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Baton Rouge - 2

I can’t believe I have to leave today. The time has gone by so fast, and has been such a blessing. I have now learned what NDMS is: the National Disaster Medical System. All of the teams here have been part of this system, which is part of FEMA. I really admire these people, who drop everything and become responders in our country’s worst situations for two week shifts and sometimes more.

This is a part of the USA that we can be really proud of. Nuff said. And I’m really not going to be able to say bad things about FEMA after this experience. Whenever I hear “FEMA,” I will always think of these great men and women.

Here are Ed and Tim, two members of the AR-1 DMAT team:

Ed is a pastor in the ARP (Associate Reformed Presbyterian) church.

Here are some photos of the wonderful Veterinary team, VMAT-1:



Baton Rouge

Hey, here I am in Baton Rouge. My friend and hero Peter is down here representing our Scout troop and representing Jesus Christ, and he is set up as the cook at one of the FEMA areas in Baton Rouge. His job is to give them hot food while they are not out in the field eating MRE’s. There are doctors, nurses, veterinarians, and other support staff, from all over the country. These teams, who all have day jobs, train all the time to work together and travel to disaster sites, and now they are deployed to the New Orleans area.

Several people have gone down to support him for shorter periods of time, but Peter’s stay is likely to be two weeks.

Here is a picture of Peter’s kitchen.

And here’s Peter.

Here are some pictures, brought back by some of the teams, of the devastation in the heart of New Orleans.



More on the tomb

In keeping with yesterday’s “Steady aiming at a tomb” posting, why don’t you check out an article in the current World magazine on the cemetery in Princeton, NJ. I like the Matthew Henry comments which are quoted in the article:

“Death to a godly man is like a fair gale of wind to convey him to the heavenly country; but to a wicked man it is an east wind, a storm, a tempest, that hurries him away in confusion and amazement, to destruction.”

“Dying saints may be justly envied, while living sinners are justly pitied.”



Bush - At fault?

FreeWillBlog has an interesting post recounting what went on before the hurricane.

Uh, check out this story from August 28th.

In the face of a catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, a mandatory evacuation was ordered Sunday for New Orleans by Mayor Ray Nagin.

The mayor called the order unprecedented and said anyone who could leave the city should. He exempted hotels from the evacuation order because airlines had already cancelled all flights.

Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding.

Wait a minute. Are you kidding me? These ostensible chief executives couldn’t seriously have been so clueless that the only reason they finally bothered to evacuate was because the President called them up on the telephone and told them how to do their jobs? I’d like to find an exact quote.



New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin

Is it just me, or does New Orleans’ mayor seem to be the total opposite of a guy like Rudy Guiliani? Why does he do nothing but whine and carp and lash out? Do we see images of him at the Superdome or the convention center, taking charge? I think I see the end of his political career anyway. (But don’t count anyone down in Louisiana, where you basically have to be crooked to be a politician anyway.)

[UPDATE] It’s not just me. I’m not going crazy. Tim Challies has noticed it, and has commented far more eloquently than I could. But the major media websites (cnn, msnbc, fox, etc) simply parrot his pronouncements.



Texas History Movies

All true native Texans should be well versed in the famous Texas History Movies, a comic book version of Texas history. Take the quiz to see how up on this (skewed but lovable) version of Texas you are….

PS - I got eight out of ten.



The Omission of the Gospel

Yes, we are all guilty of it. I am guilty of it in my dealings every day. Even with Christians, but especially with non-Christians. It’s not that we don’t “preach the gospel” or “witness” to the world. Some of us do that, sometimes. We think of it as a separate activity. But what about the 99% of the rest of the time, when we pursue our unwritten, unspoken agreement with the world, to live life publicly among them as if we share a common foundation?

(Yes, Reformed theologians, I know the doctrine of common grace, and I’m not contradicting it here.)

We essentially allow our neighbors, friends, co-workers to believe that what motivates them motivates us. But it simply can’t. At times like 9/11, we realize how utterly futile any motives and trustings are which aren’t rooted in the one true God. But most of the time, we guiltily go along with the public fiction that we are, essentially, pulling in the same direction as most of our fellow men and women. Even if we know differently inside, we aren’t willing to say so. Where is our duty to fellow man?

This posting is just a weak reflection of the excellent musings I found today on Rob Wilkerson’s post on Adrian Warnock’s blog. Thanks brother for the careful thinking.



Our Unfaithfulness vs. God’s Faithfulness

I could post this once a week, but here it is anyway, as if today is worse than any other.

How can God continue to forgive and love his people when we act so hateful towards him? Derek Webb wonders this in his own unique way:

So could you love this bastard child
though I donā??t trust you to provide,
with one hand in a pot of gold
and with the other in your side? *
I am so easily satisfied
by the call of lovers less wild
that I would take a little cash
over your very flesh and blood…

* Reference is to John 20:27.



C. S. Lewis on the Fear of God

I am, indeed, far from agreeing with those who think all religious fear barbarous and degrading and demand that it should be banished from the spiritual life. Perfect love, we know, casteth out fear. But so do several other things - ignorance, alcohol, passion, presumption, and stupidity. It is very desirable that we should all advance to that perfection of love in which we shall fear no longer; but it is very undesirable, until we have reached that stage, that we should allow any inferior agent to cast out our fear.

– “The World’s Last Night



Ellen’s postcard from Oxford


Ellen wrote Saturday from Oxford: “This is a great picture - that’s the roof of Blackwell’s in the bottom left corner, above the seal you can just see the Bridge over the road, that’s the Bodleian with the green roof, and I climbed up into the towers of the church in the top right, where I had a great view of the colleges. They’re all so old and beautiful!”

Well you are getting old too, Daughter. I’ll be glad to have you back.

(You can click on the picture to get a nice big version.)




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