Friday, June 20, 2008
It all came down on me while driving home from work this morning. It hit me on the side of the head. It slapped me in the face. It made tears stream down my face.
Of course, I'm talking about what happened here in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, just a week ago. Lives had been ripped apart. Hopes and dreams were vaporized in just a matter of days, if not hours.
But, what was really ripping me apart was much more than getting a first hand glimpse of the aftermath of the carnage suffered in Cedar Rapids just a week ago. You see, not only did I have a quick glimpse of the piles of debris lined up along the streets, but I also saw, while going on with life in the last few days, that people are pulling together.
Keep in mind, it wasn't until yesterday (June 19) that President Bush finally got to visit our area of the country. And before I continue, let me allow you to see it for yourselves:
I can assure you, right off the bat, that the President's visit had nothing to do with the hope and unity that I've seen over the last week! In fact, while of course people will need all the assistance that they can get, it was much more than that. In the video you saw above, it was about the government helping us out, and about the losses that we've suffered. But what I want to say today differs greatly. It is about us helping each other out, and about what we will gain from this experience!
One of the Presidential candidates this year has been spouting change, unity, and hope. All good things, except, when we really look closer, we already have it. Yes, there has been drastic changes in people's lives around this area. For many, things will never be the same. But, while that was happening, I found out something else. There has been a lot of unity in this community. People have been helping each other out, in what ever way we can. For some it was filling sandbags, and for others, providing moral encouragement, shelter, food, what ever it takes.
So, if there was ever hope.... This is IT! Yes, I had tears in my eyes on the way home from work today. It was for both the people that suffered, and for the realization of all the good that I saw people do for each other! Not one iota of any of it had anything to do with a "Presidential Visit" to this area. Not that I minded the President coming, it was probably a good thing, to maybe give a few more people a little more assurance that things will work out.
But, the true positive perspective I had on the journey home today was overwhelming. While we will find much sorrow in our lives, it really is also up to us to find ways to make the bad things in life become the catalysts to better things in our lives.
For many of us, it may have been just finding the Faith that we may not have had for awhile.
For many of us, it may have been seeing that there are people out there that really care about us, and that isn't meaning the government officials, but neighbors, parents, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, or our church families.
For many of us, it may have been just knowing that God was helping us to get through this nightmare. It may have been the realization of how important the Lord Jesus Christ is in our lives!
While we have each other, and God, we really won't ever lose! That's the change, unity and hope that I'm talking about! In Biblical Proportions!
In Biblical Proportions
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Live, from Ground Zero in the News today.....
The doom and gloom abounds. Everyone here in Cedar Rapids has been affected in someway through this terrific tsunami of tragedy. Everywhere you look, there is water, including some in my very own basement floor from a window that could no longer hold back the deluge.
The only thing getting me through the moment, and that's having a chance of seeing some of the Cubs-Braves game. I'd be in bed long ago, but my electricity had gone out. And then I heard they closed the Interstate, the only way over the Cedar River.... And then I heard it was open.... And then I tried to call my daughter, only to go directly to her voicemail..... (Don't worry, she is okay!)
Isn't is strange what I saw I had in my Profile? I say I am from "Iowa (....or is this Heaven)". Welll, right now, many people in Iowa want to say, "Is this Hell?" Tornadoes of gargantuan strength (Parkersburg, F-5, the Boy Scout camp tornado that killed 4 campers in Western Iowa), horrible floods... Oh, how good it is that we aren't in the terrible throes of Winter we just went through..... (/sarcasm).
What I wrote above would be how the lame stream media would handle this story. But there is a much better story that needs to come out.
If there was EVER a time..... A GREAT time, for me to have begun posting that 40 Days of Purpose series, it was now. Not because I want any glory - I don't - because it really does all belong to the Lord... But, 40 Days? Like the 40 Days of Rain for Noah and his clan? Like the 40 Days Jesus spent here after His Resurrection before He went into the clouds?
It wasn't an accident, it wasn't coincidence that I had started sending out the 40 Days of Purpose series... maybe it was just to help me keep my sanity. But now, I realize a much bigger purpose, something that I had never thought could happen.
There may have been a time when I first started writing this today, that I may have told you what a massive repurcussion this would have on America. I could see the ripple effects, knowing that crops have been impacted, not just here in Iowa, but all over the Midwest. We all know that is happening.
But then, while waiting for youtube.com to get the above video uploaded, I had a revelation. On WMT radio, there was an interview with a representative to the Iowa State legislature, I heard something very positive. It was about how people here in Cedar Rapids have done such a fantastic job of pulling together and cooperating. There have been no deaths, Praise the Lord, so far. That is the good news. Yet, we know, what we'll be facing in this historic tragedy in the aftermath, there are affects this will have throughout all of the economy of Cedar Rapids, and ripple through Iowa, and probably the nation.
