The Searching can now be found at http://www.searchinglife.com
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Interesting thoughts from Moby
on the relationship shared between the media and mass public.
The Weather Man
Picked up this quote from a trailer for The Weather Man
that I saw last week:
"The harder decision and the right decision are usually the same one."
Thank you all for your care and concern for our family. Regina and I talked Monday after I wrote. She had just finished packing and was preparing to leave when her older twin brothers called. One of them had lost his passport, and the other had let his passport expire. Faced with the task of traveling to a foreign country alone, sick and pregnant, my wife decided at the last minute not to go. And I was relieved.
I got an email from Alex yesterday, and another from Diana today. They're doing well, and pass along their gratitude for all of your prayers and warmth.
"...The contrast with our contemporary culture is appalling. We have a style of print and television journalism that reports disaster endlessly and scrupulously; crime and war, famine and flood, political malfeasance and societal scandal. The one virtually foolproof way for getting noticed in our culture is do something bad. The worse the act, the higher the profile. In the wake of whatever has gone wrong or whatever wrong has been done, commentators gossip, reporters interview, editors pontificate, and the religious moralize; then psychological analyses are conducted, political reforms initiated, and academic studies funded. But there’s not one line of lament."
The last week has been beautiful and brutal, all at the same time. we've had so much on our plate that writing has been impossible. Since I've last written,
A week ago saturday, I had to take Regina to the ER to be pumped full of demorral for an excruciating migraine that she'd had for four days . Demorral knocks her out for a day or so, and usually allows her body to fight it and rest while she sleeps. Now we're going on two weeks, and she's still wrestling with it.
Selah threw up three times the next day, as I stayed home to care for her as Regina went to lead worship at the Bridge gathering. I insisted that she stay home and rest, but she wanted to go. Inasmuch as her voice soothes me when she sings, I think that the exercise of her heart in her gift of music is therapeutic for her.
Regina & I went down to a gathering of students over this last weekend for which she led worship and Greg spoke. It was a beautiful time, and forced me to wrestle with a lot of cynicism that I carry. I still mulling that over. Over the weekend, Regina and Selah both got sick, and Regina lost her voice.
Friday morning, the family of a four year old girl said goodbye to their little one as she passed away. We'd been praying for her for only a few short days on the news of her aggressive cancer before her little body gave way.
Saturday, Regina's grandfather was diagnosed with Parkinson's.
And Sunday, we received other news...This last weekend, we were planning to travel down to Peru to visit Regina's grandmother and all of her family out there. Regina's father came to America at age 18, and his mother and a dozen siblings still live out there. Well, financially it wasn't going to work out, and our schedule didn't leave us much room either. But neither Selah or I had ever met "Abuelita", so we decided that we'd revisit the idea next month, contingent upon the same factors.
At about 10:00am, Regina's father called. He and Diana, Regina's mother, were scheduled to fly out at noon for Peru. He called to let us know that Abuelita had passed a couple hours earlier that morning. Watching my wife comfort her devastated father on the phone through her own tears was heart-breaking. She decided she wanted to go to the Bridge gathering later that night, as she believed the music and soulful contemplation would be cathartic. And I think it was. All throughout our worship time, I held her in the back of the room while she sobbed on my chest, and I joined her.
Regina will be leaving for Peru today, to join her family at the memorial tomorrow.
Went with Regina to her doctor's appointment this morning. Selah and I played with the toys in the waiting room while she went in. The doc confirmed that she's pregnant, and said she's progressing naturally. He also told her that we should expect the new addition to arrive around September 17th. =) Couldn't have been a better start to my day.
And it gave me plenty to think about over the two hours it took me to get to Santa Barbara this morning.
I seem to be stuck on a news binge lately, with so much going on in the world.
Too scary: Iris scan for JFK Passengers.
("Minority Report", here we come!)
Dam break scare outside Los Angeles.
The storm rages on
The Landslide II
Being home for the last three days has been wonderful. Though I'm anxious to get back in the saddle at the office, just sharing daily life with Regina and Selah has been great. I realized yesterday how different this world was from the one I give my day to--the activity sharing life with my family during the day feels wonderfully foreign. But we've really enjoyed each other. I've never been kissed so much by Selah.
