Thursday, September 01, 2005


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.

This week I've been reminded at how precarious life is. I complain about the smallest things sometimes. I think now I'm going to keep quiet and count my blessings even more. I've heard some people saying about New Orleans, "All that sin got washed into the Gulf," and it sickens me. They act as if it's a good thing. These are people who call themselves Christians, i.e., followers of Christ. I read in my Bible that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, and that whoever believes in Him should not die, but have everlasting life. That God didn't send His Son to condemn the world, but to save the world through His Son. I recall Zacchaeus, the tax collector and sinner who snuck a peek at Jesus when He came to town. And Jesus ended up inviting Himself to Zacchaeus' house for dinner--not banishing his sinner's house to the sea. Zacchaeus then realized he needed a change, and that Jesus could give him the change he wanted. Wow, and Zacchaeus ended up paying back with interest everything he'd swindled in his tax dealings (I think he was a card-carrying member of The Sinners' Club). The people Jesus really got cranky with were the religious ones who looked down on others and imposed legalism without changed hearts. While there are sinners in New Orleans, let's not forget the whole world is full of them. I'm a sinner who's found a way out because of Jesus' love, not His condemnation. I don't care if the ones suffering are sinners or blameless, because they deserve our compassion. Jesus would do no less.

CoffeeCup, the web site software company down in Corpus Christi, is soliciting donations that they're planning to truck up to the Astrodome. We're getting some boxes together to send down to them soon. If you want to get involved, check this out:

CoffeeCup Hurricane Relief

If you would rather give money, contribute to

The American Red Cross

Another way to give, especially if you live in the Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama or Mississippi areas: Call your local school district and find out if there are any evacuees in your school district. These children are enrolling in school and have nothing right now. You can make a difference by donating clothes, school supplies, and other essentials while these families take refuge.

Lord, thanks for your blessings. Thanks for your mercy and grace, fresh and new every morning. Let us look to meet the needs around us. We may not be able to do everything, but we can all do something. Give wisdom to the relief workers and those in charge, bring order to chaos, peace to disorder, love from hate, hope from despair. Let your Spirit hover over the waters and make yourself known in this dark time.

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