Thursday, October 13, 2016

Washout to Breakthrough

I have been preaching on Breakthrough, and how God uses various means to break through to us. We can't take those steps of faith when we are stuck in a rut. We don't grow when we are not stretched.

With the major flooding in eastern NC, people are responding with kindness and generosity. Mobile feeding stations provide hot meals; trucks loaded with supplies bring hope; one store offered to fill propane tanks for free.

But I was surprised to see another perspective on this disaster in today's News and Record. The story quotes Lumberton resident Keira McGirt saying, "Lumberton needed this. We needed this to come together as a city." The town has struggled for centuries as black, white, and Indian residents have worked through racial tensions. This 23-year-old mother believes her city can do better.

The town has flooded before, but this may be the worst on record. Now, people have to work together to rescue the stranded, to care for the elderly and young, to find ways to prepare food, to obtain clean water. Working together brings healing. Our differences become trivial when we are united for survival.

This could become a Breakthrough moment for Lumberton. Fellow residents become friends, neighbors become co-laborers. The town can break through with a new spirit of cooperation, a new attitude about others, a new faith in God who brings them together. I pray that the Spirit of God works powerfully to change hearts there.

Right now, they need some of what we've got--like clean water and clean clothes. So this Sunday we are collecting cases of water bottles, packages of new socks, and boxes of baby wipes. We will deliver them on Sunday afternoon to those who need them.

But right now we need some of what (apparently) they have got--a powerful trust in God, a spirit of loving one another, a determination to make a difference.

We all need a Breakthrough of some kind. A flood of water can bring a flood of prayer; and that can bring Breakthrough to our souls.

May the power of Jesus Christ overwhelm this hurting city. May God break through to them and to us.

Image result for flood in lumberton

Friday, October 7, 2016

Politics: The Most Persuasive Liar

The airwaves reek of campaign commercials. Candidates love to say that their opponents are lying. They try to find any vote or sound bite that will make the opponent sound untruthful or extreme.

This is Tim Keller, not a politician. I did not have
a picture of a politician speaking.
Generally there is a kernel of truth in the charges, but far too often, the "facts" are devoid of context. Candidates try to counter the accusations with equally outrageous accusations.

We all know that mudslinging in a campaign goes with the territory. They only sling mud because it works. Enough people in the public buy the lies that elections are won and power is delegated based on untruths.

Think about it: the candidate who wins is typically the candidate who is the most persuasive liar.

We keep falling for the lies and government becomes more and more corrupt.

Can't we choose leaders on the basis of honor, truth, and good will?

They say that a nation has the government that it deserves. That's a scary thought.