A few of you, or maybe even most of you, probably don't know *that* much about me. Or what you do know of me doesn't involve much of my growing up.
My dad is a pastor. My mom's dad is a pastor. My mom's brother is a pastor. My dad's brother is a pastor. I use the word IS vs the word WAS, because even my grandpa who doesn't actively preach in a church anymore, is still a pastor. Go visit him once, and you'll see this. Pastors never TRULY retire. Its always in them.
Sunday mornings were spent arriving early while my mom would practice the piano in preparation for praise and worship. Eventually, my brother and I ended up on the praise team as well. He played the drums, and I sang alongside my mother playing the piano, and others also singing and playing various instruments. Sunday evenings were spent at church. Wednesday evenings were spent at youth group. I grew up in the church. That is where 80% of my childhood memories are.
I grew up in the church. Get it yet? Good. Because here we go.
James 2:17 (NIV) In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
Faith. Without works. Is dead.
When was the last time you woke up with the worst hangover and you just prayed about it. Did you attempt to pray the headache away? Doubtful. You probably rolled over out of bed and found your way to the nearest Tylenol bottle.
When was the last time you were a few dollars short for something and instead of picking up a side job or putting in a few extra hours at work, you just decided to just hope and pray? Again, doubtful. You probably picked up a few extra hours at work, or you decided to 'mow a few lawns'.
Did your car stop working and you just decided to sit inside the broken down car praying it would start back up again? Nope. You didn't. You found a mechanic or you yourself fixed it.
Faith. Without works. Is dead.
I could give a rats rear if you are christian, spiritual, muslim, jewish, or you worship your dog. Same shit (yes, I grew up in the church) applies all across the board. You don't get to just sit and hope and pray that things fix themselves. You get your ass up, and you work. You might be praying along the way to make sure that God/Allah/Christ directs you to the right path, but don't fool me by saying you don't get up and try to do something about it WHILE praying. I'm no fool.
How many times after a mass shooting have we heard "prayers for 'xyz'." And how many times has nothing changed? You don't get to offer just prayers anymore. I'm now telling you, begging you, PLEADING with you, to PLEASE take action. Start by emailing your local government officials.
I don't care if you're contacting to tell them you want the white house painted purple. Contact your officials and tell them. DO SOMETHING. Express to them your deepest concerns for our county. Tell them to act. Tell them to do SOMEthing. Faith. Without works. Is dead. We may not all agree on WHAT needs to be done, but we agree something MUST be done.
Get involved. Stay involved in local communities, in schools, in community centers. Stay involved. Show love to those you see everyday. Show compassion. That God you pray to? Pretty sure he would be down in Orlando right now, wrapping his arms around ALL of those suffering and offering comfort. I don't claim to KNOW a lot, but I do know this: He wouldn't be sitting in his recliner watching the media cover this horrific act of violence, sitting and just praying. He would be in the thick of it handing out waters, giving blood, offering comfort to those in need. HE would get involved.