Ok folks, I love you all. A BIG, BIG thank you to everyone who has been reading this blog, but I am overwhelmed with simply too darn much to do. I don’t have time to breathe much less keep up with this blog and I am severely neglecting my passion of novel writing. So…I am taking a break from it. How long? Don’t know. Till I have more time in my life? Hopefully just a few months while I adjust to the workload of college, perhaps.

Again, love you guys!

 

 

Angie’s story:

On Sunday May 22, 2011 my family and I got up to get ready for church. I took a few moments to check facebook. God laid it on my heart to post as my status: Joshua 24:15

“…But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

If you don’t have a personal relationship with Christ I pray you will find him today.

Little did I know the horrific event that would take place later that day.

After we got home from church and had eaten lunch the girls and I took an afternoon nap while daddy had to go to work. After we woke up I started to do dishes and was going to get dinner ready. Adley was watching a movie so we didn’t have the local newstation playing, completely unaware of the weather.

Treay called which is unusual to tell us to watch the weather. I turned the tv on to the newstation and he and I decided together we were safe that the storm was heading north of us. so we hung up and I started back to what I was doing. Then my mom called and said “do you know you are under a tornado warning?” I said “really? No” and then the sirens started going off. I hung up and took the girls to the bathtub and sat down. The sirens quit going off so we got out of the bathroom and started to resume our evening.

I put Averie in a stand up bouncer seat in the living room and Adley was sitting on the couch. My mom called again to check on us. While on the phone I continued to look through the windows keeping an eye on the extremely dark sky. When looking out my front window the sky to the left was a pretty light blue while the sky to the right was black. I kept hearing the weatherman saying the storm is “over the heart of joplin” “I thought is that me?” Then I noticed hail sparatically falling out the front window. I told my mom who is still on the phone that it is hailng. She said “get in the hallway this is not a good sign.”

So I told Adley to get in the hallway and I picked Averie up still in the bouncer seat and placed her in the hallway. I went to Adleys room and grabbed her bed pillows and her special puppy dog and blankies then shut her bedroom door. I went to my bedroom and grabbed just a few more bed pillows and shut our bedroom door along with Averies bedroom door and the hall bathroom door. These things I don’t always do…

Then something told me to remove Averie from the bouncer seat and hold her in my lap, so I took her out and put the seat back in the living room. Then I realized the tv was too loud and it wasn’t telling me anything worth hearing, it was playing the tv show Seinfeld so I got up to turn it down so I could hear more of what might be happening outside. It felt like seconds after I sat in the hallway the hail and extreme winds began banging on the front of the house. Still on the phone with my mom I was giving her a play by play of what was happening. I said its hitting the front of the house and its really strong, then the power flickered and I let out a shreik then it flickered back on then off.

Then I heard the sound of a train.

I told my mom and she said thats it “cover your heads and get as low as you can! get low!” The force pushing on the house got stronger until it ripped through the house taking everything in its path The noise was unbelievable, it was so loud! The wind was so strong and the skies were dark!. All I could do was cover my babies and yell “God PLEASE keep us safe! PLEASE put your Angels all around us!” I begged and pleaded God to keep us safe.

The tornado seemed to go on and on, the thought of what it would be like to wake up in Heaven passed through my mind. The pillow that was on my head flew immediately off and I thought man its me against the tornado now, so I got lower down on my girls. I begged God to “PLEASE let it end! PLEASE let it end!”

When it finally came to an end and I sat there checking on the girls and I hear a voice that I know very well yelling “Ang? Ang? Ang?” It was my mom! She had been on the phone the entire time the tornado ripped threw my house! I couldn’t believe it. I had to search a little through debris and I finally found my phone. First words out of my mouth where “Everything’s gone!”

It was so surreal. I covered the girls with there daddys coat that landed nearby us. It had started to rain huge rain drops. I sat there thinking “what do I do?” “Where do I go?” “Should I stay here or go for help?” I decided I needed to get the girls to safety. The lightening was stricking extremely close and the rain was really coming down.

So I had Adley stand up and then I stood up with Averie (we did not have to crawl or dig out, just stood up from where we were sitting, everything was gone around us, not a single wall was standing) then picked Adley up and carried both girls in my arms along with Adley’s favorite blanket and stuffed puppy dog and carried them barefoot to a nearby church. I can’t believe I carried them that far not to mention barefoot. I didn’t look around much, I was too afraid of what I would see.

The girls and I just held each other close and walked to where we knew we would be seen. I walked to 20th and Wisconsin. I heard screams and cries. It broke my heart knowing there were injured or even trapped people out there but I had to keep walking to keep my girls safe. My mom still on the phone tried to figure out a place for me to go but communication was hit and miss.

