Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Life is So Much Easier

I’m reading through the Bible in two years in my daily devotions. I’ve done the one year plan and always feel rushed, so when I found my Bible program allowed a two year plan I decided to give it a go. Much better.

However, right now, I’m reading through Leviticus - inspiring. Lots of blood and discharges and uncleanness until evening. The program also takes me to the New Testament to the book of Mark, so I am getting some reading that is a little more digestible.

Interesting contrast today.

I was in Leviticus 16, the day of atonement and I was thinking about how much easier things are today, especially as a pastor. I can’t imagine doing all the things the priests had to do in those days to make atonement for sins. Then I went to the book of Mark and my reading is from Mark 2, the story of the paralyzed man let down through the roof.. I run across this verse:

Mark 2:5 (NIV) When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

What a contrast! Bring this animal on such and such a day and kill it in this manner and sprinkle its blood here and there and don’t do this, because you will have to start all over again or “Son, your sins are forgiven”.

No wonder the religious establishment was upset. Their business depended on complicating things. Jesus made it simple. He made it personal. He made it real.

I’m going to go contemplate how I’m complicating things so I can have a job now. See you later.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Moving Story

Marcia and I are in the process of making the move to Traverse City a bit at a time. We started at Journey on August 1st, but are still in the process of selling the DeWitt house. So, we are living with our son, Kyle and his family while we sell and start and look for a new home, once the old one sells.

To take care of the DeWitt house we are going downstate on our days off, looking after things (lawn, hedges, dust furniture) and bringing a load of stuff up. Last week (Aug 2-3) we borrowed a tow vehicle and enclosed trailer from friends to bring up the freezer, washer and dryer and whatever else would fit. Monday turned crazy and we rushed almost the whole day, not getting away until 6 pm. Earlier that morning, when I picked up the trailer, my friend Gale, almost as an after thought said, hey, I’ve got the spare in the back of my truck. I didn’t have time to get it replaced, it has a chunk of tread missing, but if you had a flat, it might let you limp into somewhere safe. So, I picked it up and indeed, it had a chunk of tread missing about 8 inches long and 3 inches wide.

Spent the week working, never gave a thought to fixing the spare, why would I need it? We headed back to DeWitt on Sunday (Aug 9) and were looking forward to a much more relaxed weekend. According to Gretta (our Garmin), we were to arrive around 5:45 p.m.

Everything was going along great. I keep watch on trailer tires and wheels because they can go bad quite quickly. Just north of Clare I checked the driver’s side mirror to see that the tire was soft. We were only three miles out of Clare, so I kept watching, Next thing I know, it’s not just soft, it’s flat and floppy. Pull over – way over and pull out old baldy. No problem, only three miles.

Problem. It’s Sunday evening. No tire suppliers open in Clair. Nearest Walmart is in Mt. Pleasant. We set Gretta for back roads and limp toward Mt. Pleasant @ 45 mph. The tire is showing a bulge on the inside but we make it. Whew.

Problem: Walmart doesn’t sell that size. They suggest Tractor Supply. They have a tire, wrong size, already mounted on rim. $104.00! We decide to limp as far as possible and then park it in a safe place, lock it up and come back Monday with a new tire.

Miracle: We set Gretta for back roads and find a delightful route on very good secondary roads through the farm lands. I keep watch on the tire, we keep praying. Shepherd passes, Forest Hill, Alma, Eugene, Middleton. Finally Maple Rapids Рwe are within 25 miles of home! As we cross M-21 on DeWitt Rd, just outside St. Johns, it lets go. We are less than 14 miles from home! Plus, there is a church with a large empty parking lot right there. We pull in, disconnect and finish our trip. We arrive in De Witt in time to see some of our friends in our HomeGroup. Laughter and chocolate cr̬me pie make everything better.

Life is an adventure. You never know what will come. On this particular weekend, things didn’t go as we had planned, and yet all the while we were driving on that tire, I kept waiting in expectation for what God would do. Would we make it all the way or would I come across a front yard with a trailer tire chained to a tree with a for sale sign on it? Or, would it get us close enough to home and go just where I could find a safe place? The latter as it turned out. As we were crossing M-21 I saw the church and thought, if it is going to go, this would be a great place. I looked back, and it was gone. I literally drove about 200 yards on it flat. Thank you Lord, for taking care us us and for eyes to see that you were doing so.