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You Can't Outrun God In An Excavator

Restoration Accountability Grace

Source: “Wanted Oregon man attempts to flee arrest in slow-moving excavator, deputies follow on foot” by Stephen Sorace, for, 8/15/22, retrieved 8/25/22.

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2022-08-26

Scripture: Psalms 119:32 ; Psalms 139:7

Author: Illustration Exchange


What was he thinking?!

Jesse B. Shawin was wanted in Oregon where he was facing three separate arrest warrants, including charges of stealing a car.  Police located and confronted him in Washington County as he was sitting in a construction excavator.  But instead of disembarking from the heavy-duty vehicle, Shawin took off, putting pedal to the metal to outrun the officers.

Let’s just say his efforts were futile. According to one online construction equipment source, “Most tracked excavators are limited to a top speed of four to six miles per hour, while some lumber along at a tortoise-like two or three.”

The sight of Shawin’s flight was nothing short of comical, as heavily armed police officers calmly walked behind the fleeing rig, content to pursue until he was ready to stop. (You can view it here.)

The ending was inevitable. Just a mile and a half later, Shawin finally stopped the vehicle and surrendered.

I can just imagine the officers’ words to him as they pursued from behind. “Turn off the engine and climb on down, son. We can do this the easy way or the hard way. Your choice.”


Running from God is a lot like running from the cops in an excavator. You can’t possibly outpace Him. And even if you could, where would you hide?

Yet, committed to our own willful ways, this is what we so often do. We attempt to run from Him, run from our accountability to Him, run from His control, or even His correction.

In the end, we would be much better off if we simply surrendered to His will, forgiveness, love, and grace. So why not just climb off that rig and surrender to Him? Run toward Him, rather than away from Him.

His righteous, yet gracious, heart is calling out to you: “We can do this the easy way or the hard way.”

“I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!  (Psalm 119:32, ESV)

“You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. … Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:5-7, NIV).

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? (Matthew 18:12, NIV).

Every Item Restored

Restoration Redemption End Times

Source: “Flight 1549 passengers get baggage back after Hudson splash down,” by Marilyn Adams, USA Today, as posted on ABC News, May 19, 2009, 7:21 PM, retrieved 7/1/22

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2022-07-03

Scripture: Isaiah 65:17 ; Revelation 21:5

Author: Illustration Exchange


Who could possibly forget the Miracle on the Hudson — the heart pounding story of 2009’s US Airways Flight 1549. Just after take off, on route from New York City's LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte, North Carolina, the aircraft was struck by a flock of birds which were sucked into its engines, causing the plane to lose all power. To avoid crashing, pilots  Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles were left to literally glide the plane to a belly landing on the Hudson River just off the coastline of Midtown Manhattan. Because of their cool heads, quick thinking, and incomparable skill, not one life was lost. All were rescued before the aircraft, already filling with water, sank to the bottom of the Hudson.

And who could possibly forget that iconic scene of those 155 souls on board, who climbed out of the fuselage of that plane, into the frigid cold of a NY winter, and onto the wings of the plane to await rescue.

There was no time to consider handbags or baggage, briefcases or cell phones, or even coats and hats. All had to be left behind in the mad dash to exit before the plane would be claimed by the icy waters of the Hudson.

“My coat! My purse!” thought passenger Karin Hill as she stepped out into the frigid air. She had no choice but to leave them back at her seat ,18E, never expecting to see them again.

Yet somehow, all those personal items have been returned to their rightful owners — fully cleaned up and restored, as if they’d never been lost in the first place.

ABC News reports:

After the accident, US Airways called Global-BMS, a Fort Worth-based company that specializes in disaster recoveries. When the jet was hauled out of the Hudson and placed on a barge for inspection by accident investigators, Global official Mark Rocco was there, walking the cabin to tag and remove personal items to return them. … 

"It looked like it had been in a dirty carwash," recalls Rocco. "A lot of the overhead bins were still closed, and a lot of things were still stored under the seats. I saw a wallet on the floor and wondered why it hadn't floated out of the plane."

Everything was soaked and smelled of jet fuel. But every item the Global workers found was tagged with a unique tracking number, bagged and placed on a refrigerated truck bound for a Texas warehouse.

"Freezing puts things into suspended animation," Rocco says.

Back in Texas, Global began defrosting, cleaning and restoring everything it could — including everything inside carry-ons and suitcases — and figuring out who owned what. 

While many items couldn’t be fully restored (e.g., many of the computer hard drives, cell phones, shrunken clothing, and the like), most items were meticulously spit shined, dry cleaned, reconstructed, and refurbished to at-or-near original condition.

Finally, many months later, Maryann Bruce, an executive from Charlotte, NC, got a visit from Deborah Thompson, US Airways' director of emergency response, who personally delivered back to her possession her briefcase, purse, mink coat, and a carry-on suitcase with all its contents, including a large diamond ring given to her by her husband for their 25th wedding anniversary.

Included in the stash of returned items was even her boarding pass for seat 5D. ”I plan on framing that," she says.


One really has to admire the commitment and perseverance of the US Airways disaster teams determination to restore, renew, and return to their owners every last piece of their lost possessions. The attempts were heroic, if not perfect.

There is coming a day, however, when One far more committed, far more determined, far more capable, will restore and renew ALL things. In that day, nothing will be mourned as loss. Nothing will ever again suffer corruption or decay. All loss will be satisfied. All creation will be redeemed. ALL will be new!

