Thursday, August 31, 2017

Is Hurricane Harvey God's Judgement?

I don’t say this hurricane is a judgement on Texas
Neither do I say Hurricane Harvey is not a judgement from God. 

Wouldn’t it be sad if God sent judgement on a people, and their pastors were busy declaring it was not God’s judgement?  

It may be just as wrong to falsely declare this is not a judgement from God, as to falsely declare this is a judgement from God.  
If you don’t know for sure, then say you don’t know for sure.  

I do not count out the possibility that God may at times give certain preachers special discernment in these matters.  
And, Lord knows there is plenty for God to judge in Texas and most every other state.  
Whether this is simply a natural disaster, or a judgement from God, we all need to get closer to Almighty God and pray that God might send revival to our land.  

Scripture to ponder:

For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace.  -Jeremiah 8:11

That is, the prophets of Israel who prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and who see visions of peace for her when there is no peace, says the Lord God.  -Ezekiel 13:16

 “The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the Lord.  -Jeremiah 23:28

 For a fuller consideration of this subject, see: 

 -David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 31, AD 2017. 

 Other articles in lower right margin.  

Monday, August 28, 2017

Volunteering for Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey has devastated the Texas Coast.  Unprecedented rain has flooded multitudes. 

Two evangelical organizations that will be helping out tremendously, are listed below. 

Some of you may want to give to them individually, or through your church. 
Some of you may also want to volunteer to help in the cleanup. 

SBC Disaster Relief

Samaritan’s Purse

May God bless those who give, and those who volunteer.
Please continue to pray for those affected by the hurricane. 

You may also want to remember these disaster relief organizations (and, they do much more than disaster relief, including presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ) when future disasters occur. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 28, AD 2017. 
Other Articles in lower right margin.  

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tips on the Next Solar Eclipse

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  -Genesis 1:1

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  -John 1:3

Yesterday the great Solar Eclipse of August 21, AD 2017 took place across America.  If you were unprepared, here are some tips for the next Solar Eclipse. 

1.  Whether or not you are in the path of totality (total eclipse of the sun by the moon), any partial eclipse can be interesting.  So, be prepared.  In the Houston, Texas area we had 67% totality.  It was pretty dramatic if you knew what to look for.  The bright sunlight dimmed and if you had proper lens, you could clearly see the eclipse cut out a large portion of the sun. 

2.  Never look at the sun without proper protection for your eyes.  Proper protection does not include squinting, holding your hand above your eyes, looking between your fingers, or wearing a cap.  Neither does it include a pair of sunglasses, or even two or three pairs of sunglasses.  You can do serious damage to your eyes by looking at the sun. 

3.  Proper eye protection to look at the eclipse include those one-dollar eyeglasses especially made for the purpose.  But, get them early; they invariably run out. 

4.  An alternative most do not know is to use a welding lens or filter plate.  You can get them at a welding supply store, and sometimes at a hardware store.  A man at a welding supply said to look at the sun you need a shade 12 or 13.  It was reported by local news that NASA recommends a shade 13 or 14. 
If they do not have the right shade, you can put two together to equal the right level.  For example, a shade 8 and a shade 5. 
A welding lens only costs about four dollars.
Even these welding lenses should be purchased early; they very likely will be sold out before an eclipse.   
Do not use welding lenses that are scratched or cracked.  

5.  Make you own solar eclipse viewer. 
Get a welding lens, shade 13. 
Get a piece of cardboard about the size of a sheet of paper. 
Lay the lens in the middle of the cardboard and trace around it. 
Cut out a rectangle slightly smaller than the lens. 
Place lens over the cut out, and tape it to the cardboard with electrical tape. 
Before covering the print on the lens edge, you might want to copy that information on the cardboard, especially the shade number. 
Also include the date of the eclipse. 
You now have a viewer for the solar eclipse. 

6.  You can also make a box with aluminum foil, a pin hole, and white sheet of paper.  The sun shines through the pin hole and you can see the eclipse on the sheet of paper.  You can find more detailed directions on the internet.
These (#5 and #6) could also make good projects for Sunday School, school, or home school kids.  

7.  A solar eclipse reminds us of our Heavenly Father who created the Heavens and the Earth (Genesis 1:1).  Christians should never worship the creation, but we do worship the Creator.  The eclipse shows us the precision in which God hung the stars, planets, sun, moon, in space.  It should also remind us of how God created and placed us in the perfect environment to live, thrive, and serve Him. 

8.  Churches can prepare and advertise a Solar Eclipse Party. 
Place it in the paper and on your church sign. 
Print a handout with fast facts about the Solar Eclipse and our Creator.  Include your church name, address, service times.  
It gives you the opportunity for a community event, to help some who would not be able to see the eclipse, and gives a chance for witness. 
Provide snacks and drinks.  

9.  Professionals can take pictures of the eclipse.  But anyone can take pictures of those viewing the eclipse. They make interesting photos.  

“Eclipses are demonstrations of God's glory” and serve as “yet another example of creation pointing back to our Creator.”  
-California Baptist University astronomer Kyle Stewart;  

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 22, AD 2017.  

Other articles in lower right margin.  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Confederate Statues, History, and Racism

Some of my thoughts on Confederate Statues, history, and racism. 

Racism is wrong and sinful.  Period. 

Racism on any side or from any racial group is wrong and sinful. 

Falsely charging someone with racism is also a serious wrong. 

The violence, injuries, and murder in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend is unjustified, wrong, and should be punished. 
The Confederate Statues and Memorials should stay and be protected.  They are part of our history and heritage.  They teach multiple lessons.  We should not cleanse and whitewash our own history.  

Those who are offended by Confederate Memorials - maybe that is part of the price you need pay for multi-culturalism.  Allowing these Statues helped in bringing a divided country together again.  Tolerance should work both ways.  

Confederate Statues should even be allowed to be established today. 

Get rid of other people’s Statues and Memorials, and you should not be surprised when one day others get rid of your Statues and Memorials.  How about being respectful and tolerant to both sides? 

On the other hand, Union Statues (Civil War era), Black Leaders Statues (liberal and conservative Black Leaders), other Ethnic Statues and Memorials should also be freely allowed (and are).  After all, we are a diverse, free society. 

A few ideas for statues of Black leaders:
Frederick Douglass
Booker T. Washington
Harriet Tubman
Ida B. Wells
George Washington Carver
John Jasper
Martin Luther King
S. M. Lockridge
Clarence Thomas
Thomas Sowell
Walter Williams 
Condoleezza Rice

The recent controversy at Charlottesville, Virginia was marred by hate and violence on both sides.  The murder by a White Supremacist should be punished to the full extent of the law. 
 The media needs to more fairly cover all sides.  

Vandalism of statues and memorials, no matter which side, should be condemned and prosecuted. 
Law Officers should vigorously uphold the law and arrest criminals, whether they be on the left or on the right; especially in riot situations.  

A couple of quotes I find interesting: 

“The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right.  I saw club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalist being led out of the park.” 
-Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times, on the demonstrations in Charlottesville, VA.  

 “What about the politicians such as the city council who voted to remove a memorial that had been in place since 1924, regardless of the possible repercussions? How about the city politicians who issued the permit for the lawful demonstration to defend the statue? And why didn't the mayor or the governor see that a powder keg was about to explode and stop it before it got started?”

“I denounce bigotry and racism of every form, be it black, white or any other. My prayer is that our nation will come together. We are stronger together, and our answers lie in turning to God.”
 -Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse, on Charlottesville, VA.  

Christians need to love, be an example to, and witness to racists and extremists on all sides. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 15, AD 2017.

Other articles in lower right margin.