Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘disaster’ Category

         I am looking forward to tomorrow on Good Morning America.  Robin Roberts is going to interview the Steven Curtis Chapman family about the loss of their young 5 year old daughter, Maria, in a tragic car accident involving their teenaged son.  Their daughter was adopted from China.  With the Olympics in China in the media, it is a good time to underscore the connections of the human spirit and relationships formed around the world.

         I fully expect there to be anguish…how can you go through something so traumatic as loosing your daughter, at the accidental hands of your teenaged son, and not have anguish?  Then to have the eyes of the world on you as you grieve; it has had to be extremely stressful.  Not to mention the threat of legal proceedings against your teenaged son, hanging over you while you are going through your loss.  There are so many messages that could be presented to the world through this experience, love, loss, safety, spirituality, depression and the list goes on.  God says, he will make good come from all things.   

          This experience would be horrendous for anyone…let alone a Christian family, just because you have the added responsibilities of not wanting to let God down, or fail to encourage others; however, human beings are just that…human…we often fail, even with the best of intentions.  The Chapman family is a family who has brought hope and healing, through music ministry for years; not to mention, opening doors to financial guidance for adoptive parents, creating another avenue for God miracles to impact lives.  Their struggle to find peace in this very difficult time continues…there are things that grief to the surface…questions that demand answers for.  It is as their daughter Emily said… Grief is a very windy road.  It is a struggle to meet all of their children’s emotional needs as they navigate their own ups and downs; but, at least their family is trying to heal together.

          Christians are not immune to tragic circumstances…in fact, i believe that they are given to everyone.  No one is left out of doses of misery, despair, sickness, loss, financial stress etc.  But the Christian bears an extra burden during those times as they are living their lives, as a testimony before others, about God’s grace and mercy.  How to explain the unexplainable?  The old question, why does God let bad things happen?  Oh, King Solomon i am sure, would have an answer to that as he prayed for wisdom and was granted it by God…but truly, only God knows the whys of things.  All we can do is struggle to hang on to our faith and try to grow it through the struggles of life.

        I know that Robin Roberts is a Christian…she has had her own struggles, this past year.  I am most interested in this interview, as i believe that God will impart compassion, grace and understanding in it, to others who are going through their own difficulties.  I pray that hearts will be touched and moved.  Watch tomorrow on good morning america for this moment of heartfelt grief and love and hope.  It will be worth your time!

Read Full Post »

         Did you ever notice after being gone from home for a while how good it feels to be back in your own spot?  No matter how much fun you have somewhere else; no matter how good it feels to go on vacation; or, to travel to see others that you’ve been missing; there is something very special about getting close to your own home.  It really is true, there is no place like home!

        Just entering your familiar stomping grounds feels good; the anticipation that you feel is measurable, almost like your blood pressure.  Unlocking that door and smelling the smells that are familiar to you or seeing what passes as normal on your walls, floors, or furniture; well, it just says welcome home…we’ve missed you!   The sights, sounds and smells of home….Ahhhhh….there is no place like home!  Put your feet up and just breathe it all in…you are home. 

         While you are doing that…remember those who are going through the trauma of the natural disasters that the world has been dealing with lately; tornados, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and say a prayer for them and their situation; give thanks to God above, for the blessings in your life, while you are at it. 

Read Full Post »

            Wow, just as schools get out for the summer…travelers have been hit with a double whammy.  Not only do people have to plan their travel plans around construction zones…but, with all of the wild weather the central states have been experiencing, now they need to avoid areas hit with major flooding.  It is worth taking the extra time to reroute your trip to avoid putting any extra strain on emergency services in these areas.

            The national weather service has given warnings in 15 counties in Indiana because flooding is becoming a major obstacle for both residents and travelors alike.  In fact, residents in central Indiana have been being evacuated because of fear of dams failing.  This is massive flooding that endangers many people.

             In fact, major highways are being closed down because of flooding.  Highways, I-65, US- 31, and I-70,  all have portions of their roadways closed.  In Terre Haute, US-41 was the only option available and only one lane was open at that.  This is scary…where will that amount of people go for safety?  If in doubt contact the authorities if you are affected by flooding.

