|The Coal Basket Bible
The story is told of an old man who lived on a farm in the mountains of Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning, Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading from his old worn-out Bible. His grandson who wanted to be just like him tried to imitate him in any way he could.
One day the grandson asked, “Papa, I try to read the Bible just like you but I don’t understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Bible do?”
The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and said, “Take this coal basket down to the river and bring back a basket of water.”
The boy did as he was told, even though all the water leaked out before he could get back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, “You will have to move a little faster next time,” and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again.
This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was “impossible to carry water in a basket,” and he went to get a bucket instead.
The old man said, “I don’t want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You can do this. You’re just not trying hard enough,” and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.
At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got far at all. The boy scooped the water and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breath, he said, “See Papa, it’s useless!”
“So you think it is useless?” the old man said. “Look at the basket.”
The boy looked at the basket and for the first time he realized that the basket looked different. Instead of a dirty old coal basket, it was clean. “Son, that’s what happens when you read the Bible. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, it will change you from the inside out.” That is the work of God in our lives. To change us from the inside out and to slowly transform us into the image of His son.
Take time to read a portion of God’s word each day, and remind a friend by sharing this story.
“Live Simply, Love Generously, Care Deeply, Speak Kindly, Leave the Rest to God
I almost can’t watch the news. My heart breaks for my country. Our government is corrupt. Our politicians are disgusting. Our cities are war zones. Our economy is fledgling. Our debt is staggering. Our military is gutted. Our schools are a mess. Racial tensions are the worst I’ve seen in my life time. We can’t even figure out where to go potty. Our media is no more than a propaganda tool for the progressive movement.
“They spurned my rules and their soul abhorred my statutes. I will discipline you for your sins and I will break the pride of your power” Lev 26.. ya think there might be a spiritual problem in our country? We are reaping now what we have sown. The downward spiral can’t be fixed with money or politics.
Duke Hergatt Thank you for the confidence. My calling is preaching and to be a voice of warning. From our church came out state senator, town supervisor and clerk of our county board of Supervisors. They are making a difference in my stead
Do King James Only churches post their sermons on ThouTube?
Scandal at the National Amateur Handbell Choir Tournament. Looks like the winning team hired a couple of ringers.
If Trump would just identify as a woman, we’d have the perfect storm.
On the positive side, they’ve discovered a new perpetual energy source: All the founding fathers spinning in their graves.
First day of VBS, and I got 3 kids to rededicate themselves to staying off the lawn.
This election is pretty much proof that someone went back a million years in a time machine and stepped on a butterfly.
Lady next door uses a 24-hour lawn service. Doesn’t bother me, except when . . . In the midnight hour, she cries, “Mow, mow, mow!”
This is my post from a group I belong to for the Waterford Weslyan Church.
Sorry for being first to post again and I promise I will edit out a lot of the notes I have been making but here goes. . .
How do we keep kids from falling away from the church? I’ve been making a lot of notes on this since I saw the video and the more I think about it the more complex the answer tends to be. This is just so complicated that I don’t think there is a one size fits all answer to this. I can only give a few examples of my childhood that I believe helped me over the years.
I was fortunate that both my Mom and Dad were active in our church and watching how they lived and treated people was certainly a big plus for me. I do think it is important that kids are exposed to church activities as much as possible; I remember going to our churches monthly covered dish or spaghetti suppers where we were around Christians of all shapes and sizes. I helped my dad most Saturdays take care of the church lawn and gardens; a simple thing but it teaches you how to serve the church and God.
When I was being shipped to Utapao Thailand in 1967 one of my moms relatives (Rev Thomas P. Dean) presented me with a small pocket New Testament and while I may not have always read it – I carried it with me wherever I went and still have it to this day and I take it out and thumb through it. It is little things like this that plant these tiny seeds somewhere in the back of your mind that help our faith journey.
Sometimes just being around the right mix of people makes a big difference. I remember when a group of men were talking after church and Manual Beito said to my dad “Henry, I’m a Cuban and you’re a Cracker and we are going to be friends”. That was the beginning of a lifelong friendship.
These are just some miscellaneous thoughts. I hope I haven’t bored everyone.
Pastor Dukes post on Facebook today is excellent. Please give it a good read.
Have you noticed political correctness is way more than a position. It is totalitarian. Any other views are silenced, shamed and attacked. It’s their way or the highway. Most college campuses are taking it to the next level, firing staff who don’t comply. At that point education has ceased and indoctrination has control…which IS THE POINT ! The media has surrendered journalism for opportunism. We are in the final days of our republic. Follow historic cycles and see where we are. As a Biblicist I have been expecting this all along. It’s scary as a citizen but it is exciting as a believer. Jesus predicted it and it’s His coming and not the elections that bring my hope.
Just a quick memory for now. Back in the 60’s my dad and a group of men from his church (St John Presbyterian, Tampa FL) went to Montreat to hear Martin Luther King give a speech. I have a video one of the men took but you only get to see Marin Luther for a couple of seconds – but still very historic and interesting. That speech dad talked about how great is was for literally the rest of his life.
