Wednesday, April 20, 2022

F4 Finale for Spring 22

 Final F4 – 27 April 22

Here’s a suggested order

Here is the draft for the order of service (mostly fun and fellowship)


Doors locked until 5:45 pm.

6:00 – 6:30 pm  Meal

6:30 – 6:40 pm  Clean up and prep for worship

6:40 - 7:30 pm  Finale in Sanctuary

Worship Warm-Ups

Prayer

Memory Verses - Suggested

John 3:16-17

James 1:19-20

Proverbs 1:7

Proverbs 3:5-6

2 Timothy 1:7

Joshua 1:9

John 13:34-35

Drama if possible.  I suggest Garrett and Robert do The 411 on the 316 again.

Instructions for the summer (VBS/Camp/Restart F4 probably on 14 Sep).

Energizes (if time available)

Prayer

Dismissal instructions

Friday, February 18, 2022

Obituary for John Hathaway

 The guy who never met a stranger—John H. Hathaway was born November 16th, 1978 to the parents of Howard R. Hathaway and Debra L Briggs. John passed away on January 2nd, 2022 at Elk City Regional Medical Center. John has two siblings an older brother Michael Hathaway of Hammondsport, New York, and a younger sister, Nicole Armstrong of Greenfield, Oklahoma. John is survived by his mother Debra L Fisher (Jamie Fisher) of Burns Flat OK. His Brother, Michael Hathaway (Cindy Hathaway) and sister Nicole Armstrong (Henry Armstrong), his nephews Michael Johnson, Orion Johnson, Cole Hunt, Nathan Albright, and nieces Samantha Hunt and Natalie Armstrong. He is preceded in death by both sets of grandparents several uncles as well as his father Howard Hathaway. John was a graduate of the Thomas Terriers class of 1998. He loved Thomas and always cheered for them at any game. John lived out his life in Burns Flat Oklahoma since 2004. He cheered for the local team but if Thomas was playing, he always cheered for them. John always bled green. Thomas was his favorite school and it was the school that accepted John for who he was. We must say goodbye to John. His service is on February 19th at the Thomas High School Auditorium where he was the happiest person that could ever be. John had a childlike faith in God and he loved his church. John attended the Living Waters Church in Burns Flat and was a member in recent years. He also attended the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Burns Flat where he had been a member for years. John was loved by all and never met a stranger. So please join us on February 19th at 2 p.m. at the Thomas High School auditorium to celebrate John's life and to give him the send-off that he so richly deserves.  It’s what he would do for everybody else.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Go Eat PopCorn

Here is our reading, teaching, and homiletic schedule for the first half of 2022. We finish the Proverbs on 20 February 2022.

Our next study is Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians or Go Eat PopCorn for those who learned the order of these letters that way.

 

 

DATE

REFERENCE

NOTES

FEBRUARY

 

 

27

MATTHEW 25

PARABLE OF THE TALENTS

MARCH

 

 

6

GALATIANS 1

 

13

2

 

20

3

 

27

4

 

APRIL

 

 

3

5

 

10

6

 

17

JOHN 20

RESURRECTION SUNDAY

24

EPHESIANS 1

PULPIT SUPPLY: GARRET 

MAY

 

 

1

2

PULPIT SUPPLY: LORI S

8

3

 

15

4

 

22

5

 

29

6

 

JUNE

 

 

5

PHILIPPIANS 1

 

12

2

 

19

3

 

26

4

 

JULY

 

 

3

COLOSSIANS 1

 

10

2

 

17

3

 

24

4

 

31

GEPC

WRAP UP

AUGUST

 

 

7

MATTHEW 25

PARABLE OF THE TALENTS

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

A review of Proverbs 1-21

 This week we are conducting a review of Proverbs 1-21.  That means that you need to read 3 chapters each day.  Don’t get overwhelmed before you begin.  You have already read these chapters.  As your read, old thoughts will come to mind and some new ones will surely beg for your attention, now that you have some context in our study of the Proverbs.

If you want more in your review, here are links to the chapters and messages that we have studied thus far.  Enjoy!

