Wed., March 30
Everyone has seen the horrible pictures and headlines on the news and splashed over the internet. Our preacher had an excellent sermon about the lessons we can learn from the earthquake and tsunami a few weeks ago. I have been trying to get it posted, but I kept misplacing my notes.
|My church: Founded by Jesus Christ!!|
This lesson was so great, that I really wanted to share it! Thanks, Steve!!! Instead of presenting it in detail like a sermon, I want to list the points with scripture and "sound bites". I really appreciate any comments and/or questions that you might have. I'm definitely not trying to imply that I have all of the answers, but I do appreciate dialogue.
Lessons from Natural Disasters:
Everyone asks "Why?" Everyone says "How can a loving God allow this to happen? I know I won't answer all of these questions, but hopefully I will give you something to think about.
Why do people want to blame God for the bad in the world, but those same people don't want to give God the credit when good things happen in their life.
Some people want to say that God caused the earthquake to punish people on Earth. Does God discipline those who He loves? Who does God not love???
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”[a]
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
So, the Bible does say that God disciplines those who He loves and He loves everyone. God can and does discipline us, but please read some other causes, reasons, and purposes for disasters.
Could floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters happen for other reasons??? I think so!!! Have you ever sang, "The wise man built his house upon the rock.........The foolish man built his house upon the sand." If you aren't familiar with the song, google it.
There can be natural consequences to living near fault lines, rivers, and the ocean.
There are very few people who live to a certain age who do not face some kind of tragedy in their life. Those of us who are Christians have learned what a comfort and strength our faith is during these times. Disasters can actually draw us closer to God.
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]
Some things happen because of God's design of the world. If you will remember, even Jesus was asleep in a boat when a storm hit.
Another lesson: God's way is not our way. In Deut. 29:29 it says:
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.
We aren't meant to understand everything.
We all remember where we were and what we were doing on September 11th. It doesn't take much to remember the feelings of terror and confusion that we felt that day. That terrible day made us question every part of our life and wonder what was happening to our world. People were naturally drawn to their faith. Isn't it amazing how something so awful could bring about so much good in so many people.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Disasters can also teach us not to store up treasures on this Earth.
Matthew 6:19-20 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
|Thursday, March 31|
One of my first experiences with doing mission work was going with the youth group to New Orleans to help out after Katrina. Our group helped a family clean out their house. Everything the family owned, a life-time of possessions was emptied out of their house and thrown in their front yard. I stood and looked at the pile and thought about how much "stuff" we have. We spend our life accumulating stuff and worrying about our stuff. Instead, we should we worrying about our future home.
Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
1 Timothy 6:6-10
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
I'm sure there are many other lessons, but I will leave you with one final comment.....Earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, and tsunamis are terrible, but there is something more terrible than that.......Being separated from the love of God! That is much worse!
Friday, April 1: Well, I'm typically one of those people who wakes up about 20 minutes before the alarm goes off. Today, I woke up and looked at the alarm clock and it was dark. I felt around for the phone and checked the time it was 5:00 am. My alarm goes off at 4:20. The whole neighborhood was dark. No electricity, no coffee.....What a fine way to start an April Fools.
|Here is me curling my hair at my desk.|
I'm trying to figure who to call and I'm half asleep. I'm looking around for candles and flashlights and I realize that there will be no coffee for me. Luckily, I could take a shower. Around 6:00, the power came back on and I thought all was good. Well, it stayed on for only about 15 minutes. Then, I realized that I couldn't get out of my garage. Without any other options available, I decided to grab my makeup bag, curling iron, and try to open my garage door.
Luck was on my side, I was easily able to open and close my garage door, so, it was off to Starbucks for some coffee. There was no way I could face second graders without some coffee. It was Friday, and I was good to go.
Excitement for the weekend: Bunco at my house tonight at 6:00!!!!
|These are some of my Spring decorations for Bunco.|
|Here I am wearing the Bunco boa. I got two Buncos, but didn't win "Most Buncos".|