Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Day 333 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
I see this little block every time I plug my phone into the computer to charge or transfer something. I usually transfer any picture that I plan on using in this blog series, but today I do not have anything to transfer. I guess my life does not have enough excitement to garner a story every day for a year.
I have a month left now in this little experiment. I will actually be somewhat relieved when it is finished as I sometimes have issues finding a picture or finding time to write. I am committed to it though and I will finish it. If I am anything it is determined to achieve whatever I set out for. I do sometimes get frustrated and make concessions and rethink or redo things I set out to do. Usually it is caused by procrastination or lack of time or both.
One thing that I know I will not give up on is my faith in Christ. I know Peter said the same thing and he actually walked with, talked to, saw and touched Christ in the flesh, so I do say that with fear knowing that I could also falter. Christ is my Rock, my Friend, my Healer, my Comforter and my Savior. If not for Him I would be on a road to damnation, but instead He gave me life. In Him I place my trust and my hope and only in Him do I have either of those things. I would be truly lost without Him in more ways than one.
Monday, May 30, 2011
Day 332 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
Today is/ was Memorial Day. So much more than an extra day off and a day to grill, even though both happened for me today. I also went to the movies with Chandra, Forrest and Allan, which is kind of an oddity for me as I am a cheapskate. I also mowed our grass, which is not a favorite pastime of mine, especially when it is over 90 outside, which it was today and is forecasted to be all week. Matt and Emily came out just in time to partake of the grillwork that Chandra had been doing while I was mowing.
It was a good day, not that I really have bad days, but in the sense that I had some moments with the family that aren't in the common/ everyday variety. God is continually blessing me, even when I take His blessing for granted. I must slow down sometimes to actually see His handiwork around me and get a clearer perspective of just how wonderful He is and how He directs my path. I may be a filthy wretch a lot, but thankfully He is my Father that will pick me out of the mud of sin, wash me clean and allow me to do it over and over again. I suppose if I didn't sin I wouldn't really see my need as badly as I do for His guidance and His grace in my life.
I pray for more days like this, with the family and with renewal of my spirit to see my Father more clearly. I can really see Paul's words with better understanding from Romans 7:19:
For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.
May the grace of God keep me in check and keep me focused on Him, for everything.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Day 331 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
It's that time of year again. Time to clean off the grill and start searing some meat. Oh, but wait, our grill is messed up and is only half working. The propane burner is only burning on one side, which means that it is not going to be able to be used as is. I priced a new burner and they clock in at about $30, so with my frugalness and not wanting to repeat the same thing next year I think we will buy a better quality grill.
I thought that a charcoal grill would be nice, since you get a better flavor, Chandra thinks differently and wants the convenience of a gas grill. I admit that gas is much easier to work with, but you do not get the full flavor that charcoal affords. I think that convenience will win out this round though. I can always take the nonworking grill and make it into a charcoal grill and use it too. Wonder if I can make it into a smoker somehow so we can smoke our own meat. May be too much trouble for that, but I am liking the recycling into a charcoal grill idea.
Tomorrow is the kickoff to the official summer season. People will be out at the beach, boating and grilling. It is actually Memorial Day though, but it is now just used as a marker date and an extra day off for people. According to Wikipedia, Memorial Day was first known as "Decoration Day" and was a day that was set aside by formerly enslaved African-Americans to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War – it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars. The first "known" observance was in 1865 and the name did not morph into "Memorial Day" from "Decoration Day" until 1882.
I do think we should remember those that gave all for this country. We should also be thankful for those currently serving and readily tell them thank you whenever we can. Please take the time this Memorial Day to thank a veteran or a currently enlisted soldier for their willingness to serve and protect us. It is an honorable thing to be a soldier and I greatly appreciate each and every soldier's many sacrifices, as well as their families. So, officially to every soldier current or past I say "THANK YOU".
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Day 330 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
If you are not from around these here parts, the station 90.1FM probably doesn't mean much to you. Now if I tell you that it is the local KLOVE station it will probably ring a bell or two. I often times find myself turning the radio off of KLOVE almost as much as I turn it on. "Why?", you might ask. Because they play some songs that are not very biblically sound and actually border or fall over into the heretical side. Oh, and they also have Phillips, Craig and Dean in heavy rotation which is altogether another issue chronicled in this blog post of mine and earlier in this one.
If you could have heard the song playing tonight when I snapped this picture you would see the correlation with the verse I posted at the beginning of this posting. I'm sure you have heard of Mark Shultz, singer of such theologically sound hits such as "Letters From War" and "Walking Her Home", both real powerhouse hits on CCM radio. I would actually put those right up there with "Butterfly Kisses" and the more recent "Cinderella". The latest hit (miss actually) from Shultz is "Love Has Come", which takes Philippians 2:9-11 and mangles the passage.
There is a stark difference between the lyric of the Shultz song and scripture. Let's look:
"Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess
That God is love and love has come for us all
Every heart set free, every one will see
That God is love and love has come for us all"
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
So, there is a huge difference in what Shultz has put to song here. It does sound nice and fuzzy on the surface, but when you actually listen to what he is saying it really is Easy Believism 101. The favorite term "God is love" is carried a step further and says the "Love has come for us ALL". All? Who is this all he is talking of? The listener of the song? Anyone that hears the song, even if they are lost in their sins, unrepentant and actually headed to an eternal damnation? Are they included in Shultz's "ALL"? It's a pretty nice hook to a song and makes one feel good to know that everyone will confess that God is love, but wait, scripture says that everyone will confess that Jesus Christ is LORD, which is quite different. Even the "ALL" or "every" sinner that is on their way to hell will say that Jesus Christ is Lord as they stand before Him in judgment for rejecting Him, the Judge of all.
So, this is one of those songs that was probably written because it would be a hit and sell a few records. It did and it continues to be a staple on KLOVE, which gets turned off when the song comes on. Good thing I have a iPhone so I can just plug it in to the auxiliary input and actually hear some music based in scripture and not some catchy hook of twisted scripture.
I would suggest that you carefully comb through your music collection for songs and artist like this and toss them. Don't we owe it to the Lord to scrutinize all aspects of our entertainment and music listening to be more specific? Shouldn't we match lyrical content against scripture and make sure it aligns? Shouldn't we stand strong on the Word of God and call out these song writers and singers that twist and tweak the Word to fit their music and weak message? We need to make sure we stand fully on the Word of God first and foremost and then the discernment will come and I promise you that songs like Shultz's and others will be exposed for what they are.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Day 329 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
This diet I am on is driving me nuts. Actually it's driving me to eat nuts, especially cashews, almonds and pecans. I would be eating peanuts as well, but they are not desirable for the type of diet I am following. Also, I don't think the amount of nuts that I am eating is desirable either.
