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From the Pastor

Albert Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”  Someone should have mentioned that to the 71-year-old man who robbed a Kansas bank so he could get away from his wife.  After over a year legal proceeding, a federal judge recently sentenced Lawrence John Ripple to six months of home confinement and 50 hours of community service.

Ripple went to the Bank of Labor in September of 2016—it was only one block away from the Kansas City police headquarters.  He gave a note to a teller saying that he had a gun and demanded money.  After he was given the money, Ripple remained in the lobby and waited for police to come and to arrest him.  Court records indicated that Ripple wrote the robbery note in front of his wife and told her he would rather be in jail than at home.  Justified or not, his frustration reminds me of a controversial saying found in Proverbs 21:9, “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.”  But I digress!  

Who hasn't attempted to avoid facing their problems?  But the real lesson here might be the punishment meted out to Mr. Ripple, and how well it fit the crime.  Rather than allow him to escape his dysfunctional home life, the judge sentenced him to six months of home confinement! Perfect!!  

Sometimes God puts us in circumstances we can't change in order to bring about lasting and positive inner change.  It's not that the punishment fits the crime as much as the challenge fits our need to grow and mature as a believer.  And sometimes in order to grow as Einstein suggested, we have to learn how to think differently—maybe from God’s perspective, not our own!   

Have you run into some tough trials or problems lately?  James, the half-brother of Jesus, challenges us to think about our trials in a different way: 

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything."  (James 1:2 - 4).


Grace and peace,

Pastor Jeff


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