ARE YOU READY? PART ONE

(Post by: Scott Hobbs)

I would have told you last Wednesday, if asked, that I had experienced many close calls in my life.  I probably would have said it with some very appropriate male bravado; maybe even with a twinge of arrogance.  Then I would have checked myself a bit, probably due to some conviction from the Holy Spirit, and added, very seriously, that the Lord had always been so good to protect me. 

You see, I have worked around equipment, machines, trucks, and everything in between for decades.  I’ve driven well north of a million safe miles; been through blizzards, high winds, and other storms of various degrees pulling just about anything you can imagine.  But last Thursday something very different happened to me.  Something I’m still trying to wrap my mind around and asking God to put meaning to.

I was working with a good friend of mine and hauling some material for him into a landfill some distance away.  In order to dump the trailer, Lincoln and I had to back up on a huge ramp that tips the trailer almost straight up to get the material to slide out the back.  I then had to unhook the truck from the trailer and pull forward just a couple feet.  On our last load of the day, the tipper operator had lifted the trailer a little, causing me to be unable to pull my pin to release the trailer from the truck.

As I reached back under to try again, he was letting the trailer down to help remove the pressure, and in an instant I found my head pinned between the tire of my truck and the bottom of the trailer.  One ear pressed against the tire and one ear pressed against the bottom of the trailer.  I was looking inward toward nothing but steel frame rail.  It was very quiet, both ears were covered and smashed into my head; yet it seemed deafeningly loud.  I pulled with all my strength and my head would not move at all.  It seemed as though my head was being squeezed as tightly as it could possibly be in a vise of rather a strange creation.  The pressure was incredible.

I remember thinking, “How in the world did I get here?”  As I pulled with all that was in me, the thought came that I’m not sure I will get out of this alive.  A friend asked me what I was thinking about; my wife, my kids, what they would do without me?

Actually, the last thing I remember was just pulling as if my very life depended on it; it did.  Then saying to Jesus, “Lord the only way I’m getting out of this is if you save me.”  He did.

After being stuck for what seemed like an eternity, probably really 10-15 seconds, I found myself standing beside the truck looking at where, just a moment ago, I had been struggling for my life.

I have to be completely honest; I was scared.  Scared like I have never been before in all the “close calls” I thought I had experienced over the years.  I had absolutely no control over this situation, and I knew it.  Please understand, I’m not scared of dying; I know where I’m going because of Jesus.  I just really didn’t want to get there because of a crazy turn of events in a trucking accident in the middle of a landfill.

Here’s the bottom line.  For me, and I don’t know fully why just yet, Jesus lifted the trailer and pulled me out.  I walked away with minor injuries and still have trouble believing that I am alive.  Only He could have saved me; there is no explanation other than I am living proof our God still does miracles as He sees fit. 

He lifted the trailer for me.

So the only thing you have to ask yourself is, “Are you ready?”.  You see, as tragic as it may have been for all those left behind, should God have chosen not to pull me out of that vise, I was ready.  Only because of Jesus and what He did for me on the cross and my full belief in Him.

I may only have one more day.  Tomorrow could be your day.  Sometimes it happens in an instant and there is no turning back.  So you really must ask yourself, “Am I ready?”

SO, WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?

= Have you had a personal encounter with Jesus?

= Has your lifestyle changed if you have encountered Jesus?

= What are you going to do differently?

AIR BRAKES AND DEEP THOUGHTS

(Post by: Madie Hobbs)

You know, one of my favorite sounds in the entire world is the sound of air brakes clicking as they warm up. This was a sound I heard every day for a long time when my dad was running his trucking company and we had drivers starting semis and rolling out our driveway day in and day out.

Many people say the sounds which remind them of their childhood are things like the song of an ice cream truck, the theme song of their favorite cartoons, or a common saying their parents used when they were little. For me, the sounds of childhood are air brakes warming up, and the great Rush Limbaugh’s voice on the radio at twelve o’clock in the afternoon.

My siblings and I would all take turns going trucking with our dad, and many of my fondest memories in life took place in the seat of a semi. I remember waking up early, sometimes before the sun had risen, and hurrying to grab my books and our cooler before we left to pick up our load and head for our distant destination.

My dad and I would listen to sermons on the radio in the mornings and add in a couple of Alabama songs in the afternoons (until Rush came on, of course). Sometimes, I’d just sit and look out my window, gazing at the cars passing or the fields rolling steadily by. When I would be quiet for a long time, Dad would always look over and ask me, “What are you thinking about?” At times, I would tell him I wasn’t thinking about anything, or I’d say I was wondering what the fam was doing back home, or I’d say I was wondering what Mark Levin would talk about when his radio show would come on at six.

Whenever he would ask me that question, it seemed like everything was at peace in the world. It was just me and Dad rolling on. Nothing else mattered.

Now, you may be saying, “Gee Madie, thanks for making me crave my childhood, but where in the world is this going?” Well, dear reader, thank you for asking.

When Dad used to present that question to me, my answers would always be so simple. So innocent and childlike. But now, I fear the world has tainted my train of thought a bit more than it had back then, and my answers would be a little darker, or more negative.

I can often find myself thinking about things like, ‘why do people have to be so difficult sometimes?’ or ‘what will our country really look like in five years’ time?”

My answer to that question no longer reflects a childlike thought pattern. Now, I know this comes with getting older, having more real-world experience, and seeing people for who they really are.

But I’d like you to imagine for a moment that the Lord is asking you this question.

What are you thinking about?

Are you thinking about Him? His Kingdom? His children who you are supposed to be in unity with?

If any of you answered honestly, you probably relate with me a lot more than both of us truly want to admit.

In truth, we’re thinking about our difficult co-worker, our crazy schedules, school starting back up soon, an annoying situation we can’t ignore for much longer, etc. etc.

Something the Lord has been convicting me of a lot lately is what I’m consuming my mind with. What I’m watching, reading, listening to, thinking about. Most of us want to ignore the way Jesus is really supposed to affect all these aspects of our lives, and we want to believe He’s only supposed to help us with the “big” things.

Why does it matter what I’m thinking about?

“To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV)

It has been my prayer the Lord would renew the spirit of my mind, and help me in thinking of good, true, and beautiful things. I hope you will join me in this prayer as you go about your week and intentionally take time to meditate on the things of Heaven.

Through the mind, the body is either defeated or victorious.

So, I ask again, what are you thinking about?

SO WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?

= Are you willing to meditate upon the things of Heaven this week?

= What are you going to do differently?