Churches unite to help thousands of stranded passengers in Moscow’s airports

Stranded at Moscow airport

Apparently the U.S. isn’t the only country dealing with flight delays. Due to a recent ice storm that hit a large area of Central Russia hundreds of flights have been delayed. The airport in Moscow is designed to hold around 3,000 people but the crowds have swollen to 10,000 due to the flight delays. Interestingly, in this nation that not so long ago claimed atheism as their national religion, Churches and Synagogues have stepped up to assist with food, bottles of water, and perhaps most appreciated of all, bunches of those moist towlette thingies. If you’re interested you can read more at Churches unite to help thousands of stranded passengers in Moscow’s airports | Russia | RIA Novosti.

How great is it to see God’s people in action.

This is how it should be because the Bible tells us that…

…the fruit of the Spirit is love…

Galatians 5:22

Don’t Go Rafting Without a Baptist in the Boat

This is just too funny not to share. In case you’ve never heard her before, when she says “Left Brain” she’s referring to her husband. Check it out.

Genesis 2:18 — It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Genesis 2:18

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) Here we are in only the second chapter of the Bible and already God is declaring that it is not good to be isolated. God in His wisdom of course knows that isolation is associated with all kinds of problems. In fact, according to the Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, isolation as a predictor of mortality is comparable with cigarette smoking — your risk of dying increases by 2 – 3 times if you’re isolated vs. if you’re socially connected. Besides mortality — depression, illness, and a host of other problems accompany isolation.

Your spiritual life is also very connected to the dynamic of isolation vs. social connection. Just watch the lives of those who attempt to walk their Christian walk apart from attending church vs. those who do attend. Pick someone you know who says that their way of connecting with God is through the enjoyment of nature, or by hanging out with Christian friends, or by self study. Of course there’s nothing wrong with any of those things, but, at the same time pick another who you know attends church, say, 2 or more times a week. You’ll find the difference in the depth of relationship with God between these two to be striking. By and large, you’ll find the church goer to be happier as well. According to author and speaker Dr. Kevin Gilmartin, those who attend church regularly are 40% more likely to be happy than those who don’t. (See previous posts: Congregate and Rest)

“I will make a helper suitable for him.” God’s desire for Adam was to make a helper for him because Adam alone can’t live the blessed life that God has in mind for him without Eve. Furthermore man can’t execute his part of God’s plan for mankind here on earth without women. God gave Adam His plan and agenda, but both Adam and his wife Eve are to work together, as a team, to live out God’s plan and to advance God’s agenda. Adam, the husband, has been put in a position of leadership and Eve, the wife, has been put in a position of service. Not that Adam wouldn’t serve Eve because any great leader will serve those he leads. (Traveler and the Chaplain, p. 56), But Eve has been formally appointed, by God, to be Adam’s helper. In the world’s view this certainly has a negative connotation, but in Gods view, in Christ’s view, the helper is esteemed highly for Jesus said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)

They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said,

“If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Mark 9:33-35



References:

Blue Letter Bible

Bible Gateway

David Guzik

J. Vernon McGee

Jon Courson

Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine

Kurt Bennett, Traveler and the Chaplain, p. 56, Enoch Publishing 2009

Genesis 2:10-15 — God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work

A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

Genesis 2:10-15

The second two rivers mentioned, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, we know of today. We know their location, in fact, you can go to Bing Maps right now and find the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates, just to the North of Basrah, in Iraq, which I’ve marked on the map with an orange push pin. Interestingly, the headwaters of these two rivers are not very far apart — both are found in East Central Turkey. Although we don’t know the location of the other two rivers, perhaps, the location of the Tigris and Euphrates headwaters gives us a clue as to the location, or former location of the Garden of Eden.

In Genesis 2:15 we read, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” I was reading an article recently on stress that listed the top 10 stressors in life. Guess what? Retirement made the top 10! Here in Genesis 2:15 we see that God has created this perfect environment for Adam and notice that, included in the perfect environment, is work! God has designed us to work. Over the years as I’ve watched friends deal with unemployment and retirement I’ve seen all kinds of problems as a result of leading a life without it, without work. According to the American Journal of Public Health men who are unemployed experience more somitization (similar to hypochondriasis), anxiety, and depression than those who are employed. The unemployed also take more medications, visit their doctors more, and spend more time in bed sick even when the unemployed and employed receive the same number of diagnoses.

