God Running

Updated, This Story Likely Not True–Italian Doctor After COVID-19: “I was an atheist but now I’m back to God.”

coronavirus-l via INTERRIS

I was taken to school on this one. According to Joel Forster of Evangelical Focus this story is likely false news. Apparently there are several versions circulating, one with a 75 year old pastor as the inspirational figure in the story, others, like this one, point to a priest. Also, a member of the Italian Evangelical Alliance board was asked about the story. He then contacted evangelical pastors of several denominations in Italy and they all agreed that the testimony is not reliable. (See Joel Forster’s article: Christian Fake News? The story of the atheist doctor in Lombardy)

Forster goes on to say it’s possible there could be some truth in the story. But the right thing to do here is to point out it’s not credible.

The following post and the above image are from an article published in INTERRIS. (Manuela Petrini, Covid-19, la straordinaria testimonianza di un medico: “Ero ateo ma ora sono tornato a Dio”, INTERRIS, March 21, 2020) A friend of mine used Google translate and then did some further editing to clean up the translation. Hat tip to Amy DeTar Ginski and Sheila Underwood Vamplin.

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The Coronavirus and You

Coronavirus-badge-300 from CDC labeled for reuseLike you, whenever I look at my phone or my TV I see news about COVID-19. The reason it’s such a big deal is because every 100 years or so the world experiences a pandemic like the Spanish flu. That flu infected 500 million people and anywhere from 17 million to 50 million people died.

No one knew what was killing them. There were theories, crazy theories. People said it was because the planets were aligned a certain way, others said it was caused by bad oats from Russia, still others said it was caused by volcanic eruptions. Go easy on these people. We didn’t know about viruses until 1940. The Spanish flu happened in 1918-1920. And we didn’t know much about infection control either. Spanish flu patients were crammed together into rooms filled with cots. Read More

Orlando Shooting: The Hard Part Most Are Missing

Shooting_at_Pulse_Nightclub-Wikimedia Commons

Emergency vehicles on scene at the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando

I just want to share a few thoughts on the Orlando Shooting. Thought number three in particular is the most difficult and it applies to you, and to me.

1) It’s a horrible tragedy. This was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Fifty died, and fifty-three were injured. My heart breaks for the victims and their families. They’re in my prayers and I hope they’re in your prayers too.

2) We need to guard against acts of terror in the most sensible and effective way possible. This is where everybody wants to go when they discuss the Orlando tragedy. This is the part that’s most popular in the media and in the blogosphere. I have my own opinions, but the purpose of this blog isn’t to offer up the actions I believe we should take to prevent attacks like this one. The purpose of this blog post is to focus on something more difficult.

3) The hard part, the most difficult thing we need to guard against, is this: Read More

Roseburg Shooting

I know it might sound a little strange, but, when you’re praying for the families of the slain, the family of the shooter, the firefighters, police, medical personnel, dispatchers, and all the others–please don’t forget to pray for my friend Fred Saada and all the other chaplains serving there in Roseburg.

“God give them strength, and fill them with the Spirit of Jesus.”

Here’s a recent Facebook post from Fred about the current situation there:

Long two days in Roseburg and it is just the beginning of picking up the pieces that evil has strewn all over the region and beyond. Several of us Chaplains are serving the torn, the weary, the brokenhearted and those who are mourning this senseless and evil act. But evil will not prevail. Jesus, the Light of the World, has overcome the world and its evil.

John 16:33
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

–Fred Saada

Black and White Pastors Swap Pulpits To Promote Racial Unity

These guys are amazing: Initiative Network. God’s using them to accomplish some great things–among them–a black and a white pastor swap pulpits.

DALLAS — From a disturbing fraternity chant to protests over the police shootings of black teens,tensions have flared recently over race relations in America.

But on Palm Sunday, two Dallas pastors from opposite sides of the city found a new way to deliver a powerful message to their congregations.

They traded pulpits for a day, preaching to the other’s church.

Read the rest of the story. (USA TODAY)

If you’re interested in learning about the people God’s using to accomplish this sort of thing, check out this video from InitiativeNetwork.org.

Myra Thompson, a relative of one of the Charleston shooting victims said this:

Myra Thompson, a relative of one of the Charleston shooting victims:

“I forgive him and my family forgives him. But we would like him to take this opportunity to repent” and “give your life to the one who matters most: Christ.”

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References:

Powerful Words of Forgiveness, Washington Post, June 19, 2015

9 People Murdered And The 1 Thing That Can Make A Difference

If You’re A Christian There Was A Death In Your Family Wednesday Night

Witnesses said the gunman specifically asked for the church’s well-known pastor, the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, who was also a state senator, and sat next to him in the Bible study. First he listened, they said, then he argued, and eventually he began ranting against black people, until finally, he stood, drew a gun and fired, reloading as many as five times.

He fatally shot six women and three men, ranging in age from 26 to 87. Among the dead was Mr. Pinckney. (New York Times, 6-19-15)

Nine people. Nine people were murdered, during a Bible study just the other night. There’s anger and outrage all over the country because of it. But you know what? Even before this tragedy there was anger and outrage everywhere. Everywhere we look we see it. We see it on Instagram, Facebook, TV, and Twitter where friends, family, talking heads, and politicians rage against one thing or another. Or against one person or another. Do you ever share your anger and outrage? Or do you ever have urges to share your anger and outrage?

Did you know there is someone in the Bible like that? Read More

93 Year Old Paratrooper Celebrates D-Day by Jumping Out of C-47 Airplane

Do without expecting thanks D-Day

D-Day Paratrooper Jim Martin

 

“I am humbled and embarrassed at the adulation because I don’t feel we did anything we weren’t supposed to do or anything exceptional.”

That’s what 93 year old paratrooper Jim Martin said about his part in D-Day, 70 years ago.

Then he jumped out of a C-47 airplane. And parachuted onto Utah Beach. Just like he did 70 years ago, when he helped to retake France.

I was amazed at the way Martin parachuted at age 93, but I was even more inspired by his attitude about doing his duty, without any expectation of recognition. Read More

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