For Sale

I met with a realtor yesterday. We will soon be putting our house on the market. Since accepting the position as preaching minister at

Our House in a snow a winter or two ago.  It is For Sale!

Our House in a snow a winter or two ago. It is For Sale!

Central Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa, I have been driving about 94 miles round trip to my study. Thinking about selling our house brought to mind an old article I read years ago.  The article asked, “Is Home for Sale?”

Well, is your home for sale?  Not the physical structure in which you dwell, but your home – your family unit. Homes (families) sell out every day because of moral and spiritual indebtedness – make that bankruptcy. We sell out because of societal pressures, tolerance of sin, materialism, unfaithfulness, bitterness, immorality, and the list goes on.  Even if we never move away form our house, we might have already sold our home.

How can we tell?  What are conditions that lead to selling our homes – our families?

  1. Preoccupied Parents:  Parents that are so busy with their lives and what they think they need to do that they do not spend time with their children.  Even youth sports can keep us from spending time with our children.  The time I am talking about, the time that we are neglecting is: reading to / with them; helping them with school work or projects; praying with them; sitting down to a meal with them; baking cookies with them; laughing hysterically with them at nonsensical childish things; just spending large quantities of time with them.
  2. Distant Extended Family: The mobility of our society puts miles between grandparents and grandchildren, cousins, as well as aunts and uncles. There was a time with families lived nearby and we learned from each other, grew up together, got into trouble together, and learned the importance of faith and family.
  3. The Invasion of Media Sources: Today many families have multiple TVs, computers, tablets, smart phones, video gaming systems, streaming movies, and all forms of amusement at their finger tips. We seem to spend more and more time with devices and visual stimulation than we do with each other in conversation and play. There is a place for all of these media devices in our lives, but they can quickly control our time and separate us from family.
  4. A Lack of Knowledge of God’s Will: Hosea records that God’s people then were destroyed because of a lack of knowledge (Hos 4:6) and we learn at the end of Joshua and the book of Judges that God’s people are always just a generation away from turning away from God. Faith based traditions and Godly actions keep families (homes) together.

Maybe you are looking at the four items above and wondering what you can do to keep from selling your home, from selling your family to the world. I have a couple of suggestions:

  • Know God’s Plan for the Home: God created family. He knows what is best for us. Look to His Word as a guide for our individual lives as Mom, Dad, Son, or Daughter. Follow His guide for life as a family (cf. Eph 6:1-4).
  • Get Together as a Family: Turn off the electronics, gather together in a common room, pull out a board game, a book, better yet the Bible, then do things together.  Leave the house, go out to eat or on  a family picnic. Go to the lake or the forest. Tour a museum. Talk about what life was like back when.  Spend TIME together. Go visit the grand parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Be a family!

- Scott

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Which Church?

#Contagiouschurch

#Contagiouschurch

Churches want to grow. Those that grow are contagious congregations that focus on people over programs.  Growing churches reach their communities with the good news of salvation in Christ and keep people connected because they help people mature in their individual spirituality.  These congregations bring people to Christ and assimilate them into the body of Christ – His Church.  Are we that church? Are you helping the congregation you attend be that church?

Someone once suggested three categories of churches, one of which you are a part of. There are:

  1. Private Hospital Churches: These congregations seek to care for their own.  Everything they do from programs, classes, fellowships, trips, groups, and even worship focuses solely on the needs of members. These churches have an inward focus; helping only those on the inside and those that come to their “hospital.”
  2. Army Churches: The congregations are constantly on the march. They move from one issue to the next. They seem to always have a fight on their hands. They fight doctrinal error in other churches, they fight political battles against society, and they sometimes even fight among themselves. There is always more ground to win and some to win back. They are always in battle, but might be missing the real war.
  3. M.A.S.H. Unit Churches: These congregations resemble an army on the march. However, they know that the enemy is Satan. These congregations carefully ensure that there are no victims of friendly fire. They understand that people are not the enemy, but sin is. They are on the march looking for and caring for the wounded.  While advancing the Kingdom they recruit and train new people. These congregations equip members and send them to the front lines. Those who come for help, receive spiritual healing, training, and any needed rehabilitation so they can return to the front lines to fight against principalities, powers, and the forces of evil in this present age. M.A.S.H. Unit churches care for the souls of people.

May we strive to be a M.A.S.H. Unit Christian and together work to bring people to the healing blood of Christ.

- Scott

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This is about Nothing

Nothing to see here.

Nothing to see here.

“What are you up to?” – “Nothing.”

