Total loss

Quite a storm today- I don’t know if it reached OH, but it did move fast.  The sky went dark around 4PM and pouring rain followed.  Hovever, as I mentioned the storm moved fast, so within an hour it was pretty much over.  I was actually in Waukegan at the time.  We started to walk the lot when Rene took one look at the sky and decided we were done.  Good thing, because two minutes later the rain came down.  I headed home, no incidents praise God, and stopped at a local electronics store to wait out west-bound rush-hour traffic which was much worse than usual.  I actually had to turn left off of the expressway because the right-turn lanes were backed up beyond the exit toll!  One main street further south, the traffic was no better, so I turned south on 21 and went to Abt Electronics where I bought a needed new dehumidifier and played a couple games of Ms. Pac-man and Galaga which were set on free play.

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Once home, I learned that a local resale shop was struck by lightning and burned to the ground- yikes.  The lightning strike was actually witnessed by one of the pastors at my church across the street, the one who oversees all of youth and children’s ministries.  There was no mention of injuries or deaths in the article I read, praise God, though at the time of the ABC news segment they didn’t know.  The article mentioned insurance, but only for the building as the goods inside were all donated.  I know the Lord will use this as a ministry opportunity, especially with the church being right by the store, but it will obviously be awhile before the store is up and running again.  Just take a look at the news segment at ABC News Chicago:

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ABC News:  Fire destroys Palatine retail store

Looked Big to Me

Oh come on, don’t you like quizzes?  I know all of you loved quizzes in school [dodges tomato].  Seriously though, only one taker?  Come on lurkers, you don’t have to comment, just check out the videos two posts below and take the easy quiz.  No grades here, nothing to go on permanent records if you answer wrong.  Just step right up and give it a try!  Answers in one of the next couple posts. 🙂

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This week someone from Florida flew down to train with me on the use of the handheld computer, something that the office there was apparently never trained on for some reason.  He was placed in a hotel near me, right across from my church in fact, and is riding with me all week wherever I go.  I have to tell you, this guy is on fire for Jesus.  Like me, he serves in children’s ministry at his church which is apparently set up slightly different from mine (and many others) so he has kids from ages 6-11.  Perhaps he was sent not just to learn from me, but the other way around too.  I invited him to my small group last night and when there, he didn’t just sit back and listen, but was actively engaged in the discussion.  It was interesting to learn that like another in my group, he is an Annihilationist, one who believes that there is no active eternal torment for those who don’t accept God’s offer of  salvation through Jesus, but instead they are simply destroyed.  His children, of course, still have eternal life in Heaven.  Myself, I would love for this to be true but I know I must be careful to not try to read this into the scripture if and when I study this topic in detail.  One of the things I have thought is that *if* God has chosen ahead of time those He is going to save (part of the Calvinist doctrine, I’m not sure about this interpretation of Scripture), that is we can only come to Christ if God calls us, and if He calls us we cannot fail to come, if this is true then it would seem to be wholly unfair, and seemingly against the nature of God to not just deny us eternal life in heaven (more than fair for our rejection of Him) but to purposefully send us to be actively tortured by the one who was given the boot from Heaven for his rejection of God’s authority.  Of course, if we do have any say in the matter as Scripture *also* seems to say, then this argument falls flat- we deserve what we chose.

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Anyway, I have gotten far beyond the point of this post.  So today, we joined my coworker Rene again, and we practiced with the cars Rene and our other trainee were working on.  He is slowly learning, but is enthusiastic about it.  In fact, he is enthusiastic about everything- a very positive outlook.  Well, on our way home, when about to turn on route 14, we noticed a thick plume of black smoke rising.  I didn’t think to much about it, but as we drove, an ambulance and a fire truck headed in that direction.  About 15 minutes later we passed it just outside (I think) Barrington- I didn’t think it would be that far away and the area the smoke, now worse, was coming from looked really big.  However, we still couldn’t see what was actually happening.  We drove through the thin layer of smoke that reached the road, but that was it.  I figured it would be in the news, but so far I couldn’t find anything.  Well, it looked big enough for news to me.  I just pray for all involved.

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I also pray that my car does not need an expensive repair.  The “service engine soon” light just went on today and it is in the shop now to be looked at tomorrow.

A sobering Tuesday

On Tuesday I was on my way to a job and had to choose a route to take.  One of the routes, the one I didn’t pick, was blocked with police tape and vehicles, which I found out when I passed it taking the other route.  Like accidents and such I pass from time to time, I wondered if I would see it in the paper tomorrow whatever it was.  I found out much more quickly than that.  When I arrived at the school, I signed in and took note of an article someone had laid out, printed from the local paper’s website.  A fire had claimed the lives of a mother and a fifth-grade boy that very morning.  The dad, who is said to have set the fire due to financial problems, would die in the hospital a day later.  Being closer to the school I was at than any other school in the district I figured I would be dealing with more than teaching today because guess what- I was subbing for fifth grade.  As it turned out, while this school was closer the main road was a dividing line so in fact he went to a different school.  I guess they didn’t want kids to have to cross the busy road.  For me that meant not having kids who needed to be consoled, but now the ones at the other school would be the ones involved in the crisis counseling.  The fire wasn’t even mentioned where I was, but I can bet today this school had some counselors on hand since after all, the family lived only about a half-mile away.  There were two surviving children.  I pray that they get the help they need to be able to move forward.  I am not sure if I ever subbed in the fifth-grader’s class.  His name isn’t familiar, but I think I may recognize him, but maybe not- I have been with hundreds of different kids after all.  One thing is for sure though, I will never be subbing in his class again.

May God comfort those two kids who are now parentless and minus one sibling.  Peace to them.  Typically I don’t identify the districts I sub in, but this news deserves a couple of links:

Officials look to cause of fire that killed members of ‘perfect family’

Police: Kevin Finnerty left suicide note, started fire