Posts Tagged ‘Iowa’

This spring has been an active season for tornadoes in Iowa and throughout the U.S. (2008 could be record breaking).  We had an EF5 tornado level Parkersburg, IA (see ATM video of the tornado ripping apart a house).  Attica, IA was hit as well.

Last night we had tornadoes to the south of us.  This is something that we are used to in Iowa.  We get tornadoes pretty frequently, but not as much as say Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas though.

I was watching the Weather Channel this morning, and they were saying… we haven’t seen a weather model setup like this since 1974 – which that day had, if I am remembering this correctly, 39 tornadoes.  Eating a late lunch I found this blog post that said “Historic tornado outbreak expected today!”  Take a look at this map below.

Actually on the Weather Channel that “high risk circle encompasses more of Iowa, but regardless, Des Moines is in the high risk area.  Reed Timmer of Tornadovideos.net said on his blog today:

A 60-80 knot low-level jet, 3000+ J/kg CAPE across the entire warm sector, and 40 knots of wind shear in the lowest kilometer will create a perfect environment for strong, long-track tornadoes from southern MN south to Northwest Texas.  The hodographs look absolutely perfect, rivaling May 4, 8, 2003, when significant tornado outbreaks struck the Great Plains.  Not surprisingly, the SPC has issued a high risk across the entire warm sector from MN south to KS, and will likely be extended southward from there.  This is a very dangerous situation for the residents within the risk area outlined below (above).  If you are a resident of this area, stay tuned to local media for watches and warnings.

Oh happy day!  I’ll keep my camcorder handy.  I always thought it would be cool to do some storm tracking.  I’ve never seen a tornado in person… I saw a weak waterspout on Biscayne Bay when I lived in Miami, FL.  It’ll be interesting to see what comes to pass, and prayerfully we’ll avoid any loss of life and property today.

In you have never seen a tornado in action before, here is a video shot on May 4, 2007 (some offensive language… so beware).  These guys were crazy chasing this tornado in Ellis County, OK.  At one point they were only 50 yards away.

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1.  Ouch, a man uses a gun to scratch his back and ends up shooting himself.  I wouldn’t know if there is a good way to explain that to friends and family.

HT: Smart Pastor

2.  The Pill kills babies, some little known information from the American Life League

3.  Web trends – a recent Barna report shows:

  • 78% who access a computer has sent an e-mail.
  • 33% have used IM in the past week.
  • 23% have a personal webpage or a profile on a social networking site (Facebook, MySpace, etc).
  • 10% have a blog, but 14% have commented on another person’s blog in the last week.
  • 38% of evangelicals have listened to a sermon via podcast in the last week.
  • Evangelicals use of Web 2.0 mirrors the trends seen across the board.

HT: Monday Morning Insight

4.  Something I need to learn to do better.

5.  One reason (of three given) to avoid using inconsistency as a mark against an idea or person.

Everybody’s inconsistent, so nobody denounces inconsistency consistently.

Source: 22 Words with Abraham Piper

6.  Stepping out if faith is hard to do, but comes with growth.

Stepping out in faith always brings clarification of God’s plan. When Ananias went to see Paul (then Saul), he received additional information (read Acts 9:10–21). As Saul submitted himself to the ministry of Ananias, he found out more about God’s plan for his life. You’re “a chosen instrument of Mine.” I’m going to use you “to bear My name” (9:15). Saul hadn’t known that before. (He had never read the book of Acts!) He knew nothing of what was in store for him until Ananias took that initial step of faith. Both men discovered that God Himself chose Saul to be His instrument and that intense suffering would mark his ministry. That’s the way God operates.

Source: Chuck Swindoll’s Blog

7.  Redefining Community?

HT: Out of Ur

8.  Effective evangelism… not so much.

You know I think it would easier to say everybody without Jesus, (Romans 3:23; 6:23; John 3:16-17).

Sports fans?  Really?  I guess since I entered a March Madness pool before the last NCAA tournament I’m in trouble.

HT: Ragamuffin Soul

9.  This made me laugh out loud.  Hillary Clinton – Unelectable.  You can download this musical gem here.  To listen to this song in a pop-up click here.

10.  Please continue to pray for Parkersburg, IA that was leveled by an EF5 tornado over Memorial Day Weekend.  My friend Eric’s wife’s grandma lives there and thankfully her house was spared.  They went up to help with clean-up and you can see some pictures of the aftermath on his blog.

