Let Me Tell You A Story

I love stories.  One of my favorite memories as a child is my parents’ reading me bedtime IMG_1173stories. Some of my favorites were “Sam and the Firefly,” “The Firecat,” “Green Eggs and Ham,” and “The Bike Lesson.” I can hear my mom’s soft voice and my dad trying to do voices.

If you are not familiar with these books; well, bless your heart.

One of the reasons, I preach has to do with my love for stories.  The Bible is full of great stories. Some of them are also among my favorites: Noah, Isaac and Esau, Moses, The young boy Samuel, the many adventures of David, Solomon’s early years, Elijah at Mt Carmel, Balaam and the donkey,  many accounts in the life of Jesus, as well as the stories of people following Jesus and turning to His way. I can hear my parent’s reading those stories. There was a slight difference when they read these stories. Something in their tone let me know these were more than fairy tales and fiction. Early in my life, I saw that these stories had an impact on my parents.

On to the story.

As he walked about the capital city, he saw people tipping the scales, so to speak, in their direction. Always trying to cheat the system. Customers would negotiate for the lowest price, store owners would inflate prices and rig the scales. Everyone yelled and everyone felt cheated.

Men and women alike were looking for companionship for the night, not concerned about tomorrow. The addicts filled the streets, their temporary fixes, were . . . well, just that  . . . temporary. Homeless and hungry people begged for handouts – they preferred cash, but would take food. Had selfishness lead people to this?

“No,” he said to himself. These people had abandoned law and order. They were neglecting the constitution that gave true life to his country. Their downfall was self-reliance and not reliance on the Godly morality passed down from The Forefathers. He was proud that he was one of the few conservatives who followed the principles laid down by those who established this great nation.

These poor people were not the greatest threat. There was a new, radical ideology emerging. A claim that his teachers at law school were wrong about how they interpreted the National Constitution. Just a few years ago lawyers like him lead an effort to end this ideology. They had the spokesman arrested, accused of treason, sentenced, and permanently silenced. They hoped this would end this subversive movement. But others picked up where he left off and the message was spreading.

He watched firsthand as violence escalated against one advocate of this new movement, this new way of looking at life. The violence reached a fever pitch and resulted in the death of the radical. He heard what the man said, and he was as angry as the mob. He approved of their actions. This radicalism had to stop! Such teaching would ruin his country.

A fire burned in him. He wanted to do all he could to stop the spread of this dangerous message. He applied for a governmental position that would allow him to help end this . . . rebellion. That’s what it he would call it. Rebellion against the Forefathers, rebellion against the law, and the worst crime of all rebellion against God who established this nation as He guided the Forefathers.

Saul had letters from the chief leaders to travel to Damascus and arrest and put to death those that followed the Way (of Jesus the so-called Christ). While he journeyed something strange occurred. He met Jesus – literally and supernaturally. He came face to face with the Christ. After this encounter he traveled on to Damascus, blinded by the experience. There he spent time in prayer. He realized how wrong his choices were to that point. He was no different that those living for themselves. He was doing the same thing.

A preacher named Ananias visited Saul three days later. Ananias told him more about this Jesus. Saul tells the story better that I do:

“And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that very hour I received my sight and saw him. And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth; for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’ “(Act 22:12-16)

Life changed for Saul. Life was not always easier, in truth life was sometimes difficult, very difficult. But for Saul, whom many called Paul, life was better. Better because he knew the One he believed and this persuaded him that the Christ would keep His end of the promise to keep and provide for him. No more living for self. No more hurting others. No more hate. Only love.

What is your story?

Are you living for self?

There was a time when I did. But no more. My life is for God. Christ is my life. I live by God’s Spirit and not my own flesh. I am not perfect, I still fall back into old habits in moments of weakness, but by Grace God forgives.



Got Faith?


This is a simple outline based on Rom 9:30-10:13

  1. Salvation is not by my EFFORT.
  2. Salvation is by Faith in GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS.
  3. Salvation comes when by Faith we “Call on the Name of the Lord.”

