The grasslands of the desert overflow;
the hills are clothed with gladness.
The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing. Psalms 65:12-13
The town of Lake Elsinore is a small slow-growing community of 63,000 east of Los Angeles where the southern California desert begins. Last weekend it swelled to 163,000 as nearly 100,000 visitors came to view the super bloom of California poppies covering the surrounding hillsides. We’ve had more rain this season than we have seen in decades and the wildflowers have gone nuts. I thought about going to see it firsthand this weekend, but the traffic is already reported to be a nightmare and now that the paper did a front page article about it, it will be even worse, especially over the weekend. Maybe I’ll go next week on a weekday. From the pictures it appears to be a sight to behold.
We were awakened at two in the morning last night by a phone call from our daughter in Hawaii. By the time we were coherent enough to know what was going on, we had each gotten two calls from her. We called her back only to find her reeling from being with her boyfriend, whom she did not recognize as anything like the person she has known and loved for the last three years. Then she shocked us by telling us about this person whom we thought we knew, who had suddenly flipped and became someone else — saying and doing things any of us would have never thought possible. It made the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde seem like a children’s Wonder book.
“As a New Zealand member of the Catch Community, here on the ground, there has been a profound sense of shock and disbelief as this tragedy has unfolded before our eyes.” Dave, a Catch MemberPartner from New Zealand has given us a “boots-on-the-ground” view of the recent tragic shooting at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand that left 50 dead and scores wounded. Most of the victims were immigrants from more violent countries who escaped to the relative safety of this normally quiet, peaceful island. Who would have ever thought this would happen here?
It was later in the day on Friday, March 15, the day of the shooting attack on a Muslim mosque full of worshipers in Christchurch, New Zealand, when I was sending an email to my friend and former college classmate who is a Baptist pastor in Modesto, California. He mentioned in a return email that he was on his way to attend a prayer vigil in a local mosque following the New Zealand incident. At that time, I hadn’t yet heard about the shooting. I had to check the internet to find out what was going on.
We have a 4-pound Chihuahua who thinks she is a lot bigger than she really is. Should she ever have a conflict with one of our other Chihuahuas, she will pull back her lips, bare her teeth and her ferocious growl is a fearsome thing. You don’t want to mess with her when she gets like this. It looks like she is getting ready to tear you limb from limb, and then you realize that she thinks she can.
Os Guinness’s observations and prophetic challenges about America and culture are so spot on, they remain true over time and something that needs to grab our attention more than just once. I am re-releasing a summary of an interview we did with him almost two years ago. We need to remember and be encouraged at how relevant what we are doing and talking about here at the Catch is to what is truly needed in the marketplace. This will also be a warm-up to our next interview with Os that will be coming soon. If you have any questions you would like me to ask Os in our that interview, please send them to me by replying to this email.
Os Guinness believes this is an exciting time to be alive. He believes America is at a crisis greater than any since the Civil War. And he believes that what America needs is what you and I have:
- true freedom,
- love for those who are different, and
- a prayer connection with God.
Riddle: Once you get it, you have to give it; and if you can’t give it, you never got it. What is it?
How do you change the world? By being different. By having a different reaction than the one that’s expected. By being what the world needs.