Out Here Hope Remains

There is hope for the helpless ... Cry Out To Jesus. -- Third Day

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Community Thanks

We had a good number at worship this morning as we focused on the blessings that were ours because of Katrina. The grieving and mourning will have their fair of time, but so should the blessings. I'll post the audio of that message Monday sometime on my podcast page. Tonight many of us went to the Community Worship Service at the high school football stadium. People from several different churches in town participated. Although it was quite different than what we are used to, we appreciated the opportunity to offer thanksgivings to God along with our neighbors and friends. I left a little bit early because I had an elderly friend with me and he needed to get back to his camper. The speaker tonight did more than suggest that God sent Hurricane Katrina as a discipline for his people. I think this is an open question...not something we can afford to be dogmatic about. In the Scriptures, God has brought about disaster upon people. I know and affirm that He can. I am just not certain how anyone can be SURE that this is what Katrina was. It seems to me that if we start assigning disasters to God, then we must look at each disaster and ultimately claim that they are all "acts of God". God then becomes the God of Disaster, which I do not believe is true. I tend to believe that we live in an eco-system that produces hurricanes during the same season each year. I think that in each case, there are people who realize their own weakness and need for the Lord when recovering from these disasters. It could be that God did send Katrina. But I think the lessons learned either way are the same ... and that we can avoid making God out to be the king of disasters by just recognizing His sovereignty within the system he created. But no one asked me. As a smile for tonight, one of our city officials referenced a teaching of Jesus in the Bible by saying, "we all know that old story that ends with 'where two or more are gathered, God is there'." Now either he did not want to mention the Bible out of some form of political correctness, or he just didn't say it like he planned. Either way, I got a grin out of it. No harm done. It reminded me of Al Gore misquoting that Bible verse, and the one he actually quoted seemed a prophecy against him. But I do not want to get into politics. Those things are much better discussed over at Desperate Houseflies, a multi-contributor blog created by my friend who is not ashamed to be a Democrat. There are a lot of things in the world I do not understand. But lest anyone in Pascagoula thinks I'm being negative about the event, I'm glad we had it. I'm glad several of us went. If I had one suggestion to make, I think it was too white. Other than a choir from the Missionary Baptist Church, there wasn't enough color in this event. I would have loved to hear a word from some of the African American, Hispanic, and Asian believers in this area. Overall, I enjoyed it. My favorite moment was the singing of "Blessed Be The Name" by the Church on the Rock Praise Team. I would love to have had one of our wonderful acappella groups in the mix. I think it would had added a lot to the night. My thanks to those in charge. They worked hard and it was a joy to spend the evening with neighbors and friends. I'll post my pictures soon and leave a link here. Before I go, please do me a favor and head over to Bobby Cohoon's blog for today. It can be seen HERE. Bobby went back into the archives of this blog to assemble a beautiful piece that had me in tears. Thank you, Bobby. My mother is going to love it - and if she knew how to leave a comment, I'm sure she would. Thanks for reading and I hope your week is a great one. We will be keeping our eyes on the Gulf. No one can afford to take the current direction of this storm for granted at this point.