Tag Archives: Family

Three (3) Things

Three things, I can remember three things.  When Amy asks me to run to the store to pick up a few items, I can usually

My Parents Brian and Anna McCown

My Parents Brian and Anna McCown

remember three things. Once she adds the fourth item . . . I have to make a list.  Most of the time, I can remember three things.

Three things. As I look back on my years at home, there are three things that Brian and Anna McCown taught their three boys. I do not know if it was a conscious decision to teach these three things or if these three things were what their life was and still is about. These three things made quite an impression on us.

Three things. These three things are still a major part of who I am and what I do. My life still revolves around these three things.

  1. Church. Church was not somewhere we went on Sunday’s and Wednesdays.  Church was who we were.  We were there every time the doors were open and many times they were not. Never did my parents get up on Sunday to decide whether we would be at worship or not, we were going to be there every time. Never can I recall Dad coming home on Wednesdays and suggesting we stay home because he was tired.  Church.  Dad taught adult classes, interpreted for the deaf, and served as a deacon. Mom taught children’s classes and volunteered at every event and worked every fellowship. They are still as involved in their late 70’s (sorry Mom, I said something about your age) as they were 30 years ago. Outside of assemblies, our family entertained church members at our modest house. Adults, youth, visiting preachers, summer interns, deacons, and elders. As a family we prayed together, had religious discussions together, and as children we played “church” and my brothers and I would have mock “debates” about what children consider important doctrines. Church is the first thing.
  2. School. Once all three boys were school age, Mom took a job as a secretary / receptionist at Escambia Christian School where the three of us spent most of our elementary and middle school years. We were their every day, unless we were truly sick. Mom and Dad made sure we completed our homework. WE completed our homework and projects, they NEVER did them for us. They would help if we asked, but the work was always ours. Dad would even create new math problems similar to the ones we were struggling with and not work out the ones on the homework. They would quiz us on our spelling words and we would challenge Dad with our S.A.T. vocabulary lists. Mom and Dad volunteered at school helping with fund raisers, festivals, fish fries, awards banquets, and spaghetti suppers. They worked concession stands while we played basketball or coed volleyball. School was a major part of our life.
  3. Family. The five of us.  We ate supper together. We took vacations together. We camped together. We worked school events together. We worshipped together. Family. We attended ballgames to support our siblings. But not just the five of us were family. Our vacations were to visit Dad’s family in Ohio or to meet at a campground where Mom’s parents were camping. We spent holidays with family. Mom’s family lived in town and we spent time with her cousins, aunts, sister, parents, as well as folks we were probably related too, but I don’t know how. We were there for them and they were there for us. I spent more than one summer working for my grandfather when he was painting or digging ditches. Family was a priority.

Three things.  Church, school, and family, these are the three things. Today as I  look at my life these three things are still priorities. As a preaching minister church is an obvious thing. Since I am married to a teacher and volunteer at her school and the one our son attends, school is still a thing. Family is still of major importance. But as a look back it was not really these three things after all. It was one thing – LOVE.

Jesus said it this way, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31).

Three Things ONE Thing!

– Scott


Filed under church, family, focus, priorities, school

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


Filed under family, parenting

The Family That . . .

For those that do not already know, my dad had a heart defibrillator installed yesterday morning. Due to the skill of the

Brothers then

Brothers then

surgical team and most importantly God’s care all went well and He should go home today to convalesce under the careful and skillful hands of my mother, his wife of 54 years.

I share that to explain my absence from The Morning Drive yesterday. I drove down to attend evening assembly with my parents and younger brother at Leonard Street Church of Christ on Sunday evening.  I spent the night at my brother’s place and the day with gathered physical and spiritual family at the hospital.  I reflected on that experience as I drove home last night and to my study this morning.

I do not consider my family unique and we are far from perfect. Yet there are some things we get right. As we waited for the medical team to do their job here is a glimpse of what helped us as a family.