             To add to the confusion and difficulty, thousands upon thousands are without power in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan due to the storms that have been assaulting the area.  Businesses, hospitals, homes, nursing homes, and school buildings are all affected.

              This time of year it is wise to remind people of emergency safety precautions.  If possible prepare ahead of time.  Have available bottled water, blankets, extra clothing and non-perishable food items.  Keep medications and important documents in a handy place to make a quick exit if need be. 

             Also it is important to remind people not to go near downed wires.  Report any gas leaks immediately.  Never, never try to drive through areas where water covers the roadways; too many people end up stranded or dead from flash flooded roadways.  It doesn’t take much water to make a vehicle uncontrollable in these types of conditions.  Safety first.   Keep a cell phone handy to report any emergencies to the authorities.  Keep up to date on the latest weather conditions in your area.  www.nws.noaa.gov/.   Be safe everyone!

Read Full Post »

         It is June and the end of the school season.  That means that there are many more children out and about.  I just want to take a few minutes to remind people about child vehicle safety.

          Last week there was a horrible reminder of how easy it is for an accident to happen, with the loss of Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman’s 5 year old daughter.  She was killed when she somehow got in the path of a vehicle driven by her teenaged brother.  Our prayers go out to the whole family at their time of loss.  But, the period of grieving is going to be complicated because of their son being the driver of the vehicle.  There are so many emotions to deal with, in addition to loosing their daughter.

          Teen drivers have less experience watching out for the little ones.  They are new to driving and it only takes a second for a distraction to cause an accident.  With cell phones, radios and passengers along for the ride there is much to distract a driver these days.  Also, reminding elderly drivers about taking extra precautions around driving near young children is a good idea.  Every driver needs reminding about such things.   Teaching the little ones to play away from parking areas, away from the curb, or away from the roadways is very important. 

        Educating teens and reminding all other drivers about the extra dangers of the importance of watching out for kids at play…especially when balls, bikes, skates or skateboards are involved.  Quick decisions by young children aren’t based on …is it safe for me to chase my ball that just went out into the road, or is it safe for me to skate across the corner of the road…or am i fast enough to get by on my bike…they just make quick decisions that can put a driver in a bad situation.

         My adult daughter lives in a housing development in a cul -de- sac.  This is a housing development that has alot of young families; as well as a day care, right next door.  I am paranoid when i go to visit because of the parking available.  Whenever i arrive or leave, i take several exta moments to check where all of the little ones are because; they are riding little electric cars that are low to the ground, they are running and chasing each other, they are often riding little bikes and push toys.  It is hard to see them.  I am terrified that i will miss seeing one of them while backing out of the parking space.  Apartment buildings, beaches, parks and school zones are all areas that require extra focus and attention watching for children at play.

          The neighbor who runs the day care, in my daughter’s neighborhood, is very good about keeping an eye on the children and no-one plays out of doors without adult supervision.  However, it only takes a moment to be distracted as parents arrive to pick up, or, drop off their children.  There are other neighbors, who get visitors, who do not always watch their children vigilantly.  It only takes a few extra minutes to make sure where everyone is located; and, to make them aware that a vehicle is coming or going.   It could save a life and alot of legal responsibility.

          As long as we are talking vehicle safety and wee ones…let talk about the electronic windows.  It is so easy for little ones to accidently get trapped in the electronic windows.  Every year we hear of deaths or severe injuries caused by little arms or heads that somehow get rolled up in the electronic windows.  Please, please, please, make sure the children are strapped into their seat belts or their child restraint seats properly.  That way, you can be a little more confident that they are not playing with the buttons on the windows while you are driving.

          Children love playing and hiding in out of the way places.  Cars are a temptation. If there are abandoned cars in your neighborhood…get them removed or locked up.   Please, keep your vehicle locked when you are not using it…even if it is parked in a garage.  Children sometimes get into the vehicles and can’t get back out; or they climb into the trunk and the same thing happens.  Teach children not to play in a vehicle; but still, protect them and yourself by locking the vehicle.

          Communities are becoming much more pro-active about teaching and inspecting child seat restraints.  Often community police or rescue personnel will offer a safety inspection of your child safety seat.  They will make sure that they are properly installed and offer tips on how best to make sure that your child or grandchild is safe.

