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A Speeding Ticket Lesson

Jack took a long look at his speedometer before slowing down: 73 in a 55 zone. Fourth time in as many months. How could a guy get caught so often?
When his car had slowed to 10 miles an hour, Jack pulled over, but only partially. Let the cop worry about the potential traffic hazard. Maybe some other car will tweak his backside with a mirror. The cop was stepping out of his car, the big pad in hand.

Bob? Bob from Church? Jack sunk farther into his trench coat. This was worse than the coming ticket. A cop catching a guy from his own church. A guy who happened to be a little eager to get home after a long day at the office. A guy he was about to play golf with tomorrow.

Jumping out of the car, he approached a man he saw every Sunday, a man he’d never seen in uniform.

“Hi, Bob. Fancy meeting you like this.”

“Hello, Jack.” No smile.

“Guess you caught me red-handed in a rush to see my wife and kids.”

“Yeah, I guess.” Bob seemed uncertain. Good.

“I’ve seen some long days at the office lately. I’m afraid I bent the rules a bit – just this once.”

Jack toed at a pebble on the pavement. “Diane said something about roast beef and potatoes tonight. Know what I mean?”

“I know what you mean. I also know that you have a reputation in our precinct.” Ouch. This was not going in the right direction. Time to change tactics.

“What’d you clock me at?”

“Seventy. Would you sit back in your car please?”

“Now wait a minute here, Bob. I checked as soon as I saw you. I was barely nudging 65.” The lie seemed to come easier with every ticket.

“Please, Jack, in the car”

Flustered, Jack hunched himself through the still-open door. Slamming it shut, he stared at the dashboard. He was in no rush to open the window.

The minutes ticked by. Bob scribbled away on the pad.

Why hadn’t he asked for a driver’s license?

Whatever the reason, it would be a month of Sundays before Jack ever sat near this cop again. A tap on the door jerked his head to the left. There was Bob, a folded paper in hand. Jack rolled down the window a mere two inches, just enough room for Bob to pass him the slip.

“Thanks.” Jack could not quite keep the sneer out of his voice.

Bob returned to his police car without a word. Jack watched his retreat in the mirror. Jack unfolded the sheet of paper. How much was this one going to cost?

Wait a minute. What was this? Some kind of joke?

Certainly not a ticket. Jack began to read:

“Dear Jack,

Once upon a time, I had a daughter. She was six when killed by a car. You guessed it – a speeding driver. A fine and three months in jail, and the man was free. Free to hug his daughters, all three of them. I had only one, and I’m going to have to wait until Heaven before I can ever hug her again.

A thousand times I’ve tried to forgive that man. A thousand times I thought I had. Maybe I did, but I need to do it again. Even now. Pray for me. And be careful, Jack, my son is all I have left.

-Bob”

Jack turned around in time to see Bob’s car pull away and head down the road. Jack watched until it disappeared. A full 15 minutes later, he too, pulled away and drove slowly home, praying for forgiveness and hugging a surprised wife and kids when he arrived.

~ Author Unknown ~

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There’s a big problem in the world today and it seems to be an outright epidemic here in the United States.  Christianity has become more of a hobby than a serious way of living every single day of life.  Church has become a social club full of entertainment for the masses.  This is a far cry from what our Bible tells us life should look like when following Christ.  This whole situation scares me, to be honest.  I cannot fathom a worse nightmare than to die and find myself facing Jesus, the King of Kings, and hear Him say to me, “Away from me, you evildoer!”

(“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of m Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘ I never knew you.  Away from me, you evildoers!’  Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”  Matthew 7:21-24)    

Can you just imagine standing there and having Jesus say that to you?  I simply cannot handle the thought of that.  Yet, so many will experience exactly that.  They don’t have to… and they’ve been told by Jesus Himself that it can happen and what to do to prevent it, but still… it’s not getting through to people. I used to be one of those people who didn’t understand this very simple thing.  I went to church with my dad as a kid and heard all the same church sayings many others hear – still today even. And I believed it all. Hook, line, and sinker. I thought…. surely THAT many people must have it right after all! Regardless of the fact that the very Word of God tells us that FEW will find the narrow gate…..

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”  Matthew 7:13-14

I got uncomfortable when that passage crossed my path and it would send me running straight back to my excuse bag, or my feel better about myself bag, or my great big ole bag of Christian lies – a gift from Satan himself given to all who will take it.

