Excerpt: After the Sirens

We all reacScreen Shot 2015-02-10 at 9.59.34 AMt when we hear sirens. In fact, we react with heart- pounding urgency whenever we hear siren after siren. Some of us even take a moment to pray for those who are in need as well as for the first responders.

On that day, police cars, fire trucks, EMTs, and ambulances kept coming. Although it was close to time for a shift change, the first responders to arrive stayed on to assist those who came on duty later. Already, they were part of all that happened that day.

Passersby, who paused to stare at the tangled mess of metal and machine, wondered how this could have happened.

That morning, I was up and working early. My son, Trey, needed a ride to get to school early for some help. I threw on my favorite gray sweat pants and T-shirt, grabbed my purse and keys, and, for some reason, decided to put on my new diamond tennis bracelet—a gift from my husband. It was a gift that I would never see again after that day. I dropped Trey off at school and headed home—or so I thought. There was a light but continuous drizzle that morning, and I noticed the streets were somewhat slick and slippery as I stopped at a traffic signal. When the light turned green, I accelerated slowly because of the slippery feel of the road. I remember a dark-colored pickup truck coming toward me. I watched as its front wheels crossed the yellow lines on the road, heading into my lane. I distinctly remember thinking, He’s out of control.

The truck hit my SUV head-on but slightly off center, forcing us to collide a second time. The rate of speed and impact of the truck, which was slightly lower than my SUV, caused the truck to slide under the front end of my Expedition, sending it airborne. It twisted 180 degrees in midair and landed on top of another Expedition that had been beside me, crushing it completely. The two white Expeditions, now entangled, were careening forward, out of control, for almost a block. When the tangled wreckage finally came to a stop, my car overturned and hit a brick wall, causing it to tumble down.

A video from a local business captured the initial impact. The indescribable sound of an enormous explosion, with spectacular flashes of light splitting the wreckage while dust and debris flew in all directions, was heart-stopping to watch. In the video footage, it was difficult to determine which car was which. When the dust settled, three vehicles in all—a pickup truck and two white Expeditions— lay in ruins. Bits of metal, glass, rubber, and other assorted car parts lay scattered across the pavement, covering the road as far as one could see. The street lay still, as every motorist stopped in fearful awe of what was happening. An eerie silence fell upon the whole scene—and then the sirens began.


Darcy Wood’s 10 ways to teach kids about faith



Reading the Bible and teaching kids God’s Word at home is really importing in helping your kids, and yourself, grow in faith and wisdom. Find a rhythm or a routine that works for your family and your schedule and make that time a priority. You could find a Bible reading plan, ask your kids what they would like to read about or use the Family Connection Card kids receive on the weekend to guide your reading time. Talk about what you read, allow your kids to ask questions and ask them questions, too.


Sometimes as parents we feel like we need to have all the answers to the questions our kids ask, but the reality is that there is no way we could possibly have all the answers to everything in every situation. When we don’t know the answer to something, it’s a great opportunity to model humility. We can admit we don’t know, but then work on discovering the answer together.


Prayer should be more than just a bedtime and mealtime routine. If your kids share that they are struggling with something, afraid or excited about something, or just need encouragement, stop what you are doing and pray with them. It might feel awkward if this is new for you, and that’s OK. Model for your kids that we can pray anytime, anywhere and about anything. God wants us to talk to him, to share our thoughts and feelings with him. Spending time in prayer deepens our relationship with Him. Also, on your own time, pray bold prayers for your kids on a daily basis. Pray for their current situations, their futures, their faith.


Most likely, other parents have experienced the same challenges that you are going through and can offer support and encouragement when those tough times come. Surrounding yourself and your kids with other Christians will remind you that you’re not alone. If you are not in a small group, join a group with others who have kids of similar ages. Small groups are a great place to ask questions, share experiences and get encouragement from one another. Your kids will see you spending time with other parents who share your faith and will learn the benefits of surrounding ourselves with other believers, learning to do the same.


Our mission at EBC Kids is to prepare kids to be lifelong followers of Jesus. We work toward this by creating age-appropriate environments where kids can feel welcome and safe, have fun, learn about Jesus, and feel known and loved by Him and others. From preschool through fifth grade, kids connect with leaders and their peers and learn more about God through singing, teaching and Bible stories. We hope to provide kids with a foundation, a place and an opportunity where they can make the decision to follow Jesus and then grow in their faith. So bring your kids to church and attend yourself.