I am actually starting to level out on my weight loss, which might call for some drastic measures. Drastic measure #1 might involve trying to shock my body back into fat burning mode. My reasoning is that if I eat some carbs that I have been avoiding for a day or two my body will start burning fat again or more rapidly. This might cycle my metabolism somehow as I have been virtually carb free for a little over 4 months.
Carbs were a staple to my diet before I started losing weight. Pizza, candy bars, Little Debbie snack cakes, bread of all types, cookies, cake and about anything else I ate was laden in carbs. It was very tasty and very satisfying to me. I guess the fact that I liked things with carbs is why I ended up so much overweight, so that is why modifying my intake of carbs has been marginally successful. Low fat diets never really seemed to do anything for me in the past and I did have limited success with the full blown Atkins diet totally eliminating carbs, but the current diet allows for some basic carbs.
I suppose getting more active would also help me to lose weight. I haven't been doing my surge training at all lately, which might be the thing I need to reactivate my fat burning. I just can't motivate myself to actually start doing it again. I know that I am getting somewhat frustrated with not losing any weight lately, so that frustration might lead to increased activity and the reintroduction of a consistent surge training program. I also need to keep reminding myself why I am losing weight and what my "big why" is. That seems to have slipped from my mind and I need to regain that focus.
So, here's to whatever I end up doing and with prayer and God's help and timing I will achieve the weight loss desired.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Day 328 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
Ahhhh. Reese's Eggs. These little morsels of goodness have been in my direct line of view since my wife gave them to me for Easter. She knew that I was on a diet, but she also knew these are my favorite. I have been good though. These are still sealed up and I haven't touched them since putting them on the shelf on my desk, right above the TaxCut box.
I have always loved Reese's Cups, but the addition of the Reese's Eggs years ago really hooked me. I have really had to restrain myself from eating these, but keep telling myself one day I will have reached my goal and then I will eat one. This is looking like it might be a while, so I am looking at different options. The main reason is I hate to waste anything and wasting these delicacies would be a travesty. So, #1) I could give them to the boys to devour. #2) I could freeze them for my day that I reach my goal, thereby rendering my weight loss stopped and actually reversing for a while #3) I could eat them in one sitting now, get fed up with my lack of self control and gain a renewed spirit concerning my dieting.
I guess I just like to punish myself in the time being though. Looking at these every day is not easy, but I know that I don't have to. Maybe subconsciously I am testing myself and tenacity to follow my dieting plan. Or maybe I am just a glutton for punishment. All I know is that I have been a little over 4 months without sugar, bread and all other forms of carbs.
This is a trying time, but with God I am achieving the weight loss I started out desiring. I am down quite a bit and get compliments all the time. With those compliments I try to share with everyone that God has been doing this, not me. My willpower pulled an Elvis and left the building a few years ago, so I heavily lean on God for strength through the desires. It may sound trivial to some, but total dependence is what He wants from us. I am not perfect at this by any means, but through His love and grace I am learning more daily on how to. His grace is sufficient. I need to remind myself of that constantly.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Day 327 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
This is not good. At least in our eyes as loving and caring people. Joplin Missouri was hit two days ago by a devastating tornado. Many lives were lost, homes destroyed and people injured. Now, this evening, two days later there are reports that there is another tornado that has touched down. This community that is still in shock from the first tornado is having to find shelter that is not there and depend on a already stretched infrastructure. May God be merciful.
These types of events always seem so devastating to us, and rightly so. Most of have never gone through anything of this magnitude, so we only imagine what these folks must be dealing with. We do have compassion for these people, but we do not truly understand what they are going through. We try to imagine it, our empathy and sympathy are strong for every one of them, even though we do not know any of them personally. But we still care and we still pray for them.
The only thing of this magnitude I have seen the effects of is Hurricane Katrina. I had the opportunity to go to Louisiana for a couple of work trips. While there I made the trek to New Orleans. While the city had made large strides, the outlying areas were still in ruin. Passing by New Orleans, just a few miles saw neighborhoods empty, except for a few homes that had campers outside, people trying to rebuild and make their lives as normal as hey could. Even though they lost everything to a disaster they persevered and looked to a hope. I have no idea of any of their spiritual condition, but as a Christian my heart broke for them. Seeing that type of destruction first hand really makes it different. It no longer is something that is seen on TV, where there is a disconnect for most. It is real and these are real people.
This is why we must reach out to everyone that we come into contact with, with the gospel. Who knows when something will happen that will take the life of someone you know? As Christians we need to take urgency in spreading the Good News to every creature seriously. I admit, I do not like I should. I work with people every day that are dying and going to hell, but yet I act like nothing is wrong. These souls have the wrath of God abiding on their heads, much worse than any type of disaster could ever compare, and yet I do not flinch. I pray that God works in me and opens up that urgency, I see the need, but do I really comprehend it? I would answer no, since I do not live out what I know I should.
Will these people stand before God on judgment day and point an accusing finger at me and say, "He never told me!" Or will they say, "I should have listened." Hopefully they will not be saying either and be singing praises to the Lord for saving their soul and laying all alms at the feet of Jesus. Oh what a glorious day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Day 326 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
My brother, his wife and his son came in for a few days from their home in Chattanooga. They came mostly to help our mom with getting cleaned up from the flooding. I must say my brother, nephew, our mom and my niece did an excellent job today and got everything taken out of the flooded room at my moms. They worked very hard to accomplish what they did today.
I had to work but went out when I got off. I was asked to bring my truck to get a lot of my NASCAR collectables that were stored in her room that flooded. I knew that some were going to be damaged, but did not know to what extent. Let's just say that most were and that not much will be salvageable as collectables any longer. If I had somewhere to display them I could clean the cars off, but the packaging is ruined, which makes them a lot less desirable. Actually it did make me feel dejected when first seeing the loss, but I started putting it into perspective. They are only diecast cars and other items, not someones home or family heirlooms. If I wanted to I could replace every last piece that was damaged, unlike the families that have lost much more. I then thought about the people of Joplin Missouri who were struck by a F5 tornado yesterday, nearly 120 lives were lost. My attitude has really changed about the cars that were flooded. It's not like I was doing anything with them anyway and also not like I should have gotten them out from under my moms nose long ago as well.
The picture is of the stripped room that was flooded. There is still a lot of work to be done. I sprayed the whole room with bleach water to kill the mold and any other germs that may have taken home in there. The walls will have to be stripped, the flooring will have to be smoothed out, the insulation replaced and all new walls and floor put in. It is no small task, but it will get done. That is much more than a collection of memorabilia, so another perspective eye opener. A rather large pile of my moms "stuff" lies on the other side of her road awaiting picked up by whoever the government contracts to pick it up. Some things will not be able to be replaced, some she will not want to replace and some should have been tossed years ago.
