Earthquake Preparedness

Haiti eartquake - 04Haiti Earthquake -07Experts continue to predict that the New Madrid Fault Line, which includes portions of Kentucky, will eventually produce an earthquake of 7.7 magnitude or greater.  A quake of this degree would generate 21 times the energy of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and would likely cause significant structural and infrastructure damage.  It would also potentially displace tens Haiti Earthquake -07of thousands of people, particularly in the western portion of our state.

Are We Ready?

Creating a family disaster preparedness plan and an emergency survival kit can greatly enhance your survival capabilities following a natural disaster.

Haiti earthquake - 2

During an earthquake, the best way to protect yourself from injury is to:

Drop. Drop to your hands and knees to lessen the chance of being injured in a fall.

Cover. Cover your head, neck area, and as much of your body as possible with your arms or by crawling under a table/desk. This will provide protection from falling items.

Hold. Hold on to your item of shelter or to your head and neck until tremors/shaking stops.

An emergency supply kit should be prepared to sustain life for a minimum of 96 hours, and should include:

EMERGENCY NEEDS:
Instruction Manual on Emergency Preparedness
Battery Powered Radio
First Aid Kit and Manual
Sleeping Bags and Blankets (Wool and Thermal)
Can Opener
Waterproof/Windproof Matches
Non-Perishable Foods: Ready-to-eat goods in unbreakable containers, canned meats, juice, fruits, vegetables, powdered mild, infant care foods, crackers, peanut butter, freeze-dried and/or dehydrated goods (MRE’s)
Flashlight with Extra Batteries
Water Storage (1 gallon daily, per person)
Water Purification/Filtration
Utility Knife/Multi-tool
Emergency Candles
Extra Eyeglasses/Contact Lenses
Essential Medications
Extra Clothing

SANITATION KIT (5 person example):
(1) 5/6-Gallon Bucket
(1) Port-a-Potty Lid
(12) Port-a-Potty Bags
(5) Port-a-Potty Chemicals
(5) Latex-Free Gloves
(5) 3M N-95 Particle Respirators
(2) Toilet Paper Rolls
(5) Toothbrushes
(5) Tissue Packs
(5) Combs
(5) Razors
(5) Bars of Soap
(5) Hand Sanitizers

OTHER ITEMS:
Wet Wipes/Moist Towelettes
Baby Supplies
Paper Towels
Paper Plates/Cups
Plastic Utensils
Aluminum Foil

STRESS REDUCERS:
For Children: Puzzles, Coloring Books, Crayons, Books, Games
For Adults: Books, Magazines, Games

OTHER EMERGENCY NEEDS:
Paper and Pen
Copies of Insurance Policies and Personal Papers
Money (Cash)
Important Addresses/Phone Numbers
Work Gloves
Tool kit w/Most Commonly Used Tools

ITEMS TO HAVE ON HAND IMMEDIATELY:
Flashlight w/spare batteries (keep a flashlight beside every bed in the house)
Portable Radio w/spare batteries (telephones may be out of order, so radio may be your best source of accurate information via the Emergency Alert System (EAS) (KSL 1160 AM))
First Aid Kit (everyone should know basic first aid, i.e. CPR, Heimlich Maneuver, & First Aid for severe bleeding and shock)
Smoke Detectors & Class ABC Fire Extinguishers are recommended for every home
Pipe Wrench & Adjustable Wrench for turning off gas or water mains
Work Gloves and Boots to assist with rescue work (or CERT Kit, if CERT Trained)

Haiti Earthquake -07Haiti Earthquake -07 STANDARD FIRST AID KIT:
First Aid Manual
Pain Relievers (Aspirin, Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc.)
Rubbing Alcohol
Cotton Balls
Cotton Swabs
Anti-Bacterial Ointment
Gauze
Band-Aids
Triangular Bandage (36”x 36”x 52”)
Elastic Bandage
Safety Pins
Scissors
Laxatives
Anti-Diarrhea Medication
Thermometer
Salt Tablets
Sanitary Napkins (Pressure Dressing)
Medical Adhesive Tape
Matches
Needles
Tweezers
Small Splints
Heavy String
Items for any specific individual needs

Bethlehem Experience

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Last night I took a trip to “Bethlehem.”  Oh, it was just 40 miles down the road from my house, but was a nice reminder of what that wonderful night some 2000 years ago might have been like.

As we entered the city we had to register for the census and declare all of our livestock.  We then passed by the money changer’s table and to the tax collector, where we paid our taxes.  Once our taxes were paid, we entered the marketplace.

