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Frisbee Squirrel Days

Okay, so you may be asking yourself, “what is a frisbee squirrel anyway?” Let me explain. You know when those furry little varmits get particularly active and don’t watch out when they cross the street. They can meet up with an automobile who cuts short their nut-gathering life right there in the middle of the road.

Should this happen in an area that is not frequented by road-kill restraunteers (like Kentucky or Arkansas) or buzzards, a few more car tire passes placed across the remains and a couple of days of drying and stiffening; then; wallah… you have yourself a frisbee squirrel.

Now that you have the proper definition, you can better appreciate why I chose to use the “frisbee squirrel” as an accurate descriptor for my body on some days. On really, excessively weak days I even say “transparent” frisbee squirrel day implying run over even more!

If this were a Bugs Bunny cartoon, maybe someone could just pick me up, shake me a little from side to side, and then blow me back up (like a balloon) into shape!

As it is, I have discovered that severe Chronic Fatigue makes my Foreign Accent Syndrome much worse (so no talking), I am too weak to do anything (so bedrest) and confusion makes reading and writing difficult. That is why you may not hear or see me much, but will see … It’s a Frisbee squirrel day @@=~

Tsunami of Prayer

As I watched more Earthquake/Tsunami footage, waited and prayed. I also couldn’t help but ponder about what the Bible has to say about the nature of Holy God. From the very opening words of Scripture it says “In the beginning God…” !  It serves as a great reminder that as modern or technologically sophisticated we may believe ourselves to be, man is still the created and God remains the Creator and Sovereign.

I learned that Japan is frequently esteemed for it’s disaster readiness. I then contrasted that with the thought that although they may be prepared for an earthquake or other natural disaster are they really ready for their future?

As I spent the entire night without sleep I was fasting in prayer. I thought about how somehow appropriate it was that this was happening during the season of Lent; a time of darkness awaiting the coming light. I drew many analogies to what was happening in Japan and our attempts in my city, state, county and nation for building a Christian Emergency Network. This being a group of people who serve the community during times of distress by not only helping meet their physical needs, but also addressing their spiritual needs. Disasters come and go, but the power of the Gospel is an everlasting deliverance.

I literally had hours to focus on what God was doing in the Midnight Hours!! At this time when I would normally have been asleep for hours and not even known about what was happening on the other side of the world I was having a study in the impact of prayer.

WHY? Isn’t that often the question at such times as this?

Why am I really up now? Do I not trust that God has everything under control? Am I grotesquely “rubber necking” at the images playing out in the footage from the other side of the world? I had to really pray “search my heart oh Lord, and let me know if there is any wicked way in me. Reveal any sin in me so that I may repent and be in good standing with you and with others.” I know the importance of coming into His presence with a clean heart so that I would not be offensive to Him. I want my time of prayer and seeking God to be one of communion in a sweetness that grows my relationship with Him as I long to learn more about God and how to be transformed into a more accurate image of who He created me to be.

After I addressed these concerns I was better able to focus on reaching out over the world-wide web to people with news as it was happening live. This is a passion of mine; communication through using visual new media in order to take people I may never have met and be able to encourage and equip them. “Coming alongside” also meaning “to comfort”  the Greek word paraklesis — the very act of doing life “together” is what the church is called to do I believe. The “Helper” that Jesus said He was going to send when He went away was the Holy Spirit — the paraklete. I get so stirred up with the Holy Spirit at such times that it is like this Tsunami Wave crossing the Pacific…it’s traveling great distances at high speed (500 – 700 m.p.h.) and is anticipated to have an impact!

WHAT IS A TSUNAMI?

