Category Archives: Forgiving

Forgiving a drug dealer who helped to kill your child

The opioid epidemic is delivering tragedy and pain to families across the country. Here’s how one such family has responded in Christ.

On January 30, 2016, Ashlynn Bailey, a twenty-year-old from Pelham, Alabama, died from a drug overdose.

As John and I have said on BreakPoint many times, America is in the midst of an opioid epidemic—one that kills more people every year than the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 90s.

This means that thousands of families endure the kind of anguish and pain that Bailey’s parents have gone through.

Yet, in the midst of their pain, Bailey’s family reminded us of the difference faith can make, even when the world has ceased making sense.

In the aftermath of her death, her parents established the Ashlynn Bailey Foundation, whose mission is to help addicts and their families. Part of that assistance is sharing their own story.

Ashlynn Bailey grew up in a Christian home. She “grew up in the church, learned about God, and became a Christian at an early age.” Sadly, as many Christian parents know from painful experience, this isn’t always enough.

Bailey began experimenting with drugs in high school and within a few years was using heroin. On January 30, 2016, she bought what she believed was heroin from a dealer in Birmingham.

Instead it was fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and which is often mixed with heroin. It is so potent that a policeman in East Liverpool, Ohio, accidentally overdosed after brushing fentanyl residue off his uniform following a drug bust.

Federal prosecutors charged the dealer who sold Bailey the drugs that killed her, Rodrigus Lee Pearson, with a series of drug-related offenses, and were able to increase his sentence because of the link between his actions and Bailey’s death.

At Pearson’s sentencing hearing, Mike Bailey, Ashlynn’s father, approached Pearson, and offered him his hand. He told Pearson “We extend forgiveness to you for the wrongs against our family in the same way that Christ has forgiven our wrongs, even without asking for that forgiveness.”

Afterwards, he told reporters that “I think [Pearson] needs to be held accountable . . . But I don’t want him to feel any less of a person in God’s eyes.”

He added, “I hate drugs, I hate the effects of drugs, I hate the pain that they bring, I hate how it affects families . . . It’s one of the largest demonic forces in our nation right now, just sent to break a family apart. I hate all that, but I don’t hate the individuals.”

The pain that Mike Bailey and his family are feeling is unimaginable for nearly all of us. But the grace they have demonstrated should no t be. It is what is expected of those who have experienced grace in their own lives.

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” Jesus taught us to pray. The Apostle Paul urged us in Ephesians chapter 4 to “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

This forgiveness is not optional.

That’s not to say it’s easy. It’s a work of the Holy Spirit.

It’s also the most powerful Christian witness imaginable. While there are many counter-arguments, some better than others, against specific Christian ideas, there is no argument against the kind of grace and mercy Mike Bailey displayed. It’s a reminder of what sets Christianity apart.

As I said, I can’t imagine the pain the Bailey family is feeling. But I can thank them for reminding us that the light of grace shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.

Teacher looks at potential, not the sinful/youthful act some teens did to her: 

Recently three high school teens in my city gave their teacher frosting which was mixed with their own semen. All three of the freshman planned the act, but only two went through with it.  The court handled out the punishment for two of the teens this week. The 15 year old boys must complete 40 hours of community service within five months and write apology letters to the teacher within 10 days. 

The teens must take decision-making and victim empathy courses, attend counseling and be involved in a social activity or hold a part-time job. They are also required to live with their parents, and follow all their rules.

What I found really amazing is the attitude of the teacher who was the victim. She told a probation officer that her concern was for the young men. The teacher said she desired them to move on and live successful lives. She didn’t want them to be scarred and wants them to move forward and realize their potential. 

  What a great attitude this teacher has. Part of me thinks these boys should be caned, but it is very cool somebody is not looking at the sinful -youthful act they did, but at what they can become. Good for her. Lets wish her, and these teens the best.

( Source Omaha.com Facebook page)

Forgiveness and Reconciliation for Our Times( The Descendants of Dred Scott Show the Way )

( Listen to the Breakpoint commentary here, or read it below. )
On the 160th anniversary of one of the worst Supreme Court decisions, something beautiful and miraculous happened.