The pottery shop was our first stop.  There was beautiful pottery displayed around the shop and the potter shared about how he takes a lump of clay and molds it into a beautiful vessel, just as God does with us.  Many times, he said, the vessel has flaws and he has to start all over.

After leaving the potter’s shop we went on to the bakery.  They told us of the different types of bread they were baking and gave us samples.  They were also sharing about some most incredible news they had been hearing.  It was about a baby being born and folks asking if this could be the Messiah.  “If you find Him will you let us know?” they asked.

Our next stop was the carpenter’s shop, where they were busy working with the wood.  We then visited the spice shop, the musicians, the basket maker, and the clothier.  At each of these locations they too were discussing the rumor of a baby being born.

The stop at the synagogue was most interesting.  There a learned Rabbi was teaching his students about Old Testament prophecy of a baby, the Messiah, which was to be born in Bethlehem.  “He will bring us peace and will be pierced for our transgressions.”

As we approached the inn, we met the innkeeper; then were greeted by shepherds who shared about the angel visiting them while they were in the fields saying, “Behold, unto you is born this night, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

Finally we came to the stable.  There, we met Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus in the manger.  Mary and Joseph both shared how an angel had come to them telling them that this child was of the Holy Spirit and not to fear.

This “Bethlehem Experience” was an outreach of the New River/McCreary County Baptist Association at their ministry building in Winfield, TN.  At our final stop we were back in the 21st century.  Pastors were there to share the rest of the story.  They reminded us not to leave Jesus in the manger.  Yes, Jesus was born in Bethlehem and we do celebrate His birth at Christmas, but we must not stop there.  Jesus grew up.  He lived a sinless life.  He died on the cross for our sins.  He was buried, but three days later He rose from the grave, went back into heaven, and will one day come back for His children.

Can you celebrate the entire story this Christmas?  Is He your Lord and Savior?  If not, there is no better gift for you to receive this Christmas than accepting Him into your heart and life.

Merry Christmas!!

 

Oh Give Thanks to the Lord

turkeyThis week marks the celebration of Thanksgiving.  Turkey, dressing, and desserts will be devoured on Thursday.  Families will gather to eat and give thanks.  But why?  For Americans, we give thanks for many reasons, not least of which is our freedom to live in a land that is free (for now) to worship without the dictates of government.  Giving thanks is not a new idea; it’s actually rooted in a Judeo-Christian worldview.

Both the Old and New Testament calls us to give thanks to the Lord.  For example, the people of Israel were to give thanks to the Lord when King David brought the ark of God to the city of Jerusalem.  The ark symbolized the presence of God among His people. The day that the ark arrived in Jerusalem was a day of great celebration.

The writer of 1 Chronicles 16 records for us the song of thanksgiving that was offered to God on that momentous day.

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples.  Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonders.  Glory in His holy name; Le the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.  Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually.  Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth” (vv 8-12).

Giving thanks was a normal response of the people of God in the Old Testament to who God is and what He has done for them.  The people of Israel were to give thanks for what God had done for them, so that the peoples (other nations) would know this one true God.

Thanksgiving to God, therefore, is not only to be vertical but also horizontal.  In other words, our thanks is to be directed to God as a testimony to others of who He is and what He does.  While we give our thanks to God for what He has done for us, we do so in order that the nations might know what He has done on their behalf.

So give thanks to the Lord this season of Thanksgiving, but do so in order that you might “make known His deeds among the peoples.”  As you give thanks to God for all He has done for you, remember to make Him known to those who yet do not know Him.

We all have family, friends, and neighbors who need to hear of the wonderful deeds of the Lord.  So give thanks, and in so doing make Him known.

Winter Readiness

Winter StormIf you have never prepared for winter, you may want to begin this year.  Many experts are predicting an early winter with potential for harsh temperatures and large amounts of snow and ice.

Severe weather is more than an inconvenience, it can be life-threatening if you are unprepared.  Here are a few tips to help you be ready for winter weather:

  • Heat - If your main heat source does not work without power, then the first thing you should consider is purchasing an alternative source of heat.  Never use outdoor grills inside.  If you utilize a kerosene heater, then be sure that you have ventilation, as fumes can be dangerous indoors.
  • Generator – Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  Never operate a generator inside the home, as generators produce carbon monoxide fumes.   It is best to have an electrician install a generator switch to prevent back feed to the electrical grid.
  • Heavy Clothing – A good coat, hat, pair of gloves, thermal underwear, pair of wool socks, and a set of insulated boots are good clothing items to have on hand for bitter weather.
  • Food - It is good to have 3-7 days of easily preparable food on hand for emergencies.  Bottled water is also a good resource to have available.  Be sure to have a manual can opener.
  • Radio – In order to stay informed in severe weather settings, a portable radio that runs on batteries is essential.  You might also want to consider solar chargers for your phone or computer, so that you can continue to have a means of communication.
  • Light - Candles, flashlights, and extra batteries are always useful in emergencies.  For extended outages, oil lamps are more long-lasting and efficient.

