Rabid Fun

John Cowart's Daily Journal: A befuddled ordinary Christian looks for spiritual realities in day to day living.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How I Burn To Be A Writer!

Writers should burn their own books.

That would save so much wear and tear on the nerves.

Why would I, a writer, think that?

Sunday evening, following the advice about track confirmations from my son-in-law, and advice on pasting into a new Word document from my son, and the helpful instructions in the Word Help Menu (HA!), I solved the problem revealed in the error messages mentioned in last week.

Remember? “A Microsoft Word pop-up box informed me that I have insufficient memory and no further change can be undone… then, another pop-up box said, I’ve made too many edits and my text can not be saved”.

Yeah, that problem—not being able to save or change over 300 pages of text.

It’s infuriating, but I can’t tell which thing I did solved the problem.

Oh well, one of the many things I did finally worked.

Once that I’d solved that, I restructured section breaks, realigned pagination, confirmed the accuracy of and formatted 163 footnotes, created an index, gave the manuscript a final going over—then uploaded the book to the printer for a proof copy.

Joy, Oh Joy—my history of firefighting in Jacksonville is FINISHED!

After working on this manuscript off and on since 1986, and especially concentrating on it for the past two years, it’s finally FINISHED!

Joy. Joy. Joy. Happy. Happy. Happy—then yesterday afternoon, the phone rang.

A source I’d asked for information back on September 9th (actually, I'd begun seeking this information more than a year ago) Information about heroic acts by local firemen called… He has the additional information.

His additional information looks to cover about another three to six pages to be inserted about two/thirds of the way into the book…

His information involves tales of bravery, courage, risk, dramatic rescues and inspiration… As it stands now, the inspirational highpoint of my text quotes a 1950s newspaper article about how firemen at one station planted petunias all around the entrance to beautify the firehouse.

But, if I add the information provided by my late-calling source, then I’ll need to scrap my proof copy, restructure the section breaks, realign pagination, confirm the accuracy of and formatted 163 footnotes, created an new inde…

Like the rigging of an old clipper ship, in a book manuscript, if you change the tension on one line to one sail, you have to adjust the tension on all the other ropes on every mast. There are no simple changes.

Someone whispers in my ear, “Ignore the additional information; your book will stand without it. You don’t want to do all that work all over again. Who’ll know the difference?”.

The voice in my ear even repeated a famous quote:

“What I have written, I have written”.

That’s a verse from the Bible.

That’s a verse I can live with….

Er, who was it who said that?

Oh, that was Pontius Pilate talking about the sign he had tacked above Jesus’ head on the cross.

Is that a Scripture verse I want to live by?

This Living-For-Jesus thing on a day by day basis, while observing the guidelines of Scripture, can be tricky.

I’ll either have to revise my “finished” manuscript again, or find another portion of Scripture… Oh, here’s a good one:

In Acts 19:19 many former occultists at Ephesus had become Christians and:

“Many that believed came and confessed and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men… So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed”.

Notice—this is important—they did not burn anybody else’s book—only their own books. Never anybody else’s.

I’d against censorship in all forms…

But, I’m beginning to think, when it comes to my own books… Especially this fire history which has plagued me for years and years and years, maybe those ancient Ephesians had a point.

My fire history book in a bonfire…

I see a certain appeal in imagining that.

Sort of a poetic vision.

Calming to the nerves.

Soothing to the mind.

Warming to the heart.


I need some marshmallows—and a thin stick.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 9:02 AM

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Repercussions From An Ancient Kindness

Saturday Ginny decided to refurbish her wardrobe at a thrift store across the river on the far side of the city, an area of town we rarely drive to.

She has a degree in finance and a frugal turn of mind; so she saves money buying at this store where the used clothing is cheap and the store profits go to helping children with life-threatening illnesses.

Jacksonville covers 844 square miles and bleeds over into surrounding counties, so there are some areas which we rarely even see. In fact, we rarely even cross the St. John’s River which bisects the city.

But Saturday we ventured far afield into the wilds of Southside.

She bought cloth things…. For hours!

Since we were on that side of town, we drove to a restaurant in Arlington for a late lunch.

There we met a lady who has been a waitress for many, many years. We did not recognize her, but she recognized us from having served us at another restaurant in the Northside many, many years ago.

You know, sometimes I get discouraged at trying to live like a Christian. Sometimes it seems a thankless task.

You do good. You do your best. You try to treat other people with respect and kindness; you try to spread the good news about Christ and His resurrection … and nothing happens.

I see no results.

It all seems so futile.

Sometimes I feel as though I’m wasting my time. In fact, I often feel as though I’m pissing against the wind…

The …er, lets say mature… waitress greeted us effusively. She remembered us from that other restaurant where she worked long ago…And, she remembered something Ginny did, something so tiny we’d both forgotten.

You see, when that waitress was younger, she could not afford a babysitter for her little boy. She had to bring the kid into work with her and park him at a corner table and make him sit for the eight to ten hours a day she served tables.

Ginny noticed that this little boy was bored out of his skull! He had absolutely nothing to do while his mama worked.

The next time we ate at that restaurant, Ginny carried a box of children’s books and gave them to the kid. to read while his mother served tables. We thought little of it. No big deal. Such a little thing… Just a handful of books our own children had outgrown.

We’d forgotten all about it.

Saturday, the lady, still waiting tables but at a different place, reminded us about those books. She thanked us again. She told us that her little boy is now a grown man. He and his wife live up in Tennessee. They have four children.

He reads to them.

He reads to them all the time.

His mama says he does that because of Ginny’s long ago kindness…

After she left our table, Ginny and I got to talking, trying to figure out how long ago that had happened… She said it must have been 15 years ago; I said it may have been 20 years ago. We just couldn’t pinpoint the time…

“What does it matter,” I said, “Fifteen, twenty years, what’s the difference”?

My smart-ass accountant wife said, “Five years”.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 4:10 AM

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

So Near--So Far

Know how it feels when you stack up a house of cards, how the base seems stable, then how you add layer after layer till the tower gets two feet tall and you still have six or eight cards to ease onto the wobbly top?

