Friday, February 27, 2009

Raining and Praying

RAIN! .75 inches since midnight and it is only 9:20 AM. Rain is still falling and looking at the radar (GLevel3) more is on the way. All this rain changed my morning routine. I did not walk this morning.

During my drive to Parrish, I reflected on the events of yesterday and the schedule for today. Yesterday was exciting. 350 students, teachers, parents, and administrators from Oakman went to Montgomery to lobby for HB 356 (allocating $8 million for a new school to replace the one heavily damaged by the Dec 10, 2008 tornado). We began with a rally on the Capitol Steps. Our local and area representatives were there to greet us and to speak for a few moments before we went door to door in the administrative building to ask for support. At the end of the rally, our local representative called upon our School Principal to speak and then asked him to lead us in a prayer. Yes a state representative unashamedly asking a state school board employee to lead a prayer. There is still hope for Alabama and there is still hope for America.

One other event also speaks highly of our hope. One parent related what happened in one politician's office. After hearing from the students what our need was and why we wanted help, he asked one 4th grader, "Do you think we should take money from other needy schools to help Oakman?" The student's reply was "No, Oakman Elementary is not greedy." The representative smiled and said, that was a great answer -- you have my support!" There is hope for our future!

Now for today. After keeping a check on the weather and getting everything else ready I am off to record our daily 15 minute television program, "Search the Scriptures." I will record five days of programs. This is a great outreach effort. There are three congregations that cooperate to make this show possible and a number of preachers that rotate as speaker. We consistently hear from people in the surrounding communities concerning the messages we bring. The series I plan to do today will cover the basics of obedience to the Gospel. Please pray for our efforts.

After recording TV it is off to donate blood in honor of Frances Zorn. Read the full story here: . You can help the Zorns by remembering them in Prayer.

This evening I will be speaking to the Homebuilders Group at Sixth Avenue Church of Christ in Jasper. Originally we were going to meet in one of the group member's homes since there were supposed to be 15 or so present. Well that number has grown to about 60. They are moving the devotional to the Ark Room at 6th Ave. We will be making some applications from James 1:22-27. Pray that we have an effective evening.

I had to come home to the study at my house. There is no phone or Internet service at the church building today. I do not know if it is the rain or the construction at the cell tower, but a call to AT&T via mobile phone revealed that a line was damaged and that service would be out all day and maybe until Sunday. It is difficult to communicate with others when there are phones and difficult to research for lessons online when there is no Internet. Technology is only good when it works.

I am thankful that God is beyond our technology. No phones - no problem. No email - try "knee-mail." Corny, I know, but did you notice how many times in my ramblings I asked you to pray or mentioned prayer? We can still keep in touch with God because of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Notice what the Hebrew writer says in Heb 4:14-16 "Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

Did you think to pray?


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thursday's Drive

I know I just started this this morning, but I want to let you know that I will not post in the morning. I am getting an early start and will not have my regular routine. I am joining with all the 3rd - 6th grade students from Oakman Elementary, along with their principal, teachers, and other parents as we head to Montgomery to lobby for assistance. Why do we want or need assistance?

On December 10, 2008 our elementary school received heavy damage from a tornado. Much of the school is now unusable. We are busing down to Montgomery to canvass each member of the state legislation to approve $8,000,000 to have a new school built for Oakman Elementary. We will then be escorted to an area where we can observe the proceedings and hopefully cheer the passing of legislation sponsored by Ken Guin, that will give us the needed funds for our school.

Currently the 6th grade students are using three rooms at Oakman High School. OHS needs their rooms back for expected growth. Grades 3-5 are in modular classrooms. Grades K- 2 are in a World War II era building that is the oldest standing and only usable section of OES. These rooms are not up to modern electrical code, heating and cooling is not efficient, and well you get the point.

Here is what I am asking my readers to do today (Wednesday) and tomorrow morning (Thursday). First of all PRAY. Ask God to be with us as we travel and to help us to effectively communicate our needs. Next, if you live in Alabama and have time, please contact your state representation and let them know of our needs. In order that you have knowledge of our situtation when you speak to others, here are some links to videos about our school damage:

The above videos are from Birmingham, Alabama ABC affiliate ABC 33/40. There is more about the damage including other videos available on their website

Below is a video of the pictures my family took the next few days after the damage.

Blogger Newbie

This is my first blog -- ever. I read the blogs of others and finally realized I can share a few things all along the way. My plan is as simple as my blog title, Morning Drive. Each morning when I turn on the computer in my study, I will share with you the thoughts of the morning that drive my day. I am not by any measure thinking that I will amaze you with profound reflections, but maybe, just maybe my thoughts and reflections will get you thinking.

Now let me introduce myself to the blogging world. I am Scott, I live in a small town of about 950 people plus a few stray dogs, cats, and chickens -- yes we have stray chickens that are the prey of the stray dogs and cats, the circle of life in a microcosm. My son attends the local school and my wife teaches first grade at Oakman Elementary. I have a study in my house in Oakman, and another at the building where I preach in Parrish. There you have it I am a husband, father, and preacher.

Now back to the Morning Drive blog. I have a daily routine. After a simple breakfast, a couple of cups of coffee, or Earl Gray, I take a morning walk around town (about one mile +/-). It includes walking with my son to school and then to the Post Office, maybe a stop at the Texaco if I did not have coffee before I left the house. Once I am home, I drop the mail on the counter and drive to my study in Parrish (a short commute of 7 miles with very little traffic). The drive has a few simple vistas -- pasture land, hunting land, a couple of man made ponds, a few hills, a variety of trees, horses, cattle, mules, and white-tail deer. This short time to myself gives me time to plan and reflect on my day -- thus the blog "Morning Drive."

This morning I have only a quick thought for Wednesday. In class tonight we are discussing God's Laws of Pardon available in Christ. "In Christ" what a blessing! "In Christ" what a privilege! I borrow the words from the Psalmist in Psalm 122:1, "I was glad when they said to me let us go to the house of the Lord." Because of Christ, you and I can enter the House of God. If you live in the area, I hope to see you tonight.