hurricane seasonIrma sounds like a sweet old great aunt coming to visit that will pinch our cheeks, not a destructive rotation of 175 mph sustained winds. I have many friends in central Florida and a daughter and granddaughter in the panhandle that are bracing for this unwelcome guest. Some are gettin’ outta town and others are boarding up their windows, cooking up frozen turkeys, filling their washing machines with ice and perishables, and filling their bathtubs with water. It is a very frightening and intense time for the entire nation especially on the heels of reckless “Uncle” Harvey.

Benjamin & Grady with horses
Benjamin & Grady with Candy & Sophie in Pensacola FL

It reminds me of 2004 when we lived in Pensacola in the midst of a parade of hurricanes filing in from the Caribbean. We had loaded up our 6 of 7 children that lived at home and a menagerie of animals and escaped to Tennessee to avoid Fran. We captured a lot of attention when we set up our portable fence next to the Hampton Inn we were staying at and let our miniature horses, donkeys, sheep and dogs out of the horse trailer to stretch. As Hurricane Fran downgraded to a tropical storm we heard the news that Ivan was on her heels. Ivan sounded fierce and it was living up to its name.

 

As we debated going back to Pensacola I got a call from my sister in Texas. She was dealing with a different kind of storm there. Since the beginning of the year, my Mama and Daddy had been suffering. It started when my Daddy found out that he had a cancerous tumor on his kidney. Then a couple of weeks later my Mama ended up in the hospital with heart problems. The doctor new Mama would need to be strong for my Daddy so he suggested that she have bypass surgery first and then schedule Daddy’s surgery to have his kidney removed and start treatments. By June they were both like weak kittens and had moved in with my sister. Mama was getting stronger but Daddy’s cancer was spreading. Teri needed help getting their house in Bonham ready to sell and asked if we could come and clean the place up and put it on the market. Of course, we said yes.

We had just enough time to get back home and regroup before heading to Texas just before Ivan hit. I tell people that I would have rather gone through that hurricane than to have to watch my Daddy die. We had only been in Texas a couple of days when the doctor found that cancer had gone to his liver. Daddy was told to get his affairs in order and that he only had a month or 2 left.

Daddy with family before he died
Daddy with family the week he died.

As we worked on cleaning up around their house we tried to continue to keep up our own business. I saw how that God was in control of all things when on one of our first business calls in Texas we found a buyer for Mama and Daddy’s house. I had called a company about some equipment that they had for sale and when the owner asked why we were in Texas but our business was in Pensacola I briefly explained our situation. He shared how that although his business was near Dallas, his Dad lived just 2 miles up the same road that the house we were selling was on and that he was looking for a place there. He came and made an offer AS IS for the house and it was sold that week. Daddy was given such peace once the house was sold knowing that Mama would not have that burden. He then asked Gerrit to find her a car which he did. It was only a couple of days after we drove her car home and showed it to Daddy that he passed away.

 

Tuttle familyNow, as we are all anxiously watching the weather maps, many are going through their own turbulent times. Our Pastor Charlie and his wife Sherri are still battling cancer and at this point have decided to weather out this storm by getting their house in order and enjoying their last moments together as long as they are given. They are watching and waiting for the Lord to take Sherri home. I cannot help but think that Irma is not center on their radar right now but Jesus is.

As we are all are preparing for the hurricanes and storms let us not forget to keep Jesus at the center of our radar. Let us focus on Him and not fear what the elements of this world can do to us. Let our concern be people and not things, souls and not land, love and not fear.

I realize that some reading this may be cleaning up from Harvey. I do not make light of the things that they are going through. Some may have even lost loved ones through the storm. My heart aches for them. But while we are on our knees or praying with our every other step hoping that the storm will somehow miraculously dissipate, let us also breathe a prayer for those fighting life’s final war with pain and for those holding them one last time. While we rebuild the destruction around us, let us rejoice that Jesus is preparing a place for us that will never be destroyed and that our loved ones that have passed on already are there waiting for us. Till then…

Jesus’ truly,

Fearless

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Sherri Tuttle in the hospital
Sherri Tuttle

Prayer Requests

 

Please continue to pray for the Tuttle family as they prepare for Sherri to go home to be with Jesus or for God to work a miracle for them. If anyone deserves a miracle it would be these dear servants of the Lord.

UPDATE: As of 8:15 am this morning 9/9/2017 Sherri is cancer free in the arms of Jesus the Savior! Please continue to pray for her husband Pastor Charlie Tuttle and her 3 young adult children and all of her friends and family that will miss her immeasurably.

 

 

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Treasure Chest

 

Psalm 107:22-28

22And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. 23They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; 24These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. 25For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. 26They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. 27They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. 28Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.

16231065336_8d9553a709_o    For the Younguns (and Olduns too)

When the power goes out and the candles are dimly lighting the room, it is a great time to sing together as a family.

 

My Favorite Hymn of All Time: “Because He Lives”

God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone,
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he brings;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives
!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

And then one day, I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to victory,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

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