DALLAS - Three years after the flooding of New Orleans, one man says he was severely affected by Hurricane Katrina, but for the better.
After the storm blew through, floodwaters filled the Ninth Ward of New Orleans with devastating destruction.
Those floodwaters also wiped out the 20-year church and home of Pastor E.J. Scott and his wife, Denean.
"I went into a state of depression like never before," he said.
But what happened after has led the flamboyant clergyman to write "Hurricane Katrina, the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me!"
His message in a nutshell: disasters and storms are going to come.
"Hurricanes, fires, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, divorce, death, sickness, job loss, ruined relationships, bad investments, wayward children -- all of these can be storms," Scott explained.
And when they hit, Scott believes you need to be prepared to focus like a laser on what God will do to raise you up, rather than focus on your circumstances, for that will surely crush you.
"What you focus your attention upon determines your destiny," he said.
Scott can now see God's destiny for him was to minister to the downtrodden in Dallas, something he would never had done if Katrina hadn't forced him out of New Orleans.
His wife's best friend outside Dallas put them up when Katrina wiped them out. And Scott says, with everything he had lost, God woke him up in the middle of the night.
"The Lord woke me up and told me to start a church. I said, 'Lord, start a church? Where? I'm in Lancaster and I don't know but one person here. That's my wife's best friend,'" he recalled.
But God quickly orchestrated a series of events and meetings with key people that ended up with the Scotts praying for Texans over the radio in Dallas for almost three years, and starting a new church in North Dallas, which Scott says is as blessed a thing as giving birth to a new baby. He says it's been joy ever since. And because he'd been stripped of everything, he absolutely knows God did it all. And he says he's learned, "to not depend on my outer circumstances or situation...I have learned to totally and completely depend on God."
But Scott says Jesus definitely warned people to physically prepare for disaster. Here's what you can find in the Scotts' trunk: bags filled with blankets, ID, credit cards, checks, flashlights, batteries and a stuffed first aid kit that's first class.
"You've got to have clothes, changing clothes, so you just want to have those ready. You also need your most important papers because the most important thing is you're going to have to continue to live once you make it through the storm. You need some personal things, face and hand wash, soap, things of that nature. You're also going to need some food. You need canned foods, goods that you can eat without having to prepare them," he said.
Scott's book warns you need to formulate plans, arrange transportation, purchase insurance for homeowners, flood, fire and contents.
And on the spiritual side, Scott says if you'll stay focused on what Jeremiah 29:11 promises, that God's plans are to prosper you, give you hope and a future, you'll always find, "God is bigger than the storm."