Wednesday, April 30, 2014


                If you want to learn about trust, go to a climbing wall. Several years ago, my oldest son worked at a Christian camp. He was in charge of their Adventure Staff. One of his responsibilities was to oversee and operate the camp’s climbing wall. I attended a Men’s Retreat at the camp, during that time. One afternoon, I ventured over to the building that housed the climbing wall. My son was there assisting people, as they tried their hand at climbing. Of course, being the dad, I had to take a turn. Jonathan got me all strapped in, attached the belay rope and showed me how to get started. As I began to climb, every muscle in my body tensed up. I moved cautiously from hand hold to hand hold, straining to maintain my grip on the wall. Jonathan encouraged me to relax. He guided me to find the next place to put my foot or my hand. After much effort, I finally made it to the top, and rang the bell. Then Jonathan put my trust to the test. He said, let go of the wall, lean back, grab the rope and walk down the wall. Even though I had rappelled in my younger days, it was very scary to do what he instructed me to do. With more than a little fear, I let go of the wall and Jonathan slowly lowered me down.

                As we go through life, we often find ourselves in “climbing wall” experiences. We proceed by our own effort, muscles tense, clinging to the wall. We exhaust ourselves trying to make it on our own, when all along, God has a hold of the rope. There comes a time for all of us when God says, now let go of the wall and trust me. Those are scary times indeed, but if we will obey, we discover that we are secure in Him.

                The disciples had to learn that lesson over and over again with Jesus. Luke records one of those dramatic times, in Luke 8:22-25.
    One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!" He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. "Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."

                Jesus intentionally had the disciples get in the boat and cross the lake. Jesus went to sleep, with a storm brewing on the horizon. The storm hit, with ferocious velocity, and threatened to swamp the boat. In a panic, the disciples awakened Jesus. Jesus calmed the storm, and then said in essence, don’t you trust me? They were all amazed.

                Recently, I have gone through a spiritual storm. My anxiety was high, my muscles were tense, my stomach was in a knot. The first waves of the storm had already crashed over the bow of my little boat. I became fearful of what would happen next. Then God brought me to the above mentioned passage. I could hear Jesus speaking to me. “Don’t you trust me?” With some remaining fear, I spiritually released my grip on the wall and leaned back in Jesus’ strong arms. And Jesus came through for me, calming the storm.

                There are still storm clouds on the horizon, but I am trusting Jesus to guide me through. Like the disciples, I am still learning the lessons of fully trusting Jesus, but I am actively unloading my anxiety to him. I have a part to play in the events ahead of me, but ultimately, I am secure in Christ.

                When all is going well, we can become complacent in our faith. We coast along, with a false sense of our own abilities. We begin to believe that we can handle the challenges of life on our own. Then Jesus tells us to get in the boat and head out into the storm. It is there that our faith is tested and refined. In those times, Jesus asks us a simple question. “Will you trust me?”


Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:2-4

                Few of us enjoy tests. When I was in school, even when I was confident that I had prepared adequately, I was nervous about taking tests. Tests, by design, challenge us and push our limits. In fact, good tests have a few surprises thrown in. The point of a test is not to see if the student can parrot back information, but to see if the student understands and can use the information.

                It is easy for me to live my faith in the theoretical realm. I can read scripture and affirm the truth that it teaches. I can give the “right” answers when people come to me for counsel. I can even unpack a passage of scripture fairly effectively in a sermon. But the real test of my faith comes when the heat gets turned up and I have to do the hard thing.

                Knowing the right thing to do, and doing the right thing, does not guarantee smooth sailing. Often, it sends us into white water. When that happens, our tendency is to second guess our decision. Satan whispers in our ear that it would be easier to just go with the flow. Or he begins to tell us that we are bad for making this choice, or that things will never work out and it will only get worse.

                James gives us very different advice. He tells us to stay the course. Instead of giving into negative thoughts, we need to see the potential. Just like tests in school, the trials of life take our faith from theoretical to practical. What does my faith say about this situation? How would God have me respond? What would God have me to do? The path to a truly mature faith always leads through testing and trials.

                Some of the trials that we face are the result of bad choices on our part. We all make mistakes along the way. None of us are perfect in our conduct. When we have strayed off the path, we need to admit our mistake and make course corrections. Unfortunately, our first response is to defend ourselves and excuse our behavior. If we do that, we will fail the test. Instead, we need to be honest and humble, ask for forgiveness, and as best as we can repair the damage.

                If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9

                Some of the trials that we face are the result of making good choices. In a world dominated with sin, making good choices often puts us at odds with our surroundings. The temptation here is to back off and compromise. At the time, that may seem like the pragmatic thing to do, but it will erode our faith. Sacrificing what is right for the sake of temporary peace is a no win situation.

                Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:18-21

                Many of the trials that we face are the result of living in this fallen world. Part of the consequence of Adam’s sin is that life will be hard. To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return." Genesis 3:17-19

                As we travel this journey of life, we can expect to face all kinds of tests and trials. We will fail some and we will pass some. The goal is that we will learn from each test, and grow strong in our faith. The X-factor in the trials of life is from where are we drawing our strength? If we are trusting in ourselves, we will fail more tests than we pass. But, if we will fully trust in the wisdom and guidance of Christ, through the Holy Spirit, we will grow mature and complete.

    "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
John 16:33


Tuesday, April 22, 2014


                We have all experienced the let-down that comes after a big event. We look forward to and plan for a special vacation. The time comes and the experience seems to fly by. Returning home, there is a sense of let-down. We have just come through Easter. For me it has been a very busy time, with extra services and the heightened significance of the season. But when Easter is over, there is an emotional let-down. The excitement is gone, and we settle back into our routine.

                There was a significant emotional let-down for the disciples after Easter. The experience itself was a whirlwind of emotions. They went from horror, to dejection, to discouragement as they saw Jesus arrested and crucified. Those emotions were replaced with surprise, disbelief and finally overwhelming joy. But then something happened to the disciples. There was an emotional let-down that caused them to retreat to their old, routine of life. It is recorded for us in John 21.

                Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. John 21:1-3

                Peter and the others were ready to resume their old life. Remember that this is before Pentecost. The Holy Spirit had not yet descended upon them. They had been thrilled that Jesus was alive, but it was no longer the same. Jesus was not always with them. The daily routine of assisting Jesus was broken. They understood that what they experienced over the past three years had come to an end. So they determined to get on with their lives. When Peter said that he was going fishing, he didn't mean he wanted to spend a pleasant day of leisure on his boat. He was stating that it was time to take up the nets again, and get back to work.

                After Easter, it is easy for us to quickly return to the routine of life. The thrill of Easter Sunday has already faded by Easter Monday. The vibrant challenge of encountering the Risen Lord is replaced by the demands of normal life. We put Easter back on the shelf for another year. Many people, who are not regularly in worship, will have attended Easter services. They may have been stirred by the message or just endured it. Many of them will check the Easter box, and put away their church attendance card until Christmas. Even those of us who faithfully attend worship week after week can slip back into a spiritual routine that lacks vitality and energy.

                Jesus would not let the disciples slip back into their routine. 

                Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?" "No," they answered. He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, "It is the Lord," he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
                Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you have just caught." Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead. John 21:4-14

                Jesus came to the disciples after a fruitless night of labor. There may be some sarcasm in Jesus words to the disciples. You haven’t had any luck have you? Tired and disappointed, the disciples responded that their boat was empty. Then Jesus did something he had done once before for these men. He told them to cast their nets one more time. This time the net came up full to overflowing with fish.

                At this, the lights went on for John. He remembered the day three years ago, when Jesus gave them an abundant catch of fish and then called them to become fishers of men. His sudden recognition was evident in the words that burst from his mouth. It is the Lord! Peter, always impetuous, reacted. He grabbed his cloak, dove in the water and swam ashore. Leaving the other men in the boat. As Peter stood there on the beach, dripping wet, staring at Jesus, the other men brought the boat to shore. They could all see a fire and smell the fish already cooking there.

                Jesus broke the spell by inviting them to add some of their fish to his. Peter sprung into action; helping to pull the engorged net onto shore. It is an interesting detail that an exact count is given; 153 and they were large fish. Jesus welcomed them to breakfast. Sheepishly, they took their places as Jesus served them. No one spoke.

                When Easter is over, Jesus is not done interacting with us. In fact, Jesus wants to be included in our normal, routine lives. There are a couple of things that stand out to me from this interaction between Jesus and the disciples.

- Their labor was fruitless until Jesus stepped in.
                When we leave Jesus out of our routine lives, our labor will ultimately be fruitless. We may accomplish great things in the eyes of the world, but they will only be temporary. They will not last. The Psalmist affirms this reality in Psalm 127.
    Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat-- for he grants sleep to those he loves.

- When they obeyed Jesus, He gave them more than they needed.
                Jesus wants to bless us abundantly, but he cannot if we depend on doing it our way. The abundance of Christ comes when we respond in obedience to him. 
    "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:5-8

- Jesus invited the disciples to fellowship with him.
                What Jesus wants from us is our fellowship. He wants us to live in vital communion with him every day. Too often, we go through our days as if Jesus is not present. Jesus will never barge into our lives, but he will always be there waiting for us to respond to his invitation of fellowship.

                We know the rest of the story. At his ascension, Jesus commissioned the disciples to fulfill the role they had been trained for over the past three years. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on them, and they became bold witnesses for Christ. To our knowledge, they never went back to fishing from there.