11.  Understanding how metrosexual your worship leader is.  A handy guide by Prodigal Jon.

12.  I am still appalled by this video.  Pastors behaving badly in the pulpit.  Contemptuous speech has no place in the pulpit.  Fr. Michael Pfleger needs to be reeled in by the Chicago Diocese.

Edward Gilbreath has some excellent thoughts about this controversy.

13.  Bishop Harry Jackson & Tony Perkins – “The Truth in Black and White: California ‘Marriage'”

Source: Family Research Council Blog

14.  Will Smith on Marriage and Divorce

During an interview on Ellen:

Divorce just can’t be an option. It’s really that simple – if you just remove the option. Because if you have the option, one day that person’s going to make you want a divorce. You absolutely get to the point that you’re done, and the only thing that keeps you continuing is that there’s no other option.

From a Reader’s Digest interview:

RD: You and Jada have been married nine years and, by all accounts, are very happy. What’s the key?
Smith: Communication. And divorce cannot be an option.
RD: Your first marriage ended in divorce.
Smith: That is probably the most painful loss of my life. I quit. I could have fixed it. It really was not that bad.
RD: Some would say there’s no reason to stay if a marriage isn’t good.
Smith: Once you say that, you’ve lost. With Jada, I stood up in front of God and my family and friends and said, “Till death do us part.” So there are two possible outcomes: We are going to be together till death, or I am dead.

I’ve already been a fan of his movies.  I’m impressed.  This is rare, but encouraging talk coming out of Hollywood.

HT: Evangelical Outpost

15.  Evidently evangelism is a hate crime in the United Kingdom at least according to a police officer there..

A police community support officer ordered two Christian preachers to stop handing out gospel leaflets in a predominantly Muslim area of Birmingham.

The evangelists say they were threatened with arrest for committing a “hate crime” and were told they risked being beaten up if they returned. The incident will fuel fears that “no-go areas” for Christians are emerging in British towns and cities, as the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, claimed in The Sunday Telegraph this year….

The preachers, both ministers in Birmingham, were handing out leaflets on Alum Rock Road in February when they started talking to four Asian youths.

A police community support officer (PCSO) interrupted the conversation and began questioning the ministers about their beliefs.

“He said we were in a Muslim area and were not allowed to spread our Christian message. He said we were committing a hate crime by telling the youths to leave Islam and said that he was going to take us to the police station.”

The ministers claim he also advised them not to return to the area. As he walked away, the PCSO said: “You have been warned. If you come back here and get beaten up, well you have been warned”.

West Midlands Police, who refused to apologise, said the incident had been “fully investigated” and the officer would be given training in understanding hate crime and communication.

HT: Stand to Reason

16.  I like Michelle Malkin and I read her blog when I get a chance.  But the brouhaha that erupted over Rachel Ray wearing this scarf that is thought to be a keffiyeh in a Dunkin Donuts Ad is ridiculous.  I mean come on! Dunkin Donuts ended up pulling the ad.

Looking at other keffiyehs that are pictured in a follow-up post… it doesn’t even look the same!

HT: The Point

17.  John Mark Reynolds on the Presidential Race (now confirmed to be John McCain vs. Barack Obama) – “Five Reasons Both Candidates Will Lose“.

18.  The 2008 United Methodist Church General Conference is adopting a more pro-life stance on abortion.

19.  Breaking news on Michelle Obama?

20.  The 10 Worst Movies About Jesus.  HT: Michael Spencer

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I know I have had several personal posts, but I’ve had quite a bit I’ve wanted to share.  I am working on another Twenty Items of Interest post and will get back to the Against Abortion series. 

I’ve worn numerous hats in my “professional” ministry life… residential counselor, youth director, youth pastor, Dean of Students, Chaplain, Training Specialist, and Director of Ministries & Volunteer Development.  I’ve got a new one to try on… pastor.

I’ve just accepted an opportunity to be the interim pastor for Grace Evangelical Free Church in Indianola, IA.  This is a new church start.  The official church launch is on Easter Sunday – March 23, 2008 at 9:00am.  Check out the church’s website for details.

In case you are wondering this is a part-time position (just preaching) so I will remain in my position with Serve Our Youth Network – I am still very much called to working with juvenile offenders.  I am excited by this opportunity because I have had numerous opportunities to fill the pulpit in several churches in the area, but I have never been able to do a “series” so this will be fun.

Please pray for me and the church as we kick-off.  They will have three “soft” starts before the public launch so pray that goes well too.