Once I reached the church we were all cold and tired and scared. We sat down on the church parking lot. Everywhere we looked had been destroyed. A nice Chrsitian couple drove by and saw the girls and I sitting all alone in the middle of a deserted parking lot and told us to get in theor truck. I am so blessed by this family. They gave us towels and blankets to warm up. They drove to the grandparents house and got the girls new t-shirts to wear, Averie was beginning to turn blue because she was so cold.

Both girls were so brave and barely cried. Adley was worried about daddy and so was I but we couldn’t reach him by phone. I knew in my heart he was ok. Adley and I said a prayer for daddy trusting that God had took care of him too. (Treays work was not hit. Praise the Lord!) The sweet family took us to the home depot parking lot where I saw a Highway Patrolman. My mom had told me that a trooper would be looking for me so I knew I had to talk to them. I finally got to talk to a trooper and he helped get word to my dad where I was. This nice trooper drove my girls and I down 20th street to my mother in laws house, which thankfully was not hurt by the tornado.

Not much long after I arrived a familiar vechicle sped into the driveway and it was my mom and dad! I have never been so realived to see them in my life!! I gave my mommy a huge hug and started to cry. I had stayed so strong until that moment.

Thinking back over that night I can see how God had a hand in keeping us safe.

1. Treay called and told me to watch weather, he normally does not call me while at work.

2. My sister in law accidently text my mom that their is a tornado warning in Joplin.

3. My mom called and told me about tornado warning just seconds before sirens went off.

4. I got out the of bathtub and stayed in the hallway.

5. We just stood up and walked out of tornado basically untouched. (I had a few cuts and bruises but no big deal)

6. The houses surrounding my house which there are 5 of them all had atleast one wall still standing in their home and I had none. Not a single one.

7. Adleys dresser was knocked over at a 45 degree angle holding the outer brick wall up to act as a ramp at the exact spot where we were sitting across the “hall” which we believe helped things go over our heads.

8. I believe God put us in the exact spot we needed to be during the tornado. IF we were further back we would have been crushed. If we were further forward we probably would have been blown away.

9. We can’t find our major applicances but Treays gmas glass candy dish we got after she died was untouched.

10. Two cars flew into my house on either side of us…they could have easily landed on us!

 

You can see pictures of what’s left of the house here :

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/notes/k-love-morning-show/angie-williams-story-a-survivor-of-the-joplin-tornado/10150208209862480

There is a seed of greatness within each of us. There are gifts that are waiting to be unwrapped; blessings that have yet to unfold. Amazing as it is to think about, we are God’s gift to each other. We are placed in the lives of certain people just so we can be a blessing to them.

Interdependence basically means to be unable to exist or survive without each other. Do you know that the entire universe is built on this principle? Take away air and nobody breathes. Take away trees and we can’t produce air. Take away water and there are no trees. Basic biology. Well, humans are the same way. Take away farmers and who has time to learn medicine? Take away doctors and who stays healthy long enough to build homes? If nobody builds homes, we are exposed to the elements, fall sick, but have no doctors to heal us and no farmers from which to buy food…we get the point.

The church is also built on this principle. If all are pew-warmers, who will teach? If all are teachers, who will usher? If all are ushers, who will pastor? Who will prophesy? Who will heal? We are interdependent upon each other. So if we are called to sing, but we sit and watch, who will lead worship? If we are called to dance, but we don’t, who will minister through dance? If we are given the gift of healing, but we don’t cultivate it, how can we be mad when nobody is being healed?

This is my point. When God blesses us with a gift, we are crippling the church when we choose not to grow that gift and use it in ministry. And when we cripple the church, we are only crippling ourselves. If we want to be blessed, we have to bless others. If we don’t want to minister to or bless others, who are we to be ministered to? We are taking and taking, but never giving. And then we wonder why our pastors are exhausted. Our first ladies are cranky. Our deacons have no patience. And our ushers are trying to do a dozen jobs at once. Why? Because they have to fill positions that others are called to fill but are not. And the pew-warmers are wondering why their Sunday morning show isn’t all that impressive anymore.

If you want to receive, you have to give. If you are not giving, don’t be surprised when you don’t receive.

Subtle glances,
Extended hugs,
Passing winks,
And he is married.

Rounded belly,
Downcast eyes,
He only walks,
On the other side.

Soft whispers,
Dainty words,
Hushed murmurs,
Loose lips; our Judas kiss.

You see;

Lust overcomes faithfulness.
Beguiling words trump common sense.
Laws of nature take over.
Shame is exposed to the world.

But where is soothing compassion?
There’s no outreach, no strength.
The gossip is family betrayal.
And every night, her sobs,
Reach Christ’s ears,
And angels hear,
But touch
Nobody
Else.

Where is God’s grace?

