Getting Started in 2014
By: Melody Crombie (Copied from Melodys-kids.com site)
If traveling across the United States can be done in an impromptu fashion, then that's exactly how I'd describe my trip the summer of 2014; Spur of the moment and unplanned. My only desire was to go where I felt like God wanted me to go and do what I had promised God I would do (ten years earlier)! My two youngest kids (the only ones I could 'strongly persuade/bribe' to go with me) and I started out from our (recently adopted) home state of Maryland in our aged van, (frequent oil changes saved our bacon!)
We visited/stayed with four sets of generous (and surprised to see us) relatives along the way. We got to see the Creation Museum in Kentucky, Focus on the Family in Colorado and several historical/interesting sights along the way.
We would have done more tent camping but unfortunately I left the tent poles behind, along with the sorely missed GPS (my cell phone kinda worked - in some states) and E-Z pass (If you've never lived or travelled to the East coast, then you don't really know what "Toll Roads" are!!)
I started by speaking boldly (basically reading the 23rd Psalm was about as bold as it got!) to the customers at my Aunt's Diner in Colorado. The customers that didn't look like they were ready to bolt for the hills actually started tearing up (God's word is powerful, folks!)
Then my kids and I went to a park in California and read the bible (no one was around). I Finally got bold enough to speak a rehearsed sermon (after reading the Psalms) at the beach in CA (again, only seagulls and seaweed were in attendance!)
On our return trip, we travelled up Mount Diablo (a simply terrifying trip) to the Observation deck where my daughter snapped a picture I will always appreciate!
I felt like I should preach but steadfastly refused, coming up with a myriad of excuses!
After I saw this picture I realized God was with me the whole time! I felt like I had a true 'mountain top' experience. I wept as I drove that night, asking God to please forgive me for being such a disobedient chicken (my constant prayer is that God will completely remove my fear of man and replace it with a deep love for my fellow man. I've also prayed that when people look at me they will see Jesus.) One of the worst feelings I have ever had is knowing that I've grieved the Holy Spirit of the Living God!
I decided to ditch the cheesy cardboard sign and somewhere in Utah I scribbled out a sermon for "Park and Preach" (see below) that I basically read (ad-libbing just doesn't work for me) at a few rest stops on the way home!
God blessed our trip with lots of rain (an answer to prayer as most of the United States is currently in a terrible drought) and a stunning double rainbow!
Park & Preach Sermon:
Park and Preach 2014 By: Melody Crombie
“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” -Psalm 23 (NIV) -Read or Recite
1- The Lord is My Shepherd, He's Your Shepherd, it's Personal:
God cares about you and your needs.
He longs to gather you to himself but all we like sheep have gone astray.
Our immoral behavior has kept us separated from him because God is HOLY.
He sees our heart and knows it's deceitfully wicked. This means we can't rely on our heart or emotions to guide us because they will lead us astray. We are all born with a sin nature.
2- Children don't need to be taught how to lie, cheat and steal; it comes naturally. And it only gets worse as we grow older:
Instead we need to learn how to love, tell the truth, have compassion for our fellow man. It's really hard to do the right thing.
3- God not only wants to Heal our heart but he is willing to give us a New heart and set us free from the disease of sin:
Just as the “Y” chromosome is passed down relatively intact from the father to the son, so our sin was passed down through the human race from Adam, the first man.
Jesus Christ bypassed this sinful, diseased familial line by being conceived by the Holy Spirit and being born of the virgin, Mary.
4- We may wonder how Jesus can be both God and man?
Consider the modern day computer gamers who sit down in front of a computer screen and enter a made-up world.
The game allows the user to customize a player to look any way he wants. He can insert the player anywhere in the game and direct everything about him while he's in the game.
God, the creator of the universe, who said, “Earth is my footstool and Heaven is my throne,” has obviously made something far more sophisticated than a man-made computer game to enter time and space and interact with his creation.
5- You may feel like you've gone too far from God:
I would like to assure you that God can bring you back into a right relationship with him TODAY - no matter how far you've gone. His word says, “Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 8:39
He's willing and waiting to guide you back.
6- When I travel, I like to use my GPS:
If I take a wrong turn it flashes, “Re-Directing” to get me back on the right path. My GPS doesn't condemn or abuse me. Similarly, God will never condemn you because HE LOVES YOU:
The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” -John 3:16-17
When you ask God for help he will guide you back with something far better than a GPS. He has given us his word, the Bible and the Holy Spirit. He will use these things and other Christians to help guide you back into a right relationship.
7- You might decide to wait and ask God for forgiveness after you die:
The Bible makes it very clear that it will be Too Late.
Earth is the testing ground. Before we die God gives us two options, heaven or hell. He has given you a free will and you can choose where you will spend eternity.
On average, 150,000 people die around the world Every Single Day.
We are all just a breath and a heartbeat away from death.
Life is short and eternity is forever so CHOOSE WISELY because TODAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION
8- You may say following God's rules are too hard - but consider how important rules are when you are out on the road:
All it takes is for one driver to stop obeying the rules of the road to ruin your whole day. Rules and morality matter, not only out on the road but in our personal lives, our schools, businesses and our government.
9- It will be worth the effort:
Jesus told this parable, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” -Matthew 13:44
What this parable tells us that we can be 100% SOLD OUT FOR JESUS.
10- God tells us in the Bible that he will honor those who love and obey him.