Know how that feels?

That’s where I’ve been all weekend in writing my book on the history of firefighting in Jacksonville.

So close to finishing; so many final steps to add.

Each time I touch the thing, it threatens to topple.

Every comma I add makes the structure tremble.

But I think once I construct the index, the book will be ready for the printer to make me a proof-copy. It’s that close to publication.

Then Saturday morning, as I made a section break for the index… a Microsoft Word pop-up box informed me that I have insufficient memory and no further change can be undone… then, another pop-up box said, I’ve made too many edits and my text can not be saved…

I’ve worked (off and on) on this book since I wrote its first edition in 1986. I’ve updated it to 2007. What does Microsoft Word mean saying my text can not be saved?

My son-in-law says I need to go into the page set-up menu, then the tools menu, then to the confirm tracking box and click on that—but I may loose existing formatting.

My son Donald says that I need to create a blank Word document, re-set mirror margins and gutters, then paste my existing text and graphics into that—but I may loose existing formatting.

My beautiful wife Ginny says, “Calm down, John. I think you’re loosing it”.

Hey, I just yelled at the computer a bit; I am not loosing it.

I am calm.

I’ll get it done.

Whatever it takes.

In my mind’s eye, I see a finished copy of my book.

I imagine my finished book will look a lot like this:

In my mind’s eye, I see a finished copy of my book printed on fine velum with gold inlay encrusted with precious stones, and …

Oh, that’s not really my book; the photo really shows an illuminated manuscript in Coptic of Mark’s Gospel. Way back, when I worked at the Library of Congress, I actually got to handle a few such manuscripts. I’m not scholar enough to actually read one, but I did the heavy lifting to move ancient manuscripts from place to place in the library.

What a thrill.

When you handle an illuminated manuscript, you know you’re touching treasure!

I marvel at the precision the scribes exercised in transmitting God’s Word through the ages. These guys, working by lamp light, copied the Scripture in pains-taking detail. Like the guy who cut the facets of the Hope Diamond, the copyists knew they were handling something exceedingly precious and they treated the Scripture with the respect God’s Word deserves.

And when today I hear someone babble about not trusting the Bible because of copyists mistakes, I think he only displays his ignorance.

Anyhow, back to the relationship between my fire history book, my computer’s pop-up boxes, and the gold-encrusted Coptic Gospel in the photo.

The illumination shows St. Mark seated writing his book with a quill pen.

Mark is close to the end of his Gospel.

After the events of my morning with the computer pop-up messages fresh in my mind, I fancifully reconstruct what I think happened…

This angel pops up in front of Mark and says, “I have a message from God. Your subject/verb agreement is all wrong… You have to write the whole thing over”.

I imagine that if you flip to the next page of that codex, you’ll see an exquisite illustration bordered in lapis-lazuli with amber highlights—

I imagine it shows St. Mark strangling the angel.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 6:27 AM

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Friday, September 26, 2008

My Workaday World

In a sense, for the past couple of weeks I could have gotten by repeating a single journal entry—yes, my days recently have had that much sameness to them:

Got up at 3 a.m. Posted journal entry. Worked on fire history book. Shaved and showered at 4 p.m. before Ginny got home from work. Started dinner. Worked on history book till 10 p.m. Watched news on tv.

That’s my exciting life.

I like it.

Ginny says I’d make a great troll in a cave.

Of course this summary misses the frustration of the fire history book. Drives me nuts!!! For years I’ve gathered materials for a history of our fire department—which is actually a history of Jacksonville told from the viewpoint of how many times the place has burned down… or would have without firefighters.

All this mass of materials, over 2,000 pages of it, I’m condensing into a 300-page book. But it all comes in different formats, different sized photos, different formatting, different section breaks, different formatting for scores of footnotes, different headers and footers, different pagination, different sized fonts—

And I’m trying to make a consistent whole of this mess—while my computer system thinks it should make helpful auto-changes without bothering to tell me!

Thus I see my life as a miniature model of the cosmos—the sort of thing God deals with all the time… Only He does it with hundreds of millions of people’s lives..

Good thing He loves what He’s doing.

Well, back to my manuscript…the little box on the monitor is flashing ...

What's a vindictive font with 12-pt kern?... Or maybe that's a veranda font???

Oh, here’s a joke:

Two fonts go into a bar to order a beer.

Immediately the irate bartender starts yelling, “Get Out! Get Out! This is a nice place. We don’t serve your type in here.”

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 4:14 AM

Your comments are welcome: 1 comments

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Yesterday I Sinned

I knew before I picked up the phone that I courted sin.

I buried that uneasy feeling in the back of my mind and called her anyhow.

Oh, I justified what I was doing. I told my self that this was not a big deal. I assured myself that it hardly mattered.

I knew in my heart that I was doing wrong. In the split second before she answered, I could have hung up the phone, but the pulsing dial tone convinced me to hang on and go through with it.

My action betrayed Christ.

I publicly espouse Christianity, but I demonstrated a lack of trust. My action proves that I do not believe Him. Not really. Not when the faith hits the fan.

O, it’s easy to believe in a Savior when it comes to eternal salvation, some far away afterlife. But for the here and now?

Is Christ my Lord in practical matters, or in just the esoteric?

Getting to specifics—yesterday I bummed some money from someone.

Like some Wall Street swindler, I finagled a bail-out.

I treated the Lord God as though He isn’t real.

OK, it wasn’t much money. I could have lived without it, but I treasure my comforts and our recent expenses deprived me of a few things to ease my soul and body.

She brought the cash I asked for right over. No hesitation.

I had what I asked for.

But my soul felt lean.

Then, about an hour after she delivered the cash, I read a passage from Charles Spurgeon, a 19th Century preacher in London. In his day Spurgeon was called “The Prince of Preachers”.

He meditated on how, in the Bible, Ezra led a caravan of God’s people from Babylon to Jerusalem. And crossing the bandit-infested desert, Ezra did not ask of an armed escort.

