Ephesians 2:4-7 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
This is my text for the message I am preparing for Sunday.
We need some mercy for our daily tasks too! Last night I had to leave Noah (8 yrs old) in charge while I went to lead prayer meeting at church because Melodee is sick in bed. I found this note when I got back. Please pray for us!
Sunday we had our worst earthquake yet. In fact, they are saying that it was the worst earthquake in 35 years.
Our family was having breakfast in preparation for church when the earthquake hit.
The chandeliers were swinging, the glasses were clanging and worst of all the floor was moving, much like you would imagine being on a ship in a bad storm. We weren’t sure if we should try to leave the house or not. We probably should have run downstairs and out the door, but were in shock!
We thank God for protection. Amazingly there was no damage, no people directly killed by the earthquake. Similar earthquakes killed as any as 300 people in the recent past.
However all is not well. Noah’s school will have to find classrooms for three classes from another school whose building was damaged. Even worse, over 2000 people in the region were left homeless or displaced and the cathedral and concert hall in Norcia where I have played were both destroyed. You can see a few pictures that Melodee and I took.
The first picture is the outside of the cathedral in the main square, which now is no longer standing.
To see what is left of them you can see the drone images from the fire department.
You can see video here.
Also another video here.
In this video first you will see the concert hall (an old church) and then the basilica in the main square.
Certainly this city will never be the same. Pray for God to work through this situation for His glory and to continue to protect us!
It is no coincidence that Sunday we were able to give our a booklet titled “Where is God in earthquakes?” We have also offered them on TV and radio. Pray especially for those who we have the privilege to come in contact with through radio, TV and personal contact.
 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, (Psalm 46:1-2 ESV)
This morning, around three A.M.we woke up suddenly from a deep sleep.
It wasn’t from the earthquake…it was from a phone call. My pastor friend Giorgio, from L’Aquila called to see if we were safe. You may remember the devastating 2009 earthquake that killed over 300 people in L’Aquila and left people homeless for months.
I’m embarrassed to admit, much like Jonah during the storm, we slept right through an earthquake that was so strong that it was felt through much of the Italian peninsula, and whose epicenter was less than fifty miles from our house. At least thirteen people have died, according to what I am seeing now on the news.
Norcia, a city that is reached by our radio and that you may remember for one of the cities I have reached through my music playing, was one of the most affected.
Amatrice, the city known for Spaghetti all’Amatriciana, one Italy’s quintessential dishes, was left in ruins.
So where does this leave us? It leaves us desperately needing your prayers. Italians need to hear the only news that can comfort them and give them solid ground, when all around them their foundations are crumbling.
Please pray that we can make the most of every opportunity!
The response to pray for the event was great and immediate. Now I have a little over 24 hours to complete my sermon for Sunday!
I’m really excited about this message (as usual). We are preaching through the Thessalonian epistles. I am preaching I Thessalonians 2:13-16. I always enjoy filling in for my Dad when he is out.
I imagine that I will get a chuckle from a few church members, since it seems every time I preach it seems God chooses a text for me that is about persecution, suffering or discipline! And some think God doesn’t have a sense of humor!
Thank you for praying for last night’s event. Honestly the turnout was a little disappointing, but I thank God for every young person that attended. I had asked that three key people hear the message, and God allowed for two of them to be present!
And the amazing part is that God works through our weakness and does not care if we give the message to one or one thousand. The real work is what God does in the hearts, not in the numbers.
Thank you for being a part of God’s work through your prayers!
PS. There are more exciting things to share, so keep tuning it!