It’s Different This Time? Really?

You know, I could come up with pages up pages of things that are wrong about today’s world.   I could come up with natural disasters, hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, and other things that “happen” to us (humans).

And then I could come up with another list of evil and difficult things that people have caused or let happen – either on purpose or on accident.   Ask the people in Flint Michigan about their water.   Ask the people near the Wolverine Worldwide dumping grounds about this thing called PFAS. 

And then there’s the evil and corrupt things that humans do to each other.   Ever hear of Allepo?   ISIS?  Drug Cartels? 

Surely this is the worst time ever.   Surely there has never been a ruler as bad as ____________.   Uh, ever heard of the guy named Nero?  Yeah the Emperor of Rome?  Yeah, the guy who burned down a large part of his city – with his people in it.   Why?   So he could blame it on the Christians and have a reason to arrest and murder them.   And what did he do while Rome was burning?    Sat in his very fancy and very safe mansion up in the mountains overlooking Rome and played his violin.

That’s right, Nero fiddled  while Rome burned.

And then we come to I Peter 5 and Peter says:

You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.”  I Peter 5: 8-11

I’m not writing this for you so much as I am me……

  • Keep a firm grip on our faith.   This hard time won’t last forever.
  • God has great eternal and glorious plans for you and for me.
  • He gets the last word.

He gets the last word.

He – God – not you, not me, not my preacher (sorry Pastor Darrell), not what Paul wrote, not what John wrote, God

God the ultimate power of the universe, the maker and creator of everything and everybody.

God the one who knows whether a hair will fall from my head (and yes they are).

He gets the last word.

Is it different this time?   Yeah, it is.   But it’s still the same too.   There’s evil, there’s sin, there is pain, there is corruption.

But God still gets the last word.

May we all rest in that fact today.

Whether we’re having a good day or waiting to find out if our belongings and our home survived a hurricane or a cancer diagnosis or whatever.

God’s got this.

And he’s got the last world.

Tom

I Have a Dream

I have a dream.    Actually I have a lot of dreams – but none of them are quite as broad and visionary as Dr. King’s goal was.

But I see a lot of pain in this world and I have a dream of doing something about it.   Actually I see a lot of possibilities of doing something about it.

One of the “somethings” that we’re doing is this coming Saturday, March 29 from 12:00 to 4:00 PM.    What is it? 

It’s our “semi annual” (but not always) Haitian adoption gathering.    It’s an opportunity for those of us who have adopted from Haiti, have worked in Haiti, have thought about Haiti to come hang out and play and talk and eat.

No set agenda, just an ability to be friends, to renew friendships, to get caught up on ideas, kids, stories and more.

So, what’s my dream?   Being an adoptive parent can very often be a lonely endeavor.    Very few of our “local” friends and family understand the unique challenges that parenting adopted kids can be.   I want to do things and create things that will help adoptive families feel more connected and more supported.

It’s a step in the right direction, if you know anyone who is located within a reasonable distance to the Grand Rapids Michigan area, tell them about it.    We’d love to have more people show up and connect with others with connections to Haiti.

Questions?   Call me at (616) 292-7559 or e-mail me at thomas.vanderwell@gmail.com.

Hope to see a lot of you there on Saturday!

Tom