Friday morning, before our long-awaited Date Night, something was amiss. Hubster casually mentioned attending the Home and Garden Show prior to a promised, fabulous dinner somewhere. (Any dinner out is fabulous to this challenged chef.)
Contemplating a bathroom renovation, I decided we could perhaps kill two birds with one stone and checkout bathroom ideas as well as garden ideas at the show. John has the green thumb, and I have the “shopping anointing” (as Priscilla Shirer calls it).
Somehow, I totally missed the real mission John was attempting to accomplish. You see, there was a real celebrity about to take the stage and we were about to be front row and center.
We arrived two hours early, giving us plenty of time to check out the exhibits. Except, I was starving and now smolderingly irked at the realization of why we were really there….
Ahhh, but my complaining came to a screeching halt when all of a sudden……..
THERE—— HE—— WAS!!!
None other than Jeff Hoper, the infamous Mole Hunter!!! (www.molehunter.com ) Once Jeff began to talk, I realized, to my horror, we were in a group therapy session. We were all “victims” of pesky, tear-your-yard-up moles.
Jeff asked several questions about different “methods” people had tried to trap these critters. (You don’t want to know, trust me on this one.) One hand after another went up. “Oh yes,” people were nodding, as if to say, “I feel your pain.….”
To Hubster’s glee and delight, we left equipped with a “Molenipulator Mole Trap Kit”. I’d love to tell you we’ve trapped loads of moles with it, but once we got home, winter set in.
We don’t know if the moles are still hibernating or if they’ve moved on, high-fiving each other along the way. But, you can bet your bottom Molenipulator dollar, WE ARE READY when they do dig a rut or two. While educational, I can’t say I was too keen on how our Friday night Date Night began. Thankfully, after thirty-plus years of marriage, I could extend some grace and go on.
Thanks to an eye-opening book, The Case for Grace: A Journalist Explores the Evidence of Transformed Lives (Case for … Series) by Lee Strobel, I’m learning to extend grace a little more each day. Whatever Lee Strobel writes blesses me every time. He was an atheist and after extreme, thorough investigation, came to his own conclusion (with the help of the Holy Spirit) that Jesus was indeed real and he needed Him in his life. (www.leestrobel.com )
Lee will tell you, “God’s grace utterly rocked my life—forgiving me, adopting me, and changing my life and my eternity—something else became clear: how tragic it would be to withhold the news of that grace from others.” His fire-like faith ignites his pages. In The Case for Grace, Lee astonishes his readers, chapter by chapter, case after case, with diverse, real-live people who’ve been:
Pursued by and
Loved by and
Forgiven by a gracious God.
You will shake you head in awe at the places they’ve been “found”.
Maybe you’re like me and at times grow weary of praying for what seems to be perpetual prodigals or impossible challenges.
First, take Mark Batterson’s advice: “Pray A.L.A.T. prayers” (As Long as it Takes Prayers). Satan wants you to throw in the towel. Don’t!
Hold onto Romans 8:26 for dear life:
“…for we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
Second, listen to the words of Cody Huff from Chapter Six of Lee’s book. Look at his history: He’d been a “burglar, a drug dealer, a counterfeiter, and a scammer. He’d been beaten, shot at and stabbed. He’d sat atop mountains of cash and frittered it all away on meth and heroin.” Plus, he spent eight years in jail and wound up homeless.
Cody heard about Jud Wilhite’s church, Central Christian in Las Vegas, where they offer showers to the homeless.(www.centralonline.tv )
Because of ONE HUG by ONE WOMAN, who told him JESUS LOVES him, THAT MOMENT turned his life around.
He prayed, “God, I’m so tired. I’m tired of the drugs. Please, take them away from me. It’s like I’ve been driving my own car and all I do is get into head-on crashes. Why don’t you drive? I’m sorry for the way I’ve lived. I want to surrender my life to you. God, please make me a new man.” You won’t believe the rest of Cody’s story. His is just one of nine only-God-could-pull-this-off stories in the book. My favorite is The Orphan. You’ll need a box of Kleenex by your side.
When doubts rise, pick this book up and read it. It’s a sure cure to reigniting your faith.
Lee’s book also offers a Discussion Guide, which would be great for your Bible study or Small Group as well an Appendix, What the Bible Says About Grace, full of beautiful Scripture.
Lee said after writing this book on grace, it only strengthened his resolved to emulate Paul where he says in Acts 10:24, “What matters most to me, is to finish what God started: the job the Master Jesus gave me of letting everyone I meet know all about this…
GENEROSITY of God.”
‘Til next time!