The recent deaths of four U.S. citizens at the hands of Somali pirates were a mere blip in the news scene. Things in the Mid East, notably the uprising in Libya, have eclipsed coverage of a hijacking at sea and the murder of four. Even in the limited reports I’ve seen, there’s something that has only been rather overlooked: the deeper reason that one of the couples sailed the seas.
Scott Adam had lived a successful life in Hollywood, and in recent years discovered a passion for the Scripture. He and his wife Jean decided a few years ago to take God’s Word to the unreached, sailing to foreign lands to hand out the Scriptures. They sold their homes and spent six months a year on their yacht, which was loaded with Bibles.
Jean Adam explained,
“Anytime we have workers on the boat or come into the dock and have an opportunity to talk to people we find more homes for our Bibles.”
Living with a greater purpose, the Adams were surely fulfilled and grateful for all God did through them. But their good works were no guarantee of a happy life, and their deaths were violent and untimely. Their yacht was hijacked last week by 19 pirates off the coast of Somalia, and also taken captive were Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle. On Tuesday the pirates killed their hostages, despite negotiations for their release, and then engaged in a skirmish with U.S. forces.
I’d assume that Scott and Jean Adams lived out their faith to the end, witnessing through word and deed to their captors. They probably tried to share the Scriptures with the men who ultimately took their lives. And perhaps in their very deaths the Adams spoke loudest. We’ll never know, but it seems likely that this couple was faithful to the end.
There will be second-guessing about the wisdom of sailing through pirate-inhabited waters. Some will say that the Adams should have known better. Others will suggest that their faith shouldn’t have put them in harm’s way. Many will wrestle with deeper matters…things for which we don’t have answers. We’ll never know just why God allowed this kind of fate for people who were devoted to telling others about Him and His Word. There are no easy answers we can offer their family and friends. There are no platitudes to make the pain of their violent deaths lessened.
At times like this I take comfort in the promises of God’s Word. He assures us that He is sovereign, and that we have nothing to fear. “Oh death, where is your sting?” “Perfect love casts out all fear.” “All things work together for good for those who are called according to His purposes.” The Scripture is filled with reminders that this life is temporary, we are aliens in this world, we are destined for life everlasting with our God – all this despite, or even because of, earthly difficulties and struggles.
For those who know Christ there’s hope in an eternity with Him and many rich rewards for what we did in His name. These dear folks have been taken, but gloriously to heaven and their Savior. They fought the good fight. They lived well, and with passion. They didn’t coast into the King’s presence…they ran.
I guess that’s the lesson I want to take away from this couple.
Lord, let me run well today.
Have you ever heard something like this from well-meaning friends or family members? Or maybe just the elderly neighbor?
“Why are you bringing your child outside when it’s so cold out?”
These seemingly innocent interventions by other folks can bring on a lot of guilt for a new parent. What’s a mom or dad to do when someone tries to “help?”
Here’s an article with 10 annoying parenting tips, and I thought some of this was quite funny. If you’ve had such “helpful advice” foisted upon you, I wonder how you reacted? And, based on your experiences, what can a young parent do to politely thank that wise stranger at the grocery store and quickly move on?
My dilemma: my dear wife is frugal, and just announced we need to cut the spending budget. My question: On February 14, how should I react? Don’t want to surprise her with a really expensive expression of my love. Still, I don’t want to miss the opportunity to let her know I love her. Here’s some of the response from my question, posed on Twitter, about what I should do regarding Valentine’s Day.
“Unclear about Valentines Day – wife wants to cut the budget. Is now a good time to heed her frugality?”
- Yes, but you could always do something that doesn’t cost you extra $ (i.e. make her a candle-lit meal w/romantic music)
- Start budget-cutting on Tuesday…
- Not totally. Don’t go overboard but don’t go cheap.
- Come on John, you’re creative enough to pull off something special on a few quarters. Cut the budget. Don’t cut the expression.
Thanks to my Twitter friends, I’m inspired to do something…now, just what? Hmmm…somehow I seem to be “skating on thin ice.” Help?
Pushing kids too fast. Who is guilty of that? It seems many parents are doing just that, and one trend reflecting that is the news that a major retailer is introducing a line of makeup for grade school girls.
A Wall Street Journal blogger reported the following quote from a major “beauty products” marketing director:
“Girls start cosmetics usage really as young as six years old in categories like clear lip gloss and nail…Then at a certain age, and that’s becoming younger and younger, she begins to want to enter real cosmetics as an enhancement.”
In the same piece, about her 2nd grade daughter wearing make-up, one mom observed that
“If she doesn’t play with it at home and learn to do it, when she turns 12 or 14 or whenever I let her wear it, she’s going to overdo it…I try to downplay it being that she’s eight.”
I’m aware of “pretend” makeup. Our girls had some when they were younger, usually getting it out when a friend was over or they were playing “dress up.” But we’ve been reluctant to let them wear much makeup until they were in middle school, at the earliest. I think they have a lifetime ahead of them to use the stuff, and I’m certainly not going to press them toward using makeup too soon.
When in doubt, wait. At least that’s what I think.
Last fall we aired a broadcast with Dannah Gresh and Ron Luce that addressed some of the issues about this matter. They know kids, and the pressures affecting them. You should give it a listen.