Flood Times

With all the rain that we’ve had lately, it brings memories of the Bull Creek floods of 1959, 1960, and 1999 in Vinita, Oklahoma. We lived through them all.

In about 1947, Mother and Dad bought a piece of property on North Second Street that was backed up by Bull Creek. Granddad and Dad built a 2-room block house on the new property. My mother who is 97 this year still lives in this home, which was added onto in the late 1950s and again in 1980s.

In the early spring of 1959, the creek started rising while we were in school. My sister talks about walking home from Riverside Elementary School, wading water, holding onto the bridge rail hand-over-hand on the sidewalk over the creek until she reached the end of the bridge.

I remember carrying a little girl we babysat for out of the house in water up to my chest and walking with her in my arms up to the north end of the block where the ground was higher. Quite an experience for a 10-year-old girl.

We were flooded again in 1960 and I remember putting my feet on the floor into water up to my ankles.

Our last flood was in May of 1999, the day after the tornado of Moore, Ok., which so many people remember. When Mother was interviewed after the flood, she said, “I’m fine. I just feel bad for those people in the tornado. They lost everything. I still have my stuff, it’s just wet.”

Each time we were flooded, the creek got up 3 feet high in the house. God has taken us through all the floods. He’s never failed us yet.

Isaiah 43:1-2 NIV says, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

We’ve got a promise from God that He will be with us in the flood.


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Learning the Old Songs

When I was going through a divorce back in 1974 and desperate for God, I attended church one Sunday morning. As I walked through the door, one of my friends from work motioned for me to sit by her. As far as she knew, I hadn’t ever gone to church, so I knew she was surprised and questioning.

I shared her hymnal when we stood for congregational singing and sang each song, barely looking at the words. After the service was dismissed, she told me how glad she was that I had come that morning and then she said, “I just have one question. Why do you know all the words to the songs?” I was caught. I had been trying so hard not to be that little girl who was raised in church, but in times of trouble, the words to the songs came back to me.

Start singing Amazing Grace in a crowded bar and before long, you will have every drunk in the place crying in their beer. They learned that song in Sunday School or Vacation Bible school, taken by a grandmother or aunt that wanted them to experience the songs and stories of the Bible. it is the most recorded song of all time.

But now we have a new generation who don’t know the words of the hymns by heart. Many of this generation have never been in Sunday school or Vacation Bible school. They don’t know the words to Amazing Grace or Blessed Assurance or Onward Christian Soldiers.

I love the new music that is being used in most churches, including ours. The songs with the Word of God in them resonate and burn themselves into our hearts. I love to sing songs that cause me to look to the Lord and worship Him, but time will only tell if those songs become the classics which are sung around the world in every language. A classic must be singable, without words and music to go by.

We won’t have to try to memorize them; we will sing them by heart, because the true classic song speaks to our hearts.

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