For “Scripture Sunday”:
Bring out the Best, Friday, November 2, 2012
“Tragedy gives us an opportunity to not only develop but to show our character.”
Meeting An Unmovable Force. Thursday, November 1, 2012
“Hurricane Sandy offers us an example of how fragile life can be. Some events we cannot escape.”
Where Is God When Disaster Strikes?
by Mike Bennett - October 30, 2012
“Hurricanes bring disaster to millions of people. Where is God when disaster strikes? Hurricane Sandy has brought major disaster to perhaps 50 million people. A school bus crash killed two innocent children in Kentucky. When disasters strike, where is God?
As of Tuesday morning, Hurricane Sandy had killed more than 80 people in the Caribbean and the eastern United States and Canada. Millions were without power. New York City’s subways and tunnels were flooded, and the BBC reported that “the New York Stock Exchange will stay shut on Tuesday—the first time it has closed for two consecutive days owing to weather since 1888.”
Though she lost her hurricane status overnight, Sandy is still being called a superstorm and is projected to continue wreaking disaster on into Canada. U.S President Barack Obama has declared Sandy’s devastation a “major disaster.”
There are no minor disasters
As Sandy slammed into New York, New Jersey and surrounding areas Monday night, another disaster was occurring in rural Carroll County, Kentucky. My daughter, a teacher there, called to ask for our prayers about a school bus accident that occurred about 4:30 p.m. Details were sketchy, but the photos of the bus on the Internet were frightening.
This morning the Louisville, Kentucky, TV station WAVE reported on its website:
“Two children were pronounced dead at the scene, three were transported to Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville where they are expecting a fourth. One child was transported to UK Medical Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky; an additional three children were released to their parents after the crash. … Kosair released they are treating children for broken bones and head injuries. No additional information on injuries had been released at this time. The bus was on the way to drop children off after their head start program. The bus was equipped with seatbelts, and police said it appears all the children were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash.”
This devastating accident is sure to have a profound effect on the entire community. The extent of the disaster is not as large as the one caused by Hurricane Sandy, but the impact is no less major.
Where was God?
When disasters strike, a natural reaction for religious people is to pray. But it is also natural to wonder, why did God allow this tragedy? A good and loving and powerful God could have prevented the deaths caused by Hurricane Sandy and by the school bus crash, couldn’t He? So where was He? Why didn’t He intervene?
This is a question of the ages. Those who have asked it include not just the godless and irreligious. Some of the great people of faith have also cried out for an answer, and God has allowed those questions—and their answers—to be recorded in His book, the Holy Bible.
Questions and answers
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning?” (Psalm 22:1).
Though King David had these thoughts and recorded these words, they were also prophetic. They were words that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, cried out during His crucifixion (Matthew 27:46).
Why did God not intervene even for His own Son? The answer involves sin, free choice and the decision of humanity as a whole to reject God. In order to accomplish His great eternal plan, God was willing both to allow humanity to make its own choices and to provide the ultimate sacrifice to repair the results of those sinful choices.
Why has God taken a hands-off approach?
You could say God’s plan for humanity is a high-stakes venture. God wants nothing less than for each of us to become His very children, to have His love and His character. He wants us to freely choose to live His beautiful and beneficial way.
But this requires that we have free choice. If He forced us to live His way, we would be robots and would not develop righteous character. His character can only develop when we have a real choice.
Sadly, with free choice has come a world overflowing with bad choices. It started with our first parents, who rejected God’s revelation of right and wrong and chose to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They chose for themselves and their children to try to decide on their own what is right and wrong.
And those wrong choices have piled up, producing the world of pain and suffering we see today.
But God has, at incredible cost, provided a way out. Jesus Christ came the first time to pay the penalty of our sins—if we will chose to repent and live His way. And Christ promised to come a second time to rescue humanity!
So, where is God?
This human experiment of self-destructive choices is nearing an end. God has promised that He will not let humanity annihilate itself, as we seem to be on the brink of doing (Matthew 24:21-22).
So, where is God now?
- God is always ready to comfort—He is the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3).
- God is eager to take our burdens and give us rest (Matthew 11:28).
- God is ready to forgive us and give us His Holy Spirit and help (Acts 2:38).
- God is ready and waiting to send Jesus Christ back soon to set up the wonderful, peaceful Kingdom of God.
Where are we?
God tells us where He is. He is near and ready to help. He also wants to know where we are.
Please go to Him in prayer and ask for His comfort and blessing for those facing disaster in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and those grieving in Carroll County, Kentucky, and elsewhere. Sigh and cry for the abominations brought by wrong choices in this world, and pray fervently for Jesus Christ’s return to bring a new world of peace. Seek God with all your heart and you will find Him and the answers He provides (Matthew 7:7-8).