 “Yeah but alllllllll those people can’t be wrong and besides…. God is a loving God and Jesus died for my sins and I believe in Him so yeah…. relax…. it’s not about what I do… cause that would be works and didn’t Sue and George say that we can’t ‘work’ for our own salvation anyway?  Yes, they sure did and yeah they can’t all be wrong so I’m good… I mean I was baptized  when I was 12!  So yeah… Surely, it’s all good?  Oh yes, I’m a good person too…  I help people and besides…  have you heard what Johnny did last week?  I would NEVER do THAT so yeah… I’m good.  And we go to church too, especially at Easter and Christmas cause that’s the important days anyway.  You know how churches today are… full of hypocrites and besides… a lot of times I’m just too busy, but Jesus loves me and it’s not about what I do!  Remember?!!!  I have a personal relationship with Jesus and I read my Bible (well sometimes… but sometimes I do get so sleepy when I try and it’s hard to understand…. you know?) and just last week I prayed for everyone I know!  But that ‘organized religion’ stuff just isn’t for me cause I’ve been hurt by church.  People that go to church just look down on you anyway.  They judge you and decide who you are before they even know you cause you know…. they’re just hypocrites n all.  They sin too anyway, just differently than I do – we all live in sin and can’t help it.  We just can’t help it.”  

Sound familiar????  Heard any of those nifty little sayings/excuses?  Said a few of them yourself perhaps?  I spent years with all that mess and then some! I’ll never forget the day that God, in all His loving kindness, nudged me and said, ‘There’s more to it.”

I was in our laundry room, ironing my husbands pants, and thinking about the whole ‘being saved’ thing.  I was going round and round in my mind with the whole idea of  a person being able to pray a little prayer one day and then go on back to living life any ole way they wanted to, making up excuses for living in continual sin,  and how that just did not seem even close to being right.  I talked with a few people (who were basically in the same position as me) and they all tried to convince me that, of course, that’s the way it works cause well…. you know…  Jesus died for our sins and did all the work for us etc… and so on.  Still…. something about it all was bothering me.  I prayed and asked God to please show me the TRUTH.  HIS TRUTH.  Not what I wanted to hear, but the real truth – even if that meant big ole hard changes in my life.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  Jeremiah 29:13

I started seeking and He helped me to find Him.  He keeps His promises!  I cannot begin to say how much has changed in my life.  He has turned everything upside in my life, in my husband’s life, and in my children’s lives.  I am not saying that life has become some awesome easy every day is great type of life.  Not hardly!  In fact, I would say that in some ways things are harder.  Harder based on the world’s standards and harder based on choosing Him over sin.  But is it worth it?  Ohhhh most definitely!!!  All of this here on earth that we think is going to bring us happiness – won’t and can’t.  Only Jesus will bring you permanent happiness.  His joy lasts regardless of your circumstances!  His joy is eternal without end.  His joy is worth everything and then some more!

Don’t settle for some version of nominal Christianity.  Truly seek and find Him and begin to live for Him the way the Word tells us to.  Best thing I’ve ever done.  Best thing you’ll ever do too.

You won’t regret it!

Is there anything that could possibly be more important in life than seeking and knowing the Lord and His forever kind of joy?

If you are interested in knowing more about Jesus, please feel free to contact me!  I would love to talk to you and introduce you to a life changing love with Jesus Christ! 

Quotes 307

 

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Did you know that sin breaks God’s heart?  Jesus dying for our sins did not make sin acceptable to God.  Actually, continuing in known sin, like it’s nothing – not a big deal, after having accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and accepting His death and blood on the cross as payment for your sins, is like stomping all over His cross and saying it was worth little, maybe even nothing to you.

 

You may say, “But D… it’s just so hard on me cause I love to (insert watch that tv show, listen to that music, read that kind of book, talk like that and so on…)______________!!!!!  I just don’t know if I can quit!!!”   God’s Word says differently.  We’re told in 1 Corinthians 10:13  The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.  And God is faithful.  He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.  When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.  ❤

 

Choosing your sin over the Lord Jesus breaks His heart.  It’s really that simple.  Jesus Himself tells us in John 14:15 “If you love Me, obey my commandments.”   And in 1 John 5:21 we’re warned – “Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”  Choose Him instead of the world’s sin.  Choose life.

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Gently Lead Us

Gently, Lord, oh, gently lead us
Through vale of tears,
Though thou’st decreed us,
Till our last great change appears.

As temptation’s darts assail us,
Or in devious paths we stray
Let thy goodness never fail us,
Lead us in thy perfect way

In the hour of pain and anguish,
In the hour when death draws near
Suffer not our hearts to languish,
Suffer not our souls to fear.

