Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> EAGLES' REST: August 2019

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

SHE KEPT THAT RESERVATION

Hebrews 9:27 tells us " ...as it is appointed unto man, once to die ....".

The word "appointed" is "Apokeimai" ... laid away, in reserve.

The word for "man" is "Anthropos" .. a human being.

That's right ... you and I have an appointment to die. And considering the expanse of time, I must think that it was God Himself, Who made that appointment.

The picture there is Mrs. Karen Scott, wife of Dr.  CB Scott, who is an Associational Missions Strategist in Eastern Kentucky. This past Friday afternoon, Karen succumbed to many years' effects of MS, and died quietly at home. And from what I understand, she died exactly as she would have preferred.

I first met CB at the SBC Annual Meeting in Greensboro, NC, in the summer of 2006. We met that very next week, over lunch, and in that one  meeting he became my best friend. And he still is, from 400 miles away.

He's the one guy I want on Speed Dial.

Not long after our first meeting, Peg and I went to Westmont Baptist Church, in suburban Birmingham, for a Sunday evening service. He invited us over, after the service, for coffee. That was when I first met Karen, who was suffering from MS all those years ago.

I used the word "Suffering", and I am sure she was.  Even then, she was confined to a wheelchair, unable to walk, but I do not recall her ever, not once, complaining about her condition, her pain level, or the many infirmities brought by the disease. Or, for that matter, anything else. She was, in all respects, a ray of sunshine in a difficult time, and in difficult conditions.

At that time, they had 4 children in their home, taken in by their choice, from the Alabama Baptist Children's Home. While there was much she could not do, owing to the illness, she and CB saw to their upbringing. To their nurture and admonition. And they did it superbly. One of their foster sons went on to attain high, high honors in the United States Marines, serving as a Guard on Marine One, and the other became a Pharmacist in the Birmingham area.

The two daughters are still at home, and I am confident that they will carry the traits of their "Nan" with them for the rest of their lives.

Here's a picture I took about 8 years ago, at lunch with the Scotts, in our favorite Chinese Restaurant. As we were sitting there, he got a phone call from the Clerk of the Court they'd petitioned for the formal adoption of Ashley and Carrie; the Clerk told him the girls were now theirs, the Judge having signed the Interlocutory Decree.

The girls were now Ashley and Carrie Scott!

IF you'd like a further indication of how well the boys turned out, catch this: While Stephan was still in Pharmacy School, at Samford, he went to the Courthouse, paid the fee, and had his last name officially and formally changed to Scott.

Peg has lost a good friend, one with whom she shared innumerable telephone hours. Karen used to refer to that as her "Peg time", and that is and was precious to us both.

Over the years and years of fellowship with Karen and CB and the kids, I have personally been left so much richer for the experience. And I am quite sure that those memories will continue to grow and prosper and bring fruit in my life.

At least, until I see her once again.

Where there's no more MS.




Friday, August 02, 2019

CONFORMED

OR MAYBE ... LESSONS FROM SILLY PUTTY?

While doing some cleaning the other day, Peg ran across a  plastic sandwich bag full of Silly Putty we'd gotten for the kids many years ago. It was stored in a Ziploc bag somewhere.



Silly putty hadn't been invented when I was a kid, so I'd never had a chance to play with the stuff, back then. So .... it was fun!

When I got done messing with that kids' stuff, I laid it down on the glass surface of a Lazy Susan which sits atop our kitchen table. The next day, I noticed it was now a nice big puddle, as opposed to the ball it had been a day earlier.

And that gave birth to a thought or two in my alleged mind.

Silly Putty is good for lots of things. Things like making small statues .... my younger son used to make excellent dogs from the stuff ... rolling it out into snakes ... making a bunch  of little spheres .. playthings like that.  What I noticed that day, however, was that it conformed itself to its surroundings. Put it in a little cup, and it quickly adapts to the shape of the cup. Stick it in a plastic bag ... where my wife found this little batch, and it adapts to the space it's stored in.

In this case, put it on the glass top of a 40+ year old Lazy Susan on our Breakfast Table, and it oozes out into a shiny puddle shaped exactly like the glass surface it's lying on.

On the other hand, the rocks in the picture stayed exactly as they were when they were in the planter area alongside our fireplace. And that sparked a couple more thoughts in that elusive brain space.

As Christians, we're called to be different from "the world". But that's not easy for us, as we seem to be a gregarious sort that wants to fit in with those around us. So, in a world where casual sex, little white lies, cuss words ... and all that sort of thing ... are increasingly acceptable, we're not supposed to be like that world, or society.

It seems to me God would have known what the society was going to be like ...  all the many things society deems acceptable ... the general downward drift in societal mores .... the tendency of some outside our Churches (and maybe some inside), to refer to a devoted Christ follower as "goody-two-shoes'.

Well, He did! And He warned us, and gave us the antidote for it:

Romans 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind ...".

And I just now noticed something I had never seen before! He tells us "do not ... any longer ... ", which indicates to me that He knew that conformity would be our natural tendency! And in the last half of the sentence, He gives us the remedy for the dilemma: A renewed mind!

That is something only a sovereign God could accomplish in us! And if He tells us to do that, He's saying (to me, at least) that (1) We must be able to do that on our own ... Hint: We can't, or, (2) He can, and will  ... if we will allow Him to do so.

And that  will allow us to be transformed and not conform to the world.

We can be Rocks, not Silly Putty. 

If that's what we want. And will allow Him to do for us.