I do know that my mom needs prayer through this. She is feeling the effects of the stress and likes to get kind of antsy in her speech sometimes. Anxious is the word that come to mind with a bit of pride thrown in. So, please pray that she calms down and actually sees God through this. Pray that God puts people in her path and in her life that will show the love of Christ and help her in ways she never expected. Pray that she will see her need for an actual relationship with Christ above anything she has ever thought about. Just pray for her and those that are placed in her life in this time frame, including me and the rest of the family.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Day 325 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
This picture is becoming an all too familiar scene. Piles of belongings, now only good to fill land fill space sitting outside of homes and along roadways. The Flood of 2011 has devastated this area, that is for sure. The flood has destroyed homes, made many hardships for families, displaced many families and is constantly racking up the costs as repair efforts continue.
There are, however, many bright spots beneath the mud caked houses. Our church has become a haven for those in one of the hardest hit locations of McCracken County to pick up supplies, have dinner on us and just talk. That's all a lot of people want to do, talk things through as they try to pick up the pieces of their lives and carry on. I would say that the majority are lost and do not know God. I say this because most people that do profess Christ do not know God. Oak Grove Baptist Church is doing what it should, just being there to listen, giving a meek meal to the hungry and wore out folks and most importantly showing the love of Christ to those in need. Is it taking advantage of an opportunity? Sure, and shouldn't any opportunity be used in this way? To show Christ to those that may never see Him otherwise? This is not saying that we are hammering them with the Bible over their heads or getting them to sign membership cards, we are simply showing the love to them that Christ overflows from us.
Maybe it will take a flood or some other condition of this magnitude to see Christ. I say it is worth it then if people see God in the midst of this type of catastrophe. Of course most, if not all, of the folks will never come back to the church again after the meals stop. We are fine with that, as our goal is not church attendance. Our goal is to see Jesus magnified and to show love to a hurting people. That has been and is still being accomplished. Sowing seeds of love in hearts that may be stoney now, but with a little cultivating will readily accept, all in God's timing. Our mission field became a lot closer to home over the past few weeks.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Day 324 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
Oh David Crowder Band, you hit us with bad news today. This year will mark the release of their last CD and last tour as a band. You can read about it on the DC*B website, so I will not go into detail here.
Since being converted I fell in love with Christian music. The first Christian CD I ever bought was Jeremy Camp's "Carried Me: The Worship Project". I listened to that nonstop and learned the songs forward and backwards. Even now when I hear a different version, a different arrangement and/ or from a different artist I always think they are doing it "wrong" because it's not how Jeremy recorded it. After Jeremy Camp I fell in love with the music of The David Crowder Band. I thought lead man, Crowder, looked mighty funny with his Q-Tip hair do (or hair don't is better) and his long gotee. But the lyrics to their songs, the unique sound of their music and the innovative things they did always brought me back for more. I have all of their releases, including the re-mixes and live releases that are normally the songs off of the release directly before those. I even have the CD "All I Can Say" by the DC*B forerunner group from the University Worship Band with backing vocals by Robbie Seay. I have yet to find a copy of the first release of "Pour Over Me". If anyone has a copy of this I would be interested in purchasing it, so send me a message.
Over the years since my conversion God has awakened me to the music I listen to. He instantly took away the secular music that had root in me, then over the following years He has slowly shown me that not all professing Christian bands are releasing actually God honoring music. I would say that a lot of the professing Christian bands and singers are probably deceived about their salvation like the rest of the false converts are. I do have a few knowledgeable friends of the CCM industry and I have heard stories about groups that profess Christ, yet have their groupie stories and drinking stories while on tour. Some really ungodly activities from some well known groups. Also, if you really stop and listen to lyrics every now and then of the songs played on the radio, or even in your own collection, you will soon discover that most of the songs are really man focused and only mention God or Jesus as a side note. The David Crowder Band has not been one of these questionable bands to me.
I can almost say with certainty that we will still hear from David Crowder and I would also guess that other members will make appearances here and there. I know that the "split" is under good terms and that there is no bad blood between any of them, they are all buddies and I think that will be displayed from here on out as they help each other out with their respective projects. I am just not too happy to hear we only will get one more release of new material and especially one more tour. I have seen them a few times and really enjoyed it each time. I am also trying to figure out how in the world I will be able to make it to any of the dates on the "7 Tour" because none of them are within a good driving distance of Paducah KY. I think Indianapolis is the closest at just over 5 hours away, which would mean that a hotel would be necessary as well as a vacation day to get there in time to not be rushed or risk being late.
I bid the band adieu. I thank you all for your contributions, your music, your humor and your down to earthedness (yep, just made up a word there). I will pray for you all on this last endeavor and beyond, when you cross my mind. God has used your music and I believe He will continue to use it for many years to come. I love you guys and your music will always be a part of my testimony to the Lord.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Day 323 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
WhoNu? Or actually here in Kentucky it should be "Whowuldathinkit?" Cookies that are supposed to be healthy for you to eat. This new brand of cookie, WhoNu, is probably the first of what will be the fad of the moment to make junk food healthy. Really? Do we really need cookies with vitamins and minerals? Really? Can't people just stop eating things that they shouldn't and replace them with things that are natural and full of wholesome goodness already?
It's just like America to do something like this though. The most obese nation on earth according to Nationmaster.com is the United States, so at least we are leading in something. Right? I will readily admit that I have a weight problem. I will take it a step further and say it is because I eat things like cookies, Little Debbie snack cakes, pizza, cake, chips and so much more that I knew was going to pack on the pounds. If I had the mentality of the consumers that will be grabbing these off the shelves it would be in this line of thinking, "Wow, I am unhealthy. I need to start making healthier choices for my diet. Hey, look at that. Healthy cookies. Now I can eat healthier and still eat my junk food." Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.
The back side of the packaging states the following:
As much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal
As much calcium and vitamin D as a 8 oz. glass of milk
As much vitamin C as a cup of blueberries
As much vitamin A as a cup of tomato juice
As much vitamin E as 2 cups of carrot juice
As much iron as a cup of spinach
That is actually quite impressive and would lead anyone to think this is a healthy alternative to an Oreo or ten. Keep reading the label on the nutrition side of the package. You will start to see that 3 cookies also contain 150-170 calories depending on the particular flavor you are looking at. There are also 25g of carbs, 150mg of sodium and 7g of fat. Now, that doesn't seem too healthy to me. I am not a nutritionist after all, but I think I can see a little deception in this.