Yesterday, Selah and I went to Chucky Cheese while Regina was working. It was the first time I've ever taken her by myself, other than the occaisional birthday party. What an indictment. God, this is what I want--this is what I'm working to build.
But to have the day to ourselves was great. We were there for about two hours, and had pizza, applejuice and a blast on rides that shake and go beep. Memory of the day will have to be a toss-up between dancing to the very scary Chucky Band with Selah on my shoulders and our 25 minute expedition through the tubes suspended from the ceiling. You know that you're alarming other parents when you look down through the portholes and they're pointing up at the 75 foot apparatus because some giant man has gone inside and is causing it to shake back and forth. Parents scrambling to gather their kids out from under it....good times. In other news...Apparently, rival street gangs of Ventura have laid claim to the tubes inside of Chucky Cheese. We kept our eyes peeled for the hardcore "thugs" and bravely pushed forward. Honorable mention is the "heart" used to accent the punctuation of the exclamation point. Real cute.
Other than the collateral-pizza-grease-damage that our knees suffered from our bold mission of discovery through the land of tubes, it was a perfect day. Daddy has beautiful memories of his time with his little girl.
the search is over
Rescue workers concluded this morning that they no longer believe that anyone is missing
in the La Conchita tragedy. The rescue attempt has gone on continuously since Monday, breaking only for a brief thunderstorm Monday evening. Crews have worked tirelessly, racing against the clock to find survivors buried under 30 feet of mud, rock and debris.
Regina and I balled our eyes out yesterday as we watched the clips of Jimmie Wallet, a local whose wife and 3 daughters, ages 10, 6 and 2, were pulled from the debris Wednesday just after midnight. Jimmie had just reunited with his wife a few months earlier, and she made the decision to move up to la conchita with their daughters. That afternoon, Jimmie decided to walk down to the quik mart to pick up some ice cream. It was on his walk back that he saw the mountain fall. Jimmie's wife was found in their living room, under 30 feet of the slide, holding their 2 year old while huddled on the couch with their two other daughters.
I pray in this lifetime never to know that kind of pain. Father, we don't know how to pray. We groan for Jimmie in his agony. Please comfort him in this suffocating loss.
4.3 in Palm Springs
rocked Palm Springs a little after midnight this morning. Haven't we seen enough drama lately?
: Here's a link
to the slide video, and the photos at the top will take you to a photo album of the slide.
The picture on the bottom left was where I was stuck yesterday for about an hour and a half. Continue to pray for the rescue attempts all over the world--from the mass destruction of the far east to the landslide in our own backyard.
The Exodus II
Just saw a news shot of all the stranded people...Newcasters estimate 200 that have bare stuck on the freeway waiting to cross the ventura river. The river is now too dangerous to cross. Bulldozers and tractors are at work trying to clear the mud.
I'm watching the local news right now. A woman in Palmdale last night tried to cross a stream running across a river in her SUV, and was swept away with it. A helicopter tried to make a daring rescue--lowered a rope to her to lift her and her daughter out. Her daughter slipped from her grip as they lifted her out, and fell into the torrent of water below. Firefighters searched all night and finally found the daughter around 1:00am...she was pronounced dead upon arrival at a nearby hospital.
After the Highway Patrol turned many of us around on the 101, the ventura river prevented many of the motorists from returning to Ventura. The water got so bad that the highway patrol made drivers park their cars on the freeway, and walk back into town huddled together.
That's right. A couple hundred people had to walk the 101 today, and wade through the Ventura river that is rushing across it. Where's a good fanboat when you need one...
169 traffic accidents were reported to the CHP in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties today. Storm cells continue to produce 2.5" per hour across SoCal today--7.5 inches so far today in Santa Barbara.
