Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So many folks care so much!

Happy Tuesday to one and all on this last day of September 30, 2008. While I often tell people we are homeless at the moment until we get our house restored, I happen to know that we have been overwhelmed by the offers of support from our family, our friends, and in particular, our Church family. We do have a place to stay in our eldest son’s home and they have been wonderful to us. Also, please note that when I use the word ‘homeless’ I would never under any circumstances poke fun at those who are. There is a true sense in which we should seriously consider walking a mile in the other fellow’s shoes before we begin to criticize or make light of their situation. We have been offered much in the way of housing and temporary shelter until we get everything recovered. The folks making the offers are serious and they are persistent. Even this past Sunday folks were telling me about using their lake home or rent property or house they are waiting to sell. I may very well end up taking one of these gracious offers but at this time I want to get through the early phases of the insurance process in order to better evaluate the options available to us.

We have received monetary gifts from our family and while we did not have a desperate need for this type of support, it has been of tremendous help during this transition period where our daily living expenses have risen significantly. I know we will eventually recover our additional spending but meanwhile we are continuing to incur the ongoing costs involved in our damaged property as well as the extra costs of commuting and living outside our area. My point in today’s blog is to reflect on the caring and generous spirit we are privileged to be a part of, beginning with our families and extending to our brothers and sisters in Christ. I will be the first to admit that my DNA came with a strong ‘do for yourself’ component. At the same time I remember our pastor’s comments just after the storm. He reminded us there comes a time when we should allow our feet to be washed for our own good as well as the good of the one who desires to do the washing. We expect to know more about our choices this week.

This past Sunday I was able to teach my Bible study class for the first time since Ike messed up our schedules. The first half hour of our class was taken up with prayer requests for friends, family, and other members who have suffered losses as a result of this hurricane. One lady in our Church who has been near and dear to us for over thirty years fell and broke her hip as she tried to navigate her way in the middle of the night at her son’s home where she had taken shelter. She was not a direct casualty from Ike but as she will be spending several weeks now in a rehab center, she no doubt will not soon forget his influence on her life. One fellow here at the company told me the other day that he and his wife had helped clear debris from a young couple’s property because the husband had experienced a mishap felling a tree and was in the hospital with a badly crushed leg. This is why we need each other. This is why we are called on to feel the pain and respond with love, compassion, and to put shoe leather power to our concern. Join us in thanking God for so many who have responded in this way to us! Amen, and may God bless us all as we seek to serve Him. …..More later.

Monday, September 29, 2008

What a way to go!

Hello and welcome to a brand new Monday, already the second day of the week on this September 29, 2008. You most likely have heard some of the hero stories about those who risked life and limb to help others escape the ravages of “Ike”. We also know that a fair number of folks didn’t make it. Several were actually killed during the clean up effort by falling trees and other related mishaps. There are also those who received their promotion into the presence of the Lord while the storm was raging. I wanted to share one story we heard from one of our neighbors. It’s about his niece’s elderly grandmother who was staying with her and her family during the storm.

The way it was told says this elderly lady and her family were sheltered in place and watching most of the night Friday into Saturday morning. Everyone was understandably stressed as the storm came closer and closer. Just as the storm began to beat on their home the grandmother called all the family together and asked them to find the couple of hymnbooks in the house. She then told them what songs to sing and they gathered around her and sang the hymns she requested. When they finished, she told them that today was going to be a wonderful day. Shortly after that she closed her eyes in death to awake in a far better place. I can’t help myself. I love these types of home going stories. What a wonderful way to leave this world, and in doing what she did the way she did it has caused me and many others to be encouraged by her testimony.

I have mentioned before about the use of the word translated ‘hope’ in the Bible. The word used in the Scriptures does not involve in any way a ‘hope so’ connotation. Rather, it reflects a confident assurance in the reality of God and His truths. That elderly lady embraced her own realization of her hope and blessed assurance, and as a result she instantaneously experienced the full measure of the truth that tells us as believers that one day we will: “….be absent from the body and present with the Lord.” (see 2 Corinthians 5:8) This absolute truth, when put into practice helps us to live out each day with confidence because as God’s very own, He will never leave us or forsake us, and we have our Savior’s promise that He is preparing a special place for us. I can’t visualize what that place might be like but I somehow believe being in His presence defines the experience much better than any mental concept of mansions or earthly splendor. One more time, I do love this lady’s story and I pray it will be an encouragement to you, today! Amen. ….More later.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fantastical Friday!

