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May 25th, 2011
12:05 PM ET

From tornado to hospital, prayer sustains Missouri family

By Eric Marrapodi and Brian Todd, CNN

Joplin, Missouri (CNN) - It’s quiet here. The only sound in the hospital room is the steady hum of a ventilator pushing air into Lage Grigsby’s lungs. It’s a stark contrast to the haunting noise of Sunday's Joplin tornado, which put him here.

Lage’s father, James Grigsby, sits by his 14-year-old son’s bedside anxiously keeping vigil, praying and hoping his boy will pull through OK. Lage is in a medically induced coma.

He has an open skull fracture and a broken vertebra in his neck. His doctors suspect he may have a brain injury and be partially paralyzed but they don’t yet know for sure. There’s a chance he won’t be able to kick a soccer ball again - or even be able to remember a time when he did.

Lage his family live one town over from Joplin, in Neosho, Missouri. On Sunday, Lage was with his grandparents and cousin, Mason, at the Home Depot in Joplin. His grandfather parked his red dual-wheeled pickup truck at the front entrance and quickly ran in to deal with a refund on some wires he picked up earlier.

“My daughter told me they spotted one on the ground,” said Sharon Lillard, Lage’s grandmother, recalling how word of the tornado quickly spread via cell phone. She was still in the truck with Lage and Mason.

“We was getting ready to get out and go into the store but the wind was blowing so hard we couldn’t even get out of the vehicle,” she said.

They watched as orange shopping carts took flight.

“I turned around and pushed my grandkids down to the floorboard,” she said. “I kept telling them, ‘We need to pray. God’s going to take care of us.’ ”

The windows in the truck shattered, sending glass flying into Lillard’s back. She bit her tongue; she didn’t want to scare her grandchildren.

“Then all of a sudden we felt the truck go in the air.”

“All I kept saying was ‘God protect us,’” Lillard said. “Because that’s all we had was God to protect us. We didn’t know what was going to happen.”

The one-ton truck was picked up like a ball and thrown into the Home Dept’s outdoor garden section, a football field and a half away from where they had parked. It landed by the lawnmowers.

“All I could do is pray someone would find us quick because I couldn’t do any screaming or anything because my head was pushed into the seat.”

Besides the glass in her back, Lillard had a broken arm. Mason was injured, too. A piece of rebar had gone through her shoulder and out her back.

Lage had been thrown from the truck and landed outside, nearby.

The Home Depot was completely destroyed, an unrecognizable mass of tangled rebar and concrete. A number of bodies have since been pulled from the store's wreckage.

Rescuers quickly found Lage, his grandmother and his cousin. They cut Mason out of the truck and rushed Lage to nearby Freeman Health System, the Joplin hospital spared by the half-mile wide tornado (the city’s other hospital, St. John's Regional Medical Center, was badly damaged.)

“When he presented he had a dilated pupil, which is a serious neuralgic problem, indicating that the person is about to neurologically die," said Lage’s nuerosurgeon, Dr. Arthur Daus.

The news provoked Lage’s dad to pray hard: “Don’t take my son, Lord,” James Grigsby prayed, “please don’t take my son.”

Dr. Daus preformed six hours of surgery to save Lage’s life, removing parts of dead brain tissue and the skull to allow the brain to swell.

There’s a chance Lage will regain his cognitive function, Daus said, but it will require a near miracle.

Hospital staff quietly come in and out of Lage’s room at the intensive care unit, where the boy lies still except for the occasional twitch of his leg or squeeze of his dad’s hand. A bandage covers his head.

They had to shave his long brown hair, styled like Justin Bieber - though his dad said Lage would hate it if you described it that way.

"It really disheartens me, because I'm used to seeing him happy and so vibrant,” Grigsby said. “He's a very energetic boy,” Grigsby said, holding his son’s hand.

"This isn't the boy who walks up behind me and goes 'Dad, can I get on the computer? Dad, can I play the X-box? Dad, can I go and ride my bike?"

Through the pain and anxiety, Grigsby said his faith remains firm. The family regularly attends the Church of Christ in Neosho.

“We’re a very Christian-bound family,” Grigsby said. Lage, who has four siblings, is active in the Royal Rangers, a Christian version of the Boy Scouts.

