Friday, October 22, 2010

A Reminder

Just a reminder to read my blog at The Morning Drive .  I will delete this blogger account next week.  I moved the blog back in May 2010.  All my old posts from this blog are on that site.  If you are a follower of this blog, please change your follow to the new blog.

Thanks,

Scott

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Moving

Not me; the blog.  I am still working with the Church of Christ in Parrish, Alabama and have no plans to move - in fact, the elders warned me not to be looking :-). However, beginning  today, May 12, 2010 all new posts (and hopefully all archives) for The Morning Drive will move to WordPress.  The blog will still be The Morning Drive but with a new location .  Please make note of this change and redo (renew) subscriptions, rss feeds, and blogrolls accordingly.  When you stop by take a look a the archives.

Blogger has been a good starting place for me for the last year plus, but it is time to move on.  WordPress offers a cleaner page and a few extras that I think I am going to like.

I will keep this blogger account open for sometime in case I want a secondary blog ;-)

Thanks,
Scott

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sport of the gods

This Spring Andrew, age 12 #70 in this picture, decided to go out for football.  His team will have a Jamboree this Thursday.  It will be his first organized football game. 

This morning at breakfast we joked about what archaeologists would say about football if they dug up a stadium 5,000 years from now.

Here were the possibilities we came up with:
1.  They might consider the stadium to be a temple or place of worship (every town has one).
2. They would suppose that the team mascots (Oakman Wildcats) would be city or regional gods.
3.  What we know as players would be participating in battle to honor their god and to show their devotion to him (her).
4. The cheerleaders could be thought of as high priestesses (my son almost shot milk through his nose at the thought) who lead the worship. "We are the Wildcats, mighty, might Wildcats . . ."
5. The fans are the worshipers praying to their god for victory confirming his acceptance of their sacrifice.
6. The concession stand is where worshipers can procure grain, animal, and synthetic sacrifices to offer to their god by leaving portions in the stadium (worship arena).

Why else might sports (football, baseball, basketball, softball, etc) be confused as our national religion by those who study us in the future?

Scott

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Prezi

This is my first attempt at a Prezi presentation.  We are not set up to use Prezi with our current system at Parrish, but I wanted to see what a Prezi would look like so I built this one around the Mother's Day Sermon from 05.09.10.

Scott


Will You Pray?

Thank you.  Thank you for your prayers; I covet them.  If not for the prayers of the faithful, what could we accomplish.  Prayer does so much for us as Christians.  Paul describes the armor that Christians wear and emphasizes that that armor is incomplete if not for prayer (Eph 6:11-18).  Life has a way of bringing us down.  Satan is a master at pulling us away from what is right and good.  The cares of this world choke at us as weeds do vegetables in a garden.  But God has not left us defenseless.  God gives us the privilege to approach Him in prayer.  "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." (Heb 4:14-16- esv).


I ask you to do me a favor: Pray for me.  Pray for me to be effective as a minister, consistent  as  a Christian, responsible as a husband, an example as a father, and compassionate as a friend.  

Praying Always,
Scott

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Top Ten Math Puns

These two words seem incongruous: Math and Humor.  Maybe my math teachers thought my answers were funny sometimes, but as a student math AND humor? Last night after Bible Class, Teresa Kitchens (a member at Parrish and a Math Teacher at Walker High School) knowing my warped sense of humor shared a list of 31 math puns.  What follows are my favorite ten of the list:

10. How do you know a plant belongs to a math teacher? - It has square roots.
9. Why do math books cry? - They have lots of problems.
8. When do mathematicians die? - When their number is up.
7. What is the longest piece of furniture? - The multiplication table.
6. What is a metric cookie? - A Gram cracker.
5. Why do math teachers talk to themselves? - They think the students are listening.
4. Two's company, three's a crowd, what are four and five? - Nine.
3. What did the math major mean when she called her blind date 288?  He's 2 gross.
2. What is a polygon? - A lost parrot.

And the number one math pun for the day . . .
1. What is an occupied bathroom on an airplane? a hypotenuse (high - pot - in - use).

Scott.

OK, here is one more just for today since you can't get enough math humor - How do you know God loves math? - He told Adam and Eve to multiply, the fourth book in the Bible is called Numbers, and his followers put "+" signs on His churches.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Teeth Cleaning

Yesterday morning, I went for my sixth month dental appointment.  I sat there having religious discussions, giving marital advice, and talking about child rearing while my mouth was wide open and Tracy was scraping my teeth. 

I do not have a fear of dentist, nor do I have issues with someone working in my mouth.  I try to listen to the advice my dentist and hygienist give.  I remember one bit of advice the Dr. Buchanan, my child-hood dentist gave.  "Scott, you need to brush and floss the teeth you want to keep."  Do I need to mention that he was blunt if anything? 

Preventative dental care.  That is why I brush and floss regularly.  That is why I visit my dentist twice a year.  That is why I avoid habits that damage teeth.  These examinations pay off in preventing future major issues.

To bring a spiritual application to this I point us to 2 Cor 13:5 where Paul instructs us to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith.  

What do you do to "examine yourself" spiritually?  How can I know that I am "in the faith?"

Scott

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sweetwater Church of Christ

I had a great visit with the good brethren at Sweetwater. Below is a link to the Sunday AM message (I wanted to embed but blogger is not letting me embed from ustream) . It is a long video (32 minutes). I wanted you to see what the good folks at Sweetwater are doing with video.  This is a congregation of about 30 members and the are doing great things.

Scott

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/6619074

Friday, April 30, 2010

Real Power



Springtime in Alabama is a time of change.  Flowers bloom, trees bud, sun shines, rain falls, and occasionally a surprise in the form of a late snow.  This season presents quite a quandary, and not just for the weatherman.  Most of us face the issue of what to wear each morning.  We check the weather on television or even online, but we can never be sure if we are right.

Take, for instance, just this morning.  I chose to wear a light jacket on this  morning as I walked to deliver a message to my wife at the school and then to the Post Office before walking home.  During that short walk, the wind began to blow across my face and through my thin jacket.  I began to have negative thoughts about my decision to walk, and to question the reliability of the local weather forecast.  I felt as if the wind had a mind to blow my coat away, I pulled it a little tighter around me and began walking a little faster.

