Man, Richard Jewell Hit Home! – American Thinker By George Zimmerman

Man, Richard Jewell Hit Home!

 

I love just about all Clint Eastwood movies, but Richard Jewell is in a class by itself. This one was personal. This one Clint Eastwood made for me. Only a handful of people in America know what it’s like to be Richard Jewell and unfortunately, I’m one of them. Mr. Eastwood got it right. Two thumbs up!

I rarely ever go to the movies. Nearly seven years after my acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, I still have to be very cautious about where I go. A few years ago, a man took a shot at me and missed my head by inches. He will be in prison for another dozen years or so, but every time I see my name trend on Twitter, I am reminded there are people out there who would like to pick up where the assassin left off.

My gut reaction in watching Richard Jewell was sadness. The film reminded me just how much heartache an accusation this heinous puts a parent through. For those who don’t know the story, Richard found a suspicious backpack in Centennial Park in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympics. He alerted authorities to the backpack and helped clear the area.

Two people were killed when the bomb inside the backpack went off, but many more would have been killed if Richard had not acted on his suspicions. For a brief period, people called him a hero, but then the media and the FBI turned on him and accused him without evidence of being an attention-seeking security guard. They call it “trial by media,” and it is beyond horrible.

This movie hit home. I absolutely identified. Richard and I were both cop wannabes — or so the media told us. We were both gullible. We both believed law enforcement had our best interests at heart. We both believed reporters wanted the truth. We both believed everyone was basically good and then we both realized what fools we had been to believe all that.

As I sat there in the dark, my stomach in knots, I found myself wishing Richard was still alive so I could reach out and hug him and tell him, “Yes, Richard, you are a hero.”

I know as only a few others do how gut wrenching it is to be at the center of the storm like this. You can only imagine what people think of you. You worry that everyone thinks you are the monster the media created.

Emotionally, I struggled. I imposed a kind of house arrest on myself. I did not want to see people or be seen. I questioned everyone’s intentions, even those close to me. Yes, I was acquitted, but after the trial, when the head prosecutor Angela Corey was asked to sum me up in a word, she said “murderer.” I was devastated. In watching the movie, I was reminded of how my mother must have felt to hear this.

After the trial it took me years to regain my balance. At the time I was thinking if people want to look at me as a villain, I will be that villain, the hell with them all. Without the unconditional love of my parents I never would have pulled out of that spiral.

This is something else Richard and I had in common — a fierce, loving mother. Kathy Bates, who played Richard’s mom, gave a heart stopping performance. She is nominated for an Academy Award. She deserves to win.

One advantage I had over Richard was a father who loved me just as much as my mother did. One advantage we both had was a gladiator of an attorney who always had our back. For me, that was Don West. I am thankful Mark O’Mara took my case, but it was West who won my confidence. When you go through an ordeal as intense as the one Richard and I did, it is essential to have someone who totally believes in you.

Richard died at 44 of natural causes. I have got to believe the stress of it all shortened his life. He did not get the chance to see himself vindicated on screen. Yes, he was cleared before he died, but that story was buried. So many people who just read the headlines still remembered him as a glory-seeking loser.

The people who just read the headlines still think I stalked and murdered a little boy because he was black. They have no idea that Trayvon was a skilled street fighter, a half a foot taller than me, who attacked me out of nowhere as I was walking to my car.

I am grateful for the vindication that Joel Gilbert’s brilliant new film, The Trayvon Hoax, provides me. Joel may not be Clint Eastwood, but he is a truth teller of the first order. I am thankful too to all those people who stood by me when the world told them not to.

At the end of the day, Richard Jewell and I had something else in common — we knew who our real friends were.

 

 

 

Source: Man, Richard Jewell Hit Home! – American Thinker

Charles Stanley – Our God of Grace

 

Ephesians 2:1-10

Grace is God’s favor and love shown to mankind. We can’t earn it or be good enough to deserve it. To truly appreciate grace, we must comprehend that our Father is …

Perfectly holy. God is without fault. When Adam and Eve chose to eat the fruit from the forbidden tree, their connection with God was broken. Since all future generations inherited their sinful nature, every person is born with an inclination toward unrighteousness.