As this mortal life is ended,
Bid us in thine arms to rest,
Till, by angel bands attended,
We awake among the blest.

Then, oh, crown us with thy blessing,
Through the triumphs of thy grace;
Then shall praises never ceasing
Echo through thy dwelling-place.

~Octavius Winslow

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In Acts 9:22 we’re told – “Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.” 

So, how exactly did Saul (Paul) go about “proving” that Jesus is the Messiah?   Ever wonder about that?   I did and what I discovered was that it wasn’t proven by him simply because he was highly educated, brilliant scholar, though indeed he was.  No, it was more than that.

His relationship with Jesus changed who he was completely and people could see this.  They could clearly see the evidence that Jesus was indeed the Messiah because Saul’s life changed and he backed up everything he said with how he lived.  This is something that should happen to all Christians.

Following Christ makes you totally different in ways you can’t begin to imagine until you’re living it.  The people around you should be taking notice.  Often times, it’s not something they really like either.  Being a true follower of Jesus isn’t always popular with friends and family, but it will bring you to a new place unlike any other.  It’s amazing.

How has being a Christ Follower changed your life?

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Gently Speaking has been more than “gentle” in her speaking lately…. downright silent would be a more apt description.   Shortly after the beginning of the year, I made the big decision to go back to school.  I decided to attend Luther Rice University and Seminary and get my BA in Religious Arts with a minor in biblical counseling.    I’ve always been interested in counseling, and God really just started pushing me in that direction, pushing me to take it seriously.   Being a dog trainer too, I’d like to combine the two and help people train their dogs as Service Dogs for issues such as severe Anxiety, Bipolar, Aspergers and other illnesses like them, as well as help them in terms of counseling.

In addition to getting things in line to start attending school for the summer quarter, there have been tons of other things going on at our house.  It’s been totally crazy!   Good stuff, as well as lots of bad (illnesses and injuries etc..).  Oh and I also ran (umm… actually walked…. lol) with my youngest daughter in our very first 5 k race in April!   We were so excited!   We helped to raise money for wells to be dug in Africa.   It also started a love for walking in us!  We hope to be able to turn the walking into running (for real) one day – God willing 🙂

The summer semester starts this Monday (June 3rd) so I don’t know how crazy my schedule will become, but I hope to be able to get over here more often than I’ve been able to lately!

God is doing a lot of work on my whole entire family right now, no doubt.  He’s refining us all, one by one.  What I love though, is the being closer to Him and gaining in trust through all the hard times.   He’s there for us, always.   My family and I would greatly appreciate prayers as we are going through this time of new things, old things, beginnings, endings, joy and sadness, hurt and hope.

May the Lord totally bless you and yours daily!

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Happy Easter 2013!

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Which one will you choose to be in life?

Which one will you choose to be in life?

Grandmother says… Carrots, Eggs, or Coffee; “Which are you?”

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft.She then asked her to take an egg and break it.

After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked. “What’s the point,grandmother?”

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity–boiling water–but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter.

“When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?

Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?

—AUTHOR UNKNOWN —

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I feel so at peace for the first time in my life.  For as long as I can remember I’ve felt this inner unease.  I couldn’t have explained it or come anywhere close to having anyone understand how I was feeling.  I’m not sure I would’ve had the words to use to truly express what was going on inside me; my mind, heart, soul.  Such conflict.  Confusion.  A battle.

I searched and searched for an answer to it all and kept coming up short.   No way to end the war going on inside of me.  At least, none that I could see.

I realized that I was trying to find a fix to the issue on my own and that, quite simply, it was impossible.  Wasn’t going to happen.  I needed help.

So, who or what might help?  I tried all sorts of various things.  None worked.  Nothing.  I tried talking to lots of different people from friends and family to even doctors.   Help me?  Quiet all of it down, please?   They couldn’t.   Tried, sure.   But they couldn’t help me.

Why does it take us so long to find wisdom?  He makes it so easy to find, yet we still look everywhere else first so very often.

I figured it out.  No doubt He helped by shoving me in the right direction.

Prayer.

My Bible.

All I ever needed was Him.

He created me; knit me in my mother’s womb.

He knows me because I am His.  All His.

I wasted so much time.   Time that I’m not sure was even mine to waste, but I know He’ll take care of it.

I found Him, and there is where I found all the answers.  It was always there.

He is always there for us when we’re ready to find Him.

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I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy.  Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!  Psalm 116:1, 2

Such a special word!   So much amazing comfort in 2 small verses.  Does this touch you that way too?

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