Parents, if someone you did not know knocked on your door and asked if they could entertain your children for a couple of hours, would you let them? Probably not.
But, hypothetically, let’s just say that you allowed them into your home. You go about your business and the stranger is entertaining your kids.
And then you hear it. You hear the stranger say a word that you don’t want your kids to say...then you hear it again. You race into the room and ask and the stranger says, “Well, they are going to hear it and a lot worse out in the world...and besides, it’s just harmless entertainment.”
After the stranger says he/she will not say that word again, you turn to leave. No sooner are you out of the room then you overhear the stranger promoting an idea that you are very aware the Bible teaches against.
Would you allow that stranger to remain in your home, “harmlessly” entertaining your children? I would hope not!
For the last 26½+ years, I have made a practice of allowing “strangers” into my home to entertain my family. These “strangers” have said words I would really rather my daughters had not heard and have openly promoted ideas that are contrary to Bible teaching.
The saddest part is that I rationalized that I needed this “stranger” to feed me information...so I continued to pay a large sum of money so that this stranger would “feed” me information and “entertain” me and my family.
Well, one week ago I disinvited this stranger from my home. I unplugged the magic box that the stranger appeared in and took it back to the Cox office here in Siloam Springs.
Have I missed the stranger? At times (I’m a huge fan of soccer and have missed watching the World Cup, for example). But I haven’t missed the worldly influence.
Truth be told, I have thought about finding a cheaper way for the stranger to come back for a visit...but I think for the foreseeable future, we are going to try to do without TV in our home.
This week's article is mostly for members at Eastgate, though if you'd like to read it feel free...perhaps it will motivate you to help with your VBS ;).
We are only 33 days (if you are reading this on Wednesday, June 13: if Sunday, June 17, then Happy Father’s Day and it’s only 29 days) away from the start of something grand! This grand event is our annual outreach program known as Vacation Bible School.
This year we will be on the beach considering the question: “God did WHAT?” But, as always, we need your help to make this week a success.
First, everyone who is able needs to plan to be here on Saturday, July 14 for our work day. More details will be available later, but I’m pretty sure a delicious breakfast will be involved.
Second, we have some special needs for the week. This is what, in the biz, is known as a casting call. We need several people to pretend to be someone they are not for the purpose of telling a story to the kids that are attending in a memorable way.
We need a “Time Traveler” (think of the character Dr. Emmitt Brown from the “Back to the Future” movies). This person will need to be here every night of VBS (or at least for the welcome session at 6:00). They will “arrive” in the auditorium each night in a specially designed time travelling submarine...sound fun?
Along with the “Time Traveler” we will have several Bible characters that “Time Traveler” will be bringing back to the present to visit with us.
So we need a Moses and a Pharaoh; a Naaman (perhaps a servant girl as well), a general Israelite male from the time of Elisha; and a blind man who can now see because he followed Jesus’ instructions and washed in the pool of Siloam.
If you are curious, the stories are: the parting of the Red Sea – Exodus 14; Naaman healed of leprosy – 2 Kings 5; Ax Head floats – 2 Kings 6; and Jesus heals a man born blind – John 9. The scripts for these characters will pretty much stick to what the Bible says...of course the “Time Traveler” is a little different.
If you are interested in filling any of these roles, please let me know ASAP.
I have in my office a single cup coffee brewer (it’s not the big name brand, but it does the job). Naturally, since I had been out of town for nearly two weeks, it had not been used in a while.
So on Sunday morning, when it was used, the coffee started coming out where it was supposed to, but also in places it was NOT supposed to...and made a big mess.
I figured it must be a fluke...a faulty pod perhaps. So on Monday I made a cup of coffee and the exact same thing happened.
After getting a little upset and thinking about throwing the entire thing out and getting a new one, a much more rational thought hit me: “Hey, Dummy, why don’t you try cleaning it!”
So I took all the parts that can be taken off to the sink in the kitchen and washed each of them. After drying them off, I took them back to my office, reattached each of them and put on another cup of coffee.
Low and behold, it worked like it was supposed to! I guess it didn’t need to be replaced, it just needed a little TLC (tender loving cleaning).
Relationships can be a lot like that. They can start “acting up” and we may be tempted to just throw it away (that is what our culture and society has taught us...if something isn’t working, just throw it away and get a new one - no matter how “valuable” it once was to you).
But some relationships are precious. Some are vital to our very survival. If we throw them away just because of a mishap or mistake, we will regret it. Maybe something just got “clogged” and we need to give that relationship some TLC (tender loving care).
If a relationship is dragging you away from God, then it does need to be thrown away. But if a relationship is hurting, but that relationship draws you closer to God (or, perhaps, it IS your relationship with God) then try giving it some TLC and see if it doesn’t start being all it is supposed to be again.
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)