Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith is written by Rob Bell, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Michigan.
Do not be fooled by the short width of this book, for inside lies a thought-provoking and daring examination of the 21st century Church, the evolution of Christian history, and how today's believer interprets scripture.
The term "Velvet Elvis" is referring to an old, worn out painting collecting dust in the author's basement and is his metaphor concerning the old, out-dated, and increasingly irrelevant MECHANICS of the Christian faith, not the faith itself, (that is a crucial distinction to understand when reading this book).
Rob Bell whole-heartedly plunges into somewhat uncharted territory (well, at least territory that is not usually vocalized publicly). With candor, whit, and humility, Bell ventures to illuminate the interpretations of scriptures throughout history, examine the past interpretations that serve as building blocks for continual growth that is essential for a living religion, and to probe the concept of "binding and loosing" prescribed in the Gospel of Matthew. Some reviews of this book insinuate that Rob Bell treads on thin ice, dangerously close to breaking through into the cold waters of heresy. This is microscopically understandable, since one must proceed with great caution when anyone advocates changing God's Word. However, an honest reading of this book will reveal that the premise is not to change God's truth into yet another form moral relativism, but to build upon the unchangeable foundational truths of Christianity that change our understanding of God's truth, in some cases, broadening it, in others, narrowing it.
The author puts it like this:
"God never changes, nor do the central truths of Christianity. But our understanding of those truths is in constant flux. Christians will always be exploring and discovering what it means to live in harmony with God and each other."
To me, anything worth reading has to be somewhat "controversial," because one of the marks of truth is indeed, controversy. Besides the stirring of constructive controversy, another much-appreciated strength of the book is that the author does NOT gloss over tough questions and touchy issues with the usual mind-numbing christian cliches or christianese jargon. It's raw. It's honest. It wrestles. It's left open to be tested and questioned.
Being the opinionated gal that you all know and love, ahem, I did not jive completely with everything in this book. However, the brilliance of Rob Bell is that he is NOT dogmatic and is NOT claiming to have all the answers. The gist is: Seek the truth for yourself and test all things that you find to be true...and false. I would recommend this book to anyone who is not afraid to break out of box, to anyone who is tired of checking their brain at the theological door, and to anyone who desires to examine the roots of their own beliefs and interpretations.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith is written by Rob Bell, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Michigan.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
"Blinded By Might: Can The Religious Right Save America?" by Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson (no relation to James Dobson) is the fascinating testimony of two former leaders of the Religious Right. Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson, who left the Religious Right, are neither bitter, disgruntled, nor exploitative. They deliver a well-researched, fair analysis of the history of the Religious Right, the compromised principles yielded for political power, how it correlates to church politics and activism throughout history, and the hard lessons they learned.
The dangerous entrapment of partisan loyalty detailed in this book is a refreshing and much-needed reminder of what happens when the people of God are tempted to impose morality onto the world through flexing political muscle, instead of truly transforming the hearts and minds of people by living out the gospel in our homes, churches, offices, neighborhoods, and government. Power is not the objective. We have power. The question is how do we use our power? It comes down to whether we succumb to the futile temptation of using our power to rule or rising above to the higher (and more effective) calling to use our power to serve.
The authors do critique the Religious Right's Leaders (Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and James Dobson), but they do not demonize them or try to negate their sincerity or faith. Although this book was penned in the late 90s, it is extremely relevant to the current political landscape.
Blinded By Might is an enlightening history of how and why the Religious Right emerged, came to achieve political power, crumbled, and resurrected several times. It's an important book for any Christian interested in politics and evaluating the best ways of achieving justice and true societal transformation.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
The following is my first investigative article for the Dawson Community News. Even though the article focuses on the meth problem in Dawson County, the information about meth is still relevant because meth is spreading like wildfire throughout the whole country, especially in the South. Northeast Georgia, in particular, is plagued with an ever-increasing meth addiction rate because Atlanta has become a hub for meth imports. From there, it's filtered out to surrounding counties, all the way to Stephen's County. So here is the article:
TASK FORCE HOPES TO ERADICATE METH ABUSE
by Tia Lynn Lecorchick
The Meth Task Force, a volunteer-based organization led by Chairman Dewitt Wannamaker, was formed to create a proactive partnership with Dawson County law enforcement to more effectively combat the cyclical nature of methamphetamine abuse by implementing a variety of prevention, education and treatment initiatives.
