Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Lessons Learned from Rita

This one will not be nearly as theological or spiritual as my post about Katrina... but I figured I would post a few thoughts on this most recent hurricane that has affected our area.

1. Never Evacuate To The North East In A Hurricane
  • I think most people realize this... and I even realized it in theory. But I still sought refuge in Alexandria, LA during this storm. The good news was the my evacuation time out of Houston was normal... the bad news was that the roads between Alexandria and Houston were ravaged by Rita (thus making my return trip much longer as I had to avoid all the road closures)

2. As Much As We Plan... Stuff Still Happens

  • As people evacuated, the turmoil created on the highways was astounding to me. The good news was that people were kept out of "harm's way," but the bad news was that many people experienced frustration beyond anything they had experienced to that point. Just further proof that man's plans are foolishness. And all that we do is still subject to God's ultimate plan.

3. Texas Is A Better State Than Louisiana

  • As much as it pains me to say it... the proof is right there for all to see. Texas was ready... Louisiana wasn't. Granted, Katrina gave the nation a view into how important it is to be prepared for the worst case scenario. But I think Texas would have been as efficient as it was this past weekend even if Katrina hadn't happened. This is my favorite quote thus far: "My biggest mistake was not recognizing by Saturday that Louisiana was dysfunctional." - FEMA Director Michael Brown Again, I hate to say it... but he is right. However, I still think Texans are arrogant. But arrogance isn't always a bad thing, I guess... :-)

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Yep... Attention Deficit Disorder. I am convinced that I have it... and that it has only recently set in. Here are a couple examples of why I think I have been stricken with this "condition."

This morning, I was getting ready in the bathroom. By "getting ready," I am referring to shaving, brushing my teeth, and adjusting the appearance of my hair so as not to get fired when I arrive at work (aka - using "product"). The A.D.D. part came in while shaving. I lathered up my face with the shaving cream (I use the gel, actually... something I learned from my dad). Anyway, I was standing there with my face all lathered up... and I grabbed my toothbrush and started running it under the hot water. Now the obvious issue here is not the first thing that occured to me... instead, the first thing that occured to me was that I was about to use hot water to brush my teeth, and that struck me as odd because who does that? I had completely forgotten about shaving my face. I am laughing even as I type this... so anyway, I realized my error, put the toothbrush back in the holder, grabbed my razor, and finished my morning routine.

Another example involves printing at work. I print to two different printers depending on the application I am using. Many times, I will print something... and then instinctively know that I have to "go to the printer" to get it. But on the way to the printer... I forget which printer I am going to. Now the two printers are on opposite sides of the building (I can explain why I use two printers another time). There have been many instances where I get to printer A only to find that there are no print jobs with my name on them. Then I remember that I printed to printer B.

So there you have it... I am officially A.D.D. (self-diagnosed, of course). It is a wonder how I get though posting an entire blog that is still understandable.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Lessons Learned from Katrina

First off, let me apologize to anyone who may have been checking this blog looking for updates over the past few weeks. I have been slacking in my blog duties... and as punishment, I think those of you who read this should take it upon yourselves to send me on a trip to a secluded island (with white beaches and crystal blue water) so I can think about what I have done. So you just let me know when that "punishment" will need to take place.

So any good blogger can't let something as catastrophic as Hurricane Katrina occur and not mention it, right? So I have decided to immortalize a few of the lessons I learned from last week. (these are not necessarily in the order that I learned them or was reminded of them... just of the top of my head as I type).

1. Man's depravity always finds a way to shine
  • Please understand that my heart broke for the people who were stranded in the Superdome, but the reactions of so many people (both those stranded and those watching them remain stranded) broke my heart as well. Shootings, rapes, looting... all of this shows that at our core, we are all evil. Yes, I said we not they. We all have the capacity to respond in similar ways... and I was reminded of my own sinfulness as I watched the news last week.

2. In times of trouble, people help (as the Lord directs)

  • The reports of shelters being overwhelmed with volunteers and donations is amazing to me. I am not all that shocked, but it still is amazing to me that so many people want to help. And I will say this as well... even those who are not born again believers are willing to help - a LOT. Now because of how I view God's sovereignty, I trust that any good that is done in this world is done by His prompting (even if the person doing the good is unaware of it). So this really just highlights the Lord's love for this race of humans He created... He loves us and works ALL things together for the good of those who love Him.

3. The Freedom we have in Christ

  • This is more of an analogy that came to mind this morning. As I started thinking about my own sinfulness, the Lord reminded me that I have liberty to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions (sin). That made me think of the thousands of people who were stranded at the Superdome. They were not able to get to safety. They could still physically move... but the obstacles were just too great for them. They could not overcome the barriers that had been placed between them and the rest of the country. In the same way, we cannot overcome our sin on our own. We need the Lord to be gracious and rescue us from our sin. And when He does, we are free to stay away from it. Just like the evacuees are free to stay away from the toxic wasteland that New Orleans currently is. But just like many of the evacuees... we want to go back, don't we? But why? Why would we want to go back to something that only brought misery and pain? We are free in Christ to stay on the "High Ground" that He has brought us to. It is for freedom that He set us free... what a beautiful truth.

So those are the highlights... I hope they encourage some of you. I could probably write more, but my lunch hour is fading fast.