Category Archives: Christian living

More than Routine Maintenance

My '01 Frontier

This morning, I dropped my 2001 Nissan Frontier off at a service center for long overdue maintenance and repairs. The repair / maintenance list is short: 1. Repair leak that involves the power steering lines / reservoir. 2. Replace timing belt and all drive belts. 3. Replace water pump (old one has to be removed to get to timing belt). 4. Replace ball-joints. 5. Perform a front end alignment. Okay, the list is pretty long and more than I am capable of doing and will take more time than I have to give if I were capable.  The truck has 196,000 miles on the odometer, my plan is to get another 100,000 out of these repairs.

As I was waiting for a ride to my study, I began thinking of the repairs and maintenance our lives need.

  • Paul tells his readers to “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
  • James tells his readers, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” (James 1:22-25)

The admonition they both give is for us to look at how we measure up to God’s standard and make the needed repairs in our life. Those repairs begin with knowing that like my truck repairs, I am (we are) not capable. On our own we are not and cannot be good enough. We require the grace of God to apply His righteousness to our broken lives and repair us for His glory. (2 Corinthians 5:21). Then we strive to continue to walk in the light along side Christ (1 John 1:7).

  • Scott

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Filed under Christian living, repentance

Ever Failed?

I am the one in the back

I am the one in the back

I was in Eighth Grade a co-captain of the Middle School Basketball team at Escambia Christian School.  Not to brag, but I was not a bad player.  I was better on the defensive end of the court, but I could hold my own on offense.  Specifically, I was an 88% free-throw shooter – approximately 9 out of 10 times I went to the line, I would make the basket. I had received an award at Basketball Camp at Pensacola Junior College for free throws. In this game we were down by two points as time was running out.  I took a pass in a fast break and went up for a simple lay-up, I missed when the defender fouled me. Here was my chance to tie the game to send us to overtime, all I had to do was to make two free-throws.  I lined up the shot, imagining the ball going in as I took the three bounces that were part of my free-throw routine. I focused on the weld at the back of the rim, releasing the ball at an angle between 45 and 60 degrees, the ball rolled off my fingers with backspin and – swish! Nothing but net. I get the ball from the referee for the second shot.  The game is about to be tied. I lined up the shot, imagining the ball going in as I took the three bounces that were part of my free-throw routine. I focused on the weld at the back of the rim, releasing the ball at an angle between 45 and 60 degrees, the ball rolled off my fingers with backspin and hit the back of the rim, bounced off the front of the rime to the back board and back down to the back of the rim and then . . .  bounced out.  I missed.  I failed, I let the team, the fans, my coach, and myself down. I messed up.

I know in the grand scheme of things, that free-throw from 35 years ago does not matter much. I know that as important as basketball is, that sports are not a matter of grand importance in life and especially in eternity. But we learn lessons from all areas of life including sports.  Lessons that even apply spiritually.

Since that day, I have failed in other areas.  You fail too. We fail to meet own expectations. We fail to say the right thing. We fail to do the right thing, to act. We fail by not saying anything. We fail in our faith.

What do we do when we fail?

  1. Acknowledge our failure. 1 John 1:10, “If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” Don’t make excuses, admit it – you failed.
  2. Observe the reason you failed. Products that we purchase go through a process before they hit the shelves. Medicines and technology are not exempt from this basic process: Design, build, test, fail, evaluate data, redesign, build, test, fail, evaluate data, repeat until it passes. Why did I fail God? What can I learn from my failure that will help me be successful the next time?
  3. Put the failure behind you. Paul said it this way, ” . . . But one thing I do: forgetting what lie 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.” (Phil 3:13-14).
  4. Remember Failure is not Fatal. My past does not dictate my future. Lean on others to help you over come.  Lean on God who cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).

Remember even King David failed God when he sinned with Bathsheeba and had Uriah killed.  When he realized his sin, his heart was broken and he repented before God. Look at his deep remorse in Psalm 51. Poignantly telling is this phrase, The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart . . .” Psa 51:17

What do we do when we fail God?

  • Admit it.
  • Get back up.
  • Repent.
  • Move forward in Christ.

It is Monday, let’s have a godly week!

  • Scott

BONUS:  My friend, Joe Butler also wrote about failure today – Read Failing Forward.


Filed under Christian living, failure, repentance

OMG! Again

I first wrote and published the following poem in 2011. I am reblogging this poem because I am hearing this phrase more and more.


© Scott McCown March 7, 2011

“Oh my God,” the psalmist declares,

Composing praise to Thee.

“O my God,” the texter shares,

Abbreviated OMG.

“Oh my God,” the lyricist penned,

“I put my trust in Thee.”

“Oh my God,” the man exclaimed,

“Can you believe what happened to me?’

“Oh my God,” the apostle told

Of the Savior that set him free.

“Oh my God,” said the child not that old,

Did he hear it from you or me?

“Oh my God,” the Savior did say,

“Why have You forsaken me?”

“Oh my God,” we flippantly bray,

Not really, praying to Thee.

Friends, fellow Children of God, I share this hoping that you and I will think before we text, post, or speak and be sure that we are not using the name of God vainly.

– Scott


Filed under Christian living, poem, Psalms

A New Day with God


A New Day with God

B. Scott McCown (Oct 13, 2015)

Today is a new day,

A new beginning with You.

Help me to deny myself,

Keeping Your work in view.