Last week, March 6th, marked the 160th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision. Dred Scott v. Sanford, along with Plessy v. Ferguson (which enshrined the principle of “separate but equal”) and Roe v. Wade, form a kind of unholy trinity of Supreme Court rulings which legally declared entire classes of people non-persons.
Yet this infamous decision recently became the occasion for a remarkable act of grace.
First some historical background: For the decades preceding the 1857 decision, the country was torn over the issue of slavery. While actual abolitionists did form a small majority in the North (and ideas of racial equality were rare even among abolitionists), northern whites did not want to compete against slave labor in the territories west of the Mississippi river.
That brings me to Dred Scott the man. In 1830, his second master took him from Missouri, a slave state, to Illinois, where slavery was illegal. In 1836, both returned to Missouri. After several attempts to buy his and his family’s freedom, Scott sued his master’s estate, claiming that under what was known as the “Somerset Rule,” which could be summed up as “once free, always free,” his late master had, in effect, set him free by moving him to a free state.
And that brings me to Dred Scott the decision. Chief Justice Taney could have decided Scott’s case on narrow terms. But he had something far more ambitious in mind: He wanted to settle the slavery issue once and for all.
The least infamous part of his opinion ruled that Congress could not ban slavery in the territories, thus making the Civil War all but inevitable.
The most infamous part concerned the status of African Americans. He ruled that Blacks, enslaved or free, could not be citizens of the United States. He justified this by writing that, historically-speaking, Blacks had been “regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”
Like I said, infamous.
All of this makes what happened last week on the 160th anniversary of the decision so remarkable. Standing before the Maryland State House, Charlie Taney, a descendant of Roger Taney, apologized on his family’s behalf, to Scott’s descendants and African Americans in general for the “terrible injustice of the Dred Scott decision.”
Then Scott’s great-great granddaughter, Lynne Jackson, accepted the apology on behalf of “all African Americans who have the love of God in their heart so that healing can begin.”
I’m guessing I know where Ms. Jackson spends her Sunday mornings.
Some people will no doubt dismiss this as a kind of theater. After all, Charlie Taney isn’t responsible for what his ancestor wrote. But that misses the point.
What’s going on here is the acknowledgment of an historical wrong followed by an act of grace which holds out the possibility of a new beginning–in other words, what the New Testament calls “reconciliation.”
Reconciliation comes from a Greek word whose principle meaning is “exchange.” In fact, it was principally used in reference to money-changing, where the parties exchanged coins of equal worth.
In this case something far more valuable than money is being exchanged: the acknowledgement of past wrongs for a restoration of relationships and the possibility of, to use another biblical term, shalom: peace, wholeness, and contentment.
Despite Justice Taney’s best efforts, Dred Scott died a free man. His first master’s family bought him back from the estate with the express purpose of freeing him. Many thanks to Mr. Scott’s and Justice Taney’s descendants for showing us the path to reconciliation in these divisive times.

I thought the customer was always right 

Ivanka Trump Gets Called Out by Gym Owner for Attending Workout Class

Relatives of slain churchgoers confront gunman for last time

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – One by one, family members of nine slain black parishioners confronted Dylann Roof for the last time Wednesday, shouting at him, offering forgiveness and even offering to visit him in prison as he awaits execution for the slaughter.
The 22-year-old avowed white supremacist refused to meet their gaze and simply stared ahead, his head tilted down slightly as it had been for much of his trial.
“Dylann,” Janet Scott said quietly as she started speaking. “Dylann! DYLANN!” she said, her voice rising. Toward the end of her remarks, she said, “I wish you would look at me, boy.”
Scott, an aunt of 26-year-old Tywanza Sanders, the youngest victim killed in the massacre, demanded that Roof look at her as she talked about her nephew’s “great big heart,” which could not be donated because of the police investigation.
The final statements came a day after jurors sentenced an unrepentant Roof to death. The gunman had one final opportunity to ask for mercy but instead told jurors he still “felt like I had to do it.”

( Read the rest of this story. )

Some Evangelicals need to read this posting on Trump and the video

Read the  posting from Facebook. 

A late hit in college football , and the rest of the story

Read the commentary or listen to it here.

She fought those who tried to harm her daughter, and then she forgave them 

She would need all of that fortitude a year ago this month when four teens — including the son of former Nebraska State Treasurer Shane Osborn — barreled into her home near 122nd Street and West Dodge Road.
Chaos ensued. In “mama-bear mode,” Bywaters shoved one intruder to keep him from her daughter. He punched her in the chest. She kept pushing back until, finally, he lowered his shoulder and rammed her down a flight of stairs.
A concussion and a nearly-broken back later, Bywaters survived that night.
And then, in court this week, the plucky 52-year-old did the strongest thing she could: She forgave the teens, one by one, calmly telling them she hopes they straighten out their lives.

( More )

After 15-year-old son’s suicide, family pushes for forgiveness and awareness

Read the story.

TBN followers And Jan Crounch I am sorry for my post 

I believe a large majority of programs on TBN do not preach the Bible but a health and wealth gospel. So when I saw a story in which some well known TV preachers were questioning why the lady Jan Crounch who created TBN with her late husband had passed away I posted it. I did not know it was a joke and for that I am very sorry. I am sorry to her family  and her fans. Even though I think much of TBN doctrine is not correct I had no right to post what I did. All of you who read my blog I know expect better of me. I hope you will forgive me and will believe me when I write it was a honest mistake.I know many of you loved Jan. 

  

Thanks…

Billy

( Christian parody site catches hellfire for mocking death of TBN founder )