This does also remind me of most peoples view of Christianity. They may go to church or crusade or concert and expect to hear about God. They may actually be wanting to hear about God in a more personal way. God may be drawing them to Him and they may be on that path. Then when they get to the church service or other gathering, they hear a message that is kind of like these cookies. The message appears good to the hearer, but only because it sounds familiar, like the other messages they have always heard. They hear a false presentation of what salvation is, but the preacher makes it sound so appealing, "Come to Jesus and He will give you purpose" or how about God has a wonderful plan for your life and all you have to do is accept it". They entice the hearer with selfishness and the "What can God do for me" mentality. They are showing them something they desire (salvation) but then they try to talk them into it with things that are not part of the gospel. Of course people will respond when they are the focus of something, they love themselves and are quite sure they need to be happier, have more money, be kept from going to hell or have their marraige healed. Thing is these are all focused on "ME".
Unless the message you are hearing is focused on God it is a false gospel.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Day 322 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
If you have been living under a rock or tucked away in the Andes Mountains I must let you know that tomorrow is supposed to be the last full day of existence. According to Harold Camping May 21st is to be Judgment Day. How he comes up with this estimation is quite mind boggling and I will not even attempt to explain it. There is a brief description on his wikipedia page in the "Controversy" headed section.
Will the Rapture take place on May 21st, this Saturday? It's possible, but it will not be because of Camping's leap in mathematics. The Lord can return at any time and when He does I pray that you are ready to meet Him. In 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 we are told to not be concerned about dates and times. It almost seems like Paul is directing those in Thessaloniki to just be concerned about edifying one another and to not worry (and those that are true believers today). He encourages them and us to know that we are guaranteed to be saved and taken up with Christ on whatever day He comes back for His bride.
I read the Left Behind books several years ago. They actually made an impact on me and I "rededicated" my life to God. Actually I just reassured myself of my false conversion when I was 8 years old, once again pointing back to that time of my life and once again saying the sinners prayer and asking Jesus into my heart. Thing is I was still not trusting in Christ and Hi perfect sacrifice for me. I was still trying to be saved by my own means. If I wanted to be saved bad enough I would be, or so I thought. There is nothing biblical about that, but after living so many years hearing the same types of messages that is all I knew. I was living in deception and I was headed to Hell.
It was still several years later, after living still in unrepentant sin that God did take the scales from my eyes and truly save me. I now do not point at something I did, but to Christ as my salvation and trust in Him to save me and not a prayer I mumbled as a child. Only the blood of Christ has the power to take our sins away, not a prayer or a decision, not a walk down an aisle or being baptized. Only a total surrender to God and a repentant heart are the pathway to salvation. He has said that if those things are present He will save you - not out of obligation because you do them, but because of Christ. His grace and mercy made a Way, the only Way, and it is narrow. Do not be deceived and do not look at anything other than Jesus Christ as your salvation. If you are, then you are not saved and are on the way to judgment, whether it be Saturday or 30 years from now. We are promised that after death is the judgment and I can guarantee 100% that you will die some day if the Lord does not return soon that is. Today is the day of salvation - who or what are you trusting in?
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Day 321 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
Picked up 2 cleaning kits for my mom today given out by the Red Cross. The kits contain a mop, broom, bleach, a cleaner and a nice Red Cross bucket. I think it is a great thing that they make these available to those in need. I'm not really sure who pays for these, but it is definitely a good thing.
My church, Oak Grove Baptist Church, is a pickup point for these in the Paducah are. If you are in need of cleaning supplies then please stop by and get what you need. There are also extra jugs of bleach and Pine-Sol, gloves, Tyvek suits, bottled water and other various items that have been donated to those affected by the flooding. I do recommend stopping by between 4:00-6:00 so you can get a filled belly as well. Dinner is being furnished by the church, with help from the members of OGBC. There have been a few local businesses that have donated either cleaning supplies or food items. For all of those that have give I send out a big THANK YOU!
This is exactly what a community needs to do in times like this. We pull together and help each other out, do what we can and then leave the outcomes to God. He will direct what we do if we allow Him to guide. It is actually fairly simple to know what to do in situations like this as all you have to do is look around for someone working in a flood impacted area and offer to help. You can also pray for those affected by the flood and those that are giving their time, money and efforts into helping each other out. Many people have the potential to see God through this disaster. Actually I like to call it an opportunity instead of a disaster.
May the Lord direct you in what you should be doing through this. One thing is for sure, you shouldn't be doing nothing.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Day 320 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
I guess the flood of 2011 is "officially" over, as far as the Ohio River goes. The City of Paducah removed all but 3 of the flood gates today. You can see by my 2 pictures today that the highest point that the water achieved was really high. I have a screen capture from when the workers were removing the flood gates from this location and had a dump truck parked in frame. I can transpose one picture of another and by doing that it showed that the dump truck would have been covered with water.
I think I will venture down to the flood wall soon to see the water mark and see for myself exactly how height the waters reached. I just know that I'm glad the river has given up its grip and many people can now try to rebuild their homes as well as their lives. One hindrance to that here is that FEMA has not granted individual assistance for McCracken Count Kentucky, nor any other county in Kentucky that I know of. Parts of Tennessee, Mississippiand Missouri down river have been granted individual assistance and help from FEMA, but not our immediate area yet. I rally hope it is soon, partially for selfish reasons as my mother needs to get her house repaired. We have no idea the extent of water damage yet under the floor. We do know that it was under her house for a few days and soaked into the floor in some areas which still had particle board as the sub-flooring. Throughout the other part of her house she had just had new flooring put down, including plywood and not particle board. But the floor joists may be damaged and that does not even mention the mold issues that may be flourishing around the house and in her storage room.
I do know that everything is in the Lord's hands and He will do what is right and what is good. This may not always be what we think is right and good, may be painful, but He has promised to always sustain us. This is a large trial for my mom ans she has been through several in the past few years. I do ask you to pray for her, that she will see God in this and not be focused on herself. Pray that FEMA steps in and does what they did in 1997, when the waters were nowhere near as high as they were this time. I love my mom and I don't like to see her as frazzled as she has been since being displaced. What she needs now is God and I know that He will be there if she turns to Him.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Day 319 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
Today was the first day in almost a month that I have been able to drive to my mom's house. If you've been keeping up on this blog you know that we have had a lot of flooding in these here parts lately. The waters have really fallen and fallen quickly.