“The hard part about this is I know God’s hand has been in this and works through this,” Grigsby said. “He is here and is at least with us at this point.”

Grigsby says he praying for his neighbors, too.

"I know there's probably people out there who are going to be disheartened by this—I got to keep my son and they may not have,” he said. “I’m one of the lucky ones.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Missouri

soundoff (631 Responses)
  1. hadabadday

    it is so sad ...this story is but one of hundreds of personal hardships and tragedy that has come from this tornado and as we read them from the comfort of our homes it is truely sad that the only thing that YOUR heart can come up with is to debate if GOD is real or not...REALLY??...you couldn't find it in your heart to just oh I don't know maybe just wish the family well...my prayers go out to all the families affected

    May 27, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  2. Karin

    Emma;

    Emma wrote:
    ---------
    There's plenty of evidence that God exists – the miracle of child being born; the beautiful flowers that bloom from a tiny seed ; the fact that the birds know to fly south for the winter; etc. This all proves that there is a Creator. You can check more evidences at http://www.doesgodexist.org.
    ---------

    Our knowledge base which is available to you (Emma) 24 hours a day can easily explain each of your premises for your (faith) belief.

    Since you are utilizing natural occurrences as evidence I will put this forward;
    If your creator created (1) Man and (1) woman where you feel all of us descended from, than incest certainly should not cause grave harm to the offspring as occurs within nature! Unless your Creator is flawed in logic?
    If you feel everything requires a creator, than what/whom created your creator?

    May 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  3. tiffany

    I AGREE WITH NIC

    May 27, 2011 at 7:31 am |
  4. Muneef

     Times will be becoming harder for believers by the deprogramed robots who live among them with emptiness...

    Holding a Burning Ember

    Anas bin Malik (radi Allahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “There shall come upon the people a time in which the one who is steadfast upon his religion will be like the one holding onto a burning ember.” (Hasan) [Chapters on Al-Fitan: Jami At-Tirmidhi]

    This hadith informs us that the Muslim Ummah shall pass through periods when wickedness, lewdness and sinfulness will hold sway in society, and the believers shall find it extremely difficult to preserve their faith, and swim against the surging tide of worldly benefits and gains. Holding onto one’s faith under these conditions will in fact be like holding on to a live coal in the palm of one’s hand, which will be a highly challenging and trying task.

    http://dailyhadith.adaptivesolutionsinc.com/hadith/Holding-a-Burning-Ember.htm

    May 26, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • Reality

      Muneef,

      Please post the following on your mosque doors:

      SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:
      THERE NEVER WAS AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR

      SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
      THERE WAS AND NEVER WILL BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY

      SAVING 15.5 MILLION ORTHODOX FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
      ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.

      Added details upon request.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • Muneef

      Reality.

      Hi there you say you had a gift for me? Surprised really because I feel you have nothing for any one at all,you have nothing to give or offer...!? Now to date it is nine months we been writing in this blogs and came across each other more than I came across any one else....in many of your comments you had my name mentioned...but did you once thought of saying some thing nice comforting me when I had mentioned the difficulties we pass through...have you bothered to say some thing? OH I understand now...is it because you have no God to wish me with as to may God do this or that...? Well I do not know how do you atheist make or show your wishes..but you could have done it....! Or it is your so called Atheist Religion tells you not to consider heavenly believers as humans and not to consider saying a kind word to....? Or is it a certain racial hidden hatred...? Can't understand it but what ever your religion or belief is and tells you not to be kind to others then I do not want it nor have respect to it....man you are suffering some thing....!? This is not because I need your kind words but just it surprises me your turning a blind eye....just my wish was for you before and now that may God open your eyes and guide you to the Streight Path of the Rightous...Amen.

      May 27, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
  5. Muneef

    Keith.

    My Gift to You.

    Few Words of Gold;

    -"Changing the face" can change nothing.But "Facing the Change" can change everything.

    -Don't complain about others;
    Change yourself if you want peace.

    -Every successful person has a painful story. Every painful story has a successful ending.

    -Accept the pain and get ready for success.

    -Don't compare yourself with any one in this world. If you compare,you are insulting yourself.

