2/22/11 - Four Americans taken hostage by Somali pirates off East Africa were shot and killed by their captors Monday, the U.S. military said, the first time that sea bandits have killed U.S. Hostages.
Dozens killed in NZ quake
2/22/11 - A 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Tuesday, causing buildings to collapse, burying vehicles under debris, and sending rescuers scrambling to help trapped people amid reports of many deaths.
I saw these listed among other news items on OneNewsNow.com. Seems this is standard fare these days. Now, I say this not to dismiss but to emphasize the seriousness of the days in which we live. Granted, if you were to look at many years gone by, you might be able to say those days were just as bad, or close to it. Other days WERE rough, but now we need a strength for our day. Listen to these words of comfort from Edward Payson, one of the greatest men of God in the 18th-19th Centuries:
"Whatever your sorrows or trials may be, [Jesus] knows by experience how to sympathize with you. . . . Has Satan wounded you with his fiery darts? He remembers how sorely his own heart was bruised when he wrestled with principalities and powers, and crushed the head of the prince of darkness. Are you assaulted with various and distressing temptations? Christ was tempted to doubt whether he were the Son of God, to presume upon his Father's love, and to worship the father of lies. . . . Does the world persecute and despise you, or are your enemies those of your own household? Christ was despised and rejected of men, and his own relations stigmatized him as a madman."Look to Christ. Look to Christ. That is always the best and soundest advice. It is this we will need should great trial come our way as it did the four Bible-delivering Christians killed by the Somali pirates. We awaken one day with plans, good plans in our heart, and our head never hits the pillow that night. None of us knows when that will happen. So, how prepared are we? As Payson urges, "O, then, banish all your fears. Look at your merciful High Priest who is passed into the heavens, and triumphantly exclaim with the apostle, 'Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?'"