Thank you for your prayers for the people of Tennessee who were so grievously affected by the 50 mile stretch of devastation in and beyond Nashville this week. My friend, Debbie, who lives in Nashville half the year, sent me this update this morning:
“Morning, Jan. What I didn’t tell you in the text was the immense response of the people of Nashville. Hands on Nashville, with 25000 volunteer slots, is full. People connected with houses of worship or no connection to anything other than this is home are pouring out of their comfort to help. People are showing up with strong backs (including team members of the Titans and Predators), chain saws, showing up with blankets (it was 29 degrees this am and no electricity in the tornado zones), showing up with ready to eat meals (son Joel is preparing 1500 meals each day), showing up with diapers, flashlights, batteries. Celebrities, including our beloved Dolly (Parton) and Taylor (Swift) and many others, have opened their checkbooks very wide, as have organizations such as the National Football League and the National Hockey League. In Nashville, as we did during the devastating flood of 2010, we show up. In Nashville, We Rise.“
Tennessee tornadoes kill at least 25. More than 150 people were hurt and thousands of homes and businesses were flattened when the twisters hit in the middle of the night.
Thank God for answered prayer as more than 25 thousand people have stepped up and in to physically help the people devastated by this disaster! They are using their money, time, and talents to do what they can to alleviate the suffering and aide those in dire need.
They are angels stepping in to lift the spirits, clean up the debris, and rebuild where possible. They are using their talents to feed the hungry (God bless Debbie & Steve’s son, Joel, whose place of business was spared. It had $50,000 worth of food in freezers and storage, and was only 1/4 mile from the tornado’s path). Now he is using those resources to feed the homeless and hurting. God bless him! He’s one of thousands of angels on earth… God’s hands and feet!
Use Your God-given Talents
I wrote this poem this morning while reading my devotionals and Bible and praying for help to arrive in Tennessee – before I saw Debbie’s update. It certainly fits the way folks are using their talents in and around Nashville right now.
Use Talents Wisely
God has given each of us Talents that are unique to us. Some are singers, others plow, Others use their funds somehow.
Some are math-magicians – true; Others are writers, just like you. Whether science or literature, Use your talents and be sure They are developed as your own, Gaining skill as seeds are sown. Don’t envy others for what they do. Use the talents given to you.
Moles must dig, and roosters crow, Unique gifts they use and grow. Likewise we must search and know Just what talents from us must flow.
Like a poet who thinks in rhymes, You might paint or prepare a pot. Keep your eye on what you’ve got, And never try to be what you’re not.
In the wake of this devastation, give the people strength and courage. In the aftermath of death and destruction, give the people hope and tenacity.
We know this “ordinary day” in the lives of so many is not “ordinary” in Tennessee. The extraordinary natural disaster has left more than 25 dead, countless wounded, and thousands without home, church building, or business. Some have lost their jobs as the place they worked no longer exists. Please be with these people. Be with the loved ones of the deceased.
We look at today, grateful for sparing our lives, knowing but for Your grace, we might have been in the midst of Harm’s Way. We thank You for the miraculous way you saved people, like the teenage girl who was whisked in the gale up and out of her home and dumped under a pile of debris into her neighbor’s swimming pool!
We thank you for the rescue workers who pulled people out, for the hospital staff who are working overtime to save lives, and for all those who have stepped up to help by using their time, talents, and money however You placed it on their hearts to do so.
Help us hear, dear God, what You are asking us to do… besides pray. Prayer is a given!
It’s been a busy day. I am ready to tuck in early. But first, I need to share with you a message I received from our neighbors who live at the end of our road 1/2 the year and in Nashville, Tennessee the other half of the year.
Most of you are aware by now that earlier this week a massive tornado devastated a 50 mile trail that went through the heart of some of Nashville’s beautiful neighborhoods. I wrote my neighbor/friend, Debbie, and asked how she and Steve are doing. This is what she wrote back,
“Thanks for asking. It’s been a tragic, scary, powerful disaster. It first touched down about 4 miles away at a private airport. That airport has $100 mil worth of damage. Then it plowed thru the neighborhoods of north Nashville (about 3 miles away) tearing up homes, churches and 3 schools in that lower middle class, black section. Then it hit the very trendy, expensive Germantown section just blocks from the Capital. After destroying Germantown it gained strength, crossed the Cumberland River (where our son Joel’s shop missed being hit my 1/4 mile). He was without power for only 10 hours. Then it moved to a section called East Nashville. This is where I grew up and where my brother still lives. The damage there was heartbreaking. East End Methodist Church was destroyed. This is my brother’s church… He has been there for hours helping out each day and met with the structural engineer who said no way to rebuild. It is just tragic. Yes the church is more than the building but when the building is 113 years old and you worship in such an astonishingly beautiful place with the souls of the many worshipers gone before, it seems trite to say it was only a building. There is no telling how long it will take to get power back on in that area. So the tornado jumped the river again to the neighborhood known as Donelson, then Hermitage, then Mt Juliet, then out in the country to Cookeville where 23 people were killed. This event has consumed our town.”
It takes that tragic event and brings it home, doesn’t it? Makes it up close and personal.
Please, dear friends, add the people of Nashville, Cookeville, and the surrounding area (50 mile tornado path) to your prayer list. My heart is heavy for them.
Sweet dreams may be possible as time goes by, but for now there will be tears and nightmares for many.
God bless them and give them strength during this devastating time. Amen
All across China, people are talking about Dr Li Wen Liang. He was the doctor who discovered the novel corona virus and in the early morning of February 7, 2020 at 2:58 am, he was promoted into glory and went home to be with our Father in heaven.