Preparation always increases your ability to survive and endure times of severe weather, power outages, and disasters.  Be Prepared!

“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”      (Proverbs 27:12)

 

 

They were Called to Go – and Went!

I was reminded this week about Abraham who was called to go out to a new land.  Although he didn’t know what would happen, Abraham showed great faith by obeying and going (Hebrews 11:8).  Think about the practical application of this verse.  It doesn’t appear that Abraham hesitated or argued with God.  When he was called – he went!  I believe that God still calls many to go, but few respond with the faith and obedience that Abraham did.  The scripture calls those who don’t respond to God’s call – hearers of the Word only, and not doers (James 1:22).

Kelsey, Daniel & Sarah

I helped a modern day Abraham and his wife move last weekend. Daniel and Sarah were called by God to go to a new place, not knowing exactly what to expect. They only know that God called and they are going to be obedient and faithful to Him.  Daniel and Sarah moved from their nice, modern, safe, clean and comfortable apartment to a barn apartment in a neighborhood of poverty where they will live on mission for Him.

It’s unclear exactly what God has planned, maybe after school activities for the many children they saw getting off the school bus.  Perhaps it will be a community group meeting in their home to study God’s word.  Maybe special events, community activities or a new Hispanic church in the barn.  One thing is certain, Daniel and Sarah will be Christian neighbors who have chosen to live out their faith in a community that is watching and curious.

I’m excited about the opportunities that God will place before Daniel and Sarah to shine as lights in a dark world.  But I’m saddened by the many others who have refused to obey the call of God in their lives. Those who hear and don’t go are losing wonderful opportunities for sharing the love and witness of Christ to a world that is searching for an authentic witness. The call may be to the other side of the world, down the block or across town.  The only thing that matters is our obedience to the call.  Many excuses are given for not going, but few are those who respond, yes Lord.    

It’s interesting to note the concluding comment to Abraham’s life in Genesis 24:1, Abraham was now old, getting on in years, and the Lord had blessed him in everything.”  Only God knows the rest of Daniel & Sarah’s story.  But I believe He is smiling and will bless them because of their obedience.  Will you covenant with me to pray for them as they go – not knowing what God has in store for them or their new neighbors?   

Eastern Kentucky Ministry Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary

Haven of Rest Pic

It seems like only yesterday that we stood for the groundbreaking ceremony on the hill where Haven of Rest Family Ministries now stands.  God had laid on the heart of Eileen Mullins the need for hospitality houses near prisons so that those visiting their family members would have a place to stay.  Many of them travel for hours and hundreds of miles and just do not have the means to always stay in a motel.

Several ladies joined Mrs. Eileen in praying for this need and one day, while reading the local newspaper, Mrs. Eileen saw where a federal prison was coming to their local area.  The rest is history.  A piece of land was donated and building was begun.  Today Haven of Rest has two dorms and a lodge with a recreation room, commercial kitchen, and chapel.

On October 18th Haven of Rest celebrated her 10th anniversary of ministry to prison inmates’ families.  But Haven of Rest is not just about sleeping quarters.  The families prepare their meals in the large commercial kitchen and are ministered to while there.  Each year hundreds of volunteers come to serve alongside the ministry.  These volunteer teams and individuals help with laundry, cleaning the dorms, and yard work at the facility.  Some of them go out into the community and lead VBS, Backyard Bible Clubs, block parties, sports camps, and home repairs.  Smaller groups may come on the weekends and minister to the guests.   All of this is done in order to meet physical needs and share the love and message of Christ with Haven of Rest guests and those in the local community.

Mrs. Eileen retired as director of Haven of Rest in August 2012 and Missionaries Harold and Joyce Scroggs came to direct the ministry.  Assisted by Missionaries Robin and Becky Botkin, the Scroggs continue to carry on the vision of reaching out to prison inmates’ families and into the local community.  And, through these efforts, many lives are changed for eternity as they come to a personal relationship in Christ, with eleven so far this year.

Happy 10th Anniversary, Haven of Rest!!  Thank you for your service.  May you continue this ministry for many years ahead.