According to Sheriff Billy Carlisle, The Dawson County Sheriff’s Office has stepped up its efforts to control the prevalent meth problem by assigning two officers solely to drug investigation and utilizing a canine task force to assist in tracking down meth users, suppliers and producers.
"We keep arresting them, but as soon as they serve their time and are released, they go right back to their meth habits. That’s why we need the Meth Task Force," said Carlisle.
"The community needs to know that today’s meth addict does not look like a zombie. They look like common, every day people," explained Wannamaker, who, as a former court appointed special advocate and chairman for a foster home placement review panel, has seen the effects of meth first hand. "The victims of meth are not only the users, but the children, spouses, family and everyone else who depends on users to be functioning members of society."
One of the main objectives of the Meth Task Force is to equip local drug treatment centers with the means to treat meth addicts. According to Wannamaker, none of the Dawson County drug centers are prepared for that.
Rehabilitation for meth addicts has proven to be an involved and prolonged process with discouraging results. In a 2001 MSNBC special report, Jon Bonne cited that out of all illicit drugs, meth has the lowest addiction recovery rate at less than 7 percent.
With an uphill battle ahead for the recovery of meth addicts, preventing people from getting addicted in the first place is a vital investment into the community.
"The best prevention is education," said Wannamaker. "We want to educate every element of the community: the schools, the clubs, the churches and any other organization that will have us."
In 2006, Dawson County police arrested 240 people for drug possession and violations. A good portion of the arrests were for meth, according to Carlisle.
"Everyone wants to think that meth problems only exist in the larger cities, but we have our share of it, too," noted Carlisle.
According to the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, meth is an extremely powerful and highly addictive central nervous system synthetic stimulant that unleashes a flood of dopamine in the brain, causing euphoric moods, increased energy and exaggerated body movements that can last as long as 14 hours. Meth can be injected, snorted, smoked or digested orally. Side-effects include vomiting, diarrhea, bloodshot eyes, rapid heartbeat, dramatic weight-loss, paranoia, rotting teeth, insomnia, memory loss and hallucinations.
Long time addicts are prone to aggression, depression and violence. Full blown meth addicts render their brains incapable of naturally producing normal amounts of dopamine, which can lead to symptoms similar to those of Parkinson disease and type-two schizophrenia. The longer a person is addicted to meth, the greater chances that person has of strokes, cardiovascular collapse and premature death, according to Anti-Meth, a North Georgia organization supporting prevention, treatment, and law enforcement for methamphetamines.
"Meth is the very worst drug we have ever seen," declared Wannamaker. "I won’t ask the community ‘what can you do?’ I am asking, ‘what will you do?’ What will you do to make no meth in Dawson County a reality?"
The next public meeting of the Meth Task Force will be July 26 at Rock Creek Park at 11 a.m. Chuck Wade, executive C.E.O. on the Drugs and Alcohol Counsel for Georgia, will be speaking about the realities of meth as part of the Meth Task Force’s education initiative.
The Meth Task Force works in conjunction with the Dawson County Police Department and is officially supported by The Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and Drugs Don’t Work. To join the their efforts and find out more information visit: www.methindawsoncounty.com.
Monday, July 16, 2007
I just finished reading "Messy Spirituality: God's Annoying Love For Imperfect People" by Mike Yaconelli, the founder of Youth Specialties and The Door, the only existing Christian satire magazine. Sadly, the author was tragically killed in a car crash in 2003.
The book is a quick read that is simple in concept, but more difficult in practice. The premise is: "STOP PRETENDING!" Mike Yaconelli, who pastored an unconventional church, advocated honesty in the church. It sounds funny that honesty would need to be advocated in the church, but it did and still does. The author articulates the dangers of image, denying the reality of our messy relationships with God and each other, and pretending to live in the ideal instead of striving for it.
I've never read an account from a pastor that is so UPFRONT about his own shortcomings, struggles, doubts, and spiritual state. It is so honest, it's uncomfortable; it makes you squirm a bit. But the sentiment could not be more true. It's a shame that the pretenses of image pressure so many believers to deny the real and pretend the ideal (and you know it's true because it rhymes!).
I wouldn't call this book life-changing, but it is a refreshing encouragement about God's continual use of imperfect, unfinished, doubting, struggling, stubborn people and the need to be real about our earthly and spiritual state to cultivate real intimacy with God and each other.
