Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The deadly truck trip (when everthing goes wrong)

The day started out like a fairly normal Sunday. It was a little more fun then normal because my friends and I were house sitting. We woke up and got ready to head to church together. Nothing particularly out of the ordinary. Pancakes we the breakfast choice of the day, which was a special treat and thoroughly enjoyed.
 Like most Sundays we headed out to church about 10 minutes late. It seems like it is always difficult to make it there on time, but nevertheless we arrived and enjoyed an excellent Sunday school and a powerful church service. Little did I know that the encouraging morning was going to turn into a deadly afternoon.
Back at the house all of us girls, and one of the girls families got together for a Sunday lunch. It was small and laid back, a great way to fellowship and spend time with one another. About an hour or so into our little get together, a few of us had to take off to go to our church's "convalescent ministry." Unbeknown to us this ministry had been cancelled and it wasn't until we were on our way that we were informed. As we drove we got the call saying it was cancelled, but we decided to continue heading there anyway. There were still old people waiting and needing love and prayer, so we chose to do a little impromptu ministry thing. Just as we were about to arrive the guy leading our convalescent escapade got another phone call.
"Hello? Yes? Oh, absolutely. We would love to. Alright, see you later." He hung up the phone.
My friend, our leaders sister, and I sat there in wonder at what had just taken place. "We're heading to Fremont" our leader proclaimed. "You guys don't have to come if you don't want, but I just volunteered to pick up a couch."
Of course we were full of adventure and eagerly agreed to join him on the journey. It was about an hour there and an hour back, and we had to get home in time for evening service. So we went and picked up a truck, piled in and began our trip.
Now this was not any normal truck. It was an extremely tiny, with three seats in a tight-fitting car, with stick shift and manual steering, and that's not even the worst of it. You can't go over 65 on the freeway in this truck and it feels like it is going to break down at any minute. So that gives you just a slight picture of what we were dealing with.
About twenty minutes into the drive we decided to needed a pick-me-up to make it through the journey so we stopped off at a Starbucks to grab some coffee. The first thing that went wrong was the parking situation. All the parking spots were parallel and when you have a manual steering wheel cranking it to the side to fit into a parallel parking spot was not easy. We took about ten minutes just trying to get in the spot without hitting the car behind us.
Ordering the coffee was a task in itself as well. The workers all seemed to be new and it took five minutes just to order one drink. We were trying to be gracious and kind and not let frustration and annoyance with the slow service control us.
Finally, we were back on the road singing and laughing about this random adventure we had ended up on. Suddenly we realize the merging exit was coming up far quicker then expected. Our driver cranked on the steering wheel and prayed we didn't hit any cars as we crossed over lines to reach the exit. Cars were honking and flying by as veered to the left.
We made it to the exit just in time and realized that the road had a sharp turn and went in a loop to merge onto the other freeway. Again our driver cranked on the steering wheel and slammed on the brake as we nearly went head first into the metal railing on the side of the road. I was clinging to the side of the door, which felt like it was about to fall off, and my friend in the middle was clinging to me, both of us girls were yelling and screaming in terror. All the while our driver was calm and collected, regaining control and making it around the loop fast enough to accelerate and merge on to the other freeway.
We were finally back up to 65 and driving smoothly (if you could call this truck smooth) down the interstate. We made it to Fremont, still alive, but the trouble wasn't over. The couch we were there to pick up was nearly as long as the truck itself. Opening up the bed, we slid it in and realized that the end was sticking out quite a bit. Nevertheless, we strapped that thing down as best we could, stuffed the pillows under it so they wouldn't blow away and piled back in the truck.
Now there was three of us stuffed in this tiny truck, with a giant, few hundred pound couch on the back. We probably drove about 50 mph on the way home and I know I was praying all the way there that the couch wouldn't go flying off the end. We made it home, safe alive but slightly shaken up happy to be out of that stuffy truck.
Little did we know when we started out that we would nearly die on that trip, but all in all it was a great day and a great adventure!

Happy we're alive!
(I'm on the left, my friend is in the middle, the leader of our escapade is on the right.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I am ridiculously blessed

It is so easy to take for granted our lives and God's blessings. Lately I have been thinking about how great I have it, and how good God is to me.

I have been through struggle and trial one after another, but I am starting to truly see how God is blessing me through each situation.

