What a weird day it was yesterday! I was sitting with our Wholeness Group at the church with dark clouds brewing overhead. Suddenly, a torrential downpour of hit outside. Then it stopped. Our power went out briefly, and I thought that was the end of it. But then, we began to hear about the hail, none of which hit the church by the way.
All up and down Gaston were busted out windshields, ravaged trees, and pieces of hail the size of baseballs (if not larger).
It was wild.
The picture above is from a church member’s vehicle who was in the Whole Foods parking lot when the storm hit. Some other members spread the word about damaged windows and roofs, but otherwise, it sounds like no one was hurt or injured. Was it the “wrath of God”? Or just a weird storm? Your guess is as good as mine.
Everything really is bigger in Texas.
Driving up to Oklahoma this past week to be with my mom, I was pleasantly surprised to see the wildflowers growing like mad along the highways. I hadn’t seen them this abundant and colorful since moving to Texas. The notoriously long droughts were part of the reason why, I guess. Anyway, it was fun to catch glimpses of all this color on the median and in the fields rather than count the beef jerky and lawn statue stores like I normally do.
Let’s be honest, Dallas people – we do not have the prettiest city. We have some iconic buildings and distinct neighborhoods. We have lots of cement and asphalt. We have more trees than you realize, but some of our parks are a bit bland. The fact that we break up our city entirely by city streets, I think, reveals what you need to know.
It’s not the end of the world. My wife and I love the part of Dallas we live in, mostly because White Rock Lake is awesome. Every time I drive by it on the way to work, the city seems a little less mundane. We often take the natural wonders of our world for granted, forgetting how much they add to our lives. We forget that the earth itself is a gift, something to be enjoyed and cared for.
This Sunday is our Creation Sunday, where we celebrate the gifts of the earth and challenge one another to be good stewards of it. I’m not the biggest environmental guy in the world, but I want to do my part. I know that sometimes passing by that lake releases some stress from my tired body. I recognize that I am in fact a part of creation, not separate from it. I trust the most important bit from Genesis 1, which is that God created and thought it was good, even humankind.
God’s right – it is good. Celebrate that goodness sometime this weekend, okay?
The Table and Faith in the City Pub ministry are organizing some folks to join in with the City of Dallas’ annual Homeless Count and Census on January 26. If you are interested, check the flyer below for more information, and then email me if you are interested in joining us. You’ll need to bring warm clothes, a flashlight, and an open mind as we get a better picture on this challenge in our city.
2012 Homeless Count Flyer
Last week, we launched our annual toy and food drive called Mike’s Kids. What’s especially cool about this drive is that it is a partnership with other churches across the North Texas area, and the resources we pull together support Good Samaritan Ministries, a refugee outreach organization near Brownsville, TX. We are accepting gently used toys and clothes. Rice, beans, and canned goods are also welcome.
You’ll find boxes all around our church where you can drop off your donations.
Click on the image above to find out more info about Mike’s Kids.
Here’s a way to give even as you and your friends have dinner.