Friday, June 11, 2010

Always Be Ready - Thoughts after the storm, flood and tornado

By Ray Gano
Well this has been an interesting week. In one night we got close to 12 inches of rain and flooding takes place everywhere.
If you are ever watching CNN or FOX News and you see flooding in Texas, nine times out of ten it is here in New Braunfels.
What makes New Braunfels so famous is that fact that we have the greatest waterslide park in the entire nation, Schlitterbahn. What also make New Braunfels so great is that we have several rivers, primarily the Guadalupe the flows right through our little town. People from all over come here to go "tubing" and float down the river on a hot Texas day.
Just to give you an idea, during the summer we go from 45,000 in population to one million plus.
About twenty miles up the Guadalupe river is Canyon Lake dam. With all the rain we have been getting, Canyon Lake is very full. This is due to the fact that Canyon Lake is also fed by the Guadalupe from the higher Texas Hill Country areas.
New Braunfels is at the foot of the Texas Hill Country, in other words we are "down hill." Canyon Lake is "up hill" and the rest of the Texas Hill Country is higher than that too. Now we are not talking huge mountain, just rolling hills, thus the name Hill Country.
Why am I giving you all this information? Because when it rains here, if it is of any large amount, it floods here.
Water flows down hill and New Braunfels is a the foot of the hills.
This is one of the many reasons my wife and I also live a more "preparedness" life style.
If you watched CNN, Fox News or read about our floods in the news, we had some pretty bad flash floods. In fact in some places we had twenty nine feet over the regular water flows with the average low water crossing about 1-3 feet deep.
Now the nice thing is that we live on high ground and when there is flooding, we just get land locked and can't get out very easily.
In all of this, both my wife and I were very calm. Our electricity was out for about 3 hours, but it did not bother us, we had plenty of flashlights and if things got worse, we have lanterns as a backup. But we did turn this into a learning lesson.
I found out that it would be nice to have an extension hose for my large propane tank so I can run my Coleman cook stove instead of using the small propane tanks meant for weekend camping.  Those tanks run out so quickly that they are a pain. But if you have  one of those " Blue Rhino" tanks, that will give you weeks upon weeks of using your Coleman stove.
So I will look around and see about getting one of these hoses. I think Walmart carries them, but I am not sure. This is going on my "prepper" list of things to get.
Another thing that I want to get and this is pure luxury, are some of those Coleman LED camp lanterns. The run time on those are 66 hours on low, 32 hours on high with 8 D batteries. The long-lasting LED sheds 170 lumens of light on "high" setting. That is a lot of light. These run about $30.00. Put some hooks in your ceiling ready to hold those and one lantern can light up an entire kitchen, family room, etc.
Famous Sports Star Changes Diaper with iPhone
Here in San Antonio we have the world famous Spurs Basketball team. {{{ GO SPURS!! }}}
Now here is an interesting story about one of our beloved players Manu Ginobili.
Yesterday, at approximately 8:30 pm local time, a terrible thunderstorm unleashed in the U.S. city San Antonio. The basketball player, Manuel Ginobili, reported from Twitter the events with several notes of a picaresque type.
“Tremendous storm in SA. I went off 2 hrs ago and never return. Also fell the tree in my yard. What plunger! “Manu said last night by Twitter. The storm left a little less than 120 thousand users without electricity.
Shortly afterwards, the Argentina star posted ” I had 2 run 2 HEB 2 buy candles! Can u imagine changing diapers w/ just the light of a cell phone & a small flashlight? Tough! “
Come to find out that Ginobili had to change his babie's dirty diapers with an iPhone. Thank goodness he had the "flashlight" app on the phone.  What he said about changing diapers using a cell phone as a source of light illustrates what a pain it can be if you don’t have a good flashlight.
Now, you know what caught me? Here is a basketball star and he makes great money, and yet he does not have a single decent flashlight in the home?
What would he have done if things were worse and the electricity was out for days?
Sad thing is that attitude is what 80% of the people have out there.
Now I am not trying to pat myself on the back. But when we woke up to the floods, Tracye and I were not concerned in the least. We have plenty of supplies on hand and even have flashlights to boot. We have our grandchild here and we were able to change diapers with no problem. The only thing that we could not do is get on the internet. Well, Tracye had her blue tooth so getting an email out if we had to would be no problem.
