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Archive for May, 2010

1Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.

2Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

3For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.

4I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.

5I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.

6I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD:

7That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.

8LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.

9Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men:

10In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes.

11But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.

12My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD.

                                                                 ~ Psalm 26 (King David)

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Quite a Different Day!

Today was different.

I had been feeling a slight bit of guilt for months for not donating some clothing that my youngest son had outgrown.  Right after the recent earthquake in Haiti, I had gotten the clothing together but for one reason or another, I never took them to any Haitian relief drop off points.  Perhaps, there was a reason for this.

It is a fact that most of the donated items are not reaching the people there who desperately need them.  Children are still roaming the streets naked!  This is a real shame!

I was talking to a friend of mine this morning and she just happened to mention that she has a neighbor who is from Haiti, and she and her family were actually down there when the earthquake struck.  Her two-story home was flattened, tragically crushing her 14-year-old son and taking his life.  Two of her other children were on an upper level of the home and survived.

After she told me more of this woman’s heart-wrenching story, I told my friend about the clothing I had, and I asked her if she knew of any places that were still taking donated items for Haiti.  She told me that her neighbor was going to Haiti on Sunday (in two days) and that if there wasn’t too much, then she could probably take the items.  So I got the clothing, along with a nice pair of dress shoes that my son had also outgrown, and put them in a bag to take to her.

Then an image popped into my mind of a beautiful dress that had been hanging in my closet for over a year.  I love the dress, but I may have worn it only once because I put on some weight afterwards and wouldn’t dare wear it again until I lost the weight.  Anyway, I believe God put it on my heart to donate my “beloved” dress.  So I added that, as well.

I drove to my friend’s house and we showed up unexpectedly at her neighbor’s house.  She and her family were busy packing to take clothing and other items down to Haiti.  She told me that she wasn’t packing anything for herself — just items to give to the people down there who needed them.

When she saw that I had brought boys’ clothing, she said that she had just asked another friend if she had any clothing for boys that she could take down to Haiti.  Her friend said that she did not but that she would try to find some.  Then she looked at me, paused, and then gestured towards the bag.  I finished her thought and said, “And here I am with these.”  She said, “Yes.”

When I showed her the dress I had, she and her husband knew exactly who it would go to.  They mentioned her name and agreed that it would fit her perfectly!  I said, “Well, this is for her!”

Now I know why I waited.  Those items were especially meant for a few specific people whose lives I was to touch indirectly through only one other person … not to be passed through bureaucratic red tape and numerous hands in hopes of eventually getting to the people who desperately need them.  I know that there are a few organizations who do manage to get the donations directly to some of the people in Haiti, but there are not very many.

Haiti still needs our help!  This beautiful Haitian lady told me that many, many people are still lining up to only get fed once a day, and they are still living in tents for fear of their homes collapsing from the intermittent tremors that continue to occur.  And I’m sure countless others don’t even have standing homes to go to.  Why the Haitian government is allowing this to continue for almost 5 months after the earthquake is beyond most people’s realms of understanding.  There’s got to be something that can be done to stop this horrific situation!

As my friend and I were leaving, it started raining very, very hard.  Luckily, I had brought a giant golf umbrella with me to their house because it was raining only a little when we were walking over there.  While saying our goodbyes, the woman mentioned that there’s a saying in Haiti that when a person visits your home for the first time … and it rains, then this means that they have a good heart.  She and her husband then looked at me.  I was a little caught off guard by her words — maybe even a little embarrassed.  I just smiled and said, “Well, I’d like to think I do.”

Quite a different day!

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by Meshawn Senior

In “Wars and Rumors of Wars,” we expounded on the different wars that have occurred around the world during the past 100 years.  We discussed the reasons why these wars have much more significance than any that have happened in previous history.  This is because never before has man had the technological capability to destroy all life on the planet.  Jesus said that this would be a definite possibly, and if He didn’t return at an appointed time at the end of this age, then no flesh would be saved.

