1 Day Left to Live… 14 Years after The 2003 Kansas Flash-Flood…

If you had 1 day left to live, what would you do?

 

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, many precious lives in Houston, Texas, and the Gulf Coast have encountered eternity…or come frightfully close.  May God bless all the survivors and rescue workers with His deep Mercy and abounding Hope.  Our prayers are with them all.

 

14 years ago tonight, I had no idea that my wife and all 4 children (ages 8, 5, 3, and 1 then) would perish within 24 hours.  I also came within inches of dying – as all 6 of us were plunged into a raging deluge after our minivan was swept off the Kansas Turnpike over Labor Day weekend in 2003 by a Wall of Water (from a Hurricane Isabella storm cell that stalled over the Midwest).

 

I tasted eternity that night as I was drowning in the floodwaters that swept our family away from the interstate.  I’m only alive today by the sheer grace and will of Almighty God.  He is God.  I am not.

 

Whenever we ponder death, it helps put our lives in proper perspective.  Every death, every funeral, and every flood or natural disaster reminds us of just how frail life is…and how thin the veil is between this world and the next.

 

“You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is merely a breath.  (Psalm 39:5)

 

What happened to me in 2003 – and what is happening to so many right now after Hurricane Harvey – should not leave us unchanged.  Rather, we should allow Jesus Christ in – to transform us from the inside out; to turn away from sin – and turn to the Lord; to turn away from the world’s attractions – and turn back to our families.

 

So, 14 years ago tonight, on Friday August 29, 2003, my family and I had a grand evening of popcorn, pizza, and ice cream.  We made lasting memories, thank God.  I needed those memories to survive after they died.  Those memories were – in part – my oxygen.  All 5 of them drowned 1 day later – Saturday evening, August 30, 2003.

 

I encourage each of you to take time with your families to make memories.  Turn OFF the screens and tune IN to your spouse and children.  Look at them eyeball to eyeball and say, “Yes, let’s have that banana split that we’ve been putting off until ‘someday'”.

 

TODAY is SOMEDAY.  Don’t wait another moment and regret it.

 

Forgive one another of our many faults.  Show mercy.  Life is too short.  Don’t harbor regrets with one another.

 

Most of all, if you had 1 day left to live, would you have eternal regrets with God?  Are you right with Him?  Don’t die with eternal regrets.

 

Scripture says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.”  (Acts 16:31)  Put your trust in Jesus.  Don’t put it off another day.

 

After the flood, into the media cameras, I uttered these words, “I have no regrets.”  It’s precisely because of the life we lived with God and with our family.

 

Today is the day.  Now is the time.  Don’t wait another moment.  Let the bad news that surrounds us in this fallen world – bring GOOD NEWS to your heart and your family.  Jesus is the GOOD NEWS.  Receive Him fully today.  You’ll never regret it.

 

——–

 

Thank you for praying for me and Mighty in the Land Ministry.

 

By the grace of God, I’ve ministered over 1,138 times to at least 269,000 people (since 2003).  Our new Year-2020 vision aims to indelibly impact over 500,000 people personally with God’s Great News through our family’s story – in 3 key ways:

 

1) Evangelize souls.

2) Restore families.

3) Heal hearts.

 

Also, through the Mighty in the Land orphan FOUNDATION, we’ve funded 8 orphanages and granted over $477,000 to help care for orphans and special-needs children worldwide.  Praise God!

 

Could you please help me fulfill Jesus’ Great Commission through this new  Year-2020 Vision in 3 ways?

 

1)      Pray.

  • Prayer is the fuel that propels this Ministry and Vision.  I can’t proceed without your vital prayers.  Prayer-partners like you make this possible.

2)      Reach.

  • Please reach out and spread the word of this freewill Ministry to other churches, communities, cities, and states – nationwide  – that more souls might encounter Christ through this Mighty message.  Your personal referral is truly vital to help continue this ministry.

3)      Give.

  • Please consider contributing materially to this Ministry to help further this cause and our Year-2020 Vision.  I can’t do it without you.

Like you, I’ve sacrificed and sown greatly – particularly through the deaths of my previous wife and all 4 children on August 30, 2003.  And so, I pray that – through their deaths – come abundant life and bountiful fruitfulness in others.  As God’s Word declares, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone.  But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.” (John 12:24)

 

“Hearing your message yesterday at Life Church was just what I needed.  Thank you for coming, and touching us all.”  (Andrea – Facebook Post – June 26, 2017)

 

Thank you for being an integral part of our team’s mission.  Together, we can impact lives like these, by the grace and strength of Almighty God.

