Hurricane Dorian is history and now we’re on to preparing for the next storm.

But Dorian is still very much in the minds of many who lost loved ones, many who were injured, many who lost homes or had significant damage. Now the cleanup begins.

It’s good to see how people respond to the needs brought about by storms like this. One news story showed a little boy, about 7-years-old, in Allendale, who spent his birthday money to buy hot dogs, chips and water and then stood beside the road giving them away to evacuees. On a larger scale the Coast Guard was sent to the Bahamas. Franklin Graham’s ministry Samaritan’s Purse is already on the ground ministering to the physical and spiritual needs and the American Red Cross is on scene. Neighbors are chipping in to help clean up, fix up, restore.

Why don’t we live in this mode all the time? Why does it take a disaster for many people to get involved in the needs of others? There are needs all around, all the time. And all we have to do to find them is to open our eyes.

Living with open hearts and open hands should be the constant hallmark of God’s people. This was the lifestyle of Jesus Christ; this should be the lifestyle of those who carry His name. This was the life of the early church in Acts.

In Acts 4:13, the people saw Christ in Peter and John and understood that “they had been with Jesus”. In Acts 11:26 the people of Antioch, seeing the life of the disciples, began to call them “Christians”. And in Acts 17:6, seeing the Christ-followers in action caused the people to say “they turned the world upside down.”

This acknowledgement of the spirit of Jesus Christ living in His followers was not just because of their words or the gospel they preached. No, it was because of the life they lived. The daily lives of these men and women so resembled the life of Christ that those who saw them remembered Him.

So, what Christ do we show the world around us? It’s easy to call ourselves Christians; it’s easy to put our church decal on our car, a religious bumper sticker or a fish. But when we’re not in church, when we’re not in “religious mode”, what are we showing a world desperately in need of Jesus?

We show them the love, mercy, grace, compassion and generosity of Jesus as we live daily with open hearts and open hands.

Absolutely, we must give sacrificially to those whose lives were devastated by Hurricane Dorian. Many good organizations, perhaps even your church, is ministering to these people. But on a daily basis, we should also be giving to those in need.

God gives us financial means to help others. Contrary to the “health and wealth” gospel, all God ever promises us is “enough”. When we get more than enough, it’s to help others. We cannot give to every person or organization that begs money and we shouldn’t. But we can and should give to our church and to other worthwhile groups serving God. (Note: If you’re not sure of the reliability of a religious “fundraiser”, see if it’s a member of a Christian accountability group: ECFA; if so, it’s okay to give to them.)

God gives us talents and abilities to help others. I read of a church that ministered to widows and single mothers once a month by coming to the parking lot to change oil and do minor car maintenance. Those with woodworking or carpentry skills, or electricians and plumbers etc. can help with minor household problems. We can mow lawns, trim bushes and so on. And even those of us who are inept in these ways can find ways to use our gifts and skills for others.

And God gives all of us 24 hours a day which is sufficient for our needs, our family’s needs and the needs of others. In creation, God could have created a 48-hour day, but He knew that 24 hours would be enough if we used our time as He intends (48 hours would only give us an additional 24 hours for Facebook, videogames, telephones and TV?!) Sociologists tell us that our generation has more “discretionary” time than any other generation in history. What do we do with it?

All we have to do is to be willing and to be available and to look for ways and people to help. And we must do so without the desire for “reward”, either monetary or otherwise. We give of ourselves when we really give of ourselves.

Christ was never “bothered”; He never felt that His time was wasted by others; He never refused to meet a need. He came, Mark says, not to be ministered to, but to minister to others. As Creator, as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, as God, certainly He could have claimed His right to be served. But He never did.

As those who claim to be His, as those who name His name, why are we so quick to be served and so slow to serve. Friends, may this not be true of us. With the hurricane gone, let’s seek out ways to help the victims (there are plenty); but 24/7/365 let us also be seeking out ways to help others. May those around us, see us loving and serving others and know that “we have been with Christ”.

Ground Zero News

Ground Zero of Myrtle Beach has the following three events upcoming. On Sept. 21 from 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m., you can participate in the National Day of Youth Ministry Training. This is a program for all members of the church youth ministry team. Eight different sessions will be held.

Then on Oct. 13, don’t miss iWorship with Sean McDowell. And on Nov. 16 hear the Newsboys in concert. Go to www.mygroundzero.com.

