#5 — UNDER CONSTRUCTION…. THERE IS A BIG HEART

#5 — UNDER CONSTRUCTION…. THERE IS A BIG HEART —
Sometimes, the only way to see a person’s heart is to see them while under extreme pressure. In fact, “the true character of a person is revealed when pressure is applied.” And that’s what happened to my middle son, Joshua, better known as, Josh. He has a construction business called, KinPro, well, now it’s called, AlignPro. While we were in Dripping Springs, Josh and my son-in-law, Jayce, borrowed a flat-bottom boat so they could rescue people in distress. As I watched the news and followed people on Facebook, it felt like I was an outsider looking at the set of an end-times movie production. The devastation was heart-wrenching as I watched videos and saw pictures. So, what about, Josh? Keep reading…

If you follow Josh on Facebook, then you know he has no filter… especially when it comes to God, guns, and politics. Some may not like that side of him, but at least he’s passionate about what he believes in, and you always know where he stands. There is a good thing about “having no filter.“ When Josh puts his heart into something, like rescuing people during a hurricane, he gives his all and doesn’t “filter” who he helps or how hard it will be. I think it was 4 days before he stopped long enough to take a shower. No filter, just caring for people. One of the rescues he made was for a lady that was very pregnant. Someone wrote that the lady went into labor a few hours after the rescue. I asked Josh, “Who was the pregnant lady?” He replied, “I have no idea what her name was.”

OK, last thing. As I was looking at pictures of our water damaged home on Josh’s Facebook… I came across this:

“Thank you to everyone who came and helped at my parents house. They are more than thankful. The people that took my dad out during the storm thank you. I hope that one day I will have people who have my back like the people who take care of my parents. The fact that so many people support my parents and help them shows me that they live the life that God called them to. If you helped my parents through the last week I will be forever grateful to you.”

Speechless.
Grateful.
Humbled.
Proud.
NO FILTER.

In Him, Pastor Kevin Kinchen

#4 — MY SON IS A HURRICANE NINJA

#4 — MY SON IS A HURRICANE NINJA
“He led me to a place of safety; He rescued me because He delights in me.” (2Samuel 22:20 NLT)

I’m typing this today (using my feet) from, Dripping Springs, TX. We have been here since the Sunday night (one month ago) when we were rescued from the second shelter. My son, Jared, and his wife, Rachel (with their 4 boys), have a wonderful home with 9 acres of Hill Country beauty, and we are grateful for everything they do for us. The reason we haven’t been home yet is because Margie is extremely allergic to mold, and I cannot risk my health by breathing where there’s mold. OK, I said all of that as my introduction for this chapter. Here we go….

When we were at the two shelters, Margie and I were trying to think of someone that could come and get us. Sweet little Adalie was exhausted and so were we. Everyone we thought of was either flooded in or the roads getting to us were flooded. We had been talking back and forth with, Jared, who wanted to come three-and-a-half hours to get us… IN A HURRICANE! There were still bands of incredible torrential downpours coming down. Margie told Jared, “Please don’t come now, it’s too dangerous. Roads are being closed everywhere, and even Josh and Courtney can’t get to us.” His reply was, “Mom, me and my friend, Joel, are coming to get you guys in his truck, and we have a metal boat in the back in case we need it. See you soon!”

Let me tell you how serious this was. There was a Policeman nearby when Margie was talking to Jared on FaceTime. After the call she looked at him and asked him if he thought it was safe to drive from the Austin area to our location. He said there were roads closing and he wouldn’t make it through Houston for sure. Then Margie asked him if HE would try to convince Jared. After talking to Jared, the Policeman said, “Um, well, he’s pretty determined to come. Good luck!”

Six hours later, there they were, Jared and Joel walked into the lobby of the 2nd shelter. By then, Courtney and Jayce (who also had water throughout their house) had found their way to meet us. Lots of tears when Courtney was reunited with Adalie. Jayce, whose a fireman and a paramedic, stayed back so him and Joshua could make rescues and help others. All the rest of us piled into the truck and headed to Dripping Springs. Every time we came to high water all you could hear was Margie and Courtney praying like crazy. They had us covered. It was amazing to watch Jared and Joel as they maneuvered cautiously. And, yes, there IS an app. for that. When we pulled into Jared’s house he looked at his phone and said, “They just closed the main highway… AFTER we passed through!” Luck? No. Favor? Yes.

