torch bearer
bringing the light of Jesus to a dark world John 8:12

Look under the sand

9/19/2008 03:16:00 PM

Thank you hurricane Ike. Not for the destruction that was caused, but by the lessons that are learned. Today there is an article about how the waves and wind unearthed a Civil War era ship that had only been partially uncovered before. Now all 136 feet of it are seen. The history buffs down there are amazed by it. They are all ready studying it and saying that they need to protect it from more damage. They want to haul this thing inside. Wow! All this history was there all along, just buried by sand over time. I think our lives can look the same. We don't like storms in our life. They hurt, rip and tear our lives up. But yet, if we didn't go through them, we wouldn't have the history or the beauty that lies beneath the surface uncovered. So, when you are in a storm, hold on. It may hurt, rip and tear you apart…but, God being who He is has something of beauty for you to see when it is all done.

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One More Lesson from the Weather

9/13/2008 10:52:00 PM

Massive Hurricane Ike weakened to a Category 1 storm Saturday morning after ravaging southeast Texas and battering the coast with driving rain and ferocious wind gusts as residents who decided too late they should have heeded calls to evacuate made futile calls for rescue.

Some 30 miles inland, storm surge pushing up through Galveston Bay was sending water into a neighborhood near Johnson Space Center where they had made rounds earlier with a bullhorn trying to compel people to leave.

Even before Ike made landfall, Coast Guard helicopters had rescued 103 people in the Bolivar Peninsula near Galveston Island, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Ayla Stevens. "Some people were on roofs, some people in cars," she said.

Though 1 million people fled coastal communities near where the storm made landfall, authorities in four counties alone said roughly 140,000 ignored mandatory evacuation orders and stayed behind. Other counties were unable to provide numbers but officials said they were concerned that many decided to brave deadly conditions rather than flee.

"Some people didn't evacuate when asked," Bush said about the tens of thousands of people who may have to be rescued. "I've been briefed on the rescue teams there in the area. They're prepared to move as soon as weather conditions permit. Obviously, people on the ground there are sensitive to helping people and are fully prepared to do so."

But the biggest fear was that tens of thousands of people had defied orders to flee and would need to be rescued from submerged homes and neighborhoods.

"The unfortunate truth is we're going to have to go in ... and put our people in the tough situation to save people who did not choose wisely. We'll probably do the largest search and rescue operation that's ever been conducted in the state of Texas," said Andrew Barlow, spokesman for Gov. Rick Perry.

"We don't know what we are going to find. We hope we will find the people who are left here alive and well," Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas said. "We are keeping our fingers crossed all the people who stayed on Galveston Island managed to survive this."

How amazing. We are still cleaning up from Katrina, and people are still stupid and even selfish enough to not evacuate when they are told they need too. The last two statements just blow me away.

We have to send our people in, risk their lives, take their time to rescue people who had a chance to do it right the first time. I like how the Governor said they were "people who did not choose wisely". What a great thing to say. It is true that they did not choose wisely when it came to life or death.

Then the "we don't know what we are going to find" statement. They are just hoping they find some people who are still alive. Someone who might have made it through the storm. Even though they had been asked to leave and had been given a chance of salvation BEFORE it got bad.

I know that these were all written in response to Ike, however, I think I have read them out of scripture in some form or another.

Church, we have to grab a hold of the depth of these statements, and choices, made by people in Texas. We have to understand them in spiritual ways. We have people around us that are not heeding the warnings that are being given. Yes, there are people in this world who are not making commitments to follow Christ, but they are not the ones I'm talking to here.

If you notice, these people of Texas knew better. It's not like this is the first hurricane they have experienced or at least read about. But, they still made the choice to not go to safety, not to get out when they could. Church, fellow Christ follower, this is too many of us. We know better, we have heard the bull horns yelling, we know where safety is, we know we must get out…but we sadly refuse, choosing to hold on and do what we want. We have been given the chance to get out of the world for a long time, but we are too stupid, deciding we will ride this one out. We CAN NOT be participants of this world and not expect to get overwhelmed by the waves of sin and the winds of Satan, not to mention all the stuff that gets picked up and flung at us. Why do we still sit, expecting that nothing will happen to us? Ignoring the warning bells. Turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the worldly things in OUR life.