 

Proverbs 1

God’s way and everything else

Listen to mom and dad

Proverbs 2

If Statements

Best of Both Worlds

Proverbs 3

Those he loves

Trust is Wisdom

Proverbs 4

Get Wisdom

Body Alignment

Proverbs 5

How I Hated Discipline

In Full View of the Lord

Proverbs 6

To the ant, work is wisdom

7 things in the Everything Else Category

Proverbs 7

Easy Targets

Deer in the headlights

Proverbs 8

More Precious than Rubies

Quite a Package

Wisdom as the Ultimate Plank Holder

Proverbs 9

Leave Your Simple Ways

Stolen Water is Sweet

Proverbs 10

Blessings for now and for eternity

Breaking up is hard to do

Proverbs 11

Wealth is Worthless on the Day of Wrath

The Hope of the Unjust

Proverbs 12

The Prudent Overlook an Insult

Don’t be Stupid!

Proverbs 13

Money for Nothing

Leaving an Inheritance

Proverbs 14

Sin Condemns Any People

Hard work brings a profit

Proverbs 15

Wise and Foolish X7

God’s Way—It’s for our own good

Proverbs 16

Half Way There

Pride Precedes Destruction

Proverbs 17

God Tests the Heart

Good Medicine

Proverbs 18

To answer without listening…

The Name of the Lord is a Fortified Tower

Proverbs 19

Mammas, Don’t let your Children grow up to be Lazy

The Poor Can’t buy a Friend

Proverbs 20

Man in the Mirror

Do we really understand our own understanding?

Proverbs 21

Don’t complicate the simple

We are an example to the vulnerable

Proverbs 22

 

Proverbs 23

 

Proverbs 24

 

Proverbs 25

 

Proverbs 26

 

Proverbs 27

 

Proverbs 28

 

Proverbs 29

 

Proverbs 30

 

Proverbs 31

 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Mere talk leads to Poverty

 

Read Proverbs 14

Solomon gives us more pairings of wisdom:  wise and foolish, rich and poor, man and woman, upright and devious, pride and prudence and some mixing and matching with the personification and the dichotomous qualities. Let’s jump to verse 23.

All hard work brings a profit,

    but mere talk leads only to poverty.

I have or had a cousin who talked big.  He was always going to conquer the word with his next endeavor, if he ever got around to it.

His parents had both died while he was in his late 30’s.  He shacked up with a woman who could support him, at least they could afford some sort of shack. It often had no water or electricity, but they lived indoors. 

The extended family—mostly my aunt—took care of unexpected expenses and offered him work so he could have some money that he could call his own. He wasn’t much interested in labor.

He was going to be long-haul truck driver.  You need a CDL to do this but he never got around to that part. He could, however, talk your ear off about how he was going to make it big hauling those loads cross country—big loads and big bucks.

We wouldn’t hear from him for a while, then he would call and he was on to something else.  Underwater welding was one that he could talk about for an hour without taking a breath.  He could neither weld nor was he SCUBA qualified, but this was the thing that would give him his big break.

Then he was going to be a pastor, and then something else, and then something else. 

A few years ago, one of the local television stations and the Oklahoman did a short piece on him as a homeless Marine veteran.  He had been a sniper in Desert Storm and done 20 years as a Marine.  He couldn’t tell you what units he was in or how he could be homeless after 20 years of service, but the journalist set up a Go Fund Me account for this homeless vet.

He never spent a single minute in the service of his country.  The closest he ever got to military service was getting a military field jacket from the Salvation Army, but found that he could talk some of the talk.

He could spin that yarn so long as people didn’t check his facts.  He was more than willing to tell whatever tale people wanted to hear.  Facts only got in the way of the story.

I’m not sure if it bothered me more that he was claiming to be a pastor, a combat veteran, or that people believed the latter enough to send a few hundred dollars to help him.

I have no reservation about helping the poor.  I do not like to see people being scammed, especially by someone pretending to be a Marine.

He had received plenty of help from his family over the years, but he had claimed the reward that Solomon promised for mere talk—poverty.

Work brings profit.  Mere talk brings poverty.

I don’t know where he is now if he is still alive.  He could never hold a real job for long.  His talk about becoming an underwater welder or a pastor or driving a big rig didn’t fool anyone other than himself. 

Our extended family has a young gal who works frequently with the OKC homeless alliance.  She keeps her eye out for him, but we have not heard from him in years.

