Friday, August 17, 2007

Don't burn your bridges

By Chuck Darrell

It happened in 30 seconds - maybe less.

In July of 2000 I was on a Sr. High missions trip when the rear of our van burst into flames traveling on a freeway outside of Nashville, TN. Thankfully we were able to pull over and get all 15 students/leaders out before it was completely destroyed. I will never, ever forget standing inside the van looking out through the black/red flames closing like a curtain on our escape.

My daughter directed attention to her best friend who had been sleeping under a bench seat when the fire broke out. She became trapped in the panic to escape but was eventually pulled to safety as the rug began to burn.

Eventually only three of us remained - me, my daughter and her friend David. My daughter froze in front of the flames and we had to throw her out. (Thank you David, you helped save my precious daughters life. I am forever grateful.) All three of us were burned as we jumped through the flames. David was last and remembers standing with flames all around him but not getting seriously burned.

I recall getting "licked" (thats what the firemen called it) by the flames as I jumped out the door and tumbled down a hill. When I came to my feet I looked back to see the van completely engulfed in flames.

Tragedies like a burning van and the I-35W bridge collapse make us realize that we don't know when we will meet our maker. Please, make your peace with Him now.

God speed.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I-35W bridge collapse a wake up call

By Tom Prichard

The collapse of the I-35 bridge captured the attention of the nation. But what might God be trying to say through the tragedy?

While on vacation I heard the news of the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis. The Fox News Network covered the story seemingly non-stop and the other networks made it the top news story nationally for many evenings. While time was spent discussing it's causes and who to blame, I didn't hear any mention of what spiritual lessons we might be able to learn through it.

I realize one has to be very careful when attempting to interpret what God might be saying through such tragedies, but if the Bible is true then nothing happens without His knowledge and permission.

In the Gospel of Luke there is the interesting story of Jesus being confronted with another tragedy -- the story of the tower of Siloam falling and killing 18 people. The thinking at the time was that these 18 people suffered the fate of death because they were worse sinners than everybody else. Jesus' response was no, the people who died were no worse than anybody else. But He added, His listeners' fate would be no different if they failed to repent and turn to God.

I think tragedies like the I-35W bridge collapse serves to remind us of our human frailty and that we are not God. Life is short and there is an ultimate judgement. Too often we forget God. We think we're ultimately in charge. Then along comes a tragedy like the collapse of the a tower in Jerusalem or a collapse of a bridge in Minneapolis. It's a wake up call, reminding us of mortality and accountability to God.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Lutherans Say 'Committed' Relationships OK for Gay Clergy

From Citizen Link

'This decision will be an excuse for bishops to disobey policy.'

The 4.8 million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) continues to loosen its standards on homosexuality and clergy celibacy.

During its weeklong assembly that ended Saturday, members voted to encourage church leaders to "refrain from or demonstrate restraint" in disciplining gay clergy who are in committed relationships. The thousand church members, meeting at Chicago's Navy Pier, voted down a measure that would have ended the church's celibacy requirement for gay clergy.

"To refrain from discipline in the home is bad parenting, but we're about to do so in Christ's Church," said Jaynan Clark Egland, president of WordAlone Network.

WordAlone is a Lutheran grassroots network concerned that the ELCA is losing its Christ-centered focus.
The Rev. Mark Chavez is director of WordAlone and Lutheran CORE, a coalition that includes WordAlone. "This decision will be an excuse for bishops to disobey ELCA policy," he said. "This decision does not reflect the will of the people, but of bishops and clergy who disregard God's word.

Chavez encourages Lutherans to get involved in the decision-making process of their denomination. "Take responsibility for the future of the denomination," he said. "We do not hope for further division. We are hoping for just the opposite."

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bridge Collapse Resources

The 35W bridge collapse has caused many to volunteer and locate a resource to stay informed. Click Here to be linked with KTIS Bridge Collapse Resources.

Our prayers go out to the individuals and families affected by this tragedy.