    -No one can go back and change a bad beginning;
    But anyone can start now and creat a successful ending.

    -If you miss an opportunity don't fill the eyes with tears. It will hide another better opportunity in front of you.

    -Mistakes are painful when they happen. But year's later collection of mistakes is called experience,which leads to success.

    -If a problem can be solved, no need to worry about it. If a problem cannot be solved what is the use of worrying?

    -Easy is to judge the mistakes of others. Difficult is to recognize our own mistakes. It is easier to protect your feet with slippers than to cover the earth with carpet.

    -Be bold when you loose and be calm when you win. Heated gold becomes ornament. Beaten copper becomes wires. Depleted stone becomes statue. So the more pain you get in life you become more valuable.

    -Life laughs at you when you are unhappy... Life smiles at you when you are happpy... Life salutes you when you make others happy...

    -No one will manufacture a lock without a key. Similarly God won't give problems without solutions.

    May 26, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Reality

      Muneef,

      Once again, our gift to you:

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:
      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.
      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

      May 26, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
  6. Muneef

    They will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

    [2:37] Then, Adam received from his Lord words, whereby He redeemed him. He is the Redeemer, Most Merciful.

    [2:38] We said, "Go down therefrom, all of you. When guidance comes to you from Me, those who follow My guidance will have no fear, nor will they grieve.
    --–

    [2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    --–

    [2:112] Indeed, those who submit themselves absolutely to GOD alone, while leading a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    -----

    [2:262] Those who spend their money in the cause of GOD, then do not follow their charity with insult or harm, will receive their recompense from their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

    [2:263] Kind words and compassion are better than a charity that is followed by insult. GOD is Rich, Clement.

    ----–

    [2:274] Those who give to charity night and day, secretly and publicly, receive their recompense from their Lord; they will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    ------

    [2:277] Those who believe and lead a righteous life, and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), they receive their recompense from their Lord; they will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    -----

    [3:169] Do not think that those who are killed in the cause of GOD are dead; they are alive at their Lord, enjoying His provisions.

    [3:170] They are rejoicing in GOD's grace, and they have good news for their comrades who did not die with them, that they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

    [3:171] They have good news of GOD's blessings and grace, and that GOD never fails to reward the believers.
    ----–

    [5:69] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the converts, and the Christians; any of them who (1) believe in GOD and (2) believe in the Last Day, and (3) lead a righteous life, have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    ---–

    [6:48] We do not send the messengers except as deliverers of good news, as well as warners. Those who believe and reform have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    ---–

    [7:35] O children of Adam, when messengers come to you from among you, and recite My revelations to you, those who take heed and lead a righteous life, will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    ----

    [10:62] Absolutely, GOD's allies have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    ----

    [39:61] And GOD will save those who have maintained righteousness; He will reward them. No harm will touch them, nor will they have any grief.
    -----

    [46:13] Surely, those who say, "Our Lord is GOD," then lead a righteous life, will have no fear, nor will they grieve.
    ----–

    Is that too much for us to do? Or is that too wrong to listen to?

    May 26, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
  7. Frogist

    I have defended those who seek to debate the merits of prayer in dire situations like those in Joplin. I also defend those who seek to defend the usefulness of prayer.
    But I think I have to add, that while it may be distasteful to some to respond to this story with a call for atheistic beliefs it is at least equally distasteful to use the death and misery of these people to proselytize for your religion.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  8. Hitch

    Steve,

    ‘ faith requires no evidence!’

    And what is honorable, or moral about that? What is commendable about those who follow others in sake of evidence? Following others who insist that evidence is only not required, but faith is admired shows how logically fallacious the premise is. Beliefs are only tenable based on evidence. What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Imagine I told you that I was god incarnate. Or that your wife was cheating on you. Would you believe either on face value? I highly doubt it, as you’d likely request evidence for those claims. Now, claim that the book you keep by your bed is written by god & that he demands certain things of you, or he’ll punish you eternally, than that you (somehow?) do accept. Fancy that logic

    May 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Emma

      There's plenty of evidence that God exists – the miracle of child being born; the beautiful flowers that bloom from a tiny seed ; the fact that the birds know to fly south for the winter; etc. This all proves that there is a Creator. You can check more evidences at http://www.doesgodexist.org.