CEF Softball Tournament Rescheduled

Child Evangelism Fellowship of the Greater Pee Dee will host its first Slow-Pitch Softball Tournament to benefit Good News Clubs.

The tournament has been rescheduled and now will be held Oct. 19 at 8 Oaks Park in Georgetown. This is a co-ed tournament, teams of 10-15 players, age 15 and over. Cost is $15 per player.

Go online to www.cefgpd.org, phone (843) 365-4233 or e-mail susie@cefgpd.org.

OCC Event

National Collection Week for Samaritan Purse’s Operation Christmas Child “shoeboxes” is Nov. 18-25. But OCC will have a “Countdown to Collection Week” event Sept. 28 at 9 a.m. at Bethany Bible Chapel, 1668 Four Mile Road in Conway. You are invited. E-mail to jcsroberts@yahoo.com or dreeves2323@gmail.com.

Coastline Welcomes Abby Johnson

Coastline Women’s Center is hosting “An Evening With Abby Johnson”. Abby is the author of the book “Unplanned” which brought about the movie of the same name. She is the brave young woman, former head of a Planned Parenthood “clinic”, who witnessed firsthand the horror of abortion and shone the light on the lies of the abortion industry.

This special time will be held Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. in Christ United Church, Myrtle Beach. You won’t want to miss it. Tickets are now available and I believe this event will sell out quickly (I already have mine). Call Coastline Women’s Center at (843) 877-9653, e-mail to jeannieandcartersmith@gmail.com, or go online to coastlinewomenscenter.org.

Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry

■ Pauley Swamp Baptist Church is having its annual church-wide yard sale Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Browse and purchase furniture, appliances, clothing, household items and more. Proceeds benefit the Samaritan’s Purse shoebox ministry. The church is located at 7580 Pauley Swamp Road.

■ Brown Swamp UMC, 4725 U.S. 501 West, will hold a “Blessing of the Animals” Saturday from 10 a.m.-noon.

And on Sept. 27 at 5:30 p.m. there will be free music in the church parking lot. Bring a lawn chair, your cooler with snacks and/or dinner (no adult beverages, please) and enjoy the evening.

■ Homewood Baptist Church, 3296 S.C. 319, invites you to Homecoming Sunday beginning at 10:30 a.m. Musical guests will be Johnson Edition, a sibling quartet from upstate South Carolina. Lunch will follow morning worship. Phone (843) 365-3403.

■ The AWANA Clubs at Bethany Bible Chapel, 1668 Four Mile Road, are in full swing for the 2019-20 school year. There are clubs for boys and girls and young people from age 3 through grade 12. AWANA is held each Monday beginning at 6:30 p.m. Phone (843) 369-7729, e-mail to bethanyb@sccoast.net or check out the website at www.bbcofconway.org.

■ Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 2610 Mt. Zion Road in Loris, invites you to Homecoming Sept. 22 at 10 a.m. Come hear the Rev. Michael Lee and the Wright Family. Phone (843) 365-5381.

■ The “Willing Hearts” from Pleasant Union Baptist Church will be singing at Gurley Baptist Church, Loris Sept. 22 at 6 p.m. A free-will offering will be received. All are welcome.

■ Waccamaw Women’s Mission Union (WMU) has rescheduled the Children’s Walk-a-Thon for Janie (the Janie Chapman Offering for State Missions). This event for boys and girls in grades 1-6 (and their leaders) will be held at Hickory Grove Baptist Church, 2710 S.C. 905 on Sept. 28. Register at 9:30 a.m. with the program at 10 a.m. and lunch at 11 a.m.

Please register by e-mail to choffice@sccoast.net or phone (843) 399-6790 or (843) 855-5080.

■ Good Hope Baptist Church, 6101 Privetts Road (between Conway and Loris), will celebrate Homecoming 2019 Oct. 6 at 10:30 a.m. The church choir and others will lift you to “higher ground” singing about the Lord Jesus Christ. The Rev. Laneir Singleton will bring the message. A delicious meal will be served at noon. Everyone is invited! Phone (843) 365-6242.

■ Cherry Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 504 Church St., invites everyone to a Community Health Fair Oct. 12 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The theme of the event is “Health is Wealth: Fitness for your Mind, Body and Spirit”. Vendors are needed for the event. Phone (843) 248-4900.

■ St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 3449 S.C. 65, will be distributing food on the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 11 a.m. until all food has been distributed.

