Friday, December 21, 2012

How a Broken Arm Became a Reminder of God’s Love

Of course I expected my family to show concern when I broke my arm. I also figured my church family would share well wishes during the healing process. Outside those circles I did not know what to expect. After telling me I am too old to be out riding a scooter (I fell off after a rookie mistake) so many people showed concern about my broken wing that I had to take note.

Co-workers were genuinely concerned for me, going beyond simply asking how I was doing and investing time in conversation about my arm. A number of them even came by my office regularly to check on my progress. Even the regulars on my train ride home took notice, becoming my cheering section as I moved from a splint to just a sling to nothing at all. The number of people who have followed my progress far exceeds my expectations, giving me a much different perspective from my co-dependent past where I often wondered if any person honestly cared.

With each conversation about my fracture I found myself thinking of someone else who has gone out of his way to show his love. I found myself wondering how many of those well wishers were sent by God, His way of telling me He cares. He is concerned when one of us hurts, be it physically or emotionally. He wants more than just the casual “God please heal…” waiting for us to pour out our hearts before Him. He follows the moment by moment progress of my healing arm. He also follows your life, knowing every detail even down to the number of hairs on your head. And yes He does care about each one.

My first broken bone has been…well…just say it has been an experience, one I hope to never have ever again. But I am thankful for the outpouring of love and concern shown by those around me. I am also thankful for the opportunity my arm has afforded me in seeing God’s love revealed.

Monday, December 17, 2012

International Prayer: December 17, 2012

In the last few days there have been two events around the world where children were lost. Let us stand with our neighbors and pray for:

Newtown Connecticut in the United States – Pray for the parents and families of the twenty children and six adults who died in last Friday’s school shooting. Pray for the community as the healing process begins and as the children process the events which shattered their day. Pray for the police officers who responded to the scene and for the teachers who served beyond the call of duty to protect their students.

Afghanistan – A landmine explosion resulted in the death of ten girls, leaving another child with serious injuries. According to the landmine was left over from when the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan. The girls had been collecting firewood and were using an ax to split the wood when the mine went off. Pray for the families and pray for the removal of the numerous landmines scattered across the country.

Egypt – Continue to pray for Egypt where the first round of voting on the new constitution is complete. With more voting scheduled later this week the government reports a majority voting in favor of the new laws.

It has been a rough weekend for children. Let us join together in prayer while also taking the time to cherish our families. And when you pray, remember your neighbors both those nearby and those across the seas each one needing you to lift them (and their families) up before the Lord.

Monday, December 10, 2012

International Prayer: December 10, 2012

I’m back! And so is International Prayer. Our theme for this week is government, as we pray for new leaders as well as for a leader who was re-elected. But before we pray for government leaders let us join in prayer for:

The Philippines – Last week the southern part of the Philippines endured Typhoon Bopha. While a new early warning system helped people evacuate, there were still over 600 deaths reported with hundreds still missing at the time of this writing. With many roads destroyed there are people who are cut off, unable to receive supplies. Over a million people were displaced by the storm. Homes were destroyed leaving many living in evacuation shelters. Pray for the people of the Philippines as they begin to rebuild and as they assess the overall cost of the damage, including millions in lost agricultural products.

The United States – Here in the United States we ended a very long and contentious presidential election. In the end President Barack Obama won re-election. With the looming “fiscal cliff” and a nation losing confidence in the federal government, the president must lead during a slow economic recovery. Pray for President Obama remembering he is human. Pray for his spiritual faith. Pray for his family. Pray for him to receive wisdom and direction in leading the nation.

China – In November new members were selected to the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China. Members of this committee change once every decade. In March the new general secretary of the standing committee will become China’s president. What direction will the new leadership take over the next decade? Please pray for China and for the country’s new leadership.

Egypt – Prior to the drafting of a new constitution, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi took on powers which allowed him to override the country’s courts. This lead to a number of protests which intensified when the draft constitution was crafted without input from a number of groups. With the nation preparing to vote on the new constitution this coming Saturday, pray for the people of Egypt as the nation is polarized over ideology.

With the season of Advent upon us we must remember it is truly better to give than to receive. For Christians one of the best ways we can give is to lift up our neighbors in prayer. And when you pray, remember your neighbors both those nearby and those across the seas each one needing you to lift them up before the Lord.