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His Whisperings has been moved to its new location at www.hiswhisperings.com/blog.  All existing posts have been added to the new location. Please use this new address to read and comment on posts, old or new.

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow”— when you now have it with you. Proverbs 3:27-32 (NIV) (Click on this link to read this passage in your preferred version of the Bible. You may select your version after the link opens. )

Who hasn’t yet heard about the earthquakes that devastated Port-au-Prince in Haiti last Tuesday?  It has been the dominating topic on all news casts on television and radio stations for the past several days. The devastation and needs are unfathomable.

What is the Christian response for those of us living in our comfortable homes as our TVs, radios, and computers bring the reality of these people’s sufferings into our living rooms. We can go to our kitchen sink or refrigerator and get a fresh glass of water or other beverage – they are unable to find water. We pat our stomachs after a full meal – they may have to fight to get or keep a serving of food. We can turn the TV off to give us a little distance from the suffering – they can’t.

Sadly, the first response many have to meeting the needs when crises like these occur is to run to our closets and pantry to look for things we need to give away – things we won’t miss. Some want to jump on a plane and fly to Haiti to offer physical labor and expertise. But a closer look reveals some bottle-necks that will keep any of these first responses from being helpful. In fact doing these things may only cause increased hardships for a while.

The airport in Haiti is small and can handle only a little traffic. The roads are so damaged that it is nearly impossible to move clothes and household goods, they are only in the way at this time. The shipping ports were also damaged for getting goods into the country. So initially we can only wait patiently until the bottle-neck is cleared.

As Christians, our first line of defense is prayer. There is no bottle-neck preventing us from praying for the people of Haiti.

The second thing that can be donated immediately is money. Cash is flexible and can be used to meet whatever need is prominent at the time. Unfortunately, it won’t be found on a neglected hanger in your closet or in the back of your pantry with the food that has been sitting in your pantry undisturbed for some time. Cash comes from the bottom of our pockets. In our current economy, reaching for cash calls for greater sacrifice.

We may think we don’t have cash to spare. That’s when we need to turn the TV back on and make some comparisons. Can we truly say we have nothing to give to these desperate people?

We can also start organizing other forms of help to have them ready when the bottleneck is cleared. The Haitian people desperately need water, food, clothing, and volunteers. Volunteers need to have these supplies ready for shipment as soon as the all-clear signal is given.

The following organizations are excellent for getting resources to the people. Not only do they work long and hard to meet the needs of the people, they also provide these services in Jesus’ name and offer spiritual encouragement as well.

Samaritans Purse

The Salvation Army

Mennonite Central Committee

World Vision International

United Methodist Committee On Relief

Global Aid Network

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Hab.1: 2-4 Click on the link to read this scripture in the Contemporary English Version. Once opened, you may select from several versions.

I claim no credit for today’s post other than that of discovery. My new Facebook friend, Jean Fischer, is the inspired writer of the blog, God is in the Compost Pile. Today’s post, A Work in Progress, is so on target with what is going on today in politics and in the disasterous earthquake in Hati, that I had to pass it on. Click here to read her post.

I just discovered a wonderful audio Bible website. I’m getting a six-day late start, but I’m going to listen through the entire Bible in a year. I listened to day one on Wednesday evening. This podcast included most of Chapters 1 & 2 of Genesis, 1 & 2 of Matthew, Psalm 1, and part of Proverbs 1. I’m excited about the plan and look forward to following it all year. I should easily catch up those few days I’m behind within a week. Find it at Daily Audio Bible. The website also offers a kid’s version that takes children through the New Testament. Both groups have community forums, chat rooms, prayer forums, and more. I’m thrilled to have discovered this website.

Luke 10:18 Click on this link to read the passage. You may select your preferred version of the Bible after the link opens.

A young friend of mine emailed me a video that had him very upset. It linked Barack Obama’s name with the antichrist using the above verse and the Aramaic language to draw its conclusion. Here is a link to this video as found on YouTube.

It is a disturbing video to put it mildly. Nonetheless my initial reaction was to dismiss the notion as many people have claimed to have discovered the antichrist by maneuvering numbers and scripture verses only to have been proven wrong. I didn’t find the YouTube video immediately, but did find what may be a scholarly response to it that also dismisses the conclusions set forth in the video. This article appeared on the website “Truth or Fiction.com.” Here is the link for your consideration: Jesus Named the Antichrist…

Since I don’t know Greek or Hebrew, I can’t comment on whether it is true or not. I’m a bit skeptical, though, for one reason. Barack Obama doesn’t fit the image. If he did, his popularity would be escalating, not plummeting. My remedy for dealing with this possibility is for us to read the Bible and make it our primary goal to know Jesus intimately through real knowledge which comes from reading his Word. It was written to give wisdom and comfort, not to scare the wits out of us.

If Barack Obama were the antichrist, there would be no way to stop him, and worrying about it will only make one sick. God predicted the antichrist; he is a part of God’s plan for the end of time. So don’t beat your head against the wall accomplishing nothing.

But that doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel to correct obvious wrongs that we see in our government. Suppose Barack Obama is not the antichrist. Do we let fear keep us from acting like responsible citizens to take action when it is desperately needed?

But even bigger than the problems in our government is the apathy in the hearts of most church-going Christians today. Church members give lip service to their loyalty to God and to the Bible, but when it comes to making decisions they continue to follow the crowd and let the TV and Hollywood dictate to their consciences.

It is time to claim God’s promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 : “…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” This is our hope, our only hope.

Father God, only you know the whole story about what is happening in our nation, in our churches, and in our hearts. If we are to know fear, make it a holy fear that draws us closer to you. Your Word tells us to seek your face while you may be found. That time is now. Draw your people to you and give us greater courage than we ever knew we had. Give us your strength to endure whatever may come our way, and give us your peace and joy in all things. Amen.

© 2009 by Janice D. Green

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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