Hurricane Harvey: The challenge for every Texan

Hurricane Harvey: The challenge for every Texan

I have been down to the Texas coast twice in the last two weeks since Hurricane Harvey.

The first time was to recon the area and connect with local churches and city leaders in Aransas Pass and Rockport. I lead a team of men who were tasked to serve a small local church on my second visit. Over the years, I have seen the devastation of Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina, the EF5 multiple vortex tornado in Joplin, the EF3 tornado that hit downtown Fort Worth, the rubble of the twin towers in New York City and other disasters. However, Hurricane Harvey is different. Hundreds of miles of Texas coastline from Corpus Christi to Beaumont are disaster zones. Destruction can be seen 20-40 miles inland in some areas. The southern-most zone where Hurricane Harvey made landfall looks much different than the north. The destruction in Aransas Pass and Rockport came from straight-line winds of 130-140 mph and mini tornadoes spun off by the hurricane. In Houston and Beaumont, the destruction is from massive flooding.

Wherever you go along the coast, you’ll see devastation everywhere.

It is heart-breaking. Most of the attention and support is flowing toward the Houston area. Therefore, when you talk with people in disaster zones hundreds of miles outside of Houston, you’ll soon learn a heart-breaking truth. The people outside of Houston feel forgotten. Look around the small towns and villages, you’ll see why. FEMA, Red Cross, etc. have little to no presence in those areas. Small communities are forced to fend for themselves and depend on what little outside help comes their way.

“The people outside of Houston feel forgotten… Where is their voice?”

The city of Houston receives the media’s focus. Most of what you hear outside of the Houston area is; “Houston, Houston, when are you going to Houston? How are we going to help Houston” Don’t get me wrong, I love Houston and they absolutely need help. However, there are millions of people who don’t live in Houston yet lost everything. Where is their voice? Every time people along the coast hear, “Help Houston”, they are hearing something else, an unintended message of, “We have forgotten you!”

In conclusion, here is the challenge for every Texan.

1. Help Houston!

2. Don’t forget your fellow Texans’ cry for help outside of Houston. Help them too!

Texans are big enough to handle both. Aren’t we?


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Prejudice distorts perception: Warren Buffett’s car

Prejudice distorts perception: Warren Buffett’s car

Warren Buffett's Car - Prejudgement, prejudice and perception

Warren Buffett’s Car

Your prejudices can easily distort your perceptions. If you have a prejudice against an individual, it will distort how you perceive who he is and what he does.” –Ravi Zacharias

(This is a free-flow exploration born from the above statement)

Prejudice is a preconceived opinion or prejudgment that is NOT based on reason or actual experience. It is an unfavorable opinion formed without knowledge, thought or reason (wikipedia & dictionary.com)

Most of us think of prejudice in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, etc. It has become an emotionally charged word in our culture. Therefore, I’ll use the word ‘prejudgement’ for the sake of this discussion because this is the case for ALL people we interact with.

We must constantly be on our guard against prejudging people. If we’re honest, we understand that we prejudge people before we actually know them all the time. It is almost impossible to keep from doing this. With every introduction or handshake, I am making prejudgements. You are too.

The problem as I see it, is we’re making internal statements about the individual instead of asking internal questions.  In my mind, I am making presumptions about this person which amount to snap character judgements. Instead, I should be asking asking myself character questions.

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