Be Still and Know!

Be Still and Know!

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;  he burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46 NIV

I know there are many people out there right now who disdain the use of “God” or “Jesus” and they feel justified in doing so, but I’m reminding those who believe in His plan for their lives to remember His promises and be still and know, He has not forgotten you.

In the midst of crisis, it’s difficult for any of us to stay focused on God’s promises when we feel our lives are at risk. Believing God does not mean we do stupid things or act unwisely in the midst of a crisis, but we seek His wisdom and hold fast to our faith that He will make a way.

Hurricanes are an act of nature and God saves in the midst of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and all manner of situations in which we have no control. But if we act wisely, trusting our dependence on Him, He will see us through what nature tends to throw our way.

Yes, bad things happen to good people and only God knows why He allows certain things to happen to some people and not others. I’m not God, so I’m not going to pretend I have all the answers, but I trust Him. “In all our getting, get wisdom.” “Wisdom is the principal thing.” Solomon repeatedly refers to the wisdom being the utmost importance. When we things through and act wisely, we could avoid certain devastations. And though we get upset over the loss of things, we must remember things can be replaced–lives won’t be. So the wisdom we must exercise is about saving lives, not things.

Even though Harvey was predicted in enough time for people to make provisions to move out of the way of danger, most people could not have imagined the rain that would proceed in the aftermath. This is not an act of God–it is an act of nature and if anyone wants to attribute the storm to being an act of God, and attempt to claim it is retribution for the people who live there–they make a mockery of who God is.

For the religious-right who have said John McCain’s cancer is God’s retribution because of a vote–shame on them. They obviously have no knowledge of God and how He functions in the earth. But the rub here is–some of those same folks would “never” say the storm is retribution for the wrongs they have done against the poor and the needy. God doesn’t get into our politics because what we do–who we vote for and put into positions of authority are on us–and when we don’t act wisely, we don’t get wise leadership in those positions of authority.

In the coming days, it will be extremely difficult for some to hold onto their faith and know that in the end, everything will be all right. I’m confident that acting wisely, seeing to the needs of others and taking care of self will result in lives being saved. I encourage everyone who can to make donations to American Red Cross so they will have adequate resources to meet the needs of the people. Donations can be made online (with a minimum of $10). I made my contribution and would love to see as many people as possible do the same–especially those who recently won lotteries. Now is a good time to help others in need.

My heart and thoughts are embedded in the crisis in Texas and I will continue praying for their safety and for the rains to abate. God knows what it is He wants to accomplish in the hearts of men and women everywhere and I’m sure it will be as He has determined.  Stay safe!

 

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Band-Camp Survivor!

Oh the joy of seeing young people learning how to march to different songs is absolutely amazing! Watching them learn their roles, line by line, creating formations that intrigue and boggle the mind is really something to behold. The trombone, trombone, clarinets, flutes, saxophones of all timbres and percussionists–making music and keeping time with their feet on the move and their eyes on their music–first time for me and the last.

Just a few days before the band was supposed to leave for camp, I was informed they were short one chaperone. Being the person that I am, I agreed to go and chaperone for two and half-days (other chaperones were coming for the second half of the week). I was looking forward to the experience since I had not been camping since I was twelve and really wanted to get a handle on how my grandson would react to the experience he had never been camping before this time.

On Sunday, some of the parents went with kids to clean up the cabins. We spent a great of time and effort in washing down and disinfecting mattresses, spraying for insects and praying that other wildlife would not invade. On Monday, during a tour of the camp–I saw a bunch of kids carrying out the mattresses we had just disinfected into another cabin. Not knowing it was a prank, I was livid and went off on them until they explained that it was “an approved prank.” The girls in my cabin had to sing to get their mattresses back. Fortunately, mine had not been touched.

There was a bonfire scheduled, but we were rained out and it rained all night long and I didn’t sleep listening to the downpour. For the girls in my cabin, this was a new experience and they were terrified. We covered the window of one door and then locked them because they were afraid. We survived the night.

On Tuesday, it was still raining and we sloshed through to the bathrooms and the shower cabin, got dressed and went to breakfast. I watched the kids practice, took pictures and watched some more. I was told about an hour before we headed back to the cabins about another “approved prank.” The Seniors were planning to “walk through the cabins” at 3:30 a.m. making noise with an air-horn and drums, shaking beds. I was told not to tell the girls, so I didn’t, but I was livid again.  No consideration was given to the 60+ chaperone who would also be awakened after not having slept the night before.  When the senior band members arrived at our cabin, they couldn’t get in because the girls had locked the doors. They made noise and banged on the door after I being hit in the face with a bright beam of light, they left us alone. The girls were terrified.

On Wednesday morning, I could barely move–again having had no sleep and finally arose, packed my bags and left. Sleep deprivation almost overtook on the drive home and I had to pull into a rest stop to relax for continuing on. That was the longest hour and half-drive, but I survived and was thankful for my bed into which I immediately dropped and went to sleep.

No more band-camp chaperoning for me! Practical jokes have never been a part of my life and had I been told about them before I agreed to go, I wouldn’t have gone. I survived the trauma, but I wonder if the kids will! It will take me awhile to get over this event, but I pray they will get over it soon and not allow it to control their lives as some such events have for others.

Praying for Rain!

Father,

We ask for Your intervention and for rain for the western states engulfed in flames that no life may be lost.  We thank You for being a loving God, full of mercy and grace.  We praise You for being the only wise God and thank You for hearing and answering prayers.  In Jesus’ name, we pray and thank You, Amen!