Monday, May 28, 2007


Sorry, I haven't had much of a chance to update while on my trip. I had grand visions of providing daily updates with pictures, but that simply hasn't been possible with marginal internet available, late nights and early mornings. This just hasn't been a priority.


Saturday: OKC to Hays, Kansas. Mostly driving. Some storm investigation.

Sunday: Hays, KS to Kadoka, SD (where I am now). One landspout in Nebraska (check the SPC site for confirmation). Very faint on the camera. I will fix it up and show it to you when I return. The highlight after the landspout was the badlands of South Dakota bathed in moonlight. You can't even possibly KNOW how beautiful that is. If it wasn't so late, I would have begged for a dangerous curvy roadside photo-op with the tripod. I need to come back. Note to self: bring vehicle with high ground clearance. Roads are atrocious, if even existant.

Okay, briefing is in about 40 minutes. We're going to decide whether to book it to the panhandle of Texas (yes, we're insane) from South Dakota for a show tomorrow evening, or stay in place for a predicted 15% tornado threat for North Dakota.

Signing off...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

His Will

9And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12giving thanks[d] to the Father, who has qualified you[e] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. -Colossians 1:9-14

Now, what does that have to do with

1I appeal to you therefore, brothers,[a] by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.[b] 2Do not be conformed to this world,[c] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.[d]

3For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4For as in one body we have many members,[
e] and the members do not all have the same function, 5so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,[f] with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

9Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,[
g] serve the Lord. 12Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.[
h] Never be conceited. 17Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[i] to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." 20To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. --Romans 12

I was considering God's will this morning. What is the will of God? In Romans 12 it is laid out for us. And in Colossians 1, Paul is praying to God that He would fill them with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

I admit to believing God's will must be for me to be some sort of moral or spiritual policeman. I admit to not exactly knowing where to draw the line sometimes. What ought I to object to, what ought I to refrain from, and what ought I to exhibit grace toward. What will cause my brother to stumble? For some reason, this is a big deal to me. Perhaps it is that I am secretly worried about displeasing God. To what limit should I police my own actions?

But I see here that many of these things Paul lists are spiritually discerned. Earthly eyes and wisdom cannot satisfy the requirements of God's will, if that makes sense. There must be an inward turning from the kind of sin that hurts other people. This heart shift that only God can create, and turns us from an inward focus to an outward focus. That shows a love and preference (deference) for other people because they are created in the image of God. Not only within the church, but outside the church, too. But the point is that only God can do this, only God can strengthen with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy. It can't be forced or done by our own power.

This has taken a while to learn, and I feel like I'm just barely grasping at this at the moment, and if anyone would like to correct me or add to this, please let me know your thoughts.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Global Warming?

How does it square with this? I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Genesis 8:20-22
20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though [a] every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
22 "As long as the earth endures,

seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease."

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

On Joseph

I sat down and read the account of Joseph in Genesis.

Here was a man who let God hand out vengeance. Instead, Joseph shunned evil, loved good, and loved his Lord. He was a hard working man who would rather lose his job than agree with evil. Joseph was also an incredibly sensitive person. A number of times the account mentions him breaking down and crying. And this man was ruler over Egypt's food supply, second only to Pharoah himself.

Briefly, just love God, hate evil. This will give you that desire to work hard, as for the Lord, and accept the temporal pitfalls associated with hating the world and the things of the world.

This is all I can eke out with the narrow bandwidth available in my brain at the moment. It's coming down the wire to "what do I have time to do before I leave" and "what can I do without".


EDIT-- I really NEED a vacation. I don't do these often enough. You know, I don't think I need to be away from the office, and then it hits me out of the blue... just back away slowly, Marcia, and no one gets hurt...

For one week I will forget this place exists...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Just because...

Isn't she just too cute? Too bad her attitude doesn't match her cuteness. At least she doesn't mind the camera in her face. The shot is hand-held, so not as sharp, but still an improvement.

Take a look

Did a little "shopping" today.
The cat is existing.
The lens is new.
I finally got the 17-40L that I was drooling over the last time I went chasing with Martin. I still cannot believe it was almost half the price it was last summer. And today was the second day they were running an instant rebate on it. Had I bought it earlier this week, I wouldn't have gotten that. Talk about a blessing!!! But I'm loving this lens. The more I'm shooting with it, the happier I am I bought it. I was feeling a tinge of buyer's remorse on my way home (I rarely spend this much at once without feeling guilty, or without actually owing it to begin with) and called my dad. The truth is, I can (and often do) spend this much in little bits without seeing anything as a result. Best to spend it all at once on something I can use over and over.
I feel better already.
Need any weddings shot (or sung at)?
Go ahead and click on the picture to see the full-sized image, which is straight from the body, with no adjustments for contrast or additional sharpening.
*big grin*

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

So much to do...