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I was  on Update Today with Maxine Sieleman (pictured above) on Praise 940 AM.  We discussed mentoring, National Mentoring Month and my ministry with Serve Our Youth Network.  You can listen to the interview online here or download the program here.



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This is crazy

Currently in Des Moines it is 10 degrees Fahrenheit , and the windchill is -3.  Currently in Barrow, AK it is 19 degrees Fahrenheit with a windchill of 2.  So it is warmer on the Arctic Ocean right now.  This really bites.  What’s worse is that it is warmer today than it has been for a couple of days…. ok I’m done whining.

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I thought I would pull together twenty links, videos, quotes, pictures that in my opinion are interesting (but not worth a separate post) and do a blog post every week.  I got this idea from Joe Carter who does something similar with 33 Things.

1.  Remember the GOP Debate moderated by the Des Moines Register almost a month ago?  Neither do I!  Mary Katherine Ham did a HamNation video for this non-event which will go down in infamy as the worst debate ever.

2. Iowa is going to be a battleground state for gay rights as the Iowa Supreme Court rules in favor of a gay woman adopting her partner’s children.  While on Tuesday hundreds rally at the Statehouse in support traditional marriage and demanding to be allowed to vote on the Iowa Marriage Amendment.

3. Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security says that waterboarding is torture, as does U.S. Intelligence Czar, Mike McConnell.

4. The first Indian-American Governor and the youngest Governor in the United States was sworn in on Monday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Thirty-six-year-old Governor Bobby Jindal is also the first nonwhite Governor since Reconstruction in Louisiana.

5. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen believes Guantanamo (the prison) should be shut down.  This is also a position taken by presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee.

6.  Granite Slab which some see Jesus on the Cross (on the right) is to be sold on eBay.  Man you can buy anything there!  I’m waiting for the Shroud of Turin to show up.

7.  Some people shouldn’t be allowed to have a MySpace profile – the mayor of Arlington, Oregon refuses to step down after posting pictures of herself posing in lingerie on a fire engine on MySpace.  I wonder if she was up for re-election?  It would be safe to say that someone demonstrating poor judgement like this would be better off not being mayor.

8. Researchers in Great Britain were given the green light to create human-animal embryos.

9.  Young Christian voters break from traditional right according to a recent survey done by Relevant Magazine.

“In general, we’re seeing that twentysomething Christians hold strongly to conservative moral values, but at the same time don’t feel that their personal moral beliefs need to be legislated to people who don’t agree with them,” Relevant founder and publisher Cameron Strang said in a statement. “It’s an interesting paradox, and is creating clear division between this generation and the religious right.”

10.  Hopegivers International is a ministry which helps to support orphanages, schools, medical facilities and various community projects in India announced that it plans to adopt 300 children of prostitutes.  They explain this new initiative here, and you can donate here.

11.  Things that you shouldn’t put on your sign in order to attract potential employees.

Funny Pictures

12.  CNN Rants Against Evangelicals

Just when I thought CNN was starting to treat Evangelicals fairly they let Jack Cafferty out of his cage. On Thursday he went on a tear accusing Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee of wanting to “put more God-like stuff in the Constitution.” The “God-like stuff” that he was referring to was amending the constitution to ensure the right to life and to prevent the courts from redefining marriage. Cafferty went on to say that Evangelicals are the reason George Bush was in office for eight years and, therefore, they are responsible for all of America’s troubles. Cafferty then said that Huckabee is “trying to bring out those Evangelical voters, to get them to the polls” by using the God-like stuff talk. Cafferty didn’t even try to cloak his disdain for Christians, leaving me to think he would much rather be reporting on bringing out the lions or staking Christians to the poles instead.

HT: Family Research Council Blog

13.  The new old cliches – HT: Gina Dalfonzo @ The Point

14.  John Mark Reynolds on Bull Moose versus Reagan Republicans: What is a conservative?

15.  My friend Jake Bouma is givng away a free copy of Dying Stars EP (his music) to the first 30 people who comment.

16. Scientists claim to have produced embryo clones of two men – HT: Matt Proctor

17.  Southern Baptists re-introduce Calvinism into their seminaries.  HT: Justin Taylor

18.  C. Michael Patton has a lighter theological discussion on ghosts.  Pretty interesting.  He is also a fan of Ghost Hunters on the Sci Fi channel like me.  I find the show entertaining, but also sad at times.

19.  Another funny picture

Made me laugh out loud – HT: Des Moines 360

20.  Sam Rainer on the Self-Indulgent Church.

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