Newsletter: Vol. 14, Iss. 3
December 2015

Ms. Karen Thornton

The holidays are fast approaching and being thankful for Godís blessings during this time is on our minds and hearts. As many of you know, my husband and I just returned from our second trip to the Holy Land. It was a trip of a different nature. We were privileged to travel with a small group of clergy from all over the USA with the leader, Rev. Peter Miano from The Society for Biblical Studies out of Massachusetts. This was an eye and heart opening experience for us.

First of all, we were not fearful and we were not in danger. To the best of my ability and leading of the Holy Spirit in truth, I am going to share with you some of our adventures in weeks to come. The question asked about fear and asking if we had a death wish, sadly to say, comes from the media telling you of a killing and war-like atmosphere present in the area. This is not truth. If I could share with you individually and know where you live, I could ask, are you afraid to go to Ferguson? New York? Los Angeles? Paris? Your level of fear depends on your evaluation of your destination. On 9/11, terrorists were able to kill many people, causing a national concern of security. The crime rate in some major US cities is greater than the danger of visiting the Holy Land. Would you go out into your own city, even your neighborhood at night? So what do you consider a dangerous environment? How does it become newsworthy? Well, how violent is it? Was it a child? Was it rape, torture or murder? What else is there to write about that causes more of a stir or captures a readerís attention than violence? Did you know there are websites that will give you a crime rate, right down to the neighborhood? Not only the rate, but a percentage of the chance of you becoming a victim. Before you travel in the US or out of the US, check the crime rate, check for safety. Then rate your fear level. How many times did you see the same bus burning in a news clip? or the same block showing action and chaos? Do you think that the news media is going to show or tell you both sides? Using words of accusation and distraught faces of gloom and doom when we who do not actually visit the country or truly understand, yet we judge.

For what am I thankful? The freedom I have to live and move and have my being in the name of Jesus Christ. I am thankful for HE has not given me the spirit of fear; but of power, love, and a sound mind.

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