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  • "A Musing Pastor"

Well, that explains a lot.

Every day, I look in the mirror and wonder, "Where did all my hair go?" Every day, I look in the mirror and think, "Man, you are looking older than yesterday." Have you noticed things don't last forever?

Two weeks ago, I jumped in my truck and went to start it. I went through the usual procedure. I buckled in, turned the key till all the dash lights came on, waited for the fuel pump to charge the system, and then turned the key. The normal response of an engine charged by the starter is to go Vroom! Vroom! This day the engine turned over but didn't go Vrooom! Vroom!. It was more like, "Cough....cough....gag...gag... and then blah!" When things don't operate normally, then I launch an investigation. (Trouble shooting 101)

Okay, think Randy. The engine is turning over so the battery is good. The engine is trying to start and I did hear the fuel pump operating before I engaged the starter. The engine did start and was running, although not real well. Could I have bought a batch of gas that had impurities (water) in it? When was the last time I added fuel injector cleaner? I tried the key a second time and this time the engine roared to life. Oh, I guess there isn't anything wrong after all. (Bad assumption) Well, for the last two weeks there have been repeating episodes of the same dysfunctional engine starting scenario.

Fast forward to yesterday, when I pulled up the vehicle service record on my computer. The 2003 truck was purchased in July 2011. Over the last 4 years I have changed the oil and filter regularly, purchased new tires, had tie-rods changed, replaced worn brake pads, and a host of other maintenance items. One telling item was missing from the maintenance log.

Can you guess what it is? :)

No where is there a recorded 'fuel filter' replacement. Well, that explains a lot! For the last 50+ months, (35,000+ miles) the truck has had the same fuel filter. Countless tanks of fuel have run through that filter. Countless particles of dirt and drops of water have been captured in the element within that filter.

Could it be possible the filter is getting so clogged that when the fuel pump tries to charge the fuel system, much smaller amounts of gasoline are drawn from the tank?

This sounds mysteriously like our clogged heart arteries that aren't operating properly.

This sounds mysteriously like our clogged prayer lives that aren't working properly.

I think it is time for a run to the local auto parts store to get a new fuel filter.

Do you experience times of dysfunction in your relationship with God? When you hit the key to your prayer life, does the response go Vroom! Vroom! or more like 'cough' cough'? Could there be blockages between you and the Almighty? Maybe it's time to go into trouble shooting 101.

1. Do I seek God's direction daily?

2. Do I read about God in His word?

3. Do I confess yesterday's sins before addressing today's challenges?

4. Do I daily pray for guidance and peace?

6. Do I trust God to work for my good?

7. Am I maintaining a line of communication with the one who has redeemed me and loves me?

8. Is it time for a spiritual renewal so my faith journey runs like a well-maintained machine?

God desires our heart and mind to be operating clearly.

"Therefore, brothers (and sisters), since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of

Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a

great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance

of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies

washed with pure water." (Hebews 10:19-22, NIV) [emphasis added]

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