Cumberland Times-News

David Sandvick - Life Lessons on Faith

May 15, 2008

Keep right side up, go to church

Have you noticed how two people may look at the same piece of artwork and yet come away with totally different interpretations of it? The same is true of poetry, music, and fluffy cloud formations.

It is rarely true, however, of roller coasters, but it does happen. It happened to my wife. After riding one of Disney's newest coasters with some friends, we compared our experiences as we exited the ride.

The kids were saying things like "Awesome!" and "That was sooooo cool!" Another said, "It was so scary!" It was at this point my wife chimed in with her assessment. She replied, "I was scared too, especially when it went upside down."

At that moment the six other riders all did a double-take. "What do you mean, upside down?" Our friend asked. My wife replied, "You know, when it went backwards it also went upside down."

Almost as if we were circus trained hyena's, we all laughed out loud together. I told her that the ride did not go upside down. With indignation she said, "The car I was in did!" More laughter. Someone asked her, "How is it that only your car in the coaster train went upside down?" By this time my wife had a defeated look on her face when she said with little conviction, "Well, it did."

The truth of the matter is that the roller coaster did not go upside down even though it felt that way to my wife. Sometimes life has the same effect. The ups and downs may come so quickly that we don't know which way is up.

Not enough money, too many bills, and a non-stop schedule all contribute to this whirlwind life so many of us live. Slowing down enough to attend church and pray is a great way to keep right side up in this crazy world. Attend a good church this Sunday.

The next time my wife rode that coaster there was no upside down part for her. "They must have changed it." She explained. That's right, stick to your guns.

David Sandvick is the pastor of First English Baptist Church in Frostburg.

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David Sandvick - Life Lessons on Faith
  • Don't just go to church, be the church We are in the middle of the summer Olympics and one can't help but root for the U.S. of A. (that is if you're from here, of course). I've watched some rowing, volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, and basketball and find it an extraordinary opportunity to see such gifted athletes gathered together in one place competing at such a high level in the most popular sports in the world.

    August 14, 2008

  • Make right choice with church On a recent visit to Tennessee, I spoke with the wife of a Christian camp director and she related this story to me. Her husband bought her an ipod Shuffle (one of the really little ones) for a birthday present.

    August 7, 2008

  • Join with God in his church July is a month that many people head to the beach or to a park to enjoy a summer vacation. As I think about my own recent vacation, I am reminded of a practical joke I played on my wife.

    July 24, 2008

  • Seek God, his kingdom, rest will fall into place On a recent shopping outing I was asked an interesting question. As we checked out, the cashier at the department store asked, "Did you find everything okay?"

    July 17, 2008

  • Bible School puts back what is easily lost Have you ever noticed how many food products are "enriched" with vitamins and minerals? Actually, the term might be "re"-enriched because much of the nutritional value of foods such as bread is depleted when it is processed to give it longer shelf life. Vitamins and nutrients that are lost in this manufacturing processing are restored.

    July 3, 2008

  • Listen to God's still voice: 'You can do it' It was the same day that I rappelled off the tower that I climbed up its rock wall side. I had come to the conclusion that a near-50- year-old man need not prove himself anymore, when a voice in my head said, "Do it anyway!"

    June 26, 2008

  • You should be real sure about going to heaven I recently returned from east Tennessee after speaking for a week at a youth camp. While there, I tried to get to know the young people and participate in many of the activities with them. Tubing on the lake, swimming, rappelling, rock wall climbing, and riding go-carts all combined to make it a truly exhausting work week.

    June 19, 2008

  • God looking for children love him Sunday is Father's Day and the television is filled with advertisements for potential gifts that seem to follow two lines of thinking. One line of gifts I've particularly noticed are handyman type gifts.

    June 12, 2008

  • Christians also have a natural enemy - Satan My garden plantings are growing like weeds. Oh, wait a minute, that one was a weed. A closer inspection reveals that something is gnawing on my plants. The leaves are missing on some of the vegetation and I suspect a wabbit! I asked my wife if rabbits had any natural enemies. She said, "Elmer Fudd." She's no help at all.

    June 5, 2008

  • Ready soil of heart to hear word of God I was working in my garden the other day. Well, it's not really a garden as much as a patch. Actually, patch may be stretching it a bit also. Perhaps bed is the most accurate rendering. A twin size bed to be exact.

    May 29, 2008

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