 

Gratefully and faithfully,

 

-Robert Rogers

Teaching others to KNOW GOD and Life a Life of No Regrets

 

PS – If God prompts you to support the ongoing work of Mighty in the Land Ministry with a tax-deductible contribution, I would be deeply grateful to you.  Here’s how:

 

 

1) Credit card on our website: www.MightyInTheLand.com or by phone 260-515-5158.

2) Calling 317-570-5850 about donating non-cash gifts.

3) Check in the US Mail to:

 

Mighty in the Land Ministry

429 East DuPont Road, #230

Fort Wayne, IN  46825-2051

 

Thank you so very much.

 

Mighty in the Land Ministry is fully committed to sacred stewardship of your donations.  To ensure our financial accountability to you, we are thoroughly vetted through an accreditation process as members of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (www.ECFA.org).

Water Well in India – May 2017

In May this year (2017)Water Well Construction Pastor Gopi and Wife, through many of your contributions – coupled with our ongoing Ministry tithe, the Mighty in the Land FOUNDATION (www.mightyintheland.com/orphan-care/) donated $8,000, to equip the GO (Global Orphan Project: www.goproject.org) India team and church partner Pastor Gopi to drill a bore water well. Below are some photos from their efforts and a testimony from GO India Director Mary Priscilla. Behold God.
 
Mary’s Testimony:
 
“Praise God that we had drilled the bore well in Pastor Gopi’s Church. There was no water until 330 feet and initially right from feet 1 it was all rock. The neighbors and even the bore well owners kept saying that there would be no water as this is rocky place but Neither Pastor Sudhakar, Pastor Gopi, Myself, Paul nor the orphan kids at Pastor Gopi’s place gave up hope. It was so satisfying to see the faith of these little children and their prayers. Finally The water gushed out at 330 feet and we were able to drill until 400 feet.
 
“This whole process reminded me that God’s promises are always with us and His provision is always preserved and stored for the right time and we need to go through the process of drilling and waiting for as many feet as God wants us to. But all we need is Faith that we will receive it for sure. And there will be lot of voices that will tell us that our walk, faith and struggle is of no use and they would yell at us to give up midway. But Faith in God is what keeps us going forward and for sure….. Yes for sure…. the provisions and blessings will gush out at the determined time. This has encouraged me a lot! And this blessing would just be the beginning of something bigger that God is gonna do! It’s just like the bore well – water is just the beginning of the project that is going to stand up here.”
 
++++++
 
Pastor Gopi’s testimony of obedience is amazing. Pastor Gopi felt the Lord calling him to plant a church. As he sought out the heart of the Lord, he was drawn to a location outside of the city limits of Hyderabad. This place was remote and, to any reasonable person, would have been a questionable (at best!) place to plant a church. Yet, Pastor Gopi continued to pray, and the Lord said yes. So he built a church there.
 
Meanwhile, the city of Hyderabad was working on a new policy to eliminate slums in the city limits. Although this effort seems philanthropic on the surface, the policy actually amounted to a slum relocation project. The city decided to relocate people to new skyrise apartments so that it could claim that it had eliminated slums from the city. The city enacted the policy, seeking to build new apartments to relocate those living in the slums.
 
And where did the city choose to go? God knew it all along, and he was preparing his servant for the work to be done. Pastor Gopi – not knowing why – had simply obeyed, and when all of these new apartments began to be built and filled with people, who was there to minister to them?! Pastor Gopi! Now, there are approximately 300,000 people surrounding his little church. What a ministry God had prepared for him.
 
Glory be to God! Thank you for partnering with us.
 
[KNOW GOD – no regrets]
-Robert

Love never dies

“We found your wife, Melissa.”

13 years ago today (Sep 2, 2003), these words ended our agonizingly long 3 days of hoping & praying in Emporia, Kansas – that somehow Melissa would be found intact. She was found 2 miles from the freeway in a retention pond that had tripled in size.

“We need to ask you to identify her body as well.”

Following the deaths of our 4 precious children, these words sank my heart to rock bottom like an anchor on the ocean floor.

What was I to do? What did I have left to live for?

Sometimes when we hit rock-bottom, we discover that we’ve struck the Rock of Ages. I was utterly emptied and depleted of all that was me. I needed to be filled with all that is God – His Comforter, the Holy Spirit. I literally free-fell into the mighty Arms of Jesus.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

With my parents and siblings by my side, I embraced and tearfully kissed my beautiful bride of nearly 12 years goodbye. Some time later, I poured out my feelings for her into this song I composed entitled, “I Shall Always Love You.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9rdyyQTRnA

Love never dies. “Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it.” (Song of Solomon 8:7)

Husbands, love your wives with no regrets and with all you’ve got…with zest, zeal, and passion…like there’s no tomorrow. After all, none of us is guaranteed tomorrow.

