Dear Moses…

Dear Moses,

I have had enough. I am generally not a complainer – but this is TOO much. I just have to let you know how unhappy I am!

I am sitting in a tent, in the middle of the desert.
OK – so Yaweh told us to leave Egypt.
And He told us to leave in a hurry.
I prefer bread that has some yeast in it, but I can deal with this unleavened stuff if it means getting away from that awful Pharaoh.
I can even be OK with the whole sacrificed lamb and the blood on the doorpost thing. I can still hear the screams of my neighbor when she discovered her oldest son had died – along with their pet dog and several of their cows. I appreciate that the angel of death passed over our house and spared my Malachi.


You, oh great leader Moses, in all your stuttering wisdom, you take us on this winding path into the desert instead of the short way back to Canaan! And for all your planning, you managed to direct us right to the edge of the Red Sea! I know, I know – you claim it is God leading us and that He is the one who brought us here. But the Egyptian army is right behind us! I swear, I can feel the breath of those soldiers on my neck even as I write this! It is the middle of the night and the only reason they haven’t attacked is that humongous dark cloud that is between us. OK, OK. It has turned fiery, which is pretty wild. And it seems to be keeping those Egyptians back. But really, Moses, how long can a cloud last? Do you really think that is going to keep us from being annihilated as soon as the sun burns it off in the morning? You even said to not be afraid because Yaweh goes before us to fight for us. But, Moses, there is NO “before us”. The only “before us” is the SEA! So my choice is to drown like a rat on a sinking ship or be slaughtered by Pharaoh’s best guys. And your best advice is to “Not be afraid”?!

This is too much!

And all of that is BEFORE this wind kicked up! So here I am, in the middle of the night, in a tent, in the desert, with my tent barely standing before this mighty windstorm! Sand is whipping everywhere. It is in my teeth! It is all over my body! It stings! My children can’t sleep. My wife can’t sleep. I can’t sleep. And my neighbor just said that we are moving out, in the middle of the night! Moving where? Are we going to try to swim for it? What is with this? How dare you bring us here? I thought our lives in Egypt were miserable – but at least there I had decent food, a roof over my head and somewhat cooperative weather! (OK, OK – the last few weeks have been weird with all those plagues – but generally speaking…)

So let this be my formal complaint – and probably my last will and testament. We go to face our two choices – the Red Sea and certain death or the Egyptian army and certain death. Thanks a lot, Moses. And you too, Yaweh. Thanks so much.


A Fed Up Israelite

Exodus 14
“The Egyptians chased after them with all the forces in Pharaoh’s army…
As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the Lord, and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’”
But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
…Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to the rear of the camp. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them. The cloud settled between the Egyptian and Israelite camps. As darkness fell, the cloud turned to fire, lighting up the night. But the Egyptians and Israelites did not approach each other all night.
Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the Lord opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land. So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!
Then the Egyptians—all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers—chased them into the middle of the sea. But just before dawn the Lord looked down on the Egyptian army from the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw their forces into total confusion. He twisted their chariot wheels, making their chariots difficult to drive. “Let’s get out of here—away from these Israelites!” the Egyptians shouted. “The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt!”
…So as the sun began to rise, Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the water rushed back into its usual place. The Egyptians tried to escape, but the Lord swept them into the sea. Then the waters returned and covered all the chariots and charioteers—the entire army of Pharaoh. Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived.
But the people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, as the water stood up like a wall on both sides. That is how the Lord rescued Israel from the hand of the Egyptians that day.”

Waiting on God is hard.
Especially when my human eyes see human problems surrounding me.
Even when I see Him begin to act, I can have trouble trusting.
And even when I have a history full of His work, I can still have trouble trusting.

I look at the Israelites and shake my head.
They were FULL of complaints!
Every time something went wrong, they turned on Moses and God.
I like to think I would not be like them.
“If I had been there, I would have reacted differently”, I tell myself.

But I do the same thing they did.
Something goes wrong and I panic.
I wonder where God has gone.
What He is up to.
And if I can really trust Him.