         Finally, now that summer is here…the warm weather is too.  The air in a closed vehicle quickly heats up and becomes unsafe for little ones to be left in a vehicle; even for just a few minutes.  Always, always take your child into the store or gas station.  For safety’s sake, do not leave them in the vehicle.  Even when the vehicle is empty, crack the windows a bit; or, open the vents in the back of the vehicle to let out excess heat so that the vehicle is not overly warm when you and your child get back into the vehicle.  That blast of heat can damage young lungs and it can be painful to the skin to touch hot seats.

          Every year we hear tragic reports, on the news, of another child that died as a result of being left in a hot vehicle.  When transporting your child to day care on your way to work…place your brief case, lunch bag, purse or some other such reminder in the back so that in your haste you don’t forget that your child is strapped in the back.

           Put a reminder in the front seat near you such as a toy or a bottle, to remind yourself that your child is in the back; especially if you are transporting your child in an out of normal circumstance of your daily routine.  Or, put a post it note in a bright color on your steering wheel; these reminders are important, because forgetting your child is not an option.  If the child falls asleep and is quiet, in your haste to get to work or whatever your routine is, if you normally dont transport your child at that time every day…it can happen that you “forget” that your child is in the vehicle with you. 

             It seems silly to go over these safety issues…but, take the time to remind yourself of them.  It is worth taking a few extra minutes to go over them if it saves one life…and a lifetime of guilt and regrets.  Have a safe and fun summer!

Read Full Post »

         Ok, it is June 1st, and you know what that means…it is the start of Hurricane Season; get ready.  Each season is filled with predictions of how many storms and how many hurricanes are expected…but, truthfully, there is no way to know for sure how many hurricanes there will be; or, where they will hit.

        The best thing that can be done is to keep an eye on the weather predictions and to be prepared as best you can.  There are some great ideas such as having an emergency preparedness kit available.  Pack them in plastic tubs so that they are water proof; and, are easily put into a vehicle at a moments notice.

          Those kits should include bottled water, batteries,flashlights, matches, candles, extra blankets, important documents, non-perishable food items, a couple of changes of clothing for each person, battery operated radios, extra medications that are taken daily, some baby formula/diapers, a phone/address book that has contact information regarding doctors and insurance company information in them.   Those are the type of items that are needed and they can be quickly accessed if you plan ahead and keep these items all in one location.

       It is wise to also have available tools, nails, sandbags, and boarding to cover windows and doors, in case the hurricane should hit your area.  Plan ahead to have an evacuation route to take, to leave the area early if you are going to do so; this is especially important if you have special health needs or physical challenges.   Keep an extra can of gasoline in the garage, for just such an emergency, if you are being encouraged to evacuate quickly.   Gas prices will go up at a time like this and the lines at the pump will be long and filled with stressed out people.

            If you stay…you are risking your life; and potentially, the life of anyone who may have to “rescue” you later.  Keep emergency flares in your vehicle and maybe in the upper most level of your home.  Stored food and water must be sufficient to last for several days; multiply the amount for each person who stays.  Remember, if help is needed…they may be overwhelmed and may not be able to get to you quickly.  It is best to leave the area than to risk lives unnecessarily.

         Communication with loved ones is very important at a time like this; so, if you have a cell phone, keep it charged and if you don’t have one…keep a calling card with you just for an emergency.  Remember, regular utilities such as phone, gas, and electric may be cut off.  Keeping loved ones informed about where you are and what your plans are, will help to cut down on any confusion and extra anxiety that you may experience. 

              Just an extra bit of advice, if you have valuables or pictures or documents that you absolutely can not afford to lose, you may want to consider keeping them on the upper most level of your home or take them with you.  Many people have lost important papers or pictures that are time consuming to replace or are irreplaceable. 

            With a little bit of planning…if the worst happens and your home or business is damaged…at least you can make it easier for your family to get to a safer place quickly.  Get flood insurance if you can get it.  Lessons learned over the last few years from all of the devastating storms that have been hitting around the world…no things are worth loosing your life over…and, the most important thing is to be as prepared as you can be to lesson the pain and suffering that these horrible storms can cause.  You can check out the hurricane storm situation at:  http://www.noaa.gov/

Read Full Post »

         Today was just a wildly, eventful day…a aero-med helicopter crashed into a major hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan and miraculously, no one was killed.  

