Friday, May 2, 2008

From Every Stormy Wind that Kansas

There is really nothing quite like a Spring storm in the Midwest, especially in "Tornado Alley", of which we (the Kansas City metro area) are barely on the upper edge. I have lived in Kansas for 12 of my last 15 years and I am still amazed with the fury unleashed in a seeming instance by one of these powerful storm cells. I will never forget being in my apartment in Wichita in Spring of 1994 when I heard sirens blaring. "What is that?" this newly transplanted western New Yorker thought. I peaked out to see my neighbors piling in to an underground storage area. I grabbed my cat and followed them (Shari was at work,otherwise I would have ushered her to safe quarters too!). We sat huddled in the small, dark space until the storm passed. What a strange thing for someone not used to such an event. Tornadoes and hail are certainly what comes to mind when you think of this area in the Spring, however the straight line winds are what actually produce the most damage. Last night there were wind bursts of 65-75 mph right in my neighborhood. Thankfully they don't last long (nothing like a hurricane), but anything not structurally sound is going down.

Just before the storms rolled in last night, a faithful band of Redeemer members gathered in our sanctuary to pray on the "National Day of Prayer". It was a blessed time together. We sang one of my favorite hymns- "From Every Stormy Wind That Blows". The irony was thick as a powerful storm cell moved right over our area, one which produced a tornado just a few miles south of our location while we were meeting. Pastor Nathan was leading in prayers of adoration for God's various attributes when the tornado sirens started blaring in the distance. The dark clouds were rolling over us, deep green ones in the distance (usually indicative of hail), but of course, we prayed on! The service was divided up in to several parts, we were almost to the final one (prayers of petition) when Brian reported the tornado touchdown he had learned about on the local Internet weather report (he ran over to the WCA teacher's lab where there is a computer)- we decided to finish the meeting in the basement using the youth room. When we finished at 8:30 pm and came upstairs, it was raining with a vengeance no doubt reminiscent of Noah's day. It was pretty cool.

The relative speed with which conditions can turn bad in this part of the country is truly amazing. I praise God for the awesome display of his handiwork...and for substantial structures to hide my cowardly self in! As we prayed, heard Scripture read, and sang, the heavy rains and wind howled with the tornado siren going off intermittently. I couldn't help but think of the great words of Hugh Stowell's hymn-

From every stormy wind that blows,

From every swelling tide of woes,

There is a calm, a sure retreat;

Tis found beneath the mercy seat.

So true.


Frontier Forest said...

Haney has already put the slap on me for in not attending last evening prayer vigil. I must confess, allowing the flesh to get the best of me, l gravely sinned. Malcolm, sent me this scathing email bright and early this a.m. “Woody, Baker and I were among the true elect and redeemed last night. I hope the nose hair trimming went well. If you are not there tomorrow at Iron Sharpens Iron, I'll trim your nose hairs with a weed whacker.”
I was glued to the tube last night with the O'Reiley interview with Hillary. Must admit, she is indeed a very brilliant woman. What's more, she was right-on with seeming sincere and honest, non-political answer.

Reepicheep said...

I won't put a legalistic guilt trip on you for skipping the worship of the Living God with your brothers and sisters in Christ in order to watch a Hillary interview that could be seen on or Youtube at any time.

Rick Calohan said...

After rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar, coming home at 6:45 pm, I decided to feed my family by grilling throughout the storm. Not only that I grilled and dined on Pork BBQ Ribs, Rice, and Spinach, how un-Kosher is that?

Even with sirens going off every eight minutes, neighbors in a panic, I remained calmed by the Holy Spirit while consuming Adult Beverages (Bud Select) while I grilled. I also kept those in the path of the storm in prayer.

We should always keep in mine that we are a Redeemed People, a Covenant People, Reformed in Faith, Calvinistic in Theology, Presbyterian in Governance and Piety. Let us never fall into legalistic dispensational semi-Pelagian/Arminianism.

"Grant, Almighty God, that since we are here exposed to so many evils which suddenly arise like violent tempests, O grant that with hearts raised up to heaven, we may yet acquiesce in Thy hidden providence even though we are so tossed here and there according to the judgment of our flesh yet to remain fixed in this truth that Thou wouldst have us believe: that all things are governed by Thee and that nothing takes place except through Thy will so that in the greatest confusions we may always clearly see Thy hand and that Thy counsel is altogether right and perfectly and singularly wise and just. And may we ever call upon Thee and flee to this port that we are tossed here and there in order that Thou mayest, nevertheless, always sustain us by Thine hand until we shall at length be received into that blessed rest which has been procured for us by the blood of Thine only begotten Son." Amen.

-John Calvin

Salvation is by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone, as revealed in the Scripture alone to the Glory of God alone! Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gloria!

jamie kelley said...

So this has very little to do with your post but I don't have your email address. BUT i was reading this weeks issue of THE WEEK and there is a little blurb about how neuroscientists have discovered that there is really no free will that self-aware consciousness is an illusion and our unconscious mind has already decided what we will do before it reaches our conscious mind based on what we already know to be true and what we feel. Anyway, it was interesting.

Reepicheep said...

Bud "Select" sounds very Arminian to me. Now if it was Bud ELECT....

Rick Calohan said...

Good one Tony I can't stop laughing over your last comment. "Bud "Select" sounds very Arminian to me. Now if it was Bud ELECT...." That is why by Divine Providence you are the under-shepherd of the Great & Good Shepherd at Redeemer!

Frontier Forest said...

Pretty sorry excuse I do confess. That's a great one Rick! Tony, send that idea for a refreshing/reformed brew to Anheuser Busch for review, "Select Bud Elect!"

Qayaq said...

First of all, your a cat person!?! That explains a lot, they are snakes with fur you know...just kidding.

Aren't there any sort of weather atrocities in NY? We have tornadoes, hail and strong winds, in the south they have hurricanes so what do they have in the east? Liberals. I guess they are just as bad as any weather could ever be.

Reepicheep said...

We had a cat (named "B.B." for B.B. Warfield) for the first 6 years of our marriage. When my first son was born the thing went bizerk attacking us everytime we would hold the baby in it's presence. We took it to the vet who determined it needed to go for a long, long, sleep. No more animals of any kind for us, unless it's part of the animal, with antlers, on my wall.

As for NY disasters, blizzards in the Buffalo area weren't pretty, but nothing really like tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, fires, etc. Pretty temperate actually. Yes, quite a few liberals roaming the state, no doubt.

robert said...

Thanks for posting the remembrance of that storm, and the singing of "From Every Stormy Wind." Ironic indeed! If you'd like to learn a bit more about the author of the song, Hugh Stowell, and the particular significance of the mercy seat, I invite you to check out my blog for today, Wordwise Hymns.

And if you’ll excuse a brief “commercial:” With the arrival of fall, we begin to think of the Christmas season up ahead. If you do not have a good book on the subject of our Christmas carols, I encourage you to take a look at mine, Discovering the Songs of Christmas. In it, I discuss the history and meaning of 63 carols and Christmas hymns. The book is available through Amazon, or directly from Jebaire Publishing. (Might make a great gift too!)