Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Self-Centeredness In Disguise - A Heart Like His

Last weekend was yet another in a series of 12 hour drives from Texas to Georgia trying to finish emptying the house. I grab small snatches of sleep as the truck bounces along but when we arrive I’m desperate for some sleep.

Darryl and I had decided to read the book Minutes In Hell: One Man's Story About What He Saw, Heard, and Felt in that Place of Torment by Bill Wiese on our journey back to Georgia. The book is claimed to be non-fiction and recounts the author's alleged 23-minute-long experience in hell in 1998. This turned out to be a bad decision as I will recount shortly.

The high point on the trip was stopping at Hooters and having wings and chocolate cake, I say high point but that quickly changed to low point as I felt as if I ate too much.

Once we arrived all I wanted to do was fall asleep but I was so over-tired that I couldn’t the searing flames of hell, the total isolation, the putrid and rotting stench, deafening screams of agony, and the terrorizing demons that await me if I don’t do something about my life.

I tossed and turned and turned and tossed until finally streams of morning light invaded the darkness of the room. I was absolutely exhausted but the show must go on.

Once the truck was loaded we took Atlas for a walk and began the long trip home. I try to finish reading the book May God Have Mercy: A True Story of Crime and Punishment by John C. Tucker. That particular case has always intrigued me because the play it got from the media that we were going to kill an innocent man. Donahue, Geraldo, The Times, ad nauseum all trumpeted that there was NO possible way that Coleman could be the killer. I wrestled with the truth. Was this man an innocent man who was to be put to death simply because his lawyers filed his appeal a day late? Was he guilty as charged? What was the truth?

On May 20, 1992, the Commonwealth of Virginia executed Roger Keith Coleman in the electric chair. As Coleman was strapped into the electric chair, he made one final declaration. "An innocent man is going to be murdered tonight," he said. "When my innocence is proven, I hope America will realize the injustice of the death penalty as all other civilized countries have."

In 2006, Virginia Governor Mark Warner announced that the state had re-examined DNA evidence had conclusively proven Coleman's guilt. In the light of these findings it was interesting to hear from an author who was convinced that the death penalty had been improperly administered in light of the DNA findings.

We arrived home Sunday shortly before midnight and I fell into a blissfully sound sleep. This did not mean that I felt rested. I dragged through the updates about James Holmes who was arraigned today.

During the court session, Holmes appeared sedated. His eyes appeared to have a blank stare as though the 24-year-old was not coherent and unaware of his surroundings. He did not say a word during the proceedings.

The judge informed Holmes that he will be kept in custody on a no-bail hold due to the egregious nature of the crimes he's been accused of committing.

Homes was informed he will be kept in custody on a “no-bail hold” due to the nature of the crimes he’s been accused of committing. James is also forbidden from contacting any of the victims or their families.

Today I finally feel up to continuing my Beth Moore Bible study about David 90 Days With A Heart Like His.

Then Samuel said Notice that the reserved piece is set before you. Eat it because it was saved for you for this solemn event at the time I said “I’ve invited the people.” So Saul ate with Samuel that day (1 Samuel 9:24)

How do you commonly react when someone pays you a compliment or gives you some kind of recognition for your efforts?

When I receive compliments or recognition I often discount the compliment by suggesting that it was nothing or that someone else could have done it better. Sometimes I do this in a sarcastic manner or insisting that the person who paid me the compliment didn’t mean what they said.

I really have a very difficult time accepting a compliment because I always compare my achievements to others.

What are the root causes behind your answer? Are there any similarities of heart in the person who responds with shy inferiority and the one who puffs up with obvious pride?

The root cause lies in my insecurities and low self-esteem. The problem is that self-centeredness is often disguised as self-pity. Self-anything is self-centeredness. Any attitude that causes the focus to be on me is self-centeredness.

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