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"For when they shall say, Peace and safety..."

August 08, 2018, 02:38:10 am suzytr says: Hello, any good churches in the Sacto, CA area, also looking in Reno NV, thanks in advance and God Bless you Smiley
January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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Author Topic: "For when they shall say, Peace and safety..."  (Read 9171 times)
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« Reply #120 on: January 04, 2016, 09:33:43 pm »

Rowlett churches are stronger together after tornadoes

ROWLETT — Brian Hiatt jumped in his Ford pickup. The storm was roiling toward his church, toward his friends.

The pastor, his wife and their 20-year-old son raced from their Mesquite home. That night, they found Cornerstone Assembly of God intact.

But nearby on Schrade Road, the twister showed no mercy. It left neighbors amid rubble and in the dark.

Cornerstone had generators. Hiatt grabbed a string of white Christmas lights and slung them under the awning of the front building.

“I plugged them in so we could at least give a beacon of light to let people know we were here,” he said.

Only a father and son sought refuge in the church gym. But in the days that followed, Cornerstone and other Rowlett sanctuaries transformed into busy relief centers. All week, volunteers delivered meals to tornado victims and dispensed tubs filled with groceries and cleaning supplies. First responders came, too, looking for a place to rest.

As they filled immediate physical needs, churches also worked on giving people spiritual direction. The rash of tornadoes Dec. 26 killed 11 people in Dallas and Collin counties and left many homeless. What to make of this tragedy?

On Sunday, eight days after the storm, Pastor Alonzo Johnson slashed the air with his hands as he preached.

“Always look for the good in a bad situation,” he shouted.

The roof of his sanctuary — Faith Missionary Family Church on Garner Road — was covered in blue tarp, so Hiatt invited Johnson’s congregation to Cornerstone.

Many faithful in Rowlett have found comfort in knowing no one was killed in this city of 58,000, where the tornado destroyed nearly 150 homes. They talk about the overwhelming number of donations, the stronger bonds with neighbors, the opportunities to reorder priorities.

Yet often in the days after the storm, people at the churches offered solace quietly, with a cup of coffee or a long embrace.

The tornado knocked the steeple off Faith Missionary. But in the dark, Johnson didn’t realize the winds had also torn the roof and pushed in the back wall.

Even after taking stock of the damage, Johnson believes God saved his church.

“You might shake it, God might let you hit it, but you can’t knock it down,” he said with a laugh.

To the north, First Christian Church Rowlett narrowly missed the beating near Miller Road. Leaders soon opened the church to first responders and others who needed coffee or a restroom.

As the storm’s destruction became clear in daylight, worshippers hauled in donations to churches across the city. Within two days, volunteers began preparing barbecue meals at First Christian Church and taking them to the neighborhoods.

At First Rowlett United Methodist Church, some people gasped when they heard the names of members who had lost their homes the previous night.

Next door, at First Baptist Church Rowlett, the pastor recruited helpers. He hadn’t finished talking when Kay Nicholson raised her hand.

A group from Richardson dropped off 241 plastic tubs and $5,000 in gift cards at First Baptist. Nicholson oversaw the delivery after the pastor appointed her relief effort coordinator. She shuffled back and forth, deploying helpers, filling out spreadsheets and talking to tornado victims seeking aid.

One of the people that Nicholson sent to the church’s fellowship hall was Ioana Grigorescu, a soft-spoken 68-year-old from Romania. The tornado shredded homes on her Rowlett street like cardboard.

Volunteer Carol Smith pushed a utility cart as she gently guided Grigorescu through the church’s makeshift grocery store. Grigorescu took the aloe vera soap that promised to be soft on her hands and picked a deodorant for her husband. Smith loaded a magenta tub with tea, oatmeal, ramen noodle bowls and crackers.

“Anything else you can think of?” Smith asked.

Grigorescu, who looked on the verge of tears, gave her a weak smile.

“It’s too much,” she said.

“It’s not too much,” Smith told her. Then she pulled Grigorescu into a hug.

Several churches turned their spaces into pantries and closets.

Members of First Christian Church piled jeans, shirts and baby onesies on rows of upholstered chairs in the sanctuary. Folded blankets sat next to poinsettias.

At First United Methodist, the family room was so full of tables with donations that volunteers sometimes bumped their carts into them.

On Friday, Arthur Bailey crouched down to fish a pack of three toothbrushes out of a box. While Bailey and his wife weren’t looking, volunteer Cheryl Goczoll stuffed a paper sack with bath towels.

Bailey picked up a tub of toothpaste. Goczoll grabbed three and tossed them in his container.

“Not a word out of you,” she warned Bailey politely, staving off his objections.

Bailey, who has a 13-year-old daughter, said it was hard to ask for help. The tornado ripped his home and damaged his three cars. His insurance policy doesn’t reimburse car rentals because he never thought he’d need one.

The family is living out of a hotel room in Rockwall. Bailey, a retired schoolteacher, said he can bear it because of his faith.

“I think I’m a strong person, too,” he said. “Maybe it’s better it’s me than somebody else who is weaker than me.”

More than 300 people streamed into First Baptist on Sunday after a hectic week. The sanctuary rang with applause for the volunteers.

Two church members were baptized during the service. Both came to the pastor after the tornadoes.

Churchgoers danced and sang from the pews at Cornerstone. Hiatt and Johnson stood next to each other — one in jeans, the other in a pinstripe suit — and lifted their hands in praise. Johnson received a $1,000 check from his hosts to help restore Faith Missionary.

He thanked God for the rain.

“Entire churches are going out there sharing and caring,” he said from the pulpit. “Why did it have to take a storm?”
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