Hello everybody! It has been quite a week for me (Joel). This Sunday I preached my first sermon in front of the church (my first time in any church). I had the opportunity to challenge our congregation to set their priorities in 2008 in light of an eternal perspective. I think it went well, and I know that God used my words to challenge at least one man in the church to make some changes this year. If you are interested in hearing the sermon it should be posted on our website sometime later this week (not sure when with the holidays and all). The site is http://www.hcbchutto.com/.
There is a lot more to the week that I have yet to tell. On Friday morning I decided to leave the house and find a quite place outside somewhere where I could get away from all of my normal distractions so that I could spend a few hours in prayer and preparation for my sermon. At first I drove around some of the back roads of my little town and just prayed for the people of Hutto. Then I drove to a low water crossing that I know about that is away from much of anything. I parked on the side of the road and hiked in a little ways to get away from the road to a place where I could just focus on my sermon and prayer. It was a great time, and I really got some good prep work done for Sunday. At a little after 11:00am I headed back towards home because I knew that I needed to stop by Wally world to get a DVD-R so I could burn a video that I was using for the sermon. After I left Wal-Mart I headed toward home. I decided that I would go by McDonald's and grab a quick bite to eat as I headed home in time for Laurie to call during her lunch break (I left my cell phone at home). I didn't make it to McD's, however. As I approached the biggest intersection in Hutto a woman made a left turn in front of me and in a split second tires squealed, and airbags deployed. I had about a half second to hit my breaks before my 6000 pound Suburban plowed into the passenger side of a Chevy Tahoe at 50+ miles per hour. The lady in the other SUV thought that she had a green light (the intersection has just undergone some major expansion so it can be a bit confusing), but it was red for the turn and green to go straight. It took a few seconds to regain my bearings and realize that, by God's grace, I wasn't injured. I quickly hoped out and went to make sure that the other driver was ok (there were no passengers in either vehicle). Despite the force of the collision neither of us were injured. I have been pretty sore, and I am sure that she is too, but nothing serious. The impact was so strong that one of my headlights was stuck in the side of her SUV. There was extensive damage to the front of my vehicle and I found out today that it is totaled (I have had it for only 3 months). I did end up going to an urgent care facility on Saturday to get something for the pain that I was having, and for some muscle spasms that resulted. My insurance company is handling the details for now, but it will still be a couple of days before we can get a copy of the police report (I'm not sure why it takes so long but maybe that's just the way that do it in a small town). Laurie and I just went to get some things out of the Suburban, but we forgot to take the camera so I had to take pictures with my cell phone, so they probably aren't that good. Please pray for a fair settlement and a quick resolution to all this mess. Also pray that I will be able to find another replacement vehicle soon. Thanks! Here are some pictures, God bless you all!
Glad I decided to leave Ranger at home!
I think it's broken