“God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in a time of trouble.” Ps.46:1

As I came home last night, returning from the shelter, my wife had an old Imperial song playing, “Praise the Lord. ” My mind immediately went back to the summer of 1985 when I attended my first Christian concert in Danbury, Wisconsin with my life-long childhood friend, Paul Lindbergh. A few months later, I’d be loading up every earthly possession into my 2-door Ford Escort, with no air conditioning and moving to Conroe Texas, to work as a non-paid intern in the Youth Department of a church in September 1985. Fast forward to today Sept.2017.

With all the events of hurricane Harvey, the words to that old Imperial’s song stirred some very real emotional feeling as I thought of all the catastrophic despair that I’ve seen in the eyes of hundreds as they were offloaded from the buses into an unfamiliar building with strangers waiting for them. Although they did not know them at first, it wasn’t long until they felt the unconditional love of their neighbors who were there to help them get warm and comfortable and able to get on with their lives.

The residents of Montgomery County that have volunteered and given their time, talent, and resources have provided such a wonderful demonstration unconditional “love and loving your neighbor as yourself”. So I say, “Praise the Lord!” I praise him for all of the volunteers young & old, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Federal, State, County & City employees, Texas State & National Gurad all the other Military Branches that have worked 16 and 20 hours a day at the shelter, the flood distribution center, donation center and throughout our communities….. I say, “Praise the Lord!”.
For the family from Odessa, Texas that loaded up every square inch of their vehicle with food and water to drive it to the distribution center. When they arrived, they told those who received their gifts that they just had to do something, after seeing all the destruction on TV. The 18-wheelers that have come from Tennessee, Colorado, Georgia, all bearing the essentials to restore normalcy to the lives of those who are hurting, to that I say, “Praise the Lord!” I have been watching celebrities, elected officials, retired teachers, retired doctors, and volunteers young and old come to the shelter to be the arms and feet of a God, who is our strength and refuge, a very present help in a time of trouble.

I close this Monday Morning Moment with the lyrics from this song. It has given me a renewed strength to get up this morning and go back to the shelter and the warehouse to make a difference in the lives of those that are hurting and in need, the song reminds us all no matter what we are going “through” to Praise the Lord, just as it did when I heard it the first time in 1985.

“Praise the Lord ” by the Imperials

“When you’re up against a struggle that shatters all your dreams
And your hopes have been cruelly crushed by Satan’s manifested schemes
And you feel the urge within you to submit to earthly fears.
Don’t let the faith you’re standing in seem to disappear

Praise the Lord, He can work through those who praise Him
Praise the Lord, for our God inhabits praise
Praise the Lord, for the chains that seems to bind you.
Serve only to remind you that they drop powerless behind you
When you praise Him

Now Satan is a liar and he wants to make us think,

That we are paupers, when he knows himself we’re children of the King
So lift up the mighty shield of faith for the battle must be won
We know that Jesus Christ has risen so the work’s already done”


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