  1. We were surrounded my church family. The associate minister from where my brother serves as an elder was there. One gentleman and three ladies from where my parent’s worship and Dad serves as an elder were there as well.
  2. We solicited prayers from spiritual people who were not there in person – some of you were praying – thanks!
  3. We laughed together. One of the ladies from Leonard Street said her husband was not going to believe she had such a good time in the surgery waiting area.
  4. We talked about family stories and events of years gone by.
  5. We prayed together before Dad’s surgery as a family, privately as he was in surgery, and we said a prayer of
    Brothers now

    Brothers now

    thanksgiving when he was out of recovery and in a regular room.

  6. We talked about our children who are grown, in college, in their last year of high school, in elementary school and the things they are doing.
  7. We prayed with a lady who was by herself when the news she received about her husband was not good.  Please keep William and his wife in your prayers.
  8. We shared a meal in the waiting room.
  9. We were together.

A family that prays together, worships together, laughs together, cries together, talks together, well that family is together.

Take time today to call a family member, just to talk.

– Scott

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Filed under church family, family, prayer

Parenting a Christian Home

Sammy Jones

This week we are fortunate to be sitting at the feet of a great speaker and student of God.  Sammy Jones of Freed-Hardeman University is presenting a series of lessons at Parrish Church of Christ that deal with the overall theme of Christianity 24/7.  WOW!  The lessons are practical and hit me right where I need them too.

Sunday he spoke on Being a Christian in the Home.  He began with some disturbing facts:

  • 37% of all are headed by single parents (this morning on the local news they reported that number as 45%).
  • 50% of all babies born are born outside of marriage.
  • 1.1 million marriages end in divorce each year.
  • 2 million young people (younger than 18) run away from home each year.

After opening our eyes to the plight of the home, Dr. Jones shared these Five (5)

Aspects of a Christian Home:

  1. Family member must commit to sacrifice for each other and the family.
  2. We must take time to appreciate each other in the family.
  3. Build relationships of trust within the family.
  4. Develop a sense of God in yourself and teach that to your children.
  5. Learn to forgive!

There is a great bit to consider in what he shares!  Take time now to pray for your family and reflect on how you can be a better influence within the family.

– Scott


Filed under parenting

Dads and Children

Last Tuesday I posted some thoughts on what to say to your children.  A lot of

L-R Me (Scott), Andrew (who must be standing on higher ground), and Amy

people read that particular blog indicating to me that readers want more about parenting.  So . . . here we go again.

Paul writes in Eph 6:4, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” This passage contains two charges from God: 1) A Negative Charge – Do not provoke them to anger and 2) A Positive Charge – Bring them up in discipline and instruction of the Lord.  Sadly the world seems to have a different approach that swings to two extremes: Child Abuse – when discipline is without love and Permissiveness – when love is without discipline. Neither produces emotionally or spiritually healthy children because neither of these extremes fit God’s plan of training them because you love them  and love them enough to train them.

Here is a three point training guide to raising emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy children.

  1. Love Unconditionally.  Do not withhold love or use your love as a bargaining chip.  You  may not like what they do (or did) but still love them.  That is why you correct their missteps.
  2. Discipline.  Train them for their benefit.  Someone who plays an instrument receives discipline from an instructor or has enough self-discipline to learn on their own.  They receive both instruction and correction if they are to improve their performance.  The same principle applies to raising children. Discipline is more than punishment it is the entire aspect of training. 
  3. Involve Them in Activities.  Have them work alongside of you.  Teach them your trade or hobbies.  Help them learn to clean, cook, and construct.  You may be capable of doing the task yourself and even completing it faster without their “help.”  But you cannot replace the time spent with them as you work side by side.
- Scott


Filed under child rearing, children, family, parenting

10 Things to Teach Your Children

From the Home Office somewhere off the road between Parrish and Oakman comes today’s list of Ten Things to Teach Your Children.  As a parent of a teenager, as a former Youth Minister, as a former assistant Jr. High Basketball coach, and as someone married to an Elementary School teacher, these things come from my experiences – both good and bad . . .  We should teach our children:

1. To Love Reading.  Teachers may give students the basic tools to read, but if

Andrew (left) on a 5th Grade Field Trip (2007)

parents do not read to children when they are young and model a love of reading, teachers fight an uphill battle.  If you do not want your child left behind, teach them to love reading.

