Saturday, November 11, 2023


I just spent the last week on vacation.  It seems that the Lord teaches me lessons during all of my vacations.  For example, several years ago while on a vacation, I learned that one should never use a child’s Superman fishing rod to cast a Johnson silver minnow.  It is quite likely that said silver minnow may find itself embedded into the head of the caster.

I have also learned that when your nine-year-old daughter says that she has a stomachache during vacation…it is quite possible that it is appendicitis. 

I have learned that if you jump into the lake from the dock, you may end up with water up your nose which can likely lead to a major sinus infection and nullify any further enjoyment of the vacation…especially when you add into the fact that you become feverish with the sinus infection and it happens to be in the midst of a global pandemic shutdown for Covid-19, which you now become convinced that you have.  Once you test negative for Covid, you may find it possible that a family member suggests that you have a brain eating amoeba and you only have hours to live.  (Considering that this took place over 3 years ago…I think I am in the clear.)

Over this past week, I again have learned a few things.  I have learned that despite the fact that I am 47 years old, I am still physically able to give my son with a broken foot a piggy back ride up a ladder to get him safely into a deer stand without putting any weight on the broken foot.  He was perfectly safe the entire time…but I would ask that you not bring this up to his mother.

I have also learned this year that just because there were more deer than you could count running around the woods in September and October…doesn’t mean that they haven’t become incredibly skilled at playing hide and seek in the same woods…or perhaps they went south for the winter.

Finally, I have learned something more about the Lord.  As I sit and look at the same trees all day long, and listen to the squirrels and the blue jays and the occasional ruffed grouse…but no deer…I find myself compelled toward the Lord.  I learned how the Lord and his goodness and grace draws me, (us) into deeper communion with him.

This astounds me.  I know my life…including my own thoughts and actions and the unrighteous life that I have lived and still wrestle with.  This week I found myself drawn…compelled to a closer relationship with the Lord, not because of guilt…but rather because of grace.  Certainly, guilt and shame can be great motivations for behavioral changes.  Yet, how much MORE am I compelled to obey the Lord of grace who has bestowed upon me, grace upon grace.

1 Corinthians 12, emphasizes the “gifts of grace.” May we find ourselves compelled by his grace…to offer grace…as he empowers us in grace.

May we come to be compelled by His grace.


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