In Mark chapter 1 Jesus saw some of the disciples working, they were fishing to be exact. As he passed by them He called to them and said, “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17) Perhaps God has blessed you in such a way that you’re in a position where you don’t have to work. That’s great! God is good. He’s given you time that most others don’t have. I want to encourage you to use it for His glory. I know of a number of people in this position — several use their time volunteering at a dump in Mexico, they minister to the impoverished people there, several others I know have dedicated themselves to helping in their church. Use your time to influence people for God’s kingdom. Use your time to fish for men!

If you are perhaps younger, and you have to work to provide for your family, as I do, then give thanks to God for your job if you’re employed. And if you’re not employed, I want to encourage you to work as God desires you to. A number of years ago a friend of mine worked a job in a cabinet shop for less money than what he would have made had he collected unemployment. Some said that he was a fool to take less money, just so he could continue to work, but during this time, I could see the Lord doing a work in this man. His attitude and his work ethic were growing. Conversely, I’ve watched friends take their unemployment and enter into a downward spiral of inactivity. Their initiative eroded away. If you can’t find work for pay, then work for free. Help in the children’s ministry, find a widow or someone fatherless who’s in need and help them — these are things that are pure and faultless in God’s sight. (James 1:27)

As with everything God directs us to do, we’ll be at our best, at our healthiest, and at our happiest when we’re in the flow of God’s will.

God wants you to work.



References:

Blue Letter Bible

Bible Gateway

American Journal of Public Health

Haiti Earthquake Aftermath – Video

The video from the Miami Herald is the first one I’ve seen that really tells the story of the quake aftermath in Haiti.

Your Life:

1) A good place to donate to the cause in Haiti is Samaritan’s Purse. I worked for these folks in New York City after 9/11. They’re run by Franklin Graham and in my experience have proven to be a solid charity.

“You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give.”

Exodus 25:2

2) Go. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Go?! Are you crazy?” If you feel led by the Holy Spirit to do it, hook up with a church group, or lead your own church group, buy a plane ticket, and go. It can be done. I’ve seen church groups do it. I’ve done it myself and it always happens that when you go to bless someone else you wind up being blessed beyond what you thought possible yourself. That has been my experience and the experience of anyone I’ve ever spoken with who has taken that plunge. You can do it!

Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

James 2:14-17

3) Pray — as always. Pray for the people of Haiti. Remember that God is in the business of producing beautiful and fruitful things from tragedy.

Pray without ceasing.

1 Thessalonians 5:17

4) It’s good to give however don’t give to the exclusion of your church family or biological family. Most of the scriptures about giving are in the context of helping those in your own faith. Jesus said,

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

John 13:34

and

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

and

“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

John 15:12

and

“These things I command you, that ye love one another.”

John 15:17

Gilad Shalit

Gilad Shalit — Wow, this video is like something out of a Hollywood movie — only it’s not — it’s real. Seems like the U.S. should help to free this guy.

From Wiki:

Gilad Shalit (Hebrew: גלעד שליט‎, born 28 August 1986) is an Israeli soldier who was captured[2] on 25 June 2006 by Palestinian militants in a cross-border raid. He was abducted[3] through the Kerem Shalom crossing (in Israel), and has been held as aprisoner in the Gaza Strip by Hamas since.

Shalit, 19 years old at the time of his capture, held the rank of corporal in the IDF’sArmor Corps at the time of his abduction, but has since been promoted to staff sergeant.[1]

He was the first Israeli soldier captured[4][5] by Palestinian militants since Nachshon Wachsman in 1994.[6] Shalit holds French citizenship, a fact that encouraged France and the European Union to be involved to some extent in efforts to release him.[7] He also received Italian citizenship after his abduction.[8][9][10][11][12][13]

Hamas has refused requests from the International Committee of the Red Cross to allow the ICRC to visit Shalit. Several human rights organizations have stated that the terms and conditions of Shalit’s detention are contrary to international humanitarian law. In exchange for his release, Hamas is demanding the release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel, including many convicted of deadly terrorist attacks against Israelis.[14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21] The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, which released a report in September 2009, called for Shalit to be released.[22]

If you were held by terrorists and had the opportunity to be released, but, it would mean the release of 1,000 imprisoned terrorists, would you tell your government to make the deal?

My take is that this is one of those situations where you don’t know how you’d react until you were in that actual circumstance. I would hope that I would have the courage to find a way to tell my government to hold fast and not make the deal.

In the words of Jesus, Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

I have to believe that if 1,000 terrorists were to be released, odds are that people are going to die at their hands. I doubt that Gilad would encourage such a deal.

Leadership take-away: To be a good leader we must put the needs and welfare  of other people ahead of ourselves. As soon as you put yourself before others, things go downhill fast. Jesus first — Others second — Yourself third.

Please remember Gilad Shalit in your prayers.