ONE UGLY STORM

26 01 2016

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I love snow but what we all experienced this past weekend was something that resembled a winter hurricane more than a good old fashioned blizzard. Ice, sleet, rain, wind, power outages, tidal flooding and more made for one challenging adventure for those of us who live down the shore. This is not a complaint as much as it is a guttural sigh of the not so nice side of where we reside. The Jersey Peninsula never fails to leave us in a, “Your guess is as good as mine,” stupor. But this Superstorm Jonas Character just rubbed me the wrong way. And while there is nothing much I can do about what has already been done, I do want to just give a positive shout out to all my friends and neighbors who live here in Cape May County. There is no other place like it on this planet and I am blessed and grateful to God that he has allowed me to call this home since 1997!

I am thankful that we don’t experience the plain awful traffic 365 days a year that I used to face living on the northern part of our beloved Garden State. Living so close to the Atlantic Ocean is a gift that too many locals don’t take advantage of enough. One of my favorite getaway “Prayer Spots,” is the North Wildwood Wall. How one could ever get too full of himself while standing in the presence of the absolute majesty of God’s creation is beyond me. And we don’t have to invest a fortune to catch this magic for only one week a year! We get it any time we choose to lose the blues and open our eyes to the utter surprise that awaits anyone who will give God attention to perform his wonders to amaze!

I like that we get a taste of all four Seasons here and I am not talking the Frankie Valli variety although we do get our fair share of the greatest hits and musical artists of all time here in the wonder of our Wildwood Days! I don’t think I would ever want to be in an environment where the weather never changed. Now don’t get me wrong, because I am the biggest whiner alive when it comes to the hot humid days and nights of summer! But I like getting a taste of it all and Lord if that means having to trust you to survive a nasty storm or two along the way, so be it! There have been many more good days compared to the bad ones in my memory!

Like many others, we too had to cancel our weekend Church Services at the Lighthouse. I hate missing church and not because of any religious guilt trip. I just love the people that God has sent so that we may share life together. Contrary to popular belief, we really do need each other to worship and be a family of brothers and sisters loving one another along our race of loving and serving God! Have you ever noticed that you can’t do all the “One Another’s” in the Bible as a solo act? And like any gathering of human beings, there will be those times where we get under each other’s skin and on each other’s nerves, but I can’t even imagine what my life would be like without the Flock that I am so honored to shepherd. And yes, it isn’t the same when we don’t touch base each weekend; and believe it or not, I do miss people when they stop coming! It has nothing to do with a numbers thing but everything to do with the fact that I really do care about those the Lord has put in my path! And when they hurt, I ache. And when they are doing well, I celebrate. But when we aren’t together, I certainly know that there is something missing.

I spent most of last Saturday at The Lighthouse Church because the power went out at our home in Dennis Township. When there is no electricity, it means that bathrooms don’t work and at my age this is no longer an option! We aren’t quite set up to be an “Official” Shelter yet at the church because of certain State rules and regulations but I have spent every major storm there since we opened its doors. I prayed lots this past weekend for those I knew by name and for those whose pictures I only saw as they battled the elements. This is where Facebook, Twitter and other venues of social media helped me stay in touch when other lines of communication just happened to be down. And did you know that something divinely holy happens to your connection when you pray for another? I always feel closer to others when I am lifting them up before the Lord! I also got to play some basketball with my son Joel in our church gym. Did you know that I beat him in HORSE but it took me making a crazy comeback to do so? My shooting arm feels shot to pieces! And when everything calmed down, we were able to come back home! I am thankful to fellow Dennis Resident, Al Dicicco who made sure that our little powerless neighborhood wasn’t ignored and I am sure sped the process to get the local refrigerators running again! I thank God and told him to forgive me whenever I take the little things for granted!

So by the time you read this, chances are everything will be back to normal or maybe not! Maybe like me, you will spend some extra time this week lingering in conversations or just being thankful to the many of our fellow citizens who have such thankless jobs! Maybe you will reach out to help somebody who is still trying to put the pieces back into place from the damage of the storm. But I do hope you realize that there is no perfect place this side of heaven. The thunder rolls and the lightning strikes in even the most tropical of paradises that call earth its home. But I am praying for a season of sunshine and growth to those who share Upper, Middle and Lower Townships and all the nooks and crannies in between! It was an ugly storm but you are still a special people who just happen to live in the midst of a beautiful place that still needs the divine protection of a redemptive God! Lord I am reporting for duty and I hope many others will join me today! Amen!         


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26 01 2016
Deb Moore

Amen to every word! Was lifting prayers from PA for my east coast buds and because I too have a home in NJ…I want to say I could feel the love a state away! Received a number of calls and offers of help…Jersey bothers and sisters just have a special shine! Glad you are safe and in His service P.R.

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