Back in December last year, he was arrested for being a whistleblower ‘spreading rumors’ about a mysterious pneumonia like virus. This morning we found out he was in fact a fellow brother in Christ. Our hearts are deeply moved by his sacrificial choice to spread awareness about the virus despite the risks he faced, especially to his reputation and to his own health.
He continued to care for patients up until he was infected himself. What a legacy to leave behind of what it means to be like Jesus to those hurting in a time of crisis. He chose to be an example of Immanuel, ‘God with us’ to the people of Wuhan.
Can you imagine the joy he must have felt as he entered into eternity and heard the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant”?
So today, please pray for his family, especially his wife who is also infected and 8 months pregnant with their second child. May God heal them supernaturally and give them grace, peace, strength and comfort during this time.
Dr Li Wen Liang penned a deeply touching Chinese poem. It is translated below into English. The original Chinese is there, telling of how he would miss his family, his beloved Wuhan, and then he quoted 2 Tim 4:7-8 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
He went on to write, “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
“The Hero Who Told The Truth” Here is a captivating, heart-touching Chinese poem I’ve tried to translate into English. It was written in memory of Mr Li Wenliang, a Christian doctor and whistleblower who died from the corona virus himself after being punished for issuing the first warning about the deadly corona virus outbreak. 我不想當英雄。 我還有爹娘， 還有孩子， 還有懷孕臨產的妻， 還有許多的病人在病房。 盡管正直換不來善良， 盡管䢛途迷茫， 可還是要繼續進行， 誰讓我選擇了這國這家， 多少委屈， 等打完這仗， 垂淚如雨仰天遠望。 “I don’t want to be a hero. I still have my parents, And my children, And my pregnant wife who’s about to give birth, And many of my patients in the ward. Though my integrity cannot be exchanged for the goodness of others, Despite my loss and confusion, I should proceed anyway. Who let me choose this country and this family? How many grievances do I have? When this battle is over, I will look up to the sky, With tears like rain.” 我不想當英雄。 只是做為醫生， 我不能眼看著這不明的病毒， 傷害著我的同行。 還有那多無辜的人們， 他們盡管已奄奄一息， 可眼睛裏總望著我， 帶著生命的希望。 “I don’t want to be a hero. But as a doctor, I cannot just see this unknown virus Hurting my peers And so many innocent people. Though they are dying, They are always looking at me in their eyes, With their hope of life.” 誰成想我競死了！ 我的靈魂分明在天上， 望著那張白色的病床， 床上分明是我的軀體， 軀體上還是那熟悉的臉龐。 我的父親母親在哪？ 還有我親愛的妻子， 那當年我苦苦追求的姑娘。 “Who would have ever realised that I was going to die? My soul is in heaven, Looking at the white bed, On which lies my own body, With the same familiar face. Where are my parents? And my dear wife, The lady I once had a hard time chasing?” 天上有一道光！ 那光的盡頭是人們時常說起的天堂。 我寧願不去哪裏， 我寧願回到武漢我的家鄉。 那裏有我新買的房子， 每月還要還貸的賬。 我怎能舍得， 我怎能舍得！ 沒有兒子的爹娘， 該有多麽悲傷； 沒有了丈夫的寶貝， 該如何面對這未來的滄桑。 “There is a light in the sky! At the end of that light is the heaven that people often talk about. But I’d rather not go there. I’d rather go back to my hometown in Wuhan. I have my new house there, For which I still have to pay off the loan every month. How can I give up? How can I give up? For my parents without their son, How sad must it be? For my sweetheart without her husband, How can she face the vicissitudes in her future?” 我分明死了。 我看見他們把我的軀殼， 裝進一個袋子。 在袋子的近傍 有許多死去的同胞， 象我一樣， 在黎明時分， 被推進火的爐堂。 “I am already gone. I see them taking my body, Putting it into a bag, With which lie many compatriots Gone like me, Being pushed into the fire in the hearth At dawn.” 再見了，難舍的親人。 永別了，武漢我的故鄉。 但願你們在災難過後， 還記得曾經有人， 努力地讓你們盡早知道真相。 但願你們在災難過後， 學會正直， 不再讓善良的人們， 遭受著無盡的恐懼， 和無奈的悲傷。 “Goodbye, my dear ones. Farewell, Wuhan, my hometown. Hopefully, after the disaster, You’ll remember someone once Tried to let you know the truth as soon as possible. Hopefully, after the disaster, You’ll learn what it means to be righteous. No more good people Should suffer from endless fear, And helpless sadness.” “那美好的仗我已經打完了， 應行的路我已行盡了， 當守的道我守住了。 從此以後， 有公義的冠冕為我留存。” 《聖經》提摩太後書4:7 “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness.” 2 Timothy 4:7, Holy Bible
Rest in peace, Dr. Li Wen Liang. God bless you – and God be with your dear family. We all will pray for your wife, your son, and your unborn child. May God miraculously heal her and save your children. Amen
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I hope this story touched your heart as it did mine. Please join me in prayer for Mrs. Liang and the victims of this deadly virus. Pray for a cure!
While perusing FaceBook this evening, I came across this article that I thought was so well written. The author, Nancy Guthrie, said what many of us know, “… for those who’ve recently lost someone they love, the holidays can seem more like something to survive than to enjoy.”
Nancy Guthrie is a guest writer on the FB page, desiringGod. She goes on to write,
“While those of us who surround grieving people can’t fix the pain of loss, we can bring comfort as we come alongside those who hurt with special sensitivity to what grief is like during the holidays. Grieving people wish we all knew at least five truths, among others, at Christmas.”
You can click on the link below to see the full article, learn what those five truths are, and learn a little more about Nancy Guthrie.