[KNOW GOD – no regrets] -Robert

It Is Well With My Soul

“It Is Well”

13 years ago today (Sept 1, 2003), my heart felt amputated and hemorrhaging. Having identified the bodies of all 4 of our precious children the day before – Makenah (8), Zachary (5), Nicholas (3), and Alenah (1), and with my parents now at my side, we offered up our tears and prayers to God. We prayed that somehow Melissa would somehow still be found intact. I suddenly felt as though life had no direction or meaning. What did I still have to live for? What would I tell Melissa, if she was found alive? What do I do?

So many questions.

Amidst it all, my longing for some healing music led me to this hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul.” I went to the chapel in the hospital and pondered its words at the foot of the cross. “When sorrow like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, ‘It is well, it is well with my soul'”. Written by Horatio Spafford after his 4 children drowned, the hymn met me right at my point of need.

Later in the day, the local police asked me to give a press conference in Emporia, Kansas – as the national news media had gathered to cover the story. I had never done anything like this and certainly didn’t feel up to it. I’ve never been comfortable in front of a microphone. Yet, once I faced the worst fear of all – death – the fear of microphones and cameras seemed minuscule.

“What do I say?” I asked my father. “Just share your heart, son. Tell of your family and share your strong faith.” Such wise words that helped guide me.

I took a deep breath and began with the words, “God is God, and I am not.” I had to surrender to God and place my trust in His sovereignty.

I ended with, “We will get through this. We will rise above this. And by God’s grace, good will somehow come from this.” (Emporia, Kansas – Press Conference, September 1, 2003) I felt it compellingly necessary to speak words of hope and encouragement amidst the utter sadness and dreadful tragedy. The hope of Christ was vital to us all as much then as it is now.

In the hands of God, all is well – regardless of the storm around you. Just don’t let the storm get inside of you. Build your house on the Rock of His Word – to withstand the worst tempest.

“So then, everyone who hears my words and puts them into practice is like a wise man. He builds his house on the rock. The rain comes down. The water rises. The winds blow and beat against that house. But it does not fall. It is built on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25)

[KNOW GOD – no regrets] -Robert

Why? Why do bad things happen?

“Why?”

We all ask it.

13 years ago today, I heard the words every parent dreads. “Your children are dead. We need to ask you to identify their bodies.” The officer and chaplain in that Emporia, Kansas hospital led me down a seemingly endless hallway to face the impossible. Only by the sheer grace of Almighty God could I even stand uprightly then…and still to this day…as I vividly recall those dreadful moments.

The chaplain later shared some sacred Scripture with me that helped bring comfort. This verse helps address the question we all ask: “Why?”.

“Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die”. (Isaiah 57:1-2)

Knowing that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” gave me peace beyond measure at the worst of times. My family is safely tucked in God’s Mighty care.

Surrender to God’s will, no matter how difficult the journey. All is well – in His Hands.

There in the hospital room, as grief and tears swallowed me, I placed my hands on a little keyboard that a kindhearted nurse had brought me. I needed to find some way to express my overwhelming grief. This instrumental song I composed there in the Emporia hospital, “Behold, My Family” attempts to scratch the surface. I pray it blesses you.

[KNOW GOD – no regrets] -Robert

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9ZkkF8E7r8/

13 Years Ago – My Life Changed Forever

13 years ago today – my life changed forever – as our family was literally plunged “Into the Deep” in the 2003 Kansas Flint-Hills Flash-Flood over Labor Day weekend. I never could have fathomed what ultimately happened that day, nor the grace and strength from Almighty God that pulled me through.

http://www.legacy.com/…/melissa-makenah-zachary-nic…/1369668

To this day, I am still humbled by your prayers and God’s grace which have brought me safe thus far. “Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come.” We can all relate in some way, can’t we? Where would we be without Jesus and His Comforter, the Holy Spirit?

People often say to me, “I couldn’t get through that like you.” Indeed, “Neither could I,” is how I typically respond. In my weakness, God is strong. “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) I still cry. I still grieve. I still miss my Heavenly family. Yet, I still trust God. His joy is my strength.

Be encouraged by what God can do through a broken man like me over these past 13 years. As bleak and devastating as your situation appears, know that Jesus broke the chains of death on the Cross of Calvary. Greater is His power within you than any circumstance this world throws your way.

I encourage you to do your part and cling to Him. Abide in Him. Trust Jesus. Know God. In doing so, you will begin to Live a Life of No Regrets.

