New Driver? Don’t Panic When Something Goes Wrong

NOTE: This is a sponsored post…

Driving a car can be stressful. After all, cars are pieces of technology that require maintenance and upkeep, meaning sometimes you’ll have to replace things, sometimes you’ll have to get the paintwork redone, and sometimes you might just break down in the middle of nowhere. 

But if you’re a new driver, you shouldn’t panic in these situations. Stay calm, make sure you’re in a safe space, and have tips like those below on your side. You’ll be back on the road before you even know it. 

Pexels Image – CC0 Licence

Get Emergency Breakdown Cover

If you know there’s someone skilled and experienced to call when you breakdown in the middle of nowhere, you’re going to be far less panicked about how to get out of the situation. You’ll have someone on the way that’ll be able to tow your car and give you a lift, meaning you’ll be home safe and sound very soon. 

There are quite a few providers out there, so it won’t be hard to find breakdown cover that’s suitable for your needs and budget. Take your time doing research. Once you feel more confident as a driver, and you’re sure you could cope if you did breakdown, feel free to cancel your membership to save money. 

Windshield Chips and Cracks Can Be Fixed

Despite being one of the most common repair issues a car can go through, something happening to the windshield can be nerve wracking. It’s sudden, loud, and can leave a huge dent or chip right in front of your face. That’s not an experience you’re going to enjoy as a new driver just finding their feet!

In case this happens, make sure you have the number for a reliable windshield replacement noted down somewhere. This way, if something affects your windshield and you feel unsafe driving the car, you can immediately take the vehicle to be repaired. Don’t panic! Just get in touch with a repair person and make your way there safely and slowly. 

Learn to Change a Tyre

Do you know how to change a tyre? Quite a few new drivers don’t. In fact, nearly 25% of drivers don’t know how to without following an online tutorial. And that’s OK – as long as you’ve got a signal wherever you are after discovering that one of your tyres is flat or has a puncture. 

You can never be sure of this, so make sure you’ve brushed up on your tyre changing skills before you have to actually do so. If you feel confident in your approach to jacking up your vehicle, removing the old tyre, securing the new one, and then continuing on your journey, you’re going to feel much more at peace behind the wheel. Make sure you have the right tools for this packed into your vehicle as well! 

Don’t let panic ruin your road experience. If you’re a new driver who’s never owned a car before, you can become more comfortable behind the wheel by following tips like these. 

Radical Inclusion in the Darkest Valleys

Several weeks ago, my church had a series on the Lord’s Prayer, picking apart all the elements of the well known prescription of appealing to God.  Near the end of the series was also a deep dive into Psalm 23, with a call to radically inclusive communion in a world that means you harm.

God is my shepherd; I shall not want.

You restore my soul and lead me in just paths.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,

I fear no evil, for you are with me;

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies;

And my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me

all the days of my life,

and I shall dwell your house 

my whole life long.

This sermon challenge came after the enemy showed up at our doorstep.  Like a homophobic Theses “nailed” to the 150-year old oak doors in black ink read the screed:

“God destroyed the earth once over gays. He’ll do it again.  BLASPHEMERS”

When I read those words, etched into the ancient wood of the house of my worship… I wept.  I gritted my teeth.  I wanted revenge.  I wanted to cut off an ear or two like Peter.

The vandal’s words were an act of violence. They were an assault.  They were a terrorist act, designed to instill fear and chaos.  What was after these words?  In a city, in a nation, emboldened by once-latent hate… am I safe here? I have chosen to raise my children inside this old church’s walls, assuming the cultural contract of free religious expression is as sacred as the rituals and customs themselves.

But will they be free and protected forever?  It pains me to think that this person believes he is preaching some sort of twisted gospel, winning souls for his fearful, angry god.  He and I are reading from the same Book but coming to different conclusions.  For him, the way is about who wins in the end and who loses everything. I want to know who we save from despair and how we can live together, making Heaven here now, and relieve Hell from those that are stuck in their hate.

Back to the challenge of the 23rd Psalm. The United Church of Christ promotes radical inclusion.  All are welcome here, no matter who you are, and where you are.  How does that play out in me when I am threatened by those that wish the UCC and what it stands for did not exist?  Practicing what we preach: It’s one thing to claim a value; it’s quite another to turn the other cheek and let them strike you a second time.

I’m reminded by those calmer and more grounded than me: Love will win in the end.  That’s the only Revelations I need. To that person that vandalized my sesquicentennial church with an $0.85 cent sharpie – twice in 7 days! – I say this, through gritted teeth:

Come to this table with me.  All things are made ready. Drink Christ’s blood and eat of His body. ALL are welcome, even you.

Happy Pride, everyone.  I’m not going anywhere.

Evangelicalism in the Trump Era

I grew up in the Evangelical Christian world. Its various tenets that were most vaulted were:

  1. Missions (spreading the Gospel to other nations)
  2. Marriage sanctity and nuclear family (one man / one woman, having children)
  3. Christian education (curriculum designed for Christian families to be apart from non-Christian public education)
  4. American patriotism (gun rights, strict Constitutional interpretation, nationalism, pledge of allegiance, etc.)
  5. Republican political activism

Continue reading “Evangelicalism in the Trump Era”

Halloween streaming, 2019

[stextbox id=’info’ caption=’Authors note’]This post was written last year during October and was never released. If I’m going to be late, better to wait until Halloween 2020, right?[/stextbox]

Well, it’s that time again: time to watch an obscene number of scary movies and shows in celebration of the month of Halloween.

Continue reading “Halloween streaming, 2019”