A Day to Remember
First edition of news magazine, EBA.Life was sent out in October.
Richard Cody is the new Executive Director for Ellis Baptist Association
The Leadership Team prays over Richard as he assumes the role of Executive Director
This is My Story, This is My Song Praising My Savior All the Day Long
We had just finished securing the new basketball goal that we gave our son for Christmas, “the winds are supposed to pick up, let's secure this thing so it doesn't fall." We all came in the house and I begin to cook the first meal to eat at our new kitchen table that arrived just days earlier. The family was spread out throughout the house.
The next moments would change our lives forever.
The lights flickered, then the power goes completely out. Everyone gathers in the kitchen and we look for flashlights. I actually return to cooking in hopes to use what heat remained on the stovetop.
It was in that moment that we heard The Sound. It was a sound we had never heard before and in unison we all looked to my husband and said, "What is that?" Instantly he responded, "GO!" And we all ran for the laundry room. It was the place that we had always agreed we would seek shelter in the event of a tornado. One by one we dove under the countertop, Jason being the last one in the room. As he slammed the door shut and barely tucked his head under the counter with his arms wide spread, our house began to fall around us.
Psalm 91 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.
In the midst of the storm, what does one do? Tremble in fear? Lose all hope?
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. When darkness veils his lovely face, I rest on his unchanging grace; in every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.
My Hope is in the Lord and it is He who I called out to in the midst of this storm. Though the winds produced by this tornado crumbled our house and tossed our cars throughout the neighborhood, The Almighty was more powerful and covered us with the feather of His wings.
Some ask, were we afraid? What were you thinking in those moments? What did you do? Could you feel the winds?
My family was all together, my husband had us secure and our Heavenly Father, the Almighty, the maker of the winds, covered and protected us as we cried out to Him. The winds were strong and shook the walls, the sounds were unlike anything we had ever heard. But God!! We had His Peace in the midst of the storm. Complete Peace. The winds were powerful but My God is All Powerful. I am most thankful for His Word that I had memorized- out of your mouth is the overflow of your heart. What was I doing in the midst of the storm? Shouting His Word. O Lord "My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust" Jesus- you are the Almighty!!
The truth is, no telling how many times God has covered me with His wings, and protected me from harm. He chose to save my family that night and we give Him all the glory! We live for Him alone.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say Rejoice!
My family is excited to see all that God has planned for our future. Our lives will be forever changed. We know Him in ways we've never known Him. We rejoice in Him and yes, we would go through it all again for His glory.
I have story upon story testifying to His goodness and faithfulness. We have seen Him restore relationships, watched as the Body of Christ came together to help all those who were affected by the tornado, it has drawn my family closer, our neighbors closer, lives have been changed for eternity and it has deepened and strengthened my walk with the Lord.
Matthew 6 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be.”
My husband and I have been married twenty one and a half years and had stored up many treasures here on earth. Our attic was completely full and our home filled with lots of things collected over the years. The tornado took most of our earthly treasures away but it didn't take my family. From this day forward we will focus on the treasures we can store up in Heaven.
He chose to save my family that night but had He not, we would have not perished. My husband, I and our three kids have all placed our faith in Jesus Christ. In Him alone is our salvation.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
My family's prayer is that all would come to the saving knowledge of Christ. There is nothing or noone who can give you Peace, Hope or Salvation. Jesus is the ONLY WAY.
Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
In whom or what are you placing your trust in? If you would like to know more about Jesus and how you could experience His peace in the midst of your storms, please message me. I would love to share more. If you have a Bible, begin reading in the book of John today. I pray that your life will never be same.
I end today's post with one of my favorite hymns and scriptures.
Great is Thy Faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand hath provided; Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father; There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not; As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, Sun, moon and stars in their courses above Join with all nature in manifold witness To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
Psalm89:1 “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known Thy faithfulness to all generations.”
Lamentations 3:23-24 The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!
Open Carry and Texas Churches
By Todd Linder
Beginning January 1, 2016, persons with a Texas handgun license will be allowed to openly carry their handguns. Each church in Texas can decide for itself whether to allow:
- Both open carry and concealed carry of handguns
- Concealed carry of handguns but not open carry
- Open carry of handguns but not concealed carry
- No handguns carried concealed or openly
If a church wishes to allow license holders to conceal carry or open carry in church buildings a church does not need to take any action.
If a church would like to prohibit concealed carry or open carry or both, Texas law provides clear rules for giving license holders notice. That notice can be provided in one of two ways: verbal notice or written notice. Written notice could be in the form of language in the bulletin or other document handed to all members and guests as they enter the building. It could also be in the form of a sign.
To prevent concealed carry the following language must be presented in writing in English and Spanish:
Pursuant to Section 30.06, Penal Code (Trespass by license holder with a concealed handgun), a person licensed under subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a concealed handgun
To prevent open carry the following language must be presented in writing in English and Spanish:
Pursuant to Section 30.07, Penal Code (Trespass by license holder with an openly carried handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not entire this property with a handgun that is carried openly"
If you would like to post either or both of the above language as a sign the lettering must be at least 1 inch in height, be printed in a contrasting color from the background.
I only know of only a few large churches in Texas that prohibit concealed carry, but many churches are considering prohibiting open carry. Another option for prohibiting open carry is what I call a "polite" sign. The language on your doors might read something like: "License Holders. No Open Carry Please." While this is not "legal" language it does communicate the intent. If someone does walk past the sign then a leader from the church can notify the person verbally that there is no open carry in the church. Verbal notification is considered by the law as "effective notice" just like correct written notice. The person will need to conceal their firearm or secure it in their vehicle.
I do not expect there will many significant issues with license holders regarding open carry in churches. If you communicate your wishes regarding open carry I believe they will be honored. Texas license holders, as a group, have the least conviction rates (misdemeanors and felonies) of any group that I know of, even beating out peace officers.
- Todd Linder leads security and the Public Safety Team of FBC Midlothian.