"For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, ‘The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek Him; but His power and His wrath is against all them that forsake Him’."--Ezra 8:22

Spurgeon observed:

A convoy on many accounts would have been desirable for the pilgrim band, but a holy shame-facedness would not allow Ezra to seek one. He feared lest the heathen king should think his professions of faith in God to be mere hypocrisy, or imagine that the God of Israel was not able to preserve His own worshippers.

Ezra could not bring his mind to lean on an arm of flesh in a matter so evidently of the Lord, and therefore the caravan set out with no visible protection, guarded by Him who is the sword and shield of His people.

It is to be feared that few believers feel this holy jealousy for God; even those who in a measure walk by faith, occasionally mar the luster of their life by craving aid from man.

It is a most blessed thing to have no props and no buttresses, but to stand upright on the Rock of Ages, upheld by the Lord alone. Would any believers seek state endowments for their Church, if they remembered that the Lord is dishonoured by their asking Caesar's aid? As if the Lord could not supply the needs of His own cause!

Should we run so hastily to friends and relations for assistance, if we remembered that the Lord is magnified by our implicit reliance upon His solitary arm?

My soul, wait thou only upon God.

"But," says one, "are not means to be used?"

Assuredly they are; but our fault seldom lies in their neglect: far more frequently it springs out of foolishly believing in them instead of believing in God.

Few run too far in neglecting the creature's arm; but very many sin greatly in making too much of it.

Learn, dear reader, to glorify the Lord by leaving means untried, if by using them thou wouldst dishonour the name of the Lord.

You know, (this is John again, not Spurgeon) it looks like after close to 50 years of being a Christian, I would have learned this lesson by now.

To my shame, I haven’t.

The love of God is shown toward us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

Christ died for sinners.

I qualify.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 3:15 AM

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What Floats My Boat (a long post)

Back before macular degeneration began to dim my eyesight, I built model sailing ships. In fact, one of the proudest accomplishments of my life is that I once constructed a schooner inside a beer bottle.

Pretty pathetic, isn’t it. Looking back over almost 70 years and seeing a main highpoint of my life in a beer bottle—and the bottle was empty before I got it!

Last week I heard from Mike, my friend and former son-in-law. When he and Jennifer got married, as a wedding gift I built them a beautiful clipper ship in full sail. Worked on it for months and months. Thought of it as an heirloom for them to treasure…

The model ship did not last as long as their short marriage.

They had this cat.

The vile beast viewed that full-rigged tea clipper as a mortal enemy. Shredded the sails, clawed the rigging, chewed the hull—utterly mangled the heirloom.

This week gave me three other occasions to think about ships:

Yesterday, some new e-friends, Bill & Michelle Leep up in Michigan e-mailed me a scanned copy of a print by John Fryant showing an 1885 riverboat once stationed in Jacksonville:

The Queen Of The St. Johns was built in Ohio, then sailed down the Mississippi, across the Gulf of Mexico, around the Florida Keys, up the East Coast to Jacksonville.

Yes, during the 1800s more paddlewheelers plied the St. Johns than the Hudson. One chapter in my book Crackers & Carpetbaggers tells their story; and another chapter tells about the worst maritime disaster on the river when the City Of Sanford wrecked.

On the back of Bill & Michelle’s print is a full account of the Queen Of The St. John’s career on the river. The Leeps say they are interested in selling the print; if you’re interested, their e-mail address is billmichelleleep@gmail.com .

This week also, ZOM e-mailed me a clipping from: Daytona Beach News-Journal at http://www.news-journalonline.com/index.htm .

Archaeologists feel they’re hot on the trail to discovering the wreckage of an entire French fleet shipwrecked between Daytona and St. Augustine during a September hurricane in 1565.

I find that exciting news because the Jacksonville area was settled by French Protestants who tried to drive a wedge between the Spanish at St. Augustine 20 miles south of us, and the English on St. Simons Island, 20 miles north of us.

The Daytona archaeologists, working with the Center for Historical Archaeology in Melbourne, and the Lighthouse Archaeology Maritime Program, in St. Augustine, have uncovered a camping spot where French survivors of the fleet’s wreck got to shore. They figure the ships lie underwater near that spot on Mosquito Lagoon.

The camp site yielded coins, ceramics, personal articles and iron ship's spikes worked on a forge.

The fleet included the La Trinite, a 32-gun galleon, and the 29-gun royal galleon Emerillon, and many smallere ships..

French survivors struggled up the beach for weeks until they reached Matanzas Inlet (the name Matanzas means slaughter or massacre). When the French surrendered pleading for mercy, the Spanish rowed survivors across the inlet a few at a time in a small boat, then, once they wee separated from the group, slit their throats—all 250 of them.

The survivors’ trek reminds me of the one undertaken by the Dickenson party (see my July 23, 2008, “Seven Months Naked On The Beach”, blog post in the archives).

Both the Spanish site on Mazanzas Inlet and the site of the French settlement at Fort Caroline on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville are now national parks.

Still with me?

I’m interested in this stuff; hope you are too, because I have one more.

Take a look at this ancient boat:

As I’ve been thinking about other ships this morning—this stuff floats my boat—I also remember how I used to use the measurements of this one as an illustration back when I taught adult Bible classes.

During a drought in Israel in 1986, two brothers, Moshe and Yuval Lufan, discovered this boat buried in mud along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Radiocarbon tests dated the boat as being 2,000 years old.

Some people went ape!

They concluded that a 2,000-year-old boat found in the Sea of Galilee just had to be the very boat Jesus taught from.

Not necessarily.

At best, this archaeological find shows us the type of boat used in New Testament times. Nothing at all directly connects this boat with Jesus. Nevertheless, many people named it “The Jesus Boat”; others call it “The Galilee Boat”; still others simply term it a roman boat.

Luke’s Gospel tells an incident involving such a boat:

And He entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And He sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.