Messy Spirituality was written for the silent majority of us who have been convinced that we just don’t do Christianity right. We spend most of our lives worried about what we don’t do instead of what we have done, focused on our imperfections instead of God’s fondness for the imperfect. Why? Because we’ve been bombarded with books, tapes, talks, seminars, and movies convincing us that real Christianity is all about perfection. Michael Yaconelli dares to suggest that imperfection, infiniteness, and messiness are, in fact, the earmarks of true Christianity; that real Christianity is messy, erratic, lopsided . . . and gloriously liberating.
What if genuine faith begins with admitting we will never have our act completely together? Maybe messy disciples are exactly the kind of imperfect people Jesus came to earth for and whose company he actually enjoyed--and still enjoys. If you want to find Jesus today, look for him in the midst of burned-out believers, moral misfits, religious incompetents . . . men and women whose lives are, well, messy.
Messy Spirituality is a strong antidote for the spiritual perfectionism in us all. Here are truths that can cut you loose from the tyranny of ought-to’s and open your eyes to the deep spirituality of being loved, shortcomings and all, by the God who meets you and transforms you in the midst of a messy and unpredictable life.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Yesterday (July 13Th), I was assigned to cover my first fire. The call came in over the police scanner as a construction fire. I grabbed my camera, ran to my car, and followed the passing fire trucks. We turned onto a long dirt road running through acres of wide-open land. The road continued to a thick forest and then down a steep hill was the house, completely engulfed in flames. Two fire stations were already there spraying massive amounts of water. There were some brave fire fighters on the first floor of the house checking for victims while the entire top floor was raging with flames. It looked like it could cave in at any moment. Thankfully, no one was home. I took a few photos and started up the hill to leave the firemen to their noble task.
As I got to my car, an older woman (early fifties) with tears running down her face ran toward me screaming, "What's happened!? Is my house OK?! Has there been a fire?" (We were up on the open land, where the trees were covering the view of her home, so she had no idea what was going on). Every single official was trying to get the fire under control before it spread, so I was the only one free to talk with her. I couldn't bare to tell her the extent of the damage. She pressed me for details, so I told her when the call came in, the house was 70% consumed in fire. She threw herself onto my shoulder and wept. "My parents are dead and all their pictures were in my house, all my memories. My kids' baby pictures."
In yet another moment of "unprofessionalism," I cried with this dear woman and hugged her. How could my heart not break for someone who went out to run a few errands only to return to find her entire HOME decimated (not just a house, but the place where she made her life, raised her kids, made her HOME-it was all gone). She told me her husband had left that morning and would be getting on a plane in an hour. Every time she spoke of her husband, she burst into tears, saying "He kissed me goodbye this morning and told me to be careful because it's Friday the 13Th," she sobbed. "I can't tell him, he's been looking forward to this trip for a year. He couldn't bare this." I don't think the extent of the damage had hit her yet, because she hadn't actually seen the house yet, but I knew she needed to call her husband and tell him to come home right away. I handed her my cell and encouraged her to call. She dialed the number and then started to have a bit of a panic attack.
She handed me the phone and said, "I just can't. Would you please tell him for me?"
That's right folks. I had to get on the phone and tell this man that his house was consumed in flames. Being the bearer of bad news is not fun task, but I couldn't refuse this broken woman, so I did it. Her husband was in shock. I opened with with "your wife and kids are completely fine and everyone is safe...." He, of course, rushed home to be with his wife.
As I waited with her, I felt God giving me a little nudge. And being the rebellious little brat that I am, I nudged Him right back. :) The lady was standing beside me shaking her head, crying, and muttering, "Oh God, why" (oh a phrase we are all familiar with). I finally heeded the constant nudging, and asked her if I could pray with her. Her whole face changed, almost smiling, and said "Oh yes." We bowed our heads and prayed the best I knew how, which seemed clumsy and overly simple. But when we were done, she took a deep breath, wiped the tears from her face and said. "Thank you. I needed that. I've been a nurse for 30 years, so I know what's important in life and in ain't buildings."
I truly hope these people find the strength in God that they'll need for this time in their lives and that God will use this fire to somehow bless them. I didn't want to be there, (I'm super sensitive and cry at the drop of a hat), but I'm glad I was sent to cover this assignment because if I offered just the tiniest bit of comfort and hope to this woman, then it was well worth it.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Angela and Tonya tagged me for two separate surveys, so I'll answer both in one post.
