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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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Below is a post from Facebook by a friend and pastor that I know.  He speaks the truth in such an easy to understand and plain way that I felt the desperate need to share this with all of you too.  

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This is long but the Lord told me to post this today… so I am doing so. This comes after listening to Cornelius Lindsey‘s message again last night and a long night of just hearing God share some things with me. This is for many of you… likely even most who will take the time to read it.

The most heralded message to the Christian believer today is on having faith. Many churches preach it constantly… turn on Christian Television and preacher after preacher is telling you how to increase that faith. There are books we purchase and read… read the Bible a little bit more, listen to some more preaching, give more money, just jump out there and give as they build up your emotions with great sounding words and promises of crazy increases. The music plays a happy song or that Hammond organ plays just the right rift and folks start really feeling it! The problem is… none of that stuff is what grows and truth be told… most of the mess called faith today is rejected by God.

We expend and are taught to expend much of our faith on material things often with the mindset of a child that as parents we scold because everything thing to them is “MINE, MINE, MINE!” Want a new car… have enough faith! That bigger house you dream of… have enough faith! Looking for that perfect man or woman… sow that seed of faith! Your kids and Uncle Bob are on the path to hell… sow that salvation seed into this ministry and God has to honor that seed! So much silliness out there being taught and so many buy into the mess because let’s be honest… it appeals to our greedy little foul hearts. We have made it about gain with studying… gain with giving… gain with about everything else except the gain Scripture speaks of and that is GODLINESS with CONTENTMENT is GREAT GAIN.

Great gain isn’t that fancy car, bigger house, or large holdings in bank accounts. Great gain is being godly with contentment meaning… He is enough and I am content be it with little or be it with much. Anything else (and I am saying this regardless of the fact that many of you follow this mess) is FALSE teaching… heresy.

True faith comes from having an intimate relationship with God. When we look at Scripture and the men like , Abraham, … A man of great faith and great wealth. Then we look at other men of that same great faith like Elijah… yet there is nothing that leads anyone to believe or assume that he had very much at all wealth wise. These were men that Scripture says… “they walked with God.” Always walking with Him… Elijah we know as a man that prayed diligently. Constantly seeing things through truly spiritual eyes. Wealth wasn’t the gauge of their great faith… it was their relationship with God. All those spoke of in Hebrews 11… even those wandering around in caves who were destitute, poor, and without but yet still they refused to forsake their Savior.

Think of the disciples… men who decided that they would follow Jesus. They saw miracle after miracle and yet when the wind blew and the boat started to rock and roll… WAKE UP JESUS they cried! He wakes up and then tells them… your faith is so small. I can hear their minds too… “WHAT! We follow you don’t we? Everywhere You go we’re right there with you!” But then look at what they said when the storm ceases… “what manner of man is this that even the wind and the sea obey Him? They knew Jesus… but they still didn’t KNOW Him. Ministering right along side of Jesus… blind seeing, deaf hearing, lame walking, leprosy disappearing, feeding thousands on very little… and they still didn’t know really who Jesus was. Is it any different with most of us today?

We don’t know Him because we still don’t get what Jesus was telling us in Luke 14. “If you want to be My disciple then you must love Me more than mom, dad, wife, kids, even your own self. Get rid of your possessions (because be real… you possess them because at the end of the day they possess you) and come… follow Me. ”

When you love someone it is almost impossible for someone to drag you away from that someone’s presence. You share everything with them in your life… telling them all about you… your ambitions, dreams, desires. You bend those things, even giving them up just to find a common ground with that person so that your goals and the others goal can work alongside each other so that you can share the rest of your life with this person. The thought of them never being around again causes your brain to malfunction, your stomach is tied in knots and your knees get weak. You give up time with even close friends and family whom you have a love for but not a love like this! You want your friends in your life because you enjoy them and the fun that you have with them… but when it comes to my baby… those guys can’t interfere. Mom… dad… I love you guys but listen! This one is special! He/She is the one!

