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NIU and ministering with and to college age kids....

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I really don't want to start another thread on pacifism but I did want to thanks every one who posted. Tuesday I will be with kids who were touched by or experience the shooting. One of the co-eds who died lived just 3 miles from my house. The shooting was a big topic last week and I really want some idea of how to speak into the subject.


Several years ago I read about Martin Luther King and a beating he received in jail. Dr. King wrote about how he needed to fast and pray to be able to forgive the sheriff and his deputies for the brutal beating. I was hoping that the thread about pacifism would help me help the kids. However it just seems that when wounds are so fresh theology provides very little comfort. So I think I will tell the Dr. King story read PS 91 and 27 and not push any kind of doctrine other than you can hear from God and He will guide you in what you should do and if asked He will extend His mercy and provide protection or the strength to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I will focus on the idea that the Christian walk is more about intimacy with God and learning to hear His voice through quite times with Him and His word than it is about reading theology books. Although reading theology books can be fun for some ;)


Anyway Peek thanks ya almost persuaded me but I think I will continue with the above. Again I really don't want to talk about pacifism but if anyone has any ideas on how to comfort those who are hurting, in fear and struggling with justice because of an act of violence I should would like some stuff to chew on.


I hope I am not breaking board rule by posting this.




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It's just my opinion, but I don't think there is a sermon you could preach or message you could offer that would mean as much as letting people know that God is there with them - at that others are too, and then showing it in a tangible way.


They don't want theology, ideas, idealism, or a talking to. There isn't anything you can say that will make it better, or make it go away. They know they have to walk a difficult path now and they don't want to hear about how it's not really so difficult. They want to know that someone is going to be there for them, that someone cares, that someone will hold them up. And they want to know that the sun really is going to shine tomorrow.


They need to know that they're loved, that is there is hope (somewhere down the line though it may be), and that someone is going to be with them however long the road may turn out to be.


I hope that made sense.

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My brother went to the NIU service last night with another brother's fiance. Andrea knows a girl who was sheilded from a bullet by her boyfriend. I believe that boyfriend was killed, not sure, but he was at least shot. They found comfort just being with each other and having the freedom to grieve and talk. It is going to take quite a while for them to process what has happened and feel "safe" again.


I liked the Martin Luther King Jr. story. I wouldn't force it but if there is an appropriate time, share it. They may not even be thinking about forgiveness at this time but it will come up.

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Last week I just let them talk and listened but later I felt pretty inadequate. To be honest I am hoping that I can just keep on doing that but just in case I wanted some ideas. Some times I guess there is more power in silence than in speaking especially when it is so raw. Most of the kids a young men and some of them were pretty upset last week. I think I might have handled girls better because they usually cry but men want action and I was at loss how to deal with that. I am not sure that with the King story I will emphasis forgiveness just that one can't go too wrong if you fast, pray, and wait for God's leading before making life decisions in especially in time of crisis.

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