Greetings to one and all on this Fantastical Friday, September 26, 2008. It was a very pleasant drive this morning with the temperature at 63 degrees, the windows down a little, allowing me to enjoy the cool breeze. I'm not sure it was a good idea for me to begin teaching lessons from the Book of Job. Since that first lesson we've experienced "Ike" and are now looking for temporary housing. Yesterday I was driving our company one ton across the metro-plex with some miscellaneous items for one of our vendors when I topped a ridge and all the cars in front of me came to a complete stop. I was driving an appropriate speed and had no problems slowing to a stop but the fellow behind me in a two ton was not able to do the same. The best way to describe what happened is to use one of my learned colloquial expressions: "He knocked the living daylights out of me!" Fortunately, our truck wasn't damaged that much except for beating up the pieces I was carrying and messing the back frame up a little. He and his sidekick were fine but his equipment didn't fair as well. His big truck pretty much collapsed onto his front tire and he had to be towed. The fellow driving that big truck was a big guy but I've never seen anyone so genuinely concerned about another person's well being. He said he didn't have a problem getting a ticket. He said he didn't care if he was in trouble with his company. He was just very thankful that I wasn't hurt. And, I pause to be thankful to God for that same blessing! We did add to the traffic woes for about an hour as the officer did all the paperwork and wrote the other fellow a citation. Admittedly, I feel stiff in places this morning and no doubt may feel like I've been beaten with a tire tool before it's over. That's what happens when you have the living daylights knocked out of you.

When I returned to our offices our shop foreman was the first to greet me with my new nickname, "Crash". He told me the guys had found an old helmet and wanted me to wear it next time I left the property. He and I joke all the time and he does his best to act like he is really serious in his comments towards me but I know he very much likes me and even yesterday after the joking he turned deadly serious and said, "You are okay, aren't you?" People matter. All business is a people business. God's business here on earth has everything to do with His created human family and you and I get to go and interact with them standing out on the freeway where we are immediately bonded by God's protective care or kidding forth and back with those we work with. Just so you know, I am not a truck driver. I was taking these parts because we are behind in our schedules and we have an all hands on deck attitude when it comes to doing whatever it takes. In fact, just before I left I made the prophetic comment to the fellow I work for that if he hears of something bad happening he might wish he had our recently retired 76 year old driver back. When I called my wife at work to tell her what happened I opened the conversation by saying I had something under the category of "What else can go wrong?" to tell her. After hearing what happened she said please don't use that category again.

This reminded me of a fellow I worked with for over twenty years at the big company. This guy was always having unusual difficulties in his life marked by the fact they happened so frequently. He was said to carry his own black cloud with him everywhere he went. He and I were good buddies and we had lunch together often. His misfortunes were so well known that other folks used to tell me I should be awarded some type of medal for bravery for just walking beside him on the street. It was good for a laugh then and it brings a smile now. I must tell you that I do not see the difficulties we have faced as being anything other than that which is common to us all. The great news is the truth that transcends our troubles. God is on His throne and He cares for His own. Maybe I needed a hug from a big old burly truck driver on the freeway or maybe I needed some testing in the area of my own teaching, but whatever the situation or circumstance, God is at work and He will get us where He wants us to be, one way or another! Say a prayer of thanksgiving that after a huge storm and now after a huge hit God has seen fit to allow me to be pecking away on my keyboard one more time. Amen. Have a great Saturday and Sunday and God willing I will see you next week! ....More later.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New and improved highlights for Thursday!

It’s Thursday, September 25, 2008 and it’s also time to change the subject. I received a notice this week of a graveyard work day scheduled for the cemetery over in the rural area of Louisiana where many of my departed loved ones are buried. A graveyard work day is a special event where folks who share a common interest in maintaining their family plots gather together, work on the graves, share a meal, and enjoy fellowship. I made a number of them when I was a kid growing up and while to many it may sound rather morbid, the atmosphere typically reflects that of a homecoming or family reunion. There’s something special about meeting at that place where so many memories bubble up. I haven’t been able to attend one in many years but I do try to send some financial support from time to time to help with the upkeep.

