Eyjafjallajokull, Iceland

Since Iceland began billowing volcanic ash last week, the name Eyjafjallajökull has sprung onto everyone’s lips (or not)!
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The airspace of Iceland itself is oddly unaffected, but most of Europe has stopped flights. Even Barack Obama couldn’t get to Lech Kaczyński’s funeral on Sunday. Usually southwesterly winds would push the cloud over the Arctic, but the balmy weather we’re currently enjoying and its accompanying high pressure is keeping the volcanic ash where it is.
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Flights in and out of Britain are almost all grounded, which is of no small concern to me. I’m worried that Formula 1 won’t be able to return from China to Europe to prepare for the Barcelona Grand Prix. Oh, and I’m also due to fly out on Monday evening.
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It seems that the Lord has decided it would be best if some people didn’t fly to places this week, but instead stayed on the ground and talked to each other. I hope and pray that this unusual situation lets travellers in Europe hear the gospel from other travellers. And maybe get massages.
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I also hope and pray the travel disruption would all be smoothed out this week before I planned to go. The Lord may say yes or no, but he’s the boss and he knows best. I can’t worry about it.
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In the meantime, the Maker is demonstrating to the world how big and powerful and creative he is. When I saw the photos of the volcano, the eruption and the plume of ash, I couldn’t help but feel awe at how grand and beautiful and dramatic God can be.
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‘For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities -his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.’ [Romans 1:20]

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Rescue work in Yushu county, Qinghai province

The bigger story is Wednesday’s earthquake in China’s 青海 Qinghai (“Ching-hi”) province. Hundreds are dead and lots of damage done to bodies and buildings. Yushu County is incredibly remote, a huge distance from Beijing. Let’s pray practical help can get in there, and that God’s people will be able to offer assistance and love. Thankfully I haven’t heard of anyone I know being affected, but I expect to learn more next week.

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‘Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a still small voice. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.’ [1 Kings 19]

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