Sunday, October 2, 2022


Like so many, I'm so saddened to see the catastrophic devastation from Hurricane Ian. So many people lost everything. So many lives shattered. Immediate and unanticipated loss of this magnitude is shocking and sobering at the same time. It should especially be sobering for the county I live in. This is a screenshot of the official 11pm forecasted track of Hurricane Ian just 36 hours before it ravished the Ft Meyers area. The red dot is the location of my house. The surrounding area is where my immediate family lives, many of my friends live, and my ministry is based. The realization that Ian was forecasted to directly hit my community, my "business", my family, my house, and my life should have the same impact on me/us as a near death experience. I've had about 10 near death experiences in my lifetime, and each one made me better. The potential blessing of a near death experience is that it can subtly and profoundly open our eyes to the gift and fragility of life... that we aren't promised a tomorrow... that the wealth & security that we live in is only one storm away from being gone... that in very important ways we aren't as big and strong and indispensable as we think we are... that everyday is an undeserved, unmerited, perishable gift... that the only immovable storm-proof foundation to build our storm-vulnerable lives on is Jesus. Our area walked away virtually unscathed. But it could have been us. It was forecasted to be us. Jim Cantore was here! Pinellas County could have been annihilated. That should profoundly change me/us for the better. Like a near death experience it should change me/us in many good ways. In the days and weeks ahead we (GTD) plan(s) to be involved in the disaster relief efforts like we were in Biloxi, Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina, and like we were in Polk County, Florida in 2004 after 3 hurricanes ripped of hundreds, if not thousands, of rooftops over a 6-week period. A lot of people need a lot of help. We are going to help, especially knowing that could have been us.