Posts Tagged ‘God’

The hope of Life

Glorious Light of Christ

Sometimes I pray, because I need help….the kind of help that doesn’t come from friends or advisors. The kind of help that has a knowledge of the future, so the advice and direction that I need will be accurate and reliable. Sometimes I just don’t hear an answer or see one come, just because I have prayed. Sometimes the answer comes in a very unexpected way. Sometimes, people ask questions…why would God do “whatever?” I don’t know…but there are some things I do know, and there are answers available, some answers come only by hunting for them. Children get answers to prayer regarding some of what adults consider unimportant, or not what you should ask for. We live in this world where instant gratification is expected. I love to see the answers when children pray. They pray with such faith…I often wish I could have that kind of faith…..It seems I have to fight a fight to maintain faith, and keep on believing. At least part of the time. (more…)

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I woke up Angry this morning….perhaps because I was angry last night when I went to bed, or perhaps because I have been angry for days.

There is a litany of reasons why I could be and am angry, but today, it is over a fund that many people gave to and was created to help the people of the Minot area who were flooded out.

It now appears that those who are managing this fund have determined the only people eligible to receive any of it have to be homeOWNERS. No renters will receive a penny. To top that is the fact that ONLY those homeowners who are rebuilding and have receipts for what they have done will be allowed to receive any of the funds.

There is certainly a need for pre-screening of those receiving any of the funds from this program, because we are all aware of those who want to scam the system, that want to get something for nothing, and don’t care who they are hurting in the process. Those would be the people who see themselves as victims and figure in their own minds, that there is money there, all I have to do to get some is say this or say that.

Now it would seem in most of our minds that 6 million dollars is a lot of money! It most assuredly is. If there were only 6 people injured by the flood, each would get a million…If there were 12 then the amount anyone would receive would be cut in half…and if there 24 then it would be cut by another ¼. Each group that gets funds from that fund, reduces the amount any one person would get if all things are equitable.

Now when you consider the number of homes damaged, the number of renters that had to move, and the number of people who are paying exorbitant amounts of rent just for a place to live, it is horrendous.

If you are the decider of who gets what, every time you eliminate one group from the mix the group that is left gets more. Most people sit by and complain but do nothing when they see injustice happening.

I can tell you that injustice is happening in the Minot Community right now. Everyone was asked to fill out a form detailing how they were affected by the Flood of 2011. The information in those forms is probably the most comprehensive study of how a community is affected by a tragedy of this magnitude, ever compiled.

I was not involved in determining how to give out the money that was donated. I am sure there were many good people who did their best to determine how to give the funds out. I am not sure when it changed from how can we best help the people who were flooded out, to how can we best help our community.

I would expect there was some serious soul-searching in making the decision as to how to distribute, but I think there had to also have been some other serious concerns. Perhaps the questions asked was not “who was hurt the most?” But what can we do with these funds that will assure the status quo. Perhaps the first decision was….Well lets not give it to the renters…they may take their money and leave the area. What if we lose more of our work base? We already have a problem with finding workers for the local businesses. If we give them money they just may pack up and move out of the area. Then who will work for the lowest wages?

Then I suspect they said…Well, what about those who got their campers and Mobile homes out of their parking places before the waters came….They spent a bundle to do that, they found no place to put those homes that were moved, yet…they lost nothing! REALLY????? REALLY???? Because they got their camper or Mobile home out, because they did everything they could to protect their property (this is being responsible) they did not qualify for ANY funds from FEMA , and they have no place to live either. They ended up with friends and relatives or in a place that had no water, sewer, electric or gas. This was the group that thought they were doing things right, and in the end it cost them dearly.

The choice to exclude renters from the funds is what makes me the most angry…..I can tell you that had people known what was going to happen with these funds, there would have been nowhere near 6 million dollars to distribute. If people knew that the “little family in the crappy rental” wouldn’t get any of the funds, they would not have given. I have never heard such underground rumbling about anything like I have about this.. First they explode in anger that it isn’t being distributed to those who they know really need the help, (this is not to say that homeowners don’t need help, because they certainly do). The perception of this is that never again will I give to any of these organizations that say they are going to do one thing and then turn around and exclude some of the people who need it so much. In the future, if I ever give to a needy cause it will be given directly to the people who need it, and it will be cash.