What is left behind is a layer of silt, muck, dead fish and stench. The ground is covered with a greyish-brown dried mud that the receding river water left behind. But at least the waters are gone and now the hard work can begin. Another positive step was that the electricity was turned back on at her house today. The only question they asked was, "Did the water get into the meter base?" Which was a definite "No". Also, thankfully the water did not reach into the house, except her storage room, which also has some mud left behind. The paneling also absorbed the water and buckled and my NASCAR collection that was in boxes down there is probably about 1/3 less now because of the water. I wonder if FEMA will buy it from me now.
Thankfully through this flooding I have not heard of any loss of life. Everyone seems to have heeded the rising waters. I was thinking about that the other day, how people could see the water rising and that danger was eminent. I thought about sin and how most of the time people try to avoid it, but wait until it has either invaded their home or just sandbagged a layer or two, but the flood of sin was a lot more powerful than they anticipated. They are then left with the silt of the sin after it finally leaves their dwelling place, if at all. The stench is left behind and it appears to be chaos all around. Nothing is the same any longer and sin has done its destruction. The good news is that God will not only step in and clean you up, He will clean you off, shower you, your surroundings and then throw that sin into the depths of the oceans. We are so mired in our sins though, so much that we hold onto their memories. This, even though, the Lord has already taken care of them, even before you were born, even before the foundations of the world. How wonderful is that? God took care of our needs before we knew we had need. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. I am amazed at His love for me, even though I continually not only see the flood of sin heading my way, I often times run out into the waters and soak in them. I am a wretch to the core without God and only by Him am I worthy of anything. What an awesome God we serve!
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Day 318 in my "Yer In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
It happened. I missed a day in this series. After 317 days, I missed yesterday. I have an excuse though, or rather a reason, as I don't want to put blame anywhere but on me. I got wrapped up in working on the sermon jam I have been working on for a while now. I was having rendering issues and stayed up to 1:30 this morning trying to figure it out.
Turns out that I had a few other issues with the video too. I changed the parameters on a couple of the elements within the video and messed up a section of the video. So, I changed that back and added credits at the end of the video. Really I added them at the beginning and the end, but somehow the beginning got cut off, so I'll have to get that fixed again.
Seems like this has turned into a really good lesson for me on some basics of After Effects. Hopefully I will not make some of these mistakes going forward and will know how to adjust the settings properly. I just have to keep in mind why I am doing this in the first place and not dwell on my mistakes. If God is in this, then God will take control of it. I pray that I am not wasting my time and efforts in this if it is not within His will to do so. I must always seek Him through this process and give the results to Him.
I do think that the newer version of After Effects, Premier Pro and Photoshop would be a major plus to have. I believe the process would not have as many hiccups and headaches as I have now. The newer technology is really mind blowing and the intuitive programs that Adobe puts out is really impressive. I have been trying to find out if Adobe offers a similar discount for non-profits organizations as it does for education, but come up short. So, if anyone happens to read this that knows please let me know. Also, if you feel the need to purchase the CS5.5 Production Premium suite for me I would be more than happy to let you :).
Friday, May 13, 2011
Day 316 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
My picture today is from the City of Paducah's Flood Wall cam. This cam has been up since the day after they installed the flood wall gates to keep the Ohio River out of the city. I actually contacted to city and suggested they do this, so that everyone around here (and across the world) could check in from time to time and see how high the river has gotten.
The river is on the downswing right now. You can see the water line on the flood gate in the mid-right portion of the picture. If not for these flood gates and this flood wall, the city would have been inundated with about 4 feet of water or more. The flood wall was actually an action after the 1937 flood that did much damage to Paducah and other cities along the Ohio River and Mississippi River.
At this time the flood waters are receding here, but down south they are rising. The Corps of Engineers are about to open a levee system in Louisiana to relieve flood waters. The thing is, it's going to flood a whole community with over 15' of water. These folks are frantically packing up anything and everything they can to save from the waters. It is a "needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" type of thing. Similar to what they did at Birdspoint to relieve the waters beginning in Cairo Illinois, but also relieving the flood depth here and up river from us in places like Ledbetter and Smithland. That action alone is what spared my mom's house from being flooded throughout. The predictions were for the river to crest 3' higher than it did, before they blew the Birdspoint Levee. I thank God that they did for those around here, but still felt sorry for those that lost their homes in that man made levee breach.
One thing we can all learn from this, is that God does what He wants, when He wants. The rivers rise and fall at His commands. The rain falls when He tells it to and falls on the heads of the just and the unjust. Only us humans defile God and do what we want. Paul may be the chief of sinners, but I am not far behind him. I am so wretched sometimes, well, a lot of the times. I have many sins that plague me that I can't seem to shake. Some things left me early in my conversion, but others linger on to wreak havoc to my walk. I put these sin barriers between God and me, which is all a fabrication in my mind. I know the bible says that He casts our sins into the depths of the ocean, as far as the East is from the West, but my mind forgets that when I fall into my sin. I want to wallow in it and think of the wedge that I am driving, but it doesn't do that. It is actually selfishness that brings those thoughts, feelings of what I need to do to fix this. Fact is I can't fix anything. Why? Because Christ already has fixed it. My sins were already forgiven before I thought of them. Not that I have a ticket to sin, but I have a mighty God that is not like us and is able to see us through Christ instead of seeing us as we see ourselves when we know we have messed up yet again.
How great is our God! May we all be able to flow like the rivers and go where He commands without questioning that.
Day 315 in my “Year In My Life Through Pictures” blog series
(I have been trying to sign in to blogger to post this for a while now. It is now 11:00 and it doesn’t look like I will be able to post it on the actual day 314, but it is because of the blog website. I guess it had to happen sooner or later)
I took my mom back to her house today by boat, possibly for the last time by boat too. The water has receded away from her house leaving an eerie brown coating over the ground. She said that it reminded her of pictures she has seen of disasters like Chernobyl and volcanic eruptions. The brown covering from the muddy waters of the Ohio River did make things look drastically different.
One thing we did talk about was the chance for rain over the next few days. Thankfully it is not a lot of rain forecast and I even told her it would be good to get rain right now in order to wash the silt from all that is covering. It would take a lot of raining again to raise the waters again, so the “little” bit that they are forecasting will be welcomed by me.
The flood waters did not make it into the main part of her house, but did do some damage in a converted garage are that was made into a storage room before she bought the house. That room was also housing the bulk of a NASCAR diecast and memorabilia collection that I had amassed over a few years time. Actually I am little sorry that it was damaged, but in all truthfulness I am not that upset about it. I am much more focused on her getting her home back into a livable state and getting back into her routine. Hopefully I will be able to help her out with the cleanup and repair of whatever needs to be done. I know that storage room will need to be stripped and scrubbed and the plywood will have to be replaced for sure. I’m not sure if the water reached the electrical outlets and if so that will probably require some work by a licensed electrician too. We still do not know if there was any damage to the underside of her house, which could be what would rack up the highest bills.