Dearest Abba,

I know the extent of your sweetness…in that it has no bounds. I know the height of your love…in that you died for thieves and murderers. I know the width of your righteousness…it is circular, without end. If there is one thing I know, I know the essence of your character…for it is love. And for that reason, you have my love in return.

Sweetest master, I pray for my church. I pray that we be strengthened in our relationship with you. I pray that we grow closer to you, and are humbled by you. We are struggling, Lord, to encourage passion in your sheep. The truth is, if anybody can light their spirits on fire, it is you, and only you. So I ask that you come as a thief in our night. Come as rain to our desert. Come as fire to our brush. Stir us up, Lord, shake us up, Lord, show us your might and power. Give us reason to care more than we do.

In Jesus name I pray,
amen

2 Corinthians 12:19
New King James Version (NKJV)

“Again, do you think that we excuse ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ. But we do all things, beloved, for your edification.”

Thus says the Lord,

“There are many who, when I speak, turn away from My teachings. They despise My correction. They blaspheme My laws. There are many, when I speak, who think I am too harsh, too strict, too unwavering. But it is not so. Am I not perfect and you not flawed? Or is it I who am flawed and you perfect? Tell Me, if you know.

“Do I say this to boast? People boast to impress. Who is greater than I, to whom I should flaunt Myself? So if not to boast, why then do I remind that I am perfect and you flawed? Because so many despise My teachings. And if not the teachings, they despise the vessel through which I choose to express those teachings. And if not the vessel, then they despise the means through which the vessel is led to teach.

“Do I waste My Breath for the sole intention of discouraging your life? Are My motives to keep your from your whims and desires? Are My motives to be strict and unrelenting? No. But I teach for your instruction, your uplifting, your protection, your care. If I am Love, don’t you think that when I speak, and correct, and chastise, that I do so out of love? I certainly do not chastise out of jealousy, or anger, or frustration.

“Don’t you see, precious ones? I rebuke because I love. I teach because I love. I correct because I love. And to reject My teachings and the means through which I choose to teach, is to reject My love. Do not be so blind that you would walk away from love for the sake of pride or selfishness.

“For in My Love is My protection. In My Love is the gift of hope. In My Love is salvation. In My Love is provision. In My Love is joy. In My Love. In My Love. In My love.

“And nowhere else.”

We are promised victory through God. That’s what the bible says, right? In 1 John 5:4. So why is it that we lose so many blasted battles? If Christ has overcome the world, why does it seem like the world overcomes us?

Maybe I am the only believer on the face of the earth who experiences this problem. I try to do well, read my Bible, keep my faith in God, walk in His love, blah, blah, blah. In return, aren’t I promised some victory? So where is it?

Often is seems like every time I do something good, I am battered by the bad. Every time I overcome a challenge, I am beat to a pulp by the next. Every time I climb higher, I fall harder.

You see, I may never have battled drugs, or gangs, or alcohol…I can’t tell you about all that. But my testimony is quite fat with other stuff. I can talk to you about any type of harrassment. I know all about watching everything I own go up in flames. Abusive relationships? Been there. Done that. Watching loved ones struggle to survive? Yup. Got more bills than money? That’s easy compared to the rest. Addictions so strong it took years to gain victory over? Yeah. Self-hatred so deep it resulted in self-abuse? Oh, yup. Pain so overwhelming I attempted suicide? Phew…that one’s a lonnngggg testimony. Suicidal by the age of ten…oh yeah. Homeless? Several times. Moving way, WAY more than is healthy? Yes. Yes. And yes. Disease and sickness? Blah. Definitely got that covered. All this in 22 years of life.

Yeah, I think that’s about the bare essentials.

So in all that and WAY more (let me tell you), don’t you think I know what it means to have lost some battles? Too be in way over my head? To despair and feel like God has abandoned me? Yes. I’ve had experiences that I wouldn’t wish on Satan himself.

I. Do. Not. Exaggerate.

I have lost more battles than I would like to admit. I have received pain and given pain that I wish never occurred. I have watched loved ones detioriate before my very eyes. And I learned far too early how to be an adult.

But you know what? I know what it means to lose. But I know even more what it means to win. I understand the concept of victory. I’ve experienced it all my life. Just like I have experienced loss all of my life. For if you do not suffer, how can you know what it means to rejoice? If you don’t know pain, how can you offer empathy to another? I know what’s it’s like to feel forsaken, but never BE forsaken.

You see, the bible doesn’t promise us victory over every battle. Because that would be an empty promise. It simply does not happen. Not for us. But it does promise us victory over the ultamite war. For right now, we may shake our fists at Satan and scream, kick, and cry out; “You, you, JERK!”

But in the end, we shall reign with Christ and Satan shall feel the eternal lick of hell’s fire.

Take your weakness,
And make it glory,
Glory, I say, in infirmity,
For weakness breeds
Strength.