In the first days after people started getting back into their homes, there was someone out passing out envelopes with cash in them. It was a gift. It was hope. It was not given to protect some theory of how to save the city. It was a true gift, even though in the grand scheme of things it didn’t do much more than give a few people money for gas, money for food, money for one night in a motel….but it was received with gratitude, and could be used for whatever that person wanted.

Now we have only homeowners that get funds. No help for the renters, no help for those who had to move out of the area because of allergies, no place to live, no jobs. Many jobs were wiped out in the flood too, and those employees had no way to care for themselves except to get in their cars (if they had one) and find another place in another city to live and to work.

So….What to do about it? Is that a question? How does one fix something they have no vote in and no say in? Does it do any good to complain? Probably not. Is it worth fighting for those people? They are saying out of the 6 million that each homeowner that fixes their house and can provide receipts, can get up to two thousand dollars. First you have to fix…then you get some back. What about the people who are waiting until spring to rebuild, because they are quite aware of the fullness of the Canadian Dams, and the inability of the Corp to manage the river flow to prevent flooding. Will there still be funds available in the spring for them?

It is true that those who are not making house payments and living in a fema trailer in FEMAVILLE, probably have the best shot at getting ahead. Think about it. They were in a rental, now they are in free housing. If they set aside the amount they were paying for rent for the period of time they are in that FEMA trailer, they will have a nice little nest egg, to buy something…..when there is something to buy. They will have enough for a down payment on a house….(ie were renting for $1500.00 per month, stay in FEMA trailer for 12 Months…save the $1500. Per month at the end of the year they have $15,000. In Cash) If they are wise, they will come through this OK…Others who are renting on the open market are not as likely to be able to save anything because they are spending money on rent.

In this world nothing is really equal. People don’t receive equally, nor do they give equally.

This is Thanksgiving Week….We need to focus on what we are thankful for….I am thankful for so very many who cared about this little burg called Minot and the surrounding areas. I am thankful for the Salvation Army and Red Cross and First Pres, and others who provided food for thousands of meals, who brought food to the work sites, and for shelters for so many. I am Thankful for Josh who did so much to raise money for this area, I am thankful many days of warm weather so things could get done. I am thankful this flood did not come in the middle of winter. I am thankful that everyone got out alive, even though many have found it a hopeless situation and cashed in their chips so to speak. I am thankful for people who have gathered sheetrock and coats, and have taken names from the angel tree to help those less fortunate. I am thankful for FEMA and their trailers that are housing so many. I am thankful that the workers who have come to work are cheerful and begrudging the work they are doing. I am thankful that the internet is available so people can touch base with others. I am thankful for family and friends and for food and hope.

I am thankful to God for never leaving us…for providing all that we need. The injustices of the world and this situation, make me angry, but I know the “experts” tell us that is all part of the healing process. So I will work through my anger, and look to God for continued hope in every circumstance and Praise Him in the midst of my anger, and ask…..What is it Lord, you have for me to do today?….

We will move forward….one day at a time…sometimes just an hour at a time…but we will continue to look to the needs of others, and look less at ourselves. When we see the smile on their face, and the peace that comes one minute at a time into their lives, and the hope that can be given and the encouragement that so many offer. Those are the things we have to look to. Those are the things that make life worth living. So for today, and tomorrow, let us find JOY in helping others, and in providing hope, and in loving, and doing what we can to help each other through this process.

Yes, we will survive this, we will succeed and we will go on! Yes, this week I will truly start looking for those things I am thankful for….I hope you will too!

The Guilt of Survival……..

There is a time that strikes our hearts with a sense of guilt…for surviving something. It could be life, it could be having a house when others were flooded, it could be for keeping a job when others were laid off, it could be living when someone else died.

It is not an easy road, this life we live. “In this world there will be trouble” and wherever we go and whatever we do we will run “face first” into it. The question is not what the circumstances of the trouble are, the question is how do we deal with it. Do we scream and curse, or do we help out, oftentimes going beyond what we even think is possible, or do we collapse and crumble under the onslaught.

Many of the people in Minot have had their homes destroyed by flood waters sweeping in under unprecedented circumstances. Many have found themselves in shelters, and others in a friend or stranger’s home. Some are living in tents, or campers or doorways, or in vacant flood damaged buildings.