Being from the land-locked Midwest United States, many of the people I live around haven’t a clue what a Tsunami is. Therefore, I thought I would use this short little clip to help explain:Wave-generation-characteristics-recession-inundation

So a Tsunami is generated by a sudden shock. It is NOT a gigantic wave but is more like a surging high tide in fast motion. Out at sea where the ocean floor is so deep there may be no little elevation of a “wave” detectable. However, as the Tsunami wave reaches the shoreline and shallower ocean floor, the elevation of the wave will increase. In fact, as Tsunami is nearing the shore, a sudden very outgoing tide may signal the impending trouble soon to follow. Just as it is often “darkest before the dawn”; it is often an extremely fast outgoing low tide tsunami tide feeder right before the incoming high tsunami tide comes surging in.

We saw that principle at work after the New Orleans flooding disaster a few years back. Tremendous loss of life and property, a very dark time for many people and their communities. Then, just as God always does … the light of goodness comes shining thru. God’s light doesn’t just trickle in either, it FLOODS in to overtake the darkness. How does God do this? Through prayer.  Don’t you see? We are given the awesome honor of being able to join in a concert of prayer! Today, with our connectivity through the internet and mobile devices, more than ever we are able to reach out at any time of day or night and say “here I am,” “I am here with you,” and “let’s pray.” Isn’t that exciting?

One of my favorite songs talks refers to the story in the Bible where Jesus halted the raging storm with a word. Some of the lyrics say, ” sometimes he calms the storm, other times he calms the child.” That is to say, when we go through these “storms” of troubles, as I pray for God to “stop the storm,” but IF I am praying according to His will, I think I will pray like Jesus did in Gethsemene before He went to die to take on punishment for sins He never committed. . . “Father please let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not MY will, but THINE be done.”

It seems so often that when I have prayed this way for others God either changes their situation to a more acceptable/comfortable one OR God causes such growth through both the person and me that I then see the “why” more clearly. When I still don’t see the “why” I firmly stand on “His ways are higher than my ways… I am His child always and forever… He loves me and will only do what is best for me.” And that goes for any of my brothers and sisters in the Lord as well.

UPDATE:

My friend in Maui reports that they had only about six foot waves and had a photo on his FaceBook page from their hotel where there were a couple of people actually out in the rough surf. That is not smart. In fact, upper California or Oregon had a person or two swept out and lost at sea for such foolish activity. Another analogy for those who will not heed a warning and believe “it’s not that bad” or “it doesn’t apply to ME”.

Santa Barbara, I waited as long as I could before writing this post, but Sue had not called me back so I found out through an online source that the beaches had been closed along the California coast as a precaution. However, they just warned people in the marina, and told swimmers and surfers to remain out of the water until the all-clear is given.

So no harm done to either of the places and people that I was praying fervently for all night long. That is, those that I already knew. However, my prayers are continuing for the people of Japan!! There have been reports of hundreds, but I suspect more like thousands of deaths. Plus I keep going back to the thought of the ripping hearts of the mothers and thier babies separated, unable to communicate. Also the myriads of people who are stuck without transportation walking towards there homes; not knowing if their homes are even there. Remember, it is also very COLD! There are some emergency shelters, but those will be full and stretched in resources. Families are certainly separated, unable to locate one another. Are they safe? God only knows !

Therefore, I will continue the tsunami wave of prayer for the relief and rescue efforts that are no doubt underway even now. I am exhausted! I have been up for nearly 2 solid nights now. However, since I have posted this, I am going to be able to get to sleep knowing that God is at work in all this.

As mighty as the power of that earthquake was, and as devastating as the resulting waves of destruction across Japan – God Himself is the ALL-Mighty who never sleeps nor slumbers. It is night now, I must sleep. I will do so with the glorious hope of the approaching light of a brighter tomorrow!


 

 

 


Are You Ready?

Emergency kit

There’s a huge winter storm coming! It’s shaking people up to see just about all of the United States east of Cheyenne Wyoming with some kind of winter storm watch or warning. Weathermen are predicting freezing rain, sleet, snow, ice and then powerful winds. This storm is expected to hit central Indiana over the next two days. In fact portions of our area are receiving freezing rain RIGHT NOW.

This has prompted many people to get prepared. . . are YOU prepared?

