Where Was God in the Earthquake?

The Haiti tragedy has us all reeling.  The US has been accused of raising and sending too much money and by Americans no less.  People have been sending aid, helping and asking questions.  One of those questions has been, where is God in all of this?

I have written a little about this.  Others have written a lot.  Here is another article to make us think.

http://blog.christianitytoday.com/women/2010/01/where_was_god_in_the_earthquak.html

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Age Segregation

This is exactly what we have been discussing and re-emphasizing at my congregation.  In worship services, we don’t have age-segregation.  We do have Junior church after the worship and communion time each week, but we are together.  It’s important.  Each age-group needs to share with the others.  Each individual needs to be involved with everyone at some point and the worship service is where that happens most and best it seems.

Consider the article at Christianity Today http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/january/27.62.html

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The One to Hurt You

The Becoming perform a  song of trust and of breaking trust.  Caleb, the lead singer is one of my camps kids from the 1990’s.  He’s the one in the middle.

When you go the myspace page, scroll down to the player and click play for for the song “The One to Hurt You.

http://www.myspace.com/wearethebecoming

You can look for them on youtube also.

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Wanting to Trust Other People

I told you about this young lady in a earlier post https://blogthechurch.wordpress.com/2010/01/25/i-have-trouble-trusting-others/.  I am being given the chance to build trust with her.  Let’s call her Tina.

Visiting the facility the other day, I spent time with 4 different students.  I got to talk with one about a weekly Bible study we are preparing that she is looking forward too, and another, played and sang some songs she has written, and of  course Tina.  She asked this other young lady if she could play “Open the Eyes of  My Heart.”  She didn’t know it.

When the other young lady finished and went to get cleaned up for lunch, she let Tina play her guitar.  As she fiddled around, she asked me if I knew how to play.  I’ve been playing since I was her age.  She handed me the guitar and I noodled on it for a moment and then began playing “Open the Eyes of My Heart.”  We started singing it and she got happier than she already was.  Then she asked me to show her how to play the song.  So I showed her how to form the basic chords of the song, even writing down the chord pictures for her and she was playing “Open the Eyes of My Heart.”

I enjoyed a chicken enchilada lunch with the girls and Tina kept going over the song as we ate and we worked on it again for a moment after lunch  to help her remember how to play it.  She is very excited.

There is a truth that goes something like this, “It takes forever to build trust, but it only takes a rumor to destroy it.”  I hope that I am building trust with Tina so that I can impact her life with positive encouragement, hope, and even faith in God.  It may take time.  I am going to invest the time.

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Jesus Cares for You

Obama care is one of the big buzz-words in 2010.  There is widespread concern about the cost of health care and the large numbers of people who don’t have and can’t afford health care.  It would be called something different if someone else were President and trying very hard to set up a system to help all Americans.  I don’t know Mr. Obama personally, but it appears he cares about something that matters to a lot of the US population.

But, a lot of people care about other people.  That’s why many of the help organizations were established, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and many more.  Several foundations have been established as endowments to provide for certain needs.  There is help for unwed mothers, the disabled, and so many more.  Internationally, there are medial organizations like F.A.M.E. a medical mission and I.D.E.S. a disaster mission that are an arm of the church.

People care about other people.  Some a lot of the time, some part of the time, and some only when the news tells them they need to care because some sort of disaster or tragedy has happened, such as the recent earthquake and devastation.

The song “Does Jesus Care?” speaks to us.

  1. Does Jesus care when my heart is pained too deeply for mirth or song.  As the burdens press, and the cares distress, and the way grows weary and long?
    • Refrain:
      Oh,
      yes, He cares, I know He cares, His heart is touched with my grief; When the days are weary, the long nights dreary, I know my Savior cares.
  2. Does Jesus care when my way is dark with a nameless dread and fear? As the daylight fades into deep night shades, does He care enough to be near?
  3. Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed to resist some temptation strong; When for my deep grief there is no relief, though my tears flow all the night long?
  4. Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye” to the dearest on earth to me, and my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks—Is it aught to Him? Does He see?

Frank E. Graeff, 1901, Public Domain

Does Jesus care?  Peter wrote, Cast all your anxieties on him (Jesus) because he cares for you 1 Peter 5:7.

Jesus said, Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is lightMatthew 11:28-30.

