Wednesday, August 29, 2012
A Dallas-area shelter and two in East Texas have opened for possible evacuees of Hurricane Isaac as the system moved ashore in southeastern Louisiana.
Volunteers with the American Red Cross were ready Tuesday at a shelter at Faith Baptist Church in DeSoto. American Red Cross spokeswoman Anita Foster says shelters also have been set up at St. Louis Baptist Church in Tyler and Williams Memorial United Methodist Church in Texarkana, Texas. Each shelter can accommodate about 150 people.
The American Red Cross chapters in Houston and San Antonio say they've opened no shelters as officials directed evacuees inland, away from the coast.
Meanwhile, Cameron County officials closed the South Texas county's Padre Island and Boca Chica beaches Tuesday evening because of dangerous tides and currents.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/08/28/texas-opens-shelters-for-isaac-evacuees/#ixzz24wPm9RHu
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Samaritan's Purse disaster relief staff members are monitoring Tropical Storm Isaac and prepared to respond as it approaches the U.S. mainland while threatening to grow to hurricane status.
The storm hit the Florida Keys with rain and strong winds on Sunday. It is expected to gain strength and become a hurricane as it churns through the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The National Hurricane Center predicted it would grow to a Category 1 hurricane and possibly make landfall somewhere along the Gulf Coast late Tuesday with wind speeds of up to 90 mph. That would be one day before the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the area in 2005.
Hurricane conditions could reach anywhere from the New Orleans metro area to the Florida Panhandle. The storm is large. Outer bands extend as far as 200 miles from its center, meaning it could cause significant damage even in places where it does not pass directly overhead.
Samaritan's Purse is positioning staff and supplies at our base in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where we are rebuilding homes for victims of a tornado that struck last year. We are ready to move to wherever Isaac hits, and determine where we are most needed.
Isaac already caused major damage in the Caribbean, killing at least eight people and causing widespread flooding in Haiti.
Samaritan's Purse has been active in Haiti since the terrible earthquake in 2010. We are flying a load of heavy-duty plastic and 700 hygiene kits to Port-au-Prince Monday. Our staff will distribute the supplies to people affected by the storm.
Floodwater also brings the risk of another outbreak of cholera, an infection that has claimed over 7,000 lives since the first outbreak in 2010.
Please pray for the people in the path of the storm. Pray for the people of Haiti still trying to recover from the earthquake, and for our staff as we prepare to respond to Isaac in the U.S.
To Learn More…
Thursday, August 23, 2012
What on earth is going on with all of these men I know? Men whom I thought were good strong Husbands, Fathers and in many cases Christians, are dumping their wives for younger versions. I’m in my fifties and many of my longtime friends are as well, and this trend is a recent one. Friends whom I never thought would split up and done and already moving on. In most cases the split is caused by the man, though not in every one. I’m a fifty year old man, and I must be a very strange one at that, because I just don’t get it!
Is it because we men wake up one day and suddenly realize we haven’t accomplished anything of value? This explanation has been used many times, but it doesn’t explain why men who have accomplished great things dump their wives at about the same age. Is it because the pressures of society cause us to make decisions that would have been unthinkable in the past? No, I have never been one to buy into the “society made me do it” argument. Is it the sex thing? Women’s sexual desires slow down faster than men’s. Maybe it’s simply because we men want to keep our twenties going into our fifties. I am astounded at how many men I know who have started new families after remarrying. When I’m seventy, I want to hang out with my grandchildren, not with my preteens.
I can’t help but conclude that I’m the weird one. I believe in faithfulness and sacrifice. If I believed that I had not accomplished enough in my life, then I will suffer in silence and not take my negative feelings out on my family. If I am bombarded with images of youth and vitality and long for those days to return, then I will change my way of thinking and let those feelings roll off of my back. If my wife does not have the sexual desires that she once had, I will wait patiently for those times when the desires return. I will be faithful to my wife and my family above all else. If need be I will sacrifice everything for them. I guess I am a weird person. I hope that I am not alone.
Jesus’ teachings on marriage are difficult for us to understand. Consider this passage from the Book of Matthew 5:31-32 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.” This passage has caused a lot of strife with people who seek to remarry in the church after a divorce. I think where we have gone wrong in our interpretations of it is the idea that Jesus is giving us some hard and fast rule. Jesus repeatedly criticizes people who carefully follow the religious rules of the day, because despite following the rules they do not love the people around them. I do not think Jesus is giving us a new rule to follow. I think Jesus is telling us to be faithful to our spouses, unless they are unfaithful towards us. With the exception of betrayal, Jesus is urging us to hang in through the problems and challenges of life together and cast off the temptations to bolt for the door. Our loved ones make life all the more wonderful. We need to hang onto them as long as we can.
I still don’t get it. My wife and I have gone through many challenges in our lives together. We are still very much in love. I hope that you all experience the same joy that we have.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
The Iranian pastor who has spent more than 1,000 days in prison for his faith in Christ is headed back to court. Iranian authorities are demanding Youcef Nadarkhani face a judge in Iran on Sept. 8 to answer for "charges brought against him."
According to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), it's unclear if the charges are new or are connected to his apostasy conviction. Nadarkhani was convicted and sentenced to death for essentially becoming a Christian. When Iranian officials demanded that he recant his faith in Jesus Christ or die, he responded, "I cannot." He has been illegally imprisoned and separated from his wife and two boys since 2009.
Keep Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and his family in your prayers.
Thanks, Pastor Bill
Monday, August 20, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
It’s been 2 1/2 years since the devastating earthquake hit Haiti, billions of dollars of aid, and still 400,000 people are in desperate need for safe, clean, functional housing.
Below are two links. One is a stunning story from The New York Times on the lack of housing available in Haiti. The other link is to a Christian Charity mentioned in the story that has built 300 units for deaf Haitians displaced by the earthquake.
Pray for the People of Haiti!!!
The New York Times…
Mission of Hope…
God Bless You,
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Betsy and I are back from a long and tiring vacation. We visited the Great Smokies in Tennessee where we saw a Bear and an Elk and went white water rafting. We then went to Kentucky where we visited Fort Boonesboro, the Lincoln homestead and tasted Kentucky Bourbon (Betsy likes that stuff, I don’t). Then we moved onto Pennsylvania where we visited Fort Necessity (connected to George Washington) and my Mom in Lancaster. At the end of the trip we were exhausted and spent yesterday trying to recover. Now its back to work.
One story from the trip that made me laugh. We met a lot of hillbillies in Tn. and Ky. One very nice man was a construction worker and a passionate fisherman. Out of the blue he asked me to play him in a game of chess. I haven’t played much since college, and I was never very good at it. But, I figured I’d take him to the cleaners. How good could a hillbilly be at chess?
After we started playing he told me he had studied chess as a kid and played in competitive tournaments. That’s when I knew I was in trouble. He proceeded to crush me like a bug.
Oh well – judge not lest ye be judged.
God bless you,