That Ol’ I-40 West

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I’ve heard this one illustration from Pastor Mike Glenn quite a few times, but the impact is always the same.

If you get on I-40 West, you’ll end up in Memphis every single time. Unless of course you stop off at Jackson. But the point is that you can’t get on that particular interstate and hope to get to Chicago or New York. You’ll end up in Memphis (or end up passing through Memphis)– eventually. Ok, it’s not a perfect analogy, but here’s the point.

Uncle Mike says that some people will get on I-40 West and wonder how they ended up in Memphis. In much the same way, people will make poor life choices and wonder how their life ended up as such a hot mess.

I’m not here to judge people who are in a rough patch in their lives. I am saying that you can’t continually make bad and ill-informed choices and not have consequences from those choices. You reap what you sow every time. As another pastor said, you can’t sow wild oats from Monday through Saturday and pray for crop failure on Sunday.

The good news is that there is forgiveness from bad decisions. The bad news is that there are also consequences. Some of you (with me included) have found that out the hard way.

But some of you have found out that you don’t have to keep making the same bad decisions. You can choose differently. No matter how much of a train wreck your past has been, your future is still an unwritten page with unlimited possibilities.

And yes, God can take anybody’s mess and turn that into their message. He can take what was meant for evil and turn it into something good (just ask Joseph). He can work all things together for good.

I wanted to end this on a positive note. I echo the words of the old knight in the movie Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade: “You must choose wisely.”

 

Amazed by God again!

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“The ultimate test of our spirituality is the measure of our amazement at the grace of God.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones

I was not prepared for what happened to me tonight. I went to Set Free Nashville tonight hoping to do more than take up space and be a warm body. I had no idea what to expect, only that God would be there. And was He!

I ended up having a really good conversation with one of the homeless men. He shared his life story with me and I listened, which is an accomplishment for an ADDer like me. I ended up receiving the blessing that I thought I would give. The guy I talked to and I are not that different– in fact, the only difference is a couple of bad decisions on his part. Apart from the grace of God, I very easily could have done worse.

I ended up praying with him and as he walked away, I whispered a silent prayer of thanks to God for this conversation. I think my frozen heart is finally starting to thaw and I am just beginning to learn what it means to love with the love of Christ. I know now that what God wants is simply my availability and flexibility. He wants me to show up and wait for Him to really show up! He did.

I didn’t do anything. God did it all. I like to close this blog with very appropriate lyrics from a Sara Groves song:

“Something changed inside me broke wide open all spilled out
Till I had no doubt that something changed
Never would have believed it till I felt it in my own heart
In the deepest part the healing came
And I cannot make it
And I cannot fake it
And I can’t afford it
But it’s mine
Something so amazing in a heart so dark and dim
When a wall falls down and the light comes in
And I cannot make it
And I cannot fake it
And I can’t afford it
But it’s mine”

That is exactly what happened tonight. All praise to the God who can use anybody anytime anywhere to reach out to anyone!