That type of tradition is no doubt rural but I’m rather pleased to identify with that which defined the “folks back home.” Most of us are aware that traditions many hold dear have been the subject of political controversy this year. One candidate was overheard saying that when times get tough rural people tend to cling to their religion, their guns, and their simple way of looking at life. He said this to a group of supporters who were properly identified as urban, wealthy, and elite. Sure, there was a backlash when this came out but I’m not into playing the gotcha game. All of us, whether we are folks in the country or city dwellers have plenty we can improve on. But when it comes to a heritage of faith, family, and being known for an honest but simple life, I couldn’t be more thankful than I am for those who handed down their values to me.

It goes beyond singing a song proclaiming, “Thank God I’m a country boy.” It has to do with inheriting a strong work ethic, a sense of responsibility to God and others, and a love for one’s country. It’s certainly not a redneck thing. It’s not a good old boy thing. It’s a way of life thing. A local news commentator said he had visited with many of the thousands of utility and service workers here to help with recovery efforts and they hail from every part of our great country. One of the consistent themes of their experience as recounted to him over and over again had to do with the surprising response of hospitality, courteousness, and genuine appreciation they have received from suffering folks in our region. Where does that type of spirit come from? I’m glad you asked because I believe in large measure it comes through a lineage of simple values handed down from folks who did cling to their God and their simple way of life. I don’t know about you but this report makes me even prouder to be a part of this enduring simple life legacy! Amen. ……More later.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Some scattered thoughts for Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday, September 24, 2008. It sounds like a huge amount of stuff happened while I was away the past ten days focusing on hurricane related issues. We had a stock market melt down, there were a variety of developments in the presidential race, and a huge number of world events as well. Wow! I kind of feel like Rip Van Winkle when he woke up. To be honest, I was somewhat aware of these happenings but only on the surface. Isn't it interesting how we can become absorbed in a particular need or effort to the extent that everything else more or less fades into the background. I believe this is how God would like for us to treat Him and His will for our lives. Pleasing Him should predominate to the extent that other issues pale by comparison. I spent five hours with the insurance adjuster yesterday and my wife said last night that she could tell I was more hopeful by the sound of my voice. It was a productive meeting and we are finally seeing some things happen as a result.

The other day when our brother-in-law from Louisiana arrived with that generator, ice, and extra gasoline, I told him when I saw him pull into the driveway I finally grasped the full meaning of the old idiom, "You are a sight for sore eyes." It was like one of those old cowboy shows where they are just about to succumb to the renegades when the cavalry comes swooping in to rescue them. Again, these metaphors that describe relief and help in our time of need also remind us that our Savior did an even greater act of showing up at the right time on our behalf. He is the ultimate rescuer and we are eternally blessed because He did come and provide a way for us. I now have the insurance process in motion, therefore, I need to be able to expand my vision and get back on track with everyday life. The insurance guy estimates we will be out of our home for at least three months while repairs are being made. That will not be normal but we will do our best to make it as normal as it can be. The other hurdles involve us being the main managers of the contracting process which will no doubt also require much time and attention. My first order of business for today is to spend time taking care of the business here at my workplace and set aside these other matters for a few days. The fellow I work for has been tremendously gracious but I am aware of my duty to him and the business that needs to be done.
Hey, I will be the first to admit that these past two weeks have been tough. This past Monday the entire metroplex attempted to get back on its feet and traffic flow was not ready. As I mentioned earlier, I now have a 48 mile commute instead of 16 miles. Monday evening I left my workplace at 5 p.m., and arrived at my son's home at 7:30 p.m. Whoa! I thought to myself if this is going to happen everyday I will most likely implode on the way home one evening. BUT, last night it was much better and it will continue to get better as they get all the traffic signals properly functioning and folks like me learn how to drive again. Two and one half hours. I was reminded of a Church brother who had once told me about taking a job with a long commute and how God had used that time to help him with his prayer life, in listening to some powerful Bible teaching on the radio, and in just fellowshipping with His God. One thing is certain: There are no wasted moments with God. He can use a long commute, a changed world, and even something as arduous as dealing with insurance matters to mold and develop us into the object of excellence He has in mind. Since this is my daily blog, you will no doubt hear more than an earful about our adventures as a result of 'Ike' but hopefully there will, at the same time, be much more from a life being lived for God's glory and His service. Amen. .......More later.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Focusing on the BIG picture!

