The disaster in New Orleans makes me sick. For awhile, I though that my only source of helping power was to pray.
This morning in church, Brother Bob Pflederer led in with the tragic New Orleans news, and took the liberty to open up into Revelation. He read of the end times when the seven seals would be opened, and horrible plagues and disasters would litter the earth... but to no avail. People STILL will choose not to believe. I shook my head in horror until I realized that it isn't much different than today.
911. The War in Iraq. Earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes... New Orleans. Look at how God displays His power time and time again, but people STILL choose not to believe. Granted, some souls are touched. Yet what about those who continue to turn away? If anything, these thoughts envoke a sadness in my soul for those who are still lost and searching, but it also makes me so thankful for my life in Christ. My peace.
We sang "Gratitude for Deliverance" after the first reading and never before had I thought about or appreciated the words so much as I did this morning.
After the sermon, Bob presented an opportunity... a "recently-organized (in the past 12 hours!) project" for the Morton AC Church to become involved in. He told us their goal was to get enough volunteers today and tomorrow and possibly for the rest of the week to split into teams and go buy much-needed supplies for those in New Orleans at different stores... bring them back to Rocke's plant in Morton, box it all, and load it into a semi to be taken down South. We are involved with an organization that is directly connected to the help down in NO.
As of a few days ago, there was a shelter that seated 300 with 3,000 people in it. There were refridgerated semis taken down, probably to deliver food... coming back loaded with dead bodies. Today, we learned that the hugest need is FOOD... a lot of the people are starving to death from going without food for several days. That all makes me sick to my stomach.
There was a meeting held after church for any volunteers who wanted to help this afternoon and tomorrow. I was pumped when I arrived into the Sunday School room and all of the benches were filled. Hellejuah! It's stuff like this that makes me excited. HELPING. Doing something together as a church... WE ARE THE BODY! I'm glad my hands are helping, along with many others! As we've said a lot today, our small little load of supplies isn't going to solve all their problems... it'll probably help just a very small chunk of the people who are suffering. Yet, it's these "small" helps that add up and really make the difference. At one point in the meeting, the speaker said, "Raise your hand if you plan on helping today," and I was beyond happiness to look around the room and see tons of hands raised.
My parents and brother and sisters went with some others as a "team" to Sam's this afternoon and helped buy some supplies... tooth paste, children's books, bar soap, toilet paper, diapers, etc. The list goes on. When we arrived back in Morton, truck load after truck load kept arriving to drop off supplies. We entered the truck loading unit (air conditioned, as it's for meat packing, very cold!) and boxed and taped and boxed and taped with many others. It was mass chaos, but we are accomplishing A LOT! Tomorrow, there will be 2 shifts of people to continue to box and tape, so that we can get everything loaded into the semi(s). Our goal is to be done by tomorrow night. It's my prayer that God can bless us in this small act of service so that we can help decrease the suffering of those who are sick, homeless, lost, scared, and dying... stuffed in a dome or shelter with thousands of other people.
I'm so excited to go help tomorrow! It's amazing, because I honestly had NO plans this weekend for Labor Day, and God kept me and many others available for a reason!
Let's all continue to pray for these people... especially for those who are suffering and without a Savior. Pray for their hearts to be vulnerable and workable. After an event like this, they have to realize that they are very much NOT in control of their lives, so let's pray that they can seek the One who is and let Him in!
My heart goes out to President Bush. Tonight, my brother said, "I think this has to be one of the toughest presidencies that has happened in a long time," yet how thankful we can be that our president is who he is. I once read that Bush gets up every morning and starts his morning in the Word. Let's pray that God can continue to shower His wisdom and direction on Bush so he can lead our nation in the right direction. It's so easy for some to ridicule him and say he's not doing his job correctly, especially with a tragedy like this. I have two questions for these people.
1. Have you ever been president? Oh, you haven't? Ok, thank you.
2. Did you try praying for him yet?
Bush isn't God. He's going to make mistakes and he's going to have poor judgment sometimes, but since when were we perfect? And besides, there's A LOT he does that we don't necessarily know about. We have to pray that he will continue to listen to the One who is ultimately in control. We can't do Bush's job for him and talking about how we would won't change what he's doing.
Sometimes I get so sick of people "talking" about stuff like they are in the know. NONE of us are. We have our opinions. I have my opinions. I won't deny that. Yet how is griping around and putting others down and becoming negative about EVERYTHING going to change ANYTHING? It's not. About the only thing it'll change and possible ruin is your attitude. Instead of running at the mouth to others, let's consult a Higher Power who actually DOES know what's going on. Let's pray. Replace the chattering with prayer. I confess I'm the worst at this, sometimes. It'd do me a world of good if I'd keep my lip zipped half the time and offer up a simple prayer, instead.
Alright, everyone! Let's keep praying! And if you think of it, pray that this project that the Morton church is doing would be successful and glorifying to no one but God.