A New Set of Tires

tiresRomans 8:28

I’ve been a bit preoccupied lately preparing for a move to north central Ohio.  For those of you who don’t know, I have been called to be the Senior Pastor of the Grace Bible Church of Lucas, Ohio.  (That’s three of my favorite words:  “Grace” “Bible” and “Church”.)  Because of these developments I have been a bit neglectful of my blog.  Hang in there!  There is more to come after I get settled a bit.

One confirmation for our decision to move came from our friends Gary and Cindy Underwood.  They recently purchased a new van and graciously gave us their old one!  It is a 2006 Honda Odyssey.  What a blessing!  Gary said that he had felt for some time that God wanted them to give the van to us.  He received confirmation himself when he put new tires on the vehicle.  He noticed that the new tires had fish symbols on them!

It is moments like these (the stresses involved with a move) that you discover the awesome power God has in creating order out of chaos.   He indeed has our “good” in mind.

I found this hopeful reminder recently in my reading.  May it remind you that our  God is FOR us!

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In the devotional book Voices of the Faithful, a missionary couple in South Africa tells of a local pastor in Uberaba who bought a van to transport people to church.  To help make payments on the van, he removed the back seats and did delivery work through the week.  But the van needed four new tires, and the pastor had no way of paying for them.

One night the van was stolen from the church property.  Some of the church members tried to console the pastor by saying that perhaps it wasn’t God’s will for him to have the van.  But he knew he needed the vehicle for God’s work, so he trusted the Lord to work it all for good.

A few days later, police officers from a nearby town called on him, saying the van had been located and the thief caught.  Arriving at the police station, the pastor was surprised to find his vehicle sporting a new set of tires, new backseats, and a radio!  He claimed the van, but told the police that the tires, seats and radio were not his.  They must have been installed by the thief.

“Well, I guess that is the thief’s loss and your gain,” replied the police officer.  The pastor now has a good van, fully equipped and freshly shod.”- Robert J. Morgan  (The Promise, p. 95-96.)

Thank you, God for our new set of tires!

Putting Your Money Where Your Faith Is (4/12/10)

[Reading through Jeremiah recently reminded me of a post I wrote back in April of 2010.  Enjoy!]

Jeremiah 32

“At a deacons meeting, a great need in one of the branches of the ministry was being discussed.  Prayer was suggested.  But Spurgeon interrupted, took a sheet of paper, wrote ‘C.H. Spurgeon £50,’ and passed it around  for the others to add their names and amounts.  ‘Now, brethren,’ he said, ‘we can conscientiously pray.’” ( J.C. Carlile, Charles Spurgeon: The Great Orator, p. 6,7.)

There is something about a believer that will put his money where his faith is.  Jeremiah displays this kind of faith in Chapter 32.  If you were watching a movie

Field in Anathoth

about his life, this would not be the most trilling of action scenes.  Maybe the time he had the yoke torn from his neck or when he was thrown down a well… that was high drama!  This passage is pretty much just a boring real estate transaction.  Yet so much more is going on here!

Now it was Jeremiah’s cousin Hanamel that came to him with the prime piece of real estate in question.  It was a field in Anathoth… where Jeremiah grew up.  At such a great price!  Only one problem… it was currently occupied by the enemy of Israel… the Babylonians!  When Jeremiah actually took him up on the offer, one commentator said, Hanamel must have been named REALTOR of the YEAR.  This is the ocean front property in Arizona scenario!

But Jeremiah was exercising his faith in the promise of God when he signed the deeds.  “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:  Take these documents, both the sealed and unsealed copies of the deed of purchase, and put them in a clay jar so they will last a long time.  For this is what the Lord Almighty , the God of Israel, says:  Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in the land.”  (Jeremiah 32:13-15)  Jeremiah wasn’t sinking money into a lost cause… he was investing in the future of Israel.  His nation would be making a comeback and to him this was a hot insider tip that he could not pass up.

It begs the question:  Where do we invest our money?  In a retirement fund?  In our many possessions?    It is time we really believed in world missions… in ending human trafficking… in helping the homeless… and then believing to the point that we give.  It is time that we put our money where our faith is.  Only then can we “conscientiously pray” and truly invest in the future of the kingdom of God.