On Thoughts & Prayers

by | Mar 29, 2023 | 3 comments

I wanted to expand on my thoughts shared on social media about the tragic loss of life at The Covenant School in Nashville.

In a moment market by such heavy, suffocating sadness- I have been guided into gratitude for the immense suffering of my savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross so that we have the promise of Eternal Life. That the babies and adults who tragically lost their life at The Covenant School on March 27, 2023 have eternal life.

All of those who died that day knew the Lord.

Although they were taken too soon from their families, they are now in a place where there is no sorrow or suffering.

Now, the rest of us are here trying to make sense of it all.

What happened?

How do we move forward in the face of such heavy sorrow, grief and the threat of paralyzing fear.

While I’ve seen so many sending prayers for all of those impacted… I’ve seen a shocking amount of condemnation towards people who are saying their thoughts and prayers are with those affected.

This is the world in which we live, sisters and brothers.

A place where thoughts and prayers are condemned. A world where someone, commenting on the fact that it was a Christian School, said: “well, I guess they didn’t pray enough.”

Prayers are mocked…discarded like they are worthless and ineffective.

This is the result of our fallen world- one in which the enemy rules.

Yet no matter how dark things seem- we have to remember, that God is greater. God has MORE power and Jesus secured the ultimate victory for those who believe- he conquered Death… so that Evelyn Dieckhaus (age 9), Hallie Scruggs (age 9), William Kinney (age 9), Cynthia Peak (age 61), Katherine Koonce (age 60) and Mike Hill (age 61) would have eternal life.

Praise Jesus who came, suffered, died and rose again to restore our relationship with the Lord…and blessed us with the precious gift of the Holy Spirit that resides in all who believe.

I will be thinking of Evelyn, Hallie, William, Cindy, Katherine and Mike on Resurrection Sunday, thanking Jesus for his sacrifice- knowing that they are enjoying a different view this Easter Sunday…at the throne of the Most High God.

A few other somewhat scattered thoughts following this tragic event:

#1. We (Believers) MUST act with a sense of urgency. This is something that our pastor, Sean Clarke, shared on Monday night at my church. I agree wholeheartedly. The enemy is here, and with each passing day, the Enemy and his “crew” are running amok. We need to DO our part.

This is an opportunity to share the HOPE of Jesus…the meaning of Resurrection Sunday.

Chad Scruggs, dad of sweet Hallie, short one sentence comment on the death of his precious daughter :

“Through tears we trust that she is in the arms of Jesus who will raise her to life once again.”

Even in their immense grief and sorrow, Chad, Jada and their family have hope though the grief.

And it’s not an uncertain Hope. It’s an expectant Hope (“Ancient Hope” as I call it). This family knows that their daughter is ALIVE with Jesus right now, along with Evelyn, Will, Katherine, Cindy and Bill.

I have a feeling countless people will ultimately come to know Jesus through this tragedy. After all, God is always good…and He will take what the Enemy meant for harm, and use it for good.

#2. We MUST arm ourselves with Prayer.

Prayer is a powerful supernatural gift we have been given that can serve others well. It’s nothing trite— the power of prayer is PROFOUND.

To hear people say “Thoughts and Prayers are worthless….WE need to DO something” breaks my heart…. Sure- we can do some things. But we’re limited in our humanity.

When we pray, we appeal to the One who created the Universe. We seek refuge, peace and comfort from the only One who can TRULY begin to ease the suffering of those affected.

In my darkest weeks dealing with my son- I truly felt the results of the hundreds of prayer warriors surrounding us with prayer. Because I had strength when I was physically and emotionally spent.

We found the medicine that would help our son in record time.

Prayer works.

Prayer is absolutely what these families need- what those who go to The Covenant School and church… and what all of those in our community need as we move forward today, and the days to come…as these families wake up every single morning to realize that the nightmare is in fact their reality.

I will pray continually for them and for all of us in the Nashville area- and I hope you will too.

#3. We must be BOLD.

The loudest and more prominent voices (especially on social media and the news) are shouting that our God is either “fake” “not that Powerful” or “not as ‘good’ as we claim”.

So many misunderstand why a good God can allow such evil.

One of the greatest lies that the Enemy and his army have whispered into the ears of millions is that because Evil exists, God isn’t as good as we say He is.

Or they “minimize” the Enemy- arguing that it’s not the work of the enemy- it’s just people.

Many don’t believe in the Enemy at all! How tricky the Father of Lies is, in getting people to believe that he doesn’t even exist. What a brilliant way to trick people into doing nothing.

I’ve had a stirring in my spirit for months that It’s time to be BOLD and call out the lies and tricks of the Enemy.

To point out the root of the confusion and chaos in our world today is our Enemy and his army of darkness. To bring awareness that the spiritual battle is no longer “behind the curtain” but it’s happening here on Earth.

We now live in a world where up is down…where our military says that we can’t rule out an “alien attack” and no one blinks an eye! Where churches are non-essential but WalMart is. Where the voices of concerned parents are disregarded because a “board” or some bureaucrats know better.

Things are bad y’all. Really bad.

I feel like so many of us have been tiptoeing around…being careful not to offend anyone…to just keep quiet- lest we be called hateful, unloving, intolerant people.

The Enemy has succeeded up to this point in neutralizing millions of Believers. Giving them a spirit of fear of “what others will think or say.”