In Him, Pastor Kevin Kinchen

#3 — THE SHELTERED LIFE

#3 — THE SHELTERED LIFE
“Those who live in the SHELTER of the Most High, will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1 NLT) So, let me ask you something, “Have YOU ever been taken to a shelter, in a hurricane?” This was a first for me. And for some reason, I had an image in my head of all those people trying to get in the Superdome, when Hurricane Katrina ripped through, Louisiana. It looked like total mayhem when I saw it on the news. FYI, I don’t handle mayhem very well. My whole body tightens up when I’m in a place of mayhem. Thankfully, mayhem didn’t show up.

When Margie, our granddaughter, Adalie, my electric power-chair with all my breathing equipment, and I were rescued, they loaded all of us into the front seat of a dump-truck. The guy driving was from Pennsylvania. He told me his boss urged all of his employees to go out and help anyone they can, even though they wouldn’t get paid. He said, “So, since I can’t work, I think I will go out and save some people!” And that’s exactly what he was doing when he picked us up. The shelter was a local school and he made sure we had all of our “stuff” with us. Things were looking up.

The rain was pouring down as we made our way to the inside. People were giving us towels and blankets and even had a nurse come over in case I needed anything. A high school girl was volunteering at the shelter and quickly made friends with Adalie. She asked me if it would be alright to take her several tables down where they had shoes, clothing and toys for children. I forgot that Adalie was still in her pajamas with no shoes. As she scooped up Adalie in her arms I tried my best to hold my tears back. It’s no coincidence that she was there at the time Adalie needed some normalcy.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE… After a couple of hours they made an announcement that everyone was being shuttled to several other shelters. By then, I had already seen the Hand of God at work on our behalf. I have learned, if we can “recognize” when God is doing something outside of our comfort zone, it’s best if we follow His plan instead of fighting Him for ours. So, that’s what I did. They loaded us, and all our stuff, on a brand-new bus that had an awesome wheelchair lift. We went to a much larger shelter at the Bay Harbour United Methodist Church.

By now it’s late afternoon on Sunday. These wonderful people (volunteers) directed us to a room that was helping people with medical issues. They allowed Margie to give me a breathing treatment because I was exhausted. As I was doing that Margie made a phone call to her good friend who lives out-of-state. When she began to describe our flooded house she lost it. She was crying and tried her best to be discreet, but a paramedic across the room saw it. She walked over to Margie and gave her a big tight hug until she could gather herself together. All eyes were on them and when the paramedic walked away she said, “Sometimes, all they need is a hug.” And right after that, little Adalie, who hadn’t slept in hours and hours, crawled up in Margie’s lap and said, “MiMi, don’t worry. It’s gonna be alright!”

GOD’S PLAN!

In Him, Pastor Kevin Kinchen

#2 — GOOD NEIGHBORS, BOATS, AND HELICOPTERS, OH MY!

#2 — GOOD NEIGHBORS, BOATS, AND HELICOPTERS, OH MY!
“He reached down from heaven and rescued me; He drew me out of deep waters.” (2Samuel 22:17 NLT) OK, maybe it wasn’t “deep waters” like it said in that Scripture, but when it’s running through your house it seems like a tidal wave.

Here was our situation. Margie and I were babysitting (Because Harvey wasn’t going to do anything, remember?) little Adalie, who was about to turn three. As the storm progressed it became obvious that we “might” encounter some water. I was still believing that everything was going to be alright. I reminded Margie of the time when the disciples were freaking out in the middle of a storm, while Jesus was sleeping in the boat. I asked her, “Are you going to be like the disciples or like, Jesus?” I don’t remember all of the things she said, but I do remember her saying, “I TOLD YOU I DID NOT HAVE A GOOD FEELING ABOUT THIS… WE SHOULD HAVE LEFT A LONG TIME AGO!” I muttered under my breath, “God, why does she ALWAYS get to be right?”