As it appears right now she was fortunate. There are many others that have a long hard road ahead of them recovering from this disaster. It is a time to come together and show the love of Christ and put charity to work. Not charity in a “I feel sorry for you” sense, but charity as in Christ loves me so much that I must allow that love to spill over into the desire to help out any that I can.
I ask that you continue to lift up all of those with damaged houses and other property. Ask God how you may minister to these people and see where He leads you. It may be helping out someone clean their walls, to pray for someone in particular or to donate money or cleaning supplies to an agency that will adequately distribute to those in desperate need right now. I promise, He will lead you.
Seems like the blogger website had some major malfunction over the past couple of days. This hiccup wiped out my post from Wednesday, Day 313 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series. The picture of this post shows the notice from Network Blogs from my Facebook page, which is all I have left of the post, since I write 99% of my posts directly into their website block.
Also, I was not able to log in to post my series entry yesterday, but posted it to my Facebook page in toe form of a note. I will be posting it here after I finish up this post.
I have no idea what the issue was, but know that it must have been fairly large to delete everything since Wednesday. My brother also signed up for a blogger account over this time period and had it deleted and was quite put off by this. He said if they are that unstable he would go to some other website. I assured him that it was a rare occurrence for things like this to happen, but I do understand his frustration with it. I did tell him that he was the one that broke blogger when he signed up, which he thought was funny.
Anyway, I'm not happy about having a post deleted and unrecoverable, but will manage to pull myself through it.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Day 314 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
Our church, Oak Grove Baptist, here in Paducah today announced that we will be hosting an informational meeting tomorrow evening for those impacted by the local flooding. There will be electrical inspectors and the electric company representatives there to tell the process of getting power restored to a home and to also answer any questions.
This will actually begin a community outreach for anyone that has been impacted by the flood this year. OGBC will be starting a dinner each night for a while to give residents a good hot meal while they work to restore and repair their homes. Without electricity they will not have a lot of options without either going hungry or bringing cold cuts. This will give an opportunity to show the love of Christ to those that have suffered loss through the flood. On their way out of the Oaks Road area, after working hard all day/ evening people will be invited to stop for a little something to eat and for some fellowship. Nothing will be asked for, it's a gift to the community and if you pay for it it is no longer a gift.
Of course the main goal is to glorify the Father, the One whom all blessings flow. We will not push anyone for anything, but we will be sharing Christ in Word and in deed. A lot of these people will be coming in dirty, after working in a muddied house all day, which is fine by everyone. Mud cleans up. As one brother put it tonight that really resounded to me "this gives us an opportunity to wash their feet". Wow! That said a lot. We may not literally wash their muddied feet, but we do have a great chance to serve them without desire of anything in return. We simply want to serve and to show Christ to a community in need.
There are great ideas for this outreach, but we are not inflexible and eagerly await what God is going to do. He has already supplied from some dear brothers and sisters an hour and a half away many cases of bottled water. This was without even sharing a need with them. The Lord laid it on their hearts to do this. I guess this is what Hudson Taylor meant by, "God's work, done it God's time, will never lack God's supply." How very true that is. God will see to it that anything He starts will accomplish what He designed it for, which is always, ultimately His glory.
What an awesome God we serve to take this natural disaster and turn it into a witnessing opportunity. A chance to spread seed and to cultivate hearts to show people just how blessed the children of God are. We love because He first loved us.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Day 312 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
These are the notes I have been using for the past few weeks while working on a "sermon jam" for Real Truth Matters. Admittedly I have not advanced as fast as I would have liked, but I am gaining momentum as the process ends its completion. It is a very labor intensive process, but it is really fun to do and is also a challenge, since I had no idea what I was doing at first. Well, now is not much better either but I have learned a few things.
My notes are not really notes, but actually a transcript of the audio portion of the video, the "sermon" part of the "sermon jam". The audio I thought would be the most challenging part to do and actually fell in place with ease. The video portion, not so much. It would help if I didn't have a job and we didn't have the flooding recently as it has taken up quite a bit of my time. But, I do what I can, when I can, trying not to alienate my wife too much while I log the hours in my office.
I have set the goal to finish by Friday. I am really shooting for tomorrow and pray that God guides me in the idea department to finish up. It's amazing how a 4 minute video is so hard to fill with different, interesting and pertinent footage and "things". As I have said, it is a learning process that will advance me in knowledge that will be used in future projects. I have told my pastor that I have the ultimate goal of getting a video together within a couple of days of the message so it will be posted on the RTM website and Facebook. This will spark interest (hopefully) in that week's message and point people to the website to download or stream the entire message.
I ask that you join me in prayer that this goal is realized and that God is glorified through my efforts.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Day 311 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
Seems like Steven Tyler is having a bit of a comeback these days. I suppose it's fueled by his new-found fame on American Idol, which has introduced him and Aerosmith to a whole new generation of kids. I was first introduced to Aerosmith back in the day when I was about 14 years old. I even went to see them in concert once later when I was in my 20s or so. If you read back through my blog you will see that I had a real strong liking to rock music before my conversion(Day 9 of this series). Aerosmith was probably one of the milder bands that I liked, while my tastes were more in the heavy metal/ hard rock realm.
My musical tastes is one of the first things that God sanctified me from after He saved me. It wasn't a gradual process either, it was one of those immediate changes. I do recognize that it was by His grace that He did take that from me and I did not (and still do not) struggle with giving that type of music up. At that same time God took away a 24 year addiction to cigarettes that I had tried very unsuccessfully to quit on my own several times. I had started smoking about the same time I started listening to rock music and doing a bunch of other things as well.
Through all of those years I was banking on my profession of faith as an 8 year old child. I am not saying that isn't possible for some children, but just telling my story. At 8 years old I did not know a whole lot about sin. I actually didn't know anything about sin, even though I had been raised in a rather large church in the area. I remember hearing all of the cool bible stories and even remember the Sunday School teachers always asking us to raise our hand if we wanted to be saved. I never raised my hand because I didn't want to be embarrassed that I never had done it before. I definitely wanted to fit in and raising my hand would have done the opposite. But, on a youth trip I did raise my hand during an evening service. I remember the preacher preached on hell and all I knew is I didn't want to go there and the only way I wasn't going was by raising my hand. So I did and I talked to a man who said the prayer for me and I nodded my head and was proclaimed "saved" after we got back to the altar. So, for the next 30 years I always pointed back to that prayer and that man's affirmation as my salvation. I never pointed to Christ and I definitely never lived like scripture says a Christian lives. I was a part of the world and I loved it. I loved sin and I did as I was always told, ask for forgiveness and you are brought back into a right standing with God.
