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Power Steering –Devotions by Pastor Richard

Power Steering

Devotion by Pastor Richard

Last week I was cruising facebook, which can easily lead to very deep frustrations and discouragement with humanity. I did it anyway. Sometimes I just like to see how mean and ignorant people can be without a filter. At times it does drive me to prayer, which is a good thing, but I am sure God has to be more upset at humanity than I am. It is a good thing He is full of grace for us all!

While enjoying my plunge into the depths of human honesty and conviction on facebook, I did run across a meme my uncle has posted. It was a picture of an old car from the sixties and the caption read: “In my day, driving without power steering meant not having to go to the gym!” I thought it was great and so true! Then I thought, how many people under the age of 50 have ever driven a car without power steering? It did remind me of a story…

A few years ago when I served at my Florida church, we had a 55 passenger retired Trailways bus we used for trips. On one of our mission trips to the eastern hills of Kentucky we blew the engine. We were less than ten miles from our destination, crawling up the last of the hard mountain climbs to our destination and that poor old bus engine gave up the fight. She was dead on the side of the road. She was not headed back to the Sunshine state without a new motor.

Four months later we finally got the call from the Kentucky mechanic who had finally finished installing the new engine. It became my task to fly to Kentucky and bring our bus home. I flew to the nearest airport, which was still a two-hour drive to where the mechanic’s shop was. Someone from a church there came and took me to a place in the hills of Kentucky where I would never be able to find again! It was around 5 pm or so before I got behind the wheel to begin my one-thousand-mile journey home.

The bus started up just fine and I was on my way. I pulled out, got on the road and was doing my best to navigate the curving back roads trying to find the nearest interstate. I probably was a hundred miles into my journey and I felt the steering get more and more stiff. I was not sure what was going on until I got near the last turn before getting on the interstate, and I missed the turn. Doing a U-turn in a fifty-foot vehicle is tough. Doing that U-turn with NO power steering is something else all-together! I had driven a car without power steering before, it was more difficult, but not that bad. It just took a lot more turning and a lot more muscle strength. Driving a bus without it is a whole different experience!

I eventually made it to Asheville, where I was planning to stop for the night. I do not exactly remember how I got the big old bus into the parking lot at the hotel after driving six hours with no power steering. When I stood up to get out of the bus, I felt like my arms must have looked like the cartoon character Popeye! I was so stiff and sore I was not sure if I could pick up my overnight bag and check in at the hotel desk. I thought that if I needed an injection that night that no needle would be able to penetrate my huge and stiffened shoulders! It really took more than I realized out of me that night.

So, I am a believer in power steering! What an incredible invention! I cannot imagine driving without it now. We all take it for granted. You know, I think Jesus is very similar. I remember the part of my life without Jesus, no power steering. I also remember the larger part of my life with Jesus, with power steering. Looking back, I would have never made it this far in life without Jesus giving me love, hope and direction. Life without Christ would have been like driving that beast of a bus without power steering. Sure, I could have made it through life ok…, maybe? But having Jesus as that source of power in my life sure has made everything so much better, and so much less difficult. The problems and challenges were just more manageable because of Jesus. Big arm muscles might be cool, but nothing compares to a rich life in Christ. Where does your power source come from? For many it is family, maybe it is a career or money. Someone else’s might be control over their life or someone else’s. I just know that my best life is when I am in sync with where God is leading me and when I am relying on Christ to get me there!

I do not recommend driving a bus without power steering! I do recommend a life trusting and relying on Jesus!

Pastor Richard

What was the best Gift you’ve received?

What was the best gift you received this past Christmas? Was it an expensive present? Was it something that was very thoughtful from a friend who knows you well? A great friend of mine gave me two cozies that had the logo of one of my favorite hockey teams and I use them every chance I get! Maybe your best gift was a little more intangible, like a note from a loved one or maybe you were able to spend time with family you have not seen in a while. For me it was great spending time with my step brother and his family that we do not get to see very often.

Gifts come in all shapes, sizes and varieties. They can be acts of love and kindness. They can be unexpected presents and presence. Sometimes the greatest gifts are just gifts of your time. Gifts are great, they are meant to build up another person. Gifts tell us we mean something to someone else. They are so important, and they do not always have to be stuff.

 

Do you realize that God gives us gifts? Sure, He gives us the air we breathe, sunshine, and yes even snowy wintery weather that allows us to take a break! He meets our needs and gives us the greatest gift of all, His Son Jesus! Yes, God is a very generous giver, and we can learn so much by recognizing and thanking God for all His precious gifts.

There is even more. God gives special gifts to all who believe in Him, we call them spiritual gifts. These gifts are special in the fact that their whole purpose for us to use and build up God’s Kingdom. In other words, these gifts He gives us allows and equips us to help each other participate fully in living out God’s call in our lives. I know of two friends whose gift is generosity and they are such a blessing to so many people. Our pastors’ have gifts they use every Sunday morning. I have gifts that help me to work with children and teenagers.

 

You also have gifts and they are incredibly important. We are starting several groups in the church that are focusing on discovering and using your spiritual gifts. I would love to see you begin to explore or deepen that part of your walk with Christ. When we as a body begin to use our gifts, incredible things happen! We are given the opportunity to accomplish things for God that we have not even dreamed of yet. Even if you are not a part of our congregation, there are lots of resources out there that can help you begin to see those gifts God has given to you and wants you to use to shine for Him!

Next week I will tell a story of someone who had a gift and was very practiced at using it.

 

Pastor Richard

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