He probably doesn’t want to here from us.  We always bring up that 4-letter word:  work.

He talked his way into poverty and wouldn’t listen to anyone who would help him step out of it.

Let’s look at the other side of the coin.  Hard work brings profit.  I will read to you a short portion of one of the shortest books ever—A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard.

In all this Cuban business there is one man stands out on the horizon of my memory like Mars at perihelion.  When war broke out between Spain & the United States, it was very necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the Insurgents. Garcia was somewhere in the mountain vastness of Cuba--no one knew where. No mail nor telegraph message could reach him. The President must secure his cooperation, and quickly.

What to do!

Someone said to the President, "There’s a fellow by the name of Rowan will find Garcia for you, if anybody can."

Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia. How "the fellow by the name of Rowan" took the letter, sealed it up in an oil-skin pouch, strapped it over his heart, in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba from an open boat, disappeared into the jungle, & in three weeks came out on the other side of the Island, having traversed a hostile country on foot, and delivered his letter to Garcia, are things I have no special desire now to tell in detail.

The point I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, "Where is he at?" By the Eternal! there is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college of the land. It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this and that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies: do the thing- "Carry a message to Garcia!"

My children have read this book many times.  It will take you about 10 minutes and is a worthwhile investment. 

At one point, all Marines were required to read this book.  I hope they still are.

It talks about the one who just does the thing—whatever it is—with purpose and passion and without looking for the first excuse to wimp out.

There is value in work.  There is profit in work.  Work is good.

To which many of you say, Duh!  That’s obvious.

No, it’s not obvious.  It’s obvious to you because you have realized this paradigm.  You navigate within this framework.  You expect to work in order to make it through this world and provide for your families.

You receive satisfaction in work.

Some have no such expectations. Some expect that they will be cared for and all their needs met.  I am not talking about those who cannot work but those who will not work.

Solomon tells us they are headed for poverty. If all you can do is talk, there are few jobs to be had and the jobs where they pay you to talk usually require some life experience that involved work.

Yes, there are people who get paid to talk—football commentators, talk show hosts, and preachers.  In my defense, preachers also have to know how to listen because people are compelled to tell me which toilets are broken and when we run out of paper towels.

Solomon is talking about idle words.  Words that take you nowhere.  Some words inspire or instruct but those that only consume the time lead to poverty.

Some people are good at talking and can get a job where what they do involves a lot of talking.  Good for them.  They found a livelihood that they enjoy.

I spoke to a young girl in Walmart who was pushing around one of those carts with 10 or 12 bins on it.  This whole pandemic thing has made a real market for letting the store do your shopping and you just pay and pick up.

I said to this young lady, “Did you ever think that you could find a job shopping?”

She said, “No but this is great!”

Sometimes we find just what we want to do and it doesn’t feel like work.  Some find jobs talking too, but Solomon is talking about talk without purpose or production—talk that produces no fruit.

He is talking about words that take you nowhere, well, except down the road to poverty.

Solomon is talking about substituting talk for action. Sometimes talk precedes action, but sometimes people just get addicted to talking and never take action.  They talk instead of work and Solomon says they are headed for poverty.

Much like my cousin who had great aspirations but never took one step forward to achieve them, we have many in this nation who will never get around to it.  We have many who will talk their way into poverty.

For some, talk is action.  There are those gifted in this area. For most, talk is an excuse not to act.  Talk is just another excuse.

Work—especially hard work—brings a profit.  It’s worthwhile, but talk in lieu of work leads to poverty.

Solomon presents the destination of one who says why work why I can make an excuse.

This brings us back to one of my favorite quotes that I have shared recently.

A coach can help you with your mistakes, but nobody can help you with your excuses.

Some say, Work smart not hard.  That’s good.  If you can work smart, then you can work hard at working smart and produce even more than those who just work hard. Whatever you are working at, work hard at it.

Hard work produces good fruit.  Hard work is profitable.  Hard work brings satisfaction. 

Fifty years ago, we would have spent two minutes on this proverb and moved on to the next one. 

That’s a big 10-4 on that one Solomon. We get it.  We need to work.

You betcha. Hard work brings profit.

Hey wise man, you hit the nail on the head, but it’s all too obvious. It’s MOTO—Master of the Obvious.

