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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Lesson Learned

For many years I have been involved with children's ministry at church. One thing I have learned from teaching children is that you never know what they are going to say and that I learn as much from them as they do from me. A few Wednesday nights ago, my lesson was based on this familiar scripture in Ephesians:

26 Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry — but don't use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don't stay angry. Don't go to bed angry. (from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.).

This seemed like a simple enough lesson. One of my helper's and I staged a skit where we pretended to get into an argument in front of the kids. We even yelled at each other and called each other names (don't worry, we didn't curse). We really had most of the kids fooled and Katie Beth was about to get upset. We finally explained to the kids that we were showing them an example. We talked about how we can get angry and not sin. I used an example of how I had been cut off in traffic earlier that day and I could have let my temper get the best of me, but I didn't. It was a good lesson for "the kids". Little did I know what I would be faced with the next day.

The very next day, Danny was visiting someone at a hospital in Memphis. He was inside the hospital about 25 minutes. When he returned to the parking garage the truck he had driven was gone. It had been stolen from the top floor of the parking garage around 11:30 AM in the morning. The truck that was stolen had been my father's truck. My Dad bought this Mark III Chevrolet Silverado in 1992. The truck was somewhat of a hobby for Daddy. He was always adding extra accessories and kept it in mint condition. Daddy literally drove the truck to and from work and it only had 67,000 miles on it when it was stolen. His desire had been to give it to one of his grandsons. Daddy died in 2007 and this past summer my Mom let us start driving the truck. The plan was for my son, Josh, to get the truck when he turned 16 in December.

When Danny called me to tell me the truck had been stolen, my inital response was shock. Luckily, I was in Memphis about 20 minutes away. My next reaction was sadness. As you can imagine I began to cry as I realized we would most likely never see Daddy's truck again and that whoever this thief was didn't just steal a vehicle but stole a precious memory from me and my family. Then I thought about my son, Josh, who was already bursting with pride that in just a few short months he was going to get "Papaw's truck". That's when I got mad. I wasn't just a little miffed or angry-- because now I realized how this would disappoint Josh. I was more than just mad... I was MAMA MAD.

There was a nice security guard at the hospital that was more than helpful. However, we had to wait over an hour for a police officer. When he did arrive, my temper was starting to boil. He took down the facts and was very aloof and proceeded to tell us that this particular model of a truck was "one of the most easiest to steal".  I was just about to give the officer a piece of my mind, when Ephesians 4:26 immediately popped in my mind. Less than 24 hours earlier, I had talked to the children about how sometimes it is okay to get angry but we don't have to sin. While I am mad that someone stole Daddy's truck, I realize that Jesus died for that thief, just like he died for me. I pray that we get the truck back, but I pray that whoever took it will somehow come to the knowledge of Jesus as His personal Savior.

I also have reminded myself that God sees the big picture in my life, while I only get to see little snapshots at a time. Perhaps someone in my family would have been hurt in a terrible wreck in the truck. We don't know the why, just that God is in control and we must trust Him.

Here is a picture of the truck, which was known around town as "Big Man's" truck. Big Man was my Daddy's nickname. I included a picture of him so you can see how he got his name (smile).

 My sister sent a local news station an email and they decided to do a human interest story. I appreciate Danny for representing our family (I did not want to be on the news). If you are interested in seeing the news coverage you can click one of the following links.
I pray that you have a wonderful and blessed week, and that you don't have to get angry. But remember, be angry and sin not!


  1. Hey Ms. Tonya!

    I feel bad for you, but I believe that God did that for a reason. I DO hope you get it back when God's done using it, though. Tell Katie I said hi, Caleb congratulations, and Josh sorry!

    Love, Joy =D

  2. Tonya,

    "Mama mad" is pretty mad, isn't it? lol! I'm really sorry about the truck because I know what it meant to you and your family! I'm still praying that truck is recovered! Sometimes God uses those lessons we teach our kids back at us...He does that to me alot!

    By the way, I'm really sorry for Josh! Tell everyone I said hello too!