Yesterday, I found I was one of those who was blessed with a little “rectangular box house“, courtesy of the federal government. (although I am thinking I may have actually paid for it many times over) It arrived on wheels, was jacked up and placed on concrete blocks. Someone came and hooked up a water line, a sewer line and electric. Someone built a wooden deck, someone put in an pole that the electric was hooked to, someone dug a ditch and buried the electric line. Someone put vinyl soffit material cut in pieces around the bottom of it to “skirt it” or close it in for winter. I doubt seriously that the people doing this have ever spent a winter in North Dakota….but they did what they did, and for that I am grateful!

The “little box house“, has a furnace, a stove and fridge, kitchen cabinets (although since I am short, I can only reach one cabinet), a kitchen and bathroom sink, a shower, beds, a couch and a table and chairs a closet with a place to hang things, and hook ups for a washer and dryer……It is an interesting little house. The walls are all covered in multi-brown colors, and it is smooth and easily cleaned surface….I suppose if you were writing a description of it, you would call it “Multi-colored” neutral!

One of the most interesting things it comes with is a weather warning system. If a tornado is approaching the warning system is activated (don’t ask me how….it is one of the many things I just don’t know) There is a white light that will start flashing and I am guessing that if it goes off, there is not one chance in a million that you will not hear or see or know that a tornado is approaching. What to do if that happens….is questionable…..first you have to survive the warning signal, and next take shelter. In my case, I am guessing the only shelter would be in the basement of my house which has just undergone massive flood damage, and where I would prefer not to be…..I don’t think it will go off if a blizzard is coming….in which case I really don’t want to be in the basement at all…

Today, my “little box house” is my castle! It is one of those places that I have never said….”gee, I would love to live in a little box house!” Well…that is not actually true….when you have no place to go and winter is coming, and you know it….you wish for a “little box house” or anything that will keep you warm, as the days turn cooler. It is downright cold at night even now.

I feel guilty….there are so many people who have no where to go. Some of them have little children. Some of them are so tired of the living arrangements they have that the relationships they have with those they are living with, are quickly going downhill. It is not a good thing. There were supposed to be two thousand of these “little box houses” all set up and occupied by now. I think it was about 12,000 people who are without a home.

It is only a matter of time before a good number of people who call Minot home, will be forced to leave. Death comes to those without heat and shelter, in the winter in North Dakota. It is hard to leave here…there are jobs HERE, lots of jobs…..the rest of the nation is struggling with no jobs…..What to do? Oh What to do? Stay where the jobs are…and freeze or go where there jobs aren’t and starve. Wow…what a choice!

Trouble…“in this world there will be trouble”……”but be of good cheer for the Lord God delivers us from them all!”

One of the real problems with each of us, is that we discover as times become more difficult, and the options begin to disappear, we become more self-centered. We loose track of other peoples needs and begin to only see OUR needs. When we recognize that, we begin to “feel” guilty! I think that the “feelings” we have are satan’s way of trying to beat us into the ground and destroy us.

Of Course, you should be concerned about yourself and your family, or group. It is your job to take care of those in that group. It is how it is supposed to be. Each person is to be responsible for those around them, and from that circle reach out to others…..but first we have to take care of ourselves. Without taking care of ourselves, we would be unable to be of any value to others. The Golden Rule says “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We usually only see…..love your neighbor…and miss…the part about loving yourself. That Word tells us that it is “normal,” “expected” and “ordinary” that we love ourselves….FIRST!

So today, or tomorrow…or whenever it comes that you have something that someone else doesn’t….don’t let satan destroy you with “guilt”. Jesus came, forgave sin, and took away guilt. That’s as true today as it was the day he did that! Guilt is satan’s way of trying to “kill you”, “steal from you” or “destroy you!” Don’t allow that to happen. Instead of “feeling” guilt that you have something that others don’t have, rejoice, be happy…you have what you have, whether it is life, hope, love or a “little box house.”

In my case I have a “little box house“ aka FEMA TRAILER…..but there is room inside for another person….or perhaps two, or maybe even 3. The couch I thought I had, is really a hide-a-bed….so there is room for someone else. For those who are waiting for their “little box house” to come….perhaps I could share mine, so they have a place to wait. Through it all, we will grow, we will be frustrated, gracious, kind, angry, and hurt. But we will come through this valley, and on the other side….we will realize how we have changed. We will realize that the things that were important once, are no longer and other more vital things have taken their place. We will be better for what we have experienced, what we have learned, what we have endured. We will find we are strong and courageous, and if we allow ourselves, and draw closer to Jesus, we will find that He has provided all that we need!