Today, you see this proverb played out all around you and what once seemed obvious eludes so many in this age. 

We could despair at the current situation or we could see opportunity for the one who will work and work with purpose and passion. This life still offers good things for the one who will work hard at what they do.

When I talk with people who are starting a new job, I tell them to stick it out no matter what for the first six months.  After that, they will be the old timer.  They will be the one with experience that the boss doesn’t want to let go. 

The state of affairs in a world where people prefer talk to work seems bleak until the one willing to work sees the opportunity before him.  He or she have great value in an age of do-nothingness.

Let me wrap up A Message to Garcia.

My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the "boss" is away, as well as when he is at home. And the man who, when given a letter for Garcia, quietly take the missive, without asking any idiotic questions, and with no lurking intention of chucking it into the nearest sewer, or of doing aught else but deliver it, never gets "laid off," nor has to go on a strike for higher wages. Civilization is one long anxious search for just such individuals. Anything such a man asks shall be granted; his kind is so rare that no employer can afford to let him go. He is wanted in every city, town and village- in every office, shop, store and factory. The world cries out for such: he is needed, & needed badly- the man who can carry a message to Garcia.

Take 10 minutes and read A Message to Garcia.  Stick to your weekly reading of the Proverbs.  Know that work has value.

Amen.

 

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Join us as we study the Proverbs

 

We have moved into the middle third of our journey through the Proverbs.  We have finished the first twelve chapters and are about to begin chapter 13.  The plan is that you read the designated chapter every day of the week.  It becomes the topic for Sunday morning and Wednesday evenings and for unspecified meetings, opportunities, and postings.

It, more than the baseball season or the cotton crop or the weather, should lead your conversations.

You can join in now and catch up later.  Read the first 12 chapters.  This Sunday begin reading chapter 13 every day of the week.  The links below will help you catch up.  Wisdom is worth it.

 

Proverbs 1

God’s way and everything else

Listen to mom and dad

Proverbs 2

If Statements

Best of Both Worlds

Proverbs 3

Those he loves

Trust is Wisdom

Proverbs 4

Get Wisdom

Body Alignment

Proverbs 5

How I Hated Discipline

In Full View of the Lord

Proverbs 6

To the ant, work is wisdom

7 things in the Everything Else Category

Proverbs 7

Easy Targets

Deer in the headlights

Proverbs 8

More Precious than Rubies

Quite a Package

Wisdom as the Ultimate Plank Holder

Proverbs 9

Leave Your Simple Ways

Stolen Water is Sweet

Proverbs 10

Blessings for now and for eternity

Breaking up is hard to do

Proverbs 11

Wealth is Worthless on the Day of Wrath

The Hope of the Unjust

Proverbs 12

The Prudent Overlook an Insult

Don’t be Stupid!

Proverbs 13

 

Proverbs 14

 

Proverbs 15

 

Proverbs 16

 

Proverbs 17

 

Proverbs 18

 

Proverbs 19

 

Proverbs 20

 

Proverbs 21

 

Proverbs 22

 

Proverbs 23

 

Proverbs 24

 

Proverbs 25

 

Proverbs 26

 

Proverbs 27

 

Proverbs 28

 

Proverbs 29

 

Proverbs 30

 

Proverbs 31

 

 

Thursday, September 9, 2021

F4 Intro and Catch Up for

 Read Proverbs 1-9

Why study the Proverbs?

The first few verses answer that question.

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

for gaining wisdom and instruction;

    for understanding words of insight;

for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,

    doing what is right and just and fair;

for giving prudence to those who are simple,

    knowledge and discretion to the young—

let the wise listen and add to their learning,

    and let the discerning get guidance—

for understanding proverbs and parables,

    the sayings and riddles of the wise.

 

Why?  To gain:

·       Wisdom

·       Instruction

·       Understanding insight

·       Instruction on prudent behavior

·       Instruction on doing what is right and just and fair

·       Prudence—not just instruction but prudence herself

·       Knowledge and discretion

·       More wisdom and learning

·       God’s guidance

·       Understanding wisdom literature

This brings us to what I will call a golden nugget.  It’s Proverbs 1:7.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,

    but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

We must understand that there is a right way to live!  The world will tell you that everyone sorts out what is right and wrong for themselves.  The world in wrong.  Woke America is wrong.