When I was approximately half way between the school and the Post Office, I began to get warm.  The sun decided to come out to play.  Oh how good the sun’s warmth felt on the back of my neck!  Oh how nice that warmth felt as I continued my trek!  By the time I reached the Hadder's Pharmacy I had to stop, not to catch my breath, but to take off my jacket.  What the wind failed to do with its force, the sun accomplish with gentle warmth.

This event reminds me of a certain fable concerning a conversation turned contest between the wind and the sun.  The wind in the fable did boast to the sun of its power, and did try and fail to remove a man’s coat by force.  The sun however prevailed, by warming the man so that he removed his own coat.

This story is like the story of God.  God, although He has the power, does not use this power to force us to do His will.  God in love, being love, gently warms our hearts through the sacrifice of His Son (John 3:16-17).  In another place John records, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1Jo 4:9-10 – ESV).

This story also contains instruction for us.  How do we influence people?  Many times we try to force our opinions (correct or not) on others.  We feel or think we know what is best for them and we tell them so in no uncertain terms.  If we force them to listen and close our ears to their thoughts and beliefs, we can not lead them to truth, they only tighten their coats of doctrine more tightly around them and quicken their pace to get away from us.  What if, what IF, we tried to gently warm them with the truth of God’s love?  What if, what IF, we let God’s love flow through us and warm their hearts?  What if, what IF, we let our light shine on them instead of shining the light in their eyes?  Remember Jesus’ words, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Mat 5:16- ESV).   Look again to the context of John’s words in 1 John 4:

“We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1Jo 4:6-11 - ESV).

Take note of those around you, and let God work His power through your life, as you let your light shine, and act in love to those nearby.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Singing and Understanding

Recently, Cole's dad, Rick shared a very interesting story with me.  But first let me give you some background.

Rick grew up attending a charismatic church, that uses popular style musical accompaniment, soloists, choirs, etc. in worship.  Rick was one of the soloists.  Rick married, Gina who grew up attending a non-denominational acapella Church of Christ.  Rick attended with her often, but remained loyal to the way his parents raised him.  A few years ago Rick and Gina began attending with us.  After a few months, Rick said he had some questions for me.  We met in my study before worship on Sunday afternoon.  He questions were great but that is another blog.  He surprised his family and to the delight of all here, he came forward and obeyed the Gospel that evening.  Rick now leads in worship in many different areas and teaches our young teens on Wednesdays.

Now back to Cole.  Because Rick's family (parents, brothers, etc) are still part of the other group Cole and his brother Brooks will occasionally visit with family and attend worship where they assemble.  After one such visit, Cole told Rick and Gina, "That was a cool church.  They had a band with drums, guitars, it was great!"  Rick asked Cole a simple question, "What songs did they sing?"   "I don't know," Cole replied, "but it was awesome."

After the conversation had changed Cole interrupted, "We did sing, 'It is Well with My Soul,' it was good too."  Rick later discovered that the reason Cole remembered that one song was it was the only one the whole congregation sung acapella.  The message came through when the instruments were silent.

Now I wonder how Eph 5, Col 3, and 1 Cor 14 would fit into this event?

Scott

Monday, April 26, 2010

Competition

Hello, my name is Scott, I am a recovering competitor. . .

Competition is addictive.  Competition drives the American business model.  Competition runs deep in the heart and soul of many people.  Can you finish this jingle from years gone by, "My dog's better than your dog . . ."  I admit, wholeheartedly that I am a competitor.  I like to win when I play basketball,  I like for the team I support to win championships.  But competition can often get  in the way of positive outcomes.

When local Churches of Christ compete for members, feelings suffer, accusations fly, and fellowship crumbles.  When Churches come to realize they are autonomous and can work together, we accomplish more for the Lord's cause. When a program focuses on the outcome of competitions then the effectiveness of that ministry suffers.  When a program focuses of the mission of Christ (rescuing the lost, serving others, etc.) we are not in competition, but in cooperation.

Without fail, when I mention that I am "against competition," someone will try to tell me that most of life is competition.  The usual arguments include competing with other men for the affection of the one I would eventually marry.  I did not feel I was in competition with any other men.  Amy and I formed a friendship, that slowly moved to a romantic attachment, that quickly and naturally became exclusive.  Until the day, I proposed to her and she accepted, we were both open to the fact that if either one felt that our relationship was not going to last, that we had the right and responsibility to end it.  Once we said, "I do" however, the relationship became completely exclusive.

A second argument is that as a preacher, I competed for the role of ministry where I am currently located.  There were other men looking at my current position, and the elders were considering other men for this work.  Did I desire that those men lose to me? No!  I came looking at the opportunity here and allowing the folk here to see if I fit what they were looking for.  If so, then I was open to move.  If not, then I would continue where I was and be open to other opportunities that God would have me pursue.  I did not compete for this position, I came as myself and let things work as they would.

More recently, someone suggested that I am in competition with Satan for souls.  At first I had no answer.  As I thought more about this my answer is this: God is at war with Satan.  Satan is destroying souls and lives. God wants lives rescued from the disaster that Satan causes.  I am not competing with Satan, if I do, I lose by a long shot, "Wide is the path that leads to destruction and many there will be that find it."  Maybe this is narrow-minded of me, but I see my role as seeking to rescue folks from sin, not win an argument with them.  I present an offer of salvation through the only avenue that can save them - Christ (John 14:6) and let them decide for themselves.  I plant the seed and in some cases water the soil or young growth, but it is God who gives the increase.  God battles Satan and the victory is His in Christ (1 Cor 15:57).

In our family when we play card games, board games, and other similar games, we play for the fun of the game and the conversations that occur as we play.  I don't win a lot of games, we do not even finish games, but we have fun being together.  I repeat my belief that  competition can often get  in the way of more positive outcomes.  I am trying for a less competitive life. Am I completely free of competition?  No.  I still compete with myself to improve myself to do my best and I take that one day at a time and I still struggle when I am playing a game with someone who is super-competitive.  I just have to ask myself, "what does it matter in the end?"