                We live our lives in many different places, surrounded by different routines. But we should always live our lives in the reality the we have been commissioned to be Jesus’ presence wherever we are. We need to live resurrection reality every day, not just on Easter Sunday. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

It’s Really True!

                I have been reading a powerful book by Laura Hillenbrand, titled Unbroken. It is the true story of Louis Zamperini. Louis was an Olympic runner who was caught up in WWII. He joined the Air Force and found himself as the part of a B-24 crew flying over the Pacific. On a search and rescue mission, his plane went down in the ocean. Although an extensive search was made for his downed plane, it was never located. The search was called off, and Louis was listed as missing in action. After a year had gone by, the military officially declared Louis dead. The standard notice was sent to his family, but they refused to believe it. They held out hope that somehow he was still alive. Shortly after the official death notice, a broadcast, from Japan, was picked up that announced that Louis was not dead, but a POW in Japan. At first, the authenticity of the message was questioned. But, then a second broadcast was received. This time the voice that was heard was that of Louis. His family was elated to know that he was still alive. Nothing more was heard from him after that point. His family waited with hope and anticipation. The war finally ended and the POW camps were liberated. After an extended delay, Louis walked into the front door of his family’s home. At that moment all doubt was erased. Louis was alive! It was really true!

                This week we celebrate Easter. The story of Easter is even more fantastic than the story of Louis Zamperini. On Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to the cheers of the crowds. He was hailed as the Messiah, the deliverer. By Thursday night, all of that had changed.

                Jesus met with his disciples to celebrate the Passover. At that meal, Jesus announced to his closest friends that he would be betrayed that very night. He would be taken captive by the Jewish authorities and put on trial. After that he would be put to death. His disciples could not believe their ears. They refused to mildly accept what Jesus was saying. Jesus never wavered. He assured them that events would unfold just as he had predicted.

                Later that evening, Jesus and his disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. While his disciples struggled to fight off sleep, Jesus agonized in prayer. Before dawn, his sleepy disciples were aroused by a crowd of people, led by Judas. Judas identified Jesus and he was arrested. His disciples scattered in fear. Jesus was left to face his ordeal alone.

                After a mock trial, Jesus was taken to Pontus Pilate, the Roman Governor. Although Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent, he gave in to the will of the crowd. Jesus was condemned to die on a cross; the most cruel form of execution. Jesus was mocked, spit upon, beaten and finally nailed to a cross. Before sunset on Friday, Jesus was dead. His body was laid in a borrowed tomb, and the tomb was sealed. Pilate himself confirmed the official death notice. The story was over, or so it seemed.

                On Sunday morning, after the Sabbath, some women went to the tomb to finish preparing Jesus’ body for burial. When they arrived at the tomb, to their horror, they discovered that the tomb was open and the body of Jesus was gone. Their emotional panic was interrupted by a clear message. A message specifically sent to them by a messenger from God. Jesus isn’t here because he has risen from the dead. He is alive! The women could not believe their ears. They were filled with mixed emotions. As they hurried from the tomb, they encountered Jesus, alive! They fell at his feet. Jesus assured them and then sent them to tell his disciples.

                When the women recounted their story to the disciples, they refused to believe it. It sounded like nonsense. It was not possible. They had seen him die and be placed in the tomb. Then, suddenly, there he was, standing in their midst. They were shocked. Their first thought was that he was a ghost. Jesus proved that he was very much alive and real. It was really true!

                Two thousand years later, the message of Easter still echoes throughout the world. Many scoff at it as impossible and nonsense. Many more embrace it as true. It is true! He is alive!

                When the first message from Japan was aired, it was specifically addressed to Louis’ parents. The message of Easter is specifically addressed to each one of us. Jesus invites us to examine the empty tomb and encounter the risen Lord.

        The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
Matthew 28:5-6


Wednesday, April 16, 2014


                If you have ever been betrayed by a close friend, you know what a sick feeling it is. Many years ago, we were having a meeting at church, with all of our ministry leaders. We were sitting in a large circle, discussing the direction of the church. Out of the blue, one of my leaders, a young man I had invested in quite heavily, verbally attacked me. He challenged my leadership and my character, in front of the whole group. The circle sat in shocked silence. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.

                David expressed his deep emotions about being betrayed in Psalm 41.
                All my enemies whisper together against me; they imagine the worst for me, saying, "A vile disease has beset him; he will never get up from the place where he lies."
                Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.
                But you, O Lord, have mercy on me; raise me up, that I may repay them. I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me. In my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever.
                Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.
Psalm 41:7-13

                We don’t know what betrayal David as lamenting, but his words foreshadowed an even greater betrayal. It happened among a close group of friends, in an upper room, on the day that we call Maundy Thursday. All four of the gospels chronicle Judas’ clandestine deal with the Pharisees to hand over Jesus to them. The Gospel of John takes us right to the moment of confrontation between Judas and Jesus.

