The Thorn

2 Cor 12 9

I wondered aloud today if the apostle Paul every grew weary of the ‘thorn’ in his flesh. Or, was he fine with it because it was part of God’s plan and could (and probably did) bring glory to His name.

I got my answer when I looked at 2 Corinthians 12. Paul says:

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.”

Boy, oh boy, Paul. I can identify with the pleading. I spend a lot of my time there on days like today.

Today I am weary as well. I like to think I’ve been doing better. I like to think that I am less anxious, less stressed and able to give more of my ‘control’ (yep, totally delusional, I know) over to the One who has the actual control.

But today, I am failing. Today I feel like the battle is huge. Today the anxiety is a hard fight.

I long for the day that I can say, like Paul:

“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

I am not content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecution and calamities. I feel like everyone else around me handles these things with much more strength, faith and grace than I do. I feel weak and no where near strong.

Thankfully, I have no trouble believing that He is strong. I just hope that soon I can bring glory to His name during days my thorn is fighting for my focus and attention and not just on days when I feel fine.

Lord, help me to boast in my weakness. I could use Your power resting upon me. And peace, please. Your peace that passes all understanding would be really nice right about now. Thank you that You know what You’re doing… even when I don’t see it.

Especially when I don’t see it.

Amen.

Tornado Hunters Webisodes Review

Another amazing shot while I was away. Photo by Greg Johnson (Tornado Hunter)

Photo by Greg Johnson (Tornado Hunter)

Hey Readers!

I am so sorry it’s been FOREVER since I’ve posted. Life in the summer. You know how that goes. We actually left home this year and escaped for a blissful two weeks! Mountains, ocean views, family, friends, food (so much food), and peaceful locations that almost made me willing to forget home. However, I admit, there was a quiet nagging at the back on my mind. The weather on the trip was beautiful, hot and sunny. The mountains stretched high into the sky and were majestic and beautiful.

Something was missing though.

I realized quickly that I couldn’t see the horizon and I missed it big time. If there were storm clouds brewing, I couldn’t see them. Nothing developed while we were away and, to add insult to injury, more than once I woke to check FB and saw that home had some amazing storms. I was torn. I loved the vacation but I was missing all the good storm action at home.

One of the storms I missed. Photo by Greg Johnson (Tornado Hunter)

One of the storms I missed. Photo by Greg Johnson (Tornado Hunter)

“The best lightning I’ve ever seen in my life.” Said a chaser who’s seen some incredible storms.

Sigh. Thankfully, since I’ve been home, we’ve had some pretty good storms. One of the things that got me through my storm-free vacation was the much anticipated (by me at least) release of the CMT Tornado Hunters webisodes! The day they released, I stayed up late and watched them all.

I’ve reviewed other storm-chaser shows on my blog before. I am, as a friend called me, a storm-enthusiast and love watching the chasers do their thing. I hope one day to be counted among their ranks, but will take it slow and learn what I need to in order to not only keep myself safe but not to be a hazard to anyone else.

CMT Tornado Hunters

These webisodes were unlike anything I’ve seen yet on storm-chasing. I think it might be the most honest and eye-opening storm-chase series yet. Not only do we get to see some of the storms that these guys chase, we also see the realities of the lives that they live. I don’t know if they HAD to go that direction – if the producers forced the issue – but I was surprised to see the difficulties laid bare. I think it’s awesome to see the storms and I know that’s why most people tune into a show like this, but I think that a lot of us are interested in the truth in this passion. Since storm-chasing is growing in popularity, it’s good to see the hazards and potential pit-falls of a life chasing storms.

The webisodes follow Ricky Forbes, Greg Johnson and Chris Chittick as they follow their passion for chasing all over North America. There’s some storms, some fun, some serious moments and a kiss that I never saw coming. (Sorry, Ricky!)

I appreciate Ricky’s narrating, and his honesty in the ‘First Responders‘ webisode. I think ‘The Homefront‘ episode actually hit the hardest. I would consider a few of the guys on this team friends (though they might think, or wish, otherwise) but I found it hard to see the pain in that webisode. It was a real eye-opener for me that you never can tell what’s going on inside someone. We’re all really good at playing the role, when reality can be so different.

Anyhow, there’s my thoughts on the Tornado Hunter webisodes. I’m lucky that these guys are local and I’m able to chat with them on occasion. It sure adds a different dimension to watching this and watching them live when they are chasing. I love ‘arm-chair chasing’ with them.