Even though I have SO much more than they did.
I have the complete canon of Scripture.
Story after story of the faithfulness of God.
And all of His promises in writing.

Not only that, I have the Holy Spirit of God indwelling me.
Something they did not have and probably never even dreamed of having.
Because I have Him, I also have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead at work in me.


I believe, Lord! Help my unbelief. Keep my eyes on You. My lips from complaining. And my heart from doubting Your goodness. I often do not understand what You are doing. But You are good and everything You do is right. So lead on, Lord. Lead on…



Image result for stuck


I hate being stuck.

I have been in stuck in line.
No matter which line I choose at the grocery store, it often is the wrong one. Behind the person with an issue or the cash register that decides to quit working.

I have been stuck in traffic.
Where I live, there is really one main road out of the county into the surrounding metropolis. There are other back roads – but they involve long detours. And when the traffic is flowing over those 8 to 10 lanes, it is a glorious thing. But more often than not, when I travel that stretch of road, I am stuck. A fender bender. Sheer volume. Several traffic lights. People not knowing which lane they really need to in when the road splits ahead.

I have been stuck relationally.
Feeling like there is no good response, no good outcome, no matter what I do or say. Feeling like changes need to be made but seeing no way to make them. Wanting someone else to see the consequences of their choice but knowing I cannot make the choice for them.

I have been stuck spiritually.
Not sure what to do or say. Praying but not feeling heard. Or, knowing I have been heard, but seeing nothing happening from my limited view. Finding myself constantly waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Stuck.

I have been stuck physically.
On a train so packed with people I could not move. On a scale that would not budge, no matter what I eat or didn’t eat, did or didn’t do. With health issues I can’t fix. Or in a tight space trying to make a repair. In a house or building with a malfunctioning HVAC on a very hot day.

And I have been stuck in other circumstances beyond my control that I did not enjoy. Health issues. Financial issues. Work issues. People issues. Deadlines looming. Time flying. More bills than paycheck. More misunderstandings than cooperation. More loss than gain. More frustration than fellowship.

Unable to go forward.
Unable to go back.
Unable to make and execute an effective plan of action.

I hate being stuck. But more often than not, I find myself stuck in one form or another.
I bet you have, too.
Because that is part of the human condition.
We are caught “between the now and the not yet”. Having the hope of heaven but not being there yet. Knowing we serve a God who can do whatever it is we long for Him to do – but waiting on His will to align with His ability, if that is the plan. Stuck.

When something is stuck physically, I can apply a tool or a potion to make a difference. Like the jar wrench that I use to open misbehaving containers. Or the WD-40 I apply to grease a tight fitting.

When I am stuck in every other way, I can apply God’s Word to make a difference. It does not necessarily change my circumstances – but it sure gives me hope in the midst of my stuckness!

First, the WD-40 of my spiritual life, Psalm 119:143. I love how it is translated in the New Living Bible: “As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in Your commands.” Other versions say that “When troubles find me” at the beginning of the verse. Not if troubles find me, when they do. And the second half is often translated, “Your commands are my delight”. But here’s the Kathy-version, putting all those ideas together: “As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find delight in Your Word.”

In other words, when I am stuck, I turn to the Word of God. And I always, always find something there that helps in my stuckness.
Sometimes it is a solution. A reminder to forgive. An exhortation to give. A command to love or to consider others before myself.
Sometimes it is a reminder that I am never alone. That God is for me and not against me. That He is the God who works for those who wait for Him. That His timing and ways are perfect.
And sometimes it is simply an exhortation to hang on, to remember that the “not yet” is worth living for even when the “now” feels awful.

The next time you are stuck, I highly recommend the Psalms. They are the heartfelt prayers of God’s people – and they are awesome to take as your own prayers as well. Other super encouraging, un-sticking books include Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians, as well as First and Second Peter. All of these are short books, all written to early churches who were dealing with their own “stuck” issues. Things like persecution, unjust treatment, divisions within the church, dealing with corrupt government and harsh bosses, marriage issues – all of it is covered in His Word and in these particular books. Taking the time to find God’s heart on an issue and remembering all of His promises are marvelous tools for dealing with stuck. Your circumstances may not change – but your heart most definitely will. His Word is WD-40 for the issues of the heart.

