Praying with my Daughter

Written by Brandon Edwards on . Posted in Youth Minister

prayingI don't remember the exact first time that my father or mother prayed with me, but I do remember it being as a young child. From my very youth I remember praying at meals, at bedtime, and many other times with my parents. Even when they didn't pray with me personally, I know that my parents prayed for me consistently since even before I was born!

But there is something to praying with your child that is simply amazing. As an adult, the memories flood back to me every time I stop to pray at a meal with my daughter. They flood back like wonderful waves of comfort that I never knew encompassed me. These memories cling to my soul as I teach my child about God and communicating with Him.

Happy Graduation!

Written by Scott Harp on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

graduation

Invitations sent! Cap and Gown in hand! Graduation rehearsal just days away! And, then the big event! In your mind's ear, listen to the old familiar sound accompanying the marching seniors as they make their way to their seats. As the names are being called, the anticipation continues to grow until they call out your name over the loud speaker. As you make your way to the podium where the principal is about to shake your hand and give you that coveted trophy, your mind is saying, FINALLY! Finally, the end is HERE! It is going to be nothing short of awesome. Graduation provides much deserved recognition for a job well done. Enjoy the moment, rest on your laurels, and soak it in as long as you can, for you deserve it. Congratulations!

A Momentous Moment

Written by Brandon Edwards on . Posted in Youth Minister

childrenIt was a truly momentous moment. A life changing moment that changed me forever.

I remember the moment when I realized I could influence my parents. I was a small child and I realized I could turn mom against dad or dad against mom. It was an eye opening moment of awesomeness.
I suddenly wielded a power that was truly incredible.
And I wanted to use it.

Oh, we have all used this power as children. We learned to ask mom if we could jump off the roof. She would say, "no" and we would go and ask dad. But we wouldn't ask dad just at any point in time. He needed to be doing something so that he was distracted. From behind his paper, or while he was watching sports, he would answer, "Sure, sweetie."

Suddenly, we are on the roof getting ready to jump and mom is screaming and waving her hands from the kitchen window. She may have said, "no" but dad said, "Yes." And we all know that the last answer is always the one that counts.

A Mother And Her Son

Written by Scott Harp on . Posted in Minister Articles

shutterstock 114083872 article“And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.’” Luke 1:38

         This story never fails to amaze the onlooker from future’s perch. She was a young woman, not much more than a mere girl. She had been promised to a man of her tribe who would serve as her husband. Until the angel’s visit, life looked simple and very well planned for her. But God’s plan supersedes all of man’s plans. His schedule trumps all others. Mary was chosen, but not irresistibly. She was a willing participant in history’s greatest story. Her willingness to serve God in becoming His servant proved to serve her intended groom with eternal blessings, though initially it was a tough pill for Joseph to swallow. Service to God in the work of Jesus’ birth followed with service to God all His life. Just think of Mary’s commitment to her family. She brought Jesus, and later other children, into the world, cf. Mark 6:3. She served her children by raising them in the way of God. Even at the conclusion of the incident where Jesus was discovered after three days in the temple, it was said that she kept those things concerning Him in her heart, Luke 2:51. She was committed! And then when He died, and all had forsaken Him, she stood there before the cross as her Son’s life’s blood poured out of Him, John 19:25-27. Easily, it can be seen that Jesus was served by His mother. She, like so many godly women of the past, stood out, since the dawn of time, as examples worthy to be followed. She was a great servant!

Some Words to Encourage

Written by Scott Harp on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

depressionDeath has such a hold on the hearts of individuals, especially those who are closest to it. It shocks the mind. Being that it is so severe, so final, and so life changing for those left behind, the loss of a loved one is going to take its toll on those closest to them. Get help! Having someone to talk with helps to endure the effect of the transition that has sharply blind-sided one's life.
The tendency often is that of refusing the help being offered. Some take the "matter-of-fact" approach, seeking to compartmentalize the hurt, and move on with life. However, not dealing with pain and suffering when it comes—and oh brother, does it come—will cause a residual effect over the years of one's life. This we sometimes refer to as baggage.