Just. As a result, God requires payment for sin. The penalty is death (Rom. 6:23), not just physically but also spiritually—through eternal separation from Him.

Merciful. God doesn’t treat us as we deserve but extends His grace through the Savior. Jesus lived a perfect life and fulfilled the Law. He alone qualified as the One who could satisfy divine justice. He took our place, bore our sins, and experienced God’s wrath—all so we could be reconciled to the Father.

God made this provision for our salvation while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:8). Have you acknowledged your sinful state and received His forgiveness through faith in Jesus? Take time to express thankfulness for His grace.

Bible in One Year: Exodus 13-15

 

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Our Daily Bread — Clean Containers

 

Bible in a Year:

  • Genesis 49–50
  • Matthew 13:31–58

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.

Proverbs 10:12

Today’s Scripture & Insight:1 Peter 4:7–11

“Hatred corrodes the container that carries it.” These words were spoken by former Senator Alan Simpson at the funeral of George H. W. Bush. Attempting to describe his dear friend’s kindness, Senator Simpson recalled how the forty-first president of the United States embraced humor and love rather than hatred in his professional leadership and personal relationships.

I relate to the senator’s quote, don’t you? Oh, the damage done to me when I harbor hatred!

Medical research reveals the damage done to our bodies when we cling to the negative or release bursts of anger. Our blood pressure rises. Our hearts pound. Our spirits sag. Our containers corrode.

In Proverbs 10:12, King Solomon observes, “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” The conflict that results from hatred here is a blood feud between rivaling peoples of different tribes and races. Such hatred fuels the drive for revenge so that people who despise each other can’t connect.

By contrast, God’s way of love covers—draws a veil over, conceals, or forgives—all wrongs. That doesn’t mean we overlook errors or enable a wrongdoer. But we don’t nurse the wrong when someone is truly remorseful. And if they never apologize, we still release our feelings to God. We who know the Great Lover are to “love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).

By: Elisa Morgan

Reflect & Pray

What things cause you to hate? How might the hard-hearted heat of hostility eat away at our personal joy and our world’s peace?

O God, help me surrender to Your great love that covers all sins and makes me into a clean container in which You dwell in love.

 

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Call to Maladjustment

 

What does it mean to be “maladjusted”? In much of psychological literature, maladjustment implies some level of psychopathology. A pathology implies an underlying illness or disease in the body. Psychopathology, therefore, implies mental illness. Unlike other diseases of the body that have biological markers, however, psychopathology does not have a biological test, like a blood test, for diagnosis. Instead, psychopathology is manifested in cognitions, emotions, and/or social behaviors that are considered maladaptive because they cause distress, danger, dysfunction, and disruption both to the individual and to those around her/him.

But are there any conditions under which it would be “abnormal” not to experience maladjustment? This is the question taken up by Martin Luther King, Jr. in his speech given at Western Michigan University in 1963, five years before he was assassinated. In this speech, he suggested that there are specific conditions when maladjustment is called for:

“[T]here are certain things in our nation and in the world which I am proud to be maladjusted and which I hope all men of good‐will will be maladjusted until the good societies realize. I say very honestly that I never intend to become adjusted to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, to self‐defeating effects of physical violence.” (1)

Whether or not maladjustment always equates to a diagnosis of psychopathology is often asked beyond the academic hallways of departments of psychology. Shouldn’t it make sense for someone who grew up in conditions of economic deprivation, social isolation, ignorance, poverty, and crime to experience, trauma, depression, or anxiety? Isn’t maladjustment an appropriate response to environmental and social conditions of deprivation, isolation, and instability? And perhaps, as Martin Luther King Jr. suggested in his address: those of us who live in abundance, community, and stability should feel this maladjustment most keenly.