Now when He had left speaking, He said unto Simon, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught”.

And Simon answering said unto Him,” Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net”.

And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes

When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord”.

For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:

There were other boats mentioned in that same passage of Scripture. The boat found in 1986 was not the only one afloat on the sea 2,000 years ago.

However, from mosaic pictures uncovered in the same area, the Galilee Boat seems typical of ships of that day.

And to me the most interesting thing about the boat is its measurements:

Although the superstructure wore away under the mud, the remaining depth is almost five feet; the ships length is almost 30 feet long, and the width… the width is only eight feet.

No wonder Simon Peter was wowed.

He’d fished all night. He knew what he was doing; he was a professional fisherman. He knew the futility of a waterhaul when your nets come up empty.

That’s on one side of the boat.

“Nevertheless, at Thy word…”

On the other side of the boat—a mere eight feet away—swam a huge school of fish.

On one side of the boat we see the best of human endeavor. Eight feet away, we see the abundance of God.

What made the difference?


“Nevertheless, at Thy word…”

The Yigal Allon Museum in Kibbutz Ginosar, Israel, displays the Galilee Boat.

It is safely preserved.

I have it on good authority that the museum does not allow cats.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 5:08 AM

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Back To Normal

Sunday Ginny and I lay long abed talking and cuddling and listing to heavy rain drum on the roof.

After all our recent focus and thoughts about disaster training, it’s good to return to normal life—such as it is.

We drove up to a crowded Dave’s Diner for breakfast where I ordered pancakes and Ginny ordered sausage and gravy biscuits. Three waiters, Chris, Billy and Nicole, brought Ginny’s dish to our table laughing like fiends. Turns out the two fresh- baked biscuits rose to a peak in the oven—they looked like perky breasts!

The five of us laughed like crazy making risqué comments.

Well, maybe you’d have to have been there to see how funny that was.

Afterwards Ginny and I drove to the grocery store. My feet hurt so I sat on a bench outside while she shopped. As I waited, my thoughts turned to charity and how our giving to the poor has slacked off recently.

As she came out of the store, a young man approached Ginny. He’d been shopping too and his grocery bill cost more than he expected so he did not have bus fare to take his bags of groceries home. At first she passed him by, but she said, “I felt a check in my spirit” and she turned back to give him the bus fare he needed.

I’d watched the whole transaction as I walked to meet her and I just knew she was doing the right thing. We enjoyed a long talk about charity and the Spirit of God as we drove home.


Back home, with an exciting football game on tv, and an exciting book open on my lap, I dozed for three hours in a more exciting nap.

Now, it turns out that our CERT training has not prepared us for every eventuality—sometimes, improvisation is the order of the day.

For instance:

That’s a scene from a video I watched last night; it’s called 30 Days Of Night.

The pack of vampires is attacking the sheriff in a town up on the Artic Circle where the sun disappears for a month. Without sunlight to thwart them, the vampires run amuck, burn out the town’s people, chew their throats, and drink their blood leaving only six survivors.

Well, what else can you expect to happen where there’s no CERT training and the governor of the state is off campaigning in the sunny lower 48?

In another area, Friday my daughter-in-law e-mailed me an Associated Press news story about Hurricane Ike in Texas. It carried this photo:

Yes, that’s a lion.

In a hurricane shelter.

Seems a zoo keeper tried to outrun the hurricane, but his truck got flooded out. He and a lion he was trying to save swam to the Baptist church on Bolivar Island, Texas.

People already in the church helped him get the lion inside; they shut it in a separate room to ride out the storm.

The full news story can be found at http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080917/ap_on_re_us/ike_tales_of_survival .

Water in the church sanctuary deepened to four feet during the night.

People and lion survived. "They worked pretty well together, actually," said the lion's owner, Michael Ray Kujawa. "When you have to swim, the lion doesn't care about eating nobody."

So, vampire attacks and lions showing up in hurricane shelters—they did not cover such contingencies in our CERT training classes.

Or, if they did, I may have dozed off during that exciting class.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 5:43 AM

Your comments are welcome: 2 comments

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I’m Proud Of CERT Training. Can You Tell?

Our CERT Mock Disaster Drill ...


Bad weather plagued our JaxCERT class.

Instructors postponed two classes when the Emergency Operations Center had to be activated because of tropical storms. Then Saturday morning our disaster drill was postponed for a couple of months because of heavy rain storms over the site.

Ginny and I feel both relieved and disappointed.

Relieved because the prospect of screwing up the disaster haunted us; disappointed because we were loaded for bear.

I mean, here we’ve studied and reviewed our manuals and class notes and talked of little else for weeks, then our disaster fizzled. We drove over the Fire Training Academy ready to perform amateur tracheotomies and then didn’t even get to apply a band aid with Fred Flintstone’s picture on it.


All psyched up at 4 a.m. for nothing.

Just kidding about the tracheotomy thing, that’s beyond our training. Maybe they’ll cover that in the advanced class.

Our training teaches us the bare minimums to give disaster victims their best chance for survival. What I call the Ku Klux Klan Plus One:

Keep ‘em breathing.

Keep ‘em from burning.

Keep ‘em from bleeding out.

Plus, Keep ‘em from further shock.

But, although this morning’s drill was postponed, Ginny and I and all the other students did graduate!

First our instructors registered us in a restricted group for communications on the web. Then Jennifer, the program director, called our names and gave us certificates, hard hats, badges, backpacks full of safety/rescue goodies, and other equipment.

Here’s a photo of my new CERT helmet and backpack:

In addition to the backpack they supplied, I’ve equipped an emergency kit of my own containing essentials the Fire Department may not have thought of—pipe, matches and tobacco pouch, fruit bars and juice, pliers, scissors, red bandannas, a small Testament with Psalms and Prayer Book containing the burial service, a pry bar, small bolt cutters, dry socks and canvas shoes, a headband with LED lights, curved off-set tweezers, mosquito repellent, folding trowel, permanent marker, clorox wipes, flat and phillips head screwdrivers, etc.

