Thursday, 28 April 2011

Close to my heart **UPDATED**

"The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,
         To all who call upon Him in truth.
 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
         He also will hear their cry and save them."
Psalm 145: 18-19

Yesterday, enormous and incredibly powerful tornadoes ripped their way across Northern Alabama and parts of Georgia, leaving horrendous devastation.  If you've been following my blog for a while now, you'll know that I lived much of last year in the heart of Birmingham (which was right in the path of the storm), so this hits very close to home.

The Lord mercifully protected my family members and many friends in the B'ham area, sparing them from harm; however, not without loss.  Those gravely affected included some of the families from the church I attended out there, and more than one family lost their entire home (except for the basement, where amazingly, they sought and also provided others with shelter from the storm; see here as well).  Please especially be praying for the Crawford and Lee Families (their story here, and a tremendous tribute to the memory and legacy of Mr. Tom Lee written by my sweet friends the Whites, here).

“Our homes are literally flat, trees are uprooted everywhere-it is unrecognizable. ....but God is mighty to save—all is not lost.”  
– Mr. Crawford

Please be lifting up this community of dear and wonderful people to Jesus; in their pain and hardships, as they rely on the Lord in beginning to recover and rebuild.  Pray for direction, consolation, healing, and encouragement.  Pray for much grace, patience, funding, and assistance -- both for those affected and those ministering to them.

"Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him."
 1 John 5:14-15

In the throes of heartbreak, the following words of wisdom and gratitude express what true faith in Christ Jesus means:

“There is only one thing I God is faithful, gracious and might to save. Underneath all the destruction there is a brewing peace that things are going to be OK because of the God I serve. Even while the roads were still blocked, friends, church family and people from all over started pouring in-walking miles through the treacherous darkness and debris to bring in supplies-food, blankets, generators-people even from other states. I am overwhelmed.” 
 – Mr. Crawford


Here are some ways to help them out:

I will update this list as I find/hear of more resources.

"Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
         When my heart is overwhelmed;
         Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been a shelter for me,
A strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
         I will trust in the shelter of Your wings."
– Psalm 61:1-4

Above all, please keep praying (and thank you so much), and remember:

God is good, all of the time.

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