Aniticipation

One of the most difficult things for many of us to do is to wait. I hear people complaining about waiting in line at traffic lights, waiting in checkout lines at supermarkets, and waiting in the waiting area of a doctor’s office.

When we are young it is difficult to wait for special days like birthdays to come around. I remember one Christmas I was anticipating the holidays and was spending the day at my grandparent’s house. I decided to plunder around to see what I might be able to find before Christmas, who wants to wait until Christmas for the gifts your grandparents give.  I found a western vest, hostler, chaps, a cowboy hat, and a pair of cap guns before I was caught. They threatened to take them back to the store. I had to wait until Christmas to see if I still would get the cowboy set. Finding the loot just made waiting until Christmas even more difficult.

Carly Simon sang, “Anditipcation, it’s making me late, it’s keeping me wai – ai – ai -aiting.”

Tom Petty sang, “You take it on faith, you take it to the heart, the waiting in the hardest part.”

I say that, knowing that when my son was little and became impatient for an event or holiday he looked forward to, I would say the same words I heard as a child, “Don’t rush my life away.”

The apostle Paul pens his struggle with waiting, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.” Phil 1:21-24.

In so many words, Paul says, “I am tired of waiting for heaven. I am ready to go. But I will remain patient if I can continue to be a service.”

Peter writes about some who were losing pateince: “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!” 2Pe 3:8-12

Peter is telling them to remain patient, “Don’t give up waiting, Jesus will return and we will go on to be with Him.”

Anticipation.

I look forward to the day when Jesus comes to take His people home. I look forward to seeing Heaven. I look forward to being with the Father. I look forward to the a great reunion with those who have gone on befuore me. There is much to do here, so I wait, patiently as I serve in His Kingdom on earth.

What are you anticipation heaven to be like?

-Scott

Take A Moment

PNG imageTake a moment, stop what you are doing. Set the cup of coffee down, turn off social media, turn off the TV, turn down the radio and notice what is going on around you. Here is what you will see:

  1. A family struggling to get by.
  2. Someone facing a difficult medical diagnosis.
  3. A couple whose marriage is on shaking ground but want to work things out.
  4. A couple who are giving up on each other.
  5. A single parent doing their best, but feeling like a failure.
  6. A young person trying to fit in, but feeling lonely.
  7. Someone struggling with addiction to narcotics.
  8. Another person addicted to alcohol.
  9. Someone else addicted to gambling.
  10. Another addicted to pornography.
  11. An individual fighting an eating disorder.
  12. People concerned about their job (getting a job, keeping a job, the stress of their job, or their need for better pay/benefits).
  13. Groups concerned today’s political climate.
  14. People concerned about their freedom and safety.

That is just a sample of the people around you at work, at school, and who assemble with you at church. I hope you are praying for them. If you are one of those people, know someone is remembering you in prayer.

Take a moment, right this moment, to pray.

-Scott

Dad Jokes, I had to.

PNG imageDad Jokes are a thing now and I saw where some have made a game where you try not to laugh at Dad Jokes. Dad jokes are fun! My son is 20 and I still tell dad jokes around him, I have to. I can not or at least refuse too stop myself. I thought, since it is Friday and you may be around you children or grandchildren this weekend, that I would share some of my favorite Bible-based Dad Jokes with you.

Warning! Loud groans ahead.

What type of lights did Noah install on the ark? – – – – – – – – – Floodlights.

What kind of car does God drive? – – – – – – – – – – – A Plymouth. In His FURY He drove Adam and Eve out of the garden.

What sport did Joseph play? – – – – – – – – – – – Tennis. He served in Pharaoh’s court.

What transportation did David have? – – – – – – – – – – A motorcycle, His TRIUMPH was heard through the land.

Where was Moses when the lights went out? – – – – – – – – – – – – – In the dark.

What type of car did the apostles have? – – – – – – – – – – – – – A Honda. The were all in one ACCORD.

How do we know that God likes baseball? – – – – – – – – – – The Bible starts In the BIG INNING.

Why did Adam and Eve have to leave Eden – – – – – – – – – – – The ate themselves out of house and home.

Who was the shortest man in the Bible? – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Job’s friend, Bildad the Shuhite (shoe height).

What was Boaz like before he married? – – – – – – – – – – – – – Ruth-less

Who was the best entertainer in the Bible? – – – – – – – – – – – Samson. He brought down the house.

I hope you at least chuckled.

-Scott

Another Love Post

loveIn Western culture we speak of love every day.  We love our family, we love our house, we love McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A, Taco Bell, or Subway.  We love a good ball game and especially our favorite team. I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, “I ♥ My Pastor.”  The Bible speaks of different focal points of our affection (love).  Jesus said the two greatest commands are about love; Love God with all you are (the Shema of Deut 6:1-9) and to love others like you love you (cf. Matt 22:36 – 40).  Those are positive directions of love, however, I also found a list of ten (10) focal points of love that we should avoid.