What are your thoughts on competition?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Working Retreat

Today is Thursday and my first blog of the week. I suppose an excuse is in order.


I had a great opportunity to drive six hours to the Great Smokey Mountains and stay in the cabin pictured to the left.  I spent Monday evening, all day Tuesday, and Monday morning with 10 other ministers from Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky.  Not only were we from differing states, we were also from different areas of ministry.  So were full-time preaching ministers, some were youth ministers, a couple were bi-vocational ministers, and more than one entered ministry somewhat unplanned.  We had one key thing in common: A love for the Lord and His Church.  That is what brought us together, along with an email inviting us.


There was a special project that the host asked us to work on and I hope our input and efforts will continue to be of value to him.  But there was a side benefit or two.  We all went not knowing who would be there.  I was not sure I would know anyone except the host.  We went not knowing all the details but we went on faith.  While there old friendships grew and new ones formed.  our common bond in Christ provided great fellowship.  I could not help but think ho great heaven will be when we meet up with all the saints from years gone by and years to come.  I look forward to seeing you there.


Scott

Friday, April 16, 2010

Re-Thinking Church

A lot of good religious folks are talking about the church, and are rethinking and redesigning the church.  This May 1 and 2 the congregation at Sweetwater, TN will host a series of meetings designed to help us "Think About the Church."  If you are close by or are traveling through, please stop in.  Below is the advertisement for this series of meetings.  Oh, by the way, I am the guest speaker :-)

Scott

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bank Loans

Enjoy this story of a Bank Loan for a Trip to Europe:


A man from Alabama walked into a bank in New York City and asked for the loan officer. He told the loan officer that he was going to Paris for an international redneck festival for two weeks and needed to borrow $5,000 and that he was not a depositor of the bank.

The bank officer told him that the bank would need some form of security for the loan, so the Redneck handed over the keys to a new Ferrari. The car was parked on the street in front of the bank. The Redneck produced the title and everything checked out. The loan officer agreed to hold the car as collateral for the loan and apologized for having to charge 12% interest.

Later, the bank's president and its officers all enjoyed a good laugh at the Redneck from the south for using a $250,000 Ferrari as collateral for a $5,000 loan. An employee of the bank then drove the Ferrari into the bank's private underground garage and parked it.

Two weeks later, the Redneck returned, repaid the $5,000 and the interest of $23.07. The loan officer said, 'Sir, we are very happy to have had your business, and this transaction has worked out very nicely, but we are a little puzzled. While you were away, we checked you out on Dunn & Bradstreet and found that you are a Distinguished Alumni from the University of Alabama, a highly sophisticated investor and Multi-Millionaire with real estate and financial interests all over the world. Your investments include a large number of wind turbines around Sweetwater, Texas . What puzzles us is, why would you bother to borrow $5,000?

The good 'ole Alabama boy replied, Where else in New York City can I park my car for two weeks for only $23.07 and expect it to be there when I return?

His name was BUBBA.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How Many Bags?

Not long ago while at a local pharmacy, the young lady behind the counter noticed I lived in Oakman.  "I grew up there and graduated OHS," she said.  Then she mentioned folks she went to school with and we made some friend connections.  Then she asked if I knew one of the former principals of OHS.  When I admitted I did, she laughed and told me to tell him that he was a "two-bagger."

I did not know at the time what a "two bagger" was.  I inquired and she let me in on the story.  Here is the pun:  This young lady was about the same age as the principal's children and were friends with them.  He would jovially tell them when they were double dating to be sure to wear a paper bag over their heads so their dates would not know how ugly they were.  He would sometimes tell them to wear two bags just in case one ripped.

I remember when the loyal New Orleans Saints fans wore bags in the 1980's.  They were protesting a poor performing team.  There was also a stand-up comedian in the late 1970's who wore a bag on his head and called himself the "Unknown Comic."  These people wore bags to hide their identity for one reason or another.

I wonder how many bags we wear?  Do we have bags that we wear to hide our Christianity from our co-workers, schoolmates, or fellow athletes?  Do we have bags we wear when we are around other Christians to hide who we really are?  Can we become a "two or three bagger" just to cover ourselves in the case that someone begins to tear away one bag?  Are we ashamed to let people know who we really are?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Learning from a Teacher.


Let me introduce you to my favorite 1st Grade Teacher.  She was not my teacher when I was 6, nor did she teach my son's 1st Grade class (she was teaching 6th grade then).  We struck up one of our many conversations about teaching and preaching as we were returning from a "working vacation."  Yes, I am married to this teacher, I continual learn a lot from Amy's wisdom and insight even after almost 21 years of marriage.

Discussing how some of us who preach generally approach a topic or sometimes a situation within a congregation, she said that in the church we need to change from only using "spraying and praying" in our attempt to teach the truth. To "spray and pray" is an un-choked shotgun approach.  We do this when we preach a sermon or teach a class and hope that those who need to hear the message will get it.  We "spray" the message out and "pray" it reaches hearts.

Instead, she gave an alternative approach:  "Reaching and teaching."  This method is knowing the individuals of the congregation and reaching them with lessons to help them.  We can accomplish this is smaller classes aimed at particular age or social groups (singles, young marrieds, etc) and most effectively working with people on an individual level.

The more I thought about this the more I realized this is what Jesus did much of the time.  Consider how he taught the woman at the well, Nicodemus, Zacchaeus, and His apostles.  This is also the approach Aquila and Priscilla used to teach Apollos.

Thank you Amy, for reminding me how to be more effective as a preacher, teacher, and Christian who is concerned for the salvation of all.

The question is, "How can we best "reach and teach" instead of "spray and pray"?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Who is Jesus Anyway?

Jesus and the New Testament penman ascribe a number of titles and names for Jesus.  Each of these terms in some way define who Jesus is and at least part of His purpose for coming to dwell with man.  Below are fourteen titles (names) in alphabetical order.

