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AHH 24-Hr. News

IMAGE Drunk Driving Enforcement Crackdown to be Conducted Locally as Part of Statewide Year End Campaign
Friday, 28 November 2014
Atlantic Highlands, NJ — Chief Jerry Vasto reports the Atlantic Highlands Police Department will be cracking down on drunk drivers as part of the annual holiday season “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” statewide campaign. BeginningDecember... Read More...
IMAGE Highland Police Investigate Assault, Burglary and Weapons Possession Charges
Friday, 28 November 2014
HIGHLANDS, NJ - The following police report is provided by the Highlands Police Department.  All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. On 11/25/14 8:30AM Highlands Police responded to a street argument and found... Read More...
8 More Charged in DEP Crackdown to Combat Illegal Dumping
Friday, 28 November 2014
TRENTON, NJ – The Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) initiative to crack down on illegal dumping in state parks and recreational lands has yielded eight more enforcement actions, all for disposing of debris and other materials... Read More...
Thanksgiving Weekend Travel: Icy Spots in Northeast; Stormy in the West
Friday, 28 November 2014
AccuWeather reports as millions return home from Thanksgiving this weekend, icy roads will be a hazard in the Northeast. An onslaught of storms, bringing snow and rain, will disrupt travel in the West. Watch for Icy Spots in the Northeast While... Read More...
Rumson Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration Sunday, December 7
Friday, 28 November 2014
Rumson, NJ –  Rumson, NJ will celebrate the holiday season with a traditional Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration at 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 7 in Victory Park. All Rumson residents are welcome to attend. The evening’s festivities will... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Buffleheads are Back in Town
by Joe Reynolds
Friday, 28 November 2014
Brrrrrrr. It's like Mother Nature flipped a  switch. The first really cold temperatures of the season have invaded New York  Harbor. Winter... Read More...
IMAGE Review - Theory of Everything
by David Prown
Tuesday, 25 November 2014
I'm not a science guy.  I have no true understanding of the genius of uber-astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. But the reviews looked... Read More...
IMAGE Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Often Not Believed
by Daniel J. Vance
Saturday, 22 November 2014
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also called Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, had Carl Miller of Georgetown, Ohio, and his doctors,... Read More...
IMAGE Imparted Concepts
by George Hancock-Stefan
Friday, 21 November 2014
I heard on the news that a baseball player, Giancarlo Stanton, received the highest salary that has ever been paid ($325 million over 13... Read More...
IMAGE Review - Interstellar
by David Prown
Friday, 21 November 2014
I was definitely not jonesing to see "Interstellar" as I'm not really a big special effects guy however I've always liked space movies. My son saw it... Read More...

Upcoming Events

Fri Nov 28 @10:00AM -
Trail Hike and Farmhouse Tour
Sat Nov 29 @ 5:00PM -
Keyport Tree Lighting
Sun Nov 30 @ 4:00PM -
Pier Village Tree Lighting
Mon Dec 01 @11:30AM - 05:00PM
Monday Mix Goes to the Culinary Education Center
Mon Dec 01 @ 7:00PM -
Keansburg Tree Lighting

george_hancockstefanThis past Wednesday, I was in the airport from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM before my flight left.  I arrived for a 9:00 AM flight that was full.  In fact, I was taken on the plane because there was an empty seat, but when I got there, the steward was told that he counted wrong, and the person sitting in that seat was only in the bathroom.  I was transferred to a later 2:30 PM flight that was equally full. The next flight was at 5:30 PM, which was delayed until 7:00 PM.  In spite of all of these delays, I was glad to get on the last flight so I could visit my sisters and their families on the West Coast.  I was so easily bumped from all these flights because I flew on a buddy pass given to me by a friend. I am so thankful to my friend, even when I find myself in situations like these.

As I waited in the airport, I had a chance to reflect on the plans of Mary and Joseph.  Most of their plans did not go as they hoped they would. 

Mary, like the majority of the Jewish girls, wanted to present herself to Joseph as a virgin bride who waited in the betrothal time. That is the reason she asked the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?” Yet in that moment, her plans completely changed when she submitted to the message of the angel by saying, "Let it be done to me according to your word."

Joseph is introduced as a righteous man who is surprised that his betrothed (pledged to be married to him) is pregnant.  His plans completely changed.  As a righteous man, he decided that he will not make a scandal over this issue, and he will leave her quietly. Instead, he listened to the angel and took Mary in his house and thus becomes the one that gives the name Jesus to the Son that was conceived in Mary by the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit.

Then, Governor Quirinius comes with a new edict.  All had to register in the town of their forefathers.  This was the wrong time for Mary and Joseph to travel. Yet the punishment for forfeiting this census was so severe that they decided to travel to Bethlehem. The reception that they had in Bethlehem was not the best, and Jesus Christ was born in the manger.

When they planned to return home, another angel of the Lord told them that they had to change their plans again and this time leave the country completely and go to a foreign land. They traveled to Egypt and when they came back, their plans changed again as the angel told them that even though Herod has died, his son Archelaus reigned in his place and they should go to a different location.

I was thinking that if I did not receive a seat on that last flight, my only option would have been to return home instead of going to visit my sisters. I made my plans, but they seemed not to work for at least 12 hours as I was bumped from one flight to another.

 

I was thinking of other people whose plans completely changed this year.  I was thinking of people whose plans changed drastically because of Hurricane Sandy.  I was thinking of the changed plans for the families in the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.  All these people had plans in the morning, which by the end of the day completely changed and their lives will never be the same.

When the plans of life change drastically, said the famous theologian, Miroslav Volf, is it easier to be an atheist and talk about the merciless and cruel nature (or even call her mother nature), or talk about a personal God?  The well-known American deists, Ralph Emerson and David Thoreau, would say that God is involved in many universal matters, but He is not involved in the plane ticket and travel plans of George Hancock-Stefan.  They perhaps would say that God was somehow involved in the birth of Jesus Christ (even though they would deny his divinity), but not at all involved in such a devastating hurricane as Sandy. 

Many Christians have Jeremiah 29:11 as one of their favorite verses.  Jeremiah writes, "For I know the plans that I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." However, when our plans seem to go in so many directions and they are no longer the plans that we hoped for, it gets more difficult to see how they are good.

For that reason, I have another verse that I have memorized.  It is Psalm 55:22, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall."  My trip was a planned ‘care’ - I wanted to arrive at a certain destination and towards the end of the day I was convinced that if the Lord wanted me to go to the West Coast, a seat will become available on the plane, but if that was not His will, I will take the train and go home.  

This does not mean that I do not envision and I do not plan. In fact, I have already planned the titles and the texts of the sermons that I will preach for January-June 2013.  I have about six trips planned for the same period.  These trips are intensive lectures series, presentations of academic papers, and sermons in other churches. We have special events planned for our children. Rather, what I have learned to do is to plan and to entrust my plans in the hands of the Lord asking for His blessing and for him to bring them to glorious fruition.

I pray that your plans for next year will come to fruition and that you will rejoice greatly in seeing blessings abundant on your path. However, if you find yourself waiting in an airport, or if your plans have been delayed, postponed, or rerouted, remember that God is aware of those plans and He will lead you through. He is as involved and present in the plans that come to fruition as He is involved and present in the ones that are slowed down, rerouted, or postponed.  With this in mind, I am looking forward to His plan for my return trip to New Jersey this Saturday.