Friday, May 20, 2011

Friendly Friday: Paula Ebert

Today's Friendly Friday blogger is---another Paula! Paula Ebert this time, though, of Grow Where You're Planted. She's a swell gal with a heart for God, and she's another one I'm looking forward to meeting at the Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference.

Man. I just hope I can put all the names with the faces come July!

And, again, I met her through Twitter, where she's always an encouragement to me. So be an encouragement back to this great lady by visiting her blog and following her on Twitter!

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Rachel, thank you so much for the opportunity to guest post on your blog!  I love to write and share the thoughts God places on my heart as He teaches me to grow where I am planted. 

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I got a speeding ticket a couple of months ago. In a school zone. Ouch.

There I was, just minding my own business driving along a very familiar strip of road, when all of a sudden I saw a state patrolman coming up behind me in the rear view mirror. Wait—wasn’t he just going the opposite direction? His lights started flashing. As I tried to find a place to pull over, my mind raced. I had no idea what I had done wrong!

By the time I pulled over and waited for him, I was distraught—tears streaming down my face. See, I don’t like to break rules. I don’t like to get in trouble. I’m a perfectionist.

Very gently and humbly (okay, scared and shaking), I rolled down the window and asked why he stopped me. Apparently I had been going 47 in a 35. What? But the speed limit is 45—except during school zone times. Oh. The school zone was still in effect, even though all I noticed was that the kids were in school and there were hardly any cars on the road. I was in shock and proceeded to tell him that it was an honest mistake. That I had no idea it was still school zone time. I tried to think back and remember if I had seen flashing yellow lights. Hmmm. Couldn’t remember. As I tried to plead my case, I accepted the truth that I was, in fact, going to get a ticket. I couldn’t plead ignorance when I hadn’t thought to read the big sign that was right in front of my face. That sign had become just another part of the scenery.

After he let me go (with my nice big ticket), I drove back down the strip of road to look at the sign closely. I really thought that somehow the school zone had ended at 9:15 (three minutes before the ticket was written). However, it was over at 9:25 (yep—seven minutes AFTER my ticket was written.

Was I mad? Yes. I always try to go the speed limit. I always stop at stop signs. I’m the one who would stay stopped at a red light at 3:00 in the morning (if I was ever out that late). I honestly didn’t realize I was speeding.

Did any of this matter? No. Why? Because I can’t plead ignorance.

It’s like that with our walk as Christ-followers, isn’t it? He’s given us this big book that tells us how He wants us to live. And it’s not just a big book of rules, my friends. God wrote the Bible out of pure, unquestionable, unchangeable, unconditional LOVE for us! We cannot claim ignorance when we sin. It’s right there in black and white! Unfortunately, the Bible can become that “familiar strip of road” to us. We take it to church. We have one on a shelf (or two or three). We talk about it. But do we really know the Bible and do more with it than just let it become a “part of the scenery?"

In the gospel of John, Jesus tells us that we can do nothing apart from Him. Hmm. I guess that means we ought to spend some of “our” time listening to Him. Don’t you think? 


With that in mind, how’s your Christ-following walk going? Are you in the Word regularly? Hey, I am the first to confess that I struggle with making time for it. Notice I didn’t say that I struggle with “having time.” We all have the time. Right? We make time for the things we want to do. For the things we love. For the things closest to our hearts. Where does reading the only true Book of Love fall on your list of priorities? Your list of things you love to do? How close are His words to your heart?

Here’s a challenge for next week: If you are not in a regular habit of reading the Bible, my challenge to you is to take time out of every day next week and spend it with God, in His Word. You never know how this may change your heart and your life. And friends, I hope you don’t take this as a legalistic kind of thing. Legalism is one of Satan’s greatest tools (but that’s a post for another day!) We spend time with God because we want to build a relationship, not because we want to check off something on a to-do list. If you are already faithful in reading every day (or most days), the challenge is to dig a little deeper. We never arrive at perfection in our faith. God wants to continuously sanctify us—if we will let Him.

So, don’t let the Bible (or your Christianity) become that “strip of familiar road.” Dig into the Word and learn from the Creator of this universe! When it comes to the life He has planned for us, ignorance is not bliss.

“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.” – John 15:5 (NIV)


© Paula Ebert, 2011

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for your sweet words, Rachel... I really appreciate the opportunity to be with you today! :)

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  2. Girl, you know my heart! :) God is good like that...connecting those to sing a similar tune. ;)

    This hits the mark...right on! And for me, too. Since being out of school this past week, I made a slight boo-boo in getting out of the habit of reading the Word daily. I read my devotional, I blogged based off scripture...but I didn't dive into it like I normally did for study (and personal growth and relationship with Him).

    Thank you for the reminder that I can get back up on the horse again at any time...well, unless tomorrow we are all raptured. ;) Yes, I mock the media coverage of all going on out there recently surrounding May 21st! haha

    In seriousness though...thank you for the reminder. It was a good convicting I am following, and back on the horse I go this morning! :)

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  3. You are right, Marni! God does connect us with people who we are like-minded with. I'm looking so forward to meeting all of you girls in July! :) And about this post, I am speaking to myself as much as anyone else! I've been slack lately! But God is good and He does always want us to just "get back up on the horse." And yes, the media about May 21st cracks me up. They claim it is biblical, but let's see what Matthew 24:36 says about it... “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Hmmm...

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