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Ladies and gentlemen
Welcome to the main event
A fight of the century
The bout worth every cent

In this corner, Daddy
Big, strong and wise
In the opposite; daughter
With the biggest blue eyes

This fight will put chills down your spine
It’s bound to be a thrill
Let’s listen to this verbal match
Lean in quietly and be still

The smallest one starts it off
Let’s hear her first swing
With a phrase she starts the brawl
Then Daddy steps into the ring

“I love you so much” she begins
We can almost hear the crowd roar
Their eyes stare each other down
She gets the very first score

“I love you more than you will ever know”
Daddy says with a smug grin
Then little lady fires back
The intense struggle is about to begin

“No, I love you times a million”
She says thinking she was going to win
But Daddy was ready for her joust
He cracks his knuckles, takes a breath, and leans in

“You are out matched little one
You don’t have a prayer
Mom and I asked God for you
We loved you before you even breathed air”

Daughter tried to fire back
But Daddy didn’t let her go
There was more that needed to be said
He was not nearly out of ammo

“I love you more than wide is wide
I love you farther than the planet Mars
I love you all the way to God and back
Way past the twinkling stars

Don’t try to defeat me in this
Because you have already lost
I would do anything for you
No matter what the cost

Sometimes mom and I can get mad
And raise our voices to correct
But never forget how much we love you
You are mine, despite whether or not you object

And with that final blow
The 4 year old accepted defeat
Not a thing could be said
As she stated at her little feet

Then, suddenly she looked up
with joyful tears in her eyes
She kissed Daddy on the cheek
And he realized this was all a guise

All she really wanted
Was to hear her Daddy say
That He loved her without conditions
And then she ran off to play.

 

-Landon DeCrastos

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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


I have always been fascinated by fantasy movies. When I was young, my favorite movie was “The Neverending Story”. I liked the portrayal of good versus evil in these types of movies and the fact that the storylines are not bound by physics or known history. Sometimes, I feel as if it is easier to convey a larger message, in a metaphorical sense, when one can make up fictional characters and abilities. People watching these movies can also extrapolate personal messages that speak to them from the content of these films.

In the second Lord of the Rings movie, an interesting transition occurs when the heroic main characters are caught in a giant battle against the enemy. They were outnumbered and they lacked the necessary stoutness of weaponry needed to defeat the evil that was on the offensive. Earlier in the movie, the main characters had made friends with a tribe of creatures that resembled large trees. These trees rejected the idea that they could be of any help in this inevitable battle…they were a peaceful tribe and did not want to meddle in things that didn’t concern them.

Toward the end of the movie, the battle raged between good and evil, and it seemed as if the darkness had the upper hand. At that moment, these large tree-like creatures rushed in to add their strength to the battle, and that provided the force needed to overcome.

When I reflect on this general concept, I can’t help but think about the Church (body of Christ) within the last few decades. We have become spiritual pacifists, unwilling to lend our might to the battle raging directly in front of us. We are convinced that the deterioration of this world does not concern us, because we are simply waiting for Christ to return. The battle against evil (and we were reminded this week that evil does indeed exist) seems to be a fight we are losing.

When the churches wakes up (empowered by God) and finally lends her hand to the fight…the force will be so overwhelming that evil will not even have time to draw its sword.

I am looking forward to that day….the day when we will wake up and storm the gates of Hell together.

-Landon DeCrastos



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