who are you going to call?

In the last couple of days I have had 2 experiences of things needing fixing.

I bought a new car radio for Sally’s car as a birthday present. I was fairly confident of my ability to fit the new radio and managed to get it seated properly and connected properly with only a small quantity of blood lost. But when I switched it on, although there was power, no sound came out of the speakers. I knew I had plugged it in correctly and was at a loss to work out what else I could do. In the end I took it to a local car radio installer and they were able to work out what the problem was (a previous installation (not me) had connected some loose speaker wires to the power supply in the car!). They sorted out within an hour or so and Sally is now very happy that she can listen to her CDs and radio once again in her car.

In the process of detecting the fault the radio installer also found that it would be relatively easy, providing I can find the correct connectors, to reconnect the rear speakers to the system, further enhancing Sally’s listening experience. He drew me a picture of what I’m looking for, showed me the place in the car where it needed to go, and suggested that I might be able to pick it up at a car breakers yard.

And then this morning the catch broke on our tumble dryer. It is within warranty but only for parts and the fixed fee for the engineer to come out and repair it is £95. It’s only a small catch although one of the broken parts is still inside the locking mechanism. Sally spoke with the manufacturers and initially was going to book an engineer to come and replace the part. However she asked how much the parts would be and found that they would be significantly cheaper than the cost of the engineer and that they would be sent on a 7 day return basis so that if we found we could not fit them we could send them back and then book the engineer to come and fit them for us.

When I looked at the tumble dryer I have to say that I was not very confident about being able to carry out the repair on my own. There is no obvious way to remove the locking mechanism from the outside. At this point I was ready to say that we should get the engineer when I checked online to see if there was any advice. Wonderfully there is a web page where somebody talks and enquirer through the process of changing the locks for precisely the model of tumble dryer that we have. I am now much more confident that I can do it because somebody who knows what they’re talking about has explained it.

So where is all this going (other than a rambling sharing of some of our family issues)? There is no substitute for expert advice. Having somebody who knows what they’re talking about, who has experience, who understands the problems and pitfalls is incredibly helpful when you don’t know. And if they are able to communicate that to you in words that you can comprehend then that can give confidence and encouragement.

I hope that in some way that is what ministers/vicars/priests are able to do. It is certainly what I experienced when I read different books, including the commentaries on the Bible that helped me to understand better. It’s one of the reasons why churches such a good thing for Christians to be a part of: if we try and go it alone we may well struggle when we find we come across the things that we don’t understand or cannot cope with that if we are part of a church family there are others who can help us and be with us through it, offering their advice and experience.

Be blessed, be a blessing.

Men don’t come with an instruction manual that here is what Clean Christian Jokes suggest might be helpful for women to know about us.

“Will you marry me?” Really means….
“Both my roommates have moved out, I can’t find the washer, and there is no more peanut butter.”

“Go ask your mother.” Really means….
“I am incapable of making a decision.”

“I do help around the house.” Really means….
“I once put a dirty towel in the laundry basket.”

“Hey, I’ve got my reasons for what I’m doing.” Really means….
“And I sure hope I think of some pretty soon.”

“I can’t find it.” Really means….
“It didn’t fall into my outstretched hands, so I’m completely clueless.”

“What did I do this time?” Really means….
“What did you catch me at?”

“She’s one of those rabid feminists.” Really means….
“She refused to make my coffee.”

“I heard you.” Really means….
“I haven’t the foggiest clue what you just said, and am hoping desperately that I can fake it well enough so that you don’t spend the next 3 days yelling at me.”

“You know I could never love anyone else.” Really means….
“I am used to the way you yell at me, and realize it could be worse.”

“You look terrific.” Really means….
“Oh, God, please don’t try on one more outfit. I’m starving.”

“I brought you a present.” Really means….
“It was free ice scraper night at the ball game.”

“I missed you.” Really means….
“I can’t find my sock drawer, the kids are hungry and we are out of toilet paper.”

“I’m not lost. I know exactly where we are.” Really means….
“No one will ever see us alive again.”

“We share the housework.” Really means….
“I make the messes, she cleans them up.”

“Of course I like it, honey, you look beautiful.” Really means….
“Oh, man, what have you done to yourself?”

“It sure snowed last night.” Really means…
“I suppose you’re going to nag me about shoveling the walk now.”

“I don’t need to read the instructions.” Really means….
“I am perfectly capable of screwing it up without printed help.”

“I’ll take you to a fancy restaurant.” Really means….
“This time we won’t use the drive-thru window.”

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