Jesus is asking to join him in a relationship in which he cares for us.   There are several examples from Jesus’ life of his caring.  When he saw the multitudes and felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.  He had compassion for Mary and Martha when Lazarus died and he mourned for Lazarus himself.  Jesus healed hundreds and maybe thousands of people, the blind, the deaf, the crippled and lame, lepers, demon-possessed, and raised the dead.  There are two accounts that strike me about how Jesus cares for us.

The first is when he is going to raise a ruler’s daughter and he encounters a woman with vaginal bleeding (Matthew 9:18-25; Mark 5:22-43 & Luke 8:41-56).

Jesus is on his way to help someone when someone else needs his help too.  It seems that those who need help are always around us.  We barely begin to help one person, when another need arises.  This woman had been bleeding for 12 years.  She had exhausted her money with the doctors who hadn’t been able to help her.  Her only hope was when the healer was coming through town.  She snuck into the crowd and simply touched the edge of Jesus’ cloak and was healed.  Jesus confronted her, not to scold her, but to make her realize that he cared about her and her need and was glad to provide that care for her.  This didn’t deter him.  He helped her even though the young girl’s need was great.  He helped the woman than went on and helped the girl.  She had died and he raised her back to life.  And we go “AWESOME!”

The second account is in Mark 2:1-12; Matthew 9:2-8 & Luke 5:18-26.  In fact, this is my favorite episode in Jesus’ life.

Jesus is teaching at someone’s home and it’s crowded; SRO.  People pressing, people not able to get in or to see Jesus as he taught.  People wanted to see and hear Jesus because he made such an impact by caring for people.  As he talks, these guys tear a hole in the roof because they couldn’t get their paralyzed friend to Jesus.  They open the roof and lower their friend down to Jesus and Jesus says “Your sins are forgiven.” That’s alright.  Who doesn’t need their sins forgiven!?  Immanuel, God with us, has just done what he does best.  He loves enough to meet a person’s greatest need.  The forgiveness of his sins. His eternal life is most important.  Surely, and this is my speculation, Jesus who knows the heart of each individual knew that the man was wanting forgiveness.  Maybe because he believed that sin was the reason he was paralyzed.  That was a common belief in the Jewish mindset then.

When the Jewish leaders were thinking that Jesus had blasphemed God, Jesus proved to them that he does forgive sins because he is God by healing the man.  “Get up, take your mat, and go home.” That’s what Jesus told him.

Does Jesus care?  O yes he does.  How he acts may vary, but Jesus’ cares about your greatest need in particular.  “For everyone has sinned.  We all fall short of God’s glorious standard” Romans 3:23, New Living Translation. And from The Message, Romans 3:21-24. “But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.”

Jesus cares to help you in your need and will give you salvation too.  Let him care for your anxieties.  He cares that’s for sure.

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What About Jesus?

Just say his name.  “Jesus.”  There is something in that name.  Jesus – that’s the Latin form that is so common and well-known.  His name, if we follow a more Biblical approach should be “Yeshua.”  Read a number of articles by Ted Weiland at http://www.missiontoisrael.org/.  He constantly calls him Yeshua.

Yeshua, “The Lord is Salvation.”  The Christ is Savior.

But this isn’t about correcting an obvious mistake in the church’s history, this is about the one called Yeshua.  His life so (in alphabetical order)

  • Awesome
  • Beautiful
  • Caring
  • Daring
  • Eventful
  • Full
  • Godly
  • Holy
  • Immanuel
  • Just
  • Kind
  • Loving
  • Master
  • Name above all names
  • Overcomer
  • Prophet
  • Quench’s spiritual thirst
  • Righteous
  • Son of God
  • Teacher
  • Upright
  • Victor
  • Water of life
  • X-factor (the unknown quotient)
  • Yahweh
  • Zealous

Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, first and last beginning and end (everything in between).  The Bible uses so many terms and word pictures to describe Jesus, it would take a book to list them.  Oh yeah, it did.  It’s called the Bible.

There are many things that we can learn about Jesus.  I have chosen 5 aspects of who Jesus is that are important for people to know to become his disciples.

  • That Jesus is our Healer
  • That Jesus is the Son of God
  • That Jesus is our High Priest
  • That Jesus is the Risen Savior, Our Redeemer
  • That Jesus is the Coming King

Is there more?  Yes.   And time gives us opportunity to look at more.  But we’ll just start with these for now.

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