Jackson Five Friday: Alignment is Vital

Hey Friends,

Hope you’ve had a wonderful week. This is our first week back to real life in 2019, and with four basketball games and a swim meet, it’s quite a running start.

It wasn’t long ago that I was driving four teenage boys to Florida. Since it’s all of a ten-hour drive I did let my seventeen-year-old do a few shifts. But with precious cargo, two of whom aren’t even mine, it’s stressful. I had to tell him to slow down about five hundred times. And “Woah, give this guy more space!” also seemed to be on endless loop. At one point I was trying to have a deep phone conversation. The person was telling me about some serious things going on. They were even getting choked up. I think one of my strengths is being a good, attentive listener but this is a feat with a teenager at the wheel. At one point we were flying by semi-truck after semi-truck and seemingly inching closer to them all the time.

“Aww,” I said to my phone pal, while I frantically gestured to my son to stinking hug the left line on the road, instead of the precarious right. This we repeated about ten times. Then, by God’s grace, we needed gas or something and his shift ended.

Later in the trip, he took another shift and this time there was less traffic, so we mostly stayed in the right lane. Still, I felt like we were veering right, like we were going to go barreling into the grass at any moment.

“Dude, quit veering to the right!” I said. “What is your issue with drifting right?”

At this point a little audio snippet replayed in my mind. Not long ago, my husband said, nonchalantly, as if only passing, “I think my alignment is off.”

Yep, we were in his car. Yep, a seventeen year old hasn’t driven misaligned cars yet enough to know how to automatically compensate. The trip was much smoother when I explained that straight was probably a few degrees to the left.

Alignment really is rather important, isn’t it? Cars are one thing, but real life alignment is truly vital. What’s your plumb line? Is it your gut? Is it public opinion? Is it whatever your friends or spouse say? I hope not. I hope you align yourself with the enteral truth of God’s Word. I hope you feed yourself Scripture so much that you can automatically play some of it in your mind, that situations instantly bring certain applicable passages to mind.

Praying today that 2019 is a year where I commit more Scripture to memory. After all, this side of eternity none of us will ever graduate from needing to align ourselves to God’s Word.

With Love,


Tune Therapy

Hi Friends,

When was the last time you sang Jesus Loves Me with a group of adults? I happen to experience it today at the brunch following the baptism of my grand nephew. The sweetness of it can hardly be overstated. In fact, at my church the congregation always sings Jesus Loves Me to close out baptisms. The pastor holds the baby and walks up and down the aisle as we sing. I’m not a terribly emotional person, but it always makes me want to cry happy, grateful tears.

Why do you think that is? I think it’s because we live in a world that is so marred by sin, so intent on stoking our sense of entitlement, our perceived mistreatment, our inclination to be less than satisfied. A new weapon of instilling malcontent is to feed –via smartphones–an ending stream of mostly meaningless information. And for whatever reason, this never-ending stream is highly addictive. Has anyone ever scrolled and scrolled and then thought, “Wow, that was great. I’m so so glad I scrolled”? I seriously doubt it. But the Prince of this world relentlessly tries to hide the truth, the truth that we are loved.

The simple children’s song Jesus Loves Me is so powerful because it’s true. And children may sing with angelic voices and believe every word, but adults singing it know how life-altering this truth truly is. The Creator of the Universe, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords loves me! Me! Sinful, forgetful, scrolling, ungrateful me!

“Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:18-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The incredible news is that grace abounds all the more. Jesus loves you. I am praying today that you know that!

With Love,