And then there is my other favorite passage when stuck – the jar wrench for my stuck soul. It is tucked away in a letter Paul sent to the church at Corinth and he is talking about how difficult life really is. He says, “We are pressured in every way [hedged in], but not crushed; perplexed [unsure of finding a way out], but not driven to despair; hunted down and persecuted, but not deserted [to stand alone]; struck down, but never destroyed; always carrying around in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the [resurrection] life of Jesus also may be shown in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4)

“Pressured in every way” and “perplexed” are both great synonyms for “stuck”. But Paul found that when he was stuck, he was “not crushed” and “not driven to despair.”

I love to think of it this way:
I am a lump of clay, being transformed by the Master Potter into a useful something for His glory.
Sometimes that requires spinning on His wheel in dizzying circles.
Sometimes that involves a sharp tool paring away chunks of the clay that are not needed.
And sometimes, that requires pressing the clay into a mold, squeezing it hard, so that it takes on the shape, the imprint, of what it is being pressed into.

As pressure and stress bear down on me, I delight in God’s Word.
As I am crushed between things I cannot control, as I stuck in this place, I am being pressed into the likeness, the form of whatever I am being pressed into.
I can press into the things of this world and become imprinted in that image.
The way things are solved in TV shows.
The message found in music about how I should view myself. Or you. Or this world.
Romance as defined by novels or movies.
Problem-solving as prescribed by Hollywood.
Life as defined by my favorite politician or my chosen label.

Or I can press into the things of God and have His image embossed on my soul. The pressure and stress will come – do come – are coming – but the Master Potter will use them to make me into something amazing in the end. If I will let Him. If I will allow my “stuckness” to drive me into His arms. When I am pressed into Him, I end up being more like Him. When I am squished beyond all measure, it is an opportunity for all the ick to be squeezed away, leaving behind an imprint of Him. I become like Him in my thoughts. My actions. My words. My giving. My time. My relationships. I am re-created yet again in His mold, His imprint, His image.

So in the end I say, “OK, stuck. Do your job. Press all you want. I will allow you to crush me against the Rock that is God. As the pressure bears down, I will lean in to Him. And then I may be “pressured in every way” but “not crushed”, because He is immovable. And His arms are around me. And I may be “perplexed” but I will “not driven to despair” because, when I am dwelling in His arms, I can hear His heartbeat that is for me and not against me. When I am dwelling in His arms, they become a safety net around me. When I am dwelling in His arms, they become a barrier against the pressure, allowing only what will keep me there – but never allowing me to be completely destroyed. Stuck, do what you will. Because all that you do simply makes me more like Him. Master Potter, have your way with this clay.”

Good, Good Friday

Police brutality.
A corrupt justice system.
A guilty verdict motivated by jealousy.
And a judge more worried about his popularity than justice.

Vicious beatings, not once but several times.
Blindfolded and then struck.
Spit upon.
Tortured by the highest authority in the land.

And the protestors agreed with all of it.
In fact, they encouraged it
They hated the government – but they hated the criminal more.
So they screamed for the death sentence.

And it was handed down.

The beginning of “Good Friday”.
But by the end of the day, it was good.
Truly good.
Not for Jesus.
He felt shame for the first time ever.
Never before had he done anything deserving shame.

But now he bore on himself the shame – and the choices – of the Nazi guard who tortured and killed many Jews.
And the rapist.
The child molester.
And the liar.
The racist.
And the member of the lynch mob.
The man who cheats on his wife.
And the woman who lusts after her coworker.
The drunk driver who used his car as a lethal weapon.
And the woman who did the same because she was texting.

When they chose to believe that He died for them, He did.
And He took every sin upon Himself.
The wrath of God poured out on Him in their place.

In my place.
I stand before God, clean.
With a “not guilty” verdict.
Not because I have never sinned.
Or because my good choices outweigh my bad.
But only because Jesus says, “Dad, she accepted the gift we offered. I took her place. She is not condemned because I was. She’s with Me.”

