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Nerf Dart Death

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted February 5, 2014

RELIGION – My children got Nerf foam dart guns from my sister for Christmas. This means two things: one, she has not had kids, and two, she hates me! Cason and Luke fire these serious Rambo like machine guns with multiples clips of 100 rounds continuously. It is foam flying death! These would be fine toys, but the darts hurt!  I got shot in the eye; the foam dart had to be dislodged from the back of my skull. The only sounds heard in my home are guns being fired and crying! This is awesome!

Then one gun jams, leaving one boy crying while the other simply unloads rounds of death upon him. My wife says I have no room for complaints since I contribute to the problem when I jump out from behind a door and shoot her in her rear end with 20 rounds! For the record men, I do not suggest you try this. In the end, she was not the injured, but it was I! So thanks sis! I love you and when you have children, I will gladly repay the favor!

All of that is written to say that the safest place in a foam dart fire fight is obviously behind a couch cushion fort. The darts, while deadly, cannot penetrate the thick foam!  Then the fact that cushion forts are just inherently awesome! But let’s change it up. Let’s say that I found myself being assaulted by gun bearing home invading terrorists. I know that is a crazy scary thought. But I have the idea that I will simply build a cushion fort and hide my family behind the cushions for safety. The only problem is that now things are real. Foam is replaced with metal. Cries for help are replaced with death. My shield is now bullet ridden.  Any protection that I thought my imaginary fort will bring is gone now. Because that just got real!

Why I am I telling you this? First off, because life is real.  You know this; it can hurt you and wound you in many ways. Second, because I want to give you real hope for safety and salvation. This past Sunday we looked at Proverbs 18:11 “A rich man's wealth is his fortified city; in his imagination it is a like a high wall.” Many look for their hope and security in their wealth. Money is great and God is for it. Make as much as you can and give away as much as you can!  But money is not an end all be all to security!  In fact, you may find when you are in the hour of your great need that “As soon as your eyes fly to it, it disappears, for it makes wings for itself and flies like an eagle to the sky” (Prov. 23:5)

You see life is real. We need real hope in a real savior. Christianity embraces reality that no other religion in the world does.  Jesus entered our real world as a man. It is as John Stott wrote in The Cross of Christ “In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of the Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world. But each time after a while I have had to turn away. And in imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn-pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in Godforsaken darkness. That is the God for me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us. Our sufferings become more manageable in the light of his. There is still a question mark against human suffering, but over it we boldly stamp another mark, the cross that symbolizes divine suffering. 'The cross of Christ ... is God’s only self-justification in such a world” as ours....' 'The other gods were strong; but thou wast weak; they rode, but thou didst stumble to a throne; But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak, And not a god has wounds, but thou alone.”

So place your faith and trust in Jesus alone! He has promised that “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.  (28)  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.  (29)  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. John 10:27-29.”

Thankful I am in the nailed scarred hands of Jesus!

Pastor Phillip

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