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Feb 12
2014
Steve Marr

Atlanta Stores Clearned Out

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As the snow storm returns to Atlanta these pictures are all too common as panic buying begins. Another reason to be prepared,  rather then scrambling at the last minute at the store, and preferably having extra to share as needed. News reports documented a number of fistfights broke out as desperate people cleared the last supplies from some stores.
Why a full pantry is always advisable:

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Above: Atlanta store bread shelf

Jan 23
2014
Steve Marr

Getting Out When The Getting Is Good

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The dreaded tornado siren went off, and “Tom” stepped outside to look around.  In a moment Tom saw a dark funnel cloud heading toward his house. He watched in fascination, believing the tornado would just pass by, and this was just too good a sight to pass by.  Suddenly, the tornado did a sidewinder and headed straight to his house, while Tom was frozen for another second. He ducked inside to an interior bathroom as the tornado roped his house apart.



Tom suffered cuts and a broken arm. He acknowledged his tornado plan including holding a mattress over himself in the event of a tornado, but he lacked the necessary time. Fortunately, the mistake only resulted in injury, not death.  

The “Baxter” family was hunkered down as hurricane Sandy was making landfall in New York. Despite the warnings to evacuate, the Baxter family believed they could just ride out the storm.  As the storm driven water came up to the house,  Sam Baxter decided they needed to depart and piled the family into the SUV go anywhere car. Unfortunately,  as they drove away, the road was three feet under water in places, they needed to turn back. The car stalled 1,000 feet from home, the family then struggled to walk back through the dangers wind and water to get home.  Albeit painful, the family survived the ordeal.  Another family lost a child when they evacuated during the storm.



We see another example in Scripture with Lot being rescued from Gomorrah. Lot and his family were in an evil, nasty place. For whatever reason, the family stayed.

Scripture relates, “At dawn the next morning the angels became insistent. "Hurry," they said to Lot. "Take your wife and your two daughters who are here. Get out right now, or you will be swept away in the destruction of the city!" When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the LORD was merciful.” (Genesis 19:15-16 NLT) Often, this is the human reaction, to wait, either in disbelief or thinking you are stronger then the coming event.

Often, the Lord provides warnings. CEN broadcasts the massage, become a Ready Christian, A Ready Church and a Ready City. Some heed the message while others do not. In the future, others will follow.
CEN application:

1.     What steps are we taking to remove ourselves from harms way, or prepare for an unstable future?

2.     Have we failed to heed the Lords promptings in the past, and if so, have we confessed?

3.     What steps will we take in the future to advise Christians to remove themselves from harms way?

Dec 05
2013
Steve Marr

What if the Ten Virgins Had Extra Oil?

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Jesus said:

 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

Nov 21
2013
Steve Marr

Standing Firm for Principle

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Christians often are called to stand for principle. Today, Christians are martyred for their faith in many parts of the world.  When faced with a choice, these saints choose principle, and death, over renouncing faith in Christ, and living on earth.

In the United states, we face choices everyday, do we stand for Christ, His ways and His principles, or do we fold? The pressure may come from being expected to laugh at an off color joke, lie by omission to get through a situation or to condone public policy that does not uphold a Biblical standard.

A choice we have is, give up, or stand tall. Will we be remembered as one who stood for the Lord, or surrendered? Is the road to surrender really easier?

King Solomon, the wisest person to ever live wrote: (Proverbs 20-33 NIV)

“Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,
    she raises her voice in the public square;
21 on top of the wall[a] she cries out,
    at the city gate she makes her speech:

22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
    How long will mockers delight in mockery
    and fools hate knowledge?
23 Repent at my rebuke!
    Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,
    I will make known to you my teachings.
24 But since you refuse to listen when I call
    and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand,
25 since you disregard all my advice
    and do not accept my rebuke,
26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you;
    I will mock when calamity overtakes you—
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
    when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
    when distress and trouble overwhelm you.

28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
    they will look for me but will not find me,
29 since they hated knowledge
    and did not choose to fear the Lord.
30 Since they would not accept my advice
    and spurned my rebuke,
31 they will eat the fruit of their ways
    and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
    and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety
    and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

First, the Lord grants wisdom, wisdom is available all over town.

Second, the Lord confronts, and rebukes. Why? To turn us around.

The Lord is always pouring out wisdom and sound teaching, we merely need to listen. We can refuse, but at what price if we disregard the Lord?

The Lord will, “I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you;” (Proverbs 1:26)

The Lord knows some will only call upon the Lord when under distress. However, the Lord will not answer at that time because people have refused to listen and respond.

Perhaps on reason the Lord allows disaster is to drive people to Him. Some will simply refuse to seek God until forced to their knees by circumstances. This is not what the Lord would prefer, He would rather people embraced His word and holiness, rather then be forced by a disaster.

The Lord is saying the people, “would not accept my advice” (Proverbs 1:30).  How often do we concisely or un-concisely refuse to take the Lords advice?

The bottom line: “but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” (Proverbs 1:33)

CEN application:

1.     How do we help others understand God’s warnings?

2.     What steps do we take to insure we are listening to Gods advice?

3.     How do we help people avoid disaster and lead them to God’s safety?

Sep 12
2013
Steve Marr

Copy Purse or Wallet Contents

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Most of us carry around a lot of stuff in our wallet, or purse. Credit cards, car registration, library and voter’s cards, reward cards among other items.

 

If we loose our purse or wallet through theft we immediately need to take action. We may remember credit card numbers, but do you recall every important item you carry? Most of can’t, let alone know the reference numbers.