All but forcing us by threat of “cancelling” to keep our Faith relegated to the four walls of our homes and churches…

Enough is enough. It’s time to fight back with the Word and Truth.

The Lord has a mighty ARMY in the heavens…and HERE on Earth. You and me.

We’re that earthly army. It’s time for us to awaken from our slumber and don the armor that the Lord has given us. Ephesians 6:10-20 is a great place to start….(and Priscilla Shirer’s study on The Armor of God is an amazing resource).

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Ephesians 6:10-18.

I’m praying for myself and for you, friend– for a spirit of Holy Courage and Boldness as we tackle the lies and deception in our world.

That we become bold for the Lord and not allow the cancel culture to shut us down. That we speak TRUTH instead of just “going along to get along”.

The Enemy is playing for keeps- he wants to destroy the beauty that the Lord has created. “Culture” (a/k/a “The World”) wants to silence us. There is no true “neutral”.

Worried you might be “cancelled” or criticized? The life of a Believer isn’t cushy or safe… Jesus TOLD us we would be persecuted.

“Then they will deliver you over to be persecuted and killed, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.”

Matthew 13:9 (NIV)

We had a good run here in the U.S. But the persecutions are happening now– both digital and physical persecution all over the world.

And we have to remember…. right now- there are millions and millions of women and men who desperately need Jesus.

We need to be boldly taking to the battlefield in our homes, schools, churches, neighborhoods, communities, etc. and speak TRUTH. We need to share the Word of God. Share the HOPE that we have in Jesus. Don’t give up. Don’t let them silence you.

Our world is broken…it’s fallen, and it’s filled with people who need a Savior. Let us be BOLD in our words so that in the day we are reunited with our Savior, we can say:

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NIV)

What lessons have you taken from this tragedy or others? Comment below! And feel free to share this with others that you think would benefit from this message ❤️

If you’re looking for ways to help the families and students at The Covenant School & Church, here are some ways– just click on the Title (by the Number) and it will take you to the website.

1. Go Fund Me for Evelyn Dieckhaus

This is for the brave 9-year old little girl who was killed while pulling the fire alarm in an effort to save other children and teachers. This will enable the family to have the “financial space” to grieve the loss of their child.

2. Caring for Covenant Fund

This is the specific fund that The Covenant School has requested donations be sent for the families and staff.

3. Forrest Spence Fund.

This is a fund created in 2007 by a friend of mine from Memphis. They are going to cover the cost of counseling for all 5 Scruggs (the Dad- Chad- is the Pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church and dad of Hallie) and hopefully the other families if donations allow. Please note “in memory of Hallie” so that it goes directly to them.

4. Daystar Counseling Ministries.

This group is also collecting donations for all Covenant School families. They are already donating 3 sessions per child at the Covenant School, but as you can imagine, 3 sessions won’t be enough.

5. Go Fund Me for the Family of Will Kinney.

This is the 9 year-old little boy that was killed. This will enable the family to have the “financial space” to grieve the loss of their child.

6. Go Fund Me for the Family of Mike Hill.

This is for the school custodian who gave up his life to save children.

7. Go Fund Me for the Family of Hallie Scruggs.

This will enable the family to have the “financial space” to grieve the loss of their child. Chad is the Pastor of the church where the shooting took place.

8. Go Fund Me for Cindy Peak.

Cindy was a member of my church. She was at The Covenant School for 2 hours to serve as a Substitute Teacher.

3 Comments

  1. Andrea Dell

    That comment that they didn’t pray hard enough is not cool. Why be sarcastic and rub salt in these wounds? (Of course, we know who really “said” it.) Just knowing people are praying for me is a comfort, to say nothing of the actual prayers’ effect. I am not yet as certain in my faith as you or many others, AND I still value prayer, and will continue to do so.

    Reply
  2. Kim turcott-hix

    So thankful for the word of God, and for your obedience in sharing your heart, and standing in your faith.

    I believe with my whole heart the only reason I am here. Today is because of the power of prayer.

    There has been a stirring amongst God’s people, and the stirring within their hearts. The word that I got was engage, we need to start to engage with others, engage more with God, and his word, engage in the battle, listen to the word of God and engage.

    Praying for God to open peoples eyes and take off the shutters of their hearts that they may see the truth. We are lied to on every side and then every avenue around us pray for God’s strength, end guidance in the days ahead.

    I will pray for these families and friends. We are losing so many to such tragedy of so many dimensions. Here in the valley, where I live, we have lost kids to drunk drivers, to suicide, and for kids to a violent, stabbing on a college campus And and that’s only in our small area

    Our hope is in God, and we must engage in the battle. Engage and know there is a battle for our souls and others.

    God bless ❤️🙏💔😭❤️‍🩹🙏

    Reply
  3. Ruth Smith

    Eph 6:15 “… feet fitted with READINESS” a-n-d MOVING/stepping forward – using the armor to ward off attacks, that can’t even compare to what our saving Lord went through … because of us (not because of any error or sin of His own; He is perfect and blameless).

    It is definitely time to be bold and share in God’s work – shining His light in this ever-darkening world.

    We pray heartily for all those impacted by the deeds done in Tennessee and beyond. It used to be we knew what areas to avoid after dark; now unexpected and ugly things happen any where, any time. I am SO grateful to know God is in control! Our hope is forever and always in Him. Our peace and strength come through Him.

    Ephesians 6:10 “Be STRONG in the LORD and in the power of His might!”

    Reply

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