Thursday, January 20, 2005

A Reminder From Stanley

To The Saints !!!!!

Last night saw the start of Alpha. It is always with mixed feelings/emotions that one approaches serving on team for the start of the first Alpha course for the year. There is excitement, passion, apprehension, fear, doubt and often (but not always) there is something that happens in your life in the week leading up to Alpha that brings out and highlights our weak and sinful nature. During this week we have have been subjected again to family tension and Allie has borne the brunt of this from her son Adam.
So on to the first night and Allie initially did not much feel like going but eventually she decided to go with me. Things went okay and we were enjoying the evening. While sitting in the small group Kevin came walking up to me and said he had a message from Mandy(who was looking after Matthew) that our car had been stolen and was in Delft and that we should phone her to get the number for the police there.
Of course I would like to tell you that I stayed calm and made all the right Christian responses and called an immediate prayer meeting or whateva but I flipped, I panicked, my heart came up in my throat, then sank down to my shoes (and then continued with this yo yo motion). Allie and myself hurried to the office, on the way there I looked out to where our car was parked (what was I looking for? It wasn't there!) and I said to Allie that its gone! By this time I was doing the good husband thing and trying to blame Allie "you see I told you to put a gear lock on the car, or get an immobiliser fitted but you wouldn't listen" (haaa, can you see Christ in me). Allie phoned Mandy and got the number of the police in Delft, Mandy also told Allie that the car was damaged. Allie was so upset at this time and she was crying she said "I told you I should not have come tonight....." I phoned the cops. While I was dialling their number I suddenly felt a calmness come over me and in my heart I said Lord whateva, I'll still love you and serve you. It was a strange feeling because I wanted to panic, I was enjoying it, I wanted to vent my frustration at the world, tell everyone who cared to listen how unfair life is(so wots new).
Eventually the cops answered the phone and the sergeant who I had to speak to took forever to come to the phone. When he eventually got there he asked if I was Mrs D White (ke ching! the penny dropped) it was Stanley (our old Mazda) who had been stolen. We had sold the car through a dealer friend when we bought our new car and the new owner had not yet registered it in his name. What a relief.
But then where is our car? I went to have another look (carefully this time) I was so blinded by my panic that I did not even see that our car was exactly in the same spot where Allie had parked it. Nope it had not moved at all. Of course I now had to put up with some good natured comments from the rest of the team about my eyesight, about immediate answered pray from the prayer team but it was all done in love.
Its just a reminder to us all as to how grateful we must be for every blessing and how grateful we must be that we have the truth and that we serve a God that loves us so much that He came down and died for us, so that we could be with Him forever. Sounds contrite, too good to be true, well my friends it is the TRUTH and you have it, it has been revealed to you. As Josh McDowell said the plain things are the main things and the main things are the plain things.

Mystery of mysteries
That you could love someone like me
In your hands eternity
And yet you have the time for me
A love so undeserved
You held nothing in reserve
Heaven played its symphony
I took your hand and you rescued me
Grace like a river
Is flowing down, is flowing down
It's flowing down to me
Staring at my history
Was all alone but never free
The sands of time have let me see
Your faithful shadow next to me
A love so unreserved
I did nothing to deserve
Love so free but what's the cost
To carry this old rugged cross
I love you, I thank you
I'm nothing without your Grace like a river
(Grace Like A River by Delirious?)

This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. (1 John 4:10)

LoCTY !!!!

PS Thanks Michelle you really handled the group fantastically well last night despite the distraction.

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