          It was announced that Clay Aiken, a gifted singer, is going to be a father (congratulations Clay).  

          And, the wonderfully talented Harvey Korman (from the Carol Burnett television show fame) who brought such joy to the world, died today.   

         Last but not least, the Texas Supreme Court ordered the  450 sect children returned, to their parents, that the Child Protective Services removed from their families due to allegations of sexual abuse of minor children.   The state just was not able to prove the claim of wide-spread abuse  of the 450 children.

Read Full Post »

          I read today that the family of Steven Curtis Chapman lost a daughter to a tragic accident yesterday.  The Chapman family’s youngest daughter 5 year old Maria was hit by a car driven by her brother.  It happened at their home in Nashville.  Worse still, it was witnessed by other family members.  What a horrible thing to see.  Maria’s brother needs alot of prayer.  It is a heavy burden to be in the position of being the driver who didn’t see the child.   May God bless this whole family during this time. 

           Their daughter Maria was adopted from China.  The Chapman’s have three children born to them and three others who they adopted.  I remember reading in an adoption magazine a few months ago, how the family felt called to adopt a child from China.  The family’s oldest daugther encouraged her parents to do so.  The Chapman’s committed to missionary work in China a couple of years ago.  I am sure with the recent tragedy that China has been going through has affected them greatly. 

           Steven Curtis Chapman is a gifted Christian singer.  He has been a huge force in ministering through music.  The family also has created a ministry foundation for those wishing to adopt called Shaohannah’s Hope; it helps the families to be able to afford to adopt.  I am sure the whole family’s heart is heavy.  For a child makes a huge impact on a family whether they are adopted or birthed into the family.  A child’s death leaves a huge empty spot.  Please pray for healing during their time of grief.  You can learn a bit more here:  http://www.stevencurtischapman.com/

Read Full Post »

       Raising children is one of the most important things a person can do.  It not only impacts a family; it impacts communities, businesses, organizations and individuals.  Raising children well; it is an art form.  In our world today, there are many things pulling at a family unit trying to divide it and conquor it.  It’s become the norm to expect families to break up; it is almost extra-ordinary to see a family survive all that life throws at it.

       There are those around us who struggle in ways that we cannot see.  There are stresses that are normal; and then, there are those which have the ability to wreak havoc on our inter-personal relationships. 

        Un-expected pregnancies are one such stressor.  Un-planned pregnancies, no matter the age or marital status of the parents, can overload those involved; due to financial pressures, health issues, as well as, the emotional well-being of the parents. 

        Making a choice to become a parent is an important step; whether you become a parent biologically, or through the adoption process.  Each life that is conceived is precious and full of promise.  A pregnancy should be cause for celebration; however, sometimes circumstances can complicate the miracle of life.  Those type of situations are when the adoption option becomes a lifeline for those affected.

         Organizations such as Bethany Christian Services are just, such a lifeline.  Of course, they offer more than just adoption services; there is counseling, foster care, estate planning, pregnancy counseling, post adoption care, orphan care, infertility ministry and embryo services.  They are all about building, healing, and restoring families here in the United States and around the world.

        If your heart if full of blessings…or if you have a need…go to this link and check them out.  If your heart has been burdened by the complications of life; and, you have been touched by something greater than yourself…can you find a way to give back?  Support Bethany Christian Services either through a financial donation or maybe just by volunteering your time.  Check them out here:  www.bethany.org.  

          Do you see the suffering of those all around the world and feel helpless to do anything about it?  Those who are lonely, without the basic necessities of life, poor, starving, homeless or just without someone to love them; they need help.   Many of us do see the conditions of the world and suffer a sense of guilt at our own good fortune.  Do you feel something within your heart calling you to make a difference?  We all do…don’t turn off that sensitivity to the hurts in the world.  You can make an impact!

