• The Father Invited Us

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THE FATHER INVITED US

By Barry Cameron
June 18, 2021

The story caught my attention because it happened in my hometown, Muskogee, Oklahoma. 

Teenagers in love, running away and going on a crime spree sounds like the plot of a dozen movies we’ve seen over the years. But the ending to this story is something we don’t ever see enough … and need to see more.

In late February, two 17-year-olds from Blair, Nebraska, ran off. Farrah Rauch was facing drug charges and a court order that forbid her from seeing her boyfriend, Joey Dugan. He was beginning a nine-month probation for a theft charge.

Because they couldn't bear the thought of not being together, they stole a family member’s vehicle and took off south.

One day later, they were stopped by an officer in the stolen car, but somehow got away.

The next day, they stole a Ford F-150 in Georgia and the following day, a Dodge pickup in Arkansas. That’s when they arrived in Muskogee. It was Sunday, February 28. They stole another truck and a police officer took off after them. He pursued them through town until they abandoned the vehicle and ran into the woods. 

 "Even at the very place and point of the death of His Son, the Father was offering forgiveness to the whole world”

According to a report in the Kansas City Star, an officer chasing the two told them to stop. “'You’re gonna get tased!’ Then gunshots rang out. Police said Farrah fired several shots and an officer returned fire. As more officers arrived in the area, they discovered Farrah lying on the ground but stayed at a distance. Body camera video shows them repeatedly order her to display her hands.” 

“Show me your hands, and we can get you some help!” an officer says. The video shows Farrah raise a gun toward officers before she was fatally shot. Dugan fatally shot himself as officers approached him nearby, police say.” 1

It’s another incredibly tragic story, told too often in too many ways affecting families, friends and loved ones too numerous to count.

That’s not the end of the story.

Amazingly, the father invited the officers who shot his daughter to come to her funeral in Nebraska. The officers didn’t go, but the police chief, Johnny Teehee, went. According to the New York Post, he said, “They just didn’t think they were ready to do this.”  The police chief said it was the first time in his 35-year career in law enforcement that he had ever been invited to a victim’s funeral. 2

At the funeral, he asked those in attendance, “What is the message that we can take from this young life, that we can carry on from this point on and revert back to that? To me, that message is forgiveness.” 3

Forgiveness ... That’s the message of the cross. Even at the very place and point of the death of His Son, the Father was offering forgiveness to the whole world. To all of us. It’s the message of the Gospel. “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

This Sunday is Father’s Day and there’s not a better time for you to accept His invitation to forgiveness. It will be life-changing for you. Eternity changing. Find a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church, walk in, and if someone asks why you are there, just say …

 “My Father invited me.”

© 2021. Barry L. Cameron

1 Koop, Chacour. “‘Forgiveness.’ Dad Invites Police Who Killed 17-Year-Old Daughter to Nebraska Funeral.” Kansas City.com. 12 Mar. 2021, https://www.kansascity.com/news/nation-world/national/article249897123.html

2 Miller, Joshua Rhett. “Police Chief Embraces Father of Teen Killed in Shootout with Cops.” New York Post, New York Post, 12 Mar. 2021, nypost.com/2021/03/12/police-chief-embraces-dad-of-teen-killed-in-shootout-with-cops/.

3 IBID

BARRY CAMERON

Senior Pastor

Barry Cameron is a devoted father and husband, bestselling author, dynamic communicator, and Senior Pastor of Crossroads Christian Church. Crossroads has a gorgeous, 150-acre campus in Grand Prairie, Texas. Barry’s latest book, The Road to Financial Freedom, came out in the fall of 2020 and is available on Amazon. It’s another game changer for individuals and families who want to fix their finances once and for all.

Barry and his wife, Janis, have three children: Katie, Matt and Kelli. A daughter-in-law, Lindley and a son-in law, Johnny. They also have two grandsons, Will and Levi. Their family has been completely debt free since November 15, 2001.

Crossroads Christian Church has been debt free since November 9, 2008.

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