The Gospel, Missions and October 31

October 31 is a day of great celebration among Christians.  We anticipate, or at least we should anticipate, this day every year.  This day marks a great recovery of the gospel.  No, I am not referring to Halloween, but the Reformation.

Martin LutherOn October 31, 1517, an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg, Germany.  What may have seemed insignificant at the time sparked a movement across Europe and the world that impacts us still today, as the strike of his hammer would lead to the great Protestant Reformation.

What was so significant about that day?  Well, Martin Luther was essentially protesting the pope’s attempt to sell salvation to the people.  He was attempting to bring back the biblical understanding that we are justified (made right with God) through faith alone in Christ alone.  Justification is God’s way of legally declaring that we are not guilty, our sins are forgiven, and that Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us based solely upon faith in Him (Rom 3:28; 2 Cor 5:21).

Justification, therefore, as another has said, is the hinge upon which everything turns.  Recovering the truth that people are made right with God by a means other than themselves is literally life changing.  This truth shook Europe in the 1500s and still shakes the world today.

In fact, missions is simply going and telling people all over the world that they can be right with God not through what they do, but through what was done for them.  It is quite liberating to be able to tell people from every tribe, tongue and nation that they must simply believe this message about Jesus and they will be made right with God.

Today we stand on the shoulders of men like Martin Luther who got it.  He got it that we can do nothing to earn God’s favor.  God’s grace is a gift that we receive through faith alone in Jesus alone (Eph 2:8-9).  While the world may look different in many respects to that day in 1517, the world is really quite the same.  People are still trying to work their way to God.  How they attempt to work may look different from culture to culture and place to place.  But they are seeking to work nonetheless.

During this October 31 celebration let’s remember that we are to call people from all nations to stop working and to start believing.  Let’s go this coming calendar year to those who are trying to earn their way to heaven and tell them that the way has been earned for them through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus if they will simply believe.

After all, the just shall live by faith (Rom 1:17).  But, with the apostle Paul, how will they know that the just live by faith if we don’t go and tell them (Rom 10:14-17)?  I am grateful that Martin Luther got it, and by God’s grace I pray that we never forget it!

The Bucket Project

BGR Buckets - 1Kentucky Baptists have a “Great Commission” opportunity at the 2014 Kentucky Baptist Convention Annual Meeting on November 11.

How?

Bring a bucket of hope to the annual meeting.  This will help us to push towards the finish line of our 2014 goal of collecting 5,000 hospice care buckets.  These will offer compassion to people in Sub-Sahara Africa, who are suffering from HIV/AIDS.  We have set a goal of collecting 800 BGR Hospice Buckets at the annual meeting in Bowling Green.

Would you do your part by bringing a bucket, as we gather at Living Hope Baptist Church in Bowling Green?

Why buckets?

Baptist Global Response (BGR) has learned that sharing a five-gallon bucket of care is a very effective way to demonstrate the love of Christ and to open doors for the Gospel with the sick and dying.

Why Sub-Sahara Africa?

Sub-Sahara Africa has more cases of HIV/AIDS than any other region in the world.  Over 1 million will die of AIDS in Africa this year.  Many of these people are facing death and eternity without the hope of Jesus Christ.

In Matthew 25, Jesus taught us, “I was sick and you took care of Me.”

How can you get involved?

• Visit the BGR Bucket project page here.  This page gives you the project item list, packing tips, training video, planning information, and promotional ideas.  Please note that participants MUST NOT deviate from the instructions.  Not adhering to the guidelines will jeopardize shipping and distribution of the buckets.

• Carefully pack your bucket as instructed on the training video.

• Drop off buckets at a designated collection site.  Click here for a complete list of Kentucky collection points.

The Shopping List:

Hardware:

5 Gallon Bucket and lid that snaps on,
with wire handle.  White, green, blue or
light gray buckets are acceptable,
but white is preferred.  Found at Lowe’s,
Wal-Mart, or Home Depot.

Pharmacy & Health/Beauty Supplies:

1 – 200 tablet EQUATE or CENTRUM
Complete Multi-Vitamin.  Equate found at
Wal-Mart and Amazon.com.  Purchase
latest expiration date.

4 Dove UNSCENTED Sensitive Skin
soap bars.  FRAGRANCE FREE soap is
VERY important for patients with sensitive
skin.  Please leave bars in individual boxes.

2 – .35 oz. SQUEEZABLE Carmex lip
balm tubes.

1 – 50 count box LATEX FREE disposable
gloves. (Found in the First Aid/Bandage aisle).

1 metal fingernail clipper.

1 – 13 oz. FRAGRANCE FREE tub of Petroleum
jelly or 2 – 7.5 oz. tube.

