Monday, December 09, 2019

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Share your stories and ideas with the network as you respond to crisis and disaster.
Tag » Personal Crisis

Blessings(Listen and meditate on the message of this song before we begin), Blessings by Laura Story  http://youtu.be/4mmgV6mPvb0

This song has been a favorite of mine since I first heard it several years ago. Our son in law Kraig was discouraged because of his physical heath and this song brought comfort and continues to today.

Reflecting on events from the past, each of us can claim disappointment and sorrow, but today let’s again ask ourselves these questions.

 With over 60 million people likely affected by Hurricane Sandy due to make landfall hours from now carrying 8 -12 foot water surges and two feet of snow in some areas it will likely paralyze the east coast for several days if not weeks. Over 900 miles of the U.S. east coast and inland as far as the Michigan will be affected. And with one week or more of power outages in the area commonly transacting business that affects the nation, we are all likely to feel the effects even if we do not live on the east coast and have to go to shelters. This has the potential to become the largest storm in the history of the U.S. as 90 mile an hour winds are unsustainable in terms of key infrastructure. For most people today just being without their cell phone alone produces anxiety, much less the frustration which comes from over 8,000 flights which have been cancelled now affecting flights coast to coast. Then, if you factor the frustrations of not being able to get to meetings with the transit systems shut down, you now have a perfect storm in not only the physical arena but the spiritual, emotional and mental one as well.

CEN would agree with much of what FEMA Director Craig Fugate, a well respected first responder with a wealth of experience, said yesterday: “It’s going to really come down to the public heeding those evacuation orders, taking protective measures. If they haven’t gotten ready, they can go to Ready.gov Get information on how to protect them and their families, but also check on your neighbors. This is going to be a big storm. We need to be there for each other.” His reference to “we need to be there for each other” is a striking departure from the traditional FEMA Ready messaging - make your own plan, make your own kit and get informed. The Director is now calling for us to help each other rather than merely thinking of ourselves. 

As Christians we know we need to be there for each other and we need to “be there” spiritually, emotionally, mentally as well as physically. Since the government website, while filled with much good information, cannot help you learn how to be spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically ready to help yourself and others from a biblical worldview, CEN has developed the ReadyChristian training program as a self-study or small group study in order to develop a support response network of family and friends, to prepare and to respond biblically to crisis of all kinds, large or small.

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 the waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging…”Be still, and KNOW that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46:3, 10-11

 

 Spiritual, Emotional, Mental and Physical condition of the human body are uniquely tied together in each individual.  In Psalm 139 our hearts ponder the soothing words we read,

O Lord, You have searched me and know me. 

You know my sitting down and my rising up;

Some years ago while serving on staff of a local church with all of its many daily leadership responsibilities, our family had a crisis that set us on our heels emotionally and spiritually.  The situation was so devastating we were almost blinded and rendered immobile by the overwhelming emotions and spiritual implications. At the time it did not appear as if there would ever be a good way through this crisis. And, as is so common to those in crisis, we were so shocked all we did was focus upon the crisis itself.

It was in this crisis moment, my pastoral mentor prayed with us and challenged us to read stand on Psalm 91 each day. I learned to trust God in a new way and Psalm 91 was an integral part of the journey back from the spiritual precipice to a secure place in the shelter of God’s arms. We literally read it over and over again every day until the peace that passes understanding came to us. And, now 18 years later, what was once a huge daunting crisis has now been turned for good to them who love the Lord. Ever since that time, Psalm 91 is my “go to” place when I sense my emotional and spiritual security compass may be getting jostled. Here is why Psalms 91 is so powerful for me.

Capital with Flag

As I sit here watching the return of those killed this week to their beloved country, the country they lived and died to protect I am reminded of the uniqueness of our nation: A nation that was formed around the ideals of freedom, life, liberty and justice.

Democracy without the foundations of our basic tenets of freedom is not possible. We, the US, have had the privilege of developing our democracy from the ground up. We were not, prior to the outlining of our constitutional rights, living under another form of government. Yes, we broke free from tyranny…but the development of our nation was established in the fight for freedom and the ideals that shaped this nation’s government, were already inherent in the belief structure of our founding fathers and those who braved the voyage to the “new world.”