Jesus is the:
1. Bread of Life - Jn 6:35
2. Christ - Matt 16:16
3. Good Shepherd - Jn 10:10-11
4. Immanuel - Matt 1:23
5. High Priest - Heb 4:15
6. King of Kings - Rev 19:16
7. Lamb of God - Jn 1:29
8. Light of the World - Jn 8:12
9. Lord - Acts 2:36
10. Messiah - Jn 4:25-26
11. Savior - Acts 13:23
12. Son of God - Heb 4:14
13. Son of Man - Jn 12:23
14. Teacher - Jn 13:13-14

Which titles (one or more) stand out as very meaningful to you, and why?

Scott

Monday, April 5, 2010

Passover

As our Jewish friends complete the Week of Feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits), I shared a sermon yesterday on the Passover and our connection to it as Christians.  Here is the slideshare version below.  Some of the formatting from my original changed in the uploading process.


Apr 4  A M  Passover
View more presentations from Scott McCown.

Here is the outline with a few more details:

Passover

Acts 12:4 – Pesach – paska - Easter in KJV / Passover in ESV
Lev 23:4-8

After centuries in Egypt deliverance had come for Israel.
The first 9 plagues are over 10th is on the way.
Early spring and Moses gathers the elders of the people together.
o In 10 days the people were to:
o Take a spotless male lamb of a year old
o Separate it from the other livestock for four days on the `4th slaughter it.
o Dip hyssop broom in blood and paint awning and sides of doorway with blood.
o God would Passover (pay-sak) the house where He saw the blood.

Passover by the time of Jesus Day
Week of feasts not just one day
Passover day
Feast of Unleavened Bread
Feast of Firstfruits

NT Passovers
Jesus at 12 – Luke 2
Jesus with disciples – Luke 22:7-13.

Lessons and Comparisons
Leaven
Matzah – Unleavened bread is a part of Passover
Passion traditions
o On the night before Passover the father does a final search for leaven in the house.
o By candlelight he sweeps any remaining breadcrumbs into a wooden spoon using a goose feather.
o Crumbs, feather, and spoon are bagged and burned outside the house in the morning.

1 Cor 5:6
o Take pains to remove sin from our lives.

Participants sing Hymns during and after Passover
Matt 26:30
Tradition suggests one of those hymns was Ps 118.
Notice verse 22 – stone that is rejected (Lk 21:17).
Jesus is that cornerstone

Jesus is the Lamb of God
Jn 1:29
o Remove our sin (leaven)
o Provides blood for sin

He was Sanctified (separated) for God’s purpose – Jn 5:30
He was Sinless (spotless) – 1 Pt 2:22; 2 Cor 5:21.
He was (is) Sacrificed – Heb 7:26-27.
He provides Salvation – Acts 4:12.

Paul’s statement – 1 Cor 5:6-8.
Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.


Scott

Friday, April 2, 2010

I Love Children!

Last night, Amy and I made a quick run to the local dollar store so she could pick up a few things for school.  As we were at the cash register, a young mother and her preschool age daughter walked in.  As Mom selected a shopping cart this precocious four year old asked,"Can I push the buggy, Momma?"  

"Yes, but stay with me." The mom replied.

"O.K., because I am pushing I pick out the stuff!"

I stifled I laugh!  This little preschooler had figured it out.  The one who controls the cart is the shopper and gets what she wants!

How often do we try to manipulate co-workers, spouses, friends, etc to get what we want?  Is that fair?

Scott

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Care for the Demanding

We had a Tom Cat named Boots, he is a roamer, we are not sure where or if he is at this moment.  We also had a stray, Little Bit, who adopted us and had two litters of kittens before she died defending the second set from a pack of stray dogs.  Of her litters of kittens, there is still one that stays around our house.  It is not a domesticated cat, it will not let us come near it and hides when it sees us.  However, this cat expects -- demands -- a bowl of food in the morning, and we feed it.  Admittedly, I get frustrated that this cat, to whom we have given ardent devotion in the form of free shelter and free food does not return that devotion by allowing us to pet or play with it.  This cat is far from its parents -- Boots would let you pick him up and carry him anywhere.  He liked to climb in laps and nap or just be petted.  Little Bit was wild when she came to us, but warmed up to us and would rub against us and came to the point where she would climb up in our laps if we were sitting on a step or on the ground.

This particular offspring of Boots and Little Bit remind me of a passage in Judges 2:7-11.  Here the penman records that as long as Joshua and the elders that were with him remained the people were faithful to God, but as time went on there arose a generation that did not know Joshua or those elders, and did not remember what God had done in delivering the people from Egypt, through the desert, and into a land ready for them.  This group forsook God for idols and did what was right in their own eyes.

Concerning this propensity of people someone said, "We are always and only ONE GENERATION away from apostasy."  Maybe that is why God told the people in Deut 6:4-9, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

Parents we need to teach our children about God and remind them of the blessings that are in Christ.
Parents we must train our children to be godly in their lives while they are young.
Parents we should nurture them (lead them) in the Light.

What do you do to help your children become more and more like Christ?

Scott

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Are You Covered in Debt?

That is what the radio commercials ask every day.  Do you have over $10,000 dollars in credit card debt, then call ____________.  The President signed a bill provided relief to big businesses, where is your relief?  We can help you get out of debt so you can live the life you deserve.

Like most of you I have debt.  I have a mortgage on my home, I am in the process of paying off a second vehicle, and some small loans that we have a plan to pay off within 9 months.  I also have one debt that leaves me feeling helpless.  This debt is so large that I know for certain that no "debt relief" company can handle it for me.  This is the debt I owe God.  I owe Him for creating me, I owe Him for paying for my sin.  You know the scriptures, "The wages of sin is death."  "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  I am in the negatives so much that I can NEVER work my way out!  But thanks be to God that my balance sheet looks better than I just described. Written on the top of my balance sheet is "Paid in Full, by Account of my Son."

Jesus, the Son of God, the Sinless man who was also God, paid the way for me to come to God.  Paul says it something like this, "God made Him who had no sin (debt) to become sin (indebted) for us that we might become the righteousness (state of being debt free) of God in Him." (2 Cor 5:21).

How did I acquire this debt relief?  Simply.  I did the same thing God asks of you.  By faith, put on Christ. - Gal 3:26-27.

Are you covered in debt or are you living debt free?

Scott

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lost?

