DJ Gorena

Life as I see it

Month: December, 2015

Catastrophic Tornado in Texas

Yesterday and today I have been riding along with a couple of Disaster Relief workers of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. We have seen where at least one person was killed at a gas station in Copeville, Texas along with whole neighborhoods (as pictured above) in Rowlett, Texas destroyed. The last I heard of the death toll here in North Texas is 11 people and this includes a two-year-old child.

Today, while driving through Rowlett, we witnessed neighbors helping neighbors and companies and volunteers coming to the aid of fellow Texans. People are moving as much of their belongings as they can to storage units and beyond in order to save something–anything. Trees are downed in front yards, on homes and on cars. Cars are strewn about like toys left in the backyard by a little boy. Windows are missing but there is no glass near where the windows were shattered: the tornado sucked even the glass out.

One gentleman that I saw picking up pieces of neighbors’ homes in his front yard seemed stunned. He was walking around wearing a pair of gloves and carrying a green trash bag. His wife was taking pictures of where their wooden fence was stood. It is completely gone with only remnants of where it once stood exposing what is left of their backyard. Others are sweeping the streets clean of nails left behind in shattered pieces of wood. You can hear generators humming as people who are still without power are trying to figure out what to do next.

One of the saddest things that we are hearing from people is that they are uninsured. They do not have homeowner’s insurance. I have no idea why anyone would live in a house without insurance, but they do for whatever reasons. Recovery and disaster relief agencies are in place while insurance adjusters are on scene trying to get things figured out. The authorities are saying that there are so many volunteers in the area that they cannot take anymore as they are simply getting in the way at this point.

We who were spared of the 11 tornados that are reported as touching down in the North Texas area as blessed beyond all measure. While my wife and sons were hunkered down in the bathtub and while our lights flickered here and there, God was with us–our Immanuel.

There are some things for us to know although we may not fully understand them about this type of weather. First, all weather is under God’s control.

When He imparted weight to the wind and meted out the waters by measure, when He set a limit for the rain and a course for the thunderbolt, then He saw it and declared it; He established it and also searched it out. (Job 28:25-27)

And how can we forget

Jesus said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (Matthew 8:26-27)

Second, God alone understands the mysteries of the weather.

The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding He established the heavens. By His knowledge the deeps were broken up and the skies drip with dew. (Proverbs 3:19-20)

Jesus even said

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)

Solomon, the wisest ever to live, writes

If the clouds are full, they pour out rain upon the earth; and whether a tree falls toward the south or toward the north, wherever the tree falls, there it lies. He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap. Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things. (Ecclesiastes 11:3-5)

Third, the weather is a demonstration of God’s goodness and mercy. Moses writes

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)

Jesus said

“For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45)

Next, the weather is a demonstration of God’s direct intervention. Jonah writes

The LORD hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up. (Jonah 1:4)

Moses writes

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided. (Exodus 14:21)

and

Now there went forth a wind from the LORD and it brought quail from the sea, and let them fall beside the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp and about two cubits deep on the surface of the ground. (Numbers 11:31)

The psalmist writes

He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens and by His power He directed the south wind. (Psalm 78:26)

Five, sometimes the weather is an answer to prayer. James the apostle writes

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. (James 5:17-18)

Finally, sometimes weather can cause suffering. Moses writes

Thus I was: by day the heat consumed me and the frost by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. (Genesis 31:40)

Ezra writes

So all the men of Judah and Benjamin assembled at Jerusalem within the three days. It was the ninth month on the twentieth of the month, and all the people sat in the open square before the house of God, trembling because of this matter and the heavy rain. (Ezra 10:9)

Job lost everything when strong winds came through his place:

While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and behold, a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died, and it fell on the young people and they died, and I alone have escaped to tell you. (Job 1:16, 18-19)

Now I do not know why these tornados came. I do not know why hurricanes and tsunamis and other horrific storms take place. I do not know why the sun shines like it does and why the skies can be so blue one minute and then turn dark the next. But I do know the One who controls it all because He is sovereign over all.

I am praying for those affected by these storms.

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I’m Most Discouraged…

I was sitting around this morning thinking about how discouraged I become at times. Dark days loom over the horizon when the clouds settle in to block any semblance of the sun only to darken the very recesses of my mind. Thoughts begin to wage war with one another as I try my best to pull myself out of the trap in which I find myself. Life’s woes take a stranglehold around the throat of my thoughts and I feel that I am losing my breath and slowly fading into the darkness. Thoughts race around competing against each other to taunt me, to see if they can lead me down the path of disbelief. Discouragement settles in as I begin to give up hope for the moment, forever. The valley is cold–dark–lonely.

Anxiety sets in causing more and more discouragement. Thoughts become disjointed and painful. Memories rise and fall: one right after the other of painful times, of death, of loved ones gone. Nothing seems to bring any peace of mind. Nothing seems to come to my aid. Nothing seems to come to my side to comfort, to console; I only concede that this is my plight.