Tonya's: I have to say 4 things I've experienced in the last 4 years and 4 things I hope to do in the next 4 years....
1. A child I waited on at Red Lobster unwittingly changed the course of my life.
He ordered a hamburger and without thinking I asked: "Would you like fries with that?" As soon as the cliched phrase left my mouth, it became unescapably clear that if I did not decide to do something meaningful with my life soon, I'd be waiting tables for the rest of it. The next day I registered to get my high school diploma and made plans for college.
2. We moved to Georgia, for a few reasons. One: God made us ( I was opposed at first). Change was a big factor. We wanted to be away from everything we ever knew, so we could better learn how to cling to each other as husband and wife. The third reason was so I could make my dream of going to college come true (life is expensive in NJ and we couldn't afford school and afford to live).
3. Once I started Gainesville College, I had to face my fear of failure. I was always afraid to apply myself because I did not want to fail. After two years in college I've maintained a 3.9 GPA (although my upcoming math and science courses might alter that quite a bit) and I've gotten to be an editor and writer on the school newspaper. I have loved learning the art of expression in the form of writing, it's such powerful tool (as you can see since I've ruffled quite a few feather with just my blog entries, wait til my book is finished! hehe).
4. I discovered The One Campaign: To Make Poverty History, a movement of over 2 million Americans committed to the truth that "where you live should not determine whether you live." It is one of the most revolutionary justice-based movements defending the cause of the poor and I'm thrilled to be a part of it.
In the next four years I hope to:
1. Graduate from College (hopefully UGA)
2. Journey with my husband on missions trip to Africa through The One Campaign or with a Tony Campolo organization.
3. Have a baby (Little Corin Mark or Keira Lorelai will arrive someday).
4. Work at a Christian magazine (the dream is Sojournors) and write columns that open the floor for diverse dialogue of faith and champion the cause of social justice.
Five Things I Was Doing Ten Years Ago:
1. Disparaging Geometry class
2.Shamelessly chasing after William and writing "Tia Lynn Lecorchick" on my notebooks
3. Starting the "Porch Ministry."
4. Watching Nick and Nite with my grandma
5. Hanging out with the Breakaway crew (youth group).
Five Snacks I Enjoy:
1. apples and peanut butter
2. Chips and salsa
3. Chicken salad with A1 (don't judge).
4. mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and balsamic
5. Those yummy flavored pretzel bits
Five Songs I Know The Lyrics To:
1. "I still haven't found what I'm looking for"- by U2 (and most of their other songs too)
2. Amazing Grace (most people only know 4 of the verses, but I went to Catholic school, so I learned all 8 of them)
3. Milkshake (only to torture Will with)
4. Up To The Mountain- By Patty Griffin ( a beautiful song about Martin Luther King Jr.)
5. Theme song to Fresh Prince of Belair :)
Five Things I'd Do If I Were A Millionaire:
1. pay off debt!
2. Pay off friend's and family's debts
3. Sponsor the efforts of The One Campaign: To Make Poverty History,
4. Start a dog farm for all the strays in Georgia and fix 'em.
5. Buy all my friends and family houses IN GEORGIA so they could live near me :)
Five Bad Habits:
1. nail biting
2. knuckle cracking
4. trying to pop Will's pimples in public-sorry honey! :)
5. sticking my floor in my mouth.
Five Things I'd Never Wear Again:
2. shoulder pads
4. Maura's crazy shirt that looks like a unicorn threw up on it--I tried it on once, NEVER AGAIN!
Five Things I Like To Do:
1. Read challenging/creative books
2. Play with my dogs
3. laugh/play/bicker with Will
4. watch American Idol (that's right, I love it).
5. Debate current issues (I know, you're shocked)
Five Favorite Toys (my list is from childhood)
1. Rainbow Brite doll and friends
2. My D.A.R.E. Bear (still have it)
3. Care Bear dolls
4. Thundercats, He-Man and Sheera action figures
5. Gameboy (oh the Tetris days)
Five People I'm Tagging:
2. Marissa (so she'll be forced to start up her blog)
3. Erich Roneree
4. Laura Fodor
5. Deann Rollins
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The sun is peaking and its overpowering light stings my eyes. I am standing on a dock; an endless shimmering sea lies behind me and a rugged wooden cabin lies in front of me. I head toward the beckoning refuge of the shaded cabin and enter as if I'd always lived there, even though it is a strange and unfamiliar place. I rummage through dresser drawers until I find a hair brush. Standing before a full length mirror, I comb the curls out of my hair. I hum for a moment before singing one of my favorite songs:
When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
"Let it be."