In many of his speeches, including the one given at Western Michigan University, Dr. King quoted from the ancient Hebrew prophets. Often, Israel’s prophets called the nation to see the ways in which she had “adjusted” to a way of living that was far from ideal. And we learn from the preaching of Jesus that most of these prophets were rejected and killed. “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those sent to you!”(2) The prophets called out from the margins proclaiming a message that few heeded. They were viewed as “malcontents” and perhaps as maladjusted. Isaiah walked through the streets naked. Jeremiah, “the weeping prophet,” fastened a cattle yoke to his shoulders. Hosea married a woman he knew would be unfaithful. Ezekiel ate a scroll and laid on his side for more than a year. Jonah spent three days in the belly of a whale and then begged God to kill him. And Amos, who wanted “justice to roll down like mighty rivers” brought his message of justice and righteousness in a time of total economic prosperity and ease: “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion!” he declared. To be “well-adjusted” was not at all what they preached, nor often how they lived. As Abraham Joshua Heschel in his book The Prophets notes:

“To us a single act of injustice—cheating in business, exploitation of the poor—is slight; to the prophets, a disaster. To us injustice is injurious to the welfare of the people; to the prophets it is a deathblow to existence; to us, an episode; to them, a catastrophe, a threat to the world.”(3)

The ancient prophets call attention to what most overlook, or do not want to see. Like, Martin Luther King, Jr., they understood that the call to maladjustment was a call to action and a call to reject the status quo. But to extend this call, often meant being labeled as a malcontent, or crazy, or worse! Throughout history, those who called for “maladjustment” often lost their lives, including the Hebrew prophets, John the Baptist, Jesus, Gandhi, Anwar Sadat, Yitzhak Rabin, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Remarkably, Dr. King ended his remarks with a call to be as maladjusted as the prophet Amos:

“I’m about convinced now that there is need for…men and women who will be as maladjusted as the prophet Amos. Who in the midst of the injustices of his day could cry out in words that echo across the centuries, ‘Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.’ As maladjusted as Jesus of Nazareth who could say to the men and women of his day, ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you. Pray for them that despitefully use you.’ Through such maladjustment, I believe that we will be able to emerge from the bleak and desolate midnight of man’s inhumanity to man into the bright and glittering daybreak of freedom and justice…this will be a great day.”(4)

The call to maladjustment might just be a call to justice. To overturn the status quo, just as Jesus overturned the tables in the temple, might be the most well-adjusted thing we who are made in God’s image could do.

 

Margaret Manning Shull is a member of the speaking and writing team at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Bellingham, Washington.

 

(1) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “On Creative Maladjustment,” Western Michigan University Archives and Regional History Collections and University Libraries, 1963, accessed Jan. 27, 2018.
(2) See Matthew 23:37. See also Hebrews 11:26-39.
(3) Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Prophets (New York: Harper Collins, 2001), 4.
(4) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “On Creative Maladjustment,” Western Michigan University Archives and Regional History Collections and University Libraries, 1963, accessed Jan. 27, 2018.

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Joyce Meyer – A Force for Good

 

Therefore encourage and comfort one another and build up one another, just as you are doing. — 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (AMP)

Adapted from the resource Starting Your Day Right Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

We can improve our relationships with others by leaps and bounds if we become encouragers instead of critics.

It is the greater person who does the right thing; Christ’s righteousness dwells in you to help you do what is right. You are great in God’s eyes when you choose to do right and bless others.

No matter how rough your day is today, speak words that uplift and encourage those around you. Encourage others if you notice them doing a good job—not just those who work with you, but people wherever you go, such as store clerks, auto mechanics, and waiters.

Say something like, “I appreciate the extra effort you are making to do your job well.” You can change your life and someone else’s by choosing to speak positive words.

Prayer Starter: Father, please show me when I am being critical and negative toward others. Help me today to speak encouraging words of life to all those around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

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Max Lucado – To Love a Stranger

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

“Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay” (1 Peter 4:9).