I lived a very me-centric life and only thought about God at bedtime, when I said my prayer to ask for forgiveness for the same sins day after day. I did a lot of wretched things through my life and always justified it by telling myself to just ask to be forgiven, so I did. I was living a very deceived life, but it was the only type of Christianity that I knew, which is no excuse. That is until God really got hold of me when I was 38. He used a few men that really opened up scripture and showed me just how marred and scarred by sin I was. Ray Comfort, John MacArthur and Paul Washer were some of those men that God used and still continues to use to this day in my sanctification walk. I now rest my faith in Jesus Christ as my salvation, not only from the hell I always feared, but from a sinful life that brings grief to my Father. I am by no means perfect, but I know the One who is and He knows me.
Life has never been the same since He converted me. He continues to mold me and show me things on a daily basis. He has given me a new heart that actually desires things of God and hates things of this world. Not fully sanctified, but on that narrow path and looking toward to goal of my faith in Christ. I praise Him for what He did to me and for me and I continue to praise Him every day. He is my strength and He is my fortress and I will always be His.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Day 310 in my "Year In My Life through Pictures" blog series
Looks like we are back into a rainy cycle again. I think it might look a little deceptive though, because the forecast is below 50% each day for rain. It's spring time after all, when we are supposed to be getting rain, just not as much as we have for the past 4 weeks or so.
One forecast that I heard today sounded really good, the Ohio River here is forecast to drop 3 feet before Thursday. That is great news for many homes that are currently flooded. We have several in my church family that have a lot of water still in their homes and are eager to get to work repairing the damage caused from the flooding. These families are being rocks to their communities and to their co-workers. They are showing their reliance on God and placing their perceived strength firmly on His shoulders. A compliment of "You're doing great through all of this, you're a super person" is turned around into "No, I have a super God that I depend on for my strength". That is what it's all about, showing the Lord to others and pointing the lost to Him.
Any trial that we are put in, to refine us, is ultimately to glorify our God. It may not be a very fun time, definitely not a "best life now" situation, but through it and by it a testimony to God's grace and provision are found. Those gifts from God are then revealed to others, wither to strengthen them through their trial or to point them to the Strength of the trial. God's plan is rather simple if you understand it - Glorify Him through the good times and the bad times. That's it. Always point to Him in every situation, stay focused on the Lord and everything else will be dim in comparison.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Day 309 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
We went to the park this evening to snap a few pictures of Matt and Emily before prom. They were all having a good time, joking around, striking poses, just enjoying the time. Then they were off for dinner, then to dance the night away at prom 2011.
I do not remember much about my senior prom, after all that was 25 years ago. Then Chandra's prom 4 years later all I remember is taking pictures and eating at The Pines. I only remember where we ate because I got lobster, the first time ever for me and the last time ever. Just give me a $1 McDouble any day over a stinkin' lobster. It is like another lifetime when I look back at pictures from that long ago. So many things have changed, but also so many have stayed the same.
Over the years I have gained a lot of weight, I have lost a lot of weight. I have actually lost a couple hundred pounds in my life, but I have also gained more than a couple hundred too. Chandra is still just as beautiful and I love her more now than I ever have. God has grown us together, only after he took us a part for several years. To trace God's hand in our lives is really something to think about. What is really awesome is that our marriage is actually somewhat biblical now. I really never knew God's design for marraige, even after being converted. I only learned of my role as a husband after our marriage nearly ended. I was (and still am a lot of the times) only concerned about me. What she needed to do to make me happy, what would make me feel better, feel happy. Me, me, me was my focus, even if I tried to make her happy it was self centered so that I would feel good about me even more.
Only through the trial of possible divorce did God show us what He commanded of each of us. Do we have a perfect marriage? No, but we do seek Him and we do honor Him in our marraige. We still have a long way to go to be "perfect" in our vows, but as long as our relationship with God is moving forward, then our marraige can't help but follow. Ephesians 5:25 is my goal, even though I know I can never attain that kind of love, I still look at that as where I need to be. I fail miserably, but then again I fail miserably in many other ways too and God keeps picking me up, dusting me off and encouraging me to follow Him even closer.
What an awesome God we have that He would create marraige to show us His love for us. To model our marriages after His love for the church and the church's dedication to Him is overwhelming. Through it all I must continue to move closer to Him, so that He can help me be the husband I need to be. He would not command me to love my wife in such a way, then leave me alone to figure it out. He shows me daily how He loves me, now if I could only figure that out for me and my bride.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Day 308 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
Another trip to my mom's house today. The good news? THere was no signs of water in the main part of her house. We already knew about water being in the storage room, so that was not a surprise. It was a surprise that the water did not seep into the rest of the house. The bad news? It's flooded and will stay flooded for a little while.
While the area has been declared a disaster area, it is not open to FEMA for individual assistance. I am not really sure on their process of determination on things like this. I do know that in 1997 they declared it a disaster area and had help in the area very quickly. It is my understanding that there are FEMA personnel in the area assessing the damage to see if individual assistance will be given. I really hope it is because my mom's house is going to need some work, probably to the floor joists and maybe the floor itself. Also, the electrical system will have to be looked at closely and then be inspected. All of this costs money and the money is just not there at this moment. She paid the house off at the end of last year and cancelled her flood insurance because it had gotten so high. Now, a few months later, this flood comes and the insurance to cover it is not existent anymore. So, the government has a chance to redeem itself in my eyes through this.
Through it all I still know Who s in control. God is firmly in control and He will do as He pleases to bring Himself the glory in this perceived disaster. I just pray that my mom puts focus on Him and that I can continue to point Her in His direction. I can;t imagine going through a disaster like this without God, knowing He is going to carry me/ us through it to the end result that is the best for us. It is great to know He is in control and all I have to do is trust that.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Day 307 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
It was bound to happen. After 306 days of writing a daily post I almost missed a posting. I was about to call it a night and hit the hay when I looked at the clock, 11:55 PM. That is really late, especially when I have to get up at 5:30AM, but it makes it even later when I have only 5 minutes to make a post.
I've been working on a "sermon jam" for Real Truth Matters and time gets away quickly when I get engrossed in the project. Granted, I should have been finished with the project a couple of weeks ago, but a lot has been going on in my neck of the woods these days. I will probably be finished with it this weekend, so keep your eyes out for it on Facebook and also on the Real Truth Matters website. I think it is turning out fairly decent for my first go at it.
This is a real learning experience. I am learning a lot about these programs and I am learning a lot about patience as I sometimes mess up an hours worth of work in a single keystroke. It is also frustrating because I can see how I want to do something in my head, but translating that through After Effects is another thing all together.