  1. Love of money – 1 Tim 6:10
  2. Love of self – 2 Tim 3:2
  3. Love of worldly pleasure – 2 Tim 3:4
  4. Love of leadership (power) – 3 Joh 9
  5. Love the world – 2 Tim 4:10 (1 Joh 2:15-17)
  6. Love of darkness (sin) – Joh 3:19
  7. Love of praise (to self) – Joh 12:42-43
  8. Love of gain from wrong doing – 2 Pe 2:15
  9. Love of chief seats – Luk 11:43
  10. Love of titles – Luk 20:46

Remember to “set your affections on things above, not on things of the earth” (Col 3:2).

– Scott

Are You Satisfied?

SatisfiedWhat does it take to be satisfied?  Is satisfaction even a good thing? Looking at the church there are three groups of people: 1) the Satisfied, 2) the Dissatisfied, and 3) the Unsatisfied.

Satisfied Christians think of themselves or the church where they worship as already arriving at perfection or at least being good enough.  They feel good about the amount of Bible knowledge they have. The satisfied feel like they know the answers to the most important questions. After all, they are not like other religious or non-religious people who do not know what God really wants, they attend the correct religious groups who long ago returned to what the Bible says.  Satisfied Christians believe their scholars of the past brought us to exactly where we need to be.  The satisfied study the past to confirm their satisfaction not to grow and to mature as Christians.  Satisfied Christians maintain the status quo.

Dissatisfied Christians complain — about everything!  Long sermons, short sermons, loud songs, soft songs, old songs, new songs, overheads, songbooks, and lighting.  They do not like the preacher, the elders, the deacons, or the fact that nobody talks to them.  The are dissatisfied that no one is doing enough for their children or their needs.  Dissatisfied Christians remain focused on themselves to the neglect of study, growth, and consequently, they miss out on the blessings of being part of a community.  They will move on to another congregation or religious group because, as sufferers of “Rolling Stone Syndrome” they “can’t get no satisfaction.”

Then there are Unsatisfied Christians.  I believe this is who we need to be.  We do not need to think that we are already there.  We are not fully Christlike as long as we still struggle in the flesh.  We cannot be satisfied that we are better than some or even most.  We cannot rest on the accomplishments and scholarship of those who went before us, what if they missed something?  When we remain unsatisfied we will do our best, “to present (ourselves) to God as one approved . . .” (2Tim 2:15). Unsatisfied Christians know that much of the world still needs Christ.  Unsatisfied Christians see the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs around them and will as slaves of the King of kings try to alleviate those needs to the best of their ability.  Unsatisfied Christians are tireless workers in the Kingdom of Christ.  The unsatisfied take initiative to fill the needs they see, they are always seeking to make themselves and their Christian family better.  As they do, they continue to make certain they remain faithful to God in all that they do.

I know that Paul speaks of being satisfied – “content”  in Philippians 4, but he speaks of contentment in physical life as he strives to live spiritually.  Just a chapter earlier Paul says he is unsatisfied, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Php 3:12-14)”

Get Unsatisfied and get busy.

-Scott

Awesome Wonder

awesomeHis father sent him away. He had deceived his father and mistreated his brother, now he had to leave. Things were not as bad as they could have been. His father sent him away with forgiveness, but his brother still held a grudge. He was not even invited to his brother’s wedding.

His travel took him far from home and he had very little money with him. He spent most night sleeping under the stars. Tonight was one of those nights. The ground was hard and his sleep was fitful with vivid dreams. Maybe he the stress was getting too him. Maybe he was dreaming of his death. He dreamed about angels coming down to him and going back to heaven. He dreamed God was talking to Him. Maybe he would never wake from this night.

But he did wake up and realized the dream was from God. God promised to take care of him and bless him. Jacob, took the stone he had used as a pillow and made it a pillar-altar to God, declaring, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” (Genesis 28:16-17).

The place was awesome, because God was there. Anywhere God is – is awesome. Take a moment today to reflect on God.

How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then shall I bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim, “My God, how great Thou art!”

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

Words: Carl Boberg (1885), Translated by Stuart Kine
Source: https://www.elyrics.net/read/h/hymn-lyrics/how-great-thou-art-lyrics.html

What about God is awesome to you?

-Scott

Bonus video: Home Free sings How Great Thou Art

 

Two Doors Down, again

ImageI occasionally leave the radio off while I drove to my study in the morning.  This gives me a few moments of quiet to reflect.  But wouldn’t you know it, an old song that I do not even like will start running through my head.  One like this, “Two doors down they’re laughing and singing and having a party . .  ”  Then Dolly Pardon sings, ” . . . two doors down they’re not aware that I’m around.”  I wonder, who lives two doors down from me?

To my east two doors down is a family with a boat and a storm shelter.  Two doors to my west is well I don’t know that we have met.  Immediately to my east is the family who lost their father to cancer last year. He left behind a family.  Immediately to my west is a small family whose father is a local police officer. Across the road from me lives another police officer with a different department.

At my house we celebrate that we have salvation through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are having a party – daily!  What about my neighbors?  Will I invite them to our party?  Or will they think think of me like Dolly Pardon sang of her neighbors, ” . . . they’re not aware that I’m around!”

