A Shoulder to Cry On

Depression hurts.

Pharmaceutical companies are continually  running the-deepest-fear-we-have-the-fear-beneath-all-fears-is-the-fear-of-not-measuring-up-the-fear-of-judgment-its-this-fear-that-creates-the-stress-and-depression-of-everyday-lifeadvertisements for different medications for the treatment of depression. Clinical Depression seems to be at near epidemic levels in our culture. If you are suffering from depression, please, talk to your doctor and take advantage of the help that is available.

Some depression is not as severe as others. Yet, when one suffers from any level of depression they need encouragement. When we are depressed we need to know someone cares. Even if I am simply feeling “down” or “blue” I need reassurance that someone cares. At times in our lives we all need a shoulder to cry on. When you and I have our moments of self-doubt or when we feel alone; remember:

  1. Your real friends careProv 27:9, “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.”
  2. Your family caresMatt 7:9-10, “Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?”
  3. The Creator caresRom 8:31-32, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”
  4. The Savior caresJohn 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

I care!

I care, even if I do not know you personally. I daily pray for you as a reader of this blog.

-Scott

Raining in Heaven

Is there Basketball in Heaven?

A  few years ago on a rainy day I was checking my PO Box. A young mother and her little boy (about 3 years old) walked in. She looked at me with telling eyes that said she recognized me. I do not know if she knew me by reputation, this was a small town, or if she knew who I was from the television program I spoke on. But she turned to her child and said, “You can ask him, he will know, he’s a preacher.” I mentally braced for a profound question. I squatted down to his eye level to invite the question. I expected a question about Noah, the flood, why did God create rain, but I was not however ready for the one he asked. “When its raining here, is it raining where God is?”

Wow! How do I answer that? Here is what flashed through my mind before I answered:

  • “No, God is light, it never rains in heaven. Heaven is always bright and sunny like a nice early summer day.”
  • “Yes, God is everywhere, so when it rains here, since He is here with us, it is raining where He is.”

I was confused myself. How could I answer this little budding theologian?

I replied, “That is a great question. I have never thought about that, thanks for asking me.” I know I did not satisfy his curiosity. I know, I did not really answer his question.  But I had never thought about that before.

I would spend the next 30 minutes thinking about it still bouncing between the two answers.

When it rains here, does it rain where God is? Then it hit me, that a “grown-up” version of the question is: “When I as a child of God am feeling down, does God hurt with me?” To this child, rain was a bad thing. It would keep him from going outside, playing in the park, and the lightning and thunder were scary. He was hurting and wanted to know if God was hurting with Him.

The answer is 1 Peter 5:6-7, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

God cares! He cares about our greatest need – the guilt and burden of sin – so much that He did not even spared His Son to pay our debt (cf Rom 8:32). If God takes care of the greatest need, why should I doubt that He understands and cares for our daily needs and hurts? Remember the words of the psalmist, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” (Psa 46:1-3).

Thank you, Father, for Your loving, compassionate, eternal care!

– Scott

(Long time readers may recognize these events from March 2009).

Mission Philippines and Beyond

Parrish Church of Christ has a great opportunity before us. We have the honor of being the central congregation for gathering supplies and filling a shipping container for the churches of Christ in the Philippines in cooperation with M.A.R.C.H. for Christ. These brethren will use these relief supplies we collect and pack to reach out to victims of disasters that we as Americans cannot. These relief efforts will open doors of opportunity to spread the good news of Jesus as Christ. My friend, Bro. L. T. Gurganus has first hand experience with congregations in Burma and other areas that exist because of these relief efforts.

Starting July 10, we will have a trailer ready and volunteers in place to collect and store these supplies. We will accept supplies Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. and on Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Not just anything goes in these containers. Below are some suggestons:

  • New Sandals (flip-flops) – sizes for children and small-framed adults.
  • Gardening Tools
  • Bibles
  • Walking canes
  • Crutches
  • Good (clean and not broken) toys
  • Mechanic and Carpentry Tools
  • Kitchen supplies (pots, pans, cutlery, etc.)
  • Used Eyeglasses
  • Sporting equipment (soccer balls, basketballs, dodgeballs, gloves, bats, baseballs, softballs, etc.)

Thank you for your help!

– Scott