From Corona to the tragic murder of George Floyd and its aftermath, fear and anger are running wild. Will this end soon, or is it only the beginning?

Whatever the outcome and continued impact, are you ready? Will you face this alone, or in community? And if in community, what are doing to prepare yourselves spirituality?

We have a chance to show people an alternative to fear and anger. Shall we rise together?

Suffering can turn us inward down an endless dark hole, or it can force us to look outward, outside of ourselves to the only place we can find meaning in our suffering.

Today, on The Pilgrim's Odyssey podcast, we reflect on some words of wisdom from Thomas Merton's great book, No Man Is An Island, along with a few powerful words of Christ that can help us understand how to turn our suffering from an inexplicable burden to the thing that allows us to find true life and freedom.

Yesterday I mentioned briefly the singer Jon Steingard of the Christian rock band, Hawk Nelson, who had released a letter denying his faith and proclaiming himself an atheist. Today, we go through his letter to point out something glaringly obvious, his struggle is the struggle of the bible and his questions are as old as Adam and Eve.

So don’t be afraid kids. His questions aren’t really that tough. They are the excuses of someone, who like many, all of us really at times, wants to be their own God and mold God in their own image. It is the story of Adam and Eve, it is the story of the bible, it is the story of you, and it’s the story of me.

I saw in the news today that the Christian singer Jon Steingard of the band Hawk Nelson had renounced his faith. It got me thinking about why do I believe what I believe, and took me back to a conversation I had long ago on a memorable train ride.

She was a girl from New York who described herself as a dancer/artist/who knows and I was walking the earth. I learned a lot about myself from her atheism, and hopefully I showed her a different side of faith than the one she had been bludgeoned with as a child.

Take a minute today to reflect and pray. May these words from James Garfield and Olive Wendall Holmes sober you. May the life of Lt. Michael Murphy and the sacrifices of Gold Star families inspire you to rededicate your life to the kind of daring and hope that overcomes evil. Honor the dead, with the renewed destiny of your life. May your celebrations today, lead you to the dedication and sacrifices our heroes inspire us from the grave to make, and may we be found worthy successors of their eternal example.

Today in Part 1 of our Memorial tribute, we remember who we honor and remember this weekend, those who died serving our country in the United States Armed Forces. We remember what they died for, and the responsibility they have given us to keep our country a place worth dying for.

Today's program isn't an easy one, but I believe it's a necessary one when never before in our country's history has a smaller percentage of the population served in the Armed Forces.

Pope John Paul II, Bill Hybels, Father Herman, and Ravi Zacharias were all heroes who fell. When your hero falls, how do we respond? When it's a family member or a leader of your faith, it can be a gut punch that seems unrecoverable.

Today's program reminds us that is exactly why we need our faith. We fall. It is an inescapable truth. Do not despair, there is hope in Christ because his resurrection was only necessary because we fall.

Let examples like these men sober you, and gird your faith. May they allow you to lean more on God, and remind you of the humility needed to cling to our better angels while avoiding the bitter demons of our fallen nature.

Our long-time KASH Eagles referee and referee scheduler, Mark Zook, passed away this week. He went into the hospital with abdominal issues, and passed away the next day. It was a shock.

I’ll remember Mark when I’m with the kids at practice. I’ll remember him when we are playing games at the historic basketball gym where we play, and he loved. I'll use his example when times are tough and I need to persevere, and during those same tough times to be thankful for the opportunity to serve all the children in our program doing something I love.

An Eagle has flown, to a place where there is no pain, where there is no sorrow. Farewell Mark, and until we meet again my friend. You were loved.

A golden nugget of truth today from the great Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and another example from my Grandma Toodles on the power of a well-worn bible.

Don't sell the gospel. Live it and let your light shine. Grace is free, but it isn't cheap. Don't make it look that way!

Church should not be about the skill and coolness of the preacher, the size and magnificence of the choir, or the resources of the Sunday School. It should draw you closer to God and inspire repentance through its humility.

Today, I share a couple stories from old country churches and a garage chapel that taught me the essence of humility and service. And most of all, love.

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