          Maybe you already have the gift of making an impact; but, you wish to find ways of increasing that skill…may i suggest a book that will open windows into the system or skill set that will broaden your abilities to impact the world in a positive way?  It was written by Ken McArthur…a man who has felt the need from childhood to impact the world in a positive way.    The world is a big place with lots of needs.   You have a lot to offer, even if you don’t think that you do.  Find out what it is that you were created to do and be.  Read the book, make a commitment to channel positive energy into some kind of a lasting legacy…and make it happen!

Read Full Post »

         Are you safe and warm; do you have food to eat and clean water to drink where you are?  You are blessed.  China is in the middle of a mass of miracles and mourning after the earthquake this past week.   Families are suffering; and, grieving losses of people and possessions.  Many are without a safe place to live.  This devastation is large scale and overwhelming to those in need as well as to the aid workers. 

         Getting clean water, food and shelter to all those who have need is no easy task.  Adding the additional strain of flooding from rivers, streams and lakes that have been blocked by debris and backed up water flow; only makes getting aid supplies into remote areas more difficult.

         In a country that encourages a family practice of having one birth child, it has a significant impact because, the earthquake has taken the future from many families.  Many have honored the Chinese government’s policy to only have one birth child to cut down on the over-population problem.  Since this earthquake brought down many schools, hospitals and other institutions that housed children…the impact has devastating, life-long consequences on China’s infrastructure.

           Those most vulnerable are the elderly and the young children.  The future can be bleak for those who only had one child to care for them in their elder years.  If they are past the age of child bearing…this can bring an end to their family line. 

          In the center of all of this madness, the Olympics are to be held in China in 81 days.  The International Olympic Committee has decided to pause the torch relay out of respect for the victims.  There will also be three days of national mourning, starting on Monday.  

           There have been stories of miracles; people who have been buried, under debris and rubble since the quake, who have overcome the circumstances and survived.  There will be many such stories as communications improve and time goes on.  One man in particular survived 139 hours trapped in rubble from a hospital and came away with minor bruising.  

           Each miracle brings hope to the hearts of those who have missing loved ones; as experts have said that, a person could survive in these conditions for up to a week as long as they had some access to water and the temperatures were at a survivable level. 

      

Read Full Post »

       Do you ever watch the news and hear about all of the tragedies around the world and think; what can I do, I am just one person?  You watch it and are moved, yet, you think…someone should DO SOMETHING ?  It is a helpless feeling, not knowing exactly what to do; isn’t it ?   What if you are the SOMEONE who SHOULD DO SOMETHING ?   Your inner voice is telling you to take some action.  You don’t want to waste time or energy; you want to make the biggest impact whatever you do.

         You see a need somewhere; and maybe you have an idea, a product, or maybe a service that you could utilize, to help change things for the better.  Can YOU make a difference ?  You bet you can!!!  Your inner voice is trying to motivate you.  If you only knew HOW to make an IMPACT on things, to make a difference; things would be different.  Maybe, you could motivate other people to take action as well. 

         All you have to do is, get noticed by enough people; and, things could change.  I have the answer you have been searching for, whether it is for your business, personal goals, or maybe, it is a humanitarian intervention that is calling out to you. 

          What you need is the book, The Impact Factor: How to Get Noticed, Motivate Millions, and Make a Difference In A Noisy World!  

          Ken McArthur is a successful business man, an entrepreneur, an author, a business mentor; and, an all around NICE GUY with lots of integrity.  Ken recognizes the power of IMPACT on both a business and a personal level.  Ken is committed to communicating the power of Impacting the world in a positive way. 

           You see, we all leave a legacy of Impact in our everyday choices, in our areas of expertise; just by living our lives.  Why not harness the power of impact to be as effective as we can be by making a choice to positively Impact the world ?  Our areas of impact could be education, the environment, business, humanitarian aid, adoption, poverty, diseases/illnesses, finance,health, fashion, entertainment, spiritual enlightenment, crime, domestic violence, teen pregnancy, sports, elder care….the list goes on and on.  You know your heart and your skills; how do you want to change the world ?  What is your passion ? 

          Go to Ken’s free website and pick up lots of videos and audio recordings that will help you make an Impact in many areas of your life, and the lives of those around you.  Then, do yourself a favor and purchase his book.  You won’t regret it.  This book could change your life; who knows, it may change the world if you put the message of the book behind everything that you do! 

       

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »