How to Get Out of Entrapment and Desperate Situation (2)

How to Get Out of Entrapment and Desperate Situation (2)

But Jeroboam caused an ambush to go around behind them; so they were in front of Judah, and the ambush was behind them. And when Judah looked around, to their surprise the battle line was at both front and rear; and they cried out to the LORD, and the priests sounded the trumpets. Then the men of Judah gave a shout; and as the men of Judah shouted, it happened that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 2 Chronicles 13:13-15

Secondly, the priests among them sounded the trumpets in praise. They did not sing tunes of distress; the praise instruments of God are not meant for that purpose. They blasted the trumpets in praise. Worship is an acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty, and when you worship Him in the face/midst of troubles you are saying that He remains sovereign and far more important than the issue at hand; hence your giving Him your attention and not the problem that is threatening to wipe you out. There is no how you will accord God such honour and He will not honour you back by wrecking a mighty deliverance for you.

Lastly, the men of Judah let out a shout. They did not cower or give up the fight. They let out a shout of defiance and got ready to battle. Having prayed and praised, they were assured of divine partnership and were ready to face anything. So their shout was literally saying, “Bring it on!”

They did not need to fight the battle themselves, as they had done enough for God to unleash terror on their enemies and caused a great rout that left 500,000 of Israel’s pompous army dead, while the rest scampered across the wilderness for dear life. Thus the terrifying challenge that was about to swallow up the people of God became another milestone of victory for them and a testimony to God’s faithfulness.

God is still in the business of wrecking deliverance and rescuing His people today. The Bible says He is a “very present help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1). The problem is that we usually accord our problem more attention than we give God and we focus more on ourselves – bemoaning what will become of us – than we engage Him on our issues.

Having read this, you should change the order of your attention henceforth and accord God prior thinking, not your problem. He is ever ready to save.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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How to Get Out of Entrapments and Desperate Situations (1)

How to Get Out of Entrapments and Desperate Situations (1)

But Jeroboam caused an ambush to go around behind them; so they were in front of Judah, and the ambush was behind them. And when Judah looked around, to their surprise the battle line was at both front and rear; and they cried out to the LORD, and the priests sounded the trumpets. Then the men of Judah gave a shout; and as the men of Judah shouted, it happened that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 2 Chronicles 13:13-15

The passage above presents us with three classic principles for getting out of danger and desperate or life-threatening situations. Jeroboam, king of the majority nine tribes of Israel with his 800,000 army had come up against the minority tribes of three in Judah which God had reserved for David’s descendants. Numerically, the men of Judah were outnumbered by ratio two-to-one by Israel. To make matter worse, before Judah could even set out to battle, the enemies had surrounded them front and back and were ready to pounce on them and finish them off. What Judah did in that dire moment is the focus of our meditation today and a possible principle we can apply when we find ourselves in similar circumstances.

Firstly, the men of Judah cried out to the LORD in prayer. When they sighted their adversaries in front and behind them, they did not start to wail in self-pity, bemoaning their lot for coming out that day and expecting a certain death. No, they cried out to God for help. The Bible says the name of the LORD is a strong tower into which the righteous run and are safe from peril (Proverbs 18:10). That was what Judah did. By calling upon God, they activated His fortress and opened up His strong tower for their refuge. When you find yourself in similar situation, will you pray or moan?

Secondly, the priests among them sounded the trumpets in praise. They did not sing tunes of distress; the praise instruments of God are never used for that purpose. They blasted the trumpets in praise. Worship is an acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty, and when you worship Him in the face or midst of troubles you are saying that God remains sovereign and far more important than the issue at hand…Worship is an acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty, and when you worship Him in the face or midst of troubles you are saying that God remains sovereign and far more important than the issue at hand…

We’ll continue tomorrow.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Slow Dance

Slow Dance

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round

Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight

Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

 

You better slow down

Don’t dance so fast

Time is short

The music won’t last

 

Do you run through each day on the fly

When you ask “How are you?” do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed

With the next hundred chores running through your head?

 

You’d better slow down

Don’t dance so fast

Time is short

The music won’t last

 

Ever told your child, We’ll do it tomorrow

And in your haste, not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch, Let a good friendship die

‘Cause you never had time to call and say “Hi”?

 

You’d better slow down

Don’t dance so fast

Time is short

The music won’t last

 

When you run so fast to get somewhere

You miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,

It is like an unopened gift thrown away.

 

Life is not a race.

Do take it slower

Hear the music

Before the song is over.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:41-42

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Mistakes Are Opportunities to Learn Something New

Mistakes Are Opportunities to Learn Something New

There was a famous research scientist who had made several very important medical breakthroughs. He was interviewed by a newspaper reporter who asked him why he thought he was able to be so much more creative than the average person. What set him so far apart from others?

He responded that, in his opinion, it all came from an experience with his mother that occurred when he was about two years old. He had been trying to remove a bottle of milk from the refrigerator when he lost his grip on the slippery bottle and it fell, spilling its contents all over the kitchen floor – a veritable sea of milk!

When his mother came into the kitchen, instead of yelling at him, giving him a lecture, or punishing him, she said, “Robert, what a great and wonderful mess you have made! I have rarely seen such a huge puddle of milk. Well, the damage has already been done. Would you like to get down and play in the milk for a few minutes before we clean it up?”

Indeed, he did. After a few minutes, his mother said, “You know, Robert, whenever you make a mess like this, eventually you have to clean it up and restore everything to its proper order. So, how would you like to do that? We could use a sponge, a towel, or a mop. Which do you prefer?”

He chose the sponge and together they cleaned up the spilt milk.

