*The early church kept moving ahead. And we can too! In spite of our enemies, in spite of the setbacks, we can still move forward for the Lord Jesus Christ!
*In February of 2007, a deadly tornado struck central Florida. And it smashed almost everything in its path. The storm struck at the worst possible time, moving across the state along a 30-mile path between 3 and 4 a.m.
*Twenty people were killed, and there was great suffering in those communities. It was the second deadliest tornado in Florida history. Resident Russell Timmons said: "Hell opened up and half the demons came out."
*The Lady Lake Church of God was destroyed by the tornado. Even though it had been built to take a Cat 4 hurricane with 150 mph winds., the church was turned into a twisted mess of wood and metal. Pieces of aluminum roof hung from oak branches and clanked in the wind. Pews and Bibles were scattered everywhere.
*But here is the good news: By sunrise, church members had gathered on the parking lot, hugging each other and consoling their pastor. And they had church that Sunday. Members, neighbors and media from all over the country from gathered there for the morning service.
*That day, the Pastor said this to the reporters: "That's just the building, the people are the church. We'll be back bigger and stronger. We'll move forward. We're going to be fine. We'll pull it together."
*Robert Newman, who had attended the church for the previous 3 years said, "It doesn't bother me one little bit, because God's going to use this for a blessing. He's going to build it bigger and better."
*Suzie Lamley started attending the church when it met in a small house down the road, and she believed the tragedy could turn into a blessing. Suzie said, "This is only history. A new beginning is coming, and God's story is not over yet. I think that the eyes of the world can be opened." And another church member said this on TV, "We don't need the building. We have Jesus."
*Aren't you glad we have a Savior like that? No wonder we should be filled with joy! No wonder our church can and should move ahead! And we will, if we follow God's guidance.
"Tornado smashes central Florida, killing at least 19" by Jim Ellis - Associated Press - Posted 02/02/2007 on Herald.com - The Miami Herald
"Torn Bibles, broken pews, flattened homes left in tornado's path" by Brian Skoloff - Associated Press - Posted 02/02/2007 on Herald.com - The Miami Herald
"Lady Lake Church of God worships amid the rubble" by By Alexandra Lundahl, Daily Sun - Found 02/07/2007 on website for The Villages Daily Sun
Quote: "We don’t need the building. We have Jesus." Heard on Fox News
Contributed by Jeff Strite on Mar 1, 2015
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Contributed by Jeff Strite on Sep 19, 2016
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