Take the sorrow,
And make it worthwhile,
Make it, I say, worth your tears,
For sorrow breeds
Experience.

Take all obstacles,
And make it pathetic,
Pathetic, I say, in your eyes,
For obstacles breed
Confidence.

Take every wound,
And make it your testimony,
Testify, I say, of your pain,
For wounds breed
Sympathy.

Take your weakness,
And make it strength.
Take your sorrow,
And build experience.
Take your obstacles,
And learn confidence.
Take your wounds,
And extend sympathy.

Take life,
And GROW.

Some lighthearted jokes to ease a long week of tension, anybody? J

———————————-

Q: Why did God create man before woman?

A: He didn’t want any advice.

—————————–

Church Bulletin Bloopers –

Barbara remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Nelson’s sermons.

The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing “Break Forth into Joy”.

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community.

Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What is Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir practice.

Eight new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

———————————————————

Short history of medicine –

“Doctor, I have an ear ache.”

2000 BC – “Here, eat this root.”

1000 BC – “That root is heathen, say this prayer.”

1850 AD – “That prayer is superstition, drink this potion.”

1940 AD – “That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill.”

1985 AD – “That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic.”

2000 AD – “That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root!”

———————————————–

It was about a month ago when a man in Amsterdam felt that he needed to confess, so went to his priest:

“Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. During WWII I hid a refugee

in my attic.”

“Well,” answered the priest, “that’s not a sin.”

“But I made him agree to pay me 20 Gulden for every week he stayed.”

“I admit that wasn’t good, but you did it for a good cause.”

“Oh, thank you, Father; that eases my mind. I have one more question…”

“What is that, my son?”

“Do I have to tell him the war is over?”

————————

jokes provided from christian-jokes.net

Have a blessed weekend!

I recently received an email from World Vision asking for donations to help fund their assistance with the tornado disasters. And in the email, they had a quote from one of their workers basically saying in eleven years of disaster relief, she’d never seen so many natural disasters in one year. I was listening to K-love radio and someone said this may be the most tornadoes we’ve ever had in our nation’s history.

We have seen extreme earthquakes one after another. Tornadoes slicing through cities like they’re made of butter instead of brick and concrete. Wildfires destroying homes like a rampaging monster. Floods washing away homes and cars. All in the few months of 2011 that we have experienced so far. All before hurricane season even arrives.

Then, forget nature. Man-kind is kinda…losing it. Since when has our country struggled to pay our military? Newscasters never run out of tragedies to relay. Our prisons are crowded to bursting. Homeless are overwhelming the streets. Mothers are murdering children. Prophets are predicting dates fore the end of the world – repeatedly. If they are wrong, they simply reschedule Christ to return on another day.

People. Are. Scared.

And who can blame them? The world has become too unpredictable and it’s nerve-racking.

Allow me to explain what is most likely going on; the world is ending.

Seriously. I’m not kidding.

Okay. Okay. Let me explain better. As Christians, we have been taught since our spiritual birth that Christ will return for the believers and leave the rest to play patty cake with the anti-christ. Let me explain something about the antichrist; he will have A LOT of influence. He would have to, right? To deceive the entire world like the bible says he will? He would have to be pretty persuasive for people to follow him like they will. And let me add one more thing; the people will have to be so desperate for deliverance from their trials that they will BELIEVE him.

If, if, if, the antichrist were to come right now, would he be able to deceive many? Heck yes. But to change the entire economic flow of the world, he would need the support of more than many. Hitler had the support of many, but he didn’t control the world. The anti-christ will have such extreme support that he will have say or influence over all the nations of the world. Hitler’s followers were hungry for something more than they had. The anti-Christ’s followers will be desperate. So desperate that they will be moved with every false promise that he makes. They will hang on to his words and lap them up like starving animals.

My point? People are desperate. Many are even THAT desperate (as evidence by the May 21st idiocity). But not enough. Not that many. Not yet. But with every person falling into poverty, the number of desperate rises. With every natural disaster, the number skyrockets. With every new disease and outbreak, the number increases.

What this all means is scripture implies that people will be desperate enough to accept the anti-christ. Which means the world will be bad enough to make them that desperate. And, my opinion speaking, I think we are nearing that state but not there yet. Following this direction of thinking, I believe we can safely assume that things are far more likely to get worse rather than better.

However, that being said, this does not need to make us nervous. We should not walk in fear. Our problems are not really with the current state of the world, for we are in the world, but we are still separate from the world. The world may go hungry and suffer famine, but as children of the Most High, we have a mighty Provider. The world may fall sick and weak, but we have the best Healer. The world may fall by violence, but we have a Protector. We may be affected by the world’s state, but as believers, we should never be crippled by it.

We are in a fallen world, but I do believe it was Jesus who said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, New King James Version)