Saturday, February 23, 2008

Storm Chaser

Many Christians have what we call a life-verse. It is a passage of scripture, a chapter, or some may even have an entire book that connects with their lives. It sums up their world view or it is a promise to which they claim and cling. My life-verse is the forty-sixth chapter of Psalms. It begins, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Martin Luther declared that this entire chapter was the biblical basis for his hymn "A Mighty Fortress." That is why Tammy and I had this hymn played at our wedding and we opened her funeral with it. One day it will be played again at my funeral. Our God is a mighty fortress. My heart is lifted today to praise Him and lift Him higher. I want others to see how great is our God.

I am amazed by people who chase storms. I watch National Geographic as well as Discovery channel whenever they highlight storm chasers. I wonder what kind of fools get so close to the great tornados that sweep the great plains of this country. I want to make an observation. We spend a great amount of time running from trouble. We avoid them, pray to be spared from them, brace ourselves when we see them coming. Jesus did not do that. Jesus deliberately goes to wherever people are caught in life's swirling, tossing trouble. He really does draw near to those who are being crushed and broken.

In Mark chapter five, Jesus is getting out of a boat that landed on the far side of the Sea of Tiberius, Jesus saw a storm of trouble coming his way—a poor man who had been possessed and tormented by demons for some time. With a simple word, the demons were forced to relocate. Imagine the drama. Pigs squealing, people cursing, the wind sweeping the hillside, the terror of the dark spiritual world exposed: all make for a scene which makes the hair on your neck stand at attention. A man drops to the ground as if dead, when in fact he’s never been more alive. He is now free, seated at the feet of Jesus like a child full of amazement, endearing love, and wonder that will not allow him to take his wide eyes off of Jesus. Jesus’ disciples can’t take their wide eyes off the man. Their minds race as they try to figure out how they’re going to describe the scene to their wives when they get home.

As Jesus leaves the region, this man pleads to go with him. Jesus refuses, sending the man home back to his family as a "show and tell" project for God's power. The scripture says: "So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed." Today, I am amazed by this man's story. I’m amazed at a Savior who chases storms because he knows there are people in the vortex, people he alone can save. He is the Savior who is our refuge, one who saves and helps in our present trouble. He is my refuge and strength. I praise Him in my home and the surrounding cities because he alone sets me free. He alone is my comfort and help.

Last week I took Tyler to Union University for the second time. We moved him into a new apartment. We purchased new clothes, sheets, linens and junk food. It was not as emotionally difficult to take my son the second time, until we said goodbye. My tears flowed and we embraced again in prayer. I got in my truck, and every square inch of the interior reeked with loneliness. I didn’t want to be in that cab alone. This time I knew what to do. I prayed, "Lord, you are my very present help in times of trouble, I am not alone, you are here with me and you are my ‘enough.’ I trust you to go with me all the way home. I don't know where the feeling went, but it was gone. I didn’t hear squealing in the distance but I felt like a man sitting at the feet of Jesus in awe.

Thank You Lord Jesus for being a storm chaser for me!

Ed Litton

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pastor Ed,

Thank you for listening to the Lord and for letting Him use you to present His word to us. I can see a storm building in front of me in my personal circumstances. I don't know if God will blow it over and let this one pass me or if I will have to endure it. Either way, He will be glorified and I will be secured with Him. This current series has reminded me of that.

Jennifer Blake said...

Pastor Ed-
I think Shane was going to send you an email but not sure if he did. We are just an hour from Jackson if Tyler should need anything- home cooking, laundry, etc or if there is an emergency.

We've been praying for you guys.

Jennifer Blake

Brian said...

Pastor Ed:

I love your articles - this one was terrific. You are a gifted writer.

Jason is a good friend of mine - you all have a terrific church.

Brian, from Ohio

Stephanie said...

Pastor Ed,
Know you and your family are being lifted to the Father. Allow His hand of comfort to rest on your weary souls. He is great and mighty to be praised! Dad has spoken these words to my heart may they be a comfort to your family. Romans 8:26-39. Stephanie Rowe

AmberG said...

I pray with passion when I think of the time that I will let my little ones go because they are not little anymore. To not hear their noise will be difficult. So now I pray for you as your children venture into the world. I also pray God's hand over them!

Anonymous said...

