Month: August 2014

Sick And Saved

In a foreign country with a foreign disease that has a 65-90 percent mortality rate. That was the plight of 2 American doctors earlier this month. They had contracted Ebola while serving others less fortunate in west Africa. Dr. Kent Brantley and Dr. Nancy Writebol were placing the needs, health and well-being of others above their own when they contracted the deadly virus earlier this summer.

They were released this very week after treatments here stateside. Brantley (who serves with Samaritan’s Purse) called it “a miraculous day” as he addressed the media from Emory University Hospital. Both he and Dr. Writebol (who serves with Serving In Mission) made some statements about their ordeal that should resonate well with us. When facing pain and even death, their faith provided a calm confidence through it all. In a time of uncertainty and unrest, they were certain of the One who can bring true rest and peace.

“When I was being put on that plane to come to the US, I knew I was leaving my home where all my things would be destroyed. I was saying goodbye to David, not knowing if I would see him again. I was getting on that plane unsure if I would be alive when I got to the US to see all of you. It was that moment when I cried out and knew, “Jesus, you have to be enough. Jesus, you are all I have—you are enough.” – Dr. Nancy Writebol

“As I lay in my bed in Liberia for the following nine days, getting sicker and weaker each day, I prayed that God would help me to be faithful even in my illness, and I prayed that in my life or in my death, He would be glorified,” – Dr. Kent Brantley

These words cut me. The phrase “enough” just wrecks me. What is “enough” for me? What am I selfishly pursuing that I think will eventually (or immediately) bring me to “enough”? It’s a question of true satisfaction. There’s nothing that exists that can bring me to that point. Except for the slain Lamb of God. Jesus is enough when facing death and disease and he’s enough when enjoying heath and prosperity.

If my thoughts are “…in my life or in my death, He (God) would be glorified…”, then not only is Jesus “enough”, he is simply all. there. is. 

 

Check out the full stories here. Photo cred included:

Christianity Today: Ebola and the Glory of God: An Interview with Nancy Writebol’s Family including Nancy’s Comments | The Exchange | A Blog by Ed Stetzer.

Samaritan’s Purse Website: ’A Miraculous Day’.

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5 Lessons Learned By A New Huntsvillian

Now that we live here, I’m finding that I love me some Huntsville, Alabama. Although, I officially live in Hampton Cove. Which is kinda officially the OXR. Which is to say “Owens Cross Roads” in an ultra cool way that sounds like you’re ahead of the zeitgeist. This city is such a unique place. A hidden gem of the south if you will. My family and I feel like we are beginning to get settled into life here. Many of you have saw to it we feel welcomed. We are so grateful for your hospitality and love! In learning about the culture of the city and outlying areas, we have noticed several things that make Huntsville unique:

  1. Engineers. Are. Everywhere. I’m learning to stop asking “So what do you do?” when meeting someone new. Instead I shall opt to cut down on the chit-chat by starting with “So what exactly do you engineer ’round here?” after saying “hello.”
  2. My use of “It’s Not Rocket Science” as a phrase has been re-evaluated. We are “The Rocket City” for a reason. NASA calls Huntsville home and I’ve now been privileged to meet many incredibly gifted people who are actual rocket scientists. But don’t worry. They’re some of the coolest people on earth…and beyond (see what I did there?). When in doubt of using the aforementioned phrase, they are qualified and can theorize, analyze, calculate and postulate (or whatever) if something is, in fact, rocket science on my behalf. That’s dope.
  3. Random, Nerve-Racking Explosions. With Redstone Arsenal so close and the proximity of the mountains, the sounds of the testing rumble around the south side of town in a way that makes me concerned the San Andreas Fault runs right under Bailey Cove. They keep you on your toes, thus your cat-like reflexes are sharpened for any HSV situation. These reflexes will come in handy when you need turn on a dime into Rosie’s (Big or Little) for some chips and salsa or catch the right exit on the Parkway.
  4. Something called “Chacos”. It’s a shoe-like-thing that straps to your feet. Most folks I speak to either can’t live without them or they rub their feet raw when worn too long, causing them to semi-loathe their trendy footwear. Still questioning if I should venture in. I could instead grab some nice running shoes from Fleet Feet for the price. Still debating with myself if it’s some sort of shoe/sandal conspiracy to make all feet look the same…I’ll let you know what I find out. They exist in other cities but are a thriving industry in the HSV.
  5. Traffic. Traffic. And did I mention traffic? Patience is a virtue quickly learned when behind a slow-poke heading over Cecil or just about anywhere else. Most times I could use Doc Brown to hover-convert my car to get out of it. (Shameless reference to one of my favorite 80’s movies in case you’re wondering) Maybe one of my rocket scientist buddies can help me out with that.

