The Unauthorized Biography of Rosco P. Coltrane

When it's my moment in the sun, I won't forget that I am blessed, but every hero walks alone, thinking of more things to confess

My Photo
Name:
Location: Owensboro, Kentucky, United States

One Word: UNSTOPPABLE AWESOMENESS!!!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Helping Out

I got this email tonight and if you are in Northwest Arkansas, help is needed...

Hey all,

I know there have been many emails listing various ways to help with relief efforts. I have yet another immediate opportunity where help is desperately needed, should anyone be interested.

This coming Tuesday, 900 Refugees will be arriving at the Arkansas Baptist Assembly Grounds in Siloam Springs. Governor Huckabee has been coordinating with the LA Governor, the ABSC, and my office [Mission Northwest Arkansas] to open this place up as a shelter.

Volunteers are URGENTLY needed beginning Tuesday to help with registration, cooking, general administration, and other help and general duties. But they are not just needed that day. In the upcoming days, throughout the weekend, and in the weeks to come, MANY volunteers will be needed to continue with these duties to help in serving the refugees. With 900 people, you can imagine the amount of help that will be needed to serve them in various capacities. They will be staying at the campground for an undetermined, but lengthy period of time.

ALSO, specific items are immediately needed for these 900 people:

  • Blankets
  • Bed Pillows [must be new]
  • Twin Sheet Sets
  • Personal Hygiene items [toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, deodorant, razors, combs, feminine items]

These items can be dropped off in trailers located in the parking lots of First Baptist Church in Springdale and The Church at Pinnacle Hills in Rogers.

If you would like to volunteer to help at any time, you can email me at sarahh@fbcs.net or mnwa@fbcs.net. The information we need is your name, phone number [hm, wk, cell], and email address.

Please feel free to email this information to anyone you feel might like to help.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this email. This is an immediate way we can show love to hurting people by serving them during a time when they are desperate and needy. Perhaps as a result of being loved on by us and other volunteers, opportunities will open for the gospel to be shared and for people to receive Christ as their Savior! Even if you are unable to help physically with volunteering, or tangibly with items, you can definitely help by praying for these 900 people who have been displaced from homes that they most likely will never return to, many with nothing more than the clothes on their back.

Blessed Are

I can't decide if I want to keep watching the TV coverage of the carnage and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It just breaks my heart to see the hurt. It makes me sad and furious, emotions I think most people in America are feeling right now. There are so many questions left unanswered. How have we not been able to help these people, it has been a week? How are we this unprepared? Can we really treat our citizens like animals?

The funny thing is, the one question that many people are asking themselves has not plagued me like these other questions.

How can loving God exist and allow something like this to happen?

The fact of the matter is, it is a question that has an answer that I will never be able to fully comprehend. I know the Sunday School answer. I know the right thing to say. But I will never fully grasp the full meaning of the answer because in the course of all reading and praying, I have found only two things to be certain: There is a God and I am not Him.

But I have been reading the Beatitudes again, somehow I always return to the Beatitudes whenever I feel confused or down.

Matthew 5: 3 & 4 from The Message

"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you."

These verses are very counterintuitive. They always have been.

Because I don't feel blessed when I am stressed out. I don't feel blessed when I feel lost and abandoned. And I am sure that the refugees, wow, that sure does seem strange to type, from New Orleans don't feel blessed. I am sure the people that are stuck in the Convention Center starving and watching helplessly as people die around them do not feel blessed.

I know I don't feel blessed to watch the horror on TV. I don't feel blessed when I feel the guilt that I am not doing anything to help. I don't feel blessed when I give a little cash to try and ease my mind but still have problems sleeping.

But I am blessed. We are blessed.

There is an opportunity to make people forget the questions that linger. We can help out, we can care for, we can love so much, that people will no longer ask a question like how can God exist. Because if we feed God's children the way He commanded us to, then the only question will be this: How could there not be a God that loved us? How could God's love not shine through our hearts when families take in other families for weeks, months or however long it takes? How could God not be with us? How could we have made it through this terrible times without relying on him?