Check out the trailer for the upcoming Tornado Chasers show on CMT! It gives me chills! I can’t wait for the premier in October!

You can watch the webisodes HERE.

Arm-chair chase with them HERE when they are live streaming.

Find them

On FB: RICKY, GREG, CHRIS

On Twitter: RICKY, GREG, CHRIS

Also, check out my Chaser Chats with Ricky and Chris as well as many others. More to come soon!

I’d love to hear what you thought of the webisodes! Please leave me your comments!

~Sarah

Operation Zulu ~ Pt. 2: Out of Nowhere Sneak Peek

I won’t waste time chatting when I know what you’re here for.  Here’s your sneak peek of Operation Zulu ~ Pt.2: Out of Nowhere!!

Sneak Peek

Coughing, Téya rolled, agony squirming through her as she fought for air. It was then she saw the booted feet. Followed the black pants up to a black shirt. Corded muscles. And a face of fury.

She hadn’t hit a wall.

The man who’d followed her hit her.

He grabbed and yanked her up off her feet.

Blinded by pain and groping for air, she struggled to think. Then oxygen flooded back. She swung her arm back then aimed for the side of his throat.

He blocked and nailed her with one of his own.

Again unable to breathe, she dropped to her knees, straining for air. Feeling her temples pound. She wobbled to her feet.

But the man shoved her forward.

Her head hit the wall. Bounced off. Stars sprinkled across her vision. Téya braced herself, then threw her head backward.

But he deflected. Moved away.

She stumbled backward, her feet pedalling too fast. She flopped onto the ground. Anger lit through her. She’d been one man’s punching bag already this month. Not happening

again. In that split second, Téya took in her surroundings. His position. She swung her legs to catch his.

He hopped back—and laughed.

Indignant, she flipped onto her feet.

His punch nailed her jaw.

She spun, gritting her teeth and tasting the blood his hit caused. His hits came again. And again. Driving her back. . .back. . .

Water!

She heard it now—the river. Heard the lapping against a wall or rocks. Smelled it. Felt the dampness. He was going to knock her into the water, no doubt hoping she was unconscious.

Team Zulu

Oh my goodness!!!  Now I can’t wait for Part 2!!  If you haven’t checked out Operation Zulu, you can get ‘Overkill: The Beginning’ for FREE!  Just click the banner below and strap in for this high-stakes, action-packed serial adventure!!

RFFTODGR

Do you Zulu?  What have you thought so far?  Are you as eager to get your hands on Part 2 as I am?

~Sarah

 

Operation Zulu: Overkill by Ronie Kendig ~ A Review

Zulu Tagline 1

They hoped it would never happen and now it has.  The call has come in.  They are desperate to save the rest of the team, but can they make it on time?  What prompted the new attacks after such a time of quiet?  How can they get in front of this threat and prevent another disaster?

I love the dynamics of Ronie Kendig’s new team.  They are still haunted by the past, yet trying to move on.  Someone doesn’t want them moving on.  Someone wants them dead.  Each of the characters has an amazing story to tell and I can’t wait to hear them all!  There are some interesting dynamics floating around and I love how Ronie is building the mystery while still revealing so much.

Desperation and panic drip from the pages.  In the first instalment of this five part serialization, Ronie will pull you in with heart-stopping action and pulse-pounding twists.  It will leave you not wanting to put this episode down and dying for the next!!

I can’t wait for the next episode!

You can get this episode FREE!!  Go HERE!!

RFFTODGR

Ronie Kendig

Here’s a few places you can find Ronie!

 

Rapid-Fire Fiction website.

Follow her on Twitter.

Like her on FaceBook. (and everywhere else, because she’s great!)

Check out her Pinterest.

~Sarah

 

Weather Wednesday: Boredom and Excitement

Ricky Rainbow

Great shot by Ricky Forbes!

Hey Everyone!  I’ve been pretty quiet on the weather posts lately as it’s been SOOO incredibly boring up here.  We’ve had a few cracks of thunder and a bit of lightning but, for a storm-enthusiast, it’s getting pretty frustrating.  I think I’m going through storm withdrawal.  Is that a thing?  Storm depression?  Anyhow, though the storms are non-existent up here there are still some great chasers to watch in parts of Canada and the US.  I’m surviving on live stream footage right now.  Ugh.  I sure hope that with all this heat, we see something!  Okay, there’s the boredom part of this post.  Now… on to the excitement.