Then, without any prompting from myself, a word comes to me from something other than me–from Someone. It is a thought, a complete thought, that secures me, anchors me. It is

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

It is alive, this word! It is active, this word! It is mind-changing, life-changing! It does its work to brighten my day–my heart. I travel through the valley with reassurance that it is merely a “shadow of death” that I am seeing but not death itself. I can see the other side before me. I begin to climb out of the hollow to find the hallow. It is there that I begin once again to think on

…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise…

I begin to

…dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Discouragement, the darkness, begins to flee. It cannot comprehend the light that is coming into sight. The dawn rises to find the top of the mountain. I can see it as I draw closer to it and it is there that I see the Light. It is there where I know that I have been before: encouragement! I have found peace! I have come through the valley! I have seen the Light for who He is in at least what I can now comprehend of Him.

I find that when I am discouraged and I begin to think on the truth of Jesus Christ that I find the peace that passes all understanding. The honorable One is He who died for the sins of His people. He is the One who is right in every word and in every deed. He is the One who is pure, holy, just. The loveliness of Jesus Christ dwells in the beauty of His Cross, of His empty tomb, and of His resurrected body. His Word, His beauty, His love is of good repute to all who believe. And if there is anything that is worthy of our praise, anyone that is worthy of our praise, it is Jesus Christ, the most excellent One.

Yes, discouragement comes in the worst of seasons, in the worst of days, in the worst of moments. But I have

…learned and received and heard and seen… (Philippians 4:9)

who Jesus Christ is. When I am down, He picks me up and He is exalted. When I

…practice these things…

I know that the

…God of peace will be with me. (Philippians 4:9)

The Buffoonery of POTUS

 

Is it me or does it seem that our President is not facing the realities of domestic terrorism? It seems that some on his Staff (like Ash Carter, Secretary of Defense) have said that we are at war against “ISIL” (instead of ISIS, because the POTUS believes that if you call them ISIL it will not embolden them to consider themselves as a state). He continues to speak about how “climate change” is what is the real terroristic threat against the United States. After all, if we cannot control the climate (which, by the way is an impossibility and to believe otherwise is foolish since we were concerned about global cooling then global warming now just plain old climate change so we can say that any weather pattern is dangerous to the safety of America), then it will help to foster terrorism not only here at home but abroad. It is because of this climate change that we are facing what it is that we are facing nowadays.

Now I know that there will be some who read this post that will disagree with my assessment. That’s alright with me. You have your opinions and I have mine. Science is beginning to lean toward the opposite of what POTUS is saying. For instance, on September 16, 2012, Mark Hendrickson, a contributor to Forbes Magazine, stated that Meteorologist Brian Sussman, in his book Climategate, that calculations show humanity’s share of the greenhouse effect as .9 of 1 percent and that CO2 may not affect global warming at all. Translation: there are so many other factors that cause the earth to warm and cool.

But our dear POTUS is still propagating the idea that it is because of climate change that all these wars and rumors of wars are persisting, that ISIS is on the march because of climate change, that the seas are rising and the ice is melting. Didn’t he say, “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal”? I am not seeing the oceans receding as he said they were, after all, this climate change is affecting the rising of the tides. I have not seen planet healing under his regime over the past seven years but we are needing more and more rules and regulations to heap more and more taxes on the American people (and there are actually people out there that say they are willing to pay more taxes for these lies).

In his nomination acceptance speech, POTUS said, “America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.” With this quote, I couldn’t agree more! We did at that time need to change some things about our nation, but even more so today do we need to change the failed policies of President Barack Obama, especially when it comes to his buffoonery concerning climate change.

Now, before you say it I’ll say it: I am not a scientist. Rather, I am a rational American citizen that sees, as the majority of Americans see it, that this is not really that big of a concern. Americans are more concerned about ISIS, the economy and governance.

Now even the Left is calling for more action against terrorism. Dianne Feinstein has said on CNN, “Terrorists could exploit the program, could go from France to Syria, as 2,000 fighters have done, come back to France, use the visa waiver program and without further scrutiny come into the United States.” She has also said, as quoted by Reuters, “The fight is quickly spreading outside Iraq and Syria, and that’s why we must take the battle to them.” Madame Senator, the fight came to your State of California yesterday afternoon. Where is POTUS, Madame Senator? Where is the man that you wanted so badly to be POTUS? He’s in Paris talking about climate change–that’s where he is, Madame Senator–that’s where he is.

Again, I’m no scientist. I make no claims to understanding fully what our climate is doing. But one thing I know, with every season the climate changes. Every year is different than the one before. It either happens to be a cooler year or a warmer year. Ever since I was a kid I can remember that we have had cooler and warmer years. And by the way, we have less pollution today in the United States of America than we did when the Native American was sitting on his horse with a tear streaming down his cheek because of all the pollution and trash everywhere.

Here’s what POTUS seems to have missed when it comes to our carbon footprints as compared with China:

From what I heard recently on one of the news reports, the world leaders who have attended the Climate Change Summit in Paris, France, just weeks after the terror attack there, they are allowing at least 23,000 times more CO2 emissions each than you or I will use in a lifetime. This is just for one trip! Sheesh! And they say we’re the problem? Has POTUS ever heard of Skype?!? It would have saved the world by his using Skype rather than taking two Boeing 747 airplanes (this is how the President travels wherever he goes) as well as the Beast (his limousine) and all the other planes for the Secret Service and military personnel that travel with the President along with all of his staff members that travel with him.

Well, I have lamented enough for this afternoon. It matters not if you agree with me or you don’t. What matters to me is that we understand that God has given us this world, we need to be good stewards of it, and it is not climate change that is driving terrorists to attack these United States. It is far more sinister than that.

Until the next post, peace out.

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