RR Killer and Da Vinci Code
"POLICE WITHOUT MOTIVE, SUSPECT, IN KILLING OF WOMAN, 65, AND CAT" headlined a front page story in the Houston Chronicle on Friday, December 4, 1987. Lillie Fluckiger lived alone with her big yellow-and-white cat named Ginger. She had lived at 713 Sue Barnett for more than 40 years. She was never married. Her father lived with her until his death a few years prior. A Meals on Wheels volunteer found her body on her bed after failing to get a response at the front door. Lillie had been beaten to death. Ginger was found dead in the back yard by the police. Wood chips on the floor near the door indicated it had been pried open.
Sue Barnett is the next street west of my house. Going south, it crosses seven streets; then makes a sharp curve for one block to dead end. Houses on the south side of this 700 block are parallel to the HB&T Railroad track. It is traumatic, scary, to live close to such a crime scene--especially when there are no motives, suspects, or clues. Who would want to brutally murder this friendly, gentle person?
It was shortly after this that the police became aware of horrendous crimes taking place in houses across the nation along railroad tracks. This sadistic, violent killer was identified through finger prints and DNA. Since 1976, he had been sentenced to prison or jail seven times. His name was Angel Maturino Resendiz. Policemen, hardened to gruesome crimes, were sickened to Resendiz's overkill with such weapons as a sledgehammer, pickax, large rock, antique iron. He was on the FBI list of 10 most wanted men. Police throughout the nation desperately hunted him as he criss-crossed by rail from California to Florida, Illinois to Texas, extinguishing the lives of some of the best people from society. He was called the "railroad killer." His true death toll will never be known. Surely the police could include Lillie Fluckiger. All they needed was a railroad.
For ten years, I felt a spine tingling fear at night when I heard the whistle of the neighbor- ing train; or had an occasion to walk outside. Then, Resendiz was captured on July 19, 1999.
What a peace I experienced! I anxiously awaited the verdict of death which came May 22, 2000.
I wanted him out of our world! He was executed by lethal injection on June 27, 2006 at age 46.
About the DaVinci Code: If you went to a bank, applied for a job as a teller, and were accepted, you would go through a training period. They would NOT show you a variety of counterfeit bills and tell you to familiarize yourself with them. NO! They do give you genuine bills and ask you to study them over and over--so much so, if someone gives you a fake bill, you'll recognize it immediately.
If you read the Holy Bible from cover to cover every year, study it alone or in a church Sunday school, familiarize yourself with it, make it a daily part of your life, then you will recognize the false prophets it mentions and the false religions you may encounter. (II Tim.3:16) A well-worn Bible is a sign of a well-fed soul. "The treasures of the Word of God are great beyond compare; But if we do not search them out, we cannot use what's there" (Sper).
I think Dan Brown wrote his story from a gnostic (fiction) gospel written 400 years after Jesus died. I did not read his book nor see his movie. I would not want to support, award or approve his sacrilegious literary contribution (Romans 2:22b-24).
In my pastor's research, he discovered 24,000 New Testament documents written 50-400 years after Jesus died, that are from eye witnesses--that are historical documents; proclaiming Jesus as the Son of God; proclaiming the accuracy of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
In Genesis 2:24, God said a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and they two shall be one flesh. Jesus repeated this in Matthew 19: 5-6 to the Pharisees. As He was on the Cross, Jesus saw his mother and the disciple John standing beside her. Jesus said to his mother, "Behold, thy son" and to John, "Behold, thy mother". John took her into his home.
I went to the Holy Land; sat under the old olive trees where Jesus said, "Not My will, but Thine be done" (Luke 22:42). Yes, the 2,000-year old trees are still there. They are gnarled, knotty, roughened; about six-feet in diameter. I entered the empty tomb. The bones of all the men who organized all the other religions in the world, lie in graves. Not so with Christianity.
The followers of Jesus Christ are called Christians. When Jesus died on the Cross, that 45-foot high veil in the Temple was ripped in two from the top to the bottom (Mark 15:38). There was an earthquake that cracked all the rocks (Matthew 27:51). Graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints arose out of their graves after Jesus' resurrection, went to the holy city and appeared unto many people (Matthew 27:52-53). "And when the 6th hour (noon) was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the 9th hour (3:00 p.m.) and the sun was darkened" (Luke 23:44-45). The centurion and all that were with him at the foot of the cross proclaimed, "Truly this was the Son of God" (Luke 23:47). All four Gospels tell of His resurrection and the immortal words, "He is not here. He is risen." Jesus made appearances and spoke with many people during the next 40 days, as told in all four Gospels, Acts 1 and I Corinthians 15, 20, 21.
"And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this Book; but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name" (John 20:30-31).
You may not believe in Jesus--but He believes in you. You were on His mind when He died.
Some members of the families of victims may blame God. Faith of some may waiver. The Bible tells us God is a compassionate, caring, loving Being. He grieves and is disappointed by the actions of His people (Genesis 6:6). Jesus wept when He heard of the death of His friend, Lazarus (John ll:35). He anguished over the people in the city of Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37). He had compassion on the poor, sick and afflicted (Matthew 9:36; 14:14; Mark 1:41; 6:34).
When we go through trials and tribulations, God is walking beside us, giving comfort; guiding us through our travails; showing us the peace that passeth all understanding (Phil.4:7).
You only have to ask Him to help you, and He'll be there for you (John 14:13). He makes evil bring about good (Genesis 50:20) so that we who have been through tragedies can be of comfort to others when they face the same--as told in II Corinthians 1:3-4, "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."
God does not force anyone to follow Him. He gives us all freedom of choice.
Hardships can make a person bitter, or better. Hurricane Alicia hit Houston in 1983 causing $1 billion in damages. A young couple in their mid-thirties were faithful in attendance in our church, bringing their children every Sunday. The hurricane destroyed their home and all their possessions. They were outraged with God, and never came to church again.
"Ground filled with the roots of bitterness needs to be plowed by the grace of God."
Last September, I wrote about a church in Louisiana destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The members lost their homes and possessions. They came to the First Baptist Church of Katy, Texas, where they were fed and housed. They participated in the Sunday morning services, singing praises to God, worshipping Him. I loved being a witness to their faith, their testimonies of God's blessings, as they proclaimed: "We are alive. Material things can be replaced. God will help us, just as He blessed Job." Everything belongs to God. We are users. We don't under- stand the part Nature plays; but we know God has a plan for us and is in charge of our lives.
God does not force us to be followers or believers in Christ. There are some mean, cruel, horrible people in this world. Some kidnap, rape and kill our children. If we happen to cross their path, we are in bad trouble--especially if they are like those five teenage gang members now in custody who rob, steal and murder innocent victims. How did they get so mean so young? What were they watching on TV all their childhood? No one taught them to love God. Many years ago, our government put a Bible in every classroom which was read to children every day. Prayer followed. McGuffey's Readers taught us to have respect, commitment, love for each other. What happened? Will God be forced to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah?
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