, Day by Day’ B Moore, Lifeway) from Heb 10:25 (Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.) I attend a local ch here that is *very* imperfect, upsetting me often; yet as part of this local arm of Christ’s body I have met so many sweet, funny, faithful folks who have, and maintained) a passion for Christ and his work and the people in our town that He loves and craves to be near him. I crave to be *at* church, being fed his word, being held accountable, seeing my friends that are struggling in the darkness, toward the light, like precious sunflowers, as I am. I can also reach even more people united *with* them, even though some of my brothers and sisters let things come out of their mouths that makes me want to stomp my foot. Only God is good. I am so in awe that he lets an annoying sometimes foul mouthed smarty pants (me) work along side him, like a three year old standing on a stool in the kitchen, “washing dishes” “helping.” Please, Lord, shed this grace you’ve shown me on Jordan, and on my children (same age) and on all of us, now and as the day approaches. For some unbelievable examples of smh Christ followers, please re read the letters we call the gospels; see how Christ loved (s) this selfish, self centered, cowardly bunch.

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    Cynthia says:

    when the Holy Spirit of God shows us something off in a ministry… our part is to respond in prayer intercede. that is the reason we see something a bit off. It is His eyes seeing it.. His Spirit calling attention to it.. we should not critize anything that He alone shows us.. but respond in obedience to submit our own … God bless

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