This Wednesday, March 14, 2018, thousands of students and teachers plan to walk out of class at 10 AM for 17 minutes to mark the one-month anniversary of the shootings at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that took the lives of fourteen students and three staff. The walk-out is also a cry against gun violence and a call for legislators to “do something” to protect our communities.
Let us make Wednesday a day of prayer for God to open hearts to honestly talk about this problem and seek solutions that will protect all without infringing on the legitimate rights of any.
Did you join us in prayer on Wednesday, February 21? Maybe you didn’t choose to fast or dedicate the day to prayer, but I hope you spent some time holding up this broken nation before the God of the Universe.
I watched the morning news with the pause button in hand, so that I could stop and pray about individual news stories. My instinct was to curl up with a bowl of cereal or stick in a piece of toast as I watched; I wasn’t yet hungry enough to remember I was fasting.
I even found myself thanking the Lord for a stand by President Trump. He is calling for strengthening background checks and a ban on accessories that turn legal guns into assault weapons. So common sense that it should be bi-partisan.
I recently attended a women’s retreat sponsored by my home church at Country Lake Retreat Center, Underwood, Indiana. I went, thinking it would be a chance to see lots of old friends. There were a few, but mostly it was a time of meeting new friends—younger women who are picking up the torch of encouraging women in their walk of faith and running with it.
Last December I was in New Haven, Connecticut, and attended a Messiah sing-along with the Yale concert choir and orchestra in their marvellous chapel. This fall I joined a local choral group to perform Handel’s Messiah with another regional choir and a small local orchestra. Even though I drove nearly an hour each way for rehearsals and an hour and a half for one of the concerts, it was worth it. We gave three performances, well supported by the small-town communities.
In Valerie Comer’s fantasy novel Majai's Fury reviewed here, Shanh, the Jonah-inspired character sent from his legalistically god-fearing culture to invite a sinful city to believe, calls on his god to protect him. “Azhvah, show your power!” and he does, often in miraculous ways. But then, as with the God of the Bible, there are times when he seems not to. He leaves his followers to suffer while he brings Shahn out of his strict legalism into true relationship.
There are so many times when I have no idea how to pray.
We recently celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of my home church, Faith Missionary Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was a charter member at age thirteen, and FMC has been our largest supporting church over the years so there were lots of old friends to see. Saturday night was a picnic. Most fun for me were <!--more-->conversations with one of my former Pioneer Girls, now an oncology nurse, and with a thirteen-year-old budding writer who grew up in West Africa.
Jesus! the name high over all,
in hell, or earth, or sky;
Angels and men before it fall,
and devils fear and fly.
Jesus! the name to sinners dear,
the name to sinners given;
It scatters all their guilty fear,
it turns their hell to heaven.
You don’t usually see stuffed animals at a funeral, at least not funerals for men in their nineties. But Keith Hunt was unique. He was famous for reading Winnie the Pooh to college students using voices. You know what I mean: Pooh’s slow voice lamenting that he hasn’t any brain, only fluff; Piglet’s high excited prattle; Eyore’s low drawn out complaints.
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.