9 -11 And Irma

Sixteen years ago today, 2,996 people were killed during the September 11 attacks.

Today, we are feeling the power of now, Tropical Storm Irma with strong winds and heavy rain damaging buildings, knocking down trees and wiping out power.

Philippians 4:4 tells us to Rejoice in the Lord always.

So, on a day when many may feel sad because of the loss of life on 9/11, on a day when many may feel scared as the winds blow and the lights flicker,
I will rejoice!

Despite attacks from abroad, and political slip-ups at home, we are still The United States of America.
Therefore, I will rejoice!

Through the wind and the rain, I know the rainbow of the Lord is on its way. Therefore, I will rejoice!

I serve a God that is bigger than a terrorist attack, bigger than a President, bigger than any storm, and bigger than my worry and my fear; Therefore, I will rejoice!

So, choose to rejoice in the Lord always, and know that everything will be all right.

The Revealing Waters of Houston

We have all seen the destruction; we have all seen the determination; we have all seen the death; it has all been revealed this week in Houston.

In Genesis 9:8-17, God promised not to destroy the earth again by flood and in that same act, the Lord established a new covenant.

God’s New Covenant is the promise that He will forgive sin and restore fellowship with those whose hearts are turned toward Him. Jesus Christ is the Mediator of the New Covenant, and His death on the cross is the basis of the promise (Luke 22:20).

The New Covenant was predicted while the Old Covenant was still in effect — the prophets Moses, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel all allude to the New Covenant.

The flood waters of Houston revealed the spirit of the New Covenant. God’s people, from first responders to ordinary citizen volunteers, heeded the teaching of Jesus to love our neighbors as ourselves.

The flood waters of Houston also revealed the evil spirit of greed, pride and hypocritical actions that impeded opportunities for rescue, recovery and shelter. However, the Good News is this: all these actions of people can be washed away, and made right by the New Covenant.

The flood waters of Houston will also provide healing because of the New Covenant. For these nearly countless days of displacement, discouragement, and death will be replaced by lives of recovery and renewal.

After the forty days and nights that produced the floods that destroyed the earth, God told Noah that He would put a rainbow in the clouds, as a sign of the New Covenant.

As cloudy and dark these days of rain and flood may seem, the people in Houston and all of us can take comfort for that rainbow. For even in the middle of the storm, the goodness, grace and mercy of God is revealed. The rain will eventually stop, the earth will not be destroyed, and the New Covenant of God with salvation for all is being revealed.

May God bless the people of Houston and all who have been effective by the revealing waters of Harvey.