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Summary: How can one find blessing in wrecking their car? You might be surprised to find out...and blessed.

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I've been preaching for a while, in my 18th year of preaching. I've been around the block so to speak, but I don't claim to anyone special--just a man called to work for the Master. But being in ministry for more than just a few years does give a man experience in both the good and the bad--but is it all bad? I say no, because, as Joseph told his brothers who had sold him into slavery years earlier, "God meant it for good"...because the nation of Israel had been saved as a result.

I've preached in the past about how God puts trials and tribulations in our way for different reasons. Sometimes it's to get our attention, and to turn us around from sin both intentional and passive; those times when we flop our big hairy toe across the line knowing full well we are sinning and those times when we just ignore, procrastinate or just allow sin to happen. God can and does take us to the woodshed, and the reason why is because He is our Father in heaven:

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives."

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Hebrews 12:6-8 (ESV)

Another time that we go through difficulty is when God is breaking through to us through the fog of sin, a fog or darkness so thick that we cannot see Him. We are spiritually blind and deaf to the gospel message does not penetrate to us because of our sin (2 Peter 3:3) and because Satan and his demonic hoodlums blind us through sin to the truth (2 Cor 4:4). It is when we face hard times (or at least what we THINK are hard times), that God the Father opens the sin sick heart and draws them to Him (John 6:44).

It's funny how an incredibly hard time can change us for the better. Back in the fall of 2007, our son Turtle fell down a flight of stairs at school and landed square on his head. He had to be flown by aeromedical to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh as he was paralyzed and suffered a concussion. His paralysis was temporary, but a few weeks later he developed post concussion syndrome; he could not remember how many inches was in a foot, the first US President or how to even use a remote control! He spent nearly two months out of school, and had a "7 out of 10 pain level" migraine daily until school finished in June.

Turtle also suffers complex migraines from time to time. He had one in the fall of 2008, and the migraine caused him to be paralyzed on his left side. I gave him some medication, but he was still paralyzed in his chest and left arm, so off we went to Children's Hospital. On the way there, he was laughing and joking; I asked him "How can you be so loose and not upset at what's going on?" He answered "After being out of school with post concussion syndrome, and having a migraine for 8 months, this is notthing". Turtle was trained by God in trial, and matured a lot because of that...and developed patience


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