Dear Enemy

The evil that turns away the human heart
I have battled you before
That which destroys the souls of men
Which erodes to the core

Know that I see your smug face
Peaking behind their eyes
Laughing as if you have won
Whispering to them your lies

Don’t think you will have them for long
Your play time is almost through
Get the tantrums out of your system
Because your number is almost due

To be honest, I think you are scared
I think you are trembling with fright
You know you don’t have a prayer
In fact, you hide under the cover of night

You are merely a weak pest
That leads so many astray
If it were up to my strength
Your work would end today

So, be on our guard, dear dragon breath
Be on the look out for me
I have the winner on my side
And His name is Victory.

Look out behind you; enemy of souls
Put a chain on your gate
The church is about to mobilize
You are about to meet your fate

You have taken too many friends
Yet you are entitled to none
Have your fun now weak serpent
The battle has already been won.

-Landon DeCrastos

Love your enemies……seriously.

i_love_youAs stories in the headlines tell us of awful genocide, political unrest, and corruption many people, like me, have spent a lot of time thinking about the world and the instability. If you are a Christian, you may turn to scripture for solace. In the Bible we have assurance that everything is going to be okay, and that Christ will be victorious.

When it comes to military conflict or political debate, we can find guidance in the words of Jesus as well. When we read snippets like, “love your neighbor as yourself” or the much more difficult “love your enemies” we often feel like we get just enough guidance to push us forward.

There are a lot of people who do not know God that really admire these principles…In fact I will even say that these principles can even be carried out without God. Surely not to the fullest… but well enough. Through Jesus, however, we receive more than just a word of direction.

Here is the problem with the “love your enemies” mandate though….It sounds great, and we know it would cure a lot of unrest, but this phrase in scripture requires a lot more from us than just smiling at people you dislike. The haunting words of Jesus that require us to “love our enemies” force us to name who those enemies may be in our life.

Who are our personal enemies? Are our enemies people who have hurt our feelings? Are they people who don’t like us? Are they people who told a lie about us as work?

Why do we consider any one an enemy? I I think that should be the question. Sure there are military opponents who seek to destroy. Sure, there are people who would desire harm on you and your family. Sure, there are groups who desire evil outcomes for other people….but really when we think about it logically; the enemy of our souls is the only true enemy.

Jesus told us to love those who we consider the enemy, I think, because we are not supposed to look at them as adversaries. We are called to look at them as fellow humans who are equally in need of the grace and peace found in Jesus Christ. If we understand this better…we can understand our mission as Christians more fully.

No one is too far gone that God cannot transform them…

-Landon DeCrastos

Small Enemies

In the book, “The Life of Abraham Lincoln”, by Henry Ketchum, there are a number of humorous stories from the former president’s life as he grew into the man we often read about in textbooks. One story, in particular revolved around a politician with the last name of Shields. This man was a political jack of all trades and he had been in a myriad of different legislative positions. He was a short man with a large temper.

In those days, currency was state specific, and at this time the currency of Illinois was worthless. So, Shields proposed legislation that would make it illegal to pay state taxes with Illinois’ own currency.

The vast majority thought this was unfair, so Lincoln (being a man of constant satire) decided to write a letter to a major newspaper to mock Shields…his stature, political decisions, and manhood. Long story short, the population had a great laugh, but Shields’ temper got the best of him.

After trying to find out who wrote the letter, (it was written under a made up pen name) Lincoln confessed to be the writer.Shields, acting out of anger, challenged Lincoln to a duel to the death. As is customary in this situation, Lincoln (being the challenged party) had the opportunity to select the weapon. Still finding the situation rather funny, Lincoln chose “the largest broadswords he could find”.

Shields was so short and Lincoln was so tall that Shields could hardly pick up the sword. Lincoln laughed all the way to a truce. Later, Lincoln admits that he should not have acted in the way and publically apologized to Shields.

This story, while humorous to me, got me thinking. As Christians, we often look at the devil, sin, the world, our temptations, etc. as insurmountable foes. Really, the enemy is angry and relatively powerless against those who walk with God. It’ s actually quite comforting.

Remember this today…God has already won. Rest in this fact and live accordingly.

-Landon DeCrastos