April 2016 Newsletter


I would imagine most of you have heard of Murphy’s Law. And if you haven’t, I’ll bet you’ve experienced it a time or two.  Basically, Murphy’s Law states: “What can go wrong, will go wrong.”  If you’ve ever had a day where Murphy’s Law is in effect, you have quite possibly referred to it as “one of those days.”

Well, I had “one of those days” last Thursday (March 14).  I don’t have them very often, but this one struck with a vengeance.  So come with me as I take you on a guided tour of that day.

I had a long list of things that I wanted to accomplish in my office that morning and things were sailing along pretty smoothly until Marilyn called about 7:30 and told me that her car was telling her that she had a tire with low pressure.  At that time she was headed to our son-in-law Micah’s office to pick up our grandchildren, McKenzie and Ryder, for a day of babysitting them.  Once she got them she was then going to drop off one of our other grandchildren, Brooklyn, at Hawthorn School.  So I told her when she did that, she should stop by the church and I would check out that tire.  When she got to Micah’s, however, she discovered that the tire was flat.  So she called me with that wonderful news.  I then put on my jacket and a hat since it was raining and headed over there to change the tire.  Aside from getting a little wet, everything was going smoothly. Then they got even better when one of Micah’s co-workers arrived and asked if I needed some help.  Since he had work clothes on and I had my “pastoral” clothes and shoes on, I was more than happy to accept his offer.  And he did a great job getting the car jacked up and the flat tire off.  However, when he took the tire off, he then carried it to the back of my car and put it in the wheel well of the trunk.  He had to use a little extra force to get it in there and when he did, the car fell off the jack.  In the process the spare also fell off since he had not yet secured it with the lug nuts.  But it couldn’t have happened at a better place because aside from being a surveyor/civil engineer, Micah also has his own logging business there.  So he got into one of his forklifts and managed to get the blades under the car and lift it up so we could get the jack under it again.  But when Micah allowed the weight of the car to rest on the jack, it gave way again.  Finally, to make a long story short, he raised the car enough with the forklift so we could put the spare tire on and secure it with the lug nuts.

After taking the flat tire to Ferguson’s to be repaired, I then headed back to church, just in time to run into the sanctuary and do my opening for Little Lamb Preschool.  Then I went back into my office to get working on that long list of things I wanted to do.  Well, I wasn’t at my desk for more than a few minutes when I saw an email come in from Google saying that there was suspicious activity on my account.  It even showed a map of where the activity was taking place – somewhere in the St. Louis area.  Put simply, my email account had been hacked and it was sending out emails to everyone in my address book.  Within a minute or two I started getting emails and phone calls from LOTS of people asking if I had sent that email. So I spent the rest of my morning taking care of that.

Then it was lunchtime and I was hungry because I had worked up quite an appetite that morning.  I was looking forward to a nice meal that consisted of leftovers from the Lenten supper the night before.  After I heated it up, I saw down at my desk to enjoy it, but then Ange knocked on my door to let me know that a Lutheran pastor friend of mine had stopped by to see me.  He had some things he wanted to talk about and some counsel on how to handle them, so I didn’t get to eat my lunch.  And by the time he left, I needed to be somewhere else.  Ok, I needed to be on the basketball court for my weekly exercise at First Christian Church.  When I was finished there, I came back to church to shower.  Typically it takes a couple of minutes for the water in the shower to heat up, I guess because it’s so far from the water heater.  But on this afternoon it never did heat up…at all.  So I jumped into a very cold shower and got cleaned up, then headed to see one of our members who was at Good Sam in Mt. Vernon.  By this time I have to confess I was a bit reluctant to go because the way my day was going I could see myself having an accident.  And sure enough, it almost happened.  When I was leaving Good Sam, a car started to back out right when I was even with it, but thankfully the driver saw me and slammed on his breaks before he hit me.

Well, finally I made it home.  Marilyn had to take McKenzie to her tumbling lesson at Sandoval, so she left me in charge of Ryder.  This was the first time I’d ever had him without her. Thankfully Maliyah and Brooklyn were there because he spent about half the time screaming at the top of his lungs.

Then to top things off, I got a phone call from Ange who said, “You’re not going to believe what I just found out.”  She then told me that Rankin’s Funeral Home had called to inform us that one of our older members, Marvin Leeman, had died very unexpectedly earlier that day which meant that I would have to spend the next day – my day off – working on a funeral sermon and service.

Now please understand, I’m not looking for sympathy here.  But I do want to pass on to you a lesson that I believe God taught me through this very tough day.  For some reason, I kept thinking of 1 Thessalonians 5:18 which says, “Give thanks in all circumstances.”  At first I wanted nothing to do with that.  Instead I just wanted to have my only little private pity party. But God kept bringing that verse to my mind, so I gave it a try, and here’s what I came up with.

  • I was thankful that days like this have been few and far between for me.
  • I was thankful for the help that Micah’s co-worker gave me with changing that tire and that even though the car fell off the jack, there was no damage to my vehicle and Micah had the equipment right there to lift my car up.
  • I was thankful that even though my computer got hacked, nobody that I know of had anything bad happen to theirs and I was able to get some good advice from my bowling team buddy and computer repairman Verle Boyles on what to do next.
  • I was thankful I’m not having the problems my pastor friend who stopped to see me has been having.
  • I was thankful that I wasn’t in the hospital with a broken hip like Jim Krider whom I visited at Good Sam.
  • I was thankful that that car at Good Sam did not hit me when backing out.
  • I was thankful I had a shower, even though the water was cold, because a lot of people around the world don’t have that luxury.

So the next time Murphy’s Law grabs hold of you, give this a try: “Give thanks in all circumstances.”  You might be amazed at the difference it can make in an otherwise crazy, out-of-control day!


Still feeling thankful,