We slept last night with air conditioning and a ceiling fan for the first time in 10 days and let me just say modern stuff is not that bad compared to the alternatives. Amen? I’m also sending out a sincere thanks to all those expressing concern and offering up prayers for us as we make our way through this transitional time of recovery and restoration. It’s a great day to be able to send along these thoughts on this Tuesday, September 23, 2008. Last Sunday they asked me to lead off the testimonies because everyone thinks our tree was perhaps the most significant in terms of damage. My wife was already very emotional because of the way folks had been loving on us but at the same time I wanted to frame my comments in a way that demonstrated our appreciation for how God had answered our prayers to protect our boys, their wives, our grandchildren, and other loved ones. My youngest son said their service at their Church was one where the theme that rose out of people’s response indicated an awareness of the magnitude of this huge storm and gratefulness to God for them and their families being able to gather once again with their fellow believers.

I know that feeling well. Last Sunday or Monday afternoon some of our Church family brought over sandwiches to our family where all who lived in our immediate area had gathered to clear the house of soaked carpet, furniture, and other debris. Our youngest son and his family could not be with us due to gasoline shortages and because of them dealing with their own issues across town. But there we were. About twelve of us and as we paused to pray over the food so graciously provided, I looked around the room and it was just like one of our family gatherings except everyone was tired, smelly, and disheveled. This is when it really hit me. God had heard our prayers and spared those close to us. It was very hard for me to get the words out because I knew deep down inside that it could have been very different. This is why on Sunday when I stood and told about our situation I could not bring myself to complain or offer up a sad story. One lady wrote me a note on the web based diabetes forum I participate in and said to always remember that everything we lost is replaceable and she is so right!

While it’s early in the process we’ve already had some administrative mishaps and miscues in working with our insurance team. There will likely be much more of this as we try to juggle our schedules and get to the many things that have to be done. But I pray that with God’s help we will keep the big picture in mind and as we go forward our thankfulness to God will be evidenced to all those with whom we find ourselves connected. Do I like having to deal with wrong information and losing time and effort due to errors and mishandling? Not really. However, even the difficulties can become platforms for us to be a testimony for the God who heard our prayers. Am I able to get down and dirty when things get out of sync? In a heartbeat! That would be the natural response but we seek a supernatural response so that God will be honored as He makes something good to come from this event. Pray with us about this because I’m sure we will be tested as we make our way forward. Amen. …More later.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's a good day to praise God for His blessings!

Welcome to Monday and it is now September 22, 2008. I mentioned last Thursday that our little Alexander Benjamin celebrated his 3rd birthday. Because of the hurricane aftermath with all the outages and other issues at hand, his parents had wanted to delay any official celebrations until later. Poppy’s response: "Not if he can do anything at all about it!" I had my wife find him a gift and then we went about finding a place where we all could meet, eat, and sing the birthday song to him. We did find a Pizza buffet and we did have a great time. His mom was very resourceful in making him a cake out of twinkies with icing and his name inscribed. He is currently into Diego the little guy that works with Dora the Explorer to find endangered animals. All of his main gifts were Diego stuff. He was so excited. Several of the toys had voice and he knew all the comments by heart. As he listened to one of the alerts coming out of the backpack, he leaned over to me and said breathlessly, “Poppy, an animal is in distress, I must go and find him!” To see a three year old captivated in that way, well, it doesn’t get much better than that!

We finally are ‘treeless’ now in terms of that big bad boy that was an intruder in our home. Early Saturday morning a crew of professionals arrived and with the help of a 90-foot crane they carefully extracted that huge pine tree. Our eldest went to work to tarp over the opening and he also did a very professional job. Now we are left with the process issues involved with the forth and back dialogue with our insurance company. This we must do along with millions of others who are also in there trying to get their world put back together. The power is supposed to be turned back on today in our son’s home where we stay at night and that will be a huge blessing. The cooler weather has faded and we could sure use the A/C but we had generator powered fans last night and made it just fine. It was good to know I didn’t have to worry about my grandfather getting up and turning off the attic fan before we could get to sleep. Whenever I’m feeling a little low about all of this, all I have to do is look once again at those photos from Galveston and the surrounding coastal communities. Tree or no tree, we are blessed!