Still more lessons to be learned…

jbed

Photo credit – http://miriamsmith.choosecapstone.com/

Stand With Our Iraqi Family

In case you weren’t aware, there is anarchy in Iraq. Last week, as terrorists took over, the condition of the country deteriorated. Our brothers and sisters, Iraqi believers, are being executed, severely attacked and driven out of their homes. They are begging for our intercession on their behalf before our almighty God. According to Christianity Today last week:

“Thousands of Christians have fled Iraq’s second-largest city as an Islamist terror group solidifies its control over Christianity’s main remaining stronghold in the struggling nation.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), an Iraq and Syria-based Sunni offshoot of al-Qaeda, took over Mosul (pop. 1.8 million) earlier this month, the BBC reports.

Most of Mosul’s remaining Christian population of 3,000 fled for safer areas, according to World Watch Monitor.”

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Our brothers and sisters in Iraq need our support. And not just in Mosul. The past week has been a terrifying one in the country. The Baptist Press also issued a statement addressing the crisis and calling for action:

“Most pressing is a situation the White House calls a “looming humanitarian catastrophe” unfolding on a mountaintop near the Iraqi city of Sinjar, home to the country’s Yazidi religious minority, where some 50,000 Yazidi refugees are trapped with limited food and water. On Aug. 3, Sunni extremists known as Islamic State or ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) seized the city as Sinjar’s Yazidi population fled fearing massacre. Many Iraqis without transportation escaped to the nearby Sinjar Mountains, a barren heap of rock where daytime temperatures can top 120 degrees.”

Here are 2 ways the BP is urging believers to act:

“1.  Most importantly, pray. God has ordained prayer, and He hears our pleas. Here are the prayer points released by the BP today:

    • Ask the Lord to awaken the world to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Iraq and to provide pathways for Christians and others to respond.
    • Ask God to miraculously protect the Yazidis and other Kurds who fled into the mountains; ask Him to provide a means of rescue and temporary homes for the refugees.
    • Pray that ISIS leaders and soldiers would experience the love of Jesus Christ and that their lives would be transformed.
    • Ask God to preserve and embolden the small remnant of believers in Mosul and Kurdistan, so that one day through their witness, every Iraqi might have the opportunity to hear the Gospel.

2. Give. When it comes to crises like this, sufficient resources are critical.

Help respond to Iraq’s refugee crisis by donating to the International Mission Board’s general relief fund or by texting imbrelief to 80888, which will donate $10 to that fund. To give through Baptist Global Response, visit gobgr.org/donate or text bgr to 80888.(More info here)”

dailymail_iraq_prisonersIn case you’re surfing around the web and see it, the ACNS (Anglican Community News Service) has shed some light on the use of the Arabic letter N (pictured in the header above) in digital media:

Yesterday, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby changed his Twitter and Facebook profile picture to the Arabic letter N as a sign of solidarity with Iraqi Christians. The symbol – meaning Nazarene, or Christian – is being painted on Christian homes by IS supporters to mark them out for attack; and is now being adopting by Christians around the world as an act of support.” 

Please read the entire stories below. Let’s pray for our brothers and sisters, both young and old, as many are suffering even now.

Thousands Flee as Terrorists Take Over Iraq’s Christian Heartland | Gleanings | ChristianityToday.com.

Iraq: Hell has broken out here and nobody cares.

The Radical.net Blog » Iraq.

Feeling Linky, Punk? 8.8.14

Here’s some links you may like I stumbled upon recently:

  • Speaking of, here’s a very popular music video from Lecrae. With 4.7 million views, you can see how his art has impacted many. Enjoy “Just Like You”…

 

 

 

Wind and Waves

When calm gives way to calamity

And foaming wakes of fury

Roaring with deafening defiance

Agitating our souls

His children may lose sight of Him

 

When swelling seas surround

And the torrent becomes torturous

Mindful are they of their Master

Despite fray and disarray

Wind and waves obey

 

When salty seaside breezes caress

And tides subside

Waves curl in beauty once more

And the rip current relents

Now glad splashing on battered stone and shell

 

Listen

 

He who spoke them into being commands them

Into the quiet heaviness of His presence

Grateful are we for His gales of grace

See Him once again

Wind and waves obey