Harvey Buckets to Houston!

Central Church Family, Harvey Buckets, Texas No Comments »

Three elders and a preacher are headed down to Houston right now in a huge truck loaded with 130 cases of bottled water, 150 buckets of cleaning supplies, two jugs of hand sanitizer, and a case of granola bars.


 

 

 

 

 

We took the truck to Zach’s Club early this morning and loaded up 90 cases of water they had been collecting, grabbed another 40 or so from Brown Automotive, then headed to Central to pack the Harvey buckets our church has been collecting since Sunday.

Bruce, Tom, John, and Carroll left here at just after 9:00 this morning to deliver the relief supplies to Doug Peters and the Grace Crossing Community Church of Christ down in Conroe. Doug tells me they’re handing out around 400 buckets and going through about five hundred bottles of water per day. Some of the supplies are being used to benefit Grace Crossing members and folks in that church’s immediate neighborhood. Some of it’s going to the Impact Church in downtown Houston to assist the families associated with the outreach programs through that congregation. And a lot of it is being spread all over the greater Houston area to help those who’ve been displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

We’re going to keep collecting the buckets here at Central through Sunday September 24 and make at least one more trip down to Conroe. Spread the word!

Peace,

Allan

96 Buckets and Counting

Central Church Family, Harvey Buckets, Texas No Comments »


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you so much to the wonderful people of Central and Amarillo who are dropping their Harvey Buckets off at the church building today.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our goal was to have one hundred by Wednesday morning so we could go ahead and haul a decent load down to Conroe and the Grace Crossing Community Church of Christ. We took in 59 yesterday and they just keeping coming in today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to Dale & Karen, Bruce, Clay and Perri, Ted, and John Todd and Kami for manning the doors and receiving the buckets today. The church building will be open until 4pm this afternoon and then we’ll be receiving buckets from 9a-5p Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and from 9a-12noon on Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re probably going to wind up taking three or four trips down to Houston over the next few weeks. So, spread the word. Tell your friends and neighbors. Use social media, word of mouth, email, whatever.

You can get all the details on the Hurricane Bucket Challenge at our church website here.

May our God bless the good people of Houston and Southeast Texas with dry winds, merciful comfort, and enduring peace.

Allan

Harvey Buckets Locked and Loaded

Central Church Family, Harvey Buckets, Ministry, Texas No Comments »

Please see the previous post regarding the Hurricane Bucket Challenge. Central Church of Christ is the official drop-off location for the city of Amarillo and the entire Texas Panhandle. C-A and I have completed our buckets and will have them at Central first thing in the morning.

Why don’t you join us?

Peace,

Allan

Hurricane Bucket Challenge

Central Church Family, Harvey Buckets, Ministry, Texas No Comments »

Central Church of Christ is the Hurricane Bucket Challenge drop-off site for the city of Amarillo and the entire Texas Panhandle. Churches of Christ all over the Southwest are cooperating with the Grace Crossing Community Church of Christ in Conroe, Texas to provide cleaning tools and supplies to help the thousands of displaced families in the Houston area get back into their homes.

To participate, fill a five-gallon bucket with the items on this list and bring the bucket to Central Church of Christ (1401 S. Monroe, Amarillo) any day beginning this Sunday September 3. We’ll collect the buckets and make sure they all get to the hurricane response staging site at Grace Crossing.

I don’t know yet if we’re going to load up a U-Haul and drive it down to Houston once a week for the next couple of months or if we’re going to need to rent a huge semi-tractor-trailer — I have no idea how many of these buckets are going to come in. I know the good families at Bivins Elementary are going to want to participate and some of our high school students at Central are already planning to get their schools involved.

All the details are on our church website here. You can view the Hurricane Bucket Challenge video here (my soul dies a little bit every time I see Doug Peters wearing an Astros cap). And you can share this information on Facebook or other social media by clicking here. If you’re reading this from outside the Panhandle, check the list of churches close to your area.

We’re getting our buckets today, one for each member of our family, and filling them up and bringing them to church tomorrow. Why don’t you do the same? And spread the word.

What a joy to share our resources with those in need! May our gifts bring glory to God and point to his Son, our Lord Jesus! And may God’s will be done in Houston just as it is in heaven!

Peace,

Allan

Missing the Boat

MLB, Texas, Texas Rangers 11 Comments »

With the eyes of the nation riveted on the state of Texas and one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States, the Rangers and Astros are playing their three-game series in Florida? With the Astros players and thousands of Houston-area residents stranded in Dallas, both teams are flying out of DFW to play their series at Tropicana Field? The Rangers and Astros tried yesterday to come up with a plan to play the series in Arlington, but neither side would give any ground on the other’s demands? In the middle of the devastation and loss of property and life, in the middle of this history-altering catastrophe, the Rangers and Astros couldn’t agree on the conditions that would keep the two teams in Texas for this mid-week series?

Pardon the pun: they’re all completely missing the boat.

The series was scheduled for Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston tonight, tomorrow, and Thursday. The Rangers are scheduled to host the Astros in a season-ending three game series in September. So, they could swap the series, right? That’s what the Astros offered. Houston plays in Arlington this week, the Rangers play in Houston at the end of the season. It’s fair, yes? Well, maybe not. That arrangement would have the Rangers playing on the road for twelve straight games to end their year when they’re trying to nail down that second wild-card spot. The Rangers said “no.”

The Rangers offered to let the Astros be the home team in Arlington this week, take the last at bat, and take home all proceeds from the three-games. That would keep the Houston team from having to travel again this week. It would allow them some time to reconnect with family and loved ones who are in Dallas. The Astros said “no.”