Here’s a photo of me with some of the equipment CERT issued:

And here’s a photo of Disaster Ginny in her new CERT rig:

And, no, they didn’t let us take the fire truck home.


Anyhow, I am now certifiable… Er, that doesn’t sound right.

What I mean is that like Superman, I’m “faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap off tall buildings in a single bound…”

Er, Ginny says the phrase is “Leap over tall buildings…” Maybe leaping over them will be covered in advanced training.

Anyhow, with my first course of CERT training I may not be Superman, or even Batman, but today I feel as though I can kick Robin’s ass.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 5:45 PM

Your comments are welcome: 3 comments

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mass Casualties—One At A Time

When the famous newsman Edward R. Murrow broadcast his radio reports about the London Blitz during World War II, you could hear bombs exploding in the background.

Once, Murrow and some other war correspondents heard sirens and rushed to follow a fire truck. When they got to the site, instead of a bomb crater, they found a kitchen fire; An old lady had left a pot on the stove.

To her, that was a disaster.

The fire had scorched her kitchen wall and set her tea towels on fire!

She was distraught.

Murrow said that in his excitement and in his adrenaline rush amid the war bombings, he’d forgotten that little daily disasters go on just hurting people as they always have.

Last night Ginny and I attended our final Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class. We discussed mass casualities related to terrorism, or to epidemic disease, or to natural disasters.

We plan to attend a huge disaster drill this weekend where we will fight real fires, search debris fields, .rescue victims from a burning house, and extricate victims from under overturned car crashes.

We are both hyper!

We talked about it all evening.

Then when we got home, I found a phone message from Mike, a fireman friend, who was upset because his buddy, another firefighter, recently attempted suicide. Domestic problems shoved this guy close to the edge.

Mass casualties are just individual casualties that happen to happen all at the same time.

So, the Good Shepherd leaves the Ninety and Nine and goes to seek and to save the one lost endangered sheep that has gone astray. The love of our infinite God enables Him to deal with mass causalities one at a time. He lavishes us with individual attention even as the whole world and all the people in it fall deeper and deeper into the consequences of sin.

No matter what you have done, no matter what has been done to you, the love of God is commended towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

A world lost in sin explodes around us, and my forgotten pot on the stove catches the dishtowel on fire.

Christ focuses.

He’s not distracted by things more important than my hot pot.

My friend Barbara’s daughter suffers from cancer. It doesn’t get any more “mass” than that. Mike’s buddy’s pressures push him to the edge, a tragic daily casualty of life.

Even when we try to help, the best we can do is mitigate the effects of sin.

If I pass the test this weekend, I’ll be issued my mask and my cape.

I’ll get my winged boots, and my special gloves that shoot out sticky strands of web so that I can swing from skyscraper to skyscraper while fighting evil doers and rescuing grateful clinging half-clad maidens…

Not exactly.

If I pass the test, I’ll get a slip of paper certifying that I’ve completed Phase One of CERT training.

In my hyper, can’t-get-to-sleep-thinking about the disaster drill, I’ve been trying to remember if there has ever been anyone at any time whose life I have ever saved.

I can’t think of a one.


When I married Ginny, I saved her from a dull, drab, colorless existence.

Does that count?

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 4:42 AM

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Conversations

Monday I ate breakfast with my friend Barbara. She’s expending all her energies caring for her grown daughter who’s battling cancer.

For three hours we talked about prayer and the joy of the Lord.

Then I ate a pizza lunch with my friend Wes.

For three hours we talked about job related problems.

Those two meals pretty much killed my day—Who needs to work anyhow? I’m keeping my priorities straight.

Saturday evening was the first chance Ginny and I have had to dine at home alone in ages; our whirling social calendar keeps us busy.

As we cleared the table afterwards, I stood by the sink rinsing dishes; she stood at the counter putting the last stick of margarine in the butter dish.

She noticed that the margarine carton had a coupon printed inside, so she took her scissors to clip the dollar-off coupon. She read the label on the carton as she did so.

“Oh,” she said, “It says here that margarine is a good source of Omega Three. I didn’t know that”.

“What’s Omega Three,” I asked/

“It’s a fatty acid that’s good for your heart. I thought it mostly came from fish,” she said.

“It’s not healthy to eat Omega Three, until you’ve eaten Omega One and Omega Two first,” I informed her.


“Yes. That’s a dietary law. You have to eat Omega One and Two before you can eat Omega Three. That’s in Leviticus or Deuteronomy”.

“That’s crazy. Omega Three comes from fish oil,” she said.

“The best source of Omega Three comes from communion bread,” I told her.

“From What”!

“Communion bread. You know, those little white wafers they give at church for the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper”.

“Where in the world did you hear a thing like that,” Ginny said.

“It’s in the Bible; Jesus said, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega…’”

That’s not the sort of joke you want to pull on a religious woman who has scissors in her hand.

In other news:

According to a New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper article this morning, Ann Williamson, the director of social services in Louisiana, has been forced out of office because of complaints by evacuees she did not have portable showers set up for hurricane victims till a whole three days after Hurricane Gustav.

Here’s an AP photo from Texas yesterday showing conditions three days after their hurricane.

Where should we set up those portable showers?

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 5:54 AM

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Monday, September 15, 2008

IKE or Rescuing The Stupid

At our JaxCERT class Saturday morning everyone discussed Hurricane Ike which was devastating the eastern coast of the Gulf of Mexico even as we met.

Ike measured as a Category Two hurricane with sustained winds of 110 miles per hour. It measured between 500 and 800 miles wide, with a storm surge of up to 17 feet; weather forecasters warned of its approach for weeks in advance.

In a strong warning with unprecedented wording, the National Weather Service said, "Persons not heeding evacuation orders in single-family one- or two-story homes will face certain death."

Yet, authorities estimated that in the Galveston, Texas, area alone about 40 % of the residents chose to try to ride out the storm in their homes.

Bad choice.

Ike tore the hell out of everything.