I must go now so I can post this before my time limit for the day is up. Please check out the Real Truth Matters website and all of the free resources available. I highly recommend the "History Of The Modern Gospel" video series that has been produced by my dear brothers at RTM.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Day 306 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
My pic of the day is a common sight around here these days, as is seeing trucks pulling trailers loaded with sandbags. The most common thing? Water. That is for sure as Paducah is nearing record depths of the Ohio River here.
One can't help but think of Noah and the Great Flood that the Lord used to purge the Earth. He did promise that He would never flood the Earth again in the same manner and gave us the rainbow as a constant reminder (Genesis 9:12-13). Although this flood is just locally, it does make me think of how much water was around then and how devastating it would be. Well, it purged the Earth for one, which means a cleansing or removing of something.
If you think about it, humanity today is much worse than it was in the day of Noah, but yet God is being long suffering against us fallen creatures. Why hasn't He purged the Earth again of the evilness that we have become? The United States kills thousands of babies a day in the name of choice and for convenience sake. I'm not sure about other countries and their abortion rates, but I am sure that other countries are probably in line with ours. Look at the corruption all around us, the things of this world that pander to our flesh on a minute by minute pace. We are bombarded with things to make us feel good about ourselves, to make us "happy", to make us look better, feel better, make our lives easier and on and on. We are a very self centered people that can't seem to get enough of ourselves. We love us and we love us more than we love God.
So, why has God withheld judgment for so long? I have no idea, but I am thankful for His mercy and grace in doing so.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Day 305 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
Another day, another trip to my mom's house via boat. Her reason was to get some things out of the fridge that she didn't want to spoil, but I am fairly sure it was to assess the flooding first hand and see how high the water has gotten.
As you can see the water has indeed made it to the house and is on the porch. It still has about 6 inches or so to make it to the doors. Also if you look close you can see that we have taped the doors to keep the water out as much as possible. Also beneath the tape is caulking to try and fill the cracks and gap between the door and the threshold and door jambs. Anything we can try to keep the water out we will. Her storage room is flooded, it has a few inches of water inside it and is heading up the steps to make it into the main part of the house. I did not make it to that door in time to caulk and tape as it had already started seeping yesterday, so I did as much as I could with it. I caulked and taped the access door too that room, so maybe it will hold if needed.
In this I do have a couple of major questions - Where is FEMA? Why has the President not declared this area a Federal Disaster yet? In 1997 when the area flooded President Clinton was very quick to sign off on Federal aid. President Obama was asked by Kentucky Governor Beshear to declare the area a federal disaster on April 28th. Almost a week later and still nothing. The '97 flood had much less flooding, so what gives? Where are the Feds when you need them? Has the government ran out of money for aid unless you are an auto maker or a bank? It is really starting to get to me a little bit. I sent a email to the White House earlier, but my one little email will probably prove futile. I think a bigger movement needs to happen and I am thinking of how to initiate one. Any suggestions?
Well, that's about it again for another Flood 2011 update. Hopefully I can return to my regular old boring posts.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Day 304 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
It looks like I have turned my picture of the day postings into a Flood 2011 update series instead. I guess that's because the flood has had the most impact on me for the past several days. Today I got the call from my mom to come get her. So, at about 9:15 I left work to go get my mom and her animals.
When I was there yesterday the water was still across a small field behind her house and still on the opposite side of her street. Today we drove the boat up to her house and tied it off to her porch, I stepped from the boat to her porch. There was, at that time this morning about 8" of water up her house. It will take about another 6-8 before it gets into her house. We tried to caulk the doors and used heavy duty tape to try and seal the doors as much as possible. I have no idea if it is working or not or if the water has even gotten that high yet. I do know a storage room that is a converted garage, that sits at ground level, had a very little bit of seepage under the door. I think the door had a really good seal around it already, but I added as much caulking as I could anyway. That particular door had water about 4" up on it at the time, so I was quite impressed with the little bit of water that I saw.
Her whole yard is a lake now, as is her whole street and is pushing on being that whole area. There are many homes being impacted by this around here and in many other communities. Every person in this area needs prayers, so please join in with us. Also pray for those families impacted by the Bird's Point- New Madrid Floodway that was initiated with a blast 90 - 100 miles away that shook our house and rumbled for a few seconds. Very impressive of an explosion indeed. There are several families that will lose their houses in that floodway and while I know they have known this since they purchased the property in that knowledge and is noted on their deeds, but that does not mean they should not receive our sympathy and prayers. Their loss will be the gain of many others and I am sorry for their loss, but am glad that it will relieve the flooding in this area.
Once again I just ask for your prayers for everyone in this area. My mom seems to be handling things fairly well, even though she dropped her flood insurance when she paid her house off at the end of last year. Bad timing, but it is God's timing. He is in control of this flood and He is directing the waters. While it is heartbreaking I do know that God has it all under control and nothing is going to surprise Him.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Day 303 in my "Year In My Life Through Pictures" blog series
I made a venture out to my mom's house today, at her request, to see what I thought about the rising water. She wanted to know if I thought it would actually flood her house or not, to which my guess is as good as hers. I do see that she did want another person's opinion, plus I think she is getting cabin fever. Maybe being stranded on Guill Isle is not fun after all.
We received some rain today, actually quite a bit through the day and night. The experts are saying the Ohio River will crest at 54' on Wednesday and then slowly start to lower. 54' is about 2 feet more than it is right now. How that relates to how much the ground coverage will increase is anyone's guess. I am intently watching in Missouri as the Corps of Engineers readies an emergency plan on the Mississippi River to relieve some of the pressure that has built through the river systems. The planned response effort will blow a levee that will then release millions of gallons of water into farm land designated for this purpose on 1927(ish). I am not one that wants to see anyone's farm destroyed, but I am more partial to people's homes, work places and their lives over any piece of property that will recover soon. My intentness in watching this is the hope that it also allows the Ohio River here to drain some of it's level off, thereby lowering the waters around my moms.
One thing that I am really surprised has not happened yet and that is President Obama declaring the affected areas as "Federal Disaster Areas". That would open up millions in Federal money to be used for this disaster. In 1997 they very quickly declared it a Federal disaster, but for some reason, with the waters much higher this time, they are balking. I would like to know why.
Through it all, God is still in control. He is not surprised about the flooding. He has not been caught off guard by the recent outbreak of tornadoes. He is God, He knows everything. Also, He does not do anything without the reason to bring glory to Himself.So, this trial for many will ultimately lead to His glorification. That is a hard thing for most people to grasp hold to, even a lot of professing Christians.