Three weeks ago, Andrew (age 12) and I changed the oil on my truck as well as the fuel filter.  There is a trick to changing the filter so that you do not spray fuel over yourself and your son.  That trick to relieve the pressure is in the "repair manual" I keep in the garage.  But I could not find my manual.  The last time I used it was for a brake job. I knew where it was supposed to be, but it was not there.  I had lost my instruction book, I even wondered if I had thrown it away or if it was in the "yard sale" pile.  I spent more time looking for that book than I did on the fuel filter, which I changed anyway and did not relieve the pressure properly.  I despise losing things.


When I was about my son's age, my parents took us to that Wonderful World in Orlando.  My older and younger brothers went one direction with Mom while Dad and I went a different way.  When Dad and I finished our ride, we were to meet the other three at a certain shaded area.  We arrived early and I convinced Dad to let me go to the restroom around the corner.  Making my way back to Dad, I came to realize I was on the other side of the Park -- I was in Frontier Land headed toward Liberty Square instead of Adventure Land.  Once I realized I was lost and calmed down, I decided I had made a wrong turn at the water fountain.  I ran back to where I went wrong, and ran to the meeting spot.  Mom and my younger brother were there waiting nervously.  Dad and my older brother had gone to look for me.  This was decades before cell phones and family service radios, we had to wait for them to get back before we could go on.


I share these two events to introduce you to two similar events in the Old Testament:


1. Josiah in 2 Kngs 22:13, "Go, inquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us." When the workers discovered the lost book of God, the king knew they had to return to following that law. 

2. Hosea 14:1-2, "Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take with you words and return to the LORD; say to him, "Take away all iniquity; accept what is good, and we will pay with bulls the vows of our lips." Like Israel, when I was lost, I had to return.  I had to admit I was wrong in the direction I was going and turn around to find my father.


Lost? Find the Book, and come home. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Vacation Bible School is Coming Soon

Here is a pictorial review of our VBS since 2005.  At the end is an advertisement for VBS 2010 - Journey to Egypt: Digging into the Life of Joseph.

Enjoy and come be with us.
Scott

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Universal Care

Universal Health Care, Insurance requirements, penalties, etc:  I am not sure what to say or think about this new policy in the United States.  Like Majority Leader Pelosi suggested, I guess we will find out what is in this bill now that it is passed into law.  However, I am concerned about forcing folks to purchase insurance and the ultimate cost to our nation and to individual consumers.  One friend was correct when he suggested that we simply trust God no matter what.

I want to tell you about a greater care package available to you.  It is the Universal Spiritual Health Care Package.  Jesus offers this USHC system though His agency, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except by Me," (Jn 14:6).

The Spiritual recommendations of this policy promote spiritual growth in the following way: "For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Pet 1:5-8).

Following this Spiritual Health Regimen produces great Spiritual benefits, "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. . . . But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." (Gal 5:16, 22-23).

One feature of this USHC policy that lifts it high above any other plan is that the premium is paid in full by the policy writer (Acts 20:28; Phil 2:5ff; Rom 5:7-8).

Consider this policy for your Spiritual Health.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

God on the Mountain

Last night, my family and I attended Curry Church of Christ to fellowship with our brethren there and to hear a message from a dear friend and fellow Faulkner Alumni - Neal Pollard.  The theme of Curry's meeting is Mountain Top Experiences and last night, Neal took us to Mt Carmel.  He drew a great mental picture of the setting of Carmel and what the mountain may have represented in physical, social, and religious settings.   Then he pointed out four things about God's power demonstrated around the events of Elijah's confrontation with the 450 prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel.  

On the Mountain We see God's Power . . .
1. Over Nature.  God had stopped the rain for 3 1/2 years. Something the Baals could not do.
2. In His Word.  The drought came about because Ahab led the people away from God's command.
3. Over the Competition.  Baal is simply an idol and had no power.  God clearly demonstrates this when He is able to rain down fire (which Baal could not do) and not only consume the sacrifice, but the alter, the wood, and a trench full of water.
4. In His Name.  Elijah acted in the Name of the Lord.  It is by the authority of the Lord we have access to God.  God's name is great and is always to be honored above all names.  Everything we do is "in the name of the Lord." Col 3:17.

Where do you see God's power demonstrated?

Have a great day!
Scott

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mission Effort

Last night our elders met with a young Couple -- Richard and Mary Harp.  The Harps are dedicating the next 5 years of their young life and young marriage to work with a mission effort in Scotland.  Scotland recently declared itself by an act of Parliament as a Pagan Nation. This declaration only confirms by decree a truth about this country.  The Scottish people are kind but post-Christian as far as religious culture.  The Harps will be working with the East Kilbride congregation.  Follow this link to their mission plan: HarpsinScotland

Please pray for this young couple and their desire to work in the Kingdom.

Scott

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Break

Taking a break from blogging this week while the family is on Spring Break -- see y'all later . . .

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Discoveries of Aging


Last month I celebrated my 43rd birthday.  Although I am still younger than some I am older than many, and now have some bits of wisdom I would like to pass along to those behind me chronologically.

  1. I started out with nothing and still have most of it.
  2. I am finally getting my head together; now my body is falling apart.
  3. Funny, I don'e remember being absent-minded.
  4. Fact - Life is unfair!
  5. It is easier to get older than to get wiser.
  6. You can't make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere.
  7. If God wanted me to touch my toes, He would have put them on my knees.
  8. The only difference between a rut and a grave is the length and depth.
  9. I spend a lot more time thinking about the hereafter:  I walk in a room and wonder what I am here after.
  10. Funny, I don't remember being . . . absent-minded.
What words of wisdom do you have to pass along? 

Scott

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What Do You Expect?

What follows is a list of common expectations that describe "The Perfect Preacher." Lists like this one circulate around and are funny only because they touch a nerve.  



