I was a pre-schooler and was playing checkers with my Mom in the living room of our house on East Main street in Butler. It was evening and was getting dark outside. All of a sudden our whole house shook and there was a tremendous roar. We ran to the front door and saw that a semi driver had fallen asleep and drove his big rig into the house across the street, knocking the entire house off its foundation.
The whole neighborhood turned out to help rescue the occupants, an older couple named McKee, who were, fortunately, not harmed. That was big excitement for the sleepy town of Butler. And it pulled the community together. Crisis has a way of getting people to work together with compassion for another.
I don’t want to say we need more crises, but God will do whatever it takes to get us to work together. Who do you know who’s in trouble?
Tags: rescue, trouble, unity
Pastor Thomas Collins was visiting a family in his church when the mother was very depressed and despondent and felt that God had forsaken them. Looking at the baby in the woman’s arms, Pastor Collins said to her, “Drop that baby on the floor.”
Startled by the suggestion, she looked at him in disbelief. “Well,” he said, reaching for his wallet, “for what price would you do it?” Indignantly she replied, “Not for as many dollars as there are stars!”
He then said kindly, “Tell me, do you really think that you love your child more than the Lord does His?” That truth broke through the woman’s despair.
We all face times of deep trial. That is the time to strengthen our faith in God’s love and His promise to carry us through. Jesus said clearly, “No one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand” (John 10:28). He was talking about you.
Tags: hope, trouble
Saturday morning I was asked to speak to Cancer survivors and their caregivers and supporters at the DeKalb County Relay for Life, which is a fund-raiser for cancer research. I was surprised they asked me, because I’ve never been involved with the Relay for Life (formerly known as Walk-for-Life). My first thought was that really didn’t fit my purpose, but then I thought about what an opportunity it was to speak to people facing a life-threatening disease about hope.
So, I shared about some lessons I learned battling prostate cancer:
1. I am Not Invincible.
A. Things Happen That Aren’t Supposed to Happen.
B. To Reevaluate What I’ve Been Taught.
C. To Deal With My Own Mortality.
2. God Will Direct Me.
A. He Arranges Coincidences.
B. Everyone Has A Home Remedy.
3. I Am An Overcomer.
A. To Make the Most of Every Day.
B. To Have Empathy With Others.
C. I Can Encourage Others.
These are things I have learned the hard way. Any lessons you could add that you’ve learned while going through the fire?
Tags: cancer, faith, lessons, trouble
A couple of years ago I performed a wedding at a rural home. The family had worked really hard to set things up nicely in the front yard. They had about 50 chairs set up and a nice small white canopy. They had set up a small arch where the ceremony occurred.
But in their attempt to make this a really nice wedding, they purchased a carpet runner. When I first started doing weddings in the 1970s, carpet runners were cloth and came on a metal runner with handles. Today they are lightweight plastic around a cardboard tube and a short twine to pull it with. Not ideal for an outside wedding.
As the ushers attempted to unroll the plastic runner across the grass, the gentle breeze blew under it through the grass and rolled that runner. No matter what they tried to do, the runner would not stay in place.
The wedding went just like we planned, but the rolling carpet runner became the memory of the day. What plans have you made that have gone awry and what did God teach you through it?
Tags: trouble, wedding, wind
When I was in Junior High, I was a part of a Boy Scout Troop in Butler. It was the early 1960s and each boy dreamed of the day we would have our own car. Our scoutmaster arranged a series of classes at Maxton Motors, then a GM dealership. Each week a mechanic met with us eager boys (about a dozen of us each week) to teach us about auto mechanics.
One week he pulled in a cut away engine block and explained how an automobile engine worked. Another week they explained radiators and coolant systems. Then they explained carburetors and exhaust systems. Then they talked about electrical systems in cars and how batteries were recharged and lights worked. Then tires and oil and air filters and brakes. They brought in actual parts and tools and explained routine maintenance.
The professional mechanics who donated their time to teach us boys invested something in me that has helped me many times over as I’ve had breakdowns with my vehicles. Whoever you were, guys, ‘Thank you’.
What do you know that you could pass on to someone else? That’s called discipleship on every level. Pass it on.
Tags: Boy Scouts, repair, trouble
I’ve been helping a friend research her family ancestry from the early days of Bell County, Kentucky. Her ancestors settled in the Yellow River Valley, a rather flat circular section of the Cumberland mountains just north of the Cumberland Gap. After exhausting Online information regarding her family, I went to work researching the history and geography of the area where they lived.
It seems this several miles across circular valley nested among rugged mountains is actually an impact crater from a meteorite that crashed into the rugged mountains centuries ago. Only recent space technology revealed it. Had that meteorite not crashed into this area, the Cumberland Gap would never have been, and settling this corner of the State of Kentucky would not have happened for another 100 years.
Sometimes God allows bad things to happen because there is something good that will come out of it. Remind yourself of this the next time bad things happen. Remember who’s in control.
Tags: bad news, trouble
While on our Arizona vacation last month Anita and I rented a car. We were driving from the Phoenix area up to Sedona, the Red Rock area. As we drove, we could see the high mountainous area ahead of us. It seemed like such a steep grade that we would never get up there. But, as we progressed the winding road, around curves and switchbacks, we soon found ourselves on the other side heading down.
The twists and turns of life are like that. They move us slowly onward, so slow we don’t always recognize that we’re moving onward. But, surely enough, we eventually arrive at life’s destination. To worry about the obstacles up ahead is purposeless. If God has pointed us onward, He will surely take care of the way.
Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things” (Matthew 6:34). Think about this today.
Tags: obstacles, trouble, worry