“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” — Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

My husband and I have been to Snow Hill and Greenville a few times in the last few weeks and what I have seen is that they have paved a big section of Highway 13 that rides so much better than the part that hasn’t been paved yet. They just recently made an addition to the road that motivated me to write this devotion today. They put rumble strips on the side and in the center. They are also called sleeper lines or alert strips and they are supposed to be a road safety feature to alert an inattentive driver of potential danger by causing a tactile vibration and audible rumbling transmitted through the wheels into the vehicle interior.

Go ahead and get ready to laugh and call me that crazy driver but here’s the deal with the rumble strips for me. I feel that most drivers will drift just a little (not running off the road) and, therefore, every time we drift without getting into the danger zone those rumble strips make a loud noise. Of course, it gets my husband going because he already thinks I can’t drive. I have found myself trying really hard not to drive over and make that noise. If I was sleepy, I can see the point. If I drifted under that circumstance, it would be perfect.

I guess I am trying to say that I personally think that they put the rumble strips too far away from the side of the road. Oh well, my rant is over about rumble strips.

As I was driving today and thinking about the strips, a thought ran through my mind that they are a good reference to our lives as Christians. We do everything we can to stay within the lines and be the very best Christians we can be, but sometimes we fail and drift over to the rumble strips. Thankfully, because we go to church, study our Bible and do everything the way we think God would have us to do, we can drift back into the correct area of our life with a simple adjustment and prayer for God to forgive us and guide us right back in our lane.

Have a blessed week and remember God loves you and will help you stay away from the rumble strips.

Prayer: Lord, let me accept each day as a gift. Let me follow the path you choose for me. Help me to be thankful for what you give me and not to worry about my needs. I trust you will take care of all my needs, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Thought for the day: Do the rumble strips annoy you?

Prayer focus: Christians striving to do God’s will.

BAKED STUFFED TOMATOES

6 large firm tomatoes

6 strips bacon

2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

1 Tbsp. chopped onion

1 C. dry breadcrumbs

¼ tsp. celery seed

½ tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

1 C. buttered breadcrumbs

Wash the tomatoes, remove a thin slice from the stem end and carefully scoop out the pulp so that the tomato shells will not be broken. Fry the bacon until crisp, remove from the pan and break the bacon into small pieces. Add the parsley and onion to the fat cook for a few minutes, add the cup of dry breadcrumbs, celery seed, salt, pepper, crisped bacon and tomato pulp. Stir until well mixed and add more salt if necessary. Fill the tomato cups with this mixture, cover the top with the buttered crumbs, place in a shallow baking dish and bake in a moderate oven for 45 to 60 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender and the crumbs are brown. Serve from the baking dish.

Janice Sasser is the daughter of Ruby Hicks, who wrote weekly columns for the Mount Olive Messenger for six years. She is from Goldsboro and writes weekly columns out of an interest in continuing her mother’s tradition in the paper.