In Houston, winds shattered windows in high rise buildings bringing a rain of millions of sharp glass shards; it looked like the accumulation of broken glass outside one office building was over a foot deep. Winds rained down computers, desks, file cabinets, chairs—everything down into the streets from several stories up.

Massive flooding, debris, devastation—all that was going on Saturday morning as our class studied rescue techniques.

One topic of conversation was the tv’s glorification of a bunch of drunks who chose to ride out the storm in a fishing shack on piers with an ice chest full of beer.

Even before the storm fully passed, Texas launched one of the largest rescue efforts in history. Over 1,500 military personnel, 58 helicopters, and hundreds of professional firefighters had located and brought out over 2,000 victims by Sunday afternoon—a helicopter even got the drunks from the fishing shack who called for rescue when they ran out of beer.

So far, I’ve only heard of 28 deaths but rescuers concentrate on the living and let the dead lay where they lie.

Now, I am going somewhere by recounting all this.

The Kid In The Attic will not have even heard of Hurricane Ike.

A few days ago (Sept 10th) I wrote about disaster psychology; now I’m seeing that played out on two levels with Ike—among victims and among rescuers.

Only a day after Ike passed, the Houston Chronicle reports:

All of it -- the sweaty waits in line, the flooded interstates, the rampant mosquitoes, the desperate search for life's basic necessities -- fueled a growing sense of frustration among ordinary residents and elected officials alike.
Residents peppered radio and TV news programs with angry calls about price gouging at gasoline stations and food stores, low water pressure and a delay by emergency authorities in distributing food, water and ice.

The Los Angles Times reports:

Under drenching morning rain that submerged more roads and underscored a mood of misery and frustration, emergency officials tried to unsnarl a last-minute snag that delayed deliveries of U.S. government food, water and ice to several million people struggling to cope. Federal officials blamed state leaders for abruptly changing distribution plans Sunday morning.

Victims are beginning to blame. Even with all the warnings beforehand, even though the damage and disruption came from a natural phenomena, yet people are blaming someone else for their misery. They are turning in anger against the people trying their best to help them.

On the other hand, an Associated Press article reports:

SWAT commander Sgt. Rodney Harrison and five other members of the Port Arthur Police Department drove a 2 1/2-ton truck into the waters to search for victims in Sabine Pass near the Louisiana border Sunday morning.

The waters were so intense and the roads so blocked that a gear shift broke off in the driver's hand. After two hours of struggle, the team had little to show for their work other than sopping wet clothes and exhaust-streaked faces. They even dodged an alligator.

"You have people that have families at home who put their lives on the line to come out here and save somebody that made a bad decision," Harrison said. "I don't think that's right. I don't think that's fair to everybody."

I’m hearing that sort of sentiment echoed by many people in the rescue community—that the victims who did not heed warnings and who expect somebody else to take care of all their needs are to blame for their own dilemma.

I’m hearing value judgments about who deserves rescue, and who should be left to stew in their own decisional juices.

One nurse, who has been sued before when helping, said that in case of a traffic accident, she will not stop, or even identify herself as a nurse, nor help in any way. “They are not my patients until they are registered at my hospital. Before that, they are just people holding up traffic”.

I hear more and more firefighters question about risking their lives to rescue people whose own stupidity caused the problem in the first place.

In JaxCERT training we learn that you can’t rescue everybody. Some will die. We are volunteers and under no legal obligation to help anybody and under no moral obligation to help everybody. You a volunteer and you do what you want to in the constraints of your training to do the most good for the greatest number in the fastest time—but your own safety and the safety of your team comes first. You do not want to get hurt and add another victim to the scene.

When Ginny and I began this training, I started with the attitude that I wanted to learn how to protect ourselves first, then our family, then members of our neighborhood watch group, then finally our neighbors in general from the 57 homes in our horseshoe block.

Selfish, but that’s the order of things for me.

Of course I don’t know what I will actually do when a disaster hits our block. I may just hide under the bed whimpering.

Some people and situations I’m inclined to bypass in order to get to others. Since I can’t help everybody, then I’ll chose the ones I can help.

I contrast my own blanket and selective attitude towards rescue with the Parable of Jesus about the Ninety And Nine Sheep. The Good Shepherd left the 99 sheep safe in the fold while He sought out that one lost, endangered sheep that had gone astray.

Yes, He did seek and save the lost.

At risk of His life—and we all know how that turned out.

But He did not just abandon the 99 to their own devices; He left them locked safe in the corral.

Come right down to it, I suppose that just about the only reason I’ve ever needed rescuing myself is because of stupid, willful decisions of my own. I huddle in my own little shack on stilts and don’t even call for rescue till the keg is empty.

Fortunately, Jesus never suffers storm fatigue.

He rescues us from our sin—and often from our stupidity as well.

But, one other thing I learned in JaxCERT class: Any conscious adult victim has the legal right to refuse rescue, treatment or transport. In that case, you leave him be and move on to the next person.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 6:27 AM

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Hot Times Are Over!

Our Air Conditioner Is Fixed!

Last night my friend Rex came over and installed the new parts to our air conditioner.

It Works!

We are the cool Cowarts again.

Thanks be to God and to Rex.

I find it difficult to cope with being on the receiving end of Christian charity. No way can I possibly repay the kindness shown me. Sometimes the only thing we can do is to be grateful.

Ginny and I survived the heat wave. It’s been uncomfortable but we survived.

During the hot times at our house, we only suffered one casualty:

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 9:24 AM

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Self-Immolation—Or, Happy Birthday, Patricia

A few minutes ago, I set fire to the hair on my belly.

Like Esau in the Bible, I am a hairy man, and because our air conditioner is still broken (spent yesterday calling around about parts), this morning when I got up at 3:30, I began working while only wearing my swimming trunks—No shirt.

And I set myself on fire.

That’s what happens when you stay out late partying the night before.

Yes, Wednesday night the Cowarts all gathered at a pizza party to celebrate baby Patricia’s 29th birthday. Ginny and I whooped it up with the kids till almost 9 O’clock.

