Thanklessness – February 18, 2020

As I was internally grumbling this week about the cold air and things like frozen water pipes, the Lord reminded me to the thankful always – which led to this rather pointed clipping abot ingraditute. Take a minute and let it encourage or admonish you.

Pastor Scott

Andrew Carnegie, the multimillionaire, left $1 million for one of his relatives, who in return cursed Carnegie thoroughly because he had left $365 million to public charities and had cut him off with just one measly million.

Samuel Leibowitz, criminal lawyer and judge, saved 78 men from the electric chair. Not one ever did bother to thank him.

Many years ago, as the story is told, a devout king was disturbed by the ingratitude of his royal court. He prepared a large banquet for them. When the king and his royal guests were seated, by prearrangement, a beggar shuffled into the hall, sat down at the king’s table, and gorged himself with food. Without saying a word, he then left the room. The guests were furious and asked permission to seize the tramp and tear him limb from limb for his ingratitude. The king replied, “That beggar has done only once to an earthly king what each of you does three times each day to God. You sit there at the table and eat until you area satisfied. Then you walk away without recognizing God, or expressing one word of thanks to Him.”

Ingratitude denotes spiritual immaturity. Infants do not always appreciate what parents do for them. They have short memories. Their concern is not what you did for me yesterday, but what are you doing for me today. The past is meaningless and so is the future. They live for the present. Those who are mature are deeply appreciative of those who labored in the past. They recognize those who labor during the present and provide for those who will be laboring in the future.

Homemade, December, 1984.

It’s Coming – February 12, 2021

You can see them alongside the shuffleboard courts in Florida or on the porches of the old folks’ homes up north: an old man with snow-white hair, a little hard of hearing, reading the newspaper through a magnifying glass; an old woman in a shapeless dress, her knuckles gnarled by arthritis, wearing sandals to ease her aching arches. They are holding hands, and in a little while they will totter off to take a nap, and then she will cook supper, not a very good supper and they will watch television, each knowing exactly what the other is thinking, until it is time for bed. They may even have a good, soul-stirring argument, just to prove that they still really care. And through the night they will snore unabashedly, each resting content because the other is there. They are in love, they have always been in love, although sometimes they would have denied it. And because they have been in love they have survived everything that life could throw at them, even their own failures.

Ernest Havemann, Bits & Pieces, June 24, 1993, pp. 7-9.

I thought that hit harder, than most anything I could write! Keep loving each other 24/7/365.

Pastor Scott

Apologetics at Home? February 5, 2021

John’s emphasis in 1 John 4:1-6 (last Sunday’s preaching text) is on spiritual discernment of false teaching. However, because we live in the age of the published New Testament and benefit from other New Testament writings (eg. 2 Timothy 3:14-17), I also mentioned making sure our children are prepared to face false teachers (antichrists) in the world.  A “late” text question came in asking, “If we wanted to do apologetics with our teens at home, where would we start?”

First, let me say, THANK YOU for asking!

Second, apologetics is no substitute for devotion.  John’s argument is abide (be so in love with Jesus) that you’ll instinctively know falsehood and be repulsed by it (I can testify that this really happens, and I’m not the least bit pentecostal!)

Finally, I’ll give you some resources.  Generally the older the publication date, the harder your teen will have to work for understanding (something I think is a benefit but something that has to be balanced against potential loss of interest).

  • C.S. Lewis wrote eight books that all help with both common and esoteric arguments against God: Mere Christianity; The Screwtape Letters; The Great Divorce; The Problem of Pain; Miracles; A Grief Observed; Abolition of Man;  and, The Four Loves (adapted from talks he gave in the 1940s).
  • Paul Little’s Know Why You Believe was my go-to as a young Bible teacher. I think he wrote in the 1960s. Intervarsity is now selling his work in a four-book set.
  • Norm Geisler wrote a number of books on apologetics; my favorite is I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.  
  • Lee Strobel wrote The Case for Christ and followed it up with a whole series of books, all really good and well researched.  Lee was a journalist turned pastor and wrote very clearly.  I highly recommend this series for your plainly spoken students.
  • For those who prefer video, you might look to I have a video, for instance, by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati entitled, “Leaving your brains at the church door? The power of logic in defending your faith.”
  • Or where you could get Ken Ham’s Foundations series.

This is not an exhaustive list, but I hope it gets you started.   If nothing jumps out at you, look up Lee’s books. They’re mass marketed, so they’ve been repackaged for all ages; they have study guides and I’ve even heard of some video projects. Keep at it and keep talking about Jesus when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 

Pastor Scott