Next time you pick up your child from Kid-O-Deo or Elevate, grab a Family Connection Card. These cards give you an idea of what kids are learning in their weekend service, provide a guide to dig deeper in the Bible, and give you questions and actives to work through as a family. You can also visit eaglebrookchurch.com to watch videos of the weekly memory verse and lesson. Taking time at home to use these tools and expand on what kids are learning in church on the weekend is a great way to help kids grow in their knowledge, understanding and faith.


Jesus shows us grace, and in the same way, we must model grace. Grace means we forgive, even when it’s not earned. When your kids mess up, remember the grace you’ve been given and extend that same grace to your kids. Be gentle and understanding. Use mistakes as an opportunity to teach your kids and help them grow.


As a family, sign up to serve at church, at an organization in your community or simply make cookies for a neighbor or write a note to a friend. Talk about and teach your kids what it means to be generous—with time, money and stuff. Kids love to feel like they’ve made a difference and as a family you will experience a great sense of joy in doing so.


Share a verse or devotional, pray about things as they come up, recognize God’s work in your life and point it out to kids in the moment. Ask your kids questions like, “What do you think Jesus would want us to do?” This helps kids relate their faith and what they are learning about God to their lives and helps them apply what they know and make good decisions based on that foundation. Your kids are learning the most about faith by watching you.


You are responsible for your family’s spiritual development. Church is a resource that you should take advantage of in growing a child’s faith and wisdom, however, work needs to be done at home as well. We only get an hour every weekend, but you get hundreds of hours and opportunities to teach, reinforce and grow your kids’ faith at home. Ask God to help show you opportunities to do that. Make time to teach kids about who Jesus is. Show them how to love Him and guide them in how God wants us to live our lives and follow after him every day. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Taking Time

Taking in all that life has to offer.   Sometimes that is reading or just sitting quietly.  Other times it can we walking outside appreciating the fresh air, sunshine, newly fallen snow, green grass and listening to the birds.   Time with friends being a listening ear or talking thru life’s frustrations.

This weekend I have the opportunity to be part of Passion 2015.  It is a conference for young adults 18-25.  Although I don’t fit that category,  I am thrilled to be part of the staff that makes this event possible.  I am not sure of my assignment just yet but it doesn’t even matter. To be there to hear the inspirational messages and share in the worship songs with hundreds of people I have never met.  I have not experienced this with such a large crowd but so looking forward to a God filled weekend.  Yet another way to see so many lives touched by God’s grace and goodness!

7 powerful stories of recovery after injury

Listen to seven other powerful stories of recovery after injury.

TED Blog

Cross-country skier Janine Shepherd was Olympics-bound in 1986, with many thinking that she was a strong contender to earn Australia’s first-ever medal at the winter games. But everything changed on a training bike ride through the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. Shepherd was hit by a truck, and broke both her back and neck.

Doctors did not expect Shepherd to survive. And when she made it through surgery she received some jarring words.

As Shepherd recalls in today’s talk, filmed at TEDxKC, “The doctor came over to me and said, ‘Janine, the operation was a success … but the damage is permanent. They’re central nervous system nerves. There is no cure. You’re what we call a partial paraplegic and you will have all the injuries that go along with that. You’ll have no feeling from the waist down. At most, you might get 10 to 20% return.’”

To hear…

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Start Anew

Reaching out as I begin a new season in life.  I just published my new book  – Grace by Which I Stand.  I felt I needed to share the stories as life unfolded after a horrific car accident nearly 9 years ago.  It is undeniable as I look back to see how things, even the little things, were orchestrated from above.

In short, I was crushed in a car accident and trapped for 90 minutes.  The rescue was like none other for the firefighters and paramedics but they did in fact get me out with both legs intact.  Once life-flighted to the Houston Med Center, the reconstruction began.

However, the bigger reconstruction was not my legs,  it was in my heart.  I love talking to people anywhere, any time about learning to see blessing in the little things in life.  In the book I share of moments in my own life and that of others where I think the messages come out loud and clear.  I am passionate about being more intentional every day.  Taking time to be still and listen for His guidance. Taking the time to appreciate all you have been given. Take time with friends and family …and be all there.  Tell people when they said or did something that touched you. Thank them.  It’s one of those little things that we each can do as a wonderful gesture.  It is is not only a pleasant surprise of others but wait to see the joy it brings you!