You’ve heard me talk about them before (and you’ll hear it again), but one of my favourite local chase teams is doing something really exciting!  No, they aren’t taking me out chasing, this is something for everyone!

Team Tornado Hunter are doing a show on CMT!  I got to preview the trailer yesterday and it looks like it’s going to be awesome!!  Check out the trailer here:

This is my second year watching these guys chase and I love it.  Not only do they keep the hours of driving entertaining with their banter, insults and chatting with those of us watching the live feed, they also deliver quality and exciting chase moments.  We had a stormy day here this summer, sadly not near me, and it looked like the guys were out of position.  They were commenting on how it might be a bust day, but then decided to check out a cell that had just appeared on radar.

The chase was on and those of us who were watching settled in for what we hoped would be an amazing show.  Well, we sure weren’t disappointed!  Soon the lightning began, the rain came and suddenly we were hearing ‘Do you hear that?’ as Greg spoke to the guys.  The pulse-pounding, adrenalin-filled moments came when the live feed became intermittent (storms are really good at killing reception) and we were only able to get glimpses of the action.  Rain pounding horizontally across the road, debris blowing, Ricky taking the truck into a ditch as the storm got really intense.  Nothing like spotty data reception to make your watchers want to pull their hair out.  The night ended in the guys stuck in a farmers field, having gotten off track.  At 2 am, those of us still watching began sending out messages to anyone and everyone who might be in the area to get the guys out.  I debated hopping in our 4×4 Blazer and driving out to see what I could do.  They were about 3 hours away at the time and I figured they’d be well out by the time I got there.  It was an awesome day to watch!

Here’s the video of this chase with a surprise that we didn’t get to see on the live feed:

If they have data reception in the area they are chasing, these are the guys to watch!

I’m so excited to see their new series and I know it will be a blast to watch!  Make sure to mark August 18th on your calender and see these guys in action on CMT!

Greg RFD RickyChris Chittick

Are you looking forward to seeing ‘Tornado Hunters’?  

Here’s the link to ‘Tornado Hunters’ on CMT!

P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Greg Johnson!  Have a great day, Greg.

~Sarah

Meet Trace Weston: Team Leader and Hero from Operation Zulu by Ronie Kendig

RFFTODGR

Today I have the honour of introducing you to LTC Trace Weston.  Trace is one of the heroes in Ronie Kendig’s brand new serial book Operation Zulu: Redemption.  What’s a serial book?  Well, this is an awesome way to read a book.  Like your favourite TV show, this book has new episodes every week!  Intriguing, right?  Here’s a brief glimpse on this amazing series:

They never should’ve existed. Now they don’t.

In the aftermath of their first highly successful op, the first all-female special ops team, known as Zulu, discovered that innocent civilians—women and children—died at their hands. Zulu was set up to take a devastating fall.

Fearing for their lives, the Zulu team vanished. With new identities and spread across the globe, they live in relative but isolated peace—yet still haunted by the past. Terrified of being discovered.

Five years after that horrific night, they begin to hope they might be safe and the tragedy forgotten.

Until two of them are murdered …

In the aftermath of this betrayal, Trace hid them.  He’s never forgotten – never stopped being their team leader.  Now his team is being targeted and he won’t stop until he figures out who had it out for his team then and who is eliminating them now!

Let’s see Trace Weston’s file:

Trace Weston Dossier

Whoo boy!!  I knew I’d like Trace from the minute he walked on the scene.  All business, in command and intense.  I love Ronie’s military heroes!  I admit that I have yet to meet a hero of Ronie’s that I didn’t develop a bit of a book crush on.  She writes an awesome hero!  *cough* I will not mention a certain man named Canyon and  I certainly won’t mention a book called ‘Wolfsbane’.  *cough*  Wait, where was I?

Trace has surrounded himself with some of the best and you can learn more about them here: (I’ll add the links as they go live)

Annie

Teya

Nuala

Boone

Sam

Now, not only can you go on a mission with this awesome team… you can get the first episode TOTALLY FREE!!  Grab your gear, put on your boots and grab it HERE!  Then, you can pre-order the next 4 episodes.  Trust me.  You want to be on this mission.  It’s going to be a heart-pounding, breath stealing thrill-ride!

Learn more about Ronie Kendig and her awesome books on her website, Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads and check out her other books on Pinterest!