Leaving town in about a week to begin this season's chasing adventure with Jenna. I've been so busy I haven't had time to really think about it, or post here. What will it be like to do nothing BUT work behind the camera for a week??? Oh my, I can't even imagine.

Visited mom and dad for Mother's Day, and saw the puppies!!!! At 4.5 months old, they're forces to be reckoned with. I didn't bring the camera, and I should have. They're such beautiful German Shepherds. I'm a very proud Aunt, or whatever. They're still chewing on everything, which required constantly washing my arms up to my elbows.

When there's so much to be done, I think the weight of it all clouds my thinking and I don't actually accomplish as much as if I had only a little to do. I need to make a list soon before I forget anything... like paying my rent. Oh, and there's laundry, and packing, and cleaning. I'm looking forward to spending this weekend at home.

Finally, I'm learning more about grace. What it means. Where and how it is applied. My pastor said something during an evening sermon about how David eulogized Saul and focused on all of his good characteristics. It struck me that grace requires separating the sinner from the sin. We humans don't do that too easily. We line everything up in our minds and take aim, shooting everything with one stone. We think we can be like God and dole out judgment and wrath and vengeance on the person because of what they did (and continue to do). Without the Spirit it is impossible to love graciously, and to speak the truth in the face of opposition by the world and its ways. We must keep the sinner and the sin separate in our minds, and love the sinner while showing contempt and hatred for the sin.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

New Business Cards

I've been busy at the computer since returning from OKC for mother's day. We all at our office have been asked to create new designs for our logo, as well as new business cards. I'm still trying to get the printer calibrated so that what comes out is what I saw on screen. This is what I have so far. Any thoughts or suggestions??

Front of Card

Back of Card

I was going to put underneath my name "Super Genius" but thought that was a little too much information for a business card.

By the way, I received official word today of passing the sixth exam. I am officially only three divisions away from a license, and the biggest party I've ever thrown, which really isn't saying all that much.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It all started so innocently

Class is now in session
First, the review. What is this? It is a TVS - Tornado Vortex Signature. [EDIT: No TVS; only hook echo of RFD] Over DFW, no less. Looking directly to the west (left) of this "hook echo" is me. *waves* What does this hook echo mean? It could be that there is circulation to this storm. But the BEST way to know is by looking from the ground. This is why storm spotters are so valuable. I got to be a junior storm spotter today, and look at what I saw:
Look to the northeast of Arlington, and that is what these pictures are of.

I wish I could have seen what was heppening on the ground. Probably just a lot of dust being kicked up. But it was definitely updraft, with little overall circulation.

Here, I'm trying to get a sense of the overall storm structure. The contrast is pretty low because a storm to the west of us was obscuring the direct sunlight. You can barely make out slight stripes indicating rotation.

More "scud" close to the ground. Through all of this we didn't hear a siren. It was incredibly beautiful to watch, though.

These two above photos show a second rotation just above our heads with a funnel cloud poking out, but the rotation was not strong enough and it didn't last. It was very scary to watch for a second, as it was clearly rotating and elongating. "Marcia, are we gonna be okay?" "Sure, of course we are, um, I think so... no.... wait........."

Bell-shaped updraft base still clearly visible.

Bell-shaped updraft base with flanking line, I think.... correct me if I'm wrong.

Some rotation, but nothing to worry about. Just like the other funnel.

Look at the tight cumulus. This storm DEFINITELY had an updraft associated with it, the clouds kept being fed, even pushing a layer of pileus between themselves and the anvil from a previous storm.

Can you see the circular shape? It's a bit hard to distinguish here, it was clearer in person. They look like flat bells stacked upon each other.

Whew! That was it, until Mark called me and said "Hey, did you look outside? To your east?"


Here she comes....

Some rotation, but mostly just updraft.

Still playing around, I see, but what is that to the upper right hand corner of the picture? Looks like a microburst to me. It kicked up the cloud edge and formed a curl.

Slowly fading away, just a small tail now.

And the beautiful parting shot of an LP supercell.

I'm going to go home now and eat. I forget that you don't eat when you're chasing, you just go go go go go (for me it's shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot) until the last possible sunray slips behind the horizon, and you're driving to your next position for tomorrow's show.

May 26th, here we come!!!!!!!


The truth is...

I need to remember that people DIED over doctrine, and that it really DOES matter.

