And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.  Acts 10:38  (TNLB)



You probably remember the Wesley brothers, John and Charles, for their sermons and songs.  John is credited for averting in England the kind of bloody civil war that occurred in France.  Although they were both known for preaching salvation by faith in Christ rather than works, John famously said,

Do all the good you can

In all the ways you can

In all the places you can

At all the times you can

By all the means you can

To all the people you can

As long as ever you can.

We don’t reach out in love to others in order to win favor with God, and we don’t do our good deeds in order to earn our salvation.  However, when we love him, we just can’t help ourselves from wanting to please him.  Any good that comes from us is an expression of our love for God and an evidence of his presence in us.  Jesus told Peter that if Peter loved him, he would show it by doing what Jesus told him to do (John 14:15 Message).

It’s already late in the afternoon, but I’m thinking of ways to do all the good I can, however, and wherever I can.  Not only will it bring joy to the people I touch, but it brings pleasure to my Father and great joy to me.


Heavenly Father, remove from me every obstacle that blocks me from doing good.  Remove the self-orientation, and use me to bless your world—as long as ever I can.  In Jesus’ name.  AMEN.


The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.  Psalms 37:23  (KJV)

When the Givors police determined that our carjacking hadn’t occurred in their jurisdiction, they turned us over to the police nationale in their mountainside headquartersThe cordial officer led us to a spacious office/converted bedroom in a former manor house, and we retold the events of our carjacking.


The new policeman glanced at the paperwork we had brought with us from the Givors gendarmes and dramatically tossed the packet over his shoulder.  “Pas bon.  [No good.] We will begin again,” he offered with a smile.  The police showered us with hospitality, bringing pastries and tea as we answered another set of questions.

Various officers came in to join the process, asking us about our lives in the States, why we were in the heartland of France, and if we were enjoying the trip thus far.  One would think this was a part of the Grand Tour—they were so hospitable.  In comparison to the intense interrogation of the Givors police, the police nationale were totally at ease, as if they’d done this before…

A number of cookies and several cups of tea later, the phone rang.  The officer answered, asked a few questions and gave clipped responses, and then he hung up.  “We have your car,” he announced.  “You do?” we asked in unison.  “Oui, we have found your car,” he repeated.  “What about our luggage?  Are our tickets there?  Did they find our passports?” we both asked at the same time.  “Oui, everything.  We have everything,” was the surprising answer.

“But how did they recover the car with everything in it,” Peter persisted.  “Monsieur Juge,” the man responded, “the young men who took your car pulled over to the side of the road to open your suitcases to see what was inside, and it seems that someone interrupted them, and they fled.  They left everything as it was.”  (Coincidentally, the time the men were “interrupted” was about the same time that our prayer group was meeting at home.)

After a round of handshakes and kisses on all cheeks, we were again shuttled into a police car to head for the nearby police garage.  Sure enough, our car was there with all the luggage, clothes, airline tickets, passports, credit cards, and even my purse.  My French francs were gone, but Peter had pocketed his wallet with cash when he had first jumped out of the car.  We still had adequate funds.  We paid the garage attendant, said goodbye to the police, got back on the road, and thanked God for the adventure he’d arranged with lots of stories for our children and grandchildren.

I could hardly wait to tell Lynn and our friends about all the answers to prayer we’d experienced in response to their faithful intercessions.  We couldn’t have planned a more exciting and interesting journey.


Lord, you took what could have been a very serious situation with injury and loss and turned it into an adventure we’ll never forget.  Thank you for friends who pray and thank you for constantly watching over us.  AMEN.



For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways…  Psalm 91:11 (NIV).


The thought of praying for adventure may seem a bit hedonistic to some.  I didn’t pray the prayer, but when my friend did, I accepted it as a gift from God.  I have learned that God orders all our steps (Ps. 37:23), is never surprised at occurrences in our lives (Isa. 46:10), and doesn’t just stay in a church building (Ps. 139:9-12).  Furthermore, he has given us all things to enjoy (I Tim. 6:17).  It’s when we start looking for him in every circumstance that we begin to see him (II Kings 6:17).  And that’s what we were doing on this memorable vacation.



Peter and I were stranded on the side of the autoroute just outside the little village of Givors, near Lyon, France.  The sun was going down, and a soft rain had begun to fall.  When the carjackers left us, they took everything:  passports, airline tickets, French francs, and our suitcases full of clothes.  We must have looked strangely out of place there on the edge of the road:  two Americans, one in a business suit and tie and the other in slacks with a bright orange turtle-neck jumping up and down with arms frantically waving.

I was the jumper.  Surely, I thought, some kind person will be attracted by my bright sweater and obvious distress.  And, eventually, someone did stop—a curious young man who listened and was sympathetic to our plight.  He took us to the emergency telephone, called the police, and waited with us for their arrival.

For the second time, we told our story to the dutiful gendarmes who meticulously wrote every detail on their little pads.  By the time we were safely in their patrol car, the rain was pouring, and I was seated by the broken window that refused to close.  The whole plot was beginning to remind me of Inspector Clouseau of Pink Panther fame.  Naïve tourists carjacked, aided by friendly passerby, rescued by energetic policemen.

Even though I was being inundated, our brave heroes insisted on driving back and forth down the autoroute to ascertain exactly where we had been carjacked.  (Jurisdiction is extremely important in the Givors village, and the police didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes.)  Only when it was determined the precise spot where we had been hit and robbed did we proceed to headquarters.