~Sarah

My Thoughts on Storm Chasing

Storm 1

A sweet storm I caught last year!

Okay, these aren’t ALL my thoughts on storm chasing, but here’s a few that were brought on by this article that someone posted on Facebook today.

Feel free to check out the article.  It’s a long read, but it’s an interesting one.  I don’t mean interesting good.  I just mean interesting.

http://www.examiner.com/article/storm-chasers-battle-accusations-of-bad-behavior-as-chasertainment-come-of-age

So, I have a TON of thoughts about this article. They are MY thoughts though and don’t reflect the thoughts of anyone else in, or out of, the chase community. I’m sure that not many people will read through all my comments but I feel inclined to put them here anyhow. In defence of the many awesome chasers I know! (Also, I reserve the right to be corrected and to reword at any time!)  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!!

First of all, I have gotten to know many chasers in the past 2 years. Some have the most sophisticated equipment and some have a laptop and their gut. These are all fantastic people. Like a photographer, each has their own style. Some get right into the action and some are happy being a mile away. If you have the right gear to get into the storm, safely, then go for it. If you don’t. Don’t do it. I think this article unfairly paints those who have the technology to get into a storm as sensationalists and thrill-seekers with no scientific desire. The people I know who can, and do, get into these storms are some of the most scientifically geared folks I know. They desire the data. Whether they get it better than those outside the storm, I don’t know. My scientific mind is limited to how to create a volcano in a jar.

Secondly, it doesn’t matter how many chasers do the right thing. How many of them follow the rules. Stay away from the storm. Help in search & rescue and call in warnings. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE IDIOTS! The morons who get out there… Sure, they’ve watched but not SEEN what most chasers do. They are the ones who give chasers a bad name. The ones who drive into the circulation of a storm and then panic because they had no idea what they were getting into! The video, should they survive, would be posted everywhere and people would say ‘They are idiots, but wow what a video!’. Then more and more people head out to get their 15 minutes of fame. This is not the fault of the real storm chasers and spotters. Stop blaming them for the actions of idiots.  This article seems to paint most chasers with a very broad brush.  Ego-maniacs, thrill-seekers and just generally irresponsible people.  Most of the chasers I’ve had the honour of meeting are not those people.  I think the author of this article set out to make chasers look bad.  Which is disappointing because we need chasers out there.  We need them to call into whoever the weather authority is in that area and get the warning out.  If we make chasers look like idiots, why would the public not just say ‘oh, it was called in by one of those ego-maniacs trying to make a name for themselves’.  Then they don’t pay attention.  That is NOT what we need.  When it comes to severe weather, we NEED people to pay attention.  Sometimes it’s a matter of life or death.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Some awesome storm structure and a rainbow that rolled by my house a few weeks ago. Thankfully I was able to snap a picture.

While, I found a lot of this article annoying considering the people I know. I agree that chasers need to be careful in what they say and in what they post. This is HUGE! Something that I am still learning. I was commenting to a chaser friend this morning that I feel a bit like a puppy. I’ve just come out of this cage of fear and I can’t help but hop and skip around and take in this amazing vista. Where before I would run for the basement, now I am out on the deck. The storm winds call to me and the dark clouds no longer send me running but instead fill me with adrenalin and excitement. However, I have seen (and know) that these storms can be so deadly. I never want to see a home destroyed, or lives ended. I am still needing to learn to contain my excitement over a good storm and consider those who are affected. I never want to give chasers/enthusiasts/spotters a bad name because of my actions or words.

Lastly, this has just enforced in me that when (I say when because it’s something I want so much) I get out there and begin spotting/chasing, I am going to do it for myself. I will call in anything I see in the hopes that the public will be aware of what is going on and take any action necessary. However, I don’t want or need any publicity. Seems like most of the publicity just makes for crappy rivalries and criticism. It seems selfish to say it… and I’m sure that I’ve fought this statement when it’s been said about other chasers… but I want to do this for me. The beauty and unharnessed power of a storm draws me. If, along the way, my own journey into this draws others out of their fear… awesome.

So, how about you?  What are your thoughts on the article?  If you’re a storm-enthusiast, I’d love to hear what you thought.  If you fear storms, I’d love to know what kind of impression this article left on you about chasers in general.  I’d love to hear from some of you chasers as to how you felt about the article.  Let’s talk about this.

~Sarah