Weep Not for the Dead: A Peace Mission to Bring Back that which was Lost by Gina Burgess

 Weep Not for the Dead (Kindle version)
by Gina Burgess

Captain Clinton Kincaid is the first man to fly the Colber shuttle to Jastrow Station and back to Earth. His next mission is to Mars. Something goes terribly wrong. Suddenly, his mission is modified by the Crothans when he is transported 100 years into the future, and only he and a specially trained crew can save Earth from the dreaded Draumans. Kincaid and his crew's first mission on the Starmada ship Discovery began as a peace mission to establish an alliance between Croth and Earth, but it turns into much more: Saving all humanity from certain slavery.

Earth was visited by a peaceful species from Croth in the mid 21st century. Humans were so violent at the time they attacked the Crothans before asking about their intent. Crothans beat a retreat, deciding humans had some more growing up to do before a friendship/alliance could be formed. About 100 years pass, and the Draumans discover the ripe pickings of Earth and her colonies. The Draumans are well known to be pillagers and resource-strippers reducing any world they conquer into metallic death heaps. With the Drauman attack on Earth imminent, the Crothans decide to try again to establish an alliance. They implement their plan to use humans for the second attempt to initiate the Peace Mission.

Writing on stones...

Sun beating down, heat rising up, sweat rolling down and still the man
chipped away at the tall stone in front of him. With each pounding of the hammer, more stone pebbles spattered down the stone face adding to the already deep pile of sand and chips. Sand had gathered in the tiny wrinkles of his skin, and his sweat only partially washed the bits of grit away. For hours and hours, perhaps for days he worked on each stone. Words formed as the grit fell away.

יהוה קרא משׁה...

... YWHW called unto Moses

Can you imagine having to stand in the heat of the day, while the body responds with rivers of sweat, or the chill of night working by the light of a flickering torch, beating on a rock? Joshua did. He wrote a copy of the law, every word of the law on those stones (Joshua 8:32) while the Children of Israel stood by. All the important people, the elders and the judges on this side, and all the regular people like you and me on that side; half in front of Mount Ebal and the other half in front of Mount Gerizim. The mountains were Bald and Rocky respectively. Not only did the Children of Israel stand by while Joshua carved the Law upon the stones, but they also stood while Joshua read the entire Law to them: all the words of the Law, both the blessing and the curse.

Now, that is true devotion. What led to that? Just a few verses before this, we see why there was Trouble in Ai. There is no such thing as “no fault sin.” In fact, there is no such thing as “the devil made me do it.”

Every one of us has at one time or another put the blame of our own doing upon someone else, whether as a child, a teen, or an adult, we’ve all done it. Satan has a way of setting up situations and temptations that can suck us under like a riptide sucks a swimmer beneath the surface of the sea. But, Satan doesn’t push our head under water. It is by choice we ignore the Rip Tide warning sign written in large red print with a flag waving mightily in the wind. It is by choice we wade into the water and swim to that particular point where currents can reach speeds of two to four miles per hour. Even the strongest swimmer can’t compete against currents that strong. But strong swimmers are usually smarter than diving into dangerous waters.

Satan will take a legitimate desire given by God and use it in an evil way to kill, steal and destroy. But, we cannot blame sin on Satan. God is faithful and won’t ever let us get into dangerous waters without warnings and He won’t let us be tempted more than we can withstand if we allow Him to protect us, and if we listen to the warnings.

Achan was the only one out of the 603,550 Israelite men old enough to go to war and win the Promised Land who yielded to temptation. He took a robe and a pile of silver and a wedge of gold. He lusted after them and took them. But, could he flaunt them? Spend them? Wear them in front of his brothers? No. He had to dig a hole and bury them in his tent. What good did taking them do him?

Greed often does that. A child sees something he wants and swipes it off the shelf stuffing it in his pocket to be played with later, in the dark. In the dark because he knows he did wrong in taking the thing. Achan knew he did wrong in taking the things, but he allowed the whole of Israel to be shamed in front of a tiny little town with less than 6,000 people in it. These fighting men, led by Joshua who’s name brought terror to all those in the land, were put on the run. Nor did Achan speak up when Joshua dropped to his knees begging the LORD to tell him why He brought them to the Promised Land only to be destroyed by a tiny little Canaanite hamlet.

At least the man “fessed up” when confronted. He waited until Joshua brought all the tribes to the front of the assembly, one by one. How shameful for all the assembly to suffer the consequences of the sin of one man.

Sin begins with temptation, but being tempted is not sin. Yielding to temptation is the sin. God made an example of Achan to the whole of His chosen people. We see a confession of a man that knows there isn’t anyway to wiggle out of what he’d done, mainly because God Himself led Joshua to the only one who had disobeyed. Achan looked at the Babylonian robe. Found it to be beautiful. Thought about how it would look on himself or perhaps how it would bring him glory if he placed it on the shoulders of his wife. Then, after thinking about it, made the deliberate decision to take it along with the silver and gold. All to satisfy his own greed, and what did it get him?