For me, it was a good, good Friday.
Was it for you?

Perception Is Not Reality

Image result for gilbert run park

Perception is not reality.

On my Monday Sabbaths in the spring, I will often go to a park near my house that has a large lake. I walk through the woods to one of several piers and set myself up with a book and all the necessary accoutrements to hang out for a couple hours. For some of that time, I just sit, watching and listening. And very often, God provides a show of some sort for my enjoyment. Ospreys fishing for a snack, fish jumping to catch a flying bug, water gliders doing their dance, turtles sunning on a log, dragonflies dancing over the water. And, even if none of those are available that day, often the clouds scuttling across the sky are a glorious display.

But one day as I sat there, I was struck by an astonishing thought. I could see a ton of things going on around me. Ripples on the lake, clouds moving, birds flying, bugs cavorting. And that was my reality – what my senses could take in as I sat on the dock. But then God nudged my thinking. “Consider all that you can’t see.” Wow. It was an overwhelming thought! All the life happening below the surface of the lake. Fish of various kinds. Snakes. Turtles. Eggs waiting to hatch. Vegetation. Rock formations. Not to mention what was going on in just one tree. Sap flowing. Bugs residing. Perhaps a nest of birds. Perhaps several. And then the other critters. Raccoons, squirrels, mice, deer, opossums, skunks, snakes, frogs – all able to see me. All aware of my presence. But I blissfully oblivious of them.

As I pondered the unseen world within my world, I realized this key Truth:
Although I could not see any of those things, God could see them all. Knew them all. Jesus said that God knows every sparrow that falls. I can infer from that statement that He also sees and knows every ant that crawls. Every fish that swims. Every raccoon that forages. He made them all and He knows them all. He sees it all. ALL.

Contrast that with my limited view. I saw a lot. Could comprehend quite a bit. But my view was still incredibly limited. My perception was not the reality of all that was happening there.

Perception is not reality.

Late, late Thursday evening two thousand years ago, the disciples could not believe their eyes or ears. Jesus was being arrested. This man who had slipped through the crowd trying to throw him off a cliff was now in the custody of Roman soldiers. The same man that the crowd had unsuccessfully tried to stone was now being led away to an illegal trial.

They had seen his power for three years. Feeding thousands with a child’s lunch, not once, but twice. Making the blind see. The lame walk. Controlling the wind and the waves. Walking on water. Even raising the dead. They had seen power! And even that night, He demonstrated it. When Judas shocked them all by leading the soldiers to Jesus and identifying Him with a friendly greeting and a brotherly kiss of fellowship, Jesus asked the guards, “Whom do you want?” They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Jesus replied with the name that God had given Moses when He spoke to him from the burning bush. Jesus simply said, “I AM.” And when He said that, it was so powerful that the guards “drew back and fell to the ground”. The disciples witnessed as Jesus healed the High Priest’s servant in those same moments. Peter had impetuously cut off the boy’s ear, but Jesus simply picked it up and placed it back on his head where it belonged. So they knew that He still had power. But if that was the case, why on earth was He allowing this? Why didn’t He DO something?

And then the chaos of Thursday night stretched into an unimaginable, truly hellish scenario. Most of the disciples ran for their lives. Two of them followed discreetly and were eyewitnesses to Jesus’ being questioned, lied about, and tortured. Throughout that long night and into Friday morning, He was shuffled between courts. First before the Jewish religious leaders, who wanted him dead but had no power to make that happen. Then on to Pilate, the Roman governor, who had no reason to kill him but had the power to do so. A side trip to see King Herod, the Jewish in-name-only-king, who simply hoped to see Jesus do something spectacular. And finally, back to Pilate, who was far more concerned about squelching the growing riot than he was about any sort of justice for Jesus. Pilate sought to give the crowd the blood they craved without actually crucifying Jesus. And so he ordered the soldiers to whip him. Probably thirty-nine lashes, the limit because any more would kill a man. And, throughout all these events, brutal beatings. Blindfolded and hit. Mocked. Spit upon. Cursed.