Don’t believe one optimistic word from any public figure about the economy or humanity in general. They are all part of the problem. Its like a game of Monopoly. In America, the richest 1% now hold 1/2 OF ALL UNITED STATES WEALTH. Unlike ‘lesser’ estimates, this includes all stocks, bonds, cash, and material assets held by America’s richest 1%. Even that filthy pig Oprah acknowledged that it was at about 50% in 2006. Naturally, she put her own ‘humanitarian’ spin on it. Calling attention to her own ‘good will’. WHAT A DISGUSTING HYPOCRITE SLOB. THE RICHEST 1% HAVE LITERALLY MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. Don’t fall for any of their ‘humanitarian’ CRAP. ITS A SHAM. THESE PEOPLE ARE CAUSING THE SAME PROBLEMS THEY PRETEND TO CARE ABOUT. Ask any professor of economics. Money does not grow on trees. The government can’t just print up more on a whim. At any given time, there is a relative limit to the wealth within ANY economy of ANY size. So when too much wealth accumulates at the top, the middle class slip further into debt and the lower class further into poverty. A similar rule applies worldwide. The world’s richest 1% now own over 40% of ALL WORLD WEALTH. This is EVEN AFTER you account for all of this ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS from celebrities and executives. ITS A SHAM. As they get richer and richer, less wealth is left circulating beneath them. This is the single greatest underlying cause for the current US recession. The middle class can no longer afford to sustain their share of the economy. Their wealth has been gradually transfered to the richest 1%. One way or another, we suffer because of their incredible greed. We are talking about TRILLIONS of dollars. Transfered FROM US TO THEM. Over a period of about 27 years. Thats Reaganomics for you. The wealth does not ‘trickle down’ as we were told it would. It just accumulates at the top. Shrinking the middle class and expanding the lower class. Causing a domino effect of socio-economic problems. But the rich will never stop. They will never settle for a reasonable share of ANYTHING. They will do whatever it takes to get even richer. Leaving even less of the pie for the other 99% of us to share. At the same time, they throw back a few tax deductable crumbs and call themselves ‘humanitarians’. Cashing in on the PR and getting even richer the following year. IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. Their bogus efforts to make the world a better place can not possibly succeed. Any 'humanitarian' progress made in one area will be lost in another. EVERY SINGLE TIME. IT ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK THIS WAY. This is going to end just like a game of Monopoly. The current US recession will drag on for years and lead into the worst US depression of all time. The richest 1% will live like royalty while the rest of us fight over jobs, food, and gasoline. Crime, poverty, and suicide will skyrocket. So don’t fall for all of this PR CRAP from Hollywood, Pro Sports, and Wall Street PIGS. ITS A SHAM. Remember: They are filthy rich EVEN AFTER their tax deductable contributions. Greedy pigs. Now, we are headed for the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time. SEND A “THANK YOU” NOTE TO YOUR FAVORITE MILLIONAIRE. ITS THEIR FAULT. I’m not discounting other factors like China, sub-prime, or gas prices. But all of those factors combined still pale in comparison to that HUGE transfer of wealth to the rich. Anyway, those other factors are all related and further aggrivated because of GREED. If it weren’t for the OBSCENE distribution of wealth within our country, there never would have been such a market for sub-prime to begin with. Which by the way, was another trick whipped up by greedy bankers and executives. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. The credit industry has been ENDORSED by people like Oprah, Ellen, Dr Phil, and many other celebrities. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. Now, there are commercial ties between nearly every industry and every public figure. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for their ‘good will’ BS. ITS A LIE. If you fall for it, then you’re a fool. If you see any real difference between the moral character of a celebrity, politician, attorney, or executive, then you’re a fool. WAKE UP PEOPLE. ITS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY. The 1% club will always say or do whatever it takes to get as rich as possible. Without the slightest regard for anything or anyone but themselves. Reaganomics. Their idea. Loans from China. Their idea. NAFTA. Their idea. Outsourcing. Their idea. Sub-prime. Their idea. The commercial lobbyist. Their idea. The multi-million dollar lawsuit. Their idea. $200 cell phone bills. Their idea. $200 basketball shoes. Their idea. $30 late fees. Their idea. $30 NSF fees. Their idea. $20 DVDs. Their idea. Subliminal advertising. Their idea. Brainwash plots on TV. Their idea. Prozac, Zanex, Vioxx, and Celebrex. Their idea. The MASSIVE campaign to turn every American into a brainwashed, credit card, pharmaceutical, love-sick, couch potatoe, celebrity junkie. Their idea. All of the above shrink the middle class, concentrate the world’s wealth and resources, and wreak havok on society. All of which have been CREATED AND ENDORSED by celebrities, athletes, executives, entrepreneurs, attorneys, and politicians. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for any of their ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS. ITS A SHAM. NOTHING BUT TAX DEDUCTABLE PR CRAP. Bottom line: The richest 1% will soon tank the largest economy in the world. It will be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. and thats just the beginning. Greed will eventually tank every major economy in the world. Causing millions to suffer and die. Oprah, Angelina, Brad, Bono, and Bill are not part of the solution. They are part of the problem. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE HUMANITARIAN. EXTREME WEALTH HAS MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. WITHOUT WORLD PROSPERITY, THERE WILL NEVER BE WORLD PEACE OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL. Of course, the rich will throw a fit and call me a madman. Of course, their ignorant fans will do the same. You have to expect that. But I speak the truth. If you don’t believe me, then copy this entry and run it by any professor of economics or socio-economics. Then tell a friend. Call the local radio station. Re-post this entry or put it in your own words. Be one of the first to predict the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time and explain its cause. WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE.

Paige said...

Psalm 46 is mine too. :)

Anonymous said...

Pastor Ed, while I am not a member of your church, a friend of mine, who is a member, emailed me your blog. As always, her emails to me send to come directly through God. Even though she and I do not talk daily or even weekly, she will know exactly what to send to me - and it is always in love and guidance from My Heavenly Father. At thim moments, I truly know without a doubt that the Lord has His hand on your shoulder, and He is whispering into your heart what He wants you to share with others. I thank God for you, the message you send, and especially for my best friend, Donna Cumbest, who is an immense blessing to not only her family and her church family, but also to me.
Thanks again,
Pam Evans