2 SOFT bristle adult size toothbrushes.
(Soft bristles are important for
sensitive gums.)

1 large tube of FLUORIDE toothpaste.

1 – 8-10 oz. FRAGRANCE FREE moisturizing
body lotion.  NO PUMP bottles.

Baby Bedding:

2 GARANIMALS or comparable brand
waterproof, flat (not fitted), quilted,
multi-use pads (27” X 36”).  Buy one
packet that contains 2 pads.

Bath Linens:

4 THIN washcloths, bright colors preferred.
Thin washcloths are essential so that they
may be washed easily and dry quickly.

1 THIN cotton towel.  A THIN towel is essential
so that it will dry quickly and fit well
in the bucket.  Bright colors preferred.

Bedding:

2 Twin, flat sheets.  200 thread count or
higher, bright colors preferred.

2 Standard pillowcases.  200 thread count
or higher, bright colors preferred.

1 TWIN SIZE fitted vinyl mattress protector.

Cleaning Products (in the grocery area):

1 kitchen scrub brush (2.5” X 6.5”), with or
without handle.

2 pairs of Latex gloves, long cuff, medium
size.

1 thirteen-gallon sturdy plastic garbage
bag (to store kit contents in while bucket
is in use).

Miscellaneous:

100 drinking straws (Flexible hospital-
type).

1 box of Ziploc gallon size freezer bags.
(You will need six bags to pack one kit.)

2 pairs crew length cotton socks.  Medium
adult size, any color.

Buckets cost approximately $85.

What’s Your Story?

Story telling is a powerful tool for people of any age or culture. Whether it involves reading a story book to my grand-daughter or telling my co-workers about something that happened to me, a person’s interest is held captive by a story. I remember how powerful our story was after my wife and I lost our first child. God used that story of hurt, loss and total trust in Him to encourage and strengthen others going through similar trials. Telling others what Christ has done in our life is powerful. It’s difficult to refute what a person has experienced as real.
In Luke 8, Jesus healed a demoniac and set him free from many demons. This man whose life was transformed, is told by Jesus in verse 39 to “return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” The whole city would notice the change in this man’s life. I imagine as he told his story time and time again, others would want to experience the same change in their life that only Jesus could bring.KBC - Tell Your Story

A similar experience happened to me when I was on mission in Brazil several years ago. I was given the opportunity to address a group of young men in a boys home. After praying about what to share, I felt strongly led to simply tell my story. I told how I was raised in an alcoholic home and suffered verbal and physical abuse by a step-father. However, there was a life change, family change, and eternal destiny change after Christ came to live in our hearts and home. I understood more clearly what it meant to be adopted by Christ when my step-father began to love me as a son.

This was a story that these young men could relate to. I understood the importance of telling my story when twelve of these young men professed faith in Christ after hearing mine. It wasn’t me or even the way I told my story that made the difference. It was the power of God through my story when I simply told others what Christ had done for me.

If you’re a follower of Christ, you have a story too. So what’s yours? Let me encourage you to tell your story as the demoniac did, and as I did. Tell others what God has done for you. If you’d like help, tools or resources for telling your story, visit: http://www.tellyourstory.today/.  It could be that someone is waiting to hear your story today.

Meet the Missionaries & Ministries

Postcard Front

Want a chance to meet and talk one on one with many of our Kentucky missionaries?  Want to know more about missions and ministries in Kentucky?  Looking for an in-state mission opportunity for this fall or next year?  Or, would you just like to participate in a time of worship with mission testimonies, great music, and a challenging mission message?

Join the Missions Mobilization Team of the Kentucky Baptist Convention this Saturday, October 11th, from 10:30 AM to 2:00 PM at Immanuel Baptist Church in Corbin, KY.

Thirty-five plus displays, representing Kentucky Baptist Schools, Kentucky WMU, Kentucky Changers, Disaster Relief, and various Kentucky ministries will be on hand to share information about their ministries and opportunities to serve.

You can get to know your Kentucky missionaries and ministry leaders as you visit with them, learn about their ministries, and learn of ways to get involved in ministry across the state.  Perhaps you can even plan your 2015 state mission trip while there.

Enjoy a good down-home, country meal of bean soup, cornbread, desserts, and drinks provided by Kentucky Disaster Relief and Immanuel Baptist Church.

It is estimated that Kentucky is over 88% lost and without Christ.  We have a great opportunity and obligation to reach them with the Gospel.  Come learn of the needs and how to impact your Judea!!

For more information and to register go to www.kybaptist.org/missionexpo.  Bring 5 or more and have a chance to win a new tablet.