Friday Coffee with PJ

For today's edition, I thought I would dunk some humble pie in my coffee, by sharing a couple of "bonehead" moves I made recently.

1. The first occurred back on December 11th. I was taking a vacation day and we were planning to head to King of Prussia Mall. As we backed out of the garage, I failed to look in the rear view mirror and just backed out as usual. The problem was ... things were not "usual!" Our youngest daughter was at the house and her car was parked in a small angled extension off of our main driveway. I forgot her car was there and clipped her car's right front bumper with my car's left rear bumper. So ... instead of heading to the mall, we took a trip to the body shop. So glad I have car insurance (the total repair bill for the two cars combined came to just under $2K. Oh, well .... we all make mistakes, right? My wife and daughter took it all in stride (which I can't say I did ... at least initially!). Moral of this story --- DON'T FORGET TO LOOK IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR! That is also good advice for doing this thing called life. It is always good to look back ... so we can learn from our mistakes. But even more important ... it's very healthy to look in life's rear view mirror and identify those "God moments" when you experienced God clearly at work in your life ... moving you closer to Him. For what God did in the past ... he has promised to continue now and until that great Day when he returns (Philippians 1:6).

2. The second occurred just last night. Sharon and I, after 12 years, made the difficult decision to trade in our PT Cruiser. The time had come for us to buy a minivan. That's right! A MINIVAN!  I can recall across the years passing many an older person or couple driving a minivan. I always wondered why they would need a minivan. I now know the answer: GRANDKIDS! So we have now joined the grandparents-with-a-minivan club! So after doing some research on used minivans ... and keeping our eyes opened, we found what appeared to be a good deal on a 2004 Honda Odyssey. We finalized the deal last evening. After saying goodbye to the PT, we drove home. Once inside the house, I sat in my favorite Lazy Boy recliner and began to read the owner's manual. After familiarizing myself with it, I decided to go do some hands on things with the van while it was all fresh in my mind. After unlocking the door with the keyless remote, I climbed in and shut the door. I then began to check out where everything was (I took a flashlight along to give me better light). After a few minutes, I decided to head back in the house. When I opened the door, the car alarm went off ... and boy did it go off! The headlights flashed and the horn BLARED! I did everything I could think of to turn the thing off. I even started up the car thinking that would do it. Nope! So I am sitting there ... totally embarrassed (and glad that it was only 8:30 and not 10:30!). Finally after what seemed like 20 minutes, the horn stopped blaring and the lights ceased their flashing. Ahhh. The silence never sounded so sweet! I sat in the van ... a bit rattled I must admit ... well, a lot rattled! Then I reached for the door and opened it. Guess what? The horn began to pierce that beautiful silence as the headlights did their dance! Thankfully, I managed to turn off the alarm in just a few seconds. Moral of this story --- MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW YOUR CAR'S ALARM SYSTEM WORKS! This is also good advice on how to do life. God has given us an alarm system for our soul. It is called a conscience. The New Testament often speaks of a "clear conscience" (2 Timothy 1:3; Hebrews 13:18). The conscience is God's built in alarm system. When it is configured properly, it will warn us when we are heading off in the wrong direction! But if we are not careful, we can "sear" the conscience (1 Timothy 4:2 - click the link above for more info on this). So ... all this to say, ask God to help you keep your conscience clean and clear. Only then will it serve its God given purpose.

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Friday Coffee with PJ

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