Texas On Ice

“I really can’t stay.
But baby it’s cold outside.
Got to go away.
But baby it’s cold outside.
This evening has been…
Been hoping you’d drop in.
So very nice.
I’ll hold your hands they’re just like ice…”
(1949 release) “Baby It’s Cold Outside” Composer: Frank Loesser

My posts are written from my desktop computer in our study/studio in the north Dallas suburb of Carrollton, Texas. Today, Saturday, Feb 20th, is the first day this week I felt comfortable enough to plug the computer back into the wall socket. We have been practicing electrical limits, among other outages here.

Linemen have been busy in Texas this past week.

In case you haven’t seen the news this week, Alaska got mad at Texas and threw-up all over us. For my friends up north, and around the globe in winter-friendly areas, allow me to apologize on this printed line before I continue. I spent five years in Buffalo, NY and know how piercing winter can be north of Oklahoma. However, this week in Texas was historical.

It’s a very rare thing, almost unheard of, if we see zero degrees on the thermometer in Texas. It’s also rare to see single digit temps in the winter. We see the teens, but only once or twice a winter, if that. Yet, in the last few days we saw zero and the single digits. To accompany the drastic frigid blasts, we were dipped in snow and ice for much of Texas.

My backyard.

Oh, sure, one might ask what the fuss is about. We love snow here in Texas. We rarely see it. When we do, it may be an inch or two once a year for a day, or even an overnight and morning before it vanishes. However, with the record breaking lows on the temperature scales, the snow and ice didn’t melt all week. Only today we crawled over the freezing mark with snow melting slowly. Swimming pools, ponds, rivers, lakes, and creeks froze. Kids took up ice hockey. Pile-up crashes occurred on the freeways, due to dangerous black ice on the pavement. One event involved a multi-vehicle pile-up in Ft Worth where over 130 vehicles were involved, several fatalities, and dozens injured.

A drone shot of a neighborhood just north of our street.

All of Texas was hit.

Our driveway on the first day. By now we should be in the 50’s & 60’s.

Apparently, Texas can handle a day of the extreme single digit temps, with minus wind chill factors to boot, but if it continues…real problems arise.

The investigations are ongoing, but Texans were struck hard this week. It began with enforced rolling blackout power outages. Then for many, in fact over 4 million, were without power in weather only Canadians could love. The wind turbines, which partially fuels power transfers, froze. The oil and gas pipelines were frozen or interrupted. The cascading rolled along as so many had to go without water, too. At one point, over 13 million, nearly half of Texas, experienced water boiling orders due to water treatment facilities grinding to a halt. I know several in my own circle who went without gas, water, and electric for 3-4 days. A friend posted this shot of how she got her meals together as if it were the 1800’s.

Texans living as if the calendar read Feb, 1885.

Organizations amassed efforts to help in Texas-sized fashion. Water and food lines became the norm. Here’s one at a local church parking lot waiting for cases of water.

Millstone Church parking lot waterline.

For some, desperation took over as grocery stores were raided, leaving empty shelves.

Sadly, various ranchers began cutting off the ears of their cattle due to frostbite. Many farmers with hogs and goats had to do the same. Without gas, electric and water, many poultry plants stopped production as chickens and eggs froze in the hatcheries. Even feed and seed couldn’t be shipped to the ranchers and farmers. Hundreds of sea turtles were rescued on Texas beaches as they could no longer move. The Texas citrus crops are done for in the Rio Grande Valley. It was reported today by Sid Miller, Secretary of Texas Agriculture, that volunteers are harvesting frozen wildlife, deer, wild hogs, antelope, rabbit, etc, for massive BBQ’s and wood smoking to aid in feeding the public. He went on to say that even dairy plants need natural gas to pasteurize milk products. No doubt, Texans are in for a food shortage. Who knows how long it will last?

Unfortunately dozens of Texans have been found dead, and I’m sure many more will be found as the thawing has just begun.

Mistakes were made around the desks of decision in preparing for the unthinkable this past week. Lessons have been harshly learned. Preparedness will be reviewed and replaced for any future natural disasters, even those which Texas doesn’t normally see.

As pipes are being repaired, and shortages hover over us, I know One who is never short on power, and everlasting water.

