Saturday, April 23, 2011

Diet Update - Six Weeks In, the Rest of my Life to Go

So, if you've been a loyal follower for all ten or so of my blog posts since closing and opening Caffeine & Hot Sauce!, you are aware that I have been dieting.  First of all, the method: I have been following the Eat this, Not That! No-Diet Diet, which is less of a diet and more of a method.  It explains why we gain weight based on certain eating habits, such as why even a small shot of sugar on an empty stomach can have big consequences (the long and short of it is that when you get a sudden increase in blood sugar, your body releases a load of insulin into your blood to account for it; the downside is that an insulin imbalance like that will put your body into fat-storage mode, fighting with the insulin for the sugar and storing that sugar in fat cells).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Faith Through Destruction

I'll expound to a greater degree on this in another post, but anyway...

I am fascinated by tornadoes.  Captivated.  They are a combination of power, beauty and unpredictability that is rivaled by nothing else on planet Earth.  By beauty I mean that, to be formed, they require extremely precise conditions to occur simultaneously in order to even have a chance.  And I know there are a lot of people in Oklahoma, Alabama and here in North Carolina who are having a hard time seeing this "beauty" right now.  To many, they see the face of death itself.  To others, they see a thief, who stole their entire lives.  But to understand them is to see that amazing beauty despite great loss.

Sadly, we don't understand them.  We can't predict them, and we can't even promise to know where they will go even five seconds from now.  Chances are good that we will never be able to know.

I have a goal in life to see how close I can get to a tornado.  But after this weekend, I want to add a caveat to that: I want to be the one doing the chasing.  Playing hide-and-seek with 300-m.p.h. winds is not my idea of fun -- and it's the second time in two years I've had to rely on luck to avoid one.  After parts of ten years in Texas without so much as a tornado warning, I've now had three encounters with them in Michigan and North Carolina that have either had me (and others) hiding in a bathtub or basement, or (stupidly) running from one.

We were lucky to avoid the twister this weekend -- or, more accurately, that it avoided us.  All my loved ones in northeast Raleigh -- my wife and daughter, my brother- and sister-in-law (and dog-in-law, too), and a friend and her two kids -- were missed by varying degrees, with two downed trees in a yard and no electricity for an extended period the worst of our collective damage.  Our margins of luck were as wide as two miles and as narrow as several hundred feet, but we are all safe and damage-free.

The same cannot be said for hundreds of homes immediately around all of us.  I have personally witnessed damage from missing trim work to downed trees, from missing fences to missing roofs, from damaged cars to destroyed homes.  I've seen steel-framework electrical wiring rigs bent cleanly in half (two of them).  I've seen graves uprooted.

The eeriest parts of it all were the distant rumbles of thunder afterward, even though there was no longer even a single cloud left to be seen in the sky.

I've seen the side of my obsession that I want never to see again: the human impact and cost of a natural force.  But, I also believe the Bible is the infallible word of God and, therefore, is perfect in its content.  That means it will only get worse, and dramatically so.

I urge you all to find God if you have not already, or to draw even nearer to Him if you have that relationship already.  Like the winds of a tornado, Christ's return to collect his faithful will come when you don't expect it, and will result in destruction and desolation if you are not prepared.  Prepare, and learn to expect it even when you aren't expecting it.  If the signs in the world are any indication, it's coming sooner than you may think.