God decides what is right and wrong and he has given us wisdom to understand his ways. We must desire God’s ways.  The Proverbs help us do that.

To understand this proverb, we must understand the parallelism of much of Hebrew literature.  The two phrases describe God’s wisdom in terms of those seeking God and those denying God.  Thus, God’s people fear the Lord, desire knowledge, wisdom, instruction, and in some translations, discipline.

Those who reject God do not fear him and do not seek his knowledge, wisdom, instruction, or discipline.

From the beginning, Solomon tells us there is God’s way and there is everything else. Blessings lie in God’s way and destruction in the everything else.

There is God’s way and there is everything else!

I’m not going to cram 9 weeks of reading and study into a few minutes, so we will jump to the next golden nugget.  It’s Proverbs 3:5-6. Many know this by heart.  Trust in the Lord…

There is a lot packed into this verse.  It uses the parallelism that you will come to know well.

First trust in the Lord with everything that you have and you are.  It’s an all in sort of deal. That’s what we are charged to do.  It stands in opposition to what we are told not to do—lean on our own understanding.  That’s our human nature—to trust our thinking over God’s wisdom.

It’s a wrestling match for most people. God says one thing but I’m thinking something else makes more sense.  How do I choose God’s way?

Acknowledge him every step of the way.  God, I do not understand it but I will obey you. 

When you hit that first big obstacle in doing something God’s way, you don’t think or say, Told you so, God.  We should have done this my way. On the contrary, you say, Hallelujah, Amen, Praise the Lord. 

You are no sunshine soldier.  You acknowledge that you will stay the course even during hardship.

God’s promise is to keep you on the very path that he designed for you.

There is God’s way and there is everything else!

We only go a little farther into this same chapter to gain wisdom on the Lord’s disciple. Hear Proverbs 3:11-12.

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,

    and do not resent his rebuke,

because the Lord disciplines those he loves,

    as a father the son he delights in.

Direction, correction, rebuke, admonishment, sanctions, and other actions taken because you veered from the path set for you by the Lord fall under the umbrella that we call discipline.  Discipline is more than this, but for now, we consider the corrective part of discipline.

It’s not punishment.  Punishment has to do with God’s wrath and if you have truly professed Jesus is Lord, you will not know that wrath.  It’s more than saying some words.  It’s professing as truth that you believe completely that Jesus is Lord of all, but especially in your life.  It’s also believing that Jesus is who he says he is.

We might think of the way, the truth, and the life.

What you need to understand is that God does not punish those who seek him.  He disciplines them.  Sometimes it might be hard to tell the two apart, but they are different and distinct.  How?

God disciples those whom he loves.  God’s love is for everyone, but not everyone will recognize God’s discipline as his love.

Some will—wisely—receive his discipline.  Others will—foolishly--reject it and harden their hearts against him.

Understand that God desires none to perish.  He loves you.  If you will trust in him and seek him, he will use the circumstances of your life to bring you to loving relationship with him.

One day, you will become a parent and will get a taste of this.  Whether your child brings home a perfect report card or spent all day in the principal’s office, you will still love them.

You might give them 20 hugs and a day of being grounded at the same time, but both are rooted in love.

God loves you and he will do what he thinks is best to keep you on track.

Our response to God’s discipline should be Thank You, Amen, Hallelujah, and Praise the Lord!  It’s for our own good and comes out of God’s love.

That’s as far as we will go for now.  You are challenged to read the Proverbs.  Read one chapter every day until you catch up with us and then read the same chapter every day.  It is a worthwhile investment.

Wisdom is worth it!

These links may help you catch up.

 

Proverbs 1

God’s way and everything else

Listen to mom and dad

Proverbs 2

If Statements

Best of Both Worlds

Proverbs 3

Those he loves

Trust is Wisdom

Proverbs 4

Get Wisdom

Body Alignment

Proverbs 5

How I Hated Discipline

In Full View of the Lord

Proverbs 6

To the ant, work is wisdom

7 things in the Everything Else Category

Proverbs 7

Easy Targets

Deer in the headlights

Proverbs 8

More Precious than Rubies

Quite a Package

Wisdom as the Ultimate Plank Holder

Proverbs 9

Leave Your Simple Ways

Stolen Water is Sweet