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In the Wake of Katrina: For Mature Christians Only!
One reason the rescue and relief effort regarding Katrina has been handled the way we're seeing it is because of the Spirit of Confusion that has settled over that region. As you know, we battle not against flesh and blood (Eph, 6:12). But we cannot expect the government and law enforcement agencies to understand this. Heck, most Christians don't even have a handle on this truth.
Over the centuries, there's been a whole lot of witchcraft practiced down in the Gulf Coast, not to mention the mockery of what is commonly referred to as "Carnival," a word meaning, "to remove flesh" which has actually come to stand for sowing TO the flesh. In other words, during the week before Lent - a time intended for self-sacrifice and abstaining from carnal pleasures - many will celebrate with a Carnival, a time of non-stop pleasure-seeking.
In my research, I discovered this product on a Voodoo Doll website. The caption gave this definition of the "Spirit of Carnival Doll": In New Orleans, we know that the Spirit of carnival is a living, breathing thing. It completely takes over, lifts and enlivens you until you're dancin' to the music of the St. Aug band and literally grovelin' for more Endymion & Bacchus Krewe beads. Like the Spirit of Carnival itself, our doll is cloaked in mystery and charged up with plenty of great energy to get YOU in the Spirit. Have your best carnival Time ever. Blessings be with you always.
Blessings? The demonic principalities that have ben invited to rule and reign over that part of the U.S desire to cause as much death and destruction to mankind as possible. That's their agenda. As we resist these regional devils, we do NOT need to attempt to "bind" them as some are teaching (request my booklet "The Battle of Caelum Moor" to read a firsthand account of what REAL spiritual warfare is all about). Two reasons: 1) Jesus never taught us to do so, and 2) the unnecessary backlash upon well-meaning Christians only burdens the Church all the more. We DO need to pray for great clarity and energy to be given to those who are coordinating and participating in the lifesaving efforts. In addition, we must pray for focus and energy to rebuild that entire region. This is important for the country as a whole.
When the United States defeated Japan in World War 2, General Douglas MacArthur encouraged America's Church to send battleships full of missionaries to that nation. We did not, and missed a golden opportunity to show a defeated people that the gods they served were powerless to help them. What a time to have shown them the love of Jesus! Likewise, in this dark hour, just a little bit of light will shine all the brighter. The church needs to gear up to help the Gulf Coast and we can do so in many ways.
One of these is by loving the refugees and restoring them. According to recent statistics, in the United States alone, there are 327,717 Protestant churches and 19,863 Catholic churches. We refer to our church buildings as sanctuaries. So, with that in mind, if every American church just took one family, we could take care of 347,580 entire families who have been displaced. Our large Sunday School and family centers with kitchens and shower facilities only get used one half a day a week. These can EASILY be converted in order to shelter families. Let's think outside the box! We were born for such a time as this.
Individually, we need to all be asking right now what we have that could help somebody else. Many things we no longer use - clothes, tools, vehicles, attics, basements, closets and cabinets full of duplicate household and toiletry items - can make a big difference in the lives of those who are now in desperate need. But like I told the kid who told me he felt God wanted him to be a missionary, my response was that the call to serve is actually a call to PREPARE. So, get a passport, kid, and learn something about the culture...then come with me one Saturday and knock on doors in your neighborhood. If your church wants to be used this way, it's time for the congregation to bring its stuff up to the church, get some beds, towels, old dressers, and THEN go pick somebody up or send them bus tickets through some benevolent organization or Houston or Dallas church. When they arrive, help them find work. You'll have a Member for life, in most cases.
HERE'S WHAT I'M TALKIN' ABOUT! Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and his wife Shonda paid to fly a New Orleans family of nine to Boston and pledged to provide them with housing for a year. The Fields family, with seven children between the ages of 5 and 12, fled New Orleans just before Hurricane Katrina struck. "When we realized how many people had nowhere to go, we didn't just want to make a donation," Shonda Schilling told The Boston Globe. "We decided we wanted to bring an entire family here and put them up."
The families connected through a Web site, OpenYourHome.com, which matches displaced families with people willing to house them. The Schillings registered Friday and on Saturday anonymously arranged for the family to fly to Boston. You, or someone you know, can do the same.
Likewise, the American Red Cross has set up a site where individuals may volunteer their homes or request a place to stay. That site is located at KatrinaHousing.org. Check it out. Tell others. Someone you may know needs this outlet for the burden they're now carrying. To Christians everywhere, we must ask ourselves the question, if we do not take these displaced families in, taking advantage of the opportunity to make disciples dangling right before our eyes, who will?
Let's give 'em Heaven!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pastor Michael is founder of t.e.a.m. ministries (email@example.com). His eMail broadcasts, known as "Your Town for Jesus" (SEARCH it!) are reaching tens of thousands WEEKLY. Log on at http://www.PlanetaryMinistry.org Michael's mission is to bring Discipleship and Encouragement to the Body of Christ. He is the author of numerous booklets on subjects that will interest the thinking Christian. Since 1999, he has written and broadcast hundreds of inspirational articles and a dozen booklets, all designed to accelerate the process of spiritual development in God's people.
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