I preached this outline this past Sunday at Central. Here is the audio:

Found in the Files: Sharing Christ

Looking for an illustration in the “Hard Copy Files” I ran across this poem that I forgot I held onto.  It reminded me of who we are and what we are to be about as citizens of God’s kingdom.

Sharing Christ

By Serena Voss

“Lead me to some soul . . . “ we sang

And all week long that message rang.

Inside my head and heart, I prayed

“Lord, who could I reach for You today?”

Just at that moment my neighbor walked by

and I said to myself, “Okay, I’ll try.

But first I need time to study and rehearse

To make sure I know book, chapter, and verse.”


Then armed with my proof texts and Bible outlines,

I approached her to study and she said, “That’s fine.”

The verses poured out in a steady stream

Doctrinal purity was my theme.

Besides, many claim to follow Christ

But they do it man’s way, thinking that will suffice.


Well, after the session was nearly through,

I said, “Have questions?” She said, “Just a few.”

“It’s obvious you know your Bible quite well;

You’ve talked about heaven and touched on Hell.

You’ve even shown that the Bible is true.

But you haven’t yet told me what Christ means to you.

How is your life different? How do you cope?

Is there any real joy or any real hope?”


I stared at my outlines, then put them away,

And I changed and shared gently the man called the Way

As that simple old story began to shine through

My friend came to know Jesus, not the WHAT, but the WHO.

My we lead people to know Jesus by our words and by our walk of faith.

  • Scott

Our Refuge

This year as our young people participate in SELTC (South Eastern Leadership Training for Christ) they will focus their projects and lessons on the theme of Refuge.

Yesterday afternoon I began mentoring one of the young participants who is building a PowerPoint / Keynote / Prezi style presentation.  She is planning to build a presentation that includes songs and slides for a sermon.  She does not have to write the sermon, but build a presentation for it.  I did some research in my files, on my computer, and online to find a simple lesson for her to build a presentation for.  During that research I found a list demonstrating the Cities of Refuge as the type to Christ as the antitype. That find occupies my thoughts this morning, so I want to share it with you.

  • The Cities of Refuge were easy to find. Christ is easy to find, His story is the focus of the Bible.
  • The Cities of Refuge were always open. Christ is always available to the one searching for Him.
  • The Cities of Refuge were in high places (lifted high). Christ was lifted high on the cross for all to see. He is exalted high by the Father.
  • The Cities of Refuge provided protection for those who left all behind. Followers of Christ are to deny themselves, to leave their old life to be a disciple.
  • The Cities of Refuge only protected (sheltered) those who remained in them. Christ forgives and shelters those who remain in Him.
  • The Cities of Refuge were the manslayer’ s only place of safety. There is no other name under heaven other than Christ for salvation.
  • The Cities of Refuge were open to all. Christ is for all mankind.
  • The Cities of Refuge provided life’s necessities. In Christ we have life now and eternally.

What would you add?

  • Scott

At Hand

1901, the Pan-American Exposition was in Buffalo, New York. Exhibitions and visitors came from all over. One visitor was Bill. Unfortunately for Bill, he became the victim of a shooting.  Fortunately for this man the first aid station at the Pan-American Exposition was large, it was the equivalent of an emergency hospital. There was even a fully functional operating room – the very room Bill needed! He had taken two bullets at close range. At 4:30 in the afternoon, Bill, conscious but in severe shock, was taken inside and hoisted on the operating table and undressed.  It looked bad for Bill.

Knowing there was no time to waste, the doctors quickly began to operate. As the anesthesia was administered, Bill did not count backward from one hindered, Instead he quoted, “Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name . . .” In moments he was under. An incision was made, the abdomen opened. One bullet had grazed a rib and exited obviously deflected.  The other slashed through the front and rear walls of his stomach but there was no exit wound. Where was the bullet? Lodged somewhere in the muscles of the back? It seemed to the doctors that the projectile had simply vanished. They wanted to find the missing bullet, yet the patient might not survive prolonged probing. They closed him up, hoping for the best.  Sadly, a week later Bill was dead.

