Tag Archives: Hurricane

Hurricanes and the Return of Christ

Originally posted 9-23-05

We are ready to wait out hurricane Rita in an area that is expecting lots of rain and winds of 50 to 60 mph. Not the perfect place, but out of the worst of the storm.

I got an email from a friend I haven’t heard from in a long time. He isn’t in the path of any storms but it was clear that he is upset and concerned in the face of so much unrest in the world. Katrina, Rita, terrorism, the war in Iraq, rising fuel prices — these are days of uncertainty. He wonders if this is the beginning of the end of the world.

I can’t answer that question, although I do think that storms and such are just part of living in a world where bad things happen to even good people. My best advice is to get ready and stay ready for the sure Return of Christ. We don’t know “when” but we do know that it is a “sure thing” — Jesus is coming back and the world, we know it, is going to be totally changed.

However, there is even more here. When we give our lives to Christ things are not the same afterward. First, our relationship with God is changed — we have “made peace” with our Maker. Second, we are changed. God begins a process of transforming our lives. The result of this is the possibility of our facing uncertainties with new eyes. That is where the famous “peace that passes understanding” comes in.

One more thing though — the peace of Christ is not automatic, even for Christians. We have to receive that peace. If we don’t, we are in no better shape, peace-wise than anyone else.

Unplanned blog break

Originally posted 9-20-05

We are now under threat from hurricane Rita. While we are not under mandatory evacuation orders, we are just a few miles from where it is happening. With that in mind, we are going to pull the plug here and move away from the possible destruction. While in exile I may have internet access, if so, I may do some blogging there. Otherwise, I am about to take an unplanned blog break.

Seeing the system work

Originally posted 9-3-05

As I have said, things are pretty fluid so far as those displaced by the hurricane.

Just a few minutes ago I was talking to a New Orleans family. He works for the Children’s Hospital in the computer department and, somehow, they have found their way to our community. They said they had just heard from their insurance company and that they now had assurance that they could rent an apartment here and it would be paid by insurance. They had a flyer from one of the nicer apartment complexes here offering Louisiana people apartments for zero deposit and no lease.

I know that there are thousands of stories to be told, but it is nice to see that people who work a steady job, own a home, and pay for insurance actually have resources at a time like this. I mean, I consider myself to be one of those people and it could be me in that situation.

By the way, he had no doubt that he would be living in N.O.
again.

Not refugees and not victims — ‘displaced’ or ‘survivors’ or even just ‘Louisianan’

Originally posted 9-3-05

I read an article in the local paper in which it was mentioned that the man being interviewed twice interrupted the reporter to say, “Just call us ‘Louisianans’ — we aren’t refugees.”

Then I had a conversation with a fellow pastor and career military chaplain and he mentioned that he gave a talk today to a group of volunteers advising them that the people they are working with are “survivors” and not “victims.” Names mean something. To call someone a refugee or a victim is to strip them of dignity. To make them “survivors” has a victorious feel to it. If nothing else, they are simply people who were “displaced” by the storm.

I think this is much more than just trying to be politically correct — it is the difference between seeing people as powerless people who must be protected and cared for and seeing them as people who have gone through a lot and simply need a helping hand for awhile.

Clothes Gluttons

Originally posted 9-3-05

I started off the day thinking of how I needed to make a financial donation to a relief organization.

Then, I heard for sure that people were coming to the Astrodome, just 40 minutes from me and I wondered if our area Nazarene churches could put together packages of hygiene items for those being moved to the Astrodome.

Then I got a call that our motels had several New Orleans families in them and that there was going to be a community meeting about it.

While at the meeting I met two New Orleans families who heard about the meeting and showed up. Looking at their precious baby and being told by a lady that she was concerned about renewing a prescription she needs made it all seem very personal.

Someone had been so kind as to put out cookies for our meeting, and so far as I know they were untouched. I went and got the plate and offered it to them. A little girl was sure happy to see the cookies. And they thanked me for offering them cookies that I had nothing to do with.

In the final view, this is all personal. Each person, individually, has needs.

Then I got to thinking that is what living the Christian life is all about. I have something good to share with people, and what I have to give has cost me nothing, but cost Christ everything.

It has been a humbling afternoon.

It has been a humbling afternoon

Originally posted August 31, 2005

I started off the day thinking of how I needed to make a financial donation to a relief organization.

Then, I heard for sure that people were coming to the Astrodome, just 40 minutes from me and I wondered if our area Nazarene churches could put together packages of hygiene items for those being moved to the Astrodome.

Then I got a call that our motels had several New Orleans families in them and that there was going to be a community meeting about it.

While at the meeting I met two New Orleans families who heard about the meeting and showed up. Looking at their precious baby and being told by a lady that she was concerned about renewing a prescription she needs made it all seem very personal.

Someone had been so kind as to put out cookies for our meeting, and so far as I know they were untouched. I went and got the plate and offered it to them. A little girl was sure happy to see the cookies. And they thanked me for offering them cookies that I had nothing to do with.

In the final view, this is all personal. Each person, individually, has needs.

Then I got to thinking that is what living the Christian life is all about. I have something good to share with people, and what I have to give has cost me nothing, but cost Christ everything.

It has been a humbling afternoon.