      May 26, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      Your examples are all easily explained by science. No deity necessary. One should not require proof to have faith which by definition requires no proof.

      May 27, 2011 at 12:54 am |
  9. Phatman

    @John Richardson
    It appears you are a spiritual "total loss". You have no where to go. No, I am not Pentecostal or Charismatic. Are you, perhaps, a disillusioned ex-Roman Catholic? I pray God has mercy on you.

    May 26, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • JohnR

      Nope, I was raised a Methodist. And you are an arrogant crank.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  10. Muneef

    Natural or ManMade Disasters...?

    Each will be touched by a burn of fire in the short or long run....no matter how or when....

    Here in Yemen;
    Seems the end of the world already started boiling up and over heating starting from Mideast...Sanaa the capital of Yemen has over heated and it's populations are moving out to safer regions...all regions suffering scarcity in fuels,gas and electricity....all can be got in black market increasing price...Sanaa air port is closed,flights diverted to other region smaller airports...

    Finally I just heard over the news that the dollar will drop down against the other currencies as did Humpty Dumpty...meaning we might go back to barter...??!

    May 26, 2011 at 6:58 am |
    • Reality

      Examples of ManMade Disasters:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,483 and 925 in non combat roles. 99,901 – 109,143 Iraqi civilians killed as of 3/3/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      May 26, 2011 at 7:34 am |
    • Keith

      Muneef, Yes, I hear things are not well in your country. And yes, as the dollar dies either a quick or slow death, America will become unrecognizable to most people. We are on our way to 3rd-world status. I know you are deeply commited to your Muslim faith and I can relate to that. At least you look at the whole of creation and recognize that there must be a God. As you know I am a Christian. As such, I pray and hope that you will someday come to the realization that Jesus is the Son of God, He is God, and is the only way to eternal life. I know many in islamic nations are coming to faith in Jesus thru visions. My friend, if that's what it is going to take for you, I pray God will send one to you. I know in the past you and I have bunted heads and we may never come to agreement on which faith leads to eternal life, but given the unsafe conditions in Yemen, I will pray for you-for safety and that you may come to know Jesus as your Savior. I've told you in the past that I hope to see you one day in heaven, and I still hope that.

      May 26, 2011 at 7:57 am |
    • Keith

      Muneef, I was watching this last night on TV. Here it is on the man's website. A VERY interesting prophecy concerning the re-birth of Israel as a nation as told by the prophet Ezekiel: http://www.grantjeffrey.com/pdf/JeffBIBLE-EzekVision2.pdf

      May 26, 2011 at 8:29 am |
    • John Richardson

      Keith, a weak dollar would likely help out economy. The Chinese have grown their economy as fast as they have by keeping the value of their currency artificially low.

      May 26, 2011 at 8:29 am |
    • Keith

      John Richardson, I don't feel like making 12 cents a day. The point, however, is that God is judging this nation through these natural disasters, among other things.

      May 26, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Keith

      John Richardson, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seening thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." Hosea 4:6 This speaks to the Jews of that day, but also to the Christian of today. The Christian of today wants to have their ears tickled by preachers who say God wants to bless them with an Escalade while here on earth. The same preachers are teaching a damnable heresy of replacement theology. The last four presidents have been trying to divide up the Covenant land of Israel. Every time they do this, we as a nation get punished. You can see the correlation for yourself. It's too much to be just a coincidence.

      May 26, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • JohnR

      The exchange rate won't affect your take home pay unless you're paid in dollars and live somewhere where the currency is rising against the dollar. Your economics is as woolly as your theology.

      May 26, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • JohnR

      The main effect of a falling dollar will be to make American goods cheaper, which should lead to a rise in exports.

      May 26, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • Muneef

      Keith.

      That was wonderful and I thank you for praying for me and hope my family as well....again thank you for wanting to see me in heaven and so would I love to seeing you there....since I wouldn't mind marrying a Christian female on earthly life or heavens....

      Now about the currency I heard that America lowered currency with too much money printing but has no covering of foreign currencies or gold reserves while China lowering their currency but have a very strong reserves in foreign currencies and gold reserves....