■ Loris First United Methodist Church, 3507 Broad St., has a Blessing Box in the church and it is available each Friday from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. This box contains nonperishable food items and individuals in need are encouraged to come to the church at those times. Also, if you would like to donate items, please place them in the box.

■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris, has a food pantry on the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.

■ Salem Baptist Church, 4008 Salem Road in Aynor, opens its Food Bank on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m.-noon. The mission: “We serve Christ when we serve people.”

Myrtle Beach/The Coast

■ Christ United Church, 2901 Fantasy Way, invites all women and girls to the Wonder of His Love Women’s Night of Worship Friday at 6:30 p.m. Connect with Him through worship, a message and prayer. Childcare is available. Come and bring a friend.

■ Once again Sun Coast Christian Church of Myrtle Beach presents its annual Fall Festival, Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Featuring a delicious pulled pork dinner (carry-outs are available), tasty homemade baked goods, exciting door prizes donated by local businesses, this year’s “Fall Festival” is certain to be an enjoyable event for all ages. And your attendance assists the church in support of the many missions and charities in the community.

The church is located at the corner of 44th Avenue North and Little River Road in Myrtle Beach (between Kings Highway and Grissom Parkway). Phone (843) 444-0731.

■ Murrells Inlet Presbyterian Church, 4499 S.C. 17 Bypass, invites you to hear Geof Kimber in concert Sunday at 5 p.m. Phone (843) 651-3751.

■ Faith Outreach Ministries of the Grand Strand sponsors the New Beginnings Food Distribution on the third Saturday of each month at the Church of the Resurrection, 8901 U.S. 17 Bypass in Surfside Beach. The event goes from 10 a.m.-noon and there is free groceries, free lunch, social services information and a children’s craft table.

Fall dates for New Beginnings are Sept. 21, Oct. 19 and Nov. 16. Phone (843) 215-4500

■ St. Philip Lutheran Preschool, located at 6200 N. Kings Hwy., is accepting new students for the 2019-2020 school year. There are openings for 2, 3 and 4-year-olds.

The first day for the new school year was Sept. 4. Before and aftercare are available upon request (fees apply). Call Preschool Director Janice Myers at (843) 449-4322 or visit the Preschool page on the church website at stphiliplutheranchurchmb.com.

■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church Preschool Academy is now accepting applications for your child. This small, personal and Christian-based setting is run within a structured program including nurturing learning opportunities with a loving staff that cares for your child.

Cost is $75 per week/per child. Call the church office at (843) 236-1121. The church address is 1226 Burcale Road.

■ Mt. Leon Baptist Church invites men to the Men’s Retreat at FFA Camp Sept. 20 and 21. The camp is located at 1069 FFA Camp Road in North Myrtle Beach. Cost is $25 for overnight or $10 Saturday only. Phone (843) 399-3793 or (843) 602-4542.

■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea, 65th Ave. North and N. Kings Highway, invites you to Friday night service at 7:30 p.m. (Kosher Oneg), Shabbat Service at 10 a.m. (Kosher Kiddush).

Hebrew school registration is underway. Tuition is $180 per child. Principal is Perri Sullivan.

Current Second Nature Project: we are collecting school supplies to help both the Community Kitchen and Helping Hand. Place in the basket by the front door of the Rosen Center. All Mitzvoth greatly appreciated. Questions? Contact Karen Osborne at (843) 446-1060.

Order High Holiday Challahs and Honeycakes at (336) 402-1014.

High Holidays Schedule:

Selichot: Sept. 21, 8 p.m.-10 p.m.

Erev Rosh Hashanah, Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m.

Rosh Hashanah, Sept. 30, 9 a.m.

Tashlich Ceremony 1 p.m.; Evening Service 7:30 p.m.

Rosh Hashanah Second Day, Oct. 1, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Kol Nidre, Oct. 8, 6:30 p.m.

Yom Kippur, Oct. 9, 9 a.m.; Private Devotion 4:30 p.m.; Mincha & Neilah 5:30 p.m.; Break-the-Fast, 7:26 p.m.

Camp Judaea: Israel, Judaism, Nature, Community, Individual growth. For boys and girls age 7-15. Register for next summer by calling1-404-634-7883.

■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Thursday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You are encouraged to come out and browse and buy and, in so, doing you’ll be supporting this community outreach. Phone (843) 236-1121.

■ Temple Shalom, 4023 Belle Terre Blvd., invites you to Shabbat services each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Phone (843) 903-6634 or go online to templeshalommyrtlebeach.net.

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