The Greek word for hospitality compounds two terms: love and stranger. The word literally means to love a stranger. All of us can welcome a guest we know and love.  But can we welcome a stranger?   Every morning in America more than 39 million people wake up in poverty.  When we provide food stamps, we stave off hunger.  But when we invite the hungry to our tables, we address the deeper issues of value and self-worth.  God’s secret weapons in the war on poverty include your kitchen table and mine.

We encounter people.  We detect an urge to open our doors to them.  In these moments let’s heed the inner voice.  We never know whom we may be hosting for dinner.

Read more Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Will Tell You

“I advise you to obey only the Holy Spirit’s instructions. He will tell you where to go and what to do, and then you won’t always be doing the wrong things your evil nature wants you to” (Galatians 5:16).

Major conflicts in life are resolved when, by an act of the will, one surrenders to the control of the Holy Spirit and faces temptation in His power.

It should be explained that there is a difference between temptation and sin.

Temptation is the initial impression to do something contrary to God’s will. Such impressions come to all people, even as they did to the Lord, and they are not sin in themselves.

Temptation becomes sin when we meditate on the impression and develop a strong desire, which is often followed by the actual act of disobedience.

For practical daily living, we simply recognize our weakness whenever we are tempted and obey the Holy Spirit’s instructions. When we do not yield to temptation, we breathe spiritually and resume our walk with God.

“At what point does one who practices spiritual breathing become carnal again?” Whenever one ceases to believe God’s promise that He will enable us to be victorious over all temptations. The fact is, one need never be carnal again. So long as a believer keeps breathing spiritually, there is no need to live a life of defeat.

The moment you realize that you have done that which grieves or quenches the Spirit, you simply exhale spiritually by confessing immediately, and then inhale as by faith you claim God’s forgiveness and the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and you keep walking in the light as God is in the light.

Bible Reading: Galatians 5:17-26

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will consciously seek to obey the Holy Spirit’s instructions revealed to me in His holy, inspired Word.

 

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Denison Forum – Chiefs and 49ers will play in Super Bowl LIV: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the cultural leverage of excellence

 

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Tennessee Titans in yesterday’s AFC Conference Championship game. The San Francisco 49ers won at home against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Conference Championship. Oddsmakers are favoring the Chiefs slightly in Super Bowl LIV.

Since this is not a sports column and our nation is celebrating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today, you may be wondering why I am leading with these results. Here’s what the teams who competed yesterday and Dr. King have in common: they illustrate the cultural leverage of excellence.

Faith and football

The Chiefs are led by CEO Clark Hunt. I was privileged to be his pastor for many years in Dallas and can attest personally to his family’s strong commitment to Jesus.

When his team won the AFC Championship yesterday, Clark told the world, “I want to thank the Lord for blessing us with this opportunity. The glory belongs to him. And this trophy belongs to the best fans in the National Football League.”

Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill has made clear his faith in Jesus over the years as well, recently telling reporters: “I pray before every game. I spend time with God before I get to the stadium and then when I lace up my cleats, I thank God for the opportunity to go out there and attempt to glorify him.”

By contrast, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has made news in recent years for the fact that he no longer identifies as a Christian. After meeting and being influenced by Rob Bell, Rodgers told ESPN, “I think organized religion can have a mind-debilitating effect, because there is an exclusivity that can shut you out from being open to the world, to people, and energy, and love and acceptance.”

Rodgers is one of the most talented athletes of his generation. Like Clark Hunt and Ryan Tannehill, his commitment to professional excellence provides enormous leverage for cultural influence, whether the person uses that influence for Jesus or not.

Why Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. never completed high school

It may surprise you to learn that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. never completed high school. That’s because he was such an advanced student that he skipped his first and last years of high school and went directly into college at the age of fifteen.

He entered seminary at the age of nineteen and graduated three years later as valedictorian and student body president. He completed a PhD at Boston University at the age of twenty-five.

Dr. King was brilliant in his diagnosis of the problem facing our nation: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Continue reading Denison Forum – Chiefs and 49ers will play in Super Bowl LIV: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the cultural leverage of excellence