My wife was scheduled to attend a (now canceled) job-related three-day training in Nashville that was to start today.  To save on the daily commute from Manchester, she decided to go up to Nashville yesterday evening and stay with our son and his wife in East Nashville.  After midnight, the howling began, sirens went off and a tornado took out several businesses across the street from their apartment, completely destroying a nearby building.  Today, they are without power and have some broken windows at the other end of their apartment building, but—my family is safe!  To say that I am grateful is an understatement.

Never, ever, take life or your loved ones for granted. It is short, and it is precious.

As I write this, the death toll from last night’s destructive weather stands at 25.  As a company, and a community we ask that you please pray for those families that have had their lives forever changed in a brief, horrific moment.  Some of our own TwelveStone family members have had damage near, or directly to their property, but thankfully have all checked in as being safe.  Please lift up the families and friends of those who were not so fortunate.

I reached out to one of our wonderful former employees in Cookeville, Richard Key.  Cookeville/Putnam County appears to have suffered the most fatalities from last night’s events.  Richard said that there was a lot of damage close to them and that they did not have power, but that he and his family were safe.

This morning as I contemplated the damage done just a few hours prior, I was personally reminded of the truth about life—we are not guaranteed one more day.  I am so grateful that my family and our TwelveStone family have been spared from what could have been.  But unfortunately, not everyone was spared.

Never go to bed angry. Tell your spouse, parents, your children and your dear friends that you love them often. Never let problems simmer that need to be addressed.

As a Nashville family, we will fight back, we will help one another, and we will pray. May God show mercy to the grieving, the homeless and the fearful. Amen.

By Chip Sekulich, TwelveStone Chaplain