Archive for the ‘driving’ Category

~Written by Samantha Freds

I don’t cry easily, but there is one thing that inevitably brings me to tears: a soldier’s homecoming. The videos are everywhere this time of year. Whether it happens at a football game, a school event or the front door, military men and women reunited with their families gets me every single time.

Perhaps that’s because I know the feeling.

“Sami! Wake up, Daddy’s here!” My brother tried to shake me awake. “You better not be joking,” I groggily replied, afraid to get my hopes up. We hadn’t seen Dad for months and we were not planning to see him that weekend, either. He was stationed in Florida at the time and we were visiting Grandma in Connecticut.

Dad had served twenty-one years in the Air Force before becoming a pastor. He was still in the Air Force Reserves while pastoring a small congregation in New York. He put thousands of miles on the car traveling from New York to Massachusetts, where he was stationed, to fulfill both duties. But after September 11th he was called up to active duty. That’s what eventually sent him to Florida.

My mom, brother and I were scheduled to see Dad around Thanksgiving. Our plane tickets were purchased and the countdown had begun. Instead, that early morning in Connecticut, our family had our own soldier’s homecoming moment. There’s no video, but I don’t think any of us need one to remember it.

Dad had been deactivated early and drove through the night to see us. Although he would continue traveling from New York to Massachusetts until his reserve time was complete, we wouldn’t be separated for months at a time again. I know my mom has never been happier to cancel a trip to sunny Florida! And, thanks to an inner ear infection that hit me at the perfect time, our plane tickets were refunded. God’s blessing in disguise!

I can relate to the sacrifice of our military men and women from a child’s perspective and I know I’m one of the lucky ones. I praise God often that my dad came home.

To all the veterans and their families: Thank you for your sacrifice and service.

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~ Written by Viki Rife

Don’t use a GPS to get to my house. You won’t make it there. Despite their amazing ability to track where you are, Global Positioning Systems will claim that you have arrived about a half mile before you actually reach our place.

Believe me, I’m not criticizing. I remember all too well the days of navigating LA freeways with a map in hand. I’d take my eyes off the road, finally find my place on the map, look up to check the road and lose my place on the map. It was just as dangerous as texting while driving.

So my recent trip to California felt like a breeze. My favorite feature of my GPS is the fact that it tells you ahead of time which lane to get into so you’re ready for the next exit. And I absolutely love its ability to redirect after I’ve taken a wrong turn.

It got me started thinking about how much I appreciate our spiritual GPS: God’s Purpose Secured. God has a purpose for me, and all I need to do is pay attention and follow directions. 

Even when He tells me to get into a lane I don’t want to be in, He is positioning me for whatever exits He wants me to take that will lead to arriving at His purpose for me. And He never gives up on me when I take a wrong turn. Praise God, He will fulfill His purposes for me. And He won’t stop until He brings me safely to my destination.

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~ Written by Cindy Shuler

The beauty brought a smile to my face.

The other morning as I drove through a local neighborhood, one particular house stood out. Sparkling Christmas lights outlined the eaves, dormers and windows. The colors were vibrant and seemed to sparkle in the brisk, frosty air.

A few hours later, as I returned for the second round of my bus route, I once again noticed this house. Something was different and it took me a minute to figure it out. The lights were still lit, however, the sky, which had been clothed in darkness, was giving way to the dawn. With the breaking of day, the brilliance was fading.

In that moment, the Lord whispered, “Don’t fear the darkness.” 

It’s easy to look at our world and despair. The days are growing darker and evil often seems to triumph. Yet it is in this darkness that the light of Jesus can shine brightest. As I reflected on this concept, I was struck by the awesome privilege we have to bring the Light of Jesus into the dark world around us. True joy and hope are found only in Him and our world is in desperate need of both. Rather than turning off our lights in fear, we need to abide in Him, thankful for the opportunity to let our lights stand out as the world’s darkness grows.

I’m pretty sure I’ll view Christmas lights differently this year. Maybe you, too, will see them and be reminded to shine a little brighter.

May Jesus truly shine through us this Christmas season.

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~ Written by Cathy Simms

My husband and I recently took a road trip to visit our son who lives with his wife two hours away. To get there, we had to travel on some major highways. I was busy reading for awhile, but soon realized every time I looked up, we were in the right lane. My husband wasn’t passing anybody, which was very unusual for him! I was quite concerned that maybe he wasn’t feeling well so I questioned him. He said he was only driving in the right lane that week. 

Somewhat confused, my curiosity continued. He proceeded to tell me he was challenged in his small group that week to slow down and not let the busyness of life take over. This involved driving in the right lane, picking the longest line at the grocery store to have an intentional conversation with those in line waiting with you, holding the door for people, and simply not being in a hurry. The reason was to enjoy the moment and allow God to work. 

The idea really challenged me. How many times do I make my “to do” list and miss opportunities to encourage others? When do I fail to take notice of those around me because I’m so busy crossing things off my list? God never intended us to hurry through lives or live with tunnel vision. He created us to love Him and love others but we have to do that with eyes wide open — live with an open calendar, so to speak — so we can allow Him to use us. 

I love Psalm 46:10 which says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Being still means different things for different people but I do know it is an action. “Being still” is something we have to do. Sometimes, through life’s experiences like being on bed rest for pre-term labor, healing from surgery, dealing with a terminal illness, moving to a new location, or a change in occupation, we are forced to be still. I also know that when we are still, we are promised that we can know God is God and He has a plan for our lives. 

Was it fun driving in the right lane? No, it was rather frustrating, but it did allow us to relax and not be in a hurry. We were able to notice God’s beauty around us on the journey. By the way, we arrived at our destination in the same amount of time as our previous trips. 

Why not choose the right lane this week?

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