  1. The perfect preacher preaches exactly 10 minutes. 
  2. He condemns sin roundly but never hurts anyone's feelings. 
  3. He works from 8 AM until midnight and is also the church janitor. 
  4. He makes $400 a week, wears good clothes, drives a good car, buys good books, and donates $300 a week to the church.
  5. He is 32 years old and has 40 years experience. 
  6. He never forgets a name and spends most of his time praying to God. He remembers everyone's birthdate and of course, their anniversary dates as well.
  7. He also knows when somebody is sick and needs visitation even without anyone telling him about it. 
  8. He loves to spend time with his family and the has no problem with you dropping in unexpectedly. 
  9. He also spends most of his time in preparation to speak God's Word. 
  10. Before and after services, he never fails to speak to each person present and will also take the time to listen to you for 15 minutes and pray for each person no less than 10 minutes after listening to them. 
  11. The perfect preacher eats nutritiously, gets his rest, exercises daily, and is always there to listen to you night or day. 
  12. He has a burning desire to work with teenagers, and he spends most of his time with the senior citizens. 
  13. He smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him seriously dedicated to his church. 
  14. He makes 15 home visits a day, is always in his office to be handy when needed and is always busy evangelizing the unchurched. 
  15. He spends all day each Saturday preparing the Sunday sermon, and he focuses on his family too. 



Now for a serious question: What do you expect from the preacher where you worship?  Preachers, how well are you doing as a servant of God and His people?


Leave your comments!


Scott

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Finish this Thought . . .

I am asking you the reader to complete this post today.  I will begin with a couple of thoughts and leave the floor open for you to interject your thoughts.  Here we go . . .

God is . . . .

  • Love,
  • Light,
  • Good . . .


Keep this going.
Scott 

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Original Undercover Boss



On Sunday evenings, when we get home in time, we watch a new "reality" show on CBS - Undercover Boss.  The premise of this show is simple:  A CEO of a major company such as Waste Management, 7-11, or White Castle sheds his suit and tie, dons a "blue collar," and then goes to work in entry level and lower management positions in the different departments of his or her company.  These bosses learn a lot about the companies they run and the people who work for them.  Of the three of four episodes we watched, these bosses began to empathize with their worker, they began to understand the stresses of lower wage employees and as a result are more open to listening to those employees and implementing changes to help.


This is not a new concept.  Who can forget Mark Twain's story, The Prince and the Pauper, where the young Prince Edward VI abandons the palace to switch places with his doppleganger, Tom Canty who lived in Offal Court on Pudding Lane.  The young prince's experience as a pauper serves him well after the death of his father, King Henry VII.

Even that story rings of familiarity.  A ruler stepping down and living as a subject to better understand them so to give them relief from their plight is a classic plot.  Paul records, "(Jesus Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent." (Col 1:15-18).  Jesus being one with God was king of heaven, and came to earth as one of us to understand us and to save us from the plight of sin. That is why the Hebrew penmen records, "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." (Heb 4:14-16).

I am glad God understands me.  Praise God for sending His Son, Jesus, to provide for my deliverance.
Scott 

Friday, March 5, 2010

Milford and Bessie Minor: Heroes of Marriage

This blog is edited from the Fall/Winter '08 Our Families Magazine published by Faulkner University Cloverdale Center for Family Strengths.  The Minors are members where we attend and I serve as minister.  I asked them around the time of their 73rd anniversary what they would say to couples just beginning their marriage.  Sister Bessie smiled and said, "Tell them to stay together, that love gets sweeter and sweeter every year." Thank you, Barbara, Donald, Gail, Virginia, and Roger for sharing your parents with us. -- Scott 

On September 2, 2006, exactly seventy years since their own marriage, Milford and Bessie Minor were present at the Harpeth Hills Church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee for the wedding of one of their granddaughters. She had chosen that date to honor the love and commitment that she and the other grandchildren had always observed in the marriage of their grandparents. Milford and Bessie grew up in adjoining communities in rural Walker County, Alabama. Both knew and experienced the difficulties of farm life, especially the rough economic times as the country endured and emerged from the Great Depression. In 1922, times were very dire when Milford, at the age of seven, lost both of his parents in the flu epidemic that spread across the area. He and his six siblings were orphaned when their father, mother, and paternal grandmother died within one week. His father’s sister moved into the home and kept the family together earning what the land could produce. Bessie’s father was a cotton farmer and supplemented his family’s income by making sorghum molasses when the cotton was harvested. In 1930, Bessie’s mother died from
a debilitating illness. As the oldest surviving daughter, Bessie, at age thirteen, became housekeeper for her father and four older brothers and a mother figure to a younger sister and two baby brothers.

The major work on farms recessed for Sundays. The Lord’s Day was a day of worship and visiting other congregations for special meetings, singings, and singing schools. It was at gatherings such as these that Milford and Bessie became acquainted and became part of a group of young people that usually attended such events in the area. As they became young adults their interest in each other grew and they began
seeking time to be together. To visit Bessie, Milford had to walk several miles from his home to hers. Other times they were able to borrow the family mule and buggy for trips to church services and socials.

At the home of the local Justice of the Peace, and with a couple of friends as witnesses, Milford, age 21, and Bessie, age 19, became husband and wife on September 2, 1936. For the first two weeks of their marriage they stayed with Milford’s family. When they found a small house to rent, Milford continued to help his family with the farming and to seek extra work with anyone else who needed a worker. His pay was rarely cash because no one had money; the pay was usually in goods that could be traded. Bessie’s first cook stove was bought with 14 bales of hay that Milford had earned working for his cousin. Other needed household items came from family and friends who had something extra that they knew the newlyweds needed and could use.

In September 1938, two years after their marriage, the first of their five children was born, followed quickly by the other four. The couple recognized that more resources were required to raise and educate their children. To meet the need, Milford and Bessie left the farm and moved into the small coal mining town of Parrish, where Milford found work in the coal mines. Bessie continued her work as wife, mother, and full-time homemaker, but for the fi rst time she had electricity to make some things easier. When a teen-ager, Bessie had been baptized into Christ at the rural Central congregation in Liberty Hill where she had always attended.
When she and Milford moved into town, she became a member of the Parrish Church of Christ where she has been a faithful member since 1941. All of their children were baptized there, and in 1972, Milford, also, was baptized and is today the oldest member of the Parrish congregation where their youngest son serves as
one of the elders. Though slowed by age, and no longer able to lead in the services or teach class, Milford and Bessie are in regular attendance at the scheduled services, gospel meetings, vacation bible schools, and other special services.

