Get Plugged In
Man what a crazy night. I was watching the kids tonight, by myself! We went to the park and played and then I decided to get the kids a happy meal. I know what you all are thinking, “Man that guy is the coolest dad in the world” and you would be right. That was all about to tumble down with a tragic curve.
How secure do you feel right know? If you were to die tonight where would you end up? These are all questions that need to be answered.
When we left the park I had to make sure that all the kids were buckled down. My two older boys are in boosters and they can take care of themselves. With the younger two it is a little different. They have these huge car seats with like fifty straps, getting a kid in one of these things takes miracle unless your name is Mom. Anyway, I get Eli strapped down and then I move on to baby girl. Once I get everyone strapped in I jump behind the wheel and head to Happy Meal Land.
I get the kids everything they wanted, I even got the toy right, and the kids were singing my praises. We are headed home and this is the most pleasant trip I can remember having with a full van. The kids were playing with their new toys and eating. Life is good, well almost.
Sadly when things are going great you can always expect a curve and tonight was no different. You see I had done everything right. I played with the kids, got them in their carseats, and gave them the finest food McD’s could offer. My kids were happy, safe, and secure. However, we hadn’t hit any sharp curves yet. Life was just going along easy. About two miles from the house I had to take a hard left across traffic. About the time I come out of the curve I hear Justice scream in the back no, No, NO!!!!. You see Eli was strapped in his carseat, but his carseat wasn’t strapped to the van. My youngest son who I thought was safe and secure was not. I had failed to check the most important thing and to make sure that his seat was secure.
Tragically, many of us do this with our souls. Our lives look great on the outside. We say the right thing go to the right places and generally have our lives together. Our souls however, may be in a very different place. We are lost and alone with no hope for a future. We are just waiting for our lives to be dumped over just like my sons carseat. You see all the outer things we do are just like that. We get our lives right in our own eyes but when the curves in the road come we get flipped over and tossed to and fro. However, Jesus came to ensure that our lives could be anchored. Not in the things that we do but by the things he did for us on the cross. In Jesus our souls can be secure and we can have a hope for the future.
So I ask again, is your life right with Jesus? Are you trusting in him or yourself? Don’t wait you never know when the “curve” may come.
Don’t tell Mrs. Kayla this but I’m gonna let one of her secrets out. For those who didn’t know my wife is addicted to .... Coke. Now I know this may come as a shock to some of you but hang in there. My wife has high standards and not just any coke will do when my wife needs a fix the only thing that will help her is a coke from McDonalds. ( I know I had some of you fooled for a minute). But seriously, if we were to take a second and think about it Im sure there is something that all of us could admit to needing.
All of us have that one thing that we think we could never get rid of. Our morning cup of coffee, our cell phone, Facebook, or Candy Crush. However, these things are not needs but wants. We know we can live without them but so many times we feel our lives would be incomplete if this want was not meet.
A great example I have is with the kids and our family tradition on Wednesday night. Every Wednesday after Church, we try to take the kids out for ice cream. Our favorite place to go after Church is Braum’s but on occasion we will go someplace else or get a bucket of ice cream at the grocery store and just eat ice cream at the house. Well on this particular evening we decided to go to McDonald’s. Kayla could get her coke fix and the kids could get some ice cream. We decided to go to the McDonald’s across from the hospital. (For those of you who don’t know this is the slowest McDonald’s in the world.) We waited in line for what seemed like an eternity and when we get to the intercom to order the lady tells us that the ice cream machine is broken. Needless to say my whole family almost lost it. We had told them that we were about to get ice cream only to have to tell them that they were out.
Luckily for us 1.) there is more than one McDonald’s in this town and 2.) Mt Pleasant isn’t all that big so Mom drove us across town and saved the day. We think like this all the time. We don’t get our way so we feel like the whole worlds out to get us. However, we serve an awesome God who has already supplied all our needs. In fact the Bible tells us in Matthew that the Father knows what we need before we even ask. (Matt 6:8) So remember the next time things don’t seem to be shaking out the way you thought that we have a great big God who has already taken care of everything that we need.