Weather was crazy on the drive up at 5:30 this morning. Actually, I left the hour at 5, but locked my keys in the car at Starbucks, and had to awaken my bride to drive over and bring me the spares. Great start to a day--but honestly, I think after what I saw that it might've been providence that I was unable to leave earlier. It took me 30 minutes to get to La Conchita, since the 101 North was covered practically the entire way with 2-3" of water. When I came to La Conchita, everything came to a dead stop. After 5 minutes, I put the car in park, and switched on the radio. It was 6:05 am. After a few minutes, the traffic update came on and explained that right in front of me, traffic was shut down completely due to mudslides across the freeway at La Conchita, and that a mile up the freeway at Rincon, another mudslide had happened that was so thick that cars got stuck in it. No way
. Suddenly, the National Weather Service comes on the radio and issues a severe weather alert for northern Ventura county. They said that two tornados had been spotted off of the coast and had touched down in the ocean, creating waterspouts. "They appear to be heading right for the La Conchita area, so if you're in that traffic jam, stay inside your car. We expect them to hit and come onshore in the next 10-15 minutes." Your kidding
For those unfamiliar with the La Conchita area, it's a small town of about 500 wedged between the mountains and ocean between Santa Barbara and Ventura. The freeway runs parallel to the ocean at that point, bordering the beach. I could hit the beach with my shoe from where I was sitting. For the next hour, I sat stalled in traffic, frantically searching the horizon. By 7:30, after 90 minutes of idling my car, the highway patrol began turning us around on the freeway and sending us back to Ventura, with no sign of the rogue whirlwinds. The 101 was now completely shut down.
I come home, flip on the news, and make a couple calls. The Ventura river has now also come up over the freeway. It was just 4-6 inches across the lower part when I drove over, but apparently, it's engulfing the bridge now. Then I spoke with Dave and Tracy Lippert--they need MAJOR prayer. Water has flooded their property, and has begun to come inside the house. The road into their property is impassable, and currently a helicopter is on the way to airlift Tracy and the kids out. I also spoke with Laina Graf, whose house was completely surrounded by water yesterday--5-7 feet of water covering most of the several acre lot their house sits on. She said that the water has risen up to her back deck, but not come into the house. She had a bit of trouble getting to her house last night, as the highway patrol had barricaded her driveway. She went through the barricade, telling them that she had animals to rescue. Meanwhile a tornado watch was issued for Oxnard. Laina couldn't get out of the house, so she hid under a table, while minutes later, a tornado shook her house. What the heck?!?!. This is SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA! Santa Barbara gets on average 15 inches of rain all year--similar to many desert communities. And yet the last week has dumped 18" and counting. Another 2.5" dropped this morning, and the worst is supposed to hit tonight.
Pray for the Lipperts the Grafs and the many others that are being displaced by the rain. Those traveling on the road, and those still living in the wake of water damage that we cannot possibly imagine.
I will not forget you.
I spent the better part of my morning in silence, mourning for those in India, Sri Lanka and Thailand. This amazing site
is sponsored by The New York Times, and has some of the most crushing photos of the tsunami tragedy that I've seen. Don't allow the numbness to set in. Look through the images, and allow prayer to groan out from you. Mike's
got a list of plenty of places you can go to help
This article on the catastrophe
is fantastic. N.T. Wright
offers a very thoughful, evocative exploration into God's role in catastrophic events and our analysis of them.
"What's the point in saying 'The heavens declare the glory of God', if tidal waves declare His incompetence? ... this precisely does not give Christian theology an easy explanation ("Oh, that's all right then") for the continuing presence of evil in the world. On the contrary, it tells a story about Jesus's own sense of abandonment, and thereby encourages us to embrace the same sense of helpless involvement in the sorrow of the world, as the means by which the world is to be healed. Those who work for justice, reconciliation and peace will know that sense, and perhaps, occasionally, that healing."
A big thanks to Mike
for the links.
Hilarious--check it out. Thanks Jon
The Belated Gift
Well, Happy New Years' everyone. Hope your holidays went well. So much has been happening between work and family that I've hardly the time to keep up on the blog.
The Christmas went by so quickly...I was really bummed that I didn't take more time to revel in the excitement and the decor. It was so great to be with family--we had a great time together. We needed that.
Well, I've got some news. I was supposed to wait until after we had a doctor's appointment to confirm everything, but I just can't. Yesterday I found out that I have one birthday gift that will be a bit late in its arrival. About 9 months late. =)
Yep, Regina's pregnant with our second. Ha ha ha--I couldn't be more excited.
And with that, I've nothing left to post. Hope your new years' going well!
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