Here, we see a discipline that we’d never see today. All his family, wife and daughters and sons along with all the cattle and donkeys, tent and trappings, and even those things he had stolen were forced into the Valley of Achor. He and all his family were stoned and set on fire.

Was that a bit too harsh? After all his family did not take the things. Yet, everyone had heard the order not to take anything, nor to let anyone live, to show no mercy. It was those people and those things that would lead Israel down that road to idolatry, and God knew it. He made sure they understood how dangerous those things would be to the well being of His children. Achan’s family heard the order. Achan’s family also knew of the theft because he buried the stuff in the middle of his tent. They said nothing about it, taking part in the deception.

One has to wonder if Joshua was thinking of this when he carved out the Law on the stone’s face. Or was he praying for all of Israel to faithfully serve the LORD? It must have weighed heavily on his heart. I find it so telling that the Law was etched indelibly upon the face of stone, and God called their hearts hard as stone, Ezekiel 3:7 But the house of Israel is not willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to Me, for all the house of Israel are strong of forehead and hard of heart.

When temptation beckons, the heart can become hard as stone shushing the conscious resulting in a detour that can lead to the valley of Achor. We endure trials, but God is faithful and will always provide the way of escape. We can’t escape trouble, but we absolutely will escape temptation.

However, yielding to temptation starts wearing a groove in the heart that makes taking the escape much harder. Making a habit is not as hard as breaking a habit. Yielding to temptation can become much easier than resisting temptation unless the will is exerted and the desire to resist is greater than the desire to yield.

Second Peter 2:5 tells us that God knows how to deliver the godly from temptation. The key word is godly. How do we even recognize sin for what it is?

In the Old Testament, (Proverbs) God told them to write His command upon their heart. But, in the New Testament… Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected in perpetuity the ones being sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit witnesses to us also. For after having said before, 16 "This is the covenant which I will covenant to them after those days, says the Lord: Giving My Laws on their hearts, and I will write them on their minds;" 17 also He adds, "I will not at all still remember their sins" and their lawlessnesses.

The difference is Who is doing the writing, and just as importantly, how soft is the heart.

World Vision selling soul to the devil

World Vision announced they want to remain neutral on the hot issue of same sex marriage. They, of course, are collecting funds (about $180 million) from the federal government so they can't evangelize. Now they are bending God's Word and still calling themselves a Christian organization.

This is just another loose cannon or should I say canon. I am grieved that it has come to this. Barna says that 95% of the U.S. citizens believe in God, fewer than that are self-proclaimed evangelical Christians, and even fewer than that go to church once a week or more. Therefore, it is not surprising that the helping hand of World Vision is held by Obama because of monetary stipulations. How sad.

The art of singleness

The art of singleness…

Third grade taught us that one times one is one. One times anything is anything. It is quite comforting then to note when God gets into the mix it is God times one is God. 

I have so often thought it would be nice to have someone to share
things with when God then reminds me that I do that with my Mom. Then I wonder if I am to live out the rest of my life alone as Paul did. Then God reminds me that His grace is sufficient for me.

So often a wife or husband of twenty years decide enough is enough and leave the spouse and the kids. All because she or he thinks it all is within God’s will because everyone is entitled to a little happiness in this world.


What is happiness? Is it a state of being or is it a destination? Happiness is so fleeting that I’m happy one instant and the next I’m plunged into despair, worry, fretfulness or even fear. Happiness cannot outshine the deepest fear or the worst anxiety because it isn’t a state of being. It is a heart feeling and the heart is a deceitful, whimsical thing. [tweet this].

We are told to “follow your heart” in some of the best books and films. Is that the best advice that man can conjure? Or does that actually come from Satan? Follow your heart, do what your heart tells you. Is it your heart or is it chemical reaction? Is it your heart or is it lust?

I do not understand why Christians who have proclaimed Christ for most of their life are suddenly turning their backs and embracing the world’s ways. Why is that? Have they lost their sense of eternity? Are they so embossed with the world that they are bent and conformed to its ways without even sensing the loss of the Holy Spirit’s influence? Three Dog Night had it right, “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.”

Choosing the world over Jesus is the fastest track to doing the loneliest number. You won’t be diving into the lake of fire with Satan because he’ll already be there. Embracing the ways of the world is the best way to encounter that number one ending. We don’t hear that kind of preaching often enough, I’m thinking.

When did 30 seconds become an eternity? Was it when the red light flashed to green and the horn became the instantaneous reaction from behind? Was it when you could cook an entire three pound roast in the microwave in less than 30 minutes instead of the two hours in the oven while the family was at church on Sunday morning? Was it when information became available at your fingertips rather than a 30 minute stance at the card catalog and a four-hour stint at the library the day before your term paper was due? Was it when dad kept coming home later and later from work, with no thought of tossing the ball, or when Mom sat at the computer instead of baking a cake from scratch?

