Drawing Near

A Pastoral Perspective on Biblical, Theological, & Cultural Issues | The Personal Website of James B. Law, Ph.D.

Monthly Archive: August 2015



August 2015



Reflections on Katrina Ten Years Later

Written by , Posted in Devotional, Faith & Culture, Uncategorized


On Sunday, August 28th 2005, the First Baptist Church Gonzales, La.  gathered for worship with a foreboding outlook on the next 24 hours. As we closed the worship service, I addressed the congregation by stating the obvious, namely that the radar and forecast were troubling, and that we should make final decisions regarding the storm. My last comment was one leading to a closing prayer for God’s protection and provision, I shared with our church that Katrina promises to be a future pseudonym for disaster, and I am confident that it will change south Louisiana in a very profound way. I challenged our people that with such destruction coming our way, we could count on unprecedented opportunities for ministry.

For five hours on Monday, August 29, Hurricane Katrina battered the major Gulf Coast cities, and when all was said and done there were 1833 deaths and $108 billion dollars in damages.  Douglas Brinkley in his comprehensive and impressive chronicle, The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast,  writes, “The storm-surge flooding, which submerged a half million homes, creating the largest domestic refugee crisis since the Civil War. Eighty percent of New Orleans was under water, as debris and sewage coursed through the streets, and whole towns in southeastern Louisiana ceased to exist.”

Gonzales, being some 60 miles west of New Orleans along the route of Interstate 10, would escape the higher winds and the devastating flooding of our friends in New Orleans.  By being one of the first major exits on I-10 west out of New Orleans, Gonzales became a city of refugee for many fleeing Katrina. (more…)



August 2015



Life is Short, Don’t Have an Affair

Written by , Posted in Church Life, Faith & Culture

One can only imagine the panic Tuesday’s revelation brought throughout the world when hackers announced that they were going to post online the client data from Ashley Madison, a web company that facilitates adulterous connections globally. This data leak is now available for download and includes: full names, street addresses, email addresses, and financial information of some 37 million users.

Make no mistake about it, the fallout will be devastating to millions of families, and serves to remind us of the dangerous secret lives that are being lived out in epic proportions on the Internet. We could rightly call this week’s Ashley Madison debacle a category 5 with regard to moral storms, and its effects most certainly will be catastrophic.

The explosion of Internet immorality into multi-billion dollar business seems to have come together like a perfect storm as spiritual decline coupled with the jettisoning of biblical truth merged with the rapid advance of the Internet.



August 2015



The Harvest is Past, the Summer is Ended, and We Are Not Saved

Written by , Posted in Church Life, Devotional

From the rhythm of the seasons, the ending of summer is a reminder of our need to be right with God. When August comes, I often am reminded of this statement found in the prophecy of Jeremiah,

“The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”       ~Jeremiah 8:20

These words were actually spoken by the people in a moment of anguish. It was a proverb expressing that their God-given opportunity to repent was now over. It was a statement of great despair and loss.

Throughout their history, Israel’s greatest enemies were not the Philistines or the Assyrians or the Babylonians. Israel’s greatest enemies were the false prophets who stood in the gates and told the people what they wanted to hear.

However, Jeremiah was not cut from that cloth of duplicity. By contrast, Jeremiah’s preaching was a ‘downer’ for the hard-hearted nation of Judah. When Jeremiah confronted the sins of his people he was persecuted. When he called the nation to repent, he was brought into the cross-hairs of their distain and ridicule.

Jeremiah’s one-tracked message to repent and return to the Lord was grating on the nerves of many. I mean, really, how many times do you need to hear about your sins? How many times do you need to hear that you must repent and turn to the Lord? But faithful prophets don’t custom craft their messages to please the people. (more…)