“What’s new?” – “Nothing”

You would think we live in a boring word.  Nothing seems to be going on.  Maybe we answer “nothing” out of a sense of feigned humility.  We do not want to appear excited by our own life and events so as not to give the impression that we think more highly of ourselves than we ought.  However, we should be doing something. We should be learning something  or doing something new as we grow in Christ.  We are God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, for good works, which (God) prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (cf. Eph 2:10).

With that in mind, I want to share this poem I found in my files last week: (A Google search did not reveal author’s name.)

The Sin of Doing Nothing

He made no mistakes, took no wrong roads

               He never fumbled the ball.

He never went down ‘neath the weight of the load.

                He simply did nothing at all.

He lost no hard fights in defense of the right;

                He never bled with his back to the wall.

He never fell faint in his climb to the light;

                He simply did nothing at all.

So death came nigh, for life slipped by,

                Add he feared for the judgment hall.

When they asked him why, he said with a sigh,

                “I simply did nothing at all.”

So, God will pardon your blunders, my friend,

                Or regard with pity your fall.

But the one big sin that may surely mean hell,

                Is simply do nothing at all.

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Once More

About 5 years ago as we sat down to breakfast my then pre-teen son and I 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 (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 marching bands would be the temple musicians.
  7. 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
Here is a bonus video from the SkitGuys on this same topic:

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More on Football

Sport of the godsFor those that read yesterday’s post today’s thoughts are what I was leading up too. If you did not read yesterday’s post it is HERE (take a look and come back).

In the United States, American Football is almost if not already on par with religion.  Many people will change churches before they change which team they follow. With all this in mind as I put thought to yesterday’s post I also considered the following observations:

  1. We make time for football.  We will set aside time weekly if not daily to watch or read about our favorite teams and players.
  2. We support football financially.  We buy tickets to games, travel great distances to attend those games.  We buy clothing and other paraphernalia in support of our team.
  3. We raise our children to love football.  I have friends who refuse to let the colors of their rivals to enter their house.
  4. We get excited about football. We love for our team to win.  We can’t wait to go to a game or watch them on TV.

Now consider the following passages:

  • “I was glad when then said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.'” Psalm 122:1
  • “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, Rejoice!” Phil 4:4

Can I and do I get enthusiastic about the things of God as I do about sports like football?

- Scott

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I will never go again

I am through with football.  I have been watching games and going to high school and college games for a long time now.  I

image via Crimson Confidential

image via Crimson Confidential

have seen hundreds if not thousands of plays, touchdowns, fumbles, and injuries. I am tired of football. It has nothing to do with whether my team(s) lost or not this weekend. I have ten reasons I am finished:

  1. The Public Address system was too loud at times and not loud enough at others.
  2. There were teenage girls dressed inappropriately.
  3. The referees made calls I disagreed with.
  4. The coaches used the same plays they did the last few games.
  5. The High School Principal did not welcome me or shake my hand.
  6. The band played songs I did not know or like.
  7. They play the same songs every week.  How many times do I have to hear Rock and Roll Part II (The Hey Song)? Do they have to sing the alma mater at the end of every game?
  8. There were people there to socialize (gossip) and not watch the game — those hypocrites.
  9. I had to pay to get in, pay to get a snack, pay for a program — football is all about making money for the school not about guys playing ball anymore.
  10. Large crowds are bad on my nerves and raise my blood pressure too high.
THIS IS COMPLETELY SARCASTIC.  I will see you at homecoming Friday at OHS and will catch college games on Saturday.  Why do these excuses sound familiar? Why do we use them for quitting other things – like church? Why don’t they work for sports?
- Scott

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It is All About . . .

Somewhere along the line we forgot. We (the Church and her leaders) forgot that our mission is not about drawing people to us or to our beautiful buildings. We are not commanded to bring people to our way of thinking or to our particular style of worship. We are not even told to win people to our friendly group.

We are to be contagious. And some of the things above help us become attractive, but they are secondary to our true mission. Our aim is to bring people to Christ.  Consider these verses from Scripture:

  • “And I, When I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32).
  • And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).
  • Jesus said to him, “I am the way the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6).
  • Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12).
  • Philip in Acts 8:12, 35 declared the good news about Jesus.

There is nothing in these passages about preaching your church, bringing people to church, or manipulating worship to bringnot me them in.

To be about the Father’s business, we must take the message of the Good News of Jesus as Christ to the world.  This means you talking about Christ to those you contact and living consistently for Christ day in and day out. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10).

To be about the Father’s business we align ourselves with the Head of the Body. This means we live our lives the way He determines. This means we come to Him in worship the way He desires. And He put all things under His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body . . .” (Eph 1:22-23).

It is all about Christ.

- Scott

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