30 September 2005

some thoughts from don miller

i was reading through painted deserts this morning and this paragraph just spoke to me. i offer it to you for your consideration and comments.

"and maybe when a person doesn't buy the lies anymore, when a human stops long enough to realize the stuff people say to get us to part with our money often isn't true, we can finally see the sunrise, smell the wetness in a gulf breeze, stand in awe at a downpour no less magnificent than a twenty-thousand-foot waterfall, ten square miles wide, wonder at the physics of a duck paddling itself across the surface of a pond, enjoy the reflection of the sun on the face of the moon, and know, this is what i was made to do. this is who i was made to be, that life is being given to me as a gift, that light is a metaphor, and God is doing these things to dazzle us." (77)


24 September 2005

the recovery begins

well, i talked to my mom earlier this evening and she said that dad was on his way back to the plant to begin clean-up efforts. he was spared much of the storm by being in brenham, but the plant took lots of rain and high winds - however it was much less than what it looked like it could have been a few days ago.

please continue to pray for those who were caught off-guard by the movement of the hurricane toward the tx-la border. they need our prayers now, as the real chore of cleaning up in the wake of a hurricane begins...again!

thank you for your prayers for my parents - they are a blessing that i am sure that only a few could understand.


22 September 2005

evacuation update

well my mom successfully made it to terrell to stay with my jessica and michael (and the dogs), but dad only left for brenham this morning, so he may still be on the road with all the traffic. phone connections have not been great today, but there are many ppl who are trying to contact loved ones, so i will keep trying.

please continue to pray for those who are evacuating b/c i have heard reports of cars running out of gas on 45 and ppl being stranded b/c there is nowhere to fill up. i will update more as i know more...for now i continue to pray.

lake jackson's website has a "worst-case-scenario" presentation that shows that if the storm surges reach a height of 18 feet (very possible with a strong cat4 or any cat5 hurricane) then the entire town will be under water! that, my friends, is scary...very scary.

until i know more.


21 September 2005

hurricane relief efforts

as i write this, my parents are evacuating from the texas coast - leaving their home and seeking higher ground farther inland. i talked with my mom and she said that she had to pack up the corvette and the grand am with as much as would fit (not much in two small trunks) and head out of lake jackson. my dad is required to stay nearby since he is on the hurricane response team for the dow chemicals plant in lj. my mom sounded upset that they could not leave for safety together, but she realizes that his duty as a "higher-up" at dow call him to be there in emergency situations.

please pray for the families affected by all of the 2005 hurricanes. i was slow to respond when katrina hit b/c it did not affect many of my immediate friends and family. now that rita is headed toward my parents' house i am worried that they too will have nothing to go back to when all is said and done.

my heart is heavy with thoughts of families being torn apart by natural disasters. how can something so life-giving and life-sustaining as water, be also so destructive and deadly? i know that you work for the good of all those who love you and i know that my parents will be out of harm's way when the storm hits, but please be with those who choose to stay. be with those who try to "ride it out." be with the rescue workers, the emergency personnel, and those charged with maintaining order in the storm ravaged areas. god of grace, spread your love and make yourself known in new ways and in new areas because of these displays of the power of nature. make us ever-aware of the finality of our lives on earth and help us to long for being united with you forever.


16 September 2005

how much furniture can one baby use?

in the past few weeks i have put together two cribs, a 5-drawer dresser, a computer armoire, and many other baby items - swings, strollers, car seats, etc. i have also taken apart a computer desk and one crib. and i happily do all of this for someone i've never even met. and what's even better is that all this furniture is for a little girl who will be less that two feet long when i first meet her!

caitlyn anne libby will be my first daughter and she will be our oldest child. she will be the one that all our other children look up to for guidance, direction, and leadership. and yet i wonder, do i have the leadership skills to pass on to her? can i inspire her to be the role model that she will need to be for her younger siblings? i don't know why i am so insecure about being a good father and parent. maybe it's b/c i have never done this before...maybe it's b/c that little girl is going to depend on me and her mother for everything for the first years of her life...maybe it's b/c i know how messed up i can be at times and how much i don't want her to be messed up. hopefully she'll take after deb and be a self-sufficient, independent, go-getter. (i can only hope that she is like her mother and her grandfather in those respects.)

on other topics, i have had a great couple of days on the emerging worship front. i met cammy gaston, director of the wesley foundation at unt, twu, and nctc, and brought up the ideas that i have about offering an emerging worship gathering for college students and young adults. she was open to the idea and even offered us the chance to use her chapel (which doesn't get much use) for a gathering space. later that day, i pitched the idea to my young adults and they jumped at the opportunity! i was floored by the response and i was overjoyed at the fact that they really want to take ownership of the gathering. they, just as much as i, want to see lost people given the opportunity to find a relationship with jesus the christ thru messages that relate, experiences that touch the soul, and relationships that change lives. God is good, all the time and all the time, God is good! i have also discerned a possible name for the emerging worship gathering, but i don't want to share that name just yet.

fdc got underway this week and i do believe that our first meeting was a big success - eventho it lasted an hour longer than usual! i am really looking forward to what God is going to do thru our small group. i have no doubt that he will use few of us to make a huge impact in the world for christ! thanks for being willing to love on each other and spread that love to the larger community! praise be to God!


07 September 2005

thoughts on fasting

yesterday the staff at tmumc took part in a one-day fast for the upcoming 40 days campaign. we even had a prayer service during the lunch hour to help us remember to pray for the campaign and for the ppl who will be touched by God thru our church.

during the prayer service, i sat next to darian and his stomach was empty b/c it was going nuts! i was hoping it wasn't mine b/c w/o the water that i was drinking by the gallon, my stomach would have been louder than his! anyway, we had a good laugh about it later.

i must say that everytime i fast, i have a different experience. one time i fasted during the time i was studying for finals b/c i wanted to do really well on all my tests - but i was so hungry at the end of finals that i think i undid any of the benefits my brain received through the extra study time. when i fasted yesterday, i tried to think about all the different places in the world where ppl go w/o food on a daily basis and how i was fine w/ my water bottle by my side. each drink took me to thoughts of those who cannot squelch their hunger with water, b/c there is no fresh drinking water around them.

my heart continues to go out to the victims of hurricane katrina. i am not sure what the proper response is for me personally, but i hope that you are praying about what you can do to reach out and help our neighbors during their time of need. remember, throwing $$ at the problem rarely ever makes the problem go away - it generally makes it worse. so be prepared to get out and do something about the devastation.

convict us when we are proud
of the things we have
and when we look
down on others for what
they don't

selfishness runs rampant
in america
convict us for using so
much and returning

help us to be more
like your son
like his example
like what you intended
like what you know we are capable of