This classical Greek word, ἐνδυναμοῦντί, changes everything about running on empty while facing outages. The Darby Bible Translation states it very closely to the original Greek text:

“I have strength for all things in him that gives me power.” – Philippians 4;13

The Greek directly places the emphasis on tasks, or circumstances being wooden horses which can be hurdled.

“(For) all things I have strength in the One (endynamounti) strengthening me.” -Direct Greek translation as Paul wrote it. FOREVER CHURNING! No frozen wind turbines here!

Often this verse is taken out of context. Remembering, that text without context is pretext. You really should read the complete chapter in Philippians. Many times Paul admitted he suffered when stuff happened that he could not control. Way too often God allowed Paul to experience the fan being hit. Early Christians were getting hit hard in their own type of cancel culture, not to mention the local government restraints, as well as, Rome itself. But Paul is so encouraging by saying, when the trials come, I know I can, and do, get through them by the One who continually pumps in, like a rushing fountain of water, the ability to overcome by a power which is outside of myself.

Texans are tough, but God is tougher. If we break chains, if we move mountains, it’s because He infuses the strength into us for the purpose. If even hell freezes over, because of his ongoing distribution of His all-powerful grip, we will skate over it. If He should send snow to our rooftops, in a state that takes on 110 degrees in the summer, then He will give us a transfusion of His ability to walk through it.

He will never lose His distributed power. There are no outages in fuel for the race.

“I am the vine, you are the branches; the one who remains in Me, and I in him bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” – (Jesus) John 15:5 (NAS)

22 Replies to “Texas On Ice”

  1. You all sure have been through it this past week. Heartbreaking that folks were freezing in their homes and stuck because of the snow. I am glad you and yours are ok and happy to see the power come back on for so many. Winter is tough for sure. Take care and God bless. Big, warm hugs!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The lineman photo is a reminder of my dad. He worked that job for much of his career with the utility company. It was a seasonal thing for him to experience in the Midwest unlike those in Texas.

    Prayer:
    Father God, as Your people are tested, may their faith produce perseverance so that they become mature and complete, thus allowing the warmth of Christ to radiate to all others they encounter. Lord, let Your power spread from Christian home to neighborhood, neighborhood to city, city to state, state to the nation, and nation to the world. You are the God who restores flesh to dry bones. Let us see Your power at work so that Your name be glorified. Amen.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Both a heartbreaking and uplifting post. How did you manage that?

    If Texas has a food shortage I have a feeling it could affect the rest of the country. Meat prices might rise because of how hard the cattle industry is being hit. I’m very worried for you all and praying but I’m so glad you reminded us of the one who holds us all.

    Like

  4. Continuing to pray for you and all Texans suffering through this crisis. In our county of Virginia, we had an ice storm several years back…it left the county out of power for almost 10 days. It is shocking how quickly the house gets cold all at once. We slept by the fireplace, and hung blankets up to close off the living room. After three days, we went to stay with my sister because she had electricity at her house. Our temps were not as cold as yours have been. Outside, the trees, although breaking apart, were like an icy fairy kingdom. I can remember thinking, how can something so devastating, be so beautiful at the same time? Your photos are great…So glad you have weathered the worst of it. Keeping you constant in prayer!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m so very sorry, Alan, for you what and your fellow Texans are facing! On top of a year of Covid, now you have to deal with so much devastation and hardship. And of course, nationally, it’s become a political thing….because these days, everything is a political thing. I’ve been praying for you all and will continue to do so. Because you’re right, times like these remind us of how the only thing we can truly count on, all our lives, is God’s love and care for us. Hang in there!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I was born and grew up in the Northeast and live there once again, so I am no stranger to winter weather at its worst, but I have also lived in Oklahoma and Portland, Oregon where snowfalls were out of the ordinary and paralyzed people. Rightly so, because of no snow removal equipment, etc., just like your neck of the woods. But this massive monster that hit y’all (using my Okie accent there) was unbelievable and my heart was troubled for your state and its wonderful people. I’m relieved to hear family and friends that we have there are okay (and you too) and that recovery is occurring, even if it is slow. May God be ever with our Texan brothers and sisters and provide strength and perseverance to get through this time.

    Liked by 1 person

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