We Christians tell each other that our actions speak louder than words, for that is how we are known to the world as practicing Christians… but, how often do we tell each other that our actions display to God how we feel about Him? Now, that is a different black kettle.

My physical body may be single, but my heart is linked to the greatest power of the universe. God times one is God, and we should act like it. Pardon my slight paraphrase of James 4:7 Resist the world and it will flee. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners! And purify your hearts, double minded ones! For what is your life? It is a mist that for a little while appears, then disappears. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit for this is the sense of eternity and is the permanency of God. Singleness is no longer a sting and the loneliest number is banished forever. Live for the joy past the cross of today’s world, for something far, far better awaits us on the other side.

His energy in me

Charles Stanley once said to never throw away your notes. If it was important enough to write it down once, then it is important enough for you to retain because your memory will fail you.

How true those word are, especially since I have grown so much older.

I really needed what I was reading this morning in my notes. I have been trying to do everything by myself because God gave me those abilities. Those things that I can do in an most excellent way because of the training and talent that God has blessed me with through the years.  When things get piled up so high that I can't see over them, can't see around them, can't see under them and I just can't go through them, suddenly I realize I need God's help. Why wait so long?

Well... Beth Moore had some words of encouragement for me today. I wrote this down April 12, 2005. Just writing it down does not mean that we will retain if forever.

I am not stuck with permanent flaws. I have the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). I must use this fruit and exercise in this fruit. We are called to exclamation mark living! I must strive toward His working His works in me. I can't do a great work in myself. I do not have the strength. But He does and He promised to do this, so there is no struggle with His energy in me. God reveals this through His Spirit just as He bestows gifts through His Spirit.

What makes me think that fulfilling what God has called me to do won't cost me anything? Of course there is cost. When we strive to live to bring God glory there is deep cost because we are new, changed creatures living in a temporary, fallen world.

However, just as God provided all that was needed to build the Tabernacle, He provides all that is needed to act beyond my capabilities. Selah.

2Co 1:8 For, brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant as to our affliction having happened to us in Asia, that we were excessively burdened beyond our power, so as for us even to despair of living. 9 But we ourselves have the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but trust God, the One raising the dead.

With power like that, who can defeat us? With power like that, how can we fail?

Father, help us to wake up with You on our minds and to always ask You to manage our time and to help us use Your energy in us. Amen

Rescue the Perishing

In Gone With The Wind, Scarlett stands in the midst of a sea of bodies,
some still as death, others rolling and groaning in pain. It's just her and the doctor, and perhaps one or two others. She tries desperately to get the doctor to come help Melly who is having her baby. It is the last vestiges of the Civil War and the South was dying, her sons dying, her cities burned and destroyed, her plantations desolate. Scarlett suddenly decides she has had enough and she races home to pack and leave Atlanta to go home to Tara. Everything seems hopeless until Rhett Butler scrounges up a buckboard and a broken down mule to take her out of the chaos. Then just when she was feeling safe, Rhett seemingly abandons her, to join the fight, but not without giving her a weapon. Armed with a pistol and determination, and most likely a heart full of fear (fear of what she was leaving behind rather than what she was facing) she trudges toward home.

From http://www.pearlinthegarden.com/rescuetheperishing.htm
Don't you think that sometimes God looks down from Heaven and sees that sea of dying people? Some are dead already, others need the medicine of His word, but the workers are few. In Luke 10:2, Jesus points out the harvest is great, but the laborers are few. Every one of the lost will go to Hell. There is no exception and there is no excuse. Every single Christian stands in that sea of bodies which writhe and groan in pain. Whoever is closest is responsible. Whoa! What a scary thought! I see people setting in pews and hatching out nothing, soaking up teachings but never applying the principles to their lives nor taking any action. As Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10 too many Christians are asleep (morally lazy) or drunk (actively, willfully sinning). How can we bear witness unless we be more like Him? Too many of us are over entertained and under challenged.

Do we look around and see future inhabitants of Hell? Can we point to a burden with a name... names we want to take to Heaven with us?

I stand at the front of the church and sing, "Rescue the perishing, care for the dying. Jesus is merciful. Jesus will save." Tears gather and fall like rain. A young one comes forward, parents follow and joy fills the church. We've added another family member to our fold. But, how many are outside the doors who don't even know enough to look up for hope? How many don't even know there is healing balm for all their pain, and there is salvation from the great wrath to come? How many suffer from devastating loneliness, not knowing there is a loving family just inside those tall doors of the church. The church has been given gifts to help move this along, and I wonder how many of us are operating inside our special gift?

The harvest is great and white, ready to be plucked. Pray for God to send workers, because the groaning sea is too great a burden for just the few.