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Family of The Month - Part VI

Updated: Jun 8

You Can't Buy It...

How many of you remember Blimpie Subs?

They were, hands-down, the best sub-shop

anywhere long before Subway rolled into town.

I have already written several stories about many of the things that happened to Laurie and me following the F-4 tornado that destroyed our house while we were in it. I keep mentioning ‘while we were in it’ because that was our first miracle. It could have ended way differently. It did for the elderly couple who used to live across the street from us. Their house and their lives were wiped off the face of the earth.

This next is about rebuilding our home. Our good friend Mike told us a couple of days after the tornado that when we were ready, he would rebuild our house. Mike is a jack-of-all-trades and extremely particular about how he builds a house. He got tired of hiring people who were only there for a paycheck and the word "craftsmanship" was not in their vocabulary. So, Mike usually builds homes by himself, except when having trusses delivered and hoisted into position.

My job throughout the reconstruction process over the following six months was to be there to hold stuff, play go-fer, and he trusted me with a circular saw. I never graduated to nail gun.

Our friends, Rich and Pam owned the Blimpie’s in town. Their store was just 6 mile up the road from our house and the first place to get food other than a gas station. Some of you may remember what gas station food was like 20 years ago. So, Rich told me ANYTIME I was hungry I could stop in and get anything I wanted on the house. All I had to do was order my food and sign the register receipt after it was rung up. They made the absolute best Hot Pastrami sandwiches anywhere! I didn’t want to wear out my welcome, so I spaced it out enough not to become a nuisance. However, one Saturday while on a parts run I wound up in the Blimpie’s parking lot. I think my truck must have been on auto pilot. I decided, as long as I’m here, I might as well go in.

Rich was working that day, so I got an EXRTA SPECIAL Hot Pastrami sandwich, chips, and a drink. When we got to the register I pulled out my wallet.

Rich said, “your money is no good here.”

“Come on Rich,” I said. “you’ve been feeding me for a couple of months now, I finally have some money, let me pay for my sandwich.”

Rich was taller than me. He put his hands on the counter, leaned forward, looked me in the eye and said in a rather stern, almost angry voice…

“You don’t understand, you need to learn how to receive!”

I was slightly taken aback by his attitude, so I thanked him heartily for the sandwich and left.

And then God…

I climbed into my truck, and all of a sudden my throat got tight, and I felt tears begin to well up in my eyes. And the God voice in my head said, “And that’s what I did for you.” What Rich showed me, and God told me was this. Just as I could not pay for my sandwich, it was free, and I could do nothing to earn it - - - I also cannot buy or earn my way into heaven. Salvation is a gift freely given just like my sandwich. The only thing is, I had to swallow my pride and humbly accept the gift.

Jesus died in my place, for my sins, and offered me a “Get Out of Hell Free” card, but it would be worthless if I didn’t take it.

Don’t let your pride get in the way of accepting the most important free gift you will ever be offered. Salvation.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

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