Bill had a few things going against him. He was overweight, nearly sixty. Mainly it was the result of the shooting. The wound was insufficiently cleansed and the one bullet was left untraced Bill died as a result of gangrene. “If” is a big question here. What if the doctors had been able to locate and remove the missing bullet? Bill might have lived.

“And now the rest of the story” Remember Bill was shot at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.  On exhibition at the exposition not far from the scene of the shooting, was a new invention.  A revolutionary device that could have helped.  You know this device as a portable X-ray machine. The machine – so near yet so far – was operable and would most certainly have located the fatal bullet. Instead, Bill (President William McKinley) died with an assassin’s bullet still lodged inside. (adapted from Paul Harvey, The Rest of the Story)

Help for President McKinley was at hand, near by, but few knew.  And some that did know were leery of using it. Sometimes that is the way it is with our loves.  God, His power, His promise, His purpose is at hand. Yet we live our own way and take things into our own hands.  We try to handle our marital problems, disease, disaster, or death on our own or with the tools of society in hand so we fail and we give up.  But we are not on our own in this world.  We do not have to rely on our own or simple human resources.  God is at hand! “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). – Mat 1:23. And “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6). And “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zep 3:17).

Will you take advantage of the resources God offers? “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phi 4:19).

  • Scott

Be With Me Lord

Be With Me Lord

Thomas O. Chisholm & Lloyd O. Sanderson,

1935 Gospel Advocate Co.

Be With Me Lord is a prayer in the form of a song. This lyrical prayer expresses well the desire of a Christian to dwell in the presence of God.

Be with me, Lord- I cannot live without Thee,
I dare not try to take one step alone,
I cannot bear the loads of life unaided,
I need Thy strength to lean myself upon.

Be with me, Lord, and then if dangers threaten,
If storms of trials burst above my head,
If lashing seas leap everywhere about me,
They cannot harm, or make my heart afraid.

Be with me, Lord! No other gift of blessing,
Thou couldst bestow could with this one compare-
A constant sense of Thy abiding presence,
Where-e’er I am, to feel that Thou art near.

Be with me, Lord, when loneliness o’ertakes me,
When I must weep amid the fires of pain,
And when shall come the hour of “my departure,”
For “worlds unknown,” O Lord, be with me then.

The Lord is truly with us. This is the promise of Christ.  Matthew 1:23, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). There are great blessings knowing that the Lord is with me.

  1. There is Salvation in the Lord (in Christ). This salvation is available to all who by faith are in Christ (Gal 3:26-28).
  2. There is Justification in Christ. Justification is God declaring us sinless by Christ’s atoning blood.
  3. This provides an Escape for us from God’s vengeful wrath. (2 Thes 1:7-9).
  4. In Christ we have a special Intimacy with God (Heb 10:19-22).
  5. We have a Life of Victory with the Lord. Rom 8:35-39, “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died —more than that, who was raised — who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” With the Lord we then have this victory over Sin – 2 Cor 5:21, Death – 1 Cor 15:57, Temptation – 1 Cor 10:33, Trials – Jas 1:2-4, and Eternal Life – Jn 17:3.

Be With Me Lord! The truth is the Lord is never far away. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) Draw near to Him!

– Scott

How Good are You?

I keep seeing quizzes on Social Media that get you to answer a few questions and based on your answers will tell you things like:

  • What 1980 power ballad was written for you?
  • Which movie star is your doppelganger?
  • When will (How will you) you die?
  • Which cartoon character are you most like?
  • Are you a sinner or a saint?

I did not create an interactive one on any of the quiz sites, but I have an old fashioned style one.  Answer the following 9 questions with: “yes (y)”, “a few times (ft)”, or “no (n).” I will tell you how to score the test at the end.

How Good are You?