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind” (Isaiah 65:17, ESV).

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true’ ” (Revelation 21:1-5, ESV).

“But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13, ESV).

Lessons From the Josh Duggar Fallout

Redemption Restoration Judging

Source: “Finding Redemption in the Josh Duggar Story” by Michael Brown, CP op-ed contributor, posted CHRISTIAN POST, 5/25/15

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-05-27

Scripture: Ephesians 1:7

Author: Dr. Michael Brown / Illustration Exchange


History is full of examples of redeemed souls who have turned from lives of sin, and even debauchery, to go on to live positive, productive, and powerful lives. Think of the infamous slave trader, John Newton, who went on to write the beloved hymn Amazing Grace and to lobby for abolition. In a modern context, think of Chuck Colson who served time in a federal prison for his role in the Watergate scandal and the demise of an American presidency. He went on to form the now famous Prison Fellowship ministry which has seen thousands of inmates and their families come to faith in Christ.

Nevertheless, the media—like sharks smelling blood in the water—burst into a frenzy with the revelation that, years ago, reality TV star, Josh Duggar (of the 19 Kids and Counting TV clan), had "inappropriately touched" several of his siblings and one other child. Never mind that the charges and incidents occurred more than a decade ago. Never mind that Josh had (both at the time and presently) fully owned up to and shown great remorse for his actions. Never mind that Josh repented of his sin and came to a saving faith in Jesus Christ as a result of the trauma of these events. Never mind that he confessed his sin to his future wife and her parents before he ever proposed. Never mind that he has gone on to have a happy, healthy marriage with four kids of his own. Never mind that he had a successful and impactful career lobbying for the welfare of families and children.

Op-ed columnist Michael Brown says that he has no desire to add any more commentary concerning the events or the charges. But what Brown (himself a former teenage drug addict until he came to faith at the age of sixteen) does want to share are some thoughts on redemption and restoration:

1. Jesus really does change people. While critics of the Duggar family want to indict them … the fact is that while he did sin grievously, through repentance, faith and counseling, he became a new man. Jesus really does transform sinners. …
2. There's no excuse for sin, so own up to it. According to the accounts we've all heard, Josh confessed his sin to his parents as well as to the proper authorities … Now, half a lifetime later … he [still] did not minimize his sin nor did he excuse it. … When I see someone respond like this, I am filled with hope. …
3. Even godly families have kids who mess up badly. …The fact that the Duggars, who successfully raised 19 children in the Lord (who can imagine that?), had to deal with one of their kids committing serious sexual sin at 14 should actually encourage other parents rather than discourage them. [Even great parents raise kids who can and will make decisions to sin.] …
4. Josh can be an ambassador on behalf of the abused, even helping the abusers as well. While it can feel like your life is over when your past, largely private sins become public … the fact is that Josh's future can be bright in the Lord. He can call on others who are sinning to come clean and get help, using his own example redemptively. And he can encourage those who have been abused to realize that they are not guilty and should not feel shame …
5. We need to be careful how we judge. There are many fans of the Duggars who are upset with what they feel is a witch-hunt against a godly family…But would we have had this same attitude of mercy and forgiveness if this was the child of a gay couple? ... So, if you want to show mercy, be consistent. We can all fall into the trap of selective compassion.
6. There are consequences to our actions, but with God, our worst mistakes can become stepping stones to spiritual growth … to the point that the worst things that ever happened to us become the best things that ever happened to us.

[Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books and hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire.]


Pedophilia and incest are never to be minimized, justified, or excused away. That being said, Brown concludes:

For me, the first lesson from this story is this: Whoever you are, whatever you've done, there is hope in the Lord. As Mike Huckabee said, "inexcusable" . . . does't mean "unforgivable." …

To the core of His being, God is a redeemer, and I'm personally praying and believing that for Josh Duggar and his entire family, God will turn this painful situation around for greater good.

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace ..." (Ephesians 1:7).

Note: At the very least, this sad revelation can serve as a catalyst for conversation with children and young people. To that point, Michael Seewald, father-in-law of Josh's sister Jessa, has expressed, his sympathy for the victims, urging all victims of sexual abuse not to keep silent no matter who is doing the abusing: "No matter how much you love the abuser you must tell someone."

Exploding Pine Cones

Grace Trials Restoration

Contributed By: James Thomas | Date Posted: 2015-04-13

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9 ; 1 Peter 5:10

Author: Johnny Wilson

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Why Is It So Hard To See Black and Blue

Abuse Denial Restoration

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-03-09

Scripture: Galatians 6:1 ; James 5:19

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Man's Deepest Need

Forgiveness Restoration Apology

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-02-16

Scripture: Unknown

Author: Horace Bushnell

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The Power of Story

Confrontation Words (Power of) Restoration

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-04-19

Scripture: Galatians 6:1

Author: Joyce Huggett

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Reclaim Their Future

Backslide Restoration Friendship

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-03-19

Scripture: Matthew 18:12 ; Luke 15:4

Author: Illustration Exchange

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It's Never Too Late...Till It's Too Late!

Sin Consequences Restoration

Contributed By: Ken Addis | Date Posted: 2011-04-09

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:2

Author: Ken Addis

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Shedding Our Dragon Skin

Restoration Renewal Conscience

Contributed By: Seth Dillon | Date Posted: 2010-12-13

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:17

Author: S. Michael Wilcox

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