Phillip Sheridan’s comment about the Lone Star State “If I owned hell and Texas I would rent out Texas and live in hell” hits a little too close to home this summer. Some folks are saying the record drought will forever change the face of rural Texas as ranchers sold all their livestock because they ran out of water in July. The Brazos and Guadalupe have run dry in places and as one preacher lamented in Llano, TX, “Good Lord, help us, even the Johnson grass isn’t growing!” One of the good things that came out of the ELCA assembly in Orlando last week is that some Lutherans from Iowa met some Lutherans from Texas and heard firsthand about hard times for ranchers in Miles and Avoca and so are sending truckloads of hay to help them out. The people I’ve met from the Panhandle and Rolling Plains and West Texas embody the faith of Jeremiah, who despite the difficult nature of his call never gave up trusting in the Lord. And like David those who depend on the right combination of sun and rain rely fully on God’s faithfulness. The kindness of Iowa farmers to Texas ranchers is the real life example of Romans 12 – contribute to the needs of the saints and extend hospitality to strangers. And like the Good News of the Gospel “great suffering and death” can be faced with faith only because “and on the third day rise” is the last word for Jesus and for us. We hope and pray the rains will come soon and those who have been spending the summer in hell with General Sheridan will come back to Texas in the fall.