Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Six Dregrees Of Separation

 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” – Matthew 14:25-27

I have been waiting for the violence in Haiti to settle before I travel to Jacmel.  I was supposed to go with a friend and partner in the Gospel, Pastor Doug Moyer from Comptche, CA. Comptche is 3 hours north of San Francisco.  I had told him that another friend, Pastor Alan Cross had recently moved to Petaluma, CA to pastor a church there.  Both men have served with us in Mississippi and Haiti.  Doug told me that he had taken Disaster Relief training at Alan’s church, before Alan was pastor there. Doug is a pastor and a first responder.  He said that he had noticed that the church had become a shelter for the people fleeing from the fires in Sonoma County.  Alan and I have been texting back and forth as he set the shelter up in his church.  Alan was recounting the time that we set up a shelter together in Ocean Springs after Katrina and reflected on how God has prepared him for this time.  I replied to Doug ….

Just reading your email this morning - I am always amazed at how the Maestro conducts the symphony of believers – BTW, I believe Jesus is in the first chair 😊 Each orchestra member must follow the conductors lead, but is responsible for playing the right notes at the right time in the right way.  I have heard of six degrees of separation in social networks, but I think separation between two people is fewer with God – in fact I am certain it is.”  

“Six degrees of separation is the idea that any two people are six, or fewer, social connections away from each other. As a result, a chain of "a friend of a friend" statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps. It was originally set out by Frigyes Karinthy (was a Hungarian author, playwright, poet, journalist, and translator. He was the first proponent of the six degrees of separation concept, in his short story, Chains) in 1929 and popularized in an eponymous 1990 play written by John Guare. It is sometimes generalized to the average social distance being logarithmic in the size of the population.” (Wikipedia)

Guare’s play was made into a movie in the early 90’s starring Will Smith and Donald Sutherland.  Although popular, I don’t think the theory has been proven scientifically. But even if it was, God is not bound by natural laws. Just like Jesus walking on the water and healing people that had been disabled all of their lives. 

Dr. Henry Blackaby in the study “Experiencing God” said that “God is at work all around us and wants us to join Him.” I can tell you from personal experience that God can and does bring things together in supernatural ways.  Ways that are beyond probability. 

We have been working with churches in close proximity to Houston (close as defined by Texans!) to encourage them to partner together in their communities to respond in unity to the needs of people affected by natural disasters.  Yesterday we visited a single parent who needs help with her home.

Something for you to chew on, I believe the only difference between a widow and a single mom is the manner in which the husband left the home.  The life challenges both women face are virtually identical.

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. ” – James 1:27

This woman had been referred to us by a case worker.  Through the course of our conversation with her, we discovered that she attends the same church that we have been working with to become part of the local disaster response church coalition. We were looking for a way to encourage the church to engage and now the Lord has led us to one of that church’s members.  We could not have arranged that.  In fact, we were surprised when she told us where she attended church because she is does not live close to the church in question.  

Elisha prayed that his servant’s eyes would be opened.  Paul prayed that for us as well.

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding [hearts] being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power…” – Ephesians 1:15-19

Look around my friends – God is at work all around you – if you will only open your spiritual eyes you will see some amazing things.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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