Sunday, January 17, 2010

Futility, humility, and faith

As I have watched some of the news featuring the devastation in Haiti, I have been tempted to despair. I hurt for those who are there. I hurt for children who have lost their parents. I grieve to know that so many were already poor there, and I cannot imagine what this must mean for them.

The nation of Haiti has lived in harsh conditions for so long, it almost seems futile to think anything can be done for them. I say "almost" because my heart needs to be corrected. As I was praying yesterday, I realized that the magnitude of problems should lead me to humility. However, with God there is an answer to futility. It is not with our efforts to try harder or do better, but it lies in faith in an Almighty God who can do more than we could ask or think.

And so, I am led to pray. I pray for those friends who are there. I pray for those who need the basic necessities of life. I pray for the children who have been orphaned. I pray for safety for millions. I pray for relief workers and government officials. I pray for missionaries who will share the love of Christ. I pray for God's glory to be seen even in tragedy.

So, I pray. Not in futility, but rather in humility and in faith that God is working good out of this earthquake.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Prayers for Haiti

I believe that most of our hearts are broken by the tragedy in Haiti. Our church is seeking to organize some efforts to assist.

First, we are committing to pray for men and women and children whose lives have been devastated. The needs are overwhelming. We take our big requests to a God who is ready to do the impossible.

We also through our benevolence have already contributed to the Baptist Global Response. This is the Southern Baptist arm for emergency response. As such, every dollar that they receive will go directly to aid Haitians rather than pay for overhead.

In addition, we look forward to taking up a collection on January 24th for those in need. The collection will primarily go to the Baptist Global Response, but a portion will also be sent to Cody and Maria Whittaker via Global Outreach International. Cody and Maria were with Ogletown for a couple of years before moving late 2009 to Haiti as missionaries. You can hear their heart through reading their blog posts.

Both of these organizations are gospel-focused, and we are encouraged by the fact that 100% of what we contribute will go to relief.

I thank God in advance for the generosity that I know is in the heart of the people of Ogletown.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My prayer for OBC from Sunday's message

God, grant to us your people

A hunger and thirst after your righteousness
A desire to do all for your glory
An urgency to love you and our neighbor
A burden to walk by your Spirit
A passion to imitate you in all your goodness
An ability to make the best use of our time
A consistent walk in light of the gospel
A heart that is set on your kingdom and your will

And may we see that you are intent on answering all of these things in the ordinary events of our lives.

We ask in faith, and hope with confidence that because of Jesus you will work out your will in our lives.


The beauty and simplicity of Proverbs

Tonight I am leading a Bible study about prayer. I came across these verses in preparation for it.
Proverbs 30:7-9
Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, "Who is the Lord?" or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.
Two requests worth asking God for even today!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Retention pond

Most days I pass by a couple of retention ponds. In this season of cold weather, I have noticed how much more likely they are to ice over than a stream that is running. I also have seen that even if a stream begins to freeze, it is much more quickly thawed than the retention pond.

I believe it was nature's reminder to me today, that my life should be one that is passionately stirred up for God. I should be moving in the direction of following Him. I should not allow my relationship with Him to become stagnant. As it becomes more and more stagnant, it is easier for me to be cold toward him, and for that coldness to last longer.

God, give me a heart that moves toward you rather than getting stagnant.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New year, new information

What am I reading?
  • In the Bible, I am utilizing a plan that is taking me through Psalms, Genesis, and Matthew this month.
  • As far as books go, I am reading several things for our current sermon series, God at Work, Luther on Vocation, and Vocation. I also am enjoying an interesting read called Money, Greed, and God.

What am I looking forward to at church?
  • Our membership class on the 17th
  • Our baptism service on the 24th
  • A combined Ogletown service on February 14th

What am I praying for?
  • Greater unity at our church
  • A greater realization that ALL of life matters, even the details (actually, especially the details)
  • A profound move of Jesus to draw people to himself