That’s why I’m so groggy this morning.

Patricia drove up from downstate with her boyfriend, Clint, to introduce him to the family; Hope we didn’t scare him off. He travels over the country designing and producing displays for trade shows. And this was the first time he’d met the thundering herd.

As part of the festivities we all sat in a circle and regaled Clint with stories from Patricia’s childhood—Merciless love stories which we thought would embarrass her to no end. Like, the time when she was three-years-old and wandered away from home as parents, grandparents, police and neighbors searched only to find she’d walked to a nearby medical center and taken an elevator up to the eighth floor!

Finally a nurse working up there recognized her as ours and brought her down.

Or the time as a young teen she showed great resourcefulness and ingenuity in caring for a stroke victim when a night-time tornado struck leaving her alone in the house with him.

Or the time she sewed dozens of my old neckties together to make a swirling skirt. Or how she snuck into a bar when only 14-years-old. Or… Well, there were other tales revealed by her sisters which don’t bear repeating here because they are not suitable for family viewing (which never stopped the Cowart family for reveling in such tales).

For family devotions (as is our custom) I spoke from First John about love.

I used one of my tricks (an old orange juice bottle, a two-edged combat knife, and a two-pound sack of rice) to illustrate how love lifts us up when we stick together.

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God;
Everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us,
Because God sent His only begotten Son into the world,
That we might live through Him.

When Patricia opened her presents, she found someone had given her two sets of false teeth—All gold teeth with electric glitter that lights up and sparkles in your mouth. She and Clint inserted the teeth (apparently called GRILLS by the younger set) and put on quite a show to our screams of laughter.

After such a wild party, you see why I felt drowsy this morning, and dozed off with a burning pipe in my mouth—which I dropped on my belly and caught this patch of hair on fire and had to dowse it out with my coffee and now I have this big red bald patch just above the waistband of my swimsuit.

Works better than a rooster for waking a man up in the morning!

I don’t think I’ll post photos of that today.

Happy Birthday, Patricia.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 6:02 AM

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Disaster Psychology

Tuesday I continued to muddle through with my book about firefighting history. For years and years I accumulated notes to write this book.

I shouldn’t have.

My note files now swell into thousands of pages.

Fear motivates this kind of research. I’m so afraid of missing something essential (and looking like a fool when a truly knowledgeable person reads my book), that I collect every tiny scrap of information I can until I bog down in minutia which clogs the whole writing process.

Were I more confident, I’d have finished writing this book years ago.

But, it’s getting done now, Thank God! I’ve accomplished a lot since Donald and Adam cured my hard drive crash.

My friend Rex came over the other night and worked on our air conditioner. I’m scheduled to pick up some parts Wednesday so maybe by the end of the week we’ll get cool again. Right now I work with a fan blowing on the computer to keep it from overheating…. Me, I work sweating in my underwear all day. (Wouldn’t that make a great Author Photograph for the back of a book jacket?)

Last night Ginny and I attended our JaxCERT class where the subjects of the week were disaster psychology and emergency communications.

The communications expert, a ham radio buff, showed us various types of communication devices we can use in chaos conditions to talk with HQ and other teams 20 miles away… Er, make that other people can use those radios in chaos conditions; Me, I can’t make the tv remote change channels ten feet across the room.

How am I supposed to use a tinny-tiny radio thingy?

It has buttons on it.

Little gray buttons.

And I’m supposed to know how to call in a helicopter with this thing?


The other instructor, who introduced us to disaster psychology, covered a list of symptoms associated with traumatic stress encounter both among catastrophe victims and among rescue personnel.

I found this enlightening.

It explained so much of what I saw on tv about the outrageous behavior of hurricane victims.

We humans assign blame.

When abrupt, unpleasant changes intrude on our lives, we get mad at somebody—FEMA, the government, shelter workers, tv weathermen—even the very people risking their lives to rescue us.

Gets irrational.

“If you’da come yesterday, Granny wouldn’t have died”.—That sort of thing.

Like a drowning man fighting and clawing and biting the lifeguard who swam out to save him, we attack the very person who came to save us.

One fireman once told me that as he worked like crazy to resuscitate a heart attack victim, a family member threatened to shoot him if the patient died. The family member stood right over the first responder with a pistol in hand, “Ready to pop a cap in my head”.

People in trauma often get mad at God.

Last week I talked with someone who is upset with God—And with good reason. A 5-year-old child in that family was raped and murdered by a sexual predator. Where was God when this happened. Why didn’t He protect this innocent little girl? God has a lot to answer for!

How could I address this person’s anger at God?

I don’t know an answer.

Heck, I don’t understand why my wife does things, how am I supposed to know why God does?

All I could say was that its ok to be mad at God. He’s a Big Boy; He can take it.

The Bible is full of characters who were upset with God—Job, David, Moses.

At least when we get angry with God, we’re acknowledging Him on some level above apathy. The opposite of love is not hate, it’s apathy. And sometimes it takes tragedy to shake us out of apathy.

Our CERT instructor said, “You should expect that survivors will show psychological effects from the disaster—and some of the psychological warfare will be directed toward you… The survivors appear to pull together against their rescuers, the emergency services personnel”.

Oh. That explains something .to me:

The Son of God came to seek and to save the lost.

Yet we nailed Him to a cross, mocked him with a thorn hat, poked Him with a spear, tried to make Him drink vinegar, and dumped His dead body in a cave.

We crucified our Deliverer, our rescuer.

Yet we could not permanently murder the Lord of Life who has life in Himself. He rose from the tomb and still reaches out nail-scared hands to rescue us.

That’s heavy.

But here’s something funny:

During a class break, a young lady and I were going over the page-long list of psychological symptoms of trauma.

“You know, Mr. Cowart, I could use this as a checklist for myself right now and I’d have to mark ever single one of these things—and I haven’t been in a disaster”!

Ginny said,” That just means living from day to day is traumatic”.

I glanced over the list and said, “I could check them all off too. I have every one of these symptoms—except for one”.