Our congregation came together yesterday for a brief service outside our facility because the power is still off. What a time we had filled with testimony, prayer, praise, worship, and reaching out to each other. Our pastor reminded us that while our building may not be functioning, our congregation is the living part of Church and we continue to be the Lord’s very own people regardless of the storms that come our way. After Church my wife and I came to my workplace to use the computer and spend time on the phones with our insurance contacts. All in all, it’s not like it was just a handful of days ago, but it’s very workable because of our family and so many others who are standing with us. We continue to pray for those dealing with what for them is a life-altering event, especially those who have lost family members. It typically takes me 30 minutes to get to work; now it takes an hour and 15 minutes but here I am doing my blog since 4:45 a.m. God is good all the time. All the time God is good. Have a blessed week! Amen. …..More later.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A bad week but we will take those overnight lows in the fifties!

Greetings to my blog readers on this beautiful day, Friday, the 19th of September 2008. When all else fails we can always talk about the weather. I’m not referring to Hurricane Ike because that weather event more or less continues to speak for itself. However, coming out of that storm with no electrical power and facing the potential for a return to sweltering temperatures and high humidity, we have, instead, enjoyed some of the most beautiful weather we’ve known in a very long time. My belief is these lower temps have helped ease some of the pain of so many to the extent that we’ve had much fewer issues than could have been experienced. This, however, can change as the relief efforts continue to lag behind demand and the weather may get hot again soon.

It’s one thing to be disgruntled and short tempered when things are not working well but when you add extreme heat to the mix, I think we all know the potential is there for an explosive situation. Where did the cooler weather come from? It originated in Canada according to the local weather people and they tell us it’s very unusual for a front this strong to make it into the area this early into September. Me, I’ll just have to give God the credit for it and thank Him because I know He is ultimately in control. Some might argue this type of thinking will lead one to becoming fatalistic but in my way of seeing it, by believing the truth we become faith-alistic, which is not a real word, but a pretty good one in terms of making my point.

I could throw out some mind boggling numbers in terms of those who continue to await the restoration of electrical power, some still without water service, and even a number of communities with no sanitary facilities. Okay, go ahead and brand me with some of those names like doomsayer or Bible thumper, but seeing those folks lined up for miles to get gasoline, water, and food, immediately made me think of how it will be in the end times as revealed in God’s word. Scary. Scary. Scary, but I’ve seen it up close and personal; therefore, the reality of it all is quite sobering. On the other hand, my wife had to sit in line the other day for gas and she had a charged up DVD player watching a movie and spent her time also talking to our seventeen year old granddaughter who was with her while she was waiting. How do I know this? When I finally got through to them on the cell phone my granddaughter told me that it was very hard to hear the phone with the windows down, the movie playing, and the both of them laughing and talking. I won’t even try to figure that one out but it just goes to show you, that where there is a way, someone will find it. Americans always find a way! Have a great Saturday and Sunday and we will see what a brand new week brings as we do our best to honor God with the life He has given to us. Amen. ….More later.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Our confidence is STILL in Him!

It's Thursday here at the office on this September 18th day of 2008, the very birthday of our little Alexander Benjamin who is three today. He was born the week of Rita and we had to scramble to keep him healthy with a borrowed generator. What a memory of that horrendous week and now here he is three years later and its more of the same. It's good that he is young enough to not pay much attention because he might have a complex already. At any rate, he is a one of a kind and regardless of the problems and circumstances we are thanking God for him on his birthday! This is my blog from last Friday written just prior to the calamitous events that came with this latest hurricane. I thought it was appropriate to repeat much of it because it's still true even while we work our way through getting things put back together.

We now do know what happened and it turned out the warnings were true in that Ike became very destructive many hundreds of miles inland. We have one fellow here at our workplace whose house was completely destroyed and several others have significant damage to their homes and cars but for those of us who are able to get up and go and make contact with our family each day, well, we have much to be thankful for. Here's what I wrote (bolded) leading up to last week's events: I prefer to speak to God about my concerns. I've done that often in the run up to this storm watch. I've already had a season of prayer with my wife before leaving the house at 4:30 a.m. this morning. And, I just completed praying back Psalms 145 through 150. Those are all songs that praise God for His Person, His Being, and His Greatness. Last Wednesday evening I continued a many lesson series on God's sovereignty and will now work our way through the writing of Job. Job endured some personal storms that perhaps were as gut wrenching as any ever faced but somewhere deep down inside he persevered in his faith and belief that God and God alone was his answer.

