Week Thirty-Eight, 2023

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. With the Holy Spirit inside of us, we are able to possess self-control and demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit. 2 Timothy 1:7

Recently, I was cruising at night through the Straits of Georgia near Valdez, Alaska. The city is one of the most important ports in Alaska because it lies at the southern end of the Alaska Pipeline, which carries oil from the Prudhoe Bay oil field on the state’s Arctic Ocean coast, in the waters of Prince William Sound.

The area became well known in 1989 when an oil tanker named the Exxon Valdez, a super tanker, went off course, ran aground, striking a reef and ruptured its hull, spilling 10.3 million barrels of oil, affecting 1300 miles of coastline. To avoid ice from the calving of the Columbia glacier, a decision was made to deviate from the predetermined course. Unfortunately, when they deviated, the intoxicated captain neglected to turn off the autopilot which remained connected to the prior course.

When I was flying, my plane had an autopilot and sometimes, when I had to deviate around weather, I had to disconnect or it would fly me right into a thunderstorm.

God gives us an autopilot. It is called the Holy Spirit. When we yield to Him, He will guide our lives, from now until we go to glory. But so often we deviate to our human will.

Many years ago, songwriter Roy Acuff, wrote a song called “The Automobile of Life.” It compared our Christian journey to a road trip and spoke of all the pitfalls and dangers along the way. The last two lines of the chorus read: “But if you’ll let Jesus take hold of the wheel, you’ll make it to heaven on high.”

It is a natural tendency for all of us to want to be in control. We think we know best for our lives, and we often make our plans and then ask the Lord to bless them. But His way is so much better. He knows the road ahead because He sees the bigger picture. He knows when to apply the brakes, and when to speed up to make it over the hills. He knows the curves ahead and the dangers that await. When we commit ourselves completely to Him, He will direct and guide us safely home. His Holy Spirit is our autopilot.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6.

Will you follow the Holy Spirit’s autopilot, the one the Lord gave you the day you got saved?


UNICEF estimates that “every two minutes a child is being prepared for sexual exploitation,” and well over one million kids are trafficked every year. Almost a third of trafficking victims are children, with that proportion more than doubling in areas like Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean. And they warn such statistics likely underestimate the reality of the situation. What are you willing to do to stop this terrible atrocity?

— o —

So I am at Walmart scanning and bagging my almost $300 worth of groceries while the employee “monitors” and then this happened:

Her – why are you double bagging all of your groceries?

Me – excuse me?

Her – you are wasting our bags!

Me – if you don’t like the way I’m bagging the groceries, feel free to come on over here and bag them yourself.

Her – that’s not my job!

Me – okay, then I will bag my groceries how I please if that’s all right with you.

Her – why are you using two bags?!

Me – because the bags are weak and I don’t want the handles to break or the bottoms to rip out.

Her – well that’s because you are putting too much stuff in the bag. If you took half of that stuff out and put it in a different bag then you wouldn’t need to double bag.

*10 seconds of me just staring at her.

Me – so you want me to split these items in half and put half of them in a different bag so that I don’t have to double bag.

Her – exactly.

Me – so I would still be using two bags to hold the same number of items.

Her – no because you wouldn’t be double bagging.

*me pressing two fingers to my left eye in an attempt to make it stop twitching.

Me – okay so here I have a jug of milk and a bottle of juice double bagged. If I take the milk out and remove the double bagging and just put the milk in the single bag and the juice in that single bag I’m still using two bags for these two items.

Her- no because you are not double bagging them so it’s not the same number of bags.

*me looking around at about 10 other customers who at this point are enjoying the show.

Me- is this like that Common Core math stuff I keep hearing about?

Her- never mind you just don’t get it.

And with that, she went back to her little Podium so she could continue texting or playing games on her phone or whatever it was she was doing before she decided to come over and critique my bagging skills.

— o —

Medical debt has become a leading cause of personal bankruptcy, with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Roughly 530,000 people reported falling into bankruptcy annually due partly to medical bills and time away from work, according to a 2019 study from the American Journal of Public Health.


Never try to have more faith – just get to know God better. And because God is faithful, the better you know Him, the more you’ll trust Him. John Ortburg

The best way to get to know God better, is to get to know Jesus, His one and only Son. The same Jesus who was born in the manger. The same Jesus who died on the cross for our sins. The same Jesus who resurrected and defeated the grave so that we might have life. Marty Stubblefield

Living in fear isn’t how we solve this problem. It’s living in hope. It’s believing that we can make a difference—because we can. Will you? Jim Caviezel

It’s the company, not the cooking, that makes a meal. Kirby Larson

The world can’t continue on much longer the way things are, spiraling ever downward. Dan Shock

Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil. C. S. Lewis

What has God put in my keeping that He will someday require an accounting for? Dan Shock

Beware of overconcern for money, or position, or glory. Someday you will meet a man who cares for none of these things. Then you will know how poor you are. Rudyard Kipling

Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action comes, stop thinking and go in. Napoleon Bonaparte

All appears to change when we change.

Trees are not known by their leaves or blossoms, but by their fruits.

It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then. Lewis Carroll

And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good. John Steinbeck

Definition of stupid: Knowing the truth, seeing the evidence of the truth, but still believing the lie.

You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.

Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will cut you. Benjamin Franklin

Many Christians grow up in church, but never grow up in Christ. They know the hymns, but they don’t know “HIM.”

Set yourselves apart from this generation of corruption. Be saints. You were not made to fit in. You were born to stand out. Jim Caviezel

Would you be blindfolded and eat whatever someone put in front of you? No! Then stop letting the media do it to you.


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