It only takes 1/2 inch of ice buildup on the lines to bring them down, especially if there is high winds causing them to sway and tree branches to fall. Ice storms are known for causing wide-spread power outages, so it is wise to prepare. If you hear “popping” or see sparking and wires down — stay away and keep others away and call your electric company or 911 immediately. (some phone numbers at the end of this post).  If you are in your car and the line falls on it. Do NOT leave the car unless told to do so by emergency personnel.

Are you and your family ready if your power should go out during this winter storm? Have you talked with your kids and have an emergency plan in place ? If you were told that you must be out of the house “NOW” (gas leak, fire, evacuation) would you be ready?

The American Red Cross says you can prepare by putting together a disaster supply kit, to be used in your home in the event of an emergency, and a “go kit,” which is something you would take with you if you need to evacuate to a shelter.

Your disaster supply kit at home could include such things as:

  • at least 3-day supply of food (ideally eaten w/o heating, granola bars, cheese and crackers, cereals, etc. — don’t forget the can opener if you have canned goods)
  • possible food-heat source, (ie. gel fuel, propane for outdoor cooking only)
  • water at least a gallon a day
  • first aid kit,
  • flashlights and batteries.
  • heating sources- candles, tea lights, lanterns, (+ matches in water proof cont.)
  • Warm Blankets and clothing.

I.D. and Documentation. Always being sure that everyone is carrying some kind of Identification. You can have fun and create one for your kids with an index card and their photo, name, your name and cell phone number.  Also, it is good to create a secret word to know if someone is claiming to be taking them to you.

Remember that with power out… you will not be able to CHARGE you cell phone or mobile devices. Many people have all there important phone numbers stored electronically, so it is wise to transfer important contact information, accounts etc. into a small address book or notebook that you keep in your purse or on your person.

A digital camera (with extra batteries) may be of great use if you suffer some damage from the storm. I ALWAYS carry one with a set of extra batteries for it. This is especially important for capturing and documenting news as it happens. I keep my cell phone for only communication not photos.

Our First Aid Tackle Box

A “Go-Kit” (can be grabbed if you must evacuate in a hurry or go to shelter) . Place the following type items in a rolling suitcase or backpack:

  • bedding,
  • clothing for all family members, Warm & weatherproof
  • medications,
  • personal care items,
  • toys or books for the kids and snacks.
  • a notebook/folder with important addresses, phone numbers, & accts. info & key family photos.

Dog Bucket to Go

Don’t forget your PET Emergency family needs: (We keep ours in a five gallon bucket always ready in case of emergency evacuation.

  • food Lg. ziplocs work well
  • and water for your animal (reused gal. juice container)
  • leashes and collars (be sure I.D. tag is on animal)
  • toys, blanket, brush or comb, ziplocs for cleanup
  • extra rope is always good to have for tie up or makeshift muzzle.

If you plan on using a grill, make sure it stays outside. Don’t operate it in a garage or a basement due to carbon monoxide and fire concerns.

Get Ready:

  • Fill your gas tank
  • Charge cell phones
  • Have extra cash
  • Stock non-perishable food
  • Consider back-up methods for food/water, heat and lighting
  • Have ice melt and non-clumping kitty litter on hand for melting and traction.

Electrical Power Providers:

IPL power outages.  To report an outage or a downed power line, please call 317.261.8111 or 317.261.8222 or toll-free at 1.888.261.8222. or 911 if an emergency.

Duke Energy outages. If you see a fallen power line, call Duke Energy at 1-800-343-3525 and select Option 2 or contact your local emergency services immediately.

Vectren outages. Call (800) 227-1376 to report an outage or downed line.

These are just suggestions based on my understanding of what the American Red Cross and local news reporters are suggesting, along with personal experience. Using your own common sense trumps it all. The purpose of this post is simply to prompt you to ready yourselves and consider items you may not have thought of.

I very much welcome other personal suggestions that you would make. What kind of experiences have you had with emergencies that caused you to better prepare for the future? Please feel free to send a comment and I will post it if it is helpful.

Now, people … get ready!

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