Friday Coffee with PJ

Pour yourself a cup of your favorite brew and join me for a couple of brief thoughts (just returned yesterday from a week's vacation!). 

1. We left last Thursday morning and drove to Ocean City, MD. On the way, we stopped in the Bethany Beach area and scoped out the house we will be renting for our family beach vacation this upcoming summer (an outside look had to suffice as the owner was not available to let us in). From Bethany Beach we continued to Ocean City where we spent the next day and a half before moving on to our ultimate destination of Williamsburg, VA. The day we arrived in Ocean City, the temperature never got out of the thirties. It was down right cold (and with the wind whipping off the ocean, it felt even colder). But talk about a temperature change! When we stepped out of the car in Williamsburg on Saturday, the temperature was a balmy 75 degrees. Both Sunday and Monday had highs approaching 80 degrees! I was so warm I drove to the local Kmart to buy a pair of shorts to wear! Oh how we enjoyed that unexpected taste of summer! Life's is full of unexpected turns. Some bring us much joy and happiness ... others discomfort, pain and sorrow. But in either case, we must acknowledge the sovereign hand of God behind it all (Ephesians 1:11). Through all that we experience, God is at work, conforming us increasingly into the image of his Son (Romans 8:28-30). Embracing this truth each and every day will help us to cling to our Savior and grow in our faith! 

2. On our way back from Williamsburg, I had an opportunity to meet a deputy sheriff. Now in my work as a police chaplain and in our church's hosting of the our annual service to honor law enforcement, I have rubbed shoulders with many a sheriff's deputy. But in this case, I would have rather passed on the introductions. I was in Virginia and had just come off of a bridge. The posted speed limit was only 55 mph. But I was traveling just a bit faster than that (OK ... a big bit faster than that!). As soon as I saw the deputy's vehicle sitting in the grass median strip and his lights begin to flash
Uh oh!
I knew that I was driving too fast (too late!!!). As he pulled out onto the highway, I immediately made my way onto the shoulder and stopped. Sure enough he pulled in behind me and was soon at my window asking for my licence and registration. Today my checking account balance is a bit lower (to the tune of $162!). But I have only myself to blame. The speed limit sign was clearly posted. In fact, when the officer handed me the citation, he told me I had the option to plead not guilty and then appear in court in May to contest the charges. I looked at him and said, "Officer, I am guilty. I will pay the fine and move on (but at a much slower pace!)." So he gave me directions on how I could plead guilty and pay the fine. The check will be in the mail today!

Now this is the first time in my 45 years of driving that I have ever received a speeding ticket. Is it the first time I have broken posted speed limits? No. I would guess that the vast majority of us from time to time do drive faster than the speed limit for a variety of reasons (on some highways if you drive the posted speed limit you might get run over!). But in the past couple of days since receiving the citation, I have found myself much more aware of posted speed limits and doing my best to keep them (in spite of those who ride my rear bumper in an attempt to get me to go faster). For me, our vacation ended with a lesson that I hope is well learned! 

Just as there are driving laws which help assure safety on our highways, so God has given us his laws to help us live life as He intended (for example, think Ten Commandments). Now in giving us these laws, God is not some cosmic kill joy trying to rob us of all of life's pleasure and fun. No. The laws he gives us ... the commandments in the Bible, etc. ... are given to us for our good (Deuteronomy 10:12-13). Since he created us, he knows what is best for us. Keeping his commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3). In fact, obeying his Word should be our delight for it is in obeying that we demonstrate our love for him (John 14:15). But at the end of the day, it is a comfort to know that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for all of our sins ... a payment that we in and of ourselves could never pay! The gospel (good news) of Christ calls us to turn from our sins and in faith turn to Jesus! If you have questions about all that Jesus did for you and me and what we must do in response, please heck out Two Ways to Live: A Choice We All Face. 

Thanks for stopping by . . . 

1 comment:

Fred J. Lauver said...

You created something positive out of adversity. You were able to create a Biblical lesson inspired. Maybe sometimes we slip up as fallible humans to remind us of doing the right thing.

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