And still Jesus, who the disciples knew to be the Son of God, did nothing.

And finally, on Friday, the long walk through the street of Jerusalem, through jeering crowds, carrying the cross, until His shredded body could function no more. The women following behind, weeping, as Simon of Cyrene was yanked from the crowd to carry the cross the final distance. And then the pounding of the nails, ripping through flesh, piercing between bones, pinning the Creator of the world to the most painful, humiliating form of execution the Roman government could imagine. Hours of labored breathing, pushing up on the nail the held both feet together to the cross to inhale. Settling back down, splinters wedging into an already mangled back with every exhale. Blood dripping from His head where the crown of thorns nestled into his scalp. Parched lips from hours without a drink, baking in the Judean sunshine. Crowds mocking, throwing curses and insults like weapons. His mother weeping. And His Father turning His back on him.

And still Jesus did nothing.

Some disciples hid.
While others watched in mute horror.
Not comprehending what they were seeing.
Not understanding what was happening.
Their perception flooded with horrific sights.
And even more horrific realities.

This man that that they had truly believed was God in the flesh, was dying.
Their leader, who they worshipped as King, was now with the lowest of the low, dying as a common criminal.
They had given everything – literally everything – to follow him.
Left businesses.
Been mocked.
For this man.
Who was now defeated.

Throughout those hours, I think hope stirred.
Like when the sky turned black at noon.
When the earth shook from terrible earthquakes.
When even one of the Roman soldiers said, “Surely, this man was the Son of God.”
Hope surged.
Perhaps NOW God would do something.
Perhaps NOW Jesus would come down off the cross, perfectly healed.
Perhaps NOW, with one word, He would wipe the scoffing smirks off the faces of the so-called leaders.

But then Hope died.
With a loud cry, Jesus declared, “IT IS FINISHED!”
And He gave up his spirit.

And He was gone.

Perception is not reality.
Because we know the end of that story, we can easily forget how little the disciples really saw.
And we shake our heads at them and say, “Didn’t they remember that Jesus told them he would die and rise again? Why were they so afraid?”

But I, too, know the end of my story.
I know that God has promised to make all things work together for good in my life.
I know that He has promised to complete the good work He began in me.
I know that He has promised to supply ALL of my needs.
I know He has promised to never leave me or forsake me.
I know He is preparing a place for me in glory, and that one day I will be with Him forever.
I know that one day He will do away with all sin, sickness, disease, war, hatred and lies.
One day He will wipe every tear from MY eyes.

But how often do I let my perception define my reality?
He does something that makes no sense to me.
He doesn’t answer my prayer in the way I want.
He tells me to wait instead of acting on my timetable.
He allows something that I consider horrific.
His idea of provision doesn’t match the order I gave Him.
And I allow what I perceive to become my reality.
I paint Him with a brush based on what I can see rather than basing it on what He has said.
I forget that He is the Resurrection and the Life.

I forget that it is Friday, but Sunday is coming.
One day, when I see Jesus face to face, I will see the thousands of ways that I allowed my perception to rule my actions.
I will see the WHOLE picture.
And I will mourn the fact that I did not trust Him more.
That I allowed my sight to guide my walk more often than not, instead of walking by faith

Because, just like the disciples, my sorrow will one day turn to sheer, unadulterated joy.
They witnessed the resurrection. Jesus is alive – and He lives today!
I know the end of the story – both theirs and my own.

Will I live like I do?
Will you?

The Triple-F Train

Steam locomotive enters tunnel

My train derailed this morning.
Made a mess, too.

All because the wrong car was in the lead.

Fortunately, I was the only one onboard – this time.
That isn’t always the case.
Sometimes when it derails there are other passengers involved.
And that is even worse.

But this morning it was just me.

Nope. Not a “real” train. No steel cars or metal tracks.
The train of life.
More specifically, the train of my thought life.

There are three cars in my train.
I believe there are three cars in yours, too, if you are a Christ-follower.
And Feelings.
The funny thing about this train is that all the cars have the power to drive it. They can all be the engine. It is up to me to choose the order – which one is pulling the train forward.