[KNOW GOD – no regrets] -Robert

https://www.mightyintheland.com/product/into-the-deep

Cherish your Family Intentionally…

13 years ago, I came home from work on a Friday (Aug 29, 2003). Our family savored our celebratory “pizza, popcorn, movies, and ice cream” Friday family fun night. Little did I know, it would be our last night together…

Cherish your Family Intentionally.

Moms, Dads, Grandparents…cherish every moment with your children possible. Turn off the TV. Tune into your family. Put down your phone, emails, texts, agenda, and endless work. Make the most of tonight with your family. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Just be present with your family – as best as you can, given the swirling circumstances surrounding you. It may just be doing the dishes together, or a goodnight blessing at bedtime. Your focused family time means more than you realize. Don’t wait until “someday”. That day is today. You’ll never regret it.

“Look here, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.’ How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” (James 4:13-14)

[KNOW GOD – no regrets] -Robert

A $23k grant for orphans (from Mighty in the Land FOUNDATION)

By the grace of God, we just granted $23,080 from the Mighty in the Land FOUNDATION fund to help care for orphans and special-needs children around the world! Thank you to all who have given to help make this grant possible.

https://www.mightyintheland.com/orphan-care/

This brings the total grants over 12 years to $430,846! Only God could do this. He truly multiplies the loaves and fishes a thousand-fold. Glory be to God.

These funds will help provide life-care, school, and health/safety needs to children in Uganda, Rwanda, and Haiti – through the Global Orphan Project (https://goproject.org/). Please pray that God now multiplies this grant another thousand-fold, to accomplish more than imaginable – in providing for children’s physical, spiritual, & educational needs.

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” (James 1:27)

Words of gratitude from Global Orphan (GO) Project:

“We are so humbled and grateful that you would continue to use your ministry as a voice for the fatherless. We are thrilled with your generous gift.”

“On behalf of the church, the children in their care, and the entire GO Project team, thank you! Your faithful, generous support is an encouragement, an inspiration, and a blessing! What a privilege to serve Jesus with you, Robert, by caring for His children together!”

Amen.

[KNOW GOD – no regrets] -Robert

Let’s Play Hide-and-Seek!

“Daddy, can you play hide-and-seek with me?”

Our son, Leo, asked me this the other day – right when I stepped outside to tackle a long list of chores and yard-work. I hesitated for a moment – wanting to “get everything done” first. Then I remembered Makenah’s birdhouse (which she and I built just 7 weeks before her death in 2003…on a Saturday when I had a whole list of “to-do’s”).

“Okay, Leo. Let’s play!”

It only took a few minutes, but it made my day and Leo’s day. Thank God for a “no-regrets” decision. (I don’t always get it right. I’m still working at this every day, too…)

When you’re faced with the choice to “finish a job”, or to spend time with your family, make the “no-regrets” choice with your family. With life, there is always something else to do at work or home. That stuff will always be there. Our children won’t.

Redeem the time.
Cherish your Family Intentionally.

You’ll never regret it.

• “Teach us to make the most of our time…” Psalm 90:12
• “Make the most of every opportunity for doing good…” Ephesians 5:16
• “Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring.” Proverbs 27:1

[KNOW GOD – no regrets] -Robert

PS – As the youngest of 8 children, my mother often said that a clean house is a luxury. Until we get to Heaven, laundry, dirt, and messes will always be there. As a wise cousin said to me:

“Cleaning the house while the children are growing
Is like shoveling the snow when it’s still snowing.”

Happiness is…

Happiness is fleeting, temporary, and fragile.  Joy continues on – no matter what.

“I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:11)

“Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.” (John 16:24)

Happiness happens occasionally to us, but joy is an ongoing condition of our heart that comes from Knowing God through Jesus Christ. Joy can be continuous. It is more a perspective than an emotion.  The joy of Jesus’ Resurrection can infuse our hearts with inextinguishable joy – regardless of circumstance. We do this by “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross…” (Hebrews 12:2)

After my wife and 4 children died in the 2003 Kansas flash flood, many people wondered how I could still have joy on my countenance and in my heart. This is my secret: I kept my eyes on Jesus and my heart full of His Hope of Heaven. It doesn’t diminish or remove the grief, but we can grieve with hope.  Joy RISES ABOVE life’s challenges, regardless of circumstances – as Habakkuk describes:

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD ! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:17-19)

God wants you to ask, receive, and be filled with abundant joy, “so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

Be bold in your prayers. Ask Him today. I know it works. You’ll never regret it.

[KNOW GOD – no regrets] -Robert