                "I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: 'He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.' "I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He. I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me."
                After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, "I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me."
                His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, "Ask him which one he means."
                Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?"
                Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.
                "What you are about to do, do quickly," Jesus told him, but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night. John 13:18-30

                There are several things that stand out for me in this dramatic passage.

                Jesus was fully aware of what was going on, yet he did not act to stop it. Jesus chose not to defend himself in this situation, even knowing that the outcome would be bad. All that Jesus had to do was point a finger at Judas and the plot would have been foiled.

                Jesus refused to confront Judas directly. He made it clear that he was aware of the plot, but he gave no details. He just said that one of the twelve would be the culprit. He intentionally said this so that his disciples would know truth when it happened.

                Jesus referred to David’s words in Psalm 41. Jesus counted Judas among his closest friends. Jesus had intentionally hand-picked Judas. Judas had shared daily life with Jesus for over three years. That intimacy heightened the intensity and grief of the betrayal.

                Jesus gave Judas a chance to recant. Without tipping his hand, Jesus made it clear to Judas that he knew it was Judas who would betray him.  I can hear the compassion in Jesus’ voice and see the love in his eyes. His words were not hard edged, but an invitation to take another course of action. Up until Judas took the bread, he could have turned back. But, John records, as soon as Judas took the bread, Satan took control. Jesus, knowing Judas’ heart, let him go.

                When we feel betrayed, our first reaction is to lash out in anger, but Jesus responded in love. We are tempted to justify ourselves, and in doing so, demean the other person, but Jesus remained silent. Our hurt feelings establish a gulf between us and the other person, but Jesus extended grace. Our desire often turns to getting even, but Jesus left the outcome in God’s hands.

                As followers of Christ, we are called to live in Christ-like ways, especially in difficult times. Paul summarized the approach we should take when we feel that we have been betrayed.

                Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:17-21

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


                Last week turned into a hectic week for me. I was scheduled to attend denominational meetings in Chicago. My flight to Chicago was delayed because President Obama was flying into Chicago at the same time. Then on my return trip, my flight was delayed because of snow, which caused me to miss my connecting flight, and stranded me overnight in Minneapolis. All in all, it was quite a week.

                Last night I was down in my shop working on a toy dump truck for my great nephew. I was ripping a ¾ inch thick piece of maple into ¼ inch thick pieces, when I momentarily let go of the wood. Almost instantly, the table saw hurled the partially cut wood back and into the wall behind me. It hit with such force that it put a hole in the wall. Fortunately, I had stepped to the side, or it would have hit me square in the chest.  God’s hand was definitely on me.

                As I reflect upon that incident, I am reminded of how God watches over me. Most of the time, I am oblivious to His providential care. Sometimes, it is very obvious. I marvel at how many times I could have been in a car accident, but have not been. I am amazed at the number of times in my life when I narrowly escaped serious injury. Like the time, when I was a boy, I ran into an oncoming car with my bike, and landed with my head inches from the back tire. I was scared, but unhurt. Just last week, as our plane approached Minneapolis, the pilot came on the speaker and informed us that we had to circle for a while, because the ground crew was afraid we might not be able to stop on the slick runway. I confess that my heart was beating very fast as our wheels touched down and the snow blew up from the runway.

                The Bible never promises to shield us from all mishaps and dangers. But, the Bible does assure us that God is watching over us. For every incident that we encounter, there are countless other ones that God spared us from. I think back over my life, and realize that it is a minor miracle that I have survived this long, with most of my bodily parts intact.

                Psalm 91 expresses the confidence we can have in God’s care for us.
    He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you make the Most High your dwelling-- even the Lord, who is my refuge-- then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. "Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.  With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

                In beautiful poetic form, the Psalmist expressed his ultimate confidence in the loving care of God. Although we know that we will face our share of hardships, we can face them with confidence because God is watching over us.

                Lottie Moon, the pioneer, Southern Baptist missionary to China, faced many hardships. She was caught up in the violence and turmoil of the Boxer Rebellion in China, that claimed the lives of many foreigners and Chinese Christians. In the midst of the conflict, she wrote in our journey, I am invincible when I am standing in the will of God. She firmly believed what the Psalmist wrote.

                In John 10:1-18, Jesus refers to himself as the good shepherd. As the good shepherd, he knows each of us by name. He watches over us. He leads us to safe places. He provides for us what we need. And when we wander off, he comes looking for us. What an amazing gift!

                I am so thankful that we have a God who cares about the details of our lives, and not just the big picture. I never want to take God’s loving grace for granted. I will be much more careful the next time I step into my workshop. But, I know that Christ is there with me. I’m convinced that he even pulls me aside, at the right time, to avoid flying objects.