In Matthew 24:7, Jesus continues His discourse on the Mount of Olives with the statement, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences,and earthquakes in various places.” The first part of this verse definitely sounds like a continuation of the “wars and rumors of wars” passage in verse 6.  However, some theologians believe that this may have a deeper meaning than discernible at first glance.

In the original Greek, the word “nation,” mentioned twice in verse 7, is the word “ethnos” from which we get the English word “ethnic”.  The dictionary definition of this word is “of or relating to large groups of people classed according to common racial, national, tribal, religious, linguistic, or cultural origin or background.”  Some believe that this verse actually alludes to certain ethnic groups rising up against other ethnic groups.

There is a term that’s been popularized over the last decade or so called “ethnic cleansing.”  This term has the connotation of violence against another ethnic group to forcibly remove them or even kill them.  This brings to mind such atrocities as those which occurred in Yugoslavia in the 1990’s, Chechnya (Russia) – also in the 1990’s, and even the present day tribal wars on the continent of Africa between various groups in Rwanda, Sudan, and Ethiopia, among others.

The word for “kingdom” in verse 7 is “basileia” in the original Greek.  It refers to a country with a king or ruler.  This implies that countries will be fighting against other countries during the time of the end, which is, of course, nothing new.  However, the worldwide scale of these battles, as we elaborated on in the last article, is what makes us take notice.  Also, never before in the history of the world have there been weapons so powerful that they are able to totally destroy all life on the planet.

Matthew 24:7 also tells us that along with the ethnic unrest and wars between various countries, there would be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes.  We can readily see that these occurrences have been in the forefront of newsworthy events for some time now.  The following are brief discussions of each:

Widespread famine in parts of Africa, India, and Asia came to the world’s attention in the second half of the last century and worldwide efforts were undertaken to send much needed aid to these various areas.  Even parts of Europe have fallen victim to starvation because of various triggers in the past hundred years or so.

A disease thought to be a thing of the past, the Bubonic Plague, has resurfaced, albeit on a very small scale.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that “outbreaks still occur in rural communities or in cities.”  The CDC goes on to say, “Globally, the World Health Organization reports 1,000 to 3,000 cases of plague every year.”  If caught early enough, antibiotics can be effective in treating this disease.

A recent worldwide health concern has been the H1N1 virus, more commonly known as the swine flu.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of December 29, 2009, nearly 12,000 people had succumbed to this deadly pandemic.  However, according to WHO’s Director, Dr. Margaret Chan, it is likely that this figure is greatly underestimated.  She said that it would probably take about two years after the pandemic has ended for the true figure to be established.

Catastrophic earthquakes have wreaked havoc in recent years and months in different places around the globe.  In 2004, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake off the coast of Sumatra caused a giant tsunami that killed nearly 230,000 people.  More recently, on January 12, 2010, an earthquake rocked the Caribbean island of Haiti which measured a magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter scale.  Hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives and numerous others were seriously injured and maimed for life.  Shortly thereafter, the country of Chile experienced an 8.8 magnitude earthquake which was so powerful that, according to NASA scientists, it may have caused the Earth’s axis to shift slightly, consequently shortening the length of the day.

There are mixed schools of thought regarding whether or not the numbers of earthquakes have been increasing over the years.  However, it is indisputable that because of the technological advances and satellite communications available to us today, we are affected more greatly than ever before by the ability to witness in real-time the terrible suffering and loss of life that happens when a major event of this type occurs.  There may have always been earthquakes, but humankind has never been able to see them occur worldwide along with their aftereffects as we are today.

So do the events listed above constitute at least some amount of evidence that we are living in the time spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24:7?  This is definitely a question to ponder.  Of note, the very next verse, Matthew 24:8, states that “all these are the beginning of sorrows.” We will delve into this portion of scripture the next time.

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Next installment in the series:
If you have not read the previous installments in this series, they are listed below in chronological order:
  1. Are We Living in the End Times?
  2. Take Heed that No One Deceives You
  3. For Many will Come in My Name
  4. Wars and Rumors of Wars

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1He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

3Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

5Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

6Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

7A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

8Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

9Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

                                                                           ~ Psalm 91

 

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