I flew into the Orange County Airport yesterday. The wild fires could be seen from 60 or 70 miles away. As we got closer and closer the hot glow and the huge clouds were very apparent. The Santa Ana winds were blowing most of the smoke out to the ocean. Thankfully I am in a safe place but then the Santa Ana winds can shift and ocean winds could, and tomorrow likely will, move the smoke anytime. I read the Orange County Register this morning and the whole cost and consequence of this is staggering. The largest evacuation in state history is underway as I write.

One man, who had to flee his home, summed up the feeling of some here. He said, "This is a small price to pay to live in God’s country." I will admit that the hills and ocean views are majestic and the weather is often very nice but there are many nice places to live that are much safer. Why do people like a place, and live there? The real answers are a much underrated social phenomenon. We ought to think a lot more about the importance of place than we do. We have moved so much in the last fifty or so years that we have lost touch with place. I think it is making a comeback in some quarters of society. It plainly has a powerful influence upon everyone of us if we are self-reflective at all.

Meanwhile, I speak this evening to a small dinner group of ACT 3 friends. Please pray for this event and for all the families struck by the tragedy in Southern California this week. What makes you sick is to know that many of these fires were caused by arsonists. The sickness and sinfulness of some people is beyond imagination to me.