Sharing my faith and my life one day at a time.

Friday, May 21, 2010

What I Learned from Cassie Bernall

Two evenings ago, I found myself in a really unfamiliar place. Pastor Corey Demmel, the youth pastor of Bellevue Christian Center (the church that we go to here in Bellevue, NE) invited Robert to share a 5-minute message at REVOLUTION -- a mid-week worship service for high-school age kids.

I was planning on dropping by for a quick minute -- to record Robert's message. After that, I had my heart set on finding a couch somewhere in the building and read a book. Needless to say, my plans didn't push through -- all for many great reasons!

First, the energy of high-schoolers were just contagious. I felt like 17 again! I couldn't help but join in the worship. And I am glad I did. There is nothing like going all out in worship of my Father!

The service's message was about leaving a legacy for Christ. I was moved by one example that was shared that evening.

Many of us remember the massacre that took place in Columbine High School in 1999. I was 23 years old back then and I was already a follower of world news and current events.

I heard about the story of Cassie Bernall, one of the victims of the shooting. I didn't know Jesus at that time so I haven't really given much thought on what took place as she died in the hands of the assailants.

That evening, I was re-introduced to her story. One of the killers (I personally don't know which one among the two), asked her if she believed in God.

She boldly responded "yes."

Moments later, she was shot dead.

This encouraged me to take a hard look at myself and see how I would respond in the exact same situation. Sure, I can proudly proclaim right now that I can do what Cassie did.

But really, when a gun is pointed to my head and be asked who I stood for, will I really boldly declare that I am willing to die for Christ? I welcomed this moment to be completely honest with myself.

(Side note: Watched a similar fictional situation in last night's Grey's Anatomy season finale. A man was on a shooting rampage in the hospital and seemed to target surgeons. With a gun to her head, he asked Dr. Miranda Bailey if she was a surgeon or a nurse. Fearing for her life and the son she will leave behind, she said "nurse.")

It is a sobering self-examination for me. It opened a conversation between me and Jesus. I asked Him (I actually begged) to give me the power of the Holy Spirit and enable me to be as faith-filled as Cassie -- at all times. I want to filled with a pure desire willingly die for Him if I am faced with that situation.

Then the conversation moved to situations more real in the present time. Do I take advantage of every opportunity to proclaim Christ every chance I get? Do I really have to wait for a life-or-death situation to let people know who stand for?

How about in the little choices that I make? Do I choose the one that glorifies my one and only God?

How about in my reactions to situations that upset me? I am pretty good at reacting graciously on the outside but how about my heart? Is grace found within me? Do I truly love from the inside in the same way my external actions do?

Today, I choose to be that person who says she loves Jesus Christ with all her heart.

Today, I choose to continue to witness and share what He has done for me.

Today, I choose not to strive to be what I am committing to be. He has paid the price and He has declared victory in all of my battles. I will allow Him to empower me. His power is made perfect in my weakness.

Romans 1:16-17 (The Message) says:

"It's news I'm most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God's powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with Jews and then right on to everyone else! God's way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: "The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives."

1 comment

Unknown said...

As I read through your post, before I got to your side note, I already had that scene in my mind. And I think that scene had the most impact on me. It reminded me of Simon Peter when he denied Christ thrice. It got me thinking what I would do in a similar situation. I honestly do not know.

But thank you for this post, I already know what to pray for.

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