Katrina Networking

I am using my networking and marketing skills to pass along vital information to organizations, volunteers and survivors of the 2005 hurricane season. Grants, networking, advocating, assistance resources, articles and more. Updated regularly to better assist you.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Book To Benefit Hancock County

Scot sent me this to better explain the book as well as explain where he's donating the proceeds of the book and why.

The book is in its second printing, with orders being taken for the end of June as shipment date.
Leslie

Introduction to Chasing Solomon
www.chasingsolomon.com


The book you are about to read, Chasing Solomon, was written before Hurricane Katrina hit our Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005. Katrina sent one of the messages of this book a million times louder than this book ever will. That message is that earthly possessions can be taken away from us in the blink of an eye. On August 29, 2005 thousands of people along the Gulf Coast experienced that firsthand. Tomorrow it could happen to you. All the vain things in life that we can strive to find security in, and to find meaning in, can all be taken away from us. But Great is Thy Faithfulness and the ultimate security can be found only in Him. Every earthly possession we have can be stripped away, but God’s love remains. As we try to substitute things in the place of God, we will always come up empty. God loves you, and is with you, and chases you with an unconditional, unending love. He has created you for a unique purpose. Have you found your purpose? You were created by Him to love Him and to love your neighbor. Katrina has not caused an opportunity of a lifetime to serve; rather it has provided a lifetime of opportunities to serve.

The book has taken on more meaning to me post-Katrina. As a Mississippian, I have seen firsthand the devastation that lies in the wake of our nation’s worst natural disaster. I have seen firsthand our beautiful Gulf Coast instantly transformed to a pile of rubble. I have seen the lives of our neighbors on the Coast ravaged by the Hurricane. At the same time, I have seen firsthand the hope that can be found in God. I have had the opportunity to help start a not for profit called HANDS. www.hands.ms It started as a distribution center at Christ United Methodist Church in Jackson, MS. to help send supplies to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. It has been a place where volunteers have given of their time and resources in amazing ways. It is a distribution center that people from all denominations have contributed their time and talents and resources to help their fellow man. It has been an incredible sight to see the unity of the Church, God’s people, coming together as a response to His grace, and being the hands and feet of Jesus. These volunteers have come from places all around the country and even a number of foreign countries, to simply help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. People, out of their compassion and their love for neighbor, have given of themselves in amazing ways. God’s amazing grace has drawn many people in and given us all another opportunity in which to participate in the Spirit’s work to manifest His love for His children. Never in my life have I seen the Golden Rule applied so beautifully. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This simple core message of our faith has once again been revealed as a result of Katrina.

Living out this Golden Rule is also an urgent call and constant challenge that we face in the wake of Katrina. It has been inspiring to see so many volunteers that have done this in loving obedience to the Master’s words, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ And the King will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”

I first started this book as I reflected on the life of my grandmother whose health was fading fast. She had a very strong impact on me and I started writing down some of my memories of her because I wanted her to know what an impact she had made on my life. No human I have ever known has been a better example of genuine selflessness as she was. I reflected on what the world would be like if there were more Dee’s in the world. She loved to cross-stitch and she made me a little cross-stitched message and gave it to me when I was a child that read, “Be careful what you set your heart on for you will surely get it.” I had no idea how imbedded that little saying was in my heart. And as I became an adult, I began to understand how profoundly true that cross-stitched message is.

As Dee was in her last days, I hoped that she knew the legacy that she was leaving; that she had lived an example that truly reflected what life is all about. For 98 years she spent her life for others. I don’t know at what point in her life she gave hers away, but clearly she found that which Jesus himself had promised, “In order to find life, you must give your life away.” That scares a whole lot of people. So we choose to stay imprisoned and enslaved to our own selfish desires and vain attempts to find life in so many other things. And we never find the freedom that Christ offers all who would believe and trust Him enough to give their life to Him.

There is an “abundant life” in which each of us strives to find. There are many choices of where to find that “abundant life.” We chase that “abundant life” with everything we have. I believe that there is truth to where to find the “abundant life.” I have searched for this truth by reading, observing others and experiencing for myself the answer to life’s greatest question; Where will you find life? I hope and pray that you have found this truth in the one who came and said, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.”

God grant us wisdom for all of life.

Scot Thigpen.

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