Categories
Christian Living

The Car That Cried Wolf

When to Heed Warnings and When Not To

My wife and I were happily driving down the road when her car emitted a system alarm. The displayed show red, so I knew it wasn’t good.

First was an icon of a car on a hoist, implying a need for service. Next I noticed the word brake, suggesting an issue with the brakes.

I tested the brakes and nothing seemed amiss. I continued driving, albeit with care, as Candy pulled out the owner’s manual to learn the extent of the problem.

What she discovered caused great concern: “vehicle electronics failed” and “you cannot continue on your journey; contact your dealer.” The only things I could think of that was brake related and so dire was not enough brake fluid or a ruptured brake line.

It was Sunday, and we were far from the dealer. We had no real option but to continue driving, though I did test the brakes before each red light and allowed ample room to stop.

When we safely returned home, I parked the car, and Candy emailed the dealer.

When the service department finally got back to us, the situation was much less ominous: either the brake pads were worn or the brake pad sensor had malfunctioned.

They said we could continue driving the car, but should have it checked within a couple of weeks.

That’s far different than “you cannot continue your journey.”

So the next time her car beeps and flashes red, I’ll give it far less concern. Even if the warning is genuine, I’ll likely dismiss it, because that’s what happens when a car cries wolf.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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Categories
Christian Living

What Do You Expect?

I generally expect things to work out—except when I’m traveling. Experience has conditioned me to expect the worst when I leave home.

I expect the airplane will be overbooked, the schedule delayed, or the flight cancelled. All these things have happened to me.

At the hotel, I expect they won’t have a room, will dismiss my confirmation number as meaningless, suggest I share a room with someone else, or direct me to a different hotel. All these things have happened to me, too.

When booking a recent trip, the travel site delighted me by offering a package rate for my airline and hotel. The deal was so good I almost felt guilty. I grabbed their offer but expected things wouldn’t work out.

The first sign of trouble came when checking into the hotel. The desk clerk’s easy banter soon gave way to concentration as he typed futilely on his keyboard.

Finally he called someone, talking in subdued tones about room availability. I overheard just enough to know there was a problem.

“I’m sorry, but we’re all out of the rooms you paid for.” I held my breath, expecting the worst. “So we’ll upgrade you to a suite.” This seemed like good news, but his tone suggested otherwise.

Was “upgrade to a suite” a euphemism for “we’ll stick you in a crappy room because we’re going to lose money on your package deal?”

I thanked him for the “upgrade” while wondering what “upgrade” really meant. At least I had a room. I trod down corridors of nondescript doors that surely opened to ordinary rooms.

These were not my destination. What awaited me?

Then the hallway widened. Spotlights revealed a walkup, double door entrance to a special place, one displaying my room number. I checked and double-checked.

Still unconvinced, I tried the keycard. It didn’t work. Figures. I tried the second key and on the third try, the green light flashed.

I opened the doors to a grand sight, spacious and sophisticated, something I’d only seen in movies. It took some exploring, but eventually I found the bedroom.

The whole place was bigger than our first house, elegantly furnished, boasting two bathrooms, three TVs, and a baby grand piano.

This was certainly not what I expected.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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10 Essential Bible Reading Tips, from Peter DeHaan

Get the Bible Reading Tip Sheet: “10 Tips to Turn Bible Reading from Drudgery to Delight.”

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Categories
Personal Posts

Smile…You’re Being Scanned

I recently renewed my passport, which required an updated photo. I went to my local Walgreens to take care of this and complete my renewal application as quickly as possible.

I placed my toes on the line, looked into the camera, and put on my best smile. The technician scowled. “You’re not supposed to smile for passport photos.”

I scowled back. “Why?” Ten years ago I smiled; the picture wasn’t too bad.

“Facial recognition software doesn’t work as well when you smile.”

At this point I discovered that when someone is about to take your picture and says, “Don’t smile,” it’s almost impossible to keep a straight face.

There was more scowling as she waited for me to rid my face of any hint of levity. Once I looked sufficiently dour, she snapped my picture.

When I picked up the photo a few minutes later, the results horrified me. Even though I never had one, it looked like a mug shot. However, since I don’t like to travel, that’s probably a reasonable representation of how I look when I’m at the airport.

So the facial recognition software should have no problem matching me.

And for those who want to avoid having airport security recognize them, just smile.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Categories
Christian Living

How I Lost Five Pounds

Last year I lost five pounds—overnight. Really! This occurred without me eating less or exercising more. How did I achieve this amazing weight loss?

Quite simply, I got a new scale. Before you criticize my claim as being misleading, permit me to explain.

My family had long complained about my scale weighing “heavy.” This never bothered me. I simply used it to track changes. A slight decrease gave a reason to cheer, while a slight increase provided an incentive to eat more carefully.

The fact that my scale claimed I hovered around 183 mattered little to me—or so I thought.

New bathroom scale

My family sought to remedy my wayward scale by giving me a new one for my birthday. The new version proclaimed my interaction with gravity to be five pounds less. While my weight didn’t change, my attitude did. I now weighed in at a svelte 178.

With a spring in my step, I strode with more vigor when I walked. When I looked in the mirror, I beamed with greater satisfaction. My clothes even fit better.

One hundred and seventy-eight looked good on me. I felt great about myself, my weight, and even my overall health.

I more or less maintained my new weight throughout the year: sometimes more, sometimes less, but always hovering around my new norm. I felt much better at 178 than I did at 183.

In reality, nothing changed physically, but my mental attitude did.

Even still, there are family members who claim my new scale weighs high, too.

Maybe they’ll get me another new one. Then I can drop five more pounds. I’d love for my next weigh-in to be 173.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

Bogged Down Reading the Bible?

10 Essential Bible Reading Tips, from Peter DeHaan

Get the Bible Reading Tip Sheet: “10 Tips to Turn Bible Reading from Drudgery to Delight.”

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