Their children remain faithful in the Lord’s church. The congregations their large family attend are scattered in Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama. Four of their children and five grandchildren became
educators working in public and Christian schools. Milford’s and Bessie’s teaching example and influence continue to have great impact on their children, eleven grandchildren, and fifteen great-grandchildren.

When asked how they had been able to endure the childhood hardships, the trials of raising a large family, and be able to establish and maintain a good marriage for seventy-two (73 now) years, the answer was, “It hasn’t always been easy, but we took a vow to love, honor, and cherish as long as we both lived and we know and understand what a vow is.”

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Man I Desire To Be

Four years ago, as I was completing a Masters' Degree in Ministry, our instructor (Paul Tarrence) assigned us at simple project.  That project was to reflect on the Man we Desired to be.  I wrote this list then and occasionally pull it out to look at it, today was one of those days.  I reflected on how I am becoming that man and admit I am still a work in progress.

The Man I Desire to Be
  • Above all a servant of God.
  • A man who is a leader in service to others.
  • A man focused on the needs (physical, emotional, and spiritual) of his family.
  • A person with the financial security to be generous in giving to the Lord and in helping others with their needs.
  • A fried to all I meet.
  • A man of God's Word in reflection and action.
  • A man motivated by a pure heart.
  • A man of ever deepening faith and trust in God.
  • A living testimony of Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.
  • A man Christ-like in attitude and behavior.
  • A teacher of teachers and a disciple of Christ discipling others to reconciliation with God through Christ (2 Tim 2:2; 2 Cor 5:18ff).
  • A man aware of and sensitive to the thoughts and emotions of others, yet not allowing the values or misunderstandings of others to change my core-values that have their basis upon and in the principles of God's Word.
What would your list include:  List the attributes of the Person You Would Like to Be.

Scott 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ten Religious Books That Influenced Me

Yesterday (Monday) I wrote two posts.  The second one was my "Passing the Torch" article.  Go back and read that if you missed it and be sure to read the other articles I linked to.  The first post yesterday concerned ten books that are among my favorite non-religious books. Today, I am sharing a list of Ten Religious Books that Influenced Me.  You will notice that I did not include the Bible in this list.  The Bible is by far the most important of all the religious books I read, but for this list, I wanted to include books by men and not the Book of Books by God.

1. Old Light on New Worship - John Price
2. Biblical Eldership - Alexander Strauch
3. Jesus and the Victory of God - N. T. Wright
4. What Did Saint Paul Really Say - N. T. Wright
5. The Gospel According to Jesus - John MacArthur
6. Living Jesus - Luke Timothy Johnson
7. The End Times - Russell Boatman
8. Is the Holy Spirit for Me - Harvey Floyd
9. Showtime - Dan Chambers
10. The God Who Risks - John Sanders

Honorable Mention -
- Twelve Ordinary Men - John MacArthur
- The God of the Towel - Jim McGuiggan
- Adrift - Phil Sanders
- Saddlebags, City Streets, and Cyberspace - Michael Cassey

Keep Reading and Keep Growing

Scott

Monday, March 1, 2010

Passing the Torch

Monday I read more than a few blogs concerning preachers whose influence is ongoing:
Chris writes about Dowel Flatt.
While Brian writes about Mike Tanaro.
Paul writes about her Dad.
Lisa writes about her Dad too.
And John writes about Richard Travis and others.

Today, I join the effort in Passing the Torch.

There are a lot of preachers in my life.  Many of them from my childhood and the congregations we attended.  Some of those who impacted my life were: John Bird, Jim Wisdom, and Ron Missildine.  These three were preachers where I attended.  Brother John Bird was the preacher when I obeyed the gospel at Leonard Street in Pensacola, FL.  He was one of the most kind hearted and tender men I had the privilege of knowing.  From him I learned the importance of prayer and saw in him a man who often knelt before the throne of God. Jim Wisdom is the man who "tricked" me into preaching my first sermon and (other than my mom) most influenced my love for singing.  He was the first preacher I knew as a friend and not just "the Preacher." If Jim had not been a part of our congregation when I was a pre-teen and young teen, I do not know if I would be a preacher.  Ron Missildine preached across town. I attended where he preached while a teenager since that congregation (Warrington Church of Christ) had an earlier service I could attend allowing me to worship and then go to work at a restaurant on Sunday afternoon.  Ron was much like Jim Wisdom in that he was a friend, and like John Bird he was a man who you knew had a relationship with God.  Ron's lessons were Biblical, practical, and easy to understand.  I hope in some way I am like the three of them.

Again, there have been a lot of preachers, but the one that stands out most, was a "retired" preacher who taught Bible Class when I was a teenager - Dale McCaleb. I only heard him preach on a few occasions.  Most of his influence was in class and in fellowship before and after worship.  Bro. McCaleb grew up not far from where I now live.  He is part of the "Greatest Generation"  who had a hard life and worked to make ends meet.  He worked with Navy and preached where ever he lived.  His life finally brought him to NAS Pensacola, where he decided to stay.  Dale and Ruby began worshiping with the Leonard Street Church of Christ when I was about 14 years old.  Soon Dale was teaching the teens, talking about a life of preaching, and going to school at Montgomery Bible School and meeting the love of life (Ruby).  His knowledge of scripture, his relationship with the Savior, his love for God, his example of a life spent in service inspired me.  When he spoke of his education, of his wife, of his God and Savior, I could hang on every word.  He was my grandfather's friend, but he was and is in many ways my hero.  Bro McCaleb's health is not what it used to be, the years are catching up to him, (he is about 90 years old).  This past year, I had the honor to preach a series of sermons at the congregation were I grew up and where he still attends.  He was there, sitting in the third row, smiling, nodding approval, and saying, "Amen."  After 20 or more years of preaching, having his approval meant so much to me.  Brother Dale McCaleb -- "Thank you."  I pray I can be a similar influence as I strive to follow Christ.

Scott

My Ten Favorite Non-Religious Books to Read

This morning I thought I would give you a reading list.  I like to read.  I read fiction, non-fiction, and religious books.  I enjoyed Harry Potter and the Lemony Snickett series and a few other pre-teen and teen books, but I also read on my level.  Here are ten books (both fiction and non-ficiton) I liked enough to read most of them more than once.