Peter patiently spent the next several hours filling out reams of reports and answering the eager policemen.  (This might have been the most excitement they’d had in weeks.)  I worked with another team of police trying to reach home to cancel our credit cards – they were also in the stolen car.  I tried to emphasize the importance of quickly canceling the cards and the need to reach my mom, but the dauntless policeman insisted on making the call himself.  In heavily accented English, he said the few words he knew telling my mom that he was a policeman and had my daughter with him.  My mother, thinking someone was pulling a prank, hung up on him.  Several tries later, I was actually talking to Momo, explaining what had happened and thanking God that we hadn’t been hurt.

Later, the police released us for the night saying they would conduct further investigations the next day.  We got into the squad car, stopped at a drug store for toothbrushes and toothpaste, and were soon deposited at the Hotel of the Station (Hôtel de la Gare).  With great warmth we were bid à bientot  and left to register and find our way to our room.

Since it was after midnight, the proprietor was probably asleep, but he courteously guided us up the darkened spiral stairway to our second floor room.  When the door handle fell off in his hand, Peter did laugh, and we settled in at the Hôtel de la Gare .  Throughout the night, the room vibrated as every train going through Givors passed under our window.  And the rain was falling.

In the darkness, laughter and a song kept bubbling up, “All day, all night, angels watching over me, my Lord…”  With his typical dry humor, Peter intoned that we have would no longer have to worry about the crazy drivers on the autoroute.

Numbers of trains later, we joined our police friends in the bar where they were drinking coffee.  We had a quick breakfast and were prepared to return to headquarters when the gendarmes announced a change of plans.  The hierarchy had determined that the crime had not occurred in their jurisdiction, so we were being turned over to the police nationale.

After a drive up into the hillside, we arrived at the headquarters of the police nationale, a butter-colored manor house with patrol cars scattered about.  The officer in charge greeted us, spoke briefly to our departing friends, and we exchanged au revoirs.  Then we turned to the new agent de police who beamed at us and directed, “Follow me to zee bedroom.”

Join me on Thursday to see how God’s providence not only protected us but provided more than we could have asked or thought.


Father, thank you for parents who taught me that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord.  And thank you that you blessed me with a healthy sense of humor.  You have enriched me at every turn.  AMEN.



…the godly man’s life is exciting.  Proverbs 14:14b  (TLB)


“And Lord, let Marthe have some adventures,” my friend Lynn prayed just before we left for vacation in France.  Peter and I had been practicing our French for months, and we looked forward to a leisurely meander through the villages and on down south to Avignon and the Côte d’Azur.



Landing at Charles de Gaulle Airport, the largest I’d ever seen with thousands of people scurrying about, we retrieved our luggage and began scanning the crowd for Philippe.  Our friends had said that staff member Philippe would be carrying a sign with our name and would take us to their house in a village near Orléans.

We looked and looked for someone who might be Philippe, but no one had a sign with our name.  After a rather long wait, I suggested that Peter stay put with the bags while I ventured around looking for someone I’d not yet met.  Thirty minutes or so later, there was no Philippe.  I reported back to Peter and continued searching. More time elapsed, and we still hadn’t sighted our driver.  We regrouped to determine our next steps.  Now, Lord, getting lost in a major international airport is not my idea of adventure, I thought.

After more searching for what seemed like ages, I prayed desperately, “Lord, please, let the next man I run into be Philippe.”  I stepped back into the crowd and looked up to see an intense young man making his way toward me.  I went up to him and said, “Phillipe?”  “Oui,” he answered.  “Madam Curry?”  Thank God.  I took Philippe to meet Peter, and we learned that he was expecting us to be carrying a sign.  Our first international adventure (and challenge in cross-cultural communication).

We enjoyed a few days of touring in the Centre region of France and then headed south in the car furnished by our friends.  Once on the autoroute I was agitated when I glanced at the speedometer and saw the high speed at which we were traveling, but even then, the French drivers were passing us in droves.

We detoured several times to see quaint villages and acres of poppies and yellow rapeseed fields embracing the roads.  For lunch we stopped at a tiny farmhouse along the way, devoured the daily special, and were ready to leave when we were told that we had only eaten the appetizer!  The main dish would follow.  Just one more adventure.

The drive was more picturesque than we’d foreseen.  Besides large swaths of color, the scenery included installations of highway art—large, powerful sculptures.  Miles down the road, and as the sun was easing over the horizon, Peter and I reflected on the sweet, relaxing day.  We had just left the environs of Lyon and were within an hour of our first stop, a sunflower farm, when we were jolted from our reverie by a crash in the rear.  Someone had run into our car and almost knocked us off the autoroute!  Only Peter’s skillful driving (and those prayers) kept us intact.

Peter carefully guided the car to the shoulder of the road, and we both got out rather shaken.  Another vehicle pulled off and stopped directly in front of us.  Two young men—the ones who had hit us—rushed toward us, both speaking at the same time.  “My friend’s neck is hurt,” the first one spoke accusingly.  “But you hit us,” I countered.  The man continued to argue while Peter went around inspecting the damage to our borrowed vehicle.  In the middle of my conversation, I looked up in time to see that the second young man had jumped into our car and was pulling onto the autoroute.  While Peter and I stood in astonishment watching the car disappear into traffic, the first young man got into his car and took off.

All I could do was repeat the license number over and over until Peter pulled out paper and pen to write—in between exclamations of shock and remembrances of such tales reported in the news.  We stood helpless on the side of the autoroute in the gathering darkness, and a soft, gentle rain began to fall.

(On Monday read the next installment of this adventure and God’s providence.)


Father, again I say thank you for sparing us, and thank you for grace that was and is given in abundance.  You are always faithful.  AMEN.