2. To Pray.  Children should learn early that God cares for them and watches over them.  Teach them to spend time telling God about their day and their needs.  Give them an example of prayer, let them see you pray and pray with them and for them often.

3. To Be Grateful (Thankful).  Ingratitude is a bane of current society.  Too many people have a sense of entitlement and are not grateful for what they have.  Teach your children to say, “Thank you” to those who provide needs and gifts.  This would include God.  Demonstrate this thankfulness in your conversations and prayer.  Tell your spouse “thank you” for what they do and let your children hear you say that.

4. To Pay Their Way.  This is a second anti-entitlement point.  Not everything in life is free, nor are you (they) entitled to everything.  The wisdom of our Founding Fathers is evident in the statement that we are only entitled to the freedom of the PURSUIT of happiness, not all the things we think will make us happy.  (Washington, are you listening?)

5. To Read God’s Word.  Our public education system owes its existence to early settlers and colonists wanting their children to learn to read so that they could read the Bible.  God’s word is a great guide to life in general and the ONLY guide to life eternal.  Read to, with, and in your children’s presence.

6. To Love God.  Jesus said this is the greatest commandment.  The Israelites were to bind this before their eyes, talk of it on the road, and write it on the door posts.  Teach children to know God loves them and how to return that love.

7. To Love Others.  Jesus said this is the second greatest commandment.  This is really what the “Golden Rule” of treating others the way you want treated is all about.  Again it is imperative that we model this love to our children.

8. The Importance of a Committed Marriage.  Countless hours of research exists that show the importance of a committed marriage to the well-being of children.  This is one point you definitely should exemplify.  Let your children see how important your husband or wife (their dad or mom) is to you.  In fact, let them know that your relationship with their other parent comes before your relationship with them.

9. To Encourage (Be Complimentary).  We live in such a negative world.  We need more people like Barnabas (Acts 4 – 5) who will work to encourage others.  One way we can help our children be better at encouragement is to encourage them in their pursuits.

10. To be Humble.  Children enter this world egocentric.  They cry when they have needs – feeding, changing, physical contact, etc.  We should meet those needs, but as they mature physically, mentally, and emotionally we should gently guide them to understand that they are NOT the center of the world or even the family.  I am not advocating a throw-back to “don’t speak until you are spoken too” mentality of years gone by, but children do need to learn that others are important (see #’s 3, 4, 7, and 9 above).  Humility is important to successful marriages, success in all relationships, and in our approach to God.

What else should we teach our children?

– Scott


Filed under children, parenting, top ten, top ten list

Five “L’s” of Marriage

Amy and I as we leave EYC '11

I recently ran across an old sermon outline in my files. The file simply listed the five “L’s” of Marriage. Here are those five points:

1. Learn. Learn God’s will for marriage. Learn about the the other person. Learn the uniqueness of your relationship.
2. Let. Let your spouse be who they are. That is permit them to be themselves. One of the great thrills in marriage is to discover and enjoy the differences between us. If you think there is an area your spouse needs to change, live that way in front of them and allow them time to change.
3. Lift. Lift your spouse up when they are down. “Two are better than one . . . For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.” (Eccl 4:9-10). This is especially true in marriage.
4. Leave. Leave the oversight of parents, leave or change habits and lifestyles that are self-directed.
5. Love. What good are all the other points if we do not have love. A recent Youth event reminded us that “love is more.”. Love is the force that brought you together and it is the force that will keep you together. But love is more than words and love is more than a feeling. Love is acting in the best interest of the other.

What other “L’s” can you think of that apply to marriage?




Filed under Christian living, family, husbands, Marriage, wife