Let the reality of that set in because in reality… Jesus said, “listen… you have to love me even more than that.”

Who is always on your mind? How often do we go through life without His presence and truth is… we don’t even really miss it that much? Husband… Wife… remember when you first fell in love? Think of all the crazy things you would use as an excuse just to spend another little bit of time with them. Think of when you went to work and pined away much of the day anxiously waiting for work time to be done so you could see that beautiful face again and just be there in his/her presence. Even when away, you spend countless minutes… even hours talking on the phone and you don’t even like talking on the phone that much. You already talked about everything there was to talk about so now… you aren’t talking that much but in a weird way… you are at least electronically together.

Remembering all that… is that how you really are with Jesus?

You want to grow your faith then grow your relationship with Jesus. Prayer, study, worship… all of those are important in this relationship with Him and if you truly desire more of Him then there is no way you will not do those things. But don’t forget that it also includes Him constantly being on your mind… close to your heart… waiting on Him…. longing for just another little bit of private and intimate time alone with Him… even if He’s not talking to you… That presence alone is enough. His desires now trump your desires… You will do anything you can do to please Him no matter the personal cost to you. It is not any longer about seeking more for you… it is about godliness, content with what you have. That is great gain because the gain is that intimate relationship with a Savior who will never leave you nor forsake you.

*Posted on Facebook by Pastor Ken Smith

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Learning to Fly – shared from Godvine.  I loved this and wanted to share it with all of you! images (2)

My neighbor has a number of mature spruce trees in his back yard and every year a family of magpies nests in one of them. We are blessed that our back yard often becomes the place for magpie flight school.

The young birds work their way to the end of a branch, and sit there squawking for a while. Mother magpie is never far away, encouraging the young ones to try again. A nest of magpies can make a lot of noise when it is time to learn to fly.

After working up enough nerve and making a suitable amount of noise the young birds jump, spread their wings and drop to the ground. Squawking some more, they eventually jump up from branch to branch to climb back up the tree, and repeat the process.

The young one goes back to the end of the branch, makes enough noise to work up its nerve and tries it again.

Sometime during the process, they actually get airborne and soar a bit. The first time they soar, it frightens them and they land quickly, unsure of what just happened. Eventually though, they get the idea and fly and soar at will.

As Christians we are often like those young magpies, we stay near the nest and make a lot of noise. Sometimes we take a brief leap, then make a lot of noise over the attempt and head for home.

Other times we actually get to fly a bit, and it surprises and frightens us. We knew it was possible, but we didn’t really think it could happen to us and we stop in disbelief.

Now and then though, we get the idea and actually begin to do what we are called to do and fly. To soar, empowered by Holy Spirit. We begin to become the people of God that we are called to be. Other people see us soaring and the sight turns their mind towards God.

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Each of us is called to work in different ministries. Each of us is at a different point in our faith walk.

Perhaps you haven’t yet broken out of the egg or left the nest. Perhaps you are standing on the edge of the branch squawking in excitement and fear preparing to jump. Maybe you have just soared and it surprised you. Perhaps you are like the mother magpie, knowing you can soar and that it is your duty to encourage others.

Where ever you are in your walk, know that we are called to soar and are empowered to soar, all for the glory of God.

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

Do not grow tired of the attempt — know that the Father has prepared a ministry for you to excel at; to soar and bring Him glory. May you find that ministry and soar in His presence, as He intended, according to his plan. God bless.

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Please, everyone, pray with me for those who are in the path of Hurricane Sandy!

If you’d like, you can post your prayers in the comment section.

Father,

I come in Jesus’ name and ask that you protect all who are in the path of Hurricane Sandy.  Give comfort to those who are afraid, protection to those without a home to take shelter in, give strength to those who are working to help those in need during this event and give your amazing Peace to all who are in need of it during this time.

In Jesus’ name I pray

Amen

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