His mother then said, “You know, what we have here is a failed experiment in how to effectively carry a big milk bottle with two tiny hands. Let’s go out in the back yard and fill the bottle with water and see if you can discover a way to carry it without dropping it.”

The little boy learned that if he grasped the bottle at the top near the lip with both hands, he could carry it without dropping it. This renowned scientist then remarked that it was at that moment that he knew he didn’t need to be afraid to make mistakes. Instead, he learned that mistakes were just opportunities for learning something new, which is, after all, what scientific experiments are all about. Even if the experiment “doesn’t work,” we usually learn something valuable from it.

Wouldn’t it be great if all parents would respond the way Robert’s mother responded to him? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all respond to people we manage in a similar manner too by helping someone learn from his/her mistakes?

Meditation: For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity. – Proverbs 24:16

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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An Amazing Story

An Amazing Story

Here is an amazing story from a flight attendant on Delta Flight 15, written following 9-11:

On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic.

All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain. As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that “All Business” look on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta’s main office in Atlanta and simply read, “All airways over the Continental United States are closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest airport. Advise your destination.”

No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly. The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander, New Foundland.

He requested approval for a route change from the Canadian traffic controller and approval was granted immediately — no questions asked. We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.

While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. A few minutes later word came in about the hijackings.

We decided to LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air. We told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we needed to land at the nearest airport in Gander, New Foundland, to have it checked out.

We promised to give more information after landing in Gander. There was much grumbling among the passengers, but that’s nothing new! Forty minutes later, we landed in Gander. Local time at Gander was 12:30 PM… that’s 11:00 AM EST.

There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world that had taken this detour on their way to the US.

After we parked on the ramp, the captain made the following announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The reality is that we are here for another reason.”

Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the US. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. The captain informed passengers that Ground control in Gander told us to stay put.

The Canadian Government was in charge of our situation and no one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to come near any of the air crafts. Only airport police would come around periodically, look us over and go on to the next airplane.

In the next hour or so more planes landed and Gander ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, 27 of which were US commercial jets.

Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time, we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC.

People were trying to use their cell phones but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada. Some did get through but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the U.S. were either blocked or jammed.

Sometime in the evening, the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash. By now the passengers were emotionally and physically exhausted, not to mention frightened, but everyone stayed amazingly calm.

We had only to look out the window at the 52 other stranded aircraft to realize that we were not the only ones in this predicament.

We had been told earlier that they would be allowing people off the planes one plane at a time. At 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would be 11 am the next morning.

Passengers were not happy, but they simply resigned themselves to this news without much noise and started to prepare themselves to spend the night on the airplane.

Gander had promised us medical attention if needed, water, and lavatory servicing.

And they were true to their word.

Fortunately, we had no medical situations to worry about. We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took really good care of her. The night passed without incident, despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.

About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th a convoy of school buses showed up. We got off the plane and were taken to the terminal where we went through Immigration and Customs and then had to register with the Red Cross.

After that, we (the crew) were separated from the passengers and were taken in vans to a small hotel. We had no idea where our passengers were going. We learned from the Red Cross that the town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people and they had about 10,500 passengers to take care of from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander!

We were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be contacted when the US airports opened again, but not to expect that call for a while.

We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started.

Meanwhile, we had lots of time on our hands and found that the people of Gander were extremely friendly. They started calling us the “plane people.” We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town of Gander and ended up having a pretty good time.

Two days later, we got that call and were taken back to the Gander airport. Back on the plane, we were reunited with the passengers and found out what they had been doing for the past two days.

What we found out was incredible…..

Gander and all the surrounding communities (within about a 75 Kilometer radius) had closed all high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travellers.

Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up.

All the high school students were required to volunteer their time to take care of the “guests.”

Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 kilometres from Gander where they were put up in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that was arranged.

Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were taken to private homes.

Remember that young pregnant lady? She was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility. There was a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with the crowd for the duration.

Phone calls and e-mails to the U.S. and around the world were available to everyone once a day. During the day, passengers were offered “Excursion” trips. Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbours. Some went for hikes in the local forests.

Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests.

Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the schools. People were driven to the restaurants of their choice and offered wonderful meals. Everyone was given tokens for local laundry mats to wash their clothes since luggage was still on the aircraft.

In other words, every single need was met for those stranded travellers. Passengers were crying while telling us these stories.

Finally, when they were told that U.S. airports had reopened, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single passenger missing or late. The local Red Cross had all the information about the whereabouts of each and every passenger and knew which plane they needed to be on and when all the planes were leaving. They coordinated everything beautifully.

It was absolutely incredible.

When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everyone knew each other by name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time. Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a chartered party flight. The crew just stayed out of their way. It was mind-boggling.

Passengers had totally bonded and were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.

And then a very unusual thing happened.

One of our passengers approached me and asked if he could make an announcement over the PA system. We never, ever allow that. But this time was different. I said “of course” and handed him the mike. He picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days. He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers.

He continued by saying that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of Lewisporte.

“He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide college scholarships for the high school students of Lewisporte.

He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travellers. When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, the total was for more than $14,000!

“The gentleman, an MD from Virginia, promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well.

As I write this account, the trust fund is at more than $1.5 million and has assisted 134 students in college education.

“I just wanted to share this story because we need good stories right now. It gives me a little bit of hope to know that some people in a faraway place were kind to some strangers who literally dropped in on them.

It reminds me of how much good there is in the world.”

“In spite of all the rotten things we see going on in today’s world this story confirms that there are still a lot of good people in the world and when things get bad, they will come forward.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. – 1 Peter 2:15

You will succeed because Jesus loves You!

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