Needed Scripture for today’s world…..

“He will have no fear of bad news;
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.”

Psalm 112:7

This Scripture has been very applicable to me in the recent weeks. And with falling helicopters (God be with the military families mourning the loss of their sons, husbands and fathers), falling stock markets, falling credit ratings, and falling accountability, this Scripture is all the more applicable in today’s world.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

God’s glory in broken pieces…..2

Last night after service I blogged about Ben Koier and the tragedy affecting his family that was transformed by our merciful God into a powerful change in other people’s life. Well, I promised another story about our Father taking broken pieces and pain and creating beauty and glory from them.

Rachel Beckwith turned 9 years old back in June. For her birthday, instead of the normal presents and celebration, she asked her friends and relatives to donate to a charity for clean drinking water for developing nations. Her goal was $300.

Her birthday came and went and she fell short of that goal only raising about $220 or $230.

Rachel and her family were involved in a large car wreck in Bellevue, WA and she died as a result on Saturday, July 24. As in Ben’s story, this could be the end and the worldly perspective blankets the future with pain, sorrow and grief. And Rachel’s family was thrown into that picture. However, her small dream was used by God to bring about more than any of us could ever have imagined. Her pastor communicated her dream to her church which made it’s way onto Facebook which went viral which was picked up by media outlets.

When I first heard about it on KLOVE, it was the Monday or Tuesday after her death and the amount raised by this small child’s compassionate heart was at $56,000! I was blown away! Her small goal of $300 was multiplied many times over. The following day I heard an update that it was at $82,000. It was amazing to see how many folks felt compassion for her family and wanted her memory and wish to be kept alive.

Now fast forward to last week. I had traveled for business and forgotten about the story even though I had intended to blog about it. But God wasn’t done with the story. When I heard a following update on KLOVE, the charity total was over 1/2 a million dollars!!!!! I was moved as was my son. Looking at her charity water fundraising site, my son and I saw that it wasn’t corporations or rich folks that were giving hundreds or thousands of dollars to her vision. It was many, many normal folks who were giving 9 dollars at a time — in memory of her 9th birthday wish. My son wanted to donate and brought down 9 one dollar bills he had earned from mowing. I matched his gift and we logged on to join her cause. At that time it was at $526,000!!!!! How merciful and mighty is our God! And while her family is definitely still grieving and experiencing pain of her loss, they can be comforted in the hope that so many people who do not have clean drinking water will benefit by Rachel’s vision.

Go check it our yourself. As of this blog post, Rachel’s clean charity water is just over $810,000!!!!! Go here to see where Rachel’s donation efforts are now — and also give to her cause.

Will you be the one that helps her get to over a million dollars.

Here also is a news link to an early article on the tragedy.

But in the pain and broken pieces, God is faithful.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

God’s glory in broken pieces…..

In the last few weeks, I have encountered some very painful stories where God has taken broken and painful pieces and used them to glorify Him and create other stories of beauty.

Last night this was most evident in our family movie night with Soul Surfer — the movie about teen surfer Bethany Hamilton whose left arm was bitten off by a shark (the painful pieces part) but then, through her faith and God’s mercy, she was able to persevere and inspire others while becoming a pro surfer.

I have another story which I will blog about tomorrow. But today’s story is about Ben Koier. Now I don’t know Ben, but I do pass his roadsite cross memorial every day now. You see, on June 26, 2011 this 19 year old was hit by a drunk lady and killed. For me, the story could have ended there. I saw the story in the paper and you see roadside crosses at many crash sites. However, Ben was different. His faith in Christ shined inside him so brightly that it spilled over into his life and onto others. Today would have been his 20th birthday.

Such a sad story you say. And it is. The family is in obvious pain dealing with the loss of their beloved one so early in his life. But Ben, in heaven with his Savior, received one of the greatest presents he could get — factual evidence of his positive impact on others’ lives. He brought people to Jesus and today many of those folks accepted Christ into their lives and were baptized at tonight’s 5pm service in honor of Ben’s birthday. His brother, his sister, his girlfriend, his best friend, his best friend’s dad, other family friends. The list was amazing. And there were over 100 people in that section that overlooked the baptistry that I hope will also follow Ben’s lead in the days and weeks to come. You see, in Ben’s death and the painful, broken pieces God was able to use them for His glory and bring other’s closer to Him.

Our temporary, time-bound, worldly vision views this with such pain and bitterness. But in the eternal vision and love of Christ, this is such a marvelous victory.

God bless the Koier family.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

A different kind of cool…..

We are nearing 3+ weeks of scorching hot weather this summer. Usually we get a breather here and there during the summer. But not this year — we have had triple digit heat indexes (temp + factored in humidity) for a while now…..with no relief in sight. Our pool is now a tepid body of water that doesn’t cool you off until you get out and let the breeze hit you. Thank God we have A/C and also a basement.

So this morning, I was chatting with a guy at work and in short conversation asked if I was “staying cool”. I remarked that thermally I was keeping the heat away but, as the father of two teenage girls, I would never be cool.

Sad but true.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net