Skydiving at Sunset!

Monique’s sixty-something first cousin, Sylvain, is an avid and experienced skydiver. He loves the sport and sometimes sends us a photograph of one of his more spectacular dives. These pics make us shudder with fear and amazement! He is handsome, still single, and ever the beloved son of his French mother. We have asked many times, why do you do this? And he usually just laughs with delight! I think he would answer if he chose to, “I just love the daring and freedom of it all!”

10,000 feet and descending!

Occasionally, I like to watch Indy Grand Prix car races where the drivers skillfully maneuver around tight turns and down straightaways of street or road courses at speeds exceeding 200 mph! I admit that there is something intriguing about speed. I am often tempted during vacation time to “put the pedal to the metal” in the wide-open spaces of Texas or New Mexico where the official speed limits are quite generous!

Just so you know, while growing up in my dad's auto repair shop, I acquired this considerable fascination with motors and their optimum performance! However, I thank God that I married a good and cautious woman who has throttled my driving speeds back with comments like, “Hey, slow down! You’ll be getting a ticket! How will you explain that you’re a pastor and a police chaplain as well?” I  do hate it when she’s right! 😉

In response to her, I usually repeat again this story as told to me by a couple of beloved senior pastors and mentors. On a certain road trip, Archie, my home church pastor, was in the driver's seat and motoring along above the speed limit through a well-policed area of Waco, Texas. His best friend, Jimmy, a funny and habitual joker, was telling stories as they were driving to a Baptist meeting. Soon, Arch looked up and saw the patrol car all lighted up closing in on them. He lowered his window as the Texas Patrolman began to approach the driver's side. Knowing that Jimmy couldn't restrain himself, Archie said to him, "Don't say anything! I'll take care of this!" The next thing he heard was Jimmy's commentary about this incident, "Officer, I told him to slow down because he was going to get a ticket!" All Arch could do, as he was handed his written citation, was to glare at Jimmy and ease back into traffic! Risk... daring... speed... and a ticket!

As a believer, the words - bold faith, action and results come to my mind. When God speaks His will, plan, and purpose into my heart, it’s not an option for me to be reckless, careless, or refuse to act! The proper response is faith! Biblical faith is an active stance of confident assurance that what we are praying and hoping for is going to happen even though we cannot see how. This is hard on a “process guy” like me who prefers to know all the details! The writer to the Hebrews defines faith succinctly with two key words: reality and evidence - “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1, NLT). Faith involves trusting in God implicitly. It’s not about sight or knowing all the answers! How important is faith? The Bible says emphatically, “It’s impossible to please God without faith!” (11:6a).

Two of my favorite go-to verses at decision times are Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” The beloved hymn by B.B. McKinney, “Have Faith in God,” offers this wise counsel in the second stanza, “Have faith in God when your prayers are unanswered, your earnest plea He will never forget; wait on the Lord, trust His Word and be patient, have faith in God, He’ll answer yet.” 

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.



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