Friday, January 16, 2015

Driving with the Brakes On

"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. 

"And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. Isaiah 55:8

My second son-in-law, like a lot of other men, does not like for his wife to drive his trucks.  Now, to be honest, I don't know how this works in other states, but in West Virginia, a man's truck says a lot about his character.  Some truck's tote guns and Bibles, some are adorned with mud while others are chromed-out, some have running boards and others make you work for the right to get inside!  My son-in-law's truck was somewhat of a show piece: a shiny blue Ford, decorative hood scoop, nice wheels, mirror-like chrome...and nearly impossible to drive.  

One Sunday afternoon, my daughter's husband gave her the privilege of popping that clutch and raking those gears to bring his truck to momma's house!  And although this truck was a beast to get moving forward, I had to see if this old woman could still drive a stick-shift.  Down the graveled driveway we went, just a mile or so, under the pretense of gassing 'er up.  I was a little rusty finding that sweet spot for the clutch release but once I hit third gear, I had it down pat. Wow! Ole mom still had it...or so I thought.  I offered an embarrassed "New toy!" explanation to the folks watching us from the storefront as we jerked clumsily onto the blacktop.  Once home, I smiled and jumped out of the truck, only to be assaulted by the smell of burning rubber.  And it was at that exact moment my daughter reminded me to set the emergency brake...the emergency brake?  Oh was set...the whole mile down the road and the whole mile back up the driveway: I had been driving with the parking break on. How embarrassing.

I don't know about ya'll but every once in a while, I try this with life in general but try as hard as I can, I cannot make it turn out like it is supposed to. Those times when a thirty minute project turns into a entire day of failure.  Those days when my strength gives out on me while trying to do something I've accomplished, effortlessly, a millions times before.  Driving with the brakes on? Why would I do that?

Just like driving my son-in-law's truck, when I am forceful enough, I see things appearing to move forward, yeah they do so kicking and screaming, jumping and lurching, and when accomplished under these conditions, the results are often emotionally draining with little or no pleasure; oftentimes leaving a stench behind and an even bigger mess to clean up. So for me, I believe God "puts the break on" when my timing is off, or when the things I want are not part of His will for me.

My prayer for both you and I, is that the next time we try to force things into existence, this little road trip comes to mind and we take a moment to consider if God has given us the go ahead or if He has put the breaks on...Stay blessed and remember that God's timing is perfect.

In Christ,

Coach Kelly

Friday, January 9, 2015

Create in Me

"Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me"
(Psalm 51:10)

Back in October, I took a drive down a few back roads, across a mountain, and this little creek.

As I stopped to take this picture, I considered how the creek had carved out its own path through a lifetime of ebbs and flows. Sometimes the water runs high, cuts deep, and steals from the land that runs along its boarders. Then there are times when the river is shallow and suffers from unsolicited deposits of trash and other debris; but the water is always moving forward, leaving in its path the beautiful scene almost reflected by this photo (my camera did not do Red Creek justice).

This stop along the road reminded me to be thankful for the good, and even the not so good times, in my own life because they are what formed me into the woman I am today.  It also reminded me that every once in a while we need a tap on the shoulder to remind us that God, the Great I Am, created us as individuals on purpose.

Just as this creek runs through our valley, leaving its mark along the way, we too are to make a positive impact on what surrounds us.  By allowing our thoughts to make a positive impact on the way we live, the way we live impacts the life of those around us, on our community, on our state and eventually on our country and the world as a whole!  So...let us think positive thoughts, live life on purpose, trust in the innate good in mankind, and  choose to exercise empathy, love, and compassion to those in our circle of life.  Just like a creek trickling through West Virginia, our thoughts cut deep and form pathways of habit...and it all starts as a simple thought.  Our thoughts ebb and flow through our minds, carving out patterns which eventually define who we are as individuals.

When we are tempted to think negative, demeaning thoughts, what if we chose instead to lift ourselves up by changing our thought process? What if we gave thanks for the good things in our lives, for the people we can count on, for the promise of salvation, and even for the beauty of West Virginia?  What if we realized that we are worth every good and perfect thought we think toward ourselves?  Each of us will have to answer these questions for ourselves...

Have a blessed week - 

In Christ with Love and Compassion,
Coach Kelly

He knows the Stars by Name

Photo Credit: Dolly Sods Facebook Group - Unknown Hey y’all.       After journaling morning prayers and reading a devotion, Psalm 147:4 ca...