One Family's Search

Written by Scott Harp on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

familyCraig and Tara Jones were the typical American couple. They grew up in middle class families, met in college, and were married in their junior year. Neither of the two came from families who were, what one would call, churchgoers. Both had gone to the occasional holiday worship service with friends from school, and maybe a Vacation Bible School here and there. But, church was just not a big thing to them. Both were professional people, yet after a few years of marriage, they began a family, having a boy, and then a couple years later, a little girl. As the children grew to an age where they communicated pretty well, their parents began hearing how they picked up little words, very "adult" words, and would say them. At first it was a mixture between cute, and a little shocking, hearing such little ones saying words that they remembered their parents not letting them say. Before long they found themselves telling the little ones not to say words like that.

Who was Cain's wife?

Written by Scott Harp on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

familysilhouettebeachblueHave you ever “googled” the words, “Who was Cain’s wife?” There are literally hundreds of sites online debating in one form or other the authenticity and impact of the Biblical account of Cain’s family. In most cases, any discussion on the wife of Cain, as reported in Genesis 4:17, is questioned in order to discredit not only the historical marriage, but more importantly, God, who gave us the record of her life. Without doubt, people will go to great lengths rejecting the Bible to “excuse” their duty to obey it. So, who was Cain’s wife? There is much one can know about a person by their choices of companions. The apostle wrote, “Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals,’” 1 Corinthians 15:33. As true as those words are today, the same can be said concerning folks who lived back at the beginning as well. As with all Bible characters, we know more about the event surrounding her life, than about her as a person. Though her name is not mentioned, to say we know very little about her is far from the truth. Here are some things we know about Cain’s wife.

Marriage through the eyes of Marshall Keeble

Written by Scott Harp on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

keeble12In our library is a book Willie Cato wrote entitled, His Hand And Heart: The Wit And Wisdom Of Marshall Keeble. In it Brother Cato, a great gospel preacher and a dearly departed family friend, reflected on his years of travel with Brother Keeble, and the interesting perspective he had on the Christian life. Concerning marriage Keeble encouraged young men to prepare themselves in view of being a good prospect for a young lady to marry. He said, “You’re looking for the best girl to marry, but what is she looking for? If you live a hog’s life—down in the mire all the time—what angel would want to lay down with hogs?” Brother Keeble had a witty way of making his points. As for the right person to marry he said, “Don’t marry one who is not a member of the church of Christ. You’ll have trouble! Just don’t marry—you’ll have enough trouble with them that are members of the church of Christ.” Marriage is not always easy. It takes work on the part of both people involved.

Hey, Thats not fair!

Written by Scott Harp on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

clouds1“A” comes before “Z” except for when it does not! Do you remember the times in school when the teacher told the students to get in line in alphabetical order to go to the lunchroom? The “A’s” were always in front of the line. If your name started with a “W” or a “Y,” it could be a tough position in which to be. However, once in a while the teacher would say, “Now everyone turn around.” Then, all the sudden the last one in line became the first. In those situations, when the “A’s” were expecting to be first, they generally were pretty disappointed to see that they were now last to go to the lunchroom. On one occasion Jesus drew what appears to be a “Z” before “A,” picture. It took place in the twentieth chapter of Matthew. Recall the story, “parable,” He related about the “master of the house” who went out early to hire laborers for his vineyard. He sent them to work. Then as the day progressed he hired more laborers at the third, the sixth, the ninth, and even at the eleventh hour, and sent more laborers into the field. He had agreed to pay each laborer a denarius, a day’s wage, if they would go work.

You think your family is messed up?

Written by Brandon Edwards on . Posted in Youth Minister

honeypleaseThere are some pretty messed up families in the Bible. I mean REALLY messed up. Here is a list of just a few.

1. One man blamed his wife for something that they BOTH did, which caused both of them to be evicted from their home.
2. One man offered up his daughters to a mob of angry men to appease them.
3. One man lied about his wife to another man, which caused a plague to come over his entire household.
4. One family had two sons. His father loved the first son more, while his mother loved the other more. The mother lied and tricked her husband, so her beloved son would get the family blessing and inheritance that was owed to his favorite son.
5. One family took their father's favorite son and sold him into slavery. SLAVERY.
6. One man stole one of his best friend's wives, had his best friend killed, and then married her.