My train derailed this morning because I had them in the wrong order (again!).
I had Feelings as the engine, pulling the train, with Facts adding momentum and Faith firmly as the caboose.
Feeling sorry for myself.
Feeling tired.
Feeling lonely.
Feeling sad.
Feeling overwhelmed.
Feeling done.

Facts followed firmly behind, the circumstances and data of my life. And because Feelings were the engine, the Facts were illuminated by the Feelings. From the front of the train they looked like they fully supported every Feeling that was running the show, justifying the placement of Feelings as the engine.

And this is the funny thing about the Fact car on the train. For me, it is usually in the middle. For some of you, it is the engine, pulling the train. You only believe what your eyes can see, what your ears can hear. You need data to make every decision and you won’t budge unless all the widgets line up correctly. Whether those widgets are numbers or people or ideas – they are the Facts that drive your train. And no matter what, if one of these two cars is in front, they will look like they support the other. The Feelings will pick and choose the facts to support them. And the Facts will be highlighted by the underlying Feelings, whether they are acknowledged or not.

For me, Feelings tend to become the engine, while keeping the Facts in mind with Faith as dead last.

Now here’s the tricky part about all this.
I don’t like to admit that this is how my train usually lines up.
I would prefer for you to think that it is the other way around.
I would prefer for you to think that Faith drives me, illuminating the Facts, with Feelings in dead last.
Because I know that is the Biblical way to do life.
“We walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5)
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 12)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” (Proverbs 3)

But no matter what I SAY about the train of my thought life, the proof is in what I do, the actions that make up my day-to-day life. Thoughts – and especially patterns of thoughts – lead to actions.

If Faith is the engine, then I am fully trusting God.
I am looking at the Facts through the lens of Faith.
Choosing to believe that God is Who He says He is and that He is still in charge.
Resting on every promise in His Word.
With my Feelings bringing up the rear. They are what they are – but I give them no power over my actions.

So when Faith drives the train, worry is left behind.
When Feelings drive the train, worry gets the driver’s seat.

When Faith drives the train, the future is uncertain but not alarming.
When Feelings drive the train, the future is terrifying and must be controlled at all costs.

When Faith drives the train, the bank account is generously shared.
When Feelings drive the train, it must be hoarded.

When Faith drives the train, the needs and desires of the flesh can be mastered.
When Feelings drive the train, those needs and desires must be satiated at any cost.

When Faith drives the train, annoying circumstances are simply mosquitos in my ears.
When Feelings drive the train, annoying circumstances are show-stoppers, causing meltdowns and injuring others.

When Faith drives the train, “a soft answer turns away wrath”. (Proverbs 15)
When Feelings drive the train, they throw gasoline on the flame of the argument, just for the satisfaction of seeing it roar.

When Faith drives the train, I see that there is only one enemy, “a roaring lion, seeking who he can devour”. (I Peter 5)
When Feelings drive the train, you are my enemy if we disagree, if you hurt me, if you don’t understand, if you act differently than I think you should.

When Faith drives the train, I desperately desire to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness”.
When Feelings drive the train, I desperately desire for my kingdom to outstrip them all.

I wish – oh, how I wish – that I could set up the cars in the right order – Faith, Fact, Feelings – and that they would stay that way. But they do not. They jump track with alarming regularity and I find myself with Feelings leading the way or with Facts driving my decisions. The only way I know to keep the train of my life running smoothly on the track is to be in constant communication with the Station Master. He has given me the Manual on how to keep the train going correctly – as well as the gift of Faith necessary to keep that the front car – and the Fuel of the Holy Spirit to empower the engine. I have the ability to constantly talk to Him, asking for His help, pouring out my feelings, seeking realignment of the cars. And I have the Manual in many forms – on my phone, in my computer, and on paper. I need only to access these things to avoid derailment.

My prayer today is that you and I would keep the cars in the right order, with the correct engine driving the train so that, together, we can accomplish astonishing things for the glory of the Kingdom and the pleasure of the Station Master.