Posts Tagged ‘crime’

Read any newspaper or any on-line news page or turn your TV onto any news programme and you’ll find there’s nearly always news of someone somewhere having been murdered or seriously injured in what is said to be “an unprovoked attack”. Tragic events which shock the community in which the crime has taken place. Tragic events which devastate families and friendships.

It’s at these times when we as Christians are compelled to pray that God will provide comfort and solace to all those affected by the tragedy. In the days that follow the tragedy we continue to pray for the family and friends of the person killed.

In February this year the nephew of one of my managers was murdered in Blantyre in an unprovoked attack. At this time the community of Blantyre, the family and friends of Raemonn Gormley all voiced their disbelief and devastation at the death of a wonderful young man – I wrote about some of this in two blog posts in February, A Black Friday and Life Is Fragile.

Well on Friday this week the two men charged with Reamonn Gormley’s murder appeared in court in Glasgow. Meanwhile, one of Reamonn’s aunts, my manager, was at work…I was with my manager when she got news from her family on how things had gone at court…all I can say is she was very understandably emotional.

You can read details of the outcome of the accused’s appearances in court on the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-13642552

If I’m honest I must admit that I stopped praying specifically for her, her family and Reamonn’s friends a number of weeks ago. It’s almost as if just because the immediate aftermath and media attentions, the funeral etc were all over, so the events of that tragic day and it’s impact of them, had gone from my mind. I felt very guilty, I felt I had failed as a Christian as although I had prayed for my manager’s family at the time of Reamonn’s death, I have failed to continue to offer the kind of support that both she and her family have needed.

The grief and devastation felt by the family and friends of any murder victim lasts a lifetime, not just a few days, weeks or months. So I ask that you like me, you will make a promise today to continue to pray for the families and friends of all murder victims, no matter whether the crime occurred yesterday, last week, last month, last year or indeed many years ago. Their pain and grief will never go away, although through our prayers and our support we can help them be strong enough to face another day in the knowledge that God is always with them, and that their loved one is at peace in God’s presence.

Identity thieves try to steal other people’s identities…Christ tries to steal our heart.

Christ wants us to be more like like Him, but that doesn’t mean we should steal His idenity. Far from it, we will never be identical to Christ as we are human and as such we can never be perfect. However we can, through His help do all we can to be more and more like Him.

Identity thieves pretend to be someone they are not…To be a true Christian we must be like Christ, not just pretend to be a Christian.

Sometimes I think we all need to all remind ourselves that we should all be trying to be more and more like Christ. After all as a Christian, wouldn’t it be the ultimate compliment if others can see Christ in us!

When others look at you, can they see Christ or do you need to take on more of Christ’s identity?

These days we are increasingly able to do all our transactions and interactions anywhere and at whatever time of day, using computers, phones and other new gadgets.

As a consequence of this we seem to be hearing about a growing number of computer frauds that are taking place. One of the types of fraud that seems most alarming and difficult to stop, is identity theft.

So what is identity theft?

Identity Theft is when an imposter pretends to be someone else so that they can illegally gain information, services, goods or money. e.g. Someone pretends to be you by using your name and credit card details to order goods or services; Someone pretends to be you to “hide” from authorities by giving your name/address as their own.

I’ve heard a few stories of people who have found their identity has been stolen, and it seems to be a very long and difficult task to convince the authorities/credit card companies that you are who you claim to be, and that the other person using your identity is an imposter.

Personally the term identity theft always makes me think of something positive – someone so great that we all want to be so others try to be that person. I.e. They try to take on the same personality traits as the person whose identity they are impersonating.

So how do we keep ourselves safe from identity theft? I can only offer a little bit of advice in the hope that this help you from falling foul of identity theft:

  • Keep you credit/debit cards in a safe place at all times
  • Don’t share your credit/debit card details with anyone…especially your PIN number
  • Don’t let your credit/debit card out of your sight when paying for goods/services in shops/restaurants
  • Only share minimal personal data on-line – Those who know you will find you from the little information you share
  • Only use secure internet sites when making on-line purchases
  • Be careful how you dispose of mail/documents that include your name and/or address

These are just a few hints – If you need further information I’d suggest the following websites:

http://www.getsafeonline.org/

http://www.identitytheft.org.uk/

Tears of joy or tears of happiness, each happen for a reason, and each can touch the hearts of not just the person who is shedding the tears but those around them.

So what makes you cry?

A few years ago I would have told you that very little makes me cry, however over the last few years I’ve found that many things seems to start my tears flowing. Even in the last few weeks I’ve shed tears for a number of reasons, here’s just a few of them:

  • My Dad’s deteriorating health
  • Mum re how she’s coping with Dad
  • Death of my Uncle Michael
  • Murder of a 19 year old boy (who turned out to be the nephew of one of my managers at work)
  • Health concerns for my hubby
  • My own health concerns
  • Listening to specific pieces of music
  • Just being fed up with how life is going at present

So most of my reasons for crying recently have been because I’ve been upset about something, but why is it that sometimes we cry when good things happened too? (you can read more about some of these situations in my blog post from last Friday entitled A Black Friday).

Whether it’s something that’s upset us or something which makes us extremely happy, our emotions are stirred and that’s what causes us to cry. That’s why after crying, and releasing some of our built up emotions, we often feel better – though this is not always the case.

How do you feel when you see someone else crying?

Personally I often find myself getting emotional when I see someone else crying, even if I have no idea why they are upset. Is it just the empathy we feel for other’s pain that makes me do that? Probably.

Whatever makes you shed a tear for either your own or someone else’s situation or circumstances, take it to the God – He can ease your pain. God knows and understands how we feel and knows and can provide what we need to help us through the situation.

If ever I’ve been reminded of how fragile life is, it has been this last week.

On Wednesday I saw and read the local news stories about a young 19 year old lad, Reamonn Gormley, who was killed in an unprovoked attacked in Blantyre late on Tuesday evening. What a terrible loss.

Yesterday in A Black Friday I told you how I discovered that this young lad was actually the nephew of one of my managers at work. What a shock. What a terrible loss.

I also mentioned yesterday that one of my Uncle’s had died on Thursday. He had obviously had a much longer life than Reamonn Gormley, however he is still a great loss to our family.

How quickly and abruptly those we love can be taken from us without warning.

This has reminded me once again that we must never assume those we love know just what they mean to us. So we must regularly tell those we love, just how we feel about them. Remember that if you don’t tell them now, you may never get the chance to, and that is something I know you would always regret.

Don’t let it take someone’s death to remind you how much you love your friends and family.

Share some love by telling those you love just how much they mean to you today, and everyday.