Jesus said for us not to be a part of this world. Light and dark can't mix. Light is suppose to take over darkness, not become it. Are we happy enough to be un-salty? Jesus says later on, that He won't take in those who have refused to come out of the world, remember the hot and cold and luke warm thing? I know that it is tough. I don't say these things with condemnation, but with love and sorrow. I don't say this with judgment or blame, but with a burden for the church. I say these things with what I believe is just one more warning from the Creator. A warning that right now it is not too late, but we must get ourselves out, before it is too late and what we hear is not the bull horn…but the trumpet blast! Then it's too late.

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What doesn’t belong in a men’s bathroom

9/03/2008 10:51:00 PM

As I walked in I noticed all the familiar sights, and smells, of a gas station bathroom. Shocking white walls with you don't want to know what stuck to them. White tile floor that hasn't been cleaned since the Reagan era, even though the little sign on the wall said it was cleaned by someone named Ivan at 3:15 that very day. I won't describe the condition of the urinal or the toilet, I will leave that to your imagination. The garbage can was over flowing not because it was full, just because no one can possibly put the paper in the can…the floor is good enough. The mirror resembled the bible verse about looking into a mirror that gives you a bad refection, although I don't believe the author was referring to gang writing like the case was here. Then the smell…over done deodorizer to cover the other fragrances that would normally pierce your nose. All these things seemed very normal to me and so they didn't stand out quite as much as one other item did. This one thing seemed very out of place, very not at home, very different. However, my eyes were immediately drawn to it. Drawn, and then couldn't pull my eyes away from it. No, it was not a dispenser of certain pleasure items. It was a wreath. A little wooden wreath. With small flowers on it. About 15 inches in diameter. In most cases it would blend into the background, but here it stood out. It kinda shouted at me…'Help, I don't belong here. Everyone stares at me when they come in here. I am out of place.' At first I thought I should rescue the poor thing and at least just throw it in the garbage so it didn't feel so bad. Then I thought to myself (man I am doing way too much thinking in a men's room on a short trip) I kinda like it where it is. It seems to draw my attention away from all the filth and slime that is around me. As much as that poor little wreath seemed all alone in a place it didn't belong, I seemed drawn to it, almost connected. (ok, now I'm scaring myself…but stick with me). I couldn't help but think of the verse about us as Christians not belonging here on earth. Our citizenship is in heaven. We don't belong here. Aliens if you will. I started thinking (there I go again) that we should be like that little wreath in a dirty men's room. In this world of filth and slime, we need to be the ones who have something that catches people's attention. We need to be so thick with Jesus that people can't help but stare at us. We need to truly look out of place in this world. I heard someone say the other day, 'if you are too comfortable with this world, maybe you should check your address. You don't belong in this world.' TRUE! We don't belong here. We, everyone, was created for a different home. A place called heaven. My prayer is that we can look so out of place in this world, that people have to stop and stare at us. Wondering why we look out of place. Then, we need to be ready with an answer for the hope that we have. The story of what Christ did for you, and the story of what Christ can do for the world. Sadly, I think that we just blend into the world so much that we just look like another part of a dirty men's bathroom (the world) that no one sees a difference in us. Is there something that is attractive about you for the world? Is there truly something that sets you apart? Is there something that screams…'I don't belong here. Everyone stares at me when they come in here. I am out of place.' My son offered his coat to a friend the other day at a party. The friend was cold and my son had something to offer him. So he took of his coat, put it on his friend and said nothing. The friends response to this was, "that's the problem with you damn Christians, you are just too nice." Yes!! My son stood out like a wreath in a dirty men's bathroom! I'm proud. Now, it is our turn. Stand out like a wooden wreath man. Shout it out that this world is not where you belong. Show that you have something else to offer. Well, gotta go. I got some shouting to do.

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Asotin, WA, United States
Follower of Jesus, husband, dad, and called to be His torch bearer to the world.
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