And in my hour of darkness
Standing right in front of me
There will come an answer
"Let it be."
As I approach the second verse, I hear a familiar voice singing. My eyes glance beyond my reflection to see my estranged father standing directly behind me. Unshaken, even indifferent, I continue to sing, as does he:
When all the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree
There will come an answer
"Let it be."
For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see
There will be no sorrow
"Let it be"
Let it be. Let It Be
There will come an answer
Let it be
Before arriving at the last verse, I turn to face him, and reach out for his hands. We continue to sing.
Though it may be cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on 'til tomorrow
Let it be
I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be
There will come an answer
Let it be
The song ends along with the moment. As if snapping out of a trance, I relinquish my grasp of the cold limp hands and turn away from the unwavering complacent stare. I cannot find my voice to speak, though I'm unsure of what I would say. I run out the backdoor and down the dock. The day has grown old and the wind roams haphazardly about; the sun is sinking beneath the sapphire sea, transforming a pale blue sky into a canvas of pink, red, and orange streaks. I dive into water and swim toward the horizon. I look back to see my father standing on the edge of dock with his hands in his pockets, enjoying the sights of nature.
I disappear beneath the sea's surface and stare through the massive waters. Hundreds of illuminating golden poker chips plunge into the silent sea, slowly sinking toward the unforeseen bottom. Completely surrounded by the fleeing poker chips, I yearn to have one, but I am unable to reach any. I watch the last of the golden poker chips sink out of sight. Then I wake up.
I've had this dream sporadically over the last few months and it's always the same. The images in it stay with me for days and bring up all kinds of undefined emotions. Writing is therapeutic for me and I read that writing out reoccurring dreams can help them to cease. So, I decided to write out the dream in a descriptive narrative style to express it. Maybe it means something, maybe it means nothing-but it is a bitter-sweet dream that visits me from time to time.
This is the version of the song that is always sung in my dream:
Saturday, July 7, 2007
"God's Politics: Why The Right Gets It Wrong and The Left Doesn't Get It" by Jim Wallis, the editor of Sojourner Magazine, is possibly the best book ever written concerning the current state of polarized politics, how it compares to the "politics" of the Bible, and presenting a "third way" for Christians to deal with ALL the pressing issues of our time without aligning with either the democrats' or republicans' SELECTIVE moral issues.
This is an excerpt from the book outlining its premise:
"God is not partisan; God is not a Republican or Democrat. When either party tries to politicize God, or co-opt religious communities for their political agendas, they make a terrible mistake. The best contribution of religion is precisely NOT to be ideologically predictable nor loyally partisan. Faith must be free to challenge BOTH right and left from a consistent moral ground."
The most refreshing thing about this book is that it is NOT merely a protest or complaint, but it's an ALTERNATIVE. Instead of just pointing the finger, illuminating what's wrong with everyone else, it provides well thought out, well researched, biblical solutions as an alternative to the OLD, ABUSED, and whittled down compromised choices of just "left" and "right" politics. The topics covered in this book include: abortion, family breakdown, poverty, wealth, accountability, private, individual, and social responsibility, gay marriage, capital punishment, war, peace, nonviolence, the environment, stewardship, moral economics, biblical politics, new vision, imperialism, nationalism, social reform, justice, the dangers of empire, and POWER.
This is an excerpt from the chapter analyzing political responses to poverty:
"I am always amazed at the debate about poverty, with one side citing the need for change in personal behavior and the other citing the need for better social programs, as if the two were mutually exclusive. Obviously both personal and social responsibility are necessary for overcoming poverty... The conservatives are right when they say that cultural and moral issues of family breakdown, personal responsibility, sexual promiscuity, and substance abuse are prime reasons for entrenched domestic poverty. The liberals are right when they point to the critical need for adequate nutrition, health care, education, housing, and good paying jobs as keys to overcoming endemic poverty."
