Wednesday, May 22, 2013

response to the storms

Moore, OK hit by tornados on May 20, 2013


Do not be afraid of sudden fear
Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; For the Lord will be your confidence
And will keep your foot from being caught.

Monday afternoon my phone and my Facebook page began to get very busy with people asking me if my family was safe.  At first I wasn’t sure what was going on.  I knew that the town of Shawnee, Oklahoma was hit Sunday night with tornados and several Texas towns were hit last week.  That is when I realized that tornados were ripping through suburbs of Oklahoma City and in particular the town or Moore.

In 1999 this same town was hit by horrible storms and sustained a great deal of damage, and here they are again.  The town of Moore, Oklahoma and its people were in the middle of devastation once again.  I called my family.  I asked about family friends and others who lived near the storms.  It was hard to hear about the elementary school that was hit and the 3rd grade students who died in the storm.

Are we afraid of the storms that come across our lives?  Fear is a very real part of life, yet fear is a part of life that we have to deal with.  Fear and worry actually point out that we are not living by faith or leaning on God.  But when the storms hit, when life is out of control that is when fear is at its height.  It is also when our trust in God ought to be at the greatest of its strength.

We are glad to seem weak if it helps show that you are actually strong.

That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.

When storms come into your life, what do you do?  Where do you turn?  When you see the path of destruction, are you left stronger because of your faith or empty because of a lack of faith?  I pray that God would increase our faith.

My family is safe and well.  But many families in and around Moore, Oklahoma are hurting today.  They have lost their homes and possessions.  Many have lost the people they loved.  This is when we, the church, come out to help.  Even NBC newsman Harry Smith said (something like this), “when the government takes forever and ever to help, Baptist men are there with help the next day.”  The church is the agency God set up to show up in the lives of hurting people when crisis comes.  Our church is one that doesn’t back down from a challenge, and when it comes to injustice or hunger, homelessness and hurt, we will step in to demonstrate the love of God in tangible ways.  I pray you and your church will do the same.

Here are a few of the organizations on my radar helping with relief from the tornados in Oklahoma (contact them to help or go to their website to donate money to):

God’s Pit Crew (www.godspitcrew.org) delivers goods needed by the victims and relief workers.

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (http://www.namb.net/namb1cbdr.aspx?id=8589999098) is on the ground feeding people and helping with clean up.

Lifechurch.tv (http://www.lifechurch.tv/relief) and other local churches in the Oklahoma City area are making a huge difference by serving their neighbors.

The Community Fellowship continues to serve hurting people in our community.  Your church as well is making a difference, or I am sure in your town there are churches and local organizations doing great things to help those are going through the storms of life.  Go to your church or some local organization and give your time, your talents and/or your money so that you can be a part of sharing God’s love with hurting people.

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