Learn more about the reasons for suffering and the transcendent purpose for life in our section on “Life.” You need these important and comforting truths from the Bible!” From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/blog/where-is-god-when-disaster-strikes/
Hurricane Sandy: Coincidence or Warning?
October 29, 2012 - “Hurricane Sandy bears down on the northeast corridor of the United States 21 years, 3 cycles of 7, after the perfect storm of 1991. Is there a message?”
“Natural Disasters: A Biblical Perspective -- Here are 16 points we should keep in mind concerning the biblical perspective on tragedies, regardless of their scale or circumstances.
Watch archived Beyond Today Daily videos [BT Daily] at http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/daily “
No Saviors Among U.S. Presidential Candidates
“It happens every four years in the United States - national elections, preceded by "politics as usual." The public is bombarded daily with a barrage of political propaganda promoting each candidate and against putting down opposing candidates, all ending with "I am... and I approve this message."”
More at: http://www.ucg.org/commentary/no-saviors-among-us-presidential-candidates/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+VerticalThought+%28Vertical+Thought+and+UCG.org+Updates%29
The program on WGN this morning:
Dancing with the Dark Side - An Interview with a Former Witch
“Wicca, divination, sorcery, vampires. The occult is in the midst of society. The Bible says to avoid and resist it. Learn how.”
On This Day:
Entrance to King Tut's tomb discovered, Nov 4, 1922:
“British archaeologist Howard Carter and his workmen discover a step leading to the tomb of King Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.
When Carter first arrived in Egypt in 1891, most of the ancient Egyptian tombs had been discovered, though the little-known King Tutankhamen, who had died when he was 18, was still unaccounted for. After World War I, Carter began an intensive search for "King Tut's Tomb," finally finding steps to the burial room hidden in the debris near the entrance of the nearby tomb of King Ramses VI in the Valley of the Kings. On November 26, 1922, Carter and fellow archaeologist Lord Carnarvon entered the interior chambers of the tomb, finding them miraculously intact.
Thus began a monumental excavation process in which Carter carefully explored the four-room tomb over several years, uncovering an incredible collection of several thousand objects. The most splendid architectural find was a stone sarcophagus containing three coffins nested within each other. Inside the final coffin, which was made out of solid gold, was the mummy of the boy-king Tutankhamen, preserved for more than 3,000 years. Most of these treasures are now housed in the Cairo Museum.”
Heavy rain leads to flooding in New England, Nov 4, 1927:
“On this day in 1927, 10 days of extremely heavy rain in New England lead to flooding; the floods went on to kill 200 people and cause millions of dollars in damages. Vermont’s Green Mountain region was particularly hard hit by the storm.
Weeks earlier, a tropical storm had hit the Caribbean. As this storm moved north, it collided with a cold front from Canada. It then stalled over the Hudson River Valley of New York, bringing overwhelming rain to northern New York, Vermont and western Massachusetts.
The Winooski River in Vermont was most affected by the rain—major flooding occurred all along the river’s path. Thousands of people had to flee their homes as the waters rose. Many small towns were uninhabitable for weeks after the flooding began. In total, it was estimated that $28 million in damages were incurred.
The New England flood of 1927 was not the first major flood in the country that year. From April to August, the Mississippi River experienced some of its worst floods in recorded history.”
After Wendy and I had our long Saturday phone call, I slowly fed the animals and dressed, it wasn’t a day for rushing around.
Jay was working at a neighbor’s house, so he wasn’t going to church again. I arrived at the Willis church early enough for Bible Study at 12.30 PM. It was more about The Gifts of The Spirit, 1 Cor 13: 8-10, 12, and the key text was Eph 4:11-13.
After the sermon we all went into the large dining room and kitchen. The beautifully equipped kitchen is divided from the dining area by a big serving bar, where everything is served buffet style. I have made it my job to put out the plates, plastic-ware, napkins and serving utensils. There are so many dishes brought for the potlucks, that by the time I am done with that, it is time for the prayer and eating the good grub.
But we had a glitch, the power went out. It had started to rain heavily, and it was very overcast. The hot dishes are put in the four big ovens to get up to the required safe temperature ahead of time, but the ovens are digitally controlled. Fortunately, the two big cooktops are gas. There was no panic, no complaints, everyone just pitched in, and those with phones with flashlights hung them over the cooktops. Big candles were put on the serving bar, and we managed just fine.
On the way home I stopped at the mail box, and my camera card reader thingy had arrived. Here are some of the pictures:
Prissy, Snuggling with toy
First climb up to top of kitty condo
Still wants her bottle!
Can I come out and play?
Finally lapping out of a dish.
She still won’t chew on solid food, so I have to whip it up into a liquid in my GE Single Serve Blender ($20 at WM, like a Magic Bullet), each day.