Pop Quiz

When I was in school, there is nothing I hated worse than a pop quiz! Although I may have been keeping up with the required assignments, required reading, and preparing for the expected tests, the unexpected tests had the potential to wreck your overall average in the class. In our teen class last Wednesday night, […]

When I was in school, there is nothing I hated worse than a pop quiz! Although I may have been keeping up with the required assignments, required reading, and preparing for the expected tests, the unexpected tests had the potential to wreck your overall average in the class. In our teen class last Wednesday night, we discussed the “pop quizzes” of life. The pop quizzes of life include those unexpected phone calls that bring bad news, the unexpected betrayal of a friend, or any other unexpected event that tests our faith or our spiritual endurance. Some of the tests we experience in life are often small tests of character or integrity such as when we might be tempted to tell a “little, white lie,” cheat on a test, or even fail to clean up the mess we did not make. These little tests may not seem important at the time, but we were reminded by the scripture in Luke 16:10 that “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” One of the purposes of these little tests in life is to help prepare us for the bigger tests in life. One of the overarching purposes of the “Habitudes” curriculum we are studying on Wednesday night is to prepare our teen students, in advance, for these tests of life. If we do not prepare in advance for the crises, or “pop quizzes,” in life, we will often be unprepared to weather the storm and, instead, react in a manner that is not Christ-like. Although spiritual preparation for the unexpected tests in life may not make the test easy or pain-free, we were reminded by the scriptures in Deuteronomy 8:15-16 that the difficult tests of life result in a stronger character and closer relationship to God if we abide in His word.

Some Things Change, Some Don’t

We headed South to spend a couple of days with our vacationing grandchildren and their parents. On the way, our GPS kept giving me directions toward our destination. It kept saying, “Go toward Mobile”. It kept pronouncing it “Mo-bull” instead of “Mo-bill”. I wondered...

What’s Your Custom?

What are your habits of life? How would your family describe your customs? Twice in the New Testament the phrase is used, “as was his custom,” in reference to Jesus. In Mark 10:1 it is used to refer to his custom of teaching the people. In Luke 4:16, his going to the...

Follow Me

From time to time I will see trucks with a “Follow Me” sign on their tailgate. As a matter of fact, I followed one just last week who was directing traffic around the construction of a new bridge in our area. I understood where he was leading me. When I see a truck...

Treasure of Truth

The Bible is a vast treasure chest of truth. It is ours for the digging and the searching. Not just in every book or chapter. But in every verse and word of each verse. Consider this verse: Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the...

Choose God in Every Decision

Every day we are forced to make decisions. What will I have for breakfast, what will I wear, how will I act? But how often do we allow God to influence those decisions? It may seem kind of crazy to think about. We may say, “Does God care what I have for breakfast?”...

The Hope Chest

In 1957, my grandfather was in high school shop class, and he built my grandmother a hope chest. They were high school sweethearts and were married in August following their graduation in May. The hope chest, made from cedar, now sits in my parents living room where...

Pine Straw

put out fresh pine straw in our flower beds each year. From my local gardening experts (my wife Jane and Terry Pruitt), I understand that pine straw is great for our plants. It helps to retain moisture, insulate the root systems, helps prevent weeds and improves the...

Love Lifted Me

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 ESV) By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. (1 John 3:16...

None of Self and All of Thee

The title of a song I remember as being a favorite when I was a child. I’m glad we still sing it today. Theodore Monod wrote the words in 1874. “O, the bitter pain and sorrow that a time could ever be, when I proudly said to Jesus, ‘All of self and none of thee.’”...

Reflections on Summer

As the summer comes to an end, I enjoy reflecting on the special times we had in the children’s ministry. Our summer was packed full with events, service projects, and Bible lessons. At our annual Back to School Bash, the children and I discussed how looking back on...