Today is a new day,

A clean slate and white page:

Help me to live this day,

Displaying You from my life’s stage.


Today is a new day,

Yesterday is no more.

Help me to fill this day

With compassion for those You care for.


Today is a new day

Friend, make it your choice.

To use this day for the Father

In it be glad and rejoice.

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Characteristics of a Can-Do Faith

beach 10-10-15This weekend Amy and I had the opportunity to do some things we have not done in a while.  After she finished teaching and getting everything together from School and after I finished up in the study, we left for my parents’ house in Florida. On Saturday we experienced a first for us –  a 7 to 9 year old girls soccer game. It was exciting. I do not know the score, I only know that my niece is good at using her body to protect the ball when she takes away on defense. After the game we went to my brother’s place for my niece’s 8th birthday party.

After the party, my brother’s family, my parents, along with Amy and I took a walk along the beach – not a long walk, we had to leave that evening – but a walk none-the-less and an opportunity for a few pictures. After supper we left for Montgomery to spend the night.

Sunday morning was unsusual for me. As a minister it is not often that I get to listen to other preachers on Sunday mornings. This particular Sunday, since we were traveling, we worshipped with Dalraida Church of Christ in Montgomery, Alabama.  This is where Andrew (our son) worships while he is a student at Faulkner University. It was good to sit in Dr. Terry Edwards’ class on John 3 and 4. It was good to worship with our extended church family. It was good to see folks we knew from when we were in college and others who live in Montgomery that were part of the congregation where we preached in Florida. Of course it was great to meet some of Andrew’s college and church friends. It was also good to hear a sermon from Doug Smith.

Here are my notes from his lesson (Central folks, you may hear this one . . .). I did not write down Doug’s title, so I came up with my own.

Characteristics of a Can-Do Faith – I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13)

  1. Be a SERVANT – All of life as a child of God emanates from this relationship. We are here to serve God and we serve God by serving others.
  2. Know the Great Cause – We are successful and happier when we serve a greater good – a cause greater than ourselves.  Our cause is building up the Kingdom of God. We are part of the GREATEST CAUSE on Earth – an eternal cause.
  3. Forget the Past – Consider Paul’s past. Obviously he did not completely forget his past or he would not bring it up in Phil 3:13 and other places.  He is saying that we cannot allow our past to keep us from doing what we can to for Christ today. Be forgiven for the past in Christ.
  4. Pay the Price – Things that are valuable in culture are not always valuable to us spiritually and are ultimately without value in the kingdom. Ask: What effort do I put into my spiritual growth? Does it compare with the effort I put into worldly efforts?
  5. Set the Right Example – Ask: What do people see in me? Does my example lead people closer too or further away from God?
  6. Work for Unity – Look not to your own interest, but the good of others.  Have the mind of Christ that humbly gave self to bring others (me and you) into unity with God. Unity does not just happen. Strive for it.
  7. Be Positive – Paul says, “I CAN Do . . .” The “all things” means all things in God’s will what He expects, what He commands, and is in service to Him. You and I CAN DO what God says to do.
  • Scott

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Every Where You Go


Yesterday on the way home from a funeral of a wonderful Christian mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, servant, and friend, I passed by a marquee sign near a church of some variety. The message said, “As a Christians we are the influence of Christ in the world.” My first thought was, “Amen!” My next thought was how the sweet lady whose funeral I attended was in all appearances a wonderful influence to those around her. Then this thought crossed my mind, “What if I am not living as Christ would have me live?”

The truth is that how I live tells the world about Christ and His Church. The sad truth is that if I am sour, angry, harsh, or condemning in my attitude, then the world thinks that is what Christianity is about. If I am a poor employee my work ethic sheds a poor light – no cast a dark shadow over Christianity. Living as a Christian, I must always remember who I am.

  1. I am a child of God – 1 John 3:1-2
  2. I am a servant to the Lord of lords – Romans 6:17-18
  3. I am a light to a dark world – Matthew 5:14-16, Philippians 2:15
  4. I am an ambassador of God’s grace – 2 Corinthians 5:20
  5. I am a citizen of heaven – Philippians 3:20

I should live these truths.

  • Scott

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What Ever Happened . . .

  • Gun violence

  • Marital infidelity
  • Divorce
  • Pre-marital sexuality
  • Homosexual relationships
  • Gambling
  • Assaults on law officers
  • Police brutality
  • Government waste
  • Looting, rioting
  • Theft
  • Domestic violence
  • Child abuse
  • Elderly abuse
  • Alcohol and drug addiction

These are the stories and headlines I read, heard, or saw this week (and it is only Tuesday). This is enough to depress even the most optimistic of people.  Simply put, society is corrupt.  People, we are selfish.

Paul describes the culture of Roman society in the first century and in his description, I cannot help but see Western society today.

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:21-32)

What ever happened to SELF-CONTROL.  Did Jesus not teach His followers to deny themselves? Did Paul not tell the Philippians, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4). Do we not see an example in Jesus as he prays to the Father, “nevertheless, not my will but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42)?

Self-control starts with you and me. We practice it, we teach it to our children and grandchildren. Those upon whom we have influence see the peace, happiness, and blessings that self-control brings in our live and they learn to practice the same.

“Dear Father, help me to deny myself and live for your and to be a blessing in the lives of others. Help me to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. In Jesus’ name.”

  • Scott

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