      May 26, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • Keith

      John R, when the dollar loses its status as the world's reserve currency, you'll be singing a different tune.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  11. Reality

    Another view from a famous, contemporary theologian: (assuming there is a god)

    o From Schillebeeckx in his book, Church: The Human Story of God,
    Crossroad, 1993, p.91 (softcover)

    "Christians must give up a perverse, unhealthy and inhuman doctrine of predestination without in so doing making God the great scapegoat of history" .

    "Nothing is determined in advance: in nature there is chance and determinism; in the world of human
    activity there is possibility of free choices.

    Therefore the historical future is not known even to God; otherwise we and our history would be merely a puppet show in which God holds the strings. For God, too, history is an adventure, an open history for and of men and women."
    =======================================================================================

    May 25, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
  12. Wade Williams

    I know Lage...he's a great kid that BELIEVES IN and LOVES the Lord. I'm praying for you Lage!

    May 25, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  13. bodhie

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Lage and his entire family. May God give you strength to survive this tragedy. Please know you are not alone. Love and prayers are coming your way.

    May 25, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
  14. Outside the box

    Alright explain this: your sitting on a couch watching T.V with a couple friends, all the sudden a large bottle of laundry soap on the shelf above the washer machine flies off the shelf at least 3 feet away. The boxes on the same shelf untouched, the washer is off, according to the laws of physics should of just fell and hit the washer.

    Would you consider supernatural then? or dismiss it as just a fluke?

    May 25, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • KingdomWork

      @ Outside the box
      LOL... Were you praying for the soap to fly off the shelf? During the event, before the event?
      hahaha... If you were praying for it to fly off the shelf, then you are left with a choice... do you choose to believe your prayer was answered or shrug it off as a coincodence... 🙂 hahaha

      May 25, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • Outside the box

      Actually no, no prayer involved was just watching T.V, scared the crap out of all of us, no one could explain it, not even the "i don't believe in the supernatural" guy that was there.

      May 25, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • I can copy n paste too

      I notice no of the "provide proof people" has an answer, its because they just want to dismiss any possibility. That sounds so familiar,. Oh wait that what they accuse religious people of.

      May 25, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • OMG

      Really I have noticed once you do provide a viable argument they either disappear or result to insults. I guess that would be considered an Epic Fail.

      May 26, 2011 at 12:14 am |
    • John Richardson

      @I can copy: What are you babbling about???

      May 26, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • John Richardson

      We had some of these small scale unexplained events in a home my wife and I used to live in. (The people who lived there next experienced considerably more.) My wife became very afraid of an alleged spirit who could turn lights on and off. Without bothering with the "it's probably the wiring", I pointed out that such "shows of power" weren't impressive and then demonstrated that I could turn every light in the room on and off as often as I wanted, whereas this "powerful spirit" only did this one particular light once, supposedly. Well, it turns out my wife WANTED to believe the spirit was powerful. Well, if you insist on being a flaming idiot, that's your choice, eh?

      May 26, 2011 at 8:42 am |
    • Leppo the Wombat

      Something falls and you think it's proof of supernatural forces? I would say that putting the box too close to the edge and the normal operation of gravity are perfectly fine answers, but if you want to go with the least likely answer to a very normal situation, well, that's fine. No wonder you believe in religion.

      Cavemen used to do that – lightning was some god, an earthquake was some god. Heck, in pre-revolution America, the people of Massachusetts would let houses hit by lightning burn to the ground, because it was clearly God's will. Until Ben Franklin showed that he could move "God's will" as he pleased with his lightning rod.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Hitch

      Outside the box,

      Regarding your hypothetical, regrettably for you & the rest of the faithful, ‘anecdotal’ isn’t very respected in terms of sufficient evidence regarding forming logical conclusions. Hearsay accounts, especially ones which are 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. hand can never be reproduced & tested for in their own, which is why they’re not used in methodological naturalism. An unrepeatable event which wasn’t objectively recorded in anyway leaves it open to be reinterpreted, exaggerated, & injected with bias on the results.

      I would dismiss your account since your word & your word alone is all I have that the event occurred.

      May 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  15. Keith

    It's really quite simple, if this nation's leadership would take the official policy of the support of Israel(not just lip service), then many of these natural disasters would cease. Unfortunately, the church should be the one leading this. They aren't. This will get worse.

