Stuck in the Driveway by Phil
We've had several stretches of late where our electricity has gone off. These usually occur at night, but we did have one in the morning. My computer didn't work and my power woodworking tools were out of commission, so I enjoyed a relaxing morning of listening to music and reading a book. Sure, the music was on my iPhone and the book was on my iPad, but I felt practically Amish!
On another occasion, our power came back on in the middle of the night but our internet didn't. Apparently this confused the smart lightbulb beside our bed and it decided to flash on and off. In my semi-groggy state I spent fifteen minutes messing with the controller app on my phone before I realized I could just turn off the light switch and deal with it in the morning. I guess the bulb wasn't the only one who wasn't smart that night!
My favorite "unplugged" story happened one evening when Pam and I went to a local venue to listen to an incredible bluegrass group. Apparently there was a storm while we were at the concert, and a couple of miles from our house, we drove into complete darkness. We were able to make out some street signs and made it safely home. I thought, "no big deal, it's night anyway so we'll just go in and go to sleep." That's when I remembered my house key was with my van keys... inside the house. No biggie, Pam has a little of everything in her purse, there must be a key in there. Nope. We dug through the car and found two garage door openers, a forgotten protein bar, an umbrella, 46¢ in change, and about 300 napkins... but no house key.
There we sat in our driveway, right outside our comfy home without a simple key to get in. The house is ours, bought and paid for, but we were locked out. It's not that we didn't know how to get in (I may struggle with smart bulbs, but I do know how to use a dumb door lock). We were so close, we were just missing the key.
I couldn't help but think of Jesus's words in John 14:2-3, "In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." We have an eternal home, made especially for us, bought and paid for by Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. What a travesty to be stuck outside because we didn't have the key. And yes, there is a key! Jesus tells Peter in Matthew 16:19a, "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven..."
So what did Peter do to get this key? In verse 15 Jesus asked who the disciples said He was. Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." - Matt 16:6. Peter's words were a statement of his belief in Jesus, but I think the crucial moment happened way back in chapter 4 when Jesus invited Peter and Andrew to "Come, follow me." Verse 20 says, "At once they left their nets and followed him." Peter didn't just acknowledge Jesus as Lord, He answered the call to follow.
Jesus makes that same invitation to each of us. Where we spend eternity and how we live the rest of our lives here depends on our answer to that simple invitation, "Come, follow me." What's your answer?
I answered that call years ago and know I have a key to my heavenly home. After a trip to the hardware store, I now also have keys to my earthly home in every car, on every keyring, at my mom's house, at my daughter's house, and hidden in several nooks and crannies. (I'm not really sure what a cranny is, but I have a house key there just in case) I'm not getting locked out of either home again!
He keeps leading, we keep following,
Phil and Pam
Love and Explosions by Phil One of Pam and my favorite activities to do together is watch movies. We would play tennis, but that involves getting off the sofa, so we stick to movies. That being said, we have very different taste in our entertainment preferences. (In case you haven't noticed, men and women are different, not better or worse, right or wrong, just different. Trust me, God knew what He was doing!) Pam enjoys movies with great stories and romantic gestures, I like to watch things...
The Missing Word by Phil With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I'd like to tackle one of the most controversial verses in the Bible - Ephesians 5:22: "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord." You may be surprised to learn that one little word, "submit" (also found as "obey" or "be in subjection" depending on your translation) is not even in the original greek! A direct word for word translation reads more like, "Wives, to your own husbands as to the Lord."...
Welcome to February! Here we are in the month of love! Lots to love going on around here, for instance... This weekend we are facilitating a "Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage" Conference at Harrisonville Community Church in Harrisonville, MO. It will be a blast with lots of great, practical take-home tips. There may still be room left, call (816) 884-2431 for reservations. Phil is really enjoying his time as interim worship leader at Big Creek Baptist Church in Pleasant Hill. Our schedule...