Thursday, October 29, 2009

I fought the law...

I was in court today for a traffic ticket, failure to display inspection sticker. I showed up early and was very nervous. I've never been to court before. I usually move to dismiss or plead out and pay my fine in advance. This time, though, it wasn't a big priority to me. This seemed like a no-brainer. I show them proof of inspection and the case is dismissed. However, I couldn't find my receipt. So, here I am in court with no proof and hopes for compassion from the court.

I'm sitting in the room with all of the other offenders and I find myself sitting in judgment over them, priding myself on dressing more nicely or my offense not as severe as theirs. These two are here for Minor in Possession charges. That one was speeding in a school zone. Her dog wasn't registered with the city nor had records of a rabies shot. On and on it went.

The judge comes in and we all rise, per the bailiff's instruction. A short grandmother in a black robe comes in and I begin to relax a bit, foolishly. She reads off the rules of the court and makes no bones about the fact that she will put up with no nonsense. She follows the letter of the law and does not stray far from it. It seems this is going to be a bit more challenging than I initially thought. I'm getting nervous again.

Two people are called before me. Guilty, pay your fine. Not guilty? Show up on this date and be ready to present your case. I am called up next. Gulp!

I come to the front and give her the most charming smile I can muster. It is not returned. I tell her good morning. She replies the same in a very businesslike manner.

How do you plead? I lay out my request for an extension or dismissal. She offers to reduce my fine by $25. She tells me the officer reported I had no inspection sticker. That's not true, Your Honor. The inspection sticker was there. It was just damaged. If that is the case, we have conflicting statements. If you are contesting the charge, plead not guilty and prepare your case against the city prosecutor. You will need to show proof that you had an inspection sticker. I plead not guilty.

All day, I have thought of nothing else, other than proving my innocence. I need to show an inspection sticker that has most likely been thrown away. I have no photos, either. I can only hope the technician who did the replacement will cooperate and provide a statement, assuming he remembers it. I have until February. I will probably have to change my plea.

Today was very sobering to me. I couldn't even defend myself against a class C misdemeanor charge. There is no way I will ever be able to defend my sinful nature in this life. Like today, I need someone, an attorney, who knows the law and is able to defend me before the Judge.

The Bible is very clear that Christ stands as a witness to those who have given themselves as followers of Christ, those who are repentant of their sins and are covered by the blood of the Lamb. Hs is our intercessor, our attorney. His blood stands witness to the fact that He who knew no sin BECAME sin that I may be found innocent on the day of final judgment. I will be absolved and my record is wiped clean. All charges dismissed.

All praise be to God and to the Lamb that was slain!

"My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" 1 John 2:1

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


This was an amazing response my wonderful husband wrote to a friend of his going through some difficult times that I felt compelled to share. I feel extremely blessed to be married to such an encourager!

My dear friend, please know that I am thinking of you and agreeing in prayer with you. God reigns supreme and this season of life will pass.

"Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Hush, be still." And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?" They became very much afraid and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?" Mark 4:35-41

If you've never been sailing, you can't realize just how truly terrifying it is when your boat is being tossed about in a stormy sea. Waves crash over the bow, threatening to overcome. The boat lists in logic defying fashion, coming perilously close to capsizing each time. No anchor will hold the boat in place and so you drift aimlessly, not knowing where you may turn up. These are the fears the disciples were facing, and losing to.

Had they realized that in the boat with them was the very God who created the heavens and the earth, the sea and the wind, maybe they would have been less focused on their circumstances and themselves. Instead, they may have spent that time singing praises, hymns, and worshipping at the feet of the one who knows every hair on their head and called each of them by name.

They called out to Him, "Teacher, don't you care about us? We are dying!" He gave them no comfort, no soothing words of peace. Instead He simply spoke to the storm, and the wind and sea immediately obeyed. He then looked at them and convicted them for their doubt. More than that, they were afraid for they had never seen anyone speak with the authority to control the weather.

I know times are very tough for you. I know that your faith is being tested and stretched. You wonder how you can go another day without God releasing you from this trial. I can only tell you that He will speak in authority and end this when the time has come.

You have a choice. You can react in fear and cry out to Him or you can rejoice in Him and wait for Him to glorify Himself in your circumstances. Both reactions are legitimate. Only one will bring peace in the midst of the storm.

John* is reacting from fear. His anger stems from not being able to control the situation and he turns to blame.

As a man, I want to solve the problem for you, as well. However, I have no more control over this than I do wishing time to turn back one second. I stand in intercession for you, praying for your constant renewal, peace in the trial, and glory to Our Father in Heaven. Regardless of the outcome, He will be glorified in You, Jane*.

"And we know that God causes ALL THINGS to work together FOR GOOD to THOSE WHO LOVE GOD, to THOSE WHO ARE CALLED according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

*names changed to protect privacy