    May 25, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • KingdomWork

      Sooo true!!! There has always been correlations between natural disasters and our relationship with Israel...

      May 25, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • KingdomWork

      Take a look at this site to prove your point, Keith!
      http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/t/tenmajorevents.htm

      May 25, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Keith, you are officially the dimmest bulb on the blog!

      May 26, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Keith

      John Richardson, "The fool has said in his heart, 'there is no God'". I may be dim in your blind eyes, but at least I'm no fool.

      May 26, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • JohnR

      Wrong, Keith. You ARE a fool. The biggest on the blog these days, and the competi-tion is fierce.

      May 26, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Keith- I have to disagree with you a great deal on this. There is nothing to suggest that natural disasters are directly caused by God in relation to man made politics.

      Look at Amos, Hosea and Isaiah for reference. When the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel were behaving in a immoral manner and relying on politics instead of God....there was no natural disasters that came down upon them. However, the very behavior the prophest spoke out against led to their downfall by foreign powers.

      I personally like Israel and been there before. I like they are out ally, though I do not always agree with the policies of Israel. But in no way do I feel the religious need to support Israel in every single thing they do.

      May 26, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Keith

      Lycidas, Genesis 12, Joel 3:2, Zechariah 12:3,6....

      May 27, 2011 at 9:02 am |
  16. passerby

    Funny how so many non-beleivers spend so much time trying to comprehend and understand the ways of a God they don't believe in. Arguments for the existence of a loving God are beyond scope of this post- but let me say this:

    Every god that I know of requires the respect or worship of mortals. Why does the standard change with the Christian God? Why is the Christian God expected to serve mortals? We were created by Him to live in fellowship with Him. Love is not pain free – just ask Jesus.

    May 25, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • KingdomWork

      Very true... it is mind boggling to think of what we could be asked to sacrifice for the sake of Christ... We should not expect to be above our master...

      May 25, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • JohnR

      No one says the standards change with the Christian god. Jehovah deserves all the respect and worship and obedience that you show Ahura Mazda, Krishna, Baal, Odin, etc, etc

      May 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  17. John Richardson

    Dang, it's true what they say. TIf the old drug didn't work, the pushers always seem to have another, more potent one they want to sell you!

    Anyway, according to all the fundamentalists and evangelicals I have known, and I have known skadillions, "born again christian" is NOT "half" of the equation. It's the whole deal. And yes, I am now at much greater peace knowing that I no longer worship a deity who is in the habit of issuing, let alone executing, threats of eternal punishment at ANYONE. That very issue led me away from your god long before I ever concluded he doesn't exist. I have some shame and if a thunder and brimstone god ever did appear before me, I'd tell him him that I am absolutely committed to seeing him deposed like the cosmic Ghadafi that he is. Perhaps one day, you too will develop a conscience concerning what sort of divinity does and does not deserve our worship, or even tolerance.

    So any and all, I'm giuessing you're some sort of pentecostalist or charismatic, as they are the only groups I know of for whom the holy spirit rises above Shemp status.

    May 25, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • KingdomWork

      Well John, I'm not interested in labels (charismatic/penecostal, etc. )... unless I'm slapped with a 666 on my forehead...labels don't define me, God does... I only seek the truth... I have desperately searched for it... I've fasted, prayed, repented and gone to the extent of making a list of people that I need to ask forgiveness from for various reasons... Kinda like that tv show... what's the name of it? LOL
      Any how, I chose to press into to God and NOT give up when He didn't answer right away... it took time... I didn't look to my pastor, my mom, my husband, my kids or my own beliefs... I was open to Him and what He was wanting to teach me... Finally it happened...He showed up in an unexpected way.... don't give up the fight... He's worth the cynical comments I get, He's worth the work... If you were born of Him, He loves you despite how you feel about Him. 🙂

      May 25, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Boy, are YOU missing the point, KW. For you, it's all about what god has supposedly eventually granted you. For me, it was unacceptable to worship a god who would torture anyone regardless of how well he treated me as an official lackey. Your spirituality, to the extent you can even call it that, is the rankest sort of self-centered spiritual hedonism there is.

