Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This Brings Tears to My Eyes

The music video for "Does Anybody Hear Her" by Casting Crowns literally made me cry.  Father, that you would give us eyes to see the world as you see it.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cars, Driving, and the Provision of God

Cars are dangerous, high-maintenance, expensive, and at times annoying (well, at least every car I have owned has been the last three and whenever I'm driving the first one is true).  But yet we all own them and use them daily.  I've been reminded of frailty of our inventions and the provision of my God from a recent trip [honeymoon] to Tennessee with my beautiful bride.

Experience #1
There's only one way to say this: We didn't trust either of our cars to take us to Tennessee and back.  So, we asked my parents and they were gracious enough to allow us to take their 2001 Chevy Malibu instead.  Our suspicions were confirmed when, on Saturday while driving home, my mom informed us that she "was afraid she broke my car".  In reality, my car broke itself.....I believe it is masochistic.
I thank God, though, that He gave us (well, mostly my wife) the wisdom to not take my car all the way to Tennessee but instead to ask if we could use someone else's.  And also that I have such loving parents who were willing to allow us to use their car even though it meant they needed to drive mine for a week.

Experience #2
We stopped at a Bed & Breakfast in Virginia on our way to Tennessee on Sunday, November 13.  This was very wise, it was a beautiful place for a fairly low price, and all-in-all a great way to start our honeymoon.  Obviously, this was Dana's idea.  However, when it came to planning our trip home she let me make the decision, so we drove the whole way from Tennessee to Pennsylvania on Saturday, November 19.  Economical? Yes.  Fun?  Not really.....
In any case, my decision to drive the whole day Saturday did lead to some interesting experiences, one which relates to the overall theme of this post (yes, there is a point to my ramblings).  We were driving up I-81 going around 70-80 mph (the speed limit is 70 at places!) and all of a sudden a car about 100' in front of us just started to spin.  It looked like he was on black ice - he pulled more than a 360, at one point actually in our lane facing us.  Amazingly (God's providence?) he did not hit anyone and we were able to make it around him safely.  I stopped (mostly because Dana said "You can't drive away, you just witnessed an accident") and went back to make sure he was ok.  The man in the car was completely unharmed, although very shaken up, and had no idea why his car had suddenly started spinning while he was driving around 80 mph down the highway.
 Isn't it amazing that we rely on such frail yet complex machines for our everyday needs?  So often we use our cars without thinking about it, but these two experiences reminded me of how much trust we put in our cars (and other's) each and every day.
In the same thought, though, these two experiences reminded me of how much we rely on God's provision and mercy each and every day.  If sin was allowed to run its full course in this world I would be dead.  If God were to leave us to ourselves we would rip each other and ourselves apart, much as my car seems to rip itself apart from time to time, however God, who is rich in mercy, out of love reaches into this world that He created and orders things according to His glorious plan of redemption.

And so I have been reminded once again not to merely rely on the inventions of man or even on my own ability to think, work, or drive but rather to rely upon the strength, grace, love, and mercy of God.  I will continue to drive our cars, and they will continue to be unreliable machines that eventually need to be replaced, but I will put my trust and my hope in the One who orders the universe and knows when each part will break and how it will affect my life and others.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm Back With a Song

Well it's almost been a month since I last posted.  Life has obviously been crazy with starting a new job at a new church, a snowstorm that took out power for almost a week at said church, and a wedding and subsequent honeymoon (which was AMAZING).  As I'm trying to settle back into "normal" life I decided the first blog post I would make as a married man is a song that my lovely wife shared with me this morning.

The song is "Everything I Own" by Jason Gray.  You can listen to it on GrooveShark.

What would I give to be pure in heart
To be pure in flesh and bone
What would I give to be pure in heart
I’d give everything that I own
I’d rid my whole house of its demons of lust
And open the windows of trust
And out of those windows all fear will have flown
I’d give everything that I own

What would I give for the words of God
To come tumbling from the throne
What would I give for the words of God
I’d give everything that I own
I’d open my head and they’d roll right in
When I opened my mouth they’d roll out again
And uproot the weeds of the deeds I have sown
I’d give everything that I own

Now what would I give for my children’s strength
On the day that they stand alone
I mean what would I give for their strength to stand firm
I’d give everything that I own
I’ve wasted my life in accomplishing things
Ignoring the giver of wings
So Lord teach them to fly to the foot of your throne
I’ll give everything that I own

All I’ve accomplished, the titles I hold
My passions, position, possessions and gold
To God they must look like a thimble of foam
And it’s everything that I own
Dirty rags are all that I own

So I stand before God with my stubble and hay
He just laughs, but says there’s still a way
Because “Father, Forgive” are the words Jesus moaned
When He gave everything that He owned

So what would I give to be pure in heart
For the known to be made unknown
What would I give to be born again?