By now, it’s probably 4 a.m. Sunday morning, and I wheel over to my front door to check for water. And there it was. I asked Margie to get some towels… and within the next 15 minutes our entire house was flooded and rising. Several of my neighbors appeared out of nowhere and they carried me, my wheelchair, and Adalie upstairs. Courtney and Jayce, with their baby, Judah, were stranded at Josh and Lauren’s house. His house didn’t flood but the water was so high that nobody could get in or out. AT THAT MOMENT, I felt 100% helpless. I’ve never had such an overwhelming, paralyzing, and vulnerable feeling. Here I was, upstairs, in a wheelchair, with my granddaughter Adalie. Margie is trying to move a few things upstairs, and in my eyes, there’s nobody that can help us. Maybe some of you know exactly what I’m talking about. BUT, remember the verse in 2 Samuel. It says, “HE drew me out of deep waters.” Who did it? God did it. I should have remembered that God always has a plan… whether we see it or not.

By mid-morning Courtney had put us on the 911 list to be rescued, my two sons were calling their friends with boats and big trucks, and we had at least 12 men standing in the water that was flowing in our foyer. One of the guys, Dustin Drew, found out that you couldn’t drive to my house because of the high water. So, he pulled over and walked almost a mile through high water while pushing a small boat. (Which was perfect for Adalie) Another guy that lives maybe 5 houses down “just happened” to work for Coast Guard. He was talking to the HELICOPTER hovering over my house. What??? I turned it down though, too many memories with a backhoe, right? Then a flatbed boat showed up at my front door. My neighbor, Lawrence, took charge and the men loaded me, with all my breathing equipment into the boat. Adalie loved the “adventure” in her boat and Margie walked behind my boat. (A story in itself.) So, here’s this crowd of friends, paramedics, Coast Guard, neighbors from near and far… and EVERY ONE OF THEM WERE FOCUSED ON OUR SAFETY AND OUR LIVES. It was an epic moment as people worked from their HEART, instead of working from their POCKET.

Oh, remember that overwhelming, paralyzing, and vulnerable feeling I had? It is long gone! God ALWAYS has a plan and HE will never leave us! Never!

In Him, Pastor Kevin Kinchen

#1 — THAT VOICE ON THE INSIDE OF YOUR BRAIN

#1 — THAT VOICE ON THE INSIDE OF YOUR BRAIN

Well, as you might already know, I haven’t posted much since Hurricane Harvey came through town. I haven’t posted much because there is so much to post. So, I decided to start writing and post whatever comes out.

I have lived in the Friendswood, Alvin, Dickinson area for 55 years and I have never been flooded, never told to evacuate (voluntarily or mandatory) and, certainly, never had to be rescued from my home… “because the only ones who have to be rescued are the people that don’t have a clue or they’re not paying attention. RIGHT?” W-R-O-N-G. Sooooo, wrong!

You know that “voice” on the inside of your brain, the one that showed up in your late 40’s or early 50’s, yeah, that one. I’ve heard it can show up in the 20’s and 30’s too. Regardless, that “voice” is NOT God. That’s an imposter trying to convince you that you still have “it,” whatever “it” is. “It” made sense to me. Our house never flooded, and in fact, no one ever floods in our entire subdivision. PLUS, we have a two-story house so we could always live up there. After all, I’m the man who takes care of my family… well, OK, she has to bathe me and dress me, but I’m still… well wait, she also feeds me through a tube, but I could do it if I wanted too….all I would need is two new arms. So, we’re OK. Umm, one more thing… I can’t walk, so the upstairs might not work out for us. Oh, and I need help in the bathroom, my medicine, my breathing exercises…. AND THAT, MY FRIEND, is when I realized “we should get help.” And help came from everywhere, by everyone. I will tell you about that in the next one.

In Him, Pastor Kevin Kinchen