The storm

Laying in bed Friday night and it woke you up. Out there, somewhere behind the rain that was already driving in, big wind in front of it letting you know it was coming, those distant rumbles.

That black night, those distant rumbles.

It’s funny how you can tell, just by the sound of distant thunder, how big a hit was about to take place. This was low and deep rumbling, fairly steady at that, this was going to be a big one.

Maybe get up for a little bit, get dressed, cell phone in the pocket. Can’t be too careful, and it sounded big.

The flip side of the argument being, of course, that we knew it was going to be big because they told us it was going to be big. Days before the storm got here alerts were being issued, weather maps with stark warnings and direction arrows, letting you know, yeah, Friday night, and it was going to be big.

So maybe it wasn’t the thunder, maybe it’s because we live in a world where people pay attention and then inform other people what was coming.

We were impressed with the county’s preparation. County Judge Dale James even went as far as to issue statements, even having an online broadcast, keeping people up to date. Other people were there keeping the information flowing and up-to-date.

Just nicely done.

So when you first hear that distant thunder you already knew, yeah, here comes that big one they warned us about, those stern warnings and those arrows on a map. You thought it sounded big, but that was only because someone had told you it was going to be big.

And they told you several times, and made sure you understood.

Let’s take a minute here and consider how fortunate we are to be in this time we’re in. Certainly it wasn’t that many years ago when storms systems caught people off guard, when the lead story in this issue would have been about the injuries (plural) or even death(s) when the big one hit.

Then after it hit you wouldn’t know what roads were passable and if you needed an ambulance somebody in a station wagon would show up.

Those are times gone by – thankfully.

And sitting there in the living room listening to the storm getting closer, cell phone banging off weather warnings you realize that, yeah, it’s a bad storm, but aren’t we really blessed to live in a time like this? That we don’t have to guess, that we already knew, that even what we didn’t know, people were in rooms, draped over screens, talking on radios, into phones, making sure everyone was updated and safe.

And even if that big banging son-of-a-gun did tear the house up, help was close at hand – and professional.

So thank you, thank you to all of you, too many to name, who worried over are safety so we didn’t have to worry as much as previous generations might have.

And we’re glad it wasn’t any worse than it was.

1 John 4

God’s Love and Ours

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

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