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Humanity

These are hands that are in need. These are hands of one of God's children.

Douglas R. Clifford from the St. Petersburg Times took this photo in New Orleans of a 40 year old woman after being stranded for two days in the floods left from hurricane Katrina. Somehow it is both beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.

I have been watching the news all night, MSNBC and Fox News mostly. The news cycle has gone from the devastation left in the hurricane's wake to the relief and help efforts, and finally now, to the looters and some thugs that are now walking around the city of New Orleans with AK47's. They showed people walking and searching for lost loved ones. The word that the TV people kept on using was "Humanity."

All night long I have been contemplating what exactly that word means. I looked it up, but Webster's didn't really help me out that much.

In fact, it was a picture on MSNBC that made me realize what humanity.

It was a picture of a dead body half sunken next to a shopping cart. The only thing I could think was, wow, that looks just like the movies. And I felt ashamed for thinking that.

Humanity is simply this, it is the lack of grace that we, as humans, show each other. It is uncompassion. It is hurt, pain and death surrounding us. It is looting. It is price gouging people who had have nothing left except the shirts on their backs. It is every man for himself. It is humans at their basic animal instincts, uncaring, selfish and sinful.

(Sidenote: Please do not misconstrue my use of sinful to mean that somehow the people of New Orleans and South Mississippi are being punished because I don't believe that. Though, I have been wondering and waiting for someone to get on TV and say that the reason why New Orleans was hit with a hurricane is because of Bourbon St. and casino gambling. It is my hope that no religious leader gets up on national TV and scolds and chastises people that are searching for a warm place to stay and some clean water with words from the book of Genesis.)

Romans 8:3 (MSG) says that when Jesus became human, he "entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity."

I think struggling and disordered mess pretty much sum up the last few days.

I feel very helpless in all this mess. I see pictures and I want to help these people. I want my tears that work their way out to somehow take away some of their pain. And I cry more tears because I know I cannot take away any of their pain.

My tears won't help, I hope my prayers will help out.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

That's Sick

I hate being sick.

Every Labor Day, I get sick, sinus stuff. It's no fun to finally get a three day weekend and know I'm gonna get sick.

So today, I am gonna be sleeping, drinking hot tea (which makes me feel so British), watching daytime TV (ER reruns, Katrina news reports, and hmmm, wonder what's on Oprah today?), and trying to slowly but surely cough up a lung or two.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Exxon Valdez, Take Me Away

I might have had the dumbest conversation in my life tonight...

I went to Wal-Mart to pick-up some laundry detergent and a couple of gallons of water, see the earlier post entitled H2O for an explanation. I started out waiting in the self-checkout line, but as per usual, the people in front of me don't understand the concept of scanning their own purchases. So I walked over and waited in a regular express line.

So I finally get up to the front of the line. The checkout girl and I started making small talk. Here is how the conversation went.

Her: "I wish it would slow down a little bit."

Me: "Yeah."

Her: "It's because of the news, that's why everyone is here."

Me: "What news?"

Her: "Well, the news is that gas is gonna go to $4.00 a gallon tomorrow."

Me: "I haven't heard that. That doesn't sound like news, that's sounds like a rumor to me."

Her: "No, it's true, it's because of the hurricane. People are out getting gas."

At this point, I looked at my purchases and everyone behind me buying waffles and orange juice.

Me: "Yeah, looks like everyone is stocking up on gas."

I thanked her and left. I thought two things: I wish I would have stayed in the self-checkout line and how I need to get gas but I didn't want to because of absurdity of the fact that some people could think that gas would jump up a dollar and a half in 12 hours and not have it totally cripple our country.

By the way, if you are reading this Monday morning and gas is 4 bucks a gallon, well, then I am a moron...