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BARBARA ASHLEY: We need to stop the madness

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Barbara Ashley

Hello, my devoted readers. I must begin this column by quoting II Chronicles 7:14: “If my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

As I have mentioned in this column before it’s praying time, y’all. So much senseless killings and hatred going on right now it makes my heart flutter. There’s nowhere safe anymore. Killings at the grocery store, school, public sporting and entertainment events—where does it all come from and where will it end?

The fact that two different 18-year olds on opposite sides of the country committed such heinous acts is unfathomable. How can you accumulate so much hatred in 18 years? I just barely knew about the racial unrest when I was a child and now it seems to be more prevalent than ever. Am I missing something here? I normally don’t care for Dr. Phil but I have to agree with him on one thing – where do these teenagers get the money from to buy these assault weapons? Yes, weapons is the right word here. They are not out shooting for sport. They are killing innocent people and not showing any remorse. The shooter in New York was actually broadcasting live during his rampage.

What can we do to stop this madness? I feel helpless that there seems to be no regard for human life and if it were not for knowing Christ and having Him in my life I would be afraid to leave home. Obviously that wouldn’t be a deterrent because people have been shot in their own houses minding their own business. There was a 6 year old in Darlington a few weeks ago that was at home and shot, thank God he made it. Right after that there was in 8-year-old in Florence who was shot while riding with his father. Sorrowfully he didn’t make it.

These kinds of happenings make you draw on your faith even more, or at least it should. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. Thank God for a sound mind and if we would just learn to love one another as He loves us there would be a dramatic change in the world we live in.

There is a preacher on the radio that has warned of three places our children should avoid this summer – the mall, the skating rink and the bowling alley. That pretty much takes the fun out of summer but we can never be too careful. I’m sure when those parents and guardians dropped their children off that morning in Texas they never imagined that would be the last time ever. I can just imagine the faces of those little ones, happy- go- lucky and not a care in the world and then gunned down so mercilessly. You would have to be very cold hearted for that not to have affected you.

Thankfully, my children are grown now but I do have school-age grandchildren and I pray constantly for their safety and protection as I’m sure their parents do also. I believe it’s time for us to start teaching our young people about God as early as we think they are able to understand. There are just things in life you can’t go through without God to sustain you.

Sadly, I know mental illness is for real, but I’m starting to get a little tired of that being the “excuse” for everything bad that happens. Some people have simply allowed Satan to take control of their thoughts and when the behavior displays it they fall back on the mental illness wagon. I’m sorry if that sounds cold but that’s how I feel.

So where are the adults in these kids’ lives that should be helping them get the help they need before it’s too late? They say it takes a village but some of our village people don’t seem to be too aware. I’m not blaming anyone I’m just hard pressed to want to see some changes. We can’t blame President Biden, or anyone else for that matter, for not making better gun control laws. Remember it’s not guns that kill people it’s people with guns that kill people.

Maybe we can all come together in prayer like the scripture says and pray for our nation. For too long we have turned a blind eye to things that we know are ungodly and yet we want to be politically correct so we shy away from making waves. I’m not saying condemn anyone or judge anyone for whatever lifestyle they choose. We just need to stand up for what we know is right and put our faith in action that God may hear our prayers and lead us into the peaceful life that He wants us to have. There is a scripture that says love hides a multitude of sins. Let’s get back to loving people and lifting them up. I know depression is real but just one kind word might make the difference in someone’s life. You just never know.

I know this article has been a little more “preachy” than usual but hopefully I have motivated someone else to help in this fight. God bless you.

Till we meet again….

Born and raised in the Dovesville community in rural Darlington County, Barbara Ashley was the Rosenwald High School Class of 1979 salutatorian and is an associate minister of Mt. Rona Missionary Baptist Church in Society Hill. She’s married and has four children and two grandchildren. She has worked in the Morning News circulation department for 15 years and loves reading, writing, playing computer games and socializing with friends and family, but most of all she says she loves the Lord.


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We’d be walking to a farm pond in quest of bream when Grandmom Poland would spot a thistle. “Watch out for that nettle.” She’d hardly break stride leaning over to yank it from the earth. Thus, I saw not one of these “weeds” reach maturity.

In the 1950s when television was in black and white as was the distinction between acceptable and unacceptable behavior, comedian Milton Berle would occasionally wear a dress in a skit, causing the studio audience to laugh uproariously. How things have changed.

We do not need to look far to see evidence of the fact that something has gone terribly wrong in our society today. Shootings across our nation in neighborhood supermarkets, schools, medical facilities, automobiles, malls, faith houses, and homes causes one to ask the question, “Where is the love?”

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