  1. Have you ever committed murder?   y    ft    n
  2. Have you ever been drunk / high?    y    ft    n
  3. Have you looked at pornographic material (magazines, online, or so-called soft porn in rated R movies)?  y   ft   n
  4. Have you taken anything (gum included) with out paying for it?   y    ft    n
  5. Did you ever cheat on a test in school?    y    ft    n
  6. Have you ever broken a traffic law?    y    ft    n
  7. Did you ever mistreat someone?    y    ft    n
  8. Have you ever used opprobrious language?    y    ft    n
  9.  Have you ever lied?   y    ft    n

For every “yes” (y) give yourself 0 points. For every “a few times” (ft) give yourself 1 point. For every “no” (n) give yourself 2 points.

Score Key: Anything less that 20 points and you are not good enough to make it to heaven on your own.  I hear you saying, “There is only a total of 18 points available.  No one can score 20 points!”  You are correct.  Not one of us can make it to heaven on our own goodness.

In the words of frustration from Paul, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Rom 7:24).

We all need God’s grace through Christ’s blood (Eph 2:8-10).  We all need the forgiveness that comes from God (Eph 1:7-10). We reach that blood though a faithful union with Christ’s death (Rom 6:3-6; Gal 3:26-27). Then Christ’s perfect score become our score as we live in Him and for Him, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:21).


If you would like more on how to become a Christian just ask.


This morning as we were getting ready for the day, the radio was playing in the background.  Usually, it is background noise and I am not consciously aware of the talk or the music playing.  However these lyrics sung by Celine Dion (written by Diane Warren) caught my attention:

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ‘coz you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me

I am not sure who the song is about or if it is a general reflection on as Huey Lewis sang, “The Power of Love.”  As I heard it this morning, I immediately thought about the love God has for me. Look at the chorus line by line:

  • You were my strength when I was weak: “My power is made perfect in ipad 015weakness.” 2Co 12:8
  • You were my voice when I couldn’t speak: ” . . . but the Spirit intercedes fir us with groanings to deep for words.” Rom 8:26
  • You were my eyes when I couldn’t see: “For we walk by faith and not by sight.” 2Co 5:7
  • You saw the best that was in me“But God shows His love for us while we were 
  • still sinners . . .” Rom 5:8
  • Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Phi 4:13
  • You gave be faith ‘coz you believed: “Greater love has no one that this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
  • I am everything I am Because you loved me: “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. 1Jn 4:10-11

Thank you God for your love and your grace.  Thank you for loving me and by love leading be to be more than I could be without you. In Jesus’ name . . .

In Christ Alone,


A Personal Post

God is great!

God does wonderful deeds!

God still works in the lives of men.

The Word of God is still powerful!

At 8:30 this morning, I had the privilege of assisting Bill Kosmus in his obedience to the Gospel.  Bill is retired and is facing health issues, but his heart is pure and now his soul is clean by the blood of Christ.

I saw something special when I asked if he believed that Jesus was the Son of God.  You could see his faith written on his face as he fought back tears.  Tears of joy that God would save Him, tears of sadness that Christ had to die.  Tears of joy that now he has eternal life, tears for answered prayer.

God is great!

– Scott

Full Coverage

Many years ago I came across a leaflet entitled, “Eternal Life Insurance Policy.”  Since then a few other versions have temporarily crossed my desk.  I am sure that if I searched the desk in my study at home and the one at the building and I looked in the right filing cabinet, I would find a copy of one of those policies.  I bring this up because I found an old clipping from a bulletin this morning that had a poem by H. H. Hover that reminded me of these policies.

Full Coverage

I have an insurance policy

Written in the blood of the Lamb,

Sealed by the cross of Jesus,

Redeemable wherever I am!

The Company will never go bankrupt,

It is bonded by God’s promise true;

It will keep every word of its contract,

Exactly what it says it will do.

I don’t have to die to collect it,

No premiums do I have to pay;

All I do is to keep God’s promise

And walk in His holy way.

No collector will ever come calling,

It was paid on Calvary’s tree;

It insures me for living and dying

And for all of eternity.

Jesus says, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly, (John 10:10).”  “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).”  “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Rev 2:10).”

Are you covered by Christ? – cf. Gal 3;26-27.

– Scott