So for today…let’s not let the “guilt of survival” overcome us, but let us ask….who can we help, until help comes for them? And eventually…..when once again, you have your space to yourself….enjoy it…be free…and be Thankful to God, because He has given us “All that He is, was, and always will be! Above all, remember….we are to Him and then to LOVE OURSELVES….

Be glad! Be cheerful! Be thankful! But don’t be guilty! You survived, and are exactly where you are supposed to be……Be Free!

Blessings to you all,
Prayyior

The Guilt of Survival……..

There is a time that strikes our hearts with a sense of guilt…for surviving something. It could be life, it could be having a house when others were flooded, it could be for keeping a job when others were laid off, it could be living when someone else died.

It is not an easy road, this life we live. “In this world there will be trouble” and wherever we go and whatever we do we will run “face first” into it. The question is not what the circumstances of the trouble are, the question is how do we deal with it. Do we scream and curse, or do we help out, oftentimes going beyond what we even think is possible, or do we collapse and crumble under the onslaught. (more…)

Today is March 14th……3 days since world changing events occurred and continue to occur

March 11, 2011 Disaster Struck!

It was a normal ordinary day, similar to all the other blessed ordinary days. No disasters, no troubles….just a day of small uneventful life. A true treasure when you consider it all.

In the blink of an eye…Life can change forever! Have you ever noticed that the things in life that change the course of our lives usually come in a split second. They come in a traffic accident, that takes a friends life. They come in a tornado that leaves a path of destruction, where people’s lives are ended and belongings are strewn through the countryside. They come in the shaking of the earth, and as ceilings begin to give way, boxes and stuff are rattled and solid bookcases and houses and buildings begin to collapse in upon themselves, and debris falls into the streets and byways outside. People who were just living their normal lives, are now running for them, or hiding to escape, or racing to reach their children….

The Earthquake that occurred in Japan, changed the entire world. The Earth’s movement caused a major tsunami and the sea left it’s banks and came storming ashore, with a vengeance designed to destroy anything in it’s path even to the point of changing the earth’s axis. It was as if a movie with all the special effects were occurring…..but this is not a movie. The set will not recover and the Actors will not get their lives back. Some have gone into eternity, and others are still trapped in debris, and still others are hunting for those they cared so much about, and cannot locate.

If this were not enough, there is the loss of power, of water, of transportation, of gas, of food, of warmth, of basic shelter. The suffering is unbelievable. We who have not experienced a disaster have no concept of the pain, the doubt, the fear, the stress of more of the same. Another tremble in the earth….another Tsunami….another person’s life taken. Shock! Disbelief! Horror!

Could it be any worse? That answer is YES…..

We could listen to the stories of nuclear disaster, because the news is full of it. We must not become fearful. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. No matter what happens our God tells us that HE will never leave us or forsake us. He tells us that HE is our high tower and that we are safe under his wings. He tells us that he not only knows the number of hairs on our heads, but has them numbered.

What a God of detail…..He knew we would be facing this trouble, and he gave us a heart that COULD trust in him. This is the time to not let fear overtake you.

Fear comes from Satan. It does not come from God. Be at peace in the midst of trouble. Be at peace when the world seems to be crumbling around you. Be at peace, but pray for those people who have been severly damaged by the Earthquake and the tsunami.

Don’t forget that Palestinians entered the home of a Jewish family over the weekend and butchered them….That in itself is horrific…but then they celebrated their evil deed by passing out candy and celebrating the event. This, of course, didn’t get the news coverage and it is politically incorrect to say anything bad about these doing evil. We must pray for this world. Evil is rampant. Murder is not glamorous and not a reason to celebrate. The Bible tells us that the time will come when good will be called evil and evil will be called good.

Truth is important. Speak the truth….do not fear! Be strong and Courageous. Trust in the Lord…Listen for his voice, follow His instruction….

Here is the word you need to adhere to:

Mat 24:4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.
Mat 24:5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
Mat 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.
Mat 24:7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
Mat 24:8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
Mat 24:9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
Mat 24:10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,
Mat 24:11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
Mat 24:12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,
Mat 24:13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Mat 24:15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—
Mat 24:16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
Mat 24:17 Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house.
Mat 24:18 Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak.
Mat 24:19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!
Mat 24:20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.
Mat 24:21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
Mat 24:22 If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
Mat 24:23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.
Mat 24:24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.
Mat 24:25 See, I have told you ahead of time.
Mat 24:26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.
Mat 24:27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Mat 24:28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
Mat 24:29 “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
Mat 24:30 “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.