      May 26, 2011 at 8:35 am |
    • Keith

      It's interesting to note that the punishment for blasphemy is stoning and that during the Great Tribulation 97 lb. hailstones will fall on those who curse God. I'm glad I won't be here to experience it.

      May 26, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • John Richardson

      No one will experience the tribulation, Keith. But it's just swell to see another christian worried only about his own hide.

      May 26, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Keith

      John R, yeah, sure I'm only concerned with my own hide....that's why I wrote what I did to Muneef then, huh? I may be dim, but apparently you can't read or comprehend. Christians are raptured out prior to the Tribulation, therefore, I won't be here. The purpose of the Tribulation is two-fold: 1.) God's wrath is poured out in judgement on the evil inhabitants of the earth and 2.) To drive the Jews to ask for Jesus to come back. You sound to me as if you're spiritually blind-that's not a good thing. I'll pray for you, too, same as Muneef.

      May 26, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • JohnR

      Man, Keith. I CAN read and I do realize that you think you will be "raptured" before the tribulation. But since that is all bunk, I don't take it seriously. Nor would anyone else with a functioning set of neurons. But one thing that is unquestionably the case is that you are smug in your self-assessment of having been saved (many Christians would say that your very smugness bodes ill for your actual salvation, btw) and are chortling about others being pelted by 97lb hailstones. IOW, you are a typical arrogant, ignorant Christian "end days" moron. But over and above this, you actually believe that natural disasters are happening because the US's fawning pro-Israel policy isn't fawning enough. That puts you straight to the head of the class. That cone shaped hat suits you well!

      May 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  18. KingdomWork

    Full of peace now? Happier? I'm glad to hear that you feel better! 😉

    May 25, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
  19. Karin

    Maybe this boys soul will awake and allow him to speak, think, walk, laugh. After all souls can do this right? In the afterlife? Why not now? Who needs the brain?

    May 25, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Yes, while I hold out SOME hope as an animist beset with lots of agnostic thought (at least on those days that I can muster even THIS much hope) that there may be such a thing as spirit that is not prior to, but emergent from biology, I have to admit that when some guy slammed me with a sidekick to the solar plexus back in my Tae Kwon Do days and knocked me out, I was indeed, well, knocked out, Consciousness was a total zippo for several moments as they dragged me to the side of the school and the guy who knocked me out himself revived me. So, if things can go totally black when I'm alive, how can I expect to remain aware when dead? Seems like a huge stretch, no?

      May 25, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      It's rather interesting. When people have a stroke and part of their brain dies, a measurable and observable part of them disappears. For example, they might be able to name tools but not to name fruits. They might lose the ability to taste or might lose long term memory. Some even can no longer feel certain emotions. Neuroscientists have known this for quite some time.

      So why is it that when the entire brain dies, people believe that the entire personality is transferred somewhere else And what about people who have brain damage, is part of their soul transferred somewhere and waits for them?

      What if a child is born with part of his reasoning gone. Is his soul a whole and complete person. When that child dies, is his personality that of the person who was alive or what the entire brain should have allowed?

      When will we drop this mindless nonsense that was invented to avoid the fear of death?

      May 25, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
  20. John Richardson

    You mean I can't ask for Curly? Actually, I've been more of a Moe and Larry guy anyway. Moe definitely could do a pretty good god the father thing. Not sure that Larry does the son very convincingly. So my metaphor is not QUITE as clever as I would have liked ...

    Oh, and speaking of dogs ("double dog dare" – get it? :-D) and Joplin MO, I have some nice, semi-insider news: 50 beloved animals were reunited with their frantic owners today in Joplin. Huge animal rescue effort underway down there.

    May 25, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • KingdomWork

      That's wonderful news, John... I still dare you... but I guess that would mean you would need to have faith the size of a mustard seed... have you seen a mustard seed? Pretty small, I guess... Why not humor yourself... what would it hurt to TRY

      May 25, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Sorry, KW, but it's been done. I once called myself a born again Christian. But I got better!

      May 25, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • KingdomWork

      @ John
      Full of peace now? Happier? I'm glad to hear that you feel better! 😉 Born again Christian is half of the equation... I'm taking RADICALLY Spirit filled believer... did you try THAT?

      May 25, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.