Sunday, December 16, 2012

Wake-up Call

As I write today, I am saddened at the news of the tragedy in Connecticut. I can't remember the last time I cried like this.  I was saddened when the news of Columbine hit, when I heard the news of the VA Tech shooting, the news of the movie theater shooting and so forth, but I can't remember being as deeply moved as I was this time. 

My first thought was what kind of sick individual could do such a thing? I thought of the parents who sent their babies off to school only to never see them again.  Perhaps one parent didn't say I love you because they were rushing or just had other things on their mind that moment.  Just the thought of it makes me cry all over again.

What really shook me up the most is the thoughts that came to me as I was having my morning devotion time with God.  I'm sure most people have thoughts of hatred toward the individual who did this even with him being dead, because the natural thought toward someone who would do such is one of hatred, but God said to me "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."(Romans 5:6) and "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

Christ died even for the man that committed this heinous crime, and had he lived and repented, Christ's blood would cover him.  Can  you imagine that? The love of Christ is powerful enough to forgive and LOVE someone like that. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I obviously do not have that kind of love. So as I pray and grieve with the families of Connecticut, I ask God to fill my soul with a love that only He can give.  The love that I need is not to be found in any human apart from the indwelling of Christ.

It's me O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Case Dismissed!

In November of 2011, I received a speeding ticket.  I was accused of going 57 in a 45 m/h zone.  I was quite puzzled when the officer pulled me over, but  I graciously took the ticket nonetheless.  It was my intention to pay the ticket immediately.  I wasn't eligible for a driving course, because I had gotten a ticket just a month before for speeding through a school zone.  The sun was high that day, and I honestly did not see the school lights flashing, so I wasn't "speeding" per se, but with the lights on, doing the normal speed is considering speeding.  I took the class which was much less than my ticket, but was still money that I could have used for something else.

In November of last year, my mom had knee surgery, so I went home for a month.  I sent the payment for my ticket from Florida.  When I got home in January, my money order had been returned because my ticket had not yet been entered into the system.  That was the first time I tried to pay it.  I went into the courthouse and tried to pay it again, but the clerk would not accept it. Why? Because it still had not been entered into the system.  They were about 3 months behind on processing all the tickets. So I waited and went a 3rd time to try to pay the ticket.  Guess what?  Two day prior, my money order had expired and the clerk would not accept it.  You have got to be joking.  Three times on three separate occasions, I tried to pay this ticket.  I took this as a sign from God that the ticket was not to be paid. So I entered a plea of not guilty and waited for my court date.

One day, I'm driving along the same route where I had gotten my ticket and notice that the speed limit is 55!   I took a video from my house to the spot in question to show when I went to court.  When I met with the court's lawyer, he agreed that the current speed limit was 55, but suggested that at the time of my ticket, it was 45 due to construction.  He requested a copy of the officer's video (which should show the speed limit) and scheduled for me to come back.

I contacted the Department of Transportation, because I wanted to know exactly when the speed limit sign had been changed.  The guy I spoke with on the phone was very nice and sent me all the paperwork that I needed.  It seems that there was a 45 mph sign still posted in error on one side of the street.  He didn't know which one and the documents didn't state it clearly.  At any rate, even if the 45 mph sign were still there, I had not yet reached that zone before the officer pulled me over.

I showed up to court for the second time.  The lawyer played the officer's video and it shows that the speed limit sign was actually covered which makes perfect sense, because it wasn't supposed to be there.  Based on that and the documents that I had from the DOT, he dismissed my case!

Thank you Lord for not letting me pay that ticket, and for giving me the idea to contact the DOT.  What an amazing God we serve.