But as New York City pulled out of the aftermath of 9/11, Cedar Rapids will pull out of the Flood of 2008. It will take time, and a lot of people are going to have very difficult times. And as the hope and care for each other rippled out of NYC and the Pentagon area in 2001, it is my prayer that the hope and perseverence and the resilience of the good old Cedar Rapidians will ripple out of this area, to touch the nation. We will see.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
I've always liked Geraldo Rivera, at least as a person. He has a great sense of humor, he smiles with his eyes, and he has had plenty of courage for doing many of the assignments that he has been on. In fact, good old Geraldo is even pro-troops! There is a lot of good I can say about the guy, but dang, I sure wouldn't want to get into a political discussion with him. Just ask Bill O'Reilly. But now, add Brian Kilmeade to those that don't want to try to discuss political issues with Geraldo. Here's a 3 minute glimpse of the way Geraldo tends to dominate the "discussion":
After watching the video, you have to feel bad for Gretchen Carlson. I can't blame her for her apparent discomfort with the volley between Geraldo and Brian. (But in the mean time, Steve Doocy might have had some 'splaining to do with his wife when he got home....)
With another thunderstorm quickly approaching, and with the possibility that my electricity may go out, I better try to get to the point of this. I'll start by expounding on "The Gitmo Discussion" which goes way beyond the personality conflict I've alluded to.
The paradox is that it all leads back to how this "discussion" was done. The Geraldo side, which I would say is on the left, has a perpetual habit of not allowing the other side to enter the debate. After viewing the above video a few times, I still do not know for sure what Brian Kilmeade wanted to say. Geraldo totally dominated the conversation. And isn't that the way it goes when we try to "discuss" various issues with liberals, such as the global warming "debate", or Evolution vs. Intelligent Design? It seems to be a problem with obsessive compulsive arrogance disorder. It could be treatable, but probably at a cost of around $45 trillion.
And in the mean time, do I care if these criminals down at Gitmo get some type of open trial here in the States as Geraldo desires? If they were tried, convicted and executed by tomorrow, it would be no problem for me. Obviously, unlike Geraldo, I don't really care what the world thinks. Because that is not the real problem.
What we have to worry about is not about what the World thinks, but what our war-time tribunals could mean for U. S. citizens that do not quite agree with the administration, especially those that are bold enough to discuss the various diversions from the U. S. Constitution.
While the Left would want you to fear that being in disagreement of what Bush and his "Right-wing" administration is doing - that they'll cart you off to Gitmo - the real fear that I have will be in trying to dissent with the Left if they take over the White House and keep control of the Senate and House, God forbid. In the video above, you've seen an example of the how the Left will try to silence our dissent.
Friday, June 06, 2008
In Joseph Farah's "non-column" today on WorldNetDaily, "Why I don't have a column today", there was something to think about. And, there was much more to learn. Whether he knows it yet, or not, he took lemons and has turned them into lemonade.
Despite Joseph's grandest efforts to be prepared for disaster, he still went through a nightmare following a violent storm. He had his back up generator for when the electricity goes out, and he had his sump pump to keep his basement from getting wet. Actually, he wasn't quite 100% prepared, because he neglected to get a back up battery for the pump. The ultimate disaster happened when his generator died, and the pump was then out of service. Joseph and his family did their best to literally try to bail out of the problem, but to no avail.
I did say that there was something to think about and things to learn from this, right? Good! Because there is. So, let's think this through. Let's actually put our minds to work to discover what the good is that will come from Joseph's "non-column". This is the main prerequisite to being able to learn the lessons from the Farah Disaster.
You and I know that there is so much in life that can be by far more difficult than what Joseph went through! Hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods... all those disasters that can wipe out our lives as we know it, in a very short amount of time. And then, there are those difficult times when we lose a loved one, our jobs, or suffer disabling health problems. These things can happen to EVERY ONE OF US, despite our best attempts to prevent and prepare.
Can you prevent all that could possibly happen to you? No. The true question is: Are you prepared if something does happen? It should be known that regardless of all you do to "prevent" the worst disasters, it isn't always in your control.
Very unfortunately, when those things happen that were beyond our prevention, many will ask questions. Those questions are usually directed toward God: Why weren't you looking after me? Why did you allow those bad things to happen? How am I supposed to stay faithful and believing when these things happen?
Those that are "spiritually wise" always seem to have the answers, too: You did something wrong and now you are being punished... The Lord has a purpose for what happened to you.... You will learn from this experience... Satan is attacking you to prevent you from doing God's work...
Or worst of all, from the non-spiritual folks: Don't worry, the government will help you out. (Hey, guys, isn't that supposed to be the one they use for the people that are irresponsible about prevention and preparation?)
But, are those the answers that we really want to hear during the troubled times? Do those cliche's really help you get through all that comes at you? Well, not really. The fact is, it doesn't matter how we rationalize our difficult times. Because...
What really matters is this: Do you still Love God, do you still Trust God, and do you still have Faith in Jesus Christ?
(To Joseph Farah and family: I think that your lemons have just been turned into lemonade.)