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Religious Reflections

Through the storm

by Pastor Mike Henry

Once again we are hit with calamity. As we watch, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina becomes worse by the depravity of man. Looting has turned to armed robbery and rape, and the National Guard has to protect ordinary citizens from ordinary citizens. The many people who died will be joined by others who suffer illness and disease in the days to come. No wonder Al Qaida claims that Hurricane Katrina is the "soldier of Allah." What more could a terrorist ask for?

At the same time, thankfully, we see other people coming to help, searching for the lost, setting up aid stations, and going to great sacrifice to ease the pain.

Just yesterday, I, along with my daughter, Anna, and Associate Pastor Shon Bentley attended a Red Cross training class to become Temporary Disaster Relief Workers. We may be joining other volunteers sometime this fall to help in the recovery efforts. Not even two weeks ago, I attended a seminar on Critical Incident Stress Management sponsored by Sunnyside Community Hospital along with nine other pastors, fire fighters, policemen and hospital staff. I have to say that we live in a quality and caring community, and our emergency and medical people deserve the best support we can give them. But why have I taken time to train in this way? Because we will always have the need for crisis intervention and we will be seeing more and more national and international disasters.

I personally believe the hurricane, and our local drought, are the judgment of God for the compound sins of our nation. I believe there is outside evil being perpetuated against us as well. And yes, I believe that as a nation we have a very good side. But this merely suggests that we have eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

I also believe that it is time for the Church to lead in repentance, reconciliation and restoration. We must show the world how to eat from the Tree of Life, Jesus Christ.

If we can shake off our sitcom induced lethargy and return to prayer we will see a reduction in calamities and victory over evil. "Our hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus' blood and righteousness."

-Pastor Mike Henry is the minister of the Sunnyside Free Methodist Church.

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