I need to remember that the Bible is my daily bread, and that without it I WILL feel weak and powerless.

I CANNOT figure this out on my own, I HAVE to stay focused on Christ.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I am reading Judges at the moment (needed a break from the eensy-weensy print of the MH Commentary) and made an observation last night.

First of all, any book of the Bible can bring conviction, Old Testament included.

Second, are we getting rid of everything that could bring us back into bondage? The Israelites had the Lord on their side. Instead of booting the people out, they got cozy with the inhabitants which led to idolatry, which led to conquest by their neighbors at the Lord's hand. What might have prevented this from happening in the first place? Probably removing themselves from the proximity of sin and paganism at whatever cost.

Man, I gotta stop now... feeling convicted just writing this.

Until next time...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Staying alert

Your prayers are always coveted here at 'r&r'. I've been making such leaps in my understanding about God's sovereignty, grace, and "right to choose" as it were. I'm sure I'm in Satan's crosshairs.

Can you tell me, is there a little red laser point on my forehead????

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Se7en Things I Think You Should Know About Me

Gayla at Journey of the Heart, a fellow Texan (like, right-up-the-road fellow), and like-minded Reformed cohort, has asked me to share seven things on my blog about myself. The more random, the better, from what I can tell. Now I haven't lived that long of a life, so I'll try to be as eclectic as I possibly can.

1. I don't actually have a high school diploma like most people. I have a GED. That usually leaves people asking why and how. It was because I was homeschooled, and at the time there wasn't an option for anything else.

2. I was not born in the United States, but in the United Kingdom. I have retained my dual citizenship, and tread quietly so as not to have it revoked.

3. I am a weather enthusiast with a penchant for severe weather. I will spend (waste) hours of time on the internet searching for tornado footage and stills of gust fronts. Then I post them here for you all to see.

4. I am almost an architect. I have three more tests to pass before I can officially bear the title. When I first began architecture school, I didn't know what it meant to be an architect. I just liked manipulating and sculpting space. It wasn't until a year ago or so that I said to myself "okay, I guess I'll be an architect". Oh, how long it takes to grow up sometimes.

5. My favourite part of my job as an architect is the building code. While most architects either cannot wrap their heads around it or won't touch it with a ten-foot pole, I relish it. On the one hand I enjoy it because I get to be bossy and tell people what to do under the pretense of life-safety and liability mitigation. But the truth is, I really just love reading that building code. Strange, huh?

6. For the longest time there was one state I had always wanted to visit for no reason other than to visit. That state was Wyoming. It seemed like the most obscure state (next to Idaho) and warranted a little attention. I really felt sorry for it. My original plan was to rent a car, drive to the border, and then drive back home. Last summer I finally got the chance while storm chasing to not only visit, but spend the night! Yes, I even bought the shirt.

7. Being a military brat, I've never lived anywhere longer than 6 years. So when I was into my fifth year here in Texas I began to feel more restless than anything!!! I looked into moving or changing something drastically. I finally calmed down and hope that restlessness is gone for good. Especially if I ever decide to buy a house.

Okay, I'm now going to tag Jazzy Cat because I think hearing seven random things about a cat would be fascinating. I'm also going to tag two of my favourite pastors (other than my own) Mr. Hatfield at Voice of Vision, and Mr. Weaver at Amazing Grace and Old Chevys.

I just need you to listen...

Welcome to the Machine

I had dinner tonight with a few ladies, friends actually. And I was struck by a few observations. If I had a Blackberry, I would've "live-blogged" my thoughts, but that's a little extreme, don't you think?

1. To so many people, this is all there is. I know, because I used to be one of them. I thought that this was all there is, so I lived it up like tomorrow may never come. I enjoyed to the extreme everything that I could finally afford after landing a good job and enjoying more-than-enough student loan money. I've been there.

And sitting in this "experience" of a dining atmosphere, I realized for the first time that it just wasn't the same. I wanted more, and that something more was nothing this world could ever offer. These people sitting just feet away from me were enjoying what they thought was some of the best of anything that could ever be experienced. They were living it up in their own mind.

It made me long for home. Not my apartment. Not my parents' house. But Home. The Home. Heaven. I watched these strangers, they were like aliens to me. They were enjoying sushi and drinks and loud music at a well-known restaurant. They were dressed to the nines, and probably would drive home in one of the many luxury vehicles parked in the front to their luxury digs with people who were at about the same economic stratum as they were. I really felt like I had nothing in common with them. I was at the same time bewildered at the thought they they possibly were uninterested in the only One who could give them more.