“Which one is that,” the young lady asked.

I patted my fat belly and said, “Loss of appetite”.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 6:17 AM

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Ginny And Me And Two Prophets

About 2,500 years ago, the prophet Haggai peeked into the future and saw Ginny and me.

He spoke in that day and time directly to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, but I think he was talking about us in this modern day and time.

He said, “Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes”.

Did you get that reference?

Earning money and putting it in a bag with holes in it.

Yesterday, while I put in an extra day’s work reducing over 2,000 pages of notes on Jacksonville’s fire history into a 300-page book, Ginny babysat with our car at the garage—that cost about $600.

No problem.

There’s plenty more where that went.

Less than an hour after she got back home, our 18-year-old central heat and air system heaved inside the walls and died.

Big bucks.

Blowing in the wind.

Bag with holes.

We work hard to get to where we was.

Fortunately, about three weeks ago our daughter Eve brought us a fan she was not using. I stuck it in the hall closet thinking we had no need of it.

We do.

Temperature is pushing 90.

Since Hurricane Hanna passed to the east of us, and Hurricane Ike appears to be headed to the west of us, the two tropical systems suck every bit of moisture and breeze away from this area.

We’ve got to do something about that air conditioner—or not.

Our survival does not depend on it, only our comfort and our computers. (My computer fan whirls big time this morning).

Even with outlaying cash we don’t have, we remain happy.

We spent a delightful afternoon hanging out in Dave’s Diner sipping ice tea and talking about books and fishing, ACs and storm preparations, birthdays and anniversaries.

So, our money bag has a hole in it.

I think its always had such a hole; you could backtrack through our years following the trail of dropped silver coins. The money trail shows where we’ve been and who we are and the general direction we’re headed in.

I doubt that it’s to the poor house. Car, hurricane expenses, prescription medicines and home repairs not withstanding.

All around us I hear of job losses, banks foreclosing on homes, families being evicted, storms forcing evacuations, sickness, disease and death.

Yes times are hard.

Times are always hard, one way or another.

Like the old saying goes, “Everything gets harder and harder--except for me”.

Yet there is hope.

And more than hope, joy.

That brings me to the other prophet I’ve been remembering this morning as I reflect on our financial situation.

The Prophet Habakkuk also spoke about 2,500 years ago.

He directly addressed somebody else, but I think he also was speaking to Ginny and me—and to you also, Dear Reader.

Here’s what he said:

Although the fig tree shall not blossom,
Neither shall fruit be in the vines;
The labour of the olive shall fail,
And the fields shall yield no meat;
The flock shall be cut off from the fold,
And there shall be no herd in the stalls:
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The LORD God is my strength,
He will make my feet like hinds' feet,
He will make me to walk upon mine high places”.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 6:20 AM

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Debis In My Life

Yesterday a giant claw machine, tires taller than my head, raked up half of the yard debris from Hurricane Fay that was in front of our house and loaded it in a dump truck. That filled the dump truck so the driver said the other half of the debris will be picked up Friday—Maybe.

Getting rid of this debris from Hurricane Fay concerns me because Hurricane Hanna circles just off our coast today. If the track shifts a little to the west, Hanna, with winds of 120 miles per hour, will blow around all the branches dropped by Fay, which brought winds of only 70 mph. Hanna has already killed more than 130 people down in the islands.

Then, forecasters project that next week Hurricane Ike will approach Florida as a Category Four hurricane with winds of 165 mph.

Hurricane Josephine remains far off in the Atlantic but heads in this general direction also.

I hardly have time to clear up debris from one storm before another hits.

I picked up all the debris from Fay, carried it out front and piled it at the curb. And there it has sat till the city claw machine came by yesterday to haul it away.

But if the branches from Fay don’t get cleared away first, then the next storm turns them into deadly missiles.

So it is with the other messes in my life:

If I don’t clear one away thoroughly, the next storm stirs the crock, compounding the minimal damage of the first storm.

I’m sick of hurricanes.

Preparing for.

Living through.

Cleaning up afterwards.

Sometimes Ginny reads a prayer that contains the lines, “Lord, preserve us from the dangers of this night—And from the fear of them…”

Hear our prayer, O Lord!

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 3:54 AM

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay Was Like Pandora’s Box

Monday, Labor Day, Hurricane Gustav sideswiped New Orleans as two million people evacuated. Early estimates of property damage run to millions of dollars.

Here in Jacksonville Ginny and I spent the three-day holiday weekend picking up debris from Tropical Storm Fay which swept through here last week. We also prepared for Hurricane Hanna which is predicted to hit here next weekend.

Minimal damage.

That’s what the tv weathermen said about Fay.

These guys were not helping pick up storm trash blown down in our yard.

Minimal damage indeed!

City garbage men have dy hauled away one load of our storm debris; but here is a photo of the pile at our curb right now:

I hauled all that out to the curb myself.

Boy, does my back hurt from all that bending over and lifting.

However, Fay left behind more than broken branches and withered leaves. Like Pandora’s Box or Noah’s Flood, after all the trouble and mess, Fay also left behind a sort of rainbow or message of hope. You see, all the rain Fay dropped caused our dozens and dozens of bromeliads to bloom like crazy. Here’s a photo of a few at our front door:

Trouble and trash and aching back followed by hope and promise and beauty—Like it’s God’s pattern.

Hurricane Hanna looks to be more serious than Fay; they predict it will arrive here by next Friday or Saturday, so during our devotions tonight Ginny prayed that we might have trust during all the upsetting and threatening storm news.

After her amen, I said, “Your prayer didn’t work. My back still hurts”.

“What does your back hurting have to do with my praying for trust,” she said.

“Weren’t you praying for me to get a truss so my back wouldn’t ache so much”?

“Lord, she said, “If You want to hit him with a bolt of lightening, wait just a minute”.

She walked to the other side of the kitchen and said, “OK, Lord, I’m far enough away now. Feel free to zap him”.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 5:38 AM

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