N. W. Spencer wrote,

“There are hung’ring souls who cry aloud for bread

With the bread of life they’re longing to be fed.

Shall they starve and famish

While a feast is spread?

I must be more faithful

Here am I send me.”

Who are your neighbors tow doors down? Will you invite them to the feast?

-Scott

p.s. Long time readers of The Morning Drive may notice that I posted a earlier version of this a few years ago. I have moved since then and have new neighbors.

You May Never Know

typorama (1)He walked into the foyer of the meeting place the same as he did every Sunday morning. He greeted a few of his brothers and sisters in Christ, introduced himself to a new face and welcomed them to Rome. That is when he saw someone, standing alone, taking in the map on the wall. “Curious,” he thought, “here is a young man, no a boy not more than 11 years old intrigued by our Mission Map.” Walking across the foyer, he stopped in front of the map and next to this boy and asked, “What does this map tell you?”

“Are these the places where you help people learn about Jesus?” the boy asked.

“Yes, we send support to all those places.” He answered and then asked the boy, “I don’t think I have met you before, who are you here with? Did you come with a friend from school?”

“No, my family is here. We are visiting my grandparents. We live in Florida,” was the boy’s answer.

About that time the boy’s mother walked up, “I think it is time for classes to begin.” Turning to the man, “I hope he was not talking too much.”

“No we were having a good conversation. That young man will either be a preacher or a politician when he grows up.”

“I would rather him be a preacher.” She said.

Forty years have passed. That young man is a preacher – not a politician. That conversation, that moment is the first time I ever thought about preaching. Someone I did not know; Someone whose name I still do not know; A kind man in a rural church in Proctorville, Ohio engaged a boy in a conversation and planted a thought. Thank you.

You and I may never know what a small conversation will do. You and I may never know how our lives will impact those around us. You and I may never know how much we can influence a child.

You may never know.

Take time to find the children. Take time to talk with them. Take time to encourage them to be all they can be for the Lord. Jesus said, “Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)

-Scott

What a Day, Glorious Day!

area wideActually what a great two days. Saturday and Sunday were Family Weekend for Tide4Christ, a campus ministry that is a part of the mission work at Central Church of Christ. Saturday ended with a meal for our students and their parents. I am not sure how many tables were originally set up, but they had to set up four more when everyone showed up.  I estimate that we fed at between 150-175 people that evening.

Those events turned into a great Sunday morning at Central. Many of the parents stayed over night and joined us for worship. University students lead most of our worship and Will Sharp (the Campus Minister) delivered a great lesson reminding us to choose God over being a child of the world. It was wonderful to worship with over 450 that morning as we joined in the Lord’s Super, spent time in prayer, learned about our walk with God in Christ, and blended our voices in praise to God.

Yesterday concluded with a combined worship assembly for at least 8 churches of Christ in the Tuscaloosa area. More than 700 (I think the count was 720) gathered at The Bama Theatre. We joined in songs of praise, times of prayer, and learned from God’s word in an assembly that lasted 90 minutes with most of that time spent lifting our voices in song. It was a great night.

And wait until I tell you about our Men’s retreat this weekend and the youth event I am also attending . . .

-Scott

You Choose

knightAbram chose to follow God – Gen 15:6, “And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.”

Abram chose to take Lot with him – God had told him to leave his family behind. Abram decided to take Lot. This would cause Abram a lot of grief.

Abraham chose to lie about Sarah not once but twice. (Gen 12:17-20 and Gen 20:1-18)

Lot chose the fertile lands near Sodom and Gomorrah. The events that follow would lead to his wife’s demise, his incest with his daughters, and the birth of the nations that would become Israel’s enemies.

Abram and Sarai chose to “help” God’s plan of providing and heir to Abram. Hagar (Sarai’s servant) has Abram’s child, Ishmael. Ishmael’s descendants would eventually and continually plague Israel.

Abraham chose to follow God’s Covenant. God confirms His promise of an heir.

Abraham chose to follow God and offer Isaac. Yes, God stops the sacrifice, but know that Abraham will be faithful even in the difficult times.

You Choose.

Our choices determine the quality of our lives.

  • Job choice – What will I do?  How will I apply myself to my vocation?
  • School choice – Will I continue my education?  Will I do my best in school?
  • Choice of spouse – Who will I marry?  Will I devote myself to my spouse?
  • Choice to have children – When will I have children?  If physically unable, will I adopt?
  • Where to live – rural, suburban, urban?
  • How to live – What will be the focus of my life?

A psychologist once told me, “Many of the people I treat come to me when they find themselves making the same mistake(s) over and over. They make the same mistake(s) because they do not change their choices. Life is a series of choices.”

My life is not my family’s fault. My life is mine.

Your life is not your family’s fault. Your life is yours.

You and I have a CHOICE!

I can choose to do what is wrong. You can choose to do what is right. We choose our life and we choose our eternity.

When Abraham, Sarah, Lot, Isaac, Esau, and others in scripture chose to step in and do things their own way, trouble followed. When they chose to follow God’s way, blessings followed.

You have a choice today! “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him.” (1Kings 18:21)

-Scott