Long Distance Relationships
I look up to my baby brother. I know he would probably be embarrassed if he knew I was bragging about him but I do. Thats weird right, how many older brothers actually look up to their little brothers. One of the many reasons I look up to him is because of the selfless way he serves my family and myself. You see my brother along with many other men and women of the United States Military serve us all by standing up and fighting for our freedoms. In fact, there are many members in our church who at one time wore the uniform and fought for us. I know it must have been hard for them to be separated from there families as they served our country. It must have been especially hard on the older generation when the only form of communication was “snail mail” or spotty phone service. It sure makes it easier for my brother and I to talk because of technology.
The other night at midnight our time 8:00 am for my brother overseas we spent a few hours, and as long as my cell phone battery would last texting each other from opposite sides of the world. One of us would have to be in outer space to be physically farther away from each other than we are now. Technology is such that we can carry on a conversation like we are standing next to each other. This makes the so called “long distance relationship” a thing of the past. Technology is nice and it makes the times he is deployed a little easier to bear but there is no substitute for having him here.
Sadly many of us treat our relationship with our Lord and Savior the same way. We see God as so far away and we can’t talk to him except through some form of written correspondence. However, the God of the universe resides in our hearts. He sent he Spirit to minister to us and to communicate our thoughts to God the father. Our God is so close and present in all of our lives, the good parts and the bad but we treat him like He is some in-personable God who doesn’t know anything about us and the struggles we go through. Please remember that we don’t have a “long distance relationship” with God but one that is personable.
This past weekend I was blessed to go hangout with the youth at Six Flags. I had a lot of fun but I can remember when going to Six Flags was horrible. The reason I hated going to Six Flags or any amusement park for that matter was the roller coasters. I hated them, or so I thought. To get the big picture we must travel back about 17 years when I was a young boy about to ride my first roller coaster.....
At the awkward age of 12 I was about to embark on a fantastic journey, I was about to ride my first roller coaster. I had been going to Six Flags for years and would ride a lot of the old classics: the spinning sombrero, that rocking ship I think the name of that was "the conquistador" the bobsled and the log ride. I was even becoming a bit of a pro on the mine train and the mini mine train. However, I had yet to tackle any real roller coasters. To cut my teeth my parents decided that i should ride "Runaway Mountain" This roller coaster was an inside coaster that Six Flags had just put in. It was brand new and pretty popular that summer. As my family and I waited in line for about a year and a day we were finally through the first turn in the line and we were able to see the sign that read from this point 1 hour. Which back in the day was pretty accurate since there was no flash pass for people to use to cut in line, but I digress.
It was somewhere around this point that I could hear the first screams coming from the ride as the roller coaster consumed it passengers with a wonton thirst for blood. My knees started to shake, my heart was beating a million miles an hour, my palms were sweaty and I had little beads of perspiration build up on my forehead. Needless to say I was at the mercy of my fears. You would think that time would come to a standstill with that much fear coursing through my body. But NO, that was the fastest hour of my life because soon I was at the front of the line about to be the next group to board. How did that even happen, how could one moment I be over and hour away and then be next in line. I wish I could figure that trick about because I could make a fortune.
The time had come for me to get on the coaster and face my fear. I was surprised that my legs actually carried me forward. I got into the car and sat down, and about that time I lost it. I was in the seat all I had to do was pull the locking bar down and ride this thing. But I couldn't I went into full panic mode. I started to hyperventilate. Needless to say I didn't ride the roller coaster and for 17 years I would walk through the line like everyone else but when it came time to ride I would just walk across to the exit.
What a sad life, I hope that none of us live our Christian lives the same way. 2 Timothy 1:7 says "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." I was stuck in my fear and unable to live victoriously because I was afraid. Fast forward to the present. This year with the help of my wife I rode the "Runaway Mountain" roller coaster and it didn't kill me. All those fears I have carried for 17 years melted away after I rode the roller coaster that took my joy. I was no longer living in fear but in freedom. Since that first ride I have become, in my own small way, a roller coaster junkie. I can't get enough once I got that first taste of freedom I was hooked. I have since ridden every coaster at Six Flags except for the Titan (and had it not broken while I was in line I would have ridden that one as well).
So, whats it going to be? Are you willing to stand up and face your fears share your faith and live the life that God wants you to live?