2. I sat talking with my friends, who I don't see that often, and who I've noticed a gradual drifting on my end from lately. This shouldn't shock me. I'm valuing different things. I don't laugh at the same things. I'm not interested in watching or keeping up with the same things. I'm different. I'm set apart. And it's very uncomfortable.

My thoughts drifted back to last night at my sunday school party. Where true Believers would chime right in to talk about Jesus, and not mince words about the truth. This was how they lived their lives. By the Truth. And I longed right then at dinner for my Brothers and Sisters. I began to feel that distance well up, knowing that these girls were pursuing other things. They perhaps didn't know that they weren't pursuing God. They perhaps didn't know that they were being deceived. They didn't know that they were chasing the world, and living life according to the world's rules while putting a big "Jesus" sticker on it.

Where does it end? There will be conflict. There may even be misunderstanding where one person does not or cannot see things from the same perspective as another. I may even lose friendships for wanting to honor my Lord.

And I just kept hearing this verse over and over in my head...

Revelation 12:11"And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Who says we're not in Kansas anymore?

For the curious: This is a TVS (Tornado Vortex Signature). We prefer to see them out in the country. Not in the middle of a large metropolitan area during rush hour traffic. Nothing happened, though. Just rotation, rain, and lightning.
EDIT: This isn't a TVS; rather it is a "hook echo". The "hook" is actually the rear flank downdraft (RFD). Thanks to Keith and Matt for clearing that up.


I have been corresponding with a dear brother in the Lord who lives in Norman, OK. We've been discussing sin, and obedience to God. And as I've been reading Bluecollar's posts about love and marriage, the following rumination began to form:

The Holy Spirit has been lately speaking to my heart about love. About loving God first. Now, as one who wants to get married one day, I think that loving a husband would be easy, but that is just with "human love" which fails and isn't always loving and pure; it can be downright selfish. God's love is so much greater, and demands something different. It demands self-denial to the greatest degree. We are ALSO required to do this with God, but do we? I mean, do we put God before ourselves? Do we deny self so that He can be honored? Do we shun evil and embrace good? Do we love those who we feel do not deserve love or kindness? Man, that is so tough. Loving a spouse means putting their desires before our own, and loving God means putting HIS desires before our own.

I was really thinking about this earlier, about how if we really consider it, we are so unlovable. When we REALLY consider the ultimate ramifications of disobeying the law of God, we deserve to be eternally condemned. LOOK at what He did with the angels. They didn't get a second chance!!! He did NOT set His affections on them!!!! So now Satan and his cronies are walking dead men, essentially, condemned to the lowest pit of hell. God did not spare angels when they sinned. So, here we have a living example of just WHO God is. Satan isn't a new thing to pop on the scene here. God's been GIVING us example after example after example just to show us Who He is and what the rewards of sin and righteousness are.

Just THINK about this ultimate show of love God is bestowing upon us... and we get mad at people who annoy us, who are careless with us, who fall through on their promises to us, who are unfaithful to us, who hurt our feelings, who abandon us, who seek to offend us, who reject us, and who are just the epitome of "unlovable".

If God set His affections on us all, the human race, to give us all a chance to come to Him, then shouldn't we set OUR affections on those around us. I'm not talking about championing a cause in Darfur or anything, I am talking about loving the unlovable around us, because THAT is what mercy is. God is not giving us what He has decided we deserve, so we should not give others what we decide they deserve. It's the ultimate in self-sacrifice, and the ultimate in love. Let God take revenge, but let us reflect the love that is available to those who would forsake their sins and come to the cross of Jesus.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007


This is a great post over at Bluecollar.

It perfectly sheds light on the previous post, that love requires complete trust in and reliance upon Christ. There IS the power to do this, but it requires letting go of our own power and desires. To stop "feeding" the feelings by dwelling on them.

Sin isn't going to go away any time soon (should Christ tarry) so every day includes many mini-battles involving love of self versus love of God (and others, which is how it is shown much of the time).

Oh, how I wish I had learned this earlier.


I'll be honest

Yes, there are times when I KNOW that the power is there. And I can use that power to put self aside and honor the other person. I know that the power is there to serve others, even when they annoy me. It's right there. I am a child of God, and I have been just outright GIVEN the power to overcome my sin nature. Isn't that the most amazing thing ever???

But then there are days when I want to scream into the phone "Do you even have a high school education? Can you READ??? This is NOT THAT HARD AND YOU'RE COSTING MY BOSS VALUABLE TIME AND MONEY!!!"

*clears throat*

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

(for further clarification, most of the people I run into in the construction industry are NOT regular readers)

And my arm and I are doing fine. We will just be wearing sunblock from now on. Thanks all.