Trial: As I move away from the friendships that are pointing me to the world I am losing the dearest people in my life, and feeling like they want absolutely nothing to do with me.

My goal was not to cut those people out of my life, but to spend a little less time with them. I was putting all my time and effort into friendships that weren't Christ exalting and I was not spending enough time walking with God, in His word, prayer and fellowshipping with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Blessing: As I cry out to God to strengthen me and help me get through this trial of losing friends I find myself creating new relationships and friendships. He is bringing wonderful friendships back into my life that I used to have, and creating new friendships with brothers and sisters I didn't know before.
God is blessing me with new and fun experiences with these people. Although it still hurts to lose other friends I am coming to be at peace with how God is handling the situation.

Trial: I live in a three bedroom, two bathroom, one story house with seven grown adults and my dad works out of an office from home. For the last few months there has been frustration after frustration getting used to the way each person lives.
My sister and I have our routines, times we need to get up, use the bathroom to get ready etc... My grandparents have their routine, times they need to get up and get ready etc... My parents have their routines, and my Uncle has his. We are all on different schedules doing different things and it is a huge adjustment getting used to living with so many people.
My uncle doesn't do a whole lot during the day so he stays up very late at night and I often find myself being kept awake by his noise.
I was so frustrated and annoyed suddenly having so many people in the house.

Blessing: God opened my eyes to the fact that I was once a person full of sin, completely undeserving of anyone taking me in. God brought me in, cleaned away my sin and loves me continually. Despite the fact that I mess up over and over, I mock Him, I do things that make Him sad hurt and annoy Him yet He still loves me unconditionally.
I do things that annoy and hurt Him a lot more then just being kept up at night, but He keeps caring for me.
If God can continue to forgive and love me, I have no place to judge or be angry or annoyed at anyone else. He has opened my eyes to that reality and is teaching me how to deal with each situation with grace and love.

Blessing: God has provided me a stable car, a job to provide gas and pay for bills, and even lowered the gas prices so I could afford to drive thirty minutes to and from Church. (Yes that's a huge blessing!!!)

Blessing: God has given me a chance to minister to others and has opened my eyes to the importance of serving.

Blessing: God kept my whole family on the east coast safe from the Hurricane.

Blessing: God is allowing my whole family to be home and together for Thanksgiving AND Christmas.

Man, I could go on and on with the ways I am blessed because that is just a small amount of things I have to be thankful for.

My point is, remember you are blessed and constantly thank God for those blessings.
I know I don't thank Him nearly enough.
Psalm 100:4
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Every day I'm fighting a war

Every time I sin I know I am sinning. I hate the fact that I do the same things over and over and over, and I want to stop. I want to change. I don't want to be doing these things, but every time I feel like I defeated this temptation the devil just throws more temptation in my way and I fall into that snare again. I know we are called to hide God's word in our heart so we may not sin against Him.( Psalm 119:11)
The problem is, everything I have said, is about me. The word being used is I. When it comes down to it, it's not about me. I will never be able to do this on my own. I can never change on my own. I can never defeat temptation on my own, and it's so frustrated.
All that I can do is keep praying the Lord will take this temptation from me and help me to fight it when I am presented with these trials. I have not prepared myself for when trials strike, so the devil drags me down.
I get so angry at myself because I keep falling into the same sins and when I am doing it I know it's sin, and I don't want to do it but I do. It really brings me down because I am such a disgusting, filthy sinner and I wonder how I can even call myself a Christian. How can I say I am a follower of Christ when I do these awful things that breaks my Heavenly Father's heart.
In moment's like these I remember, I am undeserving. There is no way that I should be going to Heaven, because I deserve to spend my eternity in Hell. These are the moment's I need to preach the gospel to myself. I have been saved by GRACE. Christ was the PROPITIATION (wrath absorbing substitute) for my sin. I am completely undeserving of Heaven but Christ's blood covers me and all my sins are washed away and God see's me as pure and perfect despite my natural sin nature. I just need to repent and turn away from my sins
So I will keep reminding myself the wonderful promise our Father gives to us.

Romans 10:9
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

I have been saved

John 10:28
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.

My salvation can never be taken from me

Romans 8:38-39
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Nothing can separate me from my Heavenly Father.

2 Peter 1:4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

God promises us we will escape the corruptions of our earthly desires and be in Heaven with Him.

"Lord every day I'm fighting a war to flee from it all, until I am free from it all." ~116 Clique