1. The Old Man and the Sea - Earnest Hemingway  - (Classic man against nature)
2. A Farewell to Arms - Earnest Hemingway - (The realities of war on one man)
3. A Painted House - John Grisham - (a departure from the normal Grisham style)
4. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee - (I really like Jem, Scout, and Atticus Finch)
5. 1776 - David McCullough - (Historical reconstruction)
6. Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson - (Not much better than pirates, treasure, and adventures at sea)
7. Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain - (The copy I first read had an early 1900's publishing date)
8. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain - (same as above)
9. Greece to 14 A.D. (?? Shuckburg, Putnam Bros. 1906) - (A rare history book)
10. Due South - R. Scott Brunner - (Scott's dad is a friend of mine.  This book is a collection of humorous stories and anecdotes about being a Southerner.  Scott's maternal grandparents are members where I preach and recently celebrated their 73 wedding anniversary.)

Grab a book a read.

Scott

Friday, February 26, 2010

Happy Anniversary


As of yesterday, Feb 25, 2010 this blog is one year old. Looking back I think this has been a good year.  I entered the world of blogging after reading:

http://thetractorcab.wordpress.com/
http://www.treymorgan.net/
http://www.dalejenkins.com/Dale_Jenkins/Welcome.html
http://preachersstudyblog.com/
and
http://www.faughnfamily.com/

So a special thanks to Tykerman1, Trey, Dale, Bruno, and Adam for introducing me to the power of blogging.

I hope my thoughts have been useful, occasionally funny, and helped you each day in your walk with God.

Keep reading and keep growing.

Scott

Thursday, February 25, 2010

How to Help Your Church Family Grow

Where you worship is probably similar to Parrish, where we attend and where I preach.  We are a good group of people.  We are active in our faith and are decent folk.  But like you, we can be better.  I put some thought to this idea of congregational self-improvement and I have a few suggestions on how we can all Help Our Individual Church Family Grow.

First we help by Living Pure Lives. The local congregation needs to have the respect of the community it is in.  That level of respect lies squarely upon the shoulders of each member.  "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, (Titus 2:11-12)."

Next we help by Being Friendly. Each visitor needs to feel welcome.  They should see we appreciate them and love them. Such a realization will make them want to return.  Do not stand back and let someone else greet visitors -- you be one of the first.  The Hebrew writer says, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Heb 13:2)."

We can also help by Giving Our Full Support to the Leaders.  Effective leaders are a great blessing to any congregation of God's family.  None can progress without faithful and efficient leaders, and as members we can make or break our leadership.  Again from the Hebrew writer we learn, "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Heb 13:17)."

Another way we can help our church family grow is by Promoting Unity. Peter gives us a formula for unity in 1 Pet 3:8-12, "Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For 'Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.' " The unity formula is:

  1. Unity of Mind.
  2. Sympathy for each other.
  3. Brotherly Love.
  4. Having a Tender Heart.
  5. Having an Humble Mind.
  6. Not Being Vindictive.
  7. Bless each other.
A fifth way to help our congregation is by Working Hard at Being a Soul-Saver. This is as simple as letting your non-Christian friends and family know why you are a Christian and how you came to Christ.  Remember the wise preacher tells us, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise. (Prov 11:30)."

To be a Soul-Saver, Living in Unity, Supporting the Leaders, Friendly, while Living Pure Lives, takes Living a Life of Full Surrender. Jesus said it best, "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26-27)."

Keep Growing  for the Lord.

Scott

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Top Ten Reasons I Love Being a Preacher


From my study in Parrish, Alabama comes this morning's top ten.  Top Ten Reasons, I Love Being A Preacher:

10. I get to talk during worship.
9. I am blessed to have extra time to study God's word.
8. I don't sleep through the sermon.
7. I serve the GREATEST PEOPLE on Earth -- God's people!
6. Although the pay hasn't always been great, God's Retirement plan is wonderful.
5. People invite me to be part of their celebrations (weddings, anniversaries, etc.)
4. Fellowship Meals!  Christian ladies (and some of us men) can really cook!
3. The privilege to help people in times of physical, fiscal, and spiritual needs.
2. My family shares in my ministry.
and reason I most love to preach . . . .
1. There is no greater message to proclaim! (Rom 1:16).

Rejoice in the Lord always, I repeat REJOICE!

Scott

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Bachelor

First, I am not a fan of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. This morning the local DJ's on the radio were discussing Monday's episode.  From what a gathered from their discussion, this was an episode where all the women who were sent home came back to talk about some events on the show.  Apparently, there was one girl who crossed a line that caused the producers to send her home disqualifying her participation. I learned that she had 'inappropriate' relations with a male staffer on the show (I also understand the show terminated his employment).  From the descriptions on the radio, it seems that others saw this girl fondling and caressing with this male staffer, there were hints that they may have also gone farther.  

Fast forward in the chronology of the show to two weeks ago.  I was curious to see who the last three girls would be and what two this Bachelor would choose for the final episode.  I had to change channels.  The show gave the appearance that each of these girls spent a night in the same room with the Bachelor in an intimate and romantic setting.  I am human (specifically man enough) to know that more than likely the three couples did not just hold each other in those special rooms.  I am sure that some form of sexual conduct took place.

I have a question for you:  Why would they force one of the women to leave for being intimate with more than the Bachelor, when the show promotes the Bachelor being intimate with multiple women and even provides a room for him and three special women?  Does anyone else see the inconsistency?

Now, just for a reminder, "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;" (1Th 4:3-5).

Sexual immorality is from the Greek term "porneia" from which we get the word pornography.  The term includes any an all forms of sexual intercourse between people not legally married.  My point is this:  Everything about The Bachelor screams sexual immorality.  Our society places too much emphasis on sexuality and promotes sexual relations outside of marriage.  Sex is desirable and should be enjoyed, but only where God sanctions.  Sexual relations are set apart for marriage, the Hebrew writer says as much, "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. (Heb 13:4)"


Challenging you to live in Holiness and Sanctification,

Scott