I point out all of this because we were prepared. We were able to weather this storm without even noticing the inconvenience it has caused the rest of the Texas Hill Country.
Because we planned for this "rainy day," we were able to assist others in need. We called all our neighbors, our pastor who lives about a mile or so away and some family friend.
Come to find out our family friend had a small tornado go right through her neighborhood. It ripped up about 15-20 trees. Some of these smashed in some roofs and roads were blocked. The tree fell on the electric lines and also wiped out the electric in the entire neighborhood. When trees toppled, it also ripped up water lines which left our friend not only without electricity, but also without water.
So we started prepping up our son's bedroom, getting it clean and ready to go. We then invited our friend and her kids to come on over here and "camp out" for as long as they needed till they got back all their utilities.  
The lesson I am trying to put forth here is that because Tracye and I prepared for this day, we were in a great position to help others who were in need. Because we were "always ready" we were in a great position to also go out and share the gospel where it was needed.
Folks, I get a lot of emails saying that I do not trust God, I am some gun running, right wing survivalist who leans on my own abilities vs that  of God's. I get called all sorts of things by those who refuse to prepare.
I have to say that is not true.
We are living in a time where things can go real bad, really quick. This nation of ours is not doing well and a major disaster or man made event can really ruin one's day.
We who are bible believing Christians need to "always be ready" to share the hope that is within us. (1 Peter 3:15) We do not prepare for the bad, we prepare for the opportunity to share the gospel and help others in need.
Now I want to address the men of the home here for a moment.
Scripture says…
1 Timothy 5:8 (KJV)  But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
Men, we are head of the household and the leaders of the family. If we are not providing for and preparing for the storm we are letting our families down. We need to "always be ready" for our own family. It all starts with the leader of the family. If we are "always ready" then our family will take from our example and they to will "always be ready."
If we are not providing for our family, scriptures say that we are worse than the infidel. That is a pretty poor position to hold.
Folks, Tracye and I do not have much, and we live a frugal life. But we have made sacrifices now, saved here and there and bought extra cans of food whenever we go to the store.  We have made preparedness a part of our life. Because of that , we were able to sail right through these recent storms, floods and tornados.
I guess what I am saying is that it is never to late to start preparing.
When you are at the store, get 2-3 cans of extra food and put them away. Search out garage sales and Goodwill Stores for survival gear. You would be surprised at what you will find.  This nation is such a wasteful nation. People go out and buy all the latest and greatest camp gear for a week vacation and 6 months later it is sitting at the Goodwill, practically brand new.  And garage sales… you can find real bargains there on barely used gear.
Folks, If Tracye and I can do it, and we live on pennies, then so can you.  
Scripture tells us to always be ready. Tracye and I take that seriously and when the storm hit, we were ready and went into action.
Thank the Lord that no one really was really in need, but we were ready to be there and to give a helping hand if needed be.
In being prepared to help those in need, it also opens the door to share the gospel. Don’t you think that if you helped a neighbor in need and they saw how well you were ready for the storm that it would give you a higher amount of credibility in their eyes?
Folks we are called to a higher duty and one of service to our Lord. We are commanded in scripture to "always be ready" and yet so many are not.
1 Corinthians 15:34 (KJV)  Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
When we stand before the Lord and give an account, what will God say?
Will we stand before him the lazy steward, the infidel, the sloth?
Or will God say to us, Enter my kingdom my good and faithful steward?
What have you done to "always be ready?"
How will God address you when you give the final account?


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