Last night, I strongly encouraged you to give to International Disaster Emergency Service (IDES), which is working in the effort to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina. I continue to encourage you to donate to IDES.

While my Dad and I may argue about how hard it is to give money, I want you to consider doing more. Last night, I referenced the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 (specifically verses 30-37). Not only did the Samaritan give money to help the victim of the robbers, the Samaritan bandaged and tended the man's wounds, the Samaritan placed him on a donkey, and the Samaritan took him to an inn. At the inn, the Samaritan asked the innkeeper to tend the man and promised to repay the innkeeper for his expenses (not to mention an advance on expenses).

Several places in the New Testament (Parable of the Talents, I Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4:10-16), we (all of us) are taught that God gives us talents and abilities. We are to use those talents and abilities for good. So let's step out of our comfort zone and actually help some of these people. My wife and I attended a Red Cross volunteer orientation in Tallahassee Thursday evening, and they are sheltering people in major metropolitan areas (Tallahassee has 104 people in an official Red Cross shelter, and scores more in hotels/motels). I talked with Chris Floyd, the director of the Capital Area Red Cross, and he needs people to not only go into the strike zone, but people to help with shelters, administrative tasks, food transport in the community, etc. He suggested that our church could adopt the shelter on a Sunday evening and feed it. He said that feeding the shelter could simply be serving the food the Red Cross provides and prepares, or we could plan a menu, buy and prepare the meal, and serve it. Be creative, and let's find a way to use our God-given talents and abilities to help!

One final thing we as Christians need to be doing is prayer. Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." James 5:16b (NIV) says "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." Let's spend some time on our knees talking to God, who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, about the people in need.

In the words of Todd Beamer, "Let's Roll!"

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