We don't know what Ike will leave us with. We pray for the protection of people everywhere including the foolish who remain directly in the path to party and surf on the beaches. May God be merciful and may we all look to Him in this time of need and in every storm we face. I'll not be here at work all day and we have already and will continue to prepare as best we can. Many of the folks who read my blog are prayer warriors. Some are ev
en closer to the path of this storm than we are. We cannot know about all that we will experience this day and that goes for every day when you think about it. But we can know that our God knows, understands, and CARES for each of us. Now is the time for us all to abandon ourselves into His loving arms or to use the example of our Savior, to run to the protection of His wings in our time of need! May God keep us all safe and sound and may He bless one and all this very day.

Obviously, it's been a rough several days but days that have been blessed in how people have reached out to help each other. My wife's sister's husband brought us over a generator, 20 bags of ice, and 20 gallons of gasoline. A co-worker of my wife and her son, as well as some of our neighbors helped us clear the huge amount of debris from our yard. Her brother also came with him and left some cash with us. The generator has been used at our eldest son's house where we have stayed at night and he was able to share it with his neighbor as well as distribute some of the ice. When it comes down to it, writing a blog about trusting God is much different than living out your life in a manner that demonstrates this to be a core value and a near and present reality. Thanks for all the expressions of concern and continue to pray for all those who have a huge recovery in their immediate future. Amen. .....More later.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 'Ike' the storm and 'Ike' the man, as well as the storm of hate that hit our shores on this day, seven years ago!

It’s a typical Thursday here on the 11th day of September 2008. Speaking of not having a Ronald Reagan running in this year’s election, we do, however, have a storm brewing and perhaps bearing down on us by the name of Ike. That reminded me of another very famous Ike, Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was our triumphant Supreme Allied Commander and leader of victory in WW2, and our president from 1953 to 1961. As we deal with facing the potential storm in the gulf it reminds us of the stormy challenges facing our next president. Many of you by now must think I am a committed pessimist but as one protested a number of years ago, “I not only deny the allegation, I also deny the alligator.” Thinking about Eisenhower conjures up this question: Where have all the statesmen gone? (Look for his farewell address on the web. It’s a quick read but full of wisdom as recorded on January 17, 1961.)

I’m not saying men like Eisenhower or Reagan were somehow without any blemishes or faults but to me they reflected a sense of what one looks up to in a leader, duty, honor, integrity, and a presence that communicates command and purpose. Symbolism is extremely important as we attempt to be the country God would have us to be. It reflects a commitment to principles that transcend the gimmicks that plays off economic self-centeredness and calls us all to a purpose greater than ourselves. Many too soon forget how men like Eisenhower brought to an end a worldwide threat that could have easily enslaved future generations. (Do a web search on documentaries on Hitler and his cronies lest you forget the range and reach of his evil.) Today literally millions are free from a form of totalitarian communism because Ronald Reagan listened to his heart instead of the appeasement advice that came from near and far.

As we make our way early into this 21st Century odyssey the world is overflowing with all kinds of threats. These threats include those who would enslave the world by force to follow their fanatical religious views. Those who refuse to yield are to be exterminated. That is the Jihad being pursued! It’s a world where the forces of evil once contained are on the march again. The recent invasion by Russia of a free and independent Georgia is a profile in the weak kneed leadership that predominates governments today. Everyone has complained but because of the oil supplies provided by the Russians, no one is willing to act. Now, after much gnashing and wailing of teeth, the United States has officially thrown in the towel because we would have to go it alone. Forget about right and wrong, it’s become only what is in the immediate self interests that wins the day. Had Reagan accepted this premise we wouldn’t even be talking about this issue because there would be no free and independent Georgia to invade. Is anyone paying attention?

I leave you with one final example. Today we pause to remember what happened on September 11, 2001. I will never forget that day. I was at my workstation listening to the BBC broadcast on my radio whenever the newscaster broke in with a live report of some type of calamitous event taking place in New York City. What followed after that first report was a day that will live in infamy for us all. That my friend is the real stormy world our next president will inherit and that’s why I pray God will bring us someone (or bring out in one of the current candidates) a leader who will seek to lead in a way that will, with courage and determination, honor our heritage of freedom and faith. There’s always hope because of the One in whom we trust! Amen. …..More later.