LOVE
John 15:12-13 (NLT)

12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Mark 12:31(NLT)
31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[a] No other commandment is greater than these.”
Proverbs 17:17 (NLT)
17 A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.

 GIVING
Hebrews 6:10-12 (NLT)
10 
For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers,[a] as you still do. 11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. 12 Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.
Galatians 6:2-3 (NLT)
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.

In the past few days as Hurricane Harvey hit land, my family as well as millions of other families, have watched in horror and disbelief. The devastation and sheer destruction that this storm has brought to everything in its path have been literally heart-wrenching!  

Tragedy does not care whose door it knocks on.  Tragedy is not impressed with how much you make, or where you work, or what neighborhood you live in.  It does not care what color your skin is or what your religious affiliation is.  Tragedy just affects whoever happens to be in its path.

No matter how much our country may disagree on political views and other matters, it seems that the human spirit desires to rise up and collectively come to the aide of those who are hurting due to disastrous situations.

Sadly, due to the enormous amount of flooding the past few days in Texas, there have been some that have lost loved ones who were trying to escape the flood waters but instead were swept away by them. 

There have been thousands that have lost their homes, cars and other possessions. There are also things that are irreplaceable that have been lost, like photos of their sweet babies and the pictures of their wedding day. Some have lost photos of other family members that they only have in memory now.  It’s truly hard to imagine such loss coming all at once.  With all that they have lost, they have not lost courage.

To see how complete strangers have banded together in a common effort in Houston, and other areas where the flooding is going on has been heart warming.  We are all blessed by seeing humanity come together with a common goal of saving lives and extending love to their fellow brothers and sisters.  

Can you see God at work in all of this? I certainly can.  Only our amazing God can bring such acts of love and kindness that we have witnessed in these past few days through something so painful and tragic. Though sad to witness, this has truly been the silver lining in this very dark cloud. 

It may take years for these areas affected to rebuild and get back to some sense of normalcy, but I feel sure that these communities will come back stronger and more resilient than ever before.  Bonds are being created through this process that could only happen by divine purpose. 

Let us not forget in the months ahead when we have changed our TV channels and moved on, that many of these people will still be trying to rebuild their shattered lives.  Let’s continue to lift them up in prayer for days, months and even years to come. 

Our giving is another way that we can make sure that our brothers and sisters in the affected areas are ok.  Whether it be ten dollars or a thousand dollars or more, it will all count for good in times like these.  

Volunteering is also huge at a time like this.  Whether packing boxes at your local church to send to the flood victims, or donating clothing it all matters, and there is no doubt that it will be greatly appreciated. 

We must also remember to pray for the men and women who are risking their lives to save others and have been working around the clock without rest. Sadly, some of their homes have been destroyed also. 

Let’s pray that through this disaster, the one thing that our brothers and sister are never lost is hope. It is sad to lose homes, cars etc.  but to lose hope is the worst of all.  Hope is a gift from God.  It is having faith that there is something better ahead. It gives us a reason to keep going. Pray that God will give them the strength, and a reason each day to keep going. 

Let us rally around our brothers and sisters to help life be a little sweeter in the midst of their storm.

HOPE
Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)
11 Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.
Psalm 31:24 (NLT)
24 So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!
Psalm 16:7-8 (NLT)
I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
Psalm 32:8 (NLT)
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.

 

 

 

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