Yesterday, I was scheduled to meet with a publicist to discuss an up-and-coming artist. This artist’s parents are country superstars, but the artist wants to make her own name. As you know, I have a heart for entrepreneurship and a desire to help those looking to bravely venture out and risk it all to follow their dreams. Our Featured Entrepreneur serves just that purpose–to provide a platform on which these courageous people can extend their influence, proving to the rest of us that we’re not alone should we choose to pursue our dreams.

Unfortunately, I got no-showed, but with good reason. The publicist was deeply involved in disaster relief efforts from recent tornadoes that ripped through greater Nashville. The meeting had slipped her mind as her focus had shifted to recovery. Upon request, she offered a venue where I could join the efforts–Samaritan’s Purse. Admittedly, I knew little about them, but happily joined the disaster relief efforts.

A crushing catastrophe

Upon arriving at the effected areas where one tornado ripped through, I spoke to a few of the home-owners about their experiences. The damage was overwhelming and the emotional burden was palpable. One gentleman stated he was lucky to be alive as he was nearly sucked out one of his windows leaving only his limbs to claw to the inside of his house and his torso completely exposed to the elements. Outside, his cars were crushed by falling trees, his Airstream laid on it’s side, his boat on the ground (trailer not seen), and the workshop behind his home had “exploded.” As I looked to the left of his house, I saw what was left of another–walls…well, some of the walls.


Another spoke of his 6 year-old son (coincidentally) sleeping with him and his wife the night they were greeted with a tree crushing the middle of the home where their son’s bedroom was located. As he sat on the floor, with his back to the bedroom door, hoping his menial efforts would save his family, he yelled at his son and wife but could not even hear his own voice. Lightning flashed almost continually, glass shattered around them, and the house shifted back and forth. Suddenly, it was over. But the wreckage…some houses survived, and some were completely gone.

Unfortunately, everyone did not survive. 25 deaths resulted from this storm. More are being treated for injuries such as traumatic brain injury (TBI). I was told of one home where 5 children were killed during the storm.

Count your blessings

To those of us unaffected by the path of the storm, whether by mere feet or by miles, let us all take a moment to tell our families how much we love them and appreciate them. Let’s thank God for sparing us as this could have easily been our home, and still could be in the future. And, if able, let’s extend a helping hand to those in need.


  • Counting. Thanks for sharing.

  • Travis says:

    I was touched by your reaction, and it caused me to question my approach to how I try to help.

    Thank You for being a Hero!

  • Tolman Meyers says:

    Having survived a tornado in 1948, your commentary on the recent tornado in the Nashville area brought back the horrors of my own experience – age 9. The Lord has forewarned us of spiritual storms that will make shipwreck those who have put away faith and neglected to have Christ as their hope, the anchor of their souls – I Timothy 1:19 and Hebrews 6:17-20. I know you would enjoy a great read by James C. Hefley about Lt. Commander Stephen R. Harris who served as the Intel’ Officer of the USS Pueblo when it and its crew were taken captive by North Korea. The book is titled: My Anchor Held.
    We in the Sea Service often bid farewell to those departing at change of command ceremonies with – “We bid you fair winds and following seas.” But fair winds and following seas hardly serve to develop the skills needed to navigate in the storms and doldrums that may occur during a voyage. Hence, we are reminded that it is in the trials of life that the Lord develops leaders like Joseph. Indeed, a reality is this: “Fair winds and following seas, never a seasoned mariner made.” Sail on my Fellow Warrior for Christ (II Timothy 2:3) and be Semper Fidelis to and through Christ; the Captain of our Soul. Amen and Amen!

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