Without sugar-coating, Jim Wallis lays out and analyzes the fundamental assertions, goals, and ideologies of both Democrats and Republicans, critiquing each party's falsehoods, hypocrisies, and weaknesses, as well as praising each party's moral truths and strengths. He compellingly challenges the misguided, narrow, and extreme passions of the far-left and far-right and the resulting indifference-laced cynicism consuming politically-moderate Christians that are stripped of hope for real change by the abundance of irrelevant and ineffective political rhetoric.
This is an excerpt from a chapter encouraging hope for the cynics:
"Cynicism is the place of retreat for the smart, critical, dissenting and formerly idealistic people who are now trying to protect themselves. They are not naive. They tend to see things as they are, they know what is wrong, and they are generally opposed to what they see. These are not the people viewing the world through rose-colored glasses...But ultimately cynicism protects you from commitment...Perhaps the only people in the world who view the world realistically are the cynics and the saints. The only difference between the cynics and the saints is the presence, power, and possibility hope."
My belief in Christ is deeply rooted in hope: hope for salvation, hope for growth, hope for the poor, hope for justice, hope for strength, hope for guidance, and hope for CHANGE. Whether Jesus comes back tomorrow or in a hundred years, I refuse to let any end-times defeatist mentality rob me of the hope for the Body of Christ to rise up and change the world in concordance with loving our neighbors as ourselves. I highly recommend this book for people who desire to be active bridge-builders, justice-seekers, and peacemakers in an effective, realistic, fair, and biblical way.
Friday, July 6, 2007
Yesterday, the wrathful manifestation that had been brewing for the last few weeks erupted on the "drive" (and I use that term loosely) home. The engine in my car cracked, breaking one of the cylinders. It still drove, I just couldn't drive past 65 MPH and the car shook violently whenever I had to stop at a light. But alas, those were the good ole' days.I was feeling sorry for myself because I have to drive 110 miles a day to work and back and really wanted my car to make it another two weeks until my internship ended.
This week, the newspaper I work for is putting together three separate publications, which translates to triple the amount of work. It has been a busy week with Will's 30Th birthday party, 4Th of July, and all the extra work and deadlines. The night before the "meltdown," I went to bed at 12 a.m. and woke up at 1:45 a.m. I could not get back to sleep and stayed awake until I had to start getting ready for work at 6 a.m. On the way to work, the car stalled out whenever it went up a hill. It took me over two hours to get to work.
After working until 5 (on an hour and half of sleep), I was tired, cranky, and just wanted to get home. Not only did my car stall the ENTIRE way home, I couldn't drive it past 30 MPH, if it was up hill, less than 10 MPH. I just wanted to get it home, so I wouldn't have to call a tow truck. It was so hot in the car, which didn't help my mood. Even though I was all the way over in the right lane (literally on the shoulder with my flashers on) people were flipping me off and beeping at me. I prayed that God would just get me home in one piece and then I would swallow my big, fat, stupid pride and call Nick and Leah Smith, who so generously offered to let me borrow their extra car for a awhile.
Just as the 30Th person whizzed by my chugging car desperately trying to get up yet another hill and promptly flipped me off, the car stalled and started to roll backwards down the hill. My Irish temper got the better of me as I repeatedly banged the steering wheel, screamed like a banshee, and let loose a string of expletives that would make a sailor blush. It was quite possibly the ugliest flesh fit I have ever thrown in my entire life. After the rage passed, uncontrollable tears surfaced, partly because I just wanted to be home and out of my death-trap of a car, partly because I was so deliriously tired, and mostly because I was so disgusted with my behavior.
I pulled it together and started to just thank God that a tractor trailer hadn't crushed me, that I'm alive and well and have a wonderful life, good family and friends, and the best husband I could ever ask for. I thanked God for Nick and Leah's generosity-then as quickly as I started thanking, I started to complain in my heart, because it was already past 8 (taking me over 3 hours to get home) and the thought of driving to Toccoa to pick up the car and having to get up at 5:30 the next morning was more than I could handle (I know, my ungratefulness knows no bounds).
Despite my completely unwarranted fit and pity-party, God, in His grace, met me where I was. At that moment of exhaustion, Will called to tell me that not only were Nick and Leah going to lend us their car, but that they would drop it off at our house! It may sound silly, but that for me was a miracle. God will use the Body to meet the needs of His people even when they don't deserve it. So, I just wanted to confess my temper-tantrum, express my gratitude to Nick and Leah for being loving generous people, and thank the Lord for meeting our needs, yet again.