Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Purifying Filter

Many are forced to drink dirty water with no filtration
“The creek right next to my house is black,” remembered UCSB grad student Ning Jiang of her childhood in Tsing Tao, China, years before working to develop a better water filter for developing countries around the world. “There are no fish or living organisms….That made me want to do something about it.” Her brainchild was a filter.
According to the Santa Barbara Independent Online: "Jiang is testing the “silver-sand” filter, which Safe Water hopes to distribute to Third World countries to improve water quality across the globe." This could help bring in an inexpensive process clean drinking water to a world whose supply has been polluted by filth, bacteria, and garbage. It's this filter that could make the difference for millions.

Yes, it was that filthy...and in our bathtub
Dirty drinking water is a ongoing problem in the third world. It affects more than just the poorest of people as well. It still give me shivers remembering when we had only been in Africa for a short while, we turned the water faucet on and all that came out was brown water. Thankfully, I was pouring a bath and not cooking or drinking. Even so, I wasn't about to "clean up" in dirty brown water. Unfortunately, that wasn't the only time it happened. We learned that when the reservoir was stirred up by rain, it made our water muddy. Immediately I thought, "What's in my drinking water?" Let me remind you, was water that was in the city, coming out of a faucet, and we paid for. What we needed was a good filter.

If you would like to be involved helping people get clean drinking water, try these two resources:

When it comes to our water source, we would be livid if our water here in the US turned out like the water that many are forced to use and drink daily. We would not stand for it. We would and should expect more from our water supply. But, if we were to drink water straight from the supply that we had, we would be sick as well. You see, much of our water is undrinkable without proper filtration. Did you know that our drinking water in Charleston, SC comes from the Edisto River? Have you ever seen the Edisto? I sure wouldn't drink out of it. In case you question the veracity of the source of our drinking water, here's a little history for you from the Charleston Water System website:
It took CPW nine years (1928-1937) to build the 23-mile tunnel—all hand excavated—to deliver water from the Edisto River to the Hanahan Pumping Station. The tunnel cost $1.36 million and provided a gravity supply of 70 mgd to the plant. The Edisto River became CPW’s primary source of water, and continues to provide raw water to the Hanahan Plant today.
So, how do we drink water from an open river? Water treatment. This is an elaborate system of pumps, chemical additives, and filters that makes our water safe to drink. What I'm saying is it doesn't just happen, it takes effort...lots of it...by a lot of people with a lot of money to make our drinking water safe. For that, I am very thankful.

Yet we in the Christian church are in a crisis. But, it is not a crisis of tainted water or food supply. It is a crisis much greater than that because of its eternal results. Amos prophesied that this would be the case:
The days are coming— this is the declaration of the Lord God—when I will send a famine through the land: not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. People will stagger from sea to sea and roam from north to east, seeking the word of the Lord, but they will not find it. (Amos 8:11-12, HCSB)

This drought has happened under our very noses. Even while we thought we were paying attention. What has happened is simple but profound. We have quit using the Bible as our filter for life, belief, philosophy, actions, attitudes, and even our religion. You would at least think we would easily be able to distinguish between good and bad religious beliefs, but we no longer can. It is a tragedy of mammoth proportions.

So, what do we do? How can we get back to what we practiced and believed? We get the right filter back into our lives.

God has not left us without that filter. He made sure we could know why we believe, how we can live, and what to use to interpret every other part of our experience with. It is called the book of Romans. It is the filter we use to stay clean and pure in every way that matters. Sixteen short chapters that will affect you to your Core. As believers, we use this book to filter every philosophy, lifestyle, belief, and even the Scripture through in order to understand God's own mind. Romans 11:33 gives us the assurance that we can have access to the mind of God:
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! (HCSB)
This week, we begin an incredible journey to The Core. Join us every week this Summer at Oceanside Church. It will change what you believe, reinforce what you thought you knew, and help you stand firm in this ever-changing, pluralistic world we live in. There are absolutes. God wants you to know them so you can filter the wrong and drink in the pure. It is The Core of who we are. This week, we will have your notebooks ready so you can follow every single week and then keep this resource to help you filter everything you encounter. Are you ready to join us on this great adventure to The Core?

See you Sunday.
Pastor Trey Rhodes


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