Evan Grant, the excellent baseball writer for the Dallas Morning News makes the case here that both teams are doing what is in their own best baseball interests. Maybe. Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle doesn’t give the Rangers any grace, calling the organization “shameful and classless” in her column here. But Sports Illustrated’s Gabriel Baumgaertner is thinking more along the lines here of what I’ve been thinking since the announcement was made last night.

What a waste!

Maybe both teams are acting in their own best interests — Grant makes a good argument. And maybe neither team should be criticized for not giving some real or perceived advantage to a division rival. Maybe. It’s not personal, it’s business.

But I can’t get past the tremendous opportunity here that’s being missed. Imagine the possibilities if the Astros and Rangers played three games against each other today, tomorrow, and Thursday in Arlington. Picture it.

Maybe both teams wear Astros caps during the game to show their unity and humanity. No, better, they all wear City of Houston hats, Houston Fire Department hats, Houston Police Department hats. Maybe the Astros bat last. Maybe they let everybody in for free with a Drivers License from the zip codes in the affected 50 counties. Maybe all the proceeds go to hurricane relief efforts. Maybe Willie Nelson sings the National Anthem and Beyoncé performs God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch. Maybe the two mayors throw out the opening pitch. Maybe there’s a huge Twitter promotion in which fans in Rangers jerseys and Astros jerseys take pictures together. Maybe a post game concert with Texas performers, raising money for relief, after the finale on Thursday. When the eyes of the nation are on a devastated Texas, imagine the good will generated for both teams. Imagine the shaping of the perception of our state. Imagine the funds raised for Houston. Imagine the unity, the coming together for something bigger than baseball, something more important than business.

Imagine the energy in the jam-packed stadium. It would be the lead story on SportsCenter for three straight nights. The Rangers and Astros would be featured in every local and national sportscast for three straight nights. When the documentaries and feature films are made about Hurricane Harvey, these three nights of baseball-healing in Texas would be somewhere in the script. This series would live on for decades, reminding us how sports bring people together, how sports function as community, how sports can bring out the best in people.

Just imagine.

I don’t know what Jerry Wayne is going to do Thursday. He’s hosting the Houston Texans at The Star in Frisco this week, allowing them to practice at the Cowboys facilities. And they’ve moved their pre-season finale between the Cowboys and Texans from Houston to Arlington. The Cowboys are giving all the proceeds from the game — parking, concessions, tickets, everything — to the Houston Texans. There might be a commemorative patch on both teams’ uniforms. There will probably be some special Texas-themed performers before and after the game. Jerry will probably make some huge donation to the Salvation Army for Houston flood relief. Maybe he’ll think to sell those game-worn jerseys to raise money for southeast Texas. Whatever he does with this opportunity, you can bet he’ll do it right.

It would have really been cool to have the Rangers and Astros playing at the same time across the street.

God bless Texas,

Allan

A Prayer for Peaceful Discourse

Central Church Family, Prayer, Texas, Unity 1 Comment »

The tone needed to be set. The true reality needed to be raised. The eternal perspective had to be introduced. Citizens of Amarillo and other panhandle communities crammed into the city council chambers and a standing-room-only overflow space last evening to offer their opinions on the Confederate Soldier statue in our city’s Elwood Park. Uniformed police officers lined the sidewalks and steps outside City Hall where four or five demonstrators displayed the Confederate flag. Another dozen or so officers patrolled the lobby and doors inside. The director of the local chapter of the NAACP was there to speak. So were representatives from Sons of the Confederacy, Indivisible Amarillo, The Freedom Riders, and the VFW. It was tense.

We needed a prayer.

Greg Dowell, our long-time associate minister here at Central, was on deck to lead that prayer. Greg is in a rotation with several other pastors in Amarillo who lead the invocation at city council meetings and, as luck or God’s providence would have it, last night was his night. He leads the opening prayer once every couple of months, just five or six times a year. But last night’s was his.

The mayor instructed everyone to be seated, called the meeting to order, and then asked Greg to lead the prayer. He stepped to the podium, cleared his throat, allowed the room to go silent, and then boldly called on the Lord of all Creation.

It was truly inspiring. It was Spirit-led. God-breathed. It was beyond perfect in every respect. Every line. Every word. It set the tone. It reminded of THE true issue at stake. It provided the eternal perspective. I’m not sure I’ve ever been more proud of a co-worker. Ever. And more proud to be a guy’s brother and friend.

Greg is very thoughtful with his prayers — it’s one of the many things I admire about him. He doesn’t take prayer lightly. He researches his prayers. He sprinkles them with holy Scripture and with the faithful words of the saints who’ve gone before. Greg’s prayer last night were the first words publicly offered in the meeting. And they were the best.

God of all humanity, you call us to live in community.
Fill us with charity so that we can care for one another.
Fill us with mercy so that we can have compassion for each other.
Fill us with grace so that we can live in harmony.

Father, help us resolve conflicts peacefully.
When we disagree, teach us to communicate respectfully.
When we see things from different perspectives, teach us to listen.
When our convictions are strong, we pray that our love for our neighbors is even stronger.
Teach us how to love.

We pray for those in positions of leadership. Their influence is great and they impact the lives of many in our community.
Equip them with discernment and wisdom.
Inspire them with vision.
Fill them with hope.

Father, we ask you to drive out discontent and strife, anxiety and fear. Reveal to us a better way of life. A life filled with love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control.

Father, you have created us in your image. You have blessed us with great diversity. It is only in You where we can find true unity. And that is the beautiful life which we seek.

Amen.