This is a prayer I wrote for the cover of our local church newsletter and will read during the week. Please consider personally or having your church donating to UMCOR (More Below on UMCOR).

Heavenly Father,

While we know the name of this storm as Ian, we also know the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, who loves and cares for us even in the storms.

You are the God who longs to come and cover us “just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings” (Matthew 23:27b CEB). God, would you do that now?

We remember your words “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown…” (Isaiah 43:2a NLT).

In the middle of this storm, may we cling to You and Your promises.

We intercede on behalf of all who have experienced Ian’s wrath and those yet to experience this storm.

Lord, would you protect all those in danger. Help the first responders, emergency managers, and meteorologists work to the best of their ability to rescue, provide assistance, and keep people safe.

Holy Spirit, help us to consider how we may play a role in healing the areas that are devastated, whether that be by our prayers, our resources, or our time in the future.

We pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.

***

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is the humanitarian and relief arm of the United Methodist Church. While I am no longer United Methodist I am still proud to partner with several United Methodist Ministries including UMCOR. Please consider making a donation to them or another non-profit to help with relief work.

Lesson(s) from Beryl

June 2, 2012

This week we have seen our first tropical storm of the hurricane season. All week Beryl has been reaking havoc. As I was checking twitter the other day two tweets caught my eye and reminded me of two leadership principles.

The first was this:

20120530-180325.jpg

It was apparent there was a de-lima. As Beryl took an intermission, Tybee was crowded with people hoping to enjoy a day at the beach. Unfortunately there were some extreme rip currents. What should be done? As a leader you want to encourage people to enjoy and visit your area, yet you want to be able to make sure they are safe. I did not want to be whoever was in charge of making the call on this one. The first thing I was reminded of is leadership is about making tough decisions.

20120530-180339.jpg

The second tweet seemed to be a compromise. Apparently one red flag means you can still get in the water, but according to the news you can only get into up to knee deep. I know it is hard to put the entire idea into a 140 character tweet, but it made me wonder.  How do they enforce “knee deep”? Did the life guard or police pull people out who went in below knee deep? What if I was knee deep, but when a wave came in it went above my knees? The second thing I realized is there may not always be a clear answer. If it were easy leaders would not need to make the decisions. If the choice was clear anyone could make it.

Am I on track here? Let me know.