To whom do you turn when tragedy strikes? Tragic situations like: the death of a family member, disability, diagnosis of a terrible disease, divorce, abandonment, or loss of a business or job to name a few.
Where does one turn? Many turn to family, friends, psychologists, self-help books, or their inner-self. Obviously, any of these sources can offer solace, a degree of companionship, and a measure of guidance and direction.
Charlie was 65 when he lost his beautiful young daughter of 27 to a botched surgery. Laura left two young children and a devastated husband behind. While standing with Charlie in a hospital waiting room at 2AM when he received the unwelcomed news, his pastor witnessed Charlie’s emotions turn from those of a desperate hope to that of a blinding rage against God. He said: “I no longer believe in God, he could have saved my daughter but he let her die. I’m through with God.” Wisely, all his pastor said was: “Charlie, I am sorry that Laura died. Jesus still loves you and will bring you through this tragedy”
Over the next month Charlie refused to attend the church he once faithfully attended. Finally, after many people prayed for and encouraged him, he was able to work through his grief. Charlie turned back to the Lord, and was inspired to begin a new ministry. He took it upon himself to began encouraging families who, like he and his wife, experienced the death of their loved one. Charlie and his wife would visit with those families and offer words of faith, Scripture, and encouragement. Within one month Charlie made a 180 degree turn. God’s tender love and mercy turned Charlie around. He also gave Charlie a beautiful sense of hope by inspiring him to begin ministering to bereaved families.
Charlie made one of the most important decisions of his life after Laura died. He decided to run TO God rather than run away from God. Tragically, when tested, many Christians decide to run away from God. Many run and never come back. Thankfully, the majority of Christians run toward God when personal tragedies occur.
Where do you turn in the midst of tragedy? Charlie’s true story proclaims the eternal truth that Jesus is the go-to person to turn to when tragedy strikes. If you are in the running away mode, please stop running from God and run back to him. Only the Lord can provide you with peace, encouragement, and a reason to live. Trusting him through tragedy is the stuff that faith is made of. It is the stuff that propels one forward in the quest to Christian maturity.
Memorial Day causes us to pause and remember those who have sacrificed their lives to insure that we continue to have freedom. Countless numbers of men and women have died on battlefields around to world in wars that would have taken our freedoms away had the other side won. We can never say enough to express our thanks to those who have served their country and those who are in active service today. Though it seems so inadequate we are compelled to say thanks for your sacrifices!
Today we face an insipid enemy that, if left unchecked, will destroy our freedom as assuredly as the worst enemy we have ever faced. We are speaking of one of the most dangerous enemies the world has faced…debt and uncontrollable spending. Our debt threatens our American way of life. Other countries, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain, and a host of other countries are in the throes of debt and face looming bankruptcies if they are unable manage their uncontrollable spending and debt.
For a sobering experience, visit the following website. usdebtclock.org reveals that our national debt (at the time of this blog post, June 1, 2010,) is greater than 13 trillion dollars. That translates to just over $42,000 per U.S. citizen, or $118,000 per American taxpayer. Read the home page of the site, and then click on the usdebtclock.org banner at the top of the page to see the numbers in real time. Caution: prepare yourself for one of the greatest shocks of your life.
Debt, caused by out-of-control spending will affect everything from the interest rates you will eventually pay, to your future Social Security and 401k monies. What can one do?
1. Get out of personal debt as quickly as you possibly can.
2. Save as much money as you possibly can.
3. Vote, and change the political landscape all the way up from your local, to your state, and to the national elections. Elect officials who will stop the spending.
4. Call your local, state, and national leaders and demand that either they stop the spending or they will lose your vote.
5. Call for across the board budget cuts at every level. It is better to tighten the belt now instead of waiting until forced to do so by a looming bankruptcy.
6. Think of creative ways of your own to get your message across.
President Allison Taylor and Jack Bauer led 24 to its final scene with some applicable dialogue.
But first, H. R. 4213 is the latest bailout rolled out by congress. It is an almost $200 billion grab bag of expenditures that lawmakers plan to enact before Memorial Day. Key provisions of this bill include an extension of unemployment benefits, and subsidies for health insurance. In an effort to disguise this bill from being called another bailout bill, it has been made more palatable by simply referring to it as a “jobs bill.”
If that $200 billion bailout bill is not enough for you, another bailout bill, worth $165 billion, is waiting in the wings. Proposed by Senator Bob Casey, a Democratic senator from Pennsylvania, says it would save jobs and help people. If passed, it would shift a $165 billion union pension fund liability onto the shoulders of you, the American taxpayer via the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation.
Since America is already 13 trillion in debt why not add an additional $365 billion? What is the difference? Where does this out-of-control spending cycle end…with the bankrupting of America?
Fictional President Allison Taylor, talking to CTU agent Jack Bauer via satellite phone (on the final episode of Fox’s smash hit, 24, played by Sherry Jones and Kiefer Sutherland,) laments over her poor decision making that cost the lives of many, shattered a world peace agreement, and would end her job as president.
Follow this excerpt of their dialogue….
President Taylor: “I wanted this peace so badly Jack, and for that I have betrayed every principle that I have ever stood for. And, I betrayed you. If I had listened to you, none of this would have happened.”
Bauer: “We both made mistakes we are going to have to live with.”
Taylor: “I would give anything to take back the time….I am so sorry, I don’t know what else to say.”
Today, many feel that their elected officials have betrayed every principle they ever stood for. Some day, many of them will have to admit that if they had listened to the majority of the American people, much of the ungodly society, amorality, recession, housing problems, joblessness, business closures, decimation of retirement plans, the gulf oil spill, bribery, and other disasters we are experiencing today would never have happened.
It is time to wake up America!
It seems that lately every newscast is filled with doom and gloom. A major oil spill threatens the American way of life on the Gulf and possibly the East coasts. Weekly, if not daily, suicide bombings rock cities and kill scores of people in Afghanistan, Iraq, and various other Middle Eastern countries. Now, America has even a near-miss in Manhattan.
Earthquakes, floods, hail storms, tornadoes, and volcanoes punctuate daily life. Politicians on every level are known for their lying and manipulative ways and above all else have proven that they can’t be trusted. Cities, counties, states, and several countries such as Greece, Portugal, and Spain are facing possible bankruptcies.
America’s ravenous spending has led to a national debt that is totally out of control. It now stands at just over $40,000 for each and every citizen that lives in America. Families are divided, schools are divided, workplaces are divided, America is divided, and the world is divided.
Religions say that people should worship everything from animals, rocks and trees, spirits, demons, men and women, money, fame, idols, yourself, historical figures, beings from outer space, and some, even God himself.
With trouble on every side is it possible that God is trying to tell us something? Is it possible that since so many people have turned away from him he is granting their wishes and allowing them to see what life is like without him?
Is the end of time near? Read Jesus’ prophecies of Matthew chapter 24. Without a doubt God is speaking to us today! The question is this: “Are we listening?”