Recent examples include this note I received today from a member in Australia. I don't know if many of us in the U.S. have been following the devastating fires there, but please read this and see if you don't get a few goosebumps on top of goosebumps:
From the family in Australia:
"Today it is snowing and putting out the wildfires. Usually it's very hot there ... it is summer ... usually in the 110 degrees."
This family lives in the Australian bush country where the fires are so bad. Their son had totaled their car last week. Somehow they were able to get a bank loan for a new car over the phone and the bank drove the new car out to them so they could evacuate.
Here's the last part of their note:
"All is well with us, no smoke, clear blue skies and freezing cold winds off the snow - yes snow, it's snowing on the mt peaks above us, it's snowing on the bushfires and the firefighters, it's rained and it's freezing cold and Christmas morning bought the extinguishing of many of the fires - no better gift could be hoped for :-) ..... just so tickled pink that it's cold here, such a joyous treat, a cold Christmas, oh boy it's usually over 100 degrees!"
Here's a link to a news story about this snow storm. Can you possibly read it without giving thanks?
Bushfire Black Turns White
SNOW, and plenty of it, has doused the alpine bushfires in Victoria's east, transforming the blackened landscape into a brilliant white.
Christmas revellers - enjoying a sweltering 34C - took to Perth's popular beaches, and holidaymakers in Queensland intent on getting sand between their toes were not disappointed by the muggy 32C.
Melburnians, on the other hand, shrouded by smoke for the past fortnight, had their coldest-ever Christmas Day and were pelted with hail and chilled by arctic winds.
Just days after fearing deadly fires would destroy their mountain, residents atop Mt Buller, northeast of Melbourne, were hurling snowballs at each other and shaking their heads in amazement.
Likewise, in parts of Tasmania, and Thredbo, in the NSW snow territory, snowmen were the order of the day.
As much as 30mm of snow fell at Mt Baw Baw overnight.
"I've never seen snowfall before in my life, so I thought it would be worth it on Christmas Day just to go up there and have a look," 25-year-old Peter Tuffley said, gripping girlfriend Andrea Innes in the thick snow. "I loved it, it was great."
There is more on the way for Thredbo and Perisher in NSW.
Adelaide shivered through its coldest Christmas Day in 13 years. And Hobart hasn't had a Christmas quite as cold in more than two decades.
(Click the link for the full story!)
Another ongoing prayer request has been from the sister of a young man named Kendall.
Kendall's story begins at midnight on June 30, 2006, when he began having severe chest pain and shortness of breath. It wasn't long before he and his wife Andi knew further attention was necessary and headed to the ER. The next morning he was admitted to the hospital for a CT which later revealed a large mass in his right chest.
Just about daily since then, Kendall's sister posted an evening update and prayer request for Kendall, telling our group about how his day had gone and what his prognosis is.
I feel a little at ends tonight because this is the time when she usually posted, and I usually hurried to read the request and send it on out to the group. There has been no post for the past three nights.
Here's why, from her Saturday post:
Dear prayer warriors and family in Christ,
Kendall was home in time for lunch today. :-)
Now that Kendall is home I probably will not send out an update unless there is
a specific new prayer request. ...
I just can not thank you enough for your faithful prayers. Have a very Merry
Jeremiah 29:11 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans
to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'
2 Corinthians 9:15 'Thank God for his Son—a gift too wonderful for words!'
All I can add to that is a big ol' AMEN!