July 11, 2005
The Master's Program
The Point of View - A Weekly Commentary by Bob Shank

Dear Marketplace Friend, 

      For the last 13 years, our family has shared a mountain retreat with some close-close friends; it's tucked into a mountain pass in the Colorado Rockies. When I'm there, I learn to live with much less oxygen since the house is built at the 9500' level. You have to remind yourself to live without deep breathing ...

      I've felt that way for the last seven days: I've been with some close friends in Chisinau, Moldova, helping Franklin Graham with his evangelistic festival in that city.

      You could win a quiz show grand prize if you could "pin the tail" on Moldova. Only a geographic nerd would pinpoint that former-Soviet republic, squeezed between Ukraine and Romania; landlocked, west of the Black Sea. They don't have a lot of western-culture here: no Starbucks, no Gap ... and not one newspaper in any language they taught at Santa Ana High School in the '60's. What's happening? Thank heaven for BBC and CNN/International ...

      Lance Armstrong is still leading the Tour d'France ( Europe's version of ESPN has round-the-clock coverage). And, then, two days after I arrived in Moldova ... the terror strikes in London shook the world. Since that moment, both global news networks have run 24/7 on the story, from every conceivable angle. I don't know how it's been in the US of A (the land of "reality TV" may not create news breaks for bombings on different continents!), but my moments back in my hotel room have been focused on the latest discovery made public ...

      The Brits have experience with homegrown terror, with a history of domestic dissonance relative the strife in Northern Ireland ... and, they watched as their new world contacts in New York dealt with the 9/11 aftermath. Despite the competing activities - the G-8 Summit on the front, the celebration marking 60 years since VE and VJ (Victories in Europe and Japan) - they have given appropriate attention to the "need to know" that the world feels toward the underground tragedy.

      The double-decker bus was visible and photographed, but the trauma on the Tube could only be retold by the survivors, and imagined by the rest. Without someone disclosing the truth, the rest of us are left to our imperfect imaginations. What happened? How bad was it? Who is responsible? What can they prove? All are valid questions ... but only a few have credible answers. Some - the survivors - have a perspective with honest, but subjective, insights. Surely, someone must know more...

      I've appreciated the regularly-scheduled briefings, involving the leaders of London's various agencies and participative entities, who bring a reasoned opinion - and the appropriate assessments - into the light of day. What can be known is now in circulation ... through an officially-recognized portal of disclosure.

      If news from the circumstances underground is that compelling - and, it is - how much more is the news from the circumstances aboveground? If the acts of the Evil One are in the "need to know" column ... how much more the acts of the Holy One?

      I'm so glad that God has established an appropriate structure through which he continues to inform everyone about the critical facts that affect life, for us, in the world of today ... and the world of tomorrow. In the same way that a panel of credible sources can explain the unseen in London, God's panel of credible sources has always distributed the unseen from heaven. Who can speak for God? "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets ... But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son..." (Hebrews 1:1-2) And, what does Jesus say? "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins." (John 8:23-24). There's the clear statement: any questions?

      Today's terrorists come from a system that puts their prophet (Mohammed) above God's Son (Jesus). The Bible makes Jesus the highest source of spiritual truth ... and he says that the death toll is 100%, among the people who think they can get to Paradise without betting their eternal life on the truth of Jesus' claims.

      That is the press release from heaven that lays it on the line ...

Bob Shank

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