Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Denton Disaster Relief Fund

Good morning. It has been ten days and the waves Katrina produced are still being felt. Now, the waves are actually people coming to Texas. Tuesday the Glenn Mitchel show on NPR stated that 250,000 evacuees have come to Texas with more than 25,000 are in North Texas. Just in Denton, there are about 500 evacuees: 300 plus at Camp Copas, 100 at the Quality Inn and a few scattered others. We are working closely with Quality Inn of Denton to assist more than 100 evacuees.

I commend our church for a swift response to tragedy. Last Wednesday night there was a prayer meeting. Saturday a fundraising effort for Red Cross & Salvation Army raised $8,000 and sent almost 20 truckloads of supplies to those in need. Sunday our church was organized into teams. We have been working hard.

“So, how can I help?” you ask. I am so glad you are still asking that question ten days later.

1) Pray: Pray for those overwhelmed by this tragedy. Pray at meal time, in the car, morning and evening. Pray that God will be a refuge and a provider and that he will use YOU.

2) Volunteer: Take a look at the chart Steven Carrizal sent out ( and identify where you can help. Contact Marcia Browder (volunteer coordinator)
940-381-0567 You will be placed in an area of need.

3) Give Money: Determine with your family an amount you would like to contribute (involve your kids). The Singing Oaks Church elders have already launched “Disaster Relief Fund” 101 Cardinal Drive, Denton, TX 76209; 940.387.4355; This is money SOCC will utilize to help and minister to local refugees. This Sunday, September 11, 2005 we will take this collection. We commit to make sure every dollar goes toward people in need.

4) Serve: Be a calming and patient presence as you serve, yet be quick to serve and fill in gaps. This is not a science, but prayer and the art of the Holy Spirit of God can overcome our inadequacies.

5) Show Gratitude: When you see Steven or these team coordinators, thank them and offer to help them.

Again, I’m glad you asked ‘how can I help?” Now it is up to you.

For more information, check the hurricane tab of our church website
and the Denton's web site

Monday, September 05, 2005


Disaster Plan. The word combination seems almost oxymoronic. Can we possibly prepare for tragedy?

Hurricane Katrina flew with Kamikaze-like stealth in plane view of the weather radar. She was just another hurricane on a TV screen. Do the drill and things will be fine. Not exactly.

When she exploded on land, three states and a nation were devastated. She did not stop affecting weather until reaching Pennsylvania. Even today a week later, her mist remains in our eyes and a fog of confusion remains. How do we respond?

The answer to "Disaster Plan" comes with how we move. Right now I am thankful that responders are not asking "“why" but "what can we do."” That is the prayerful action we need. Ask God, “what can I do” and He will answer. Get up from TV screens and computer monitors and look for the stranger in your midst. The media and political blame games are for someone else. We respond not with finger-pointing, fear nor uncertainty. Instead, we listen in Faith, we announce there is Hope and we show it by our Love. Somebody very famous said 2,000 years ago "“they will know you by your love."

I am so proud of the people of our church. You first responded on your knees together in prayer. Then, you visibly collected supplies and money on Saturday. Next, you provided comfort for the evacuees. More than 200 reside just 5 miles down our road at Camp Copas. Another 30+ are staying at a local hotel only a few miles from our church. Prayer, food, clothing, money and support have come flowing from your heart. Thank you.

There is much left to do. Where ever you read this, I am positive there are strangers in need not 20 feet from you now. They need not be Hurricane evacuees. They could be hurting from many kinds of physical and spiritual disasters.

Disaster Plan. Today my answer is that a "Disaster Plan"” is something you have been (un)prepared for your entire life. Your life leads you to moments of decision. Out of the character of Jesus Christ within you we act. Know that while victory has already been announced, the world needs to see God working through his people.

Listen in Faith. Announce the Hope. Show our Love.