Yesterday (03.21.05), in Red Lake, Minnesota there was another school shooting killing one teacher, a school security guard, five students and wounding 13 others before the gunman took his own life. Before arriving at the school Jeff Wiese also apparently killed his grandparents.

This week I will be resending devotionals written in response to previous school shootings and similar tragedies. The devotional today was written after the Columbine school tragedy.

You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. (John 15:14 NASB)

We have had another school shooting here in the USA. This one at the Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Many have been killed and many are injured. We again ponder the "why?" Why would someone or in this case

possibly several do this to their fellow classmates? Or, maybe we have seen so much violence on our televisions we have become insensitive to the point of not even caring? How do we prevent the next tragedy from occurring? How

do we keep those in our own families from ever doing anything similar to this? How do we keep ourselves from doing some terrible thing?

The truth is that by nature we are not good people. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Many have grown up in good families and yet have become criminals. Having been a parole officer I have had several murderers under supervision. Only one had an obvious psychological problem. None of them came from a deprived background. There was one thing in common between those murderers I have known. None of those killers had parents who demonstrated a committed faith in Jesus Christ.

How can we prevent our own children from becoming killers or doing some other terrible thing? There is no foolproof way. We know Adam had some trouble with one of his boys. However, from my observations it appears that

being committed a Christian does make a difference for us and our children. A lack of commitment to the Lord appears to increase the likelihood of criminal behavior.

Being a true friend of God and teaching our children the same is still the best way to go!

Copyright © 2004. Ed Wrather. Used with Permission. On June 8, 1998 the email version of the Burning Bush Devotional was first sent.

Pastor Ed Wrather