Year One, Week Twenty-Three
Have you ever thought about the lives our ancestors lived? Once our forefathers boarded ship in the Old World, there was no opportunity the next day to decide, “I don’t think I want to make this trip after all.” I’ve never read of any lifeboats or rafts on the Mayflower.
Year One, Week 22
I have always looked at decades as milestones in life. I was too young to appreciate this when I turned ten years old, but every decade beginning with age twenty presented opportunity for a significant pause to look back to what God allowed me to accomplish and forward to what He held in store.
Year One, Week 21
My mind sometimes wanders back forty-five years ago to my third grade class. Florence Chesney used practically every minute of every day teaching us moral values, especially in reading class.
Remember the pictures in those old readers? They practically begged us to read the stories we were assigned. Ms. Chesney read every story aloud to us, enunciating each word and phrase exactly the way she wished us to express it when we read aloud later in the week. In other words, she taught by example.
Year One, Week Nineteen
In his book, Who You Are When No One’s Looking: Choosing Consistency, Resisting Compromise, Bill Hybels says that character can be determined by what we do when no one is looking. Character is sometimes confused with reputation, but reputation is what other people think of us. Character is not the same as success or achievement—character is not defined by what we have done, but who we are.
Year One, Week Nineteen
My pastor recently asked me to teach the adult Vacation Bible School class at our church this summer. I asked him if there was a book or specific topic he wished me to address. He said that he could get me a book or that I could choose one of my own.
I came home and examined my bookshelves. I found a book by Bill Hybels entitled Who You Are When No One’s Looking: Choosing Consistency, Resisting Compromise. What a fascinating subject, I thought.
I am writing this on April 30, 2018. Tomorrow is the first day of May. My mind goes back tonight to May 27, 1983, the day I graduated from Horace Maynard High School thirty-five years ago.
Horace Maynard High School was located in the same building currently used as Horace Maynard Middle School. Our actual graduation week began with a tradition that each boy have a girl to “walk down the aisle” at the occasion. Anyone who knows me can tell that I was not “ladies’ first choice” back then.
Year One, Week Seventeen
There are times in everyone’s life at church when there is a strong desire to laugh, but it would be most inappropriate.
One of my very favorite services is the Lord’s Supper (otherwise known as “communion” to some believers). At Maynardville (now the First) Baptist Church, this service has always been conducted with the utmost propriety. This is the service that commemorates the broken body and shed blood of the Lord Jesus, sacrificed that the world might be saved.
Don’t you love getting tickled in church? The worst times are those during an actual service when it would be most inappropriate to laugh; also, these are the times incidents seem funnier than they might otherwise.
But sometimes we get lucky and funny things happen in church when we can laugh and not be inappropriate. I hadn’t been driving long, and I still had my first car. It was a 1967 Chevrolet Impala that I inherited from my father. The car rode low on its springs, so roads with unexpected dips could be challenging. The car also seemed as long as a small bus, and I tried in those early days of driving to park it where it would be easiest to pull out for the ride home. My choice parking space at that time was at the edge of the parsonage driveway, directly under a cedar tree.
Year One, Week Fifteen
Confessions and Love
I could never be a successful criminal. I have a huge guilt complex, and when I do something wrong I just have to tell someone about it. The Holy Scriptures tell us to confess our faults one to another (James 5:16, KJV). What we so often forget is the remainder of the verse, “that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Year One, Week Fourteen
The weekend my mother passed away my good friend and deacon of the First Baptist Church of Maynardville, Ronnie Robbins, stopped by to see me. Tearfully, he told me how sorry he was to hear of my mother’s passing. He said, “You’ve lost the best friend you’ll ever have.” Ronnie would have known, for his mother had passed away some time earlier.
My mother didn’t always approve of everything I did, and she never failed to let me know when she didn’t. Even so, I knew she loved me until her dying day.
Year One, Week Thirteen
Three weeks ago I shared an instance in which I let the preconceived notions of others affect the way I felt about my work study supervisor. The following week I shared instances in which I have incorrectly judged a person to be kind. Last week, I related instances where impressions have come into play for (and against) me. Today, I talk about the difficulties of being placed on a pedestal, the “5/90/5” percent theory.
Two weeks ago I shared an instance in which I let the preconceived notions of others affect the way I felt about my work study supervisor. Last week I shared instances in which I have incorrectly judged a person to be kind. This week I will relate instances where impressions have come into play for (and against) me.
Sometimes I am around those who give their honest opinions about various things and people. I have myself said of some, “If s/he was standing on a stack of Bibles shaking hands with Jesus himself I wouldn’t believe a word s/he said.” I always find it amusing if someone then asks me, “What’s your real opinion?”
Mincey’s Musings Year One, Week Eleven, Last week I shared an instance in which I let the preconceived notions of others affect the way I felt about my work study supervisor. That was the first of four instances I want to share, that in which the opinions of others caused me to make an erroneous first impression of another, but which resulted in positive experiences.
I think probably everyone “sizes up” people when they first meet them. For years, I thought this ability was a special gift handed only to me. I can remember bragging over and over in my younger days, “I can size a person up within the first five minutes of having met them.”
One day somebody replied, “Don’t you think just about everybody can do the same thing?” When I thought about it, I decided this person was probably right, and another of life’s huge letdowns was revealed—the gift of first impressions was not unique just to me.
Mincey’s Musings Year One, Week Nine
On Sunday afternoon, February 18, 2018, my Sunday School class from Loveland Baptist Church went to the East Tennessee Historical Society’s Museum of East Tennessee History, located at 601 Gay Street in Downtown Knoxville. For any reader who has never been there, I highly recommend the trip. If you love local history, you will not be disappointed.
Some people have pictures in their wallets or on their phones of the wives, children, grandchildren, etc. I have one picture of my wife in my wallet and maybe one of my stepson and me. I have several pictures on my phone of a special female who came into my life in May, 2009. It happened like this.
My wife was visiting the place where she lived before she married me, then as now occupied by her son and his girlfriend. One of the many cats that had been there had recently had kittens. The momma cat was run over by a car and died. No one knew where her kittens were.
When a man and wife have a disagreement and the man fares less well than his spouse, it is sometimes comically said that the husband “is in the doghouse”. I once unexpectedly found myself in the cat house, though it certainly had nothing to do with my wife.
So far, you might think I was in a somewhat disreputable place, and I admit I both gave and received a lot of loving that afternoon. Gentle reader, don’t get excited! Though confession is good for the soul, I’m a little too vain to tell on myself in writing.