From the Naked Christian BLOG. . . . . interesting but I have to think about this for a while. . .
7 Surprising Reasons Jesus Was Not A Great Man
Jesus was not a great man. Read the Gospels, read what others wrote about Him. He did not want fanboys or screaming teenage girls chasing after him in a concert. If He walked the earth today I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have found Him on the cover of success magazines or celebrity rags showing off on the red carpet his latest $20,000 outfit.
When He lived with us, Jesus did not try to set himself apart from the rest of humanity and rise above the din of the masses. He didn’t focus on self-promotion, tweeting He was the great musician of all time or being successful in any generation’s definition of the term.
1. Jesus was not a great man; he was fully a man
Jesus was fully a man, and yet He was the best of us. He was fully a man, in everything that it truly meant and means to be human. Fully involved in the complexities of His world, the duties and responsibilities of being a man to His Heavenly Father, his family, his friends, his disciples, his community, the government, his region—the world.
Weeping for the lost and the broken, crying out against injustice, speaking truth, loving and caring, doing something about the hurt in the world, even to the point of death, death upon a cross. None of this was below him or not worthy of His time and attention while He was busing trying to be successful and great. He was fully, without reservation, a man, unabashedly involved in everything that it means.
2. Jesus was not a great man; he never sought greatness
Jesus was not a great man, so He calls us to walk away from greatness and walk in His footsteps instead. Because who doesn’t hear the siren call of success? The beckon of the crowds, the allure of the 3 seconds of fame, the desire to be recognized, honored, known. How many likes can we get, followers, tweets, or reblogs? Why do we take so many selfies?
Greatness calls all of us to set ourselves apart from the crowds, distinguish ourselves, set powerful goals that will lift us up from the humdrum of everyone else. To be anything, anything else than simply a man, a woman, a human with all of the duties and responsibilities to our Heavenly Father, family, friends, church, community, government, region—our world that entails.
3. Jesus was not a great man; he did mundane work
But in doing all that it requires to be great, are we not setting ourselves apart, trying to be something more? Who has time for the poor and the needy or with the tasks no one wants to do, like cleaning the toilets or sweeping the floors? I’m too busy trying to be important or noticed.
Who has time day in and day out to sit with the kids, take them to school, pick them up, have dinner with the family, help with homework, actually listen to your spouse, your friends, your family—I’m too busy for all of that.
Or I won’t be content with what I have or the paycheck I have; not that wanting to provide for our families well is a problem, but it becomes an obsession to be more, earn more, show what I can really do, more and more. Who has time to be kind, tender-hearted and understanding when I’m busy being important, if even in my own eyes.
In this pursuit of greatness, of I am better than, or I know better than, are we not making ourselves higher than others, trying to stand out and in doing that be great? Let us not fool ourselves, the allure of greatness is not only on celebrity magazines but in our little corner of the world, community, a circle of friends and even church.
4. Jesus was not a great man; he was a man of faith
We all want to set ourselves apart and be great even in our small ways.That is loftier than others. Which means greater than Jesus. greater than God.
But has not God taken what is great in this world and shown it to be foolishness?
Because what else does all greatness have in common? A pointless and fruitless end. What else is it? It is dust, that returns to earth where it came from and soon forgotten in a heartbeat or a blink of an eye. To be great does not take faith in God, but faith in ourselves. Confidence in ourselves is merely blowing in the wind.
But to live a life that is not great takes faith, not in ourselves, but in God. Faith that God takes the ordinary, mundane, duties and responsibilities of being a man or woman in this time and place done in His name and love and consecrate them. He makes them holy and precious in His sight, and they become part of what lasts forever.
5. Jesus was not a great man; he was humble
From scheduling a meeting to cleaning a toilet, feeding the needy to having a position of responsibility, doing homework with the kids to teaching Sunday School, letting others take the lead to leading with humility, and all that comes around and in-between, that is part of not a great life but a human life, living unreservedly in life’s duties, problems, successes and failures, experiences and perplexities is throwing ourselves completely into the arms of God. (Bonhoeffer)
A life that takes seriously not what the greatness of the world takes seriously but what God does. A life that stops taking ourselves so seriously and finally actually takes God seriously.
6. Jesus was a Savior and not a great person
In doing this, we find ourselves at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ, not a great man but fully a man being exactly what it means to be a human fully. In such a place, God becomes exactly who he is-God. We’ll take seriously the life, hurt and need of this world as we fully live within it and start doing something about it. Even to the point of death on a cross.
This is not greatness, but it is the very salvation of the world that will remain when all fame has turned to dust. That is faith and what it means to be a man, a woman; indeed to be Christian.
7. Jesus relinquished his greatness by becoming human
As we walk into our everyday lives to imitate Jesus Christ, not in His greatness because He was not, but in His humanity, because He was fully all of what that means.
To imitate those who have and continue in faith to imitate Christ in their everyday lives. To follow their example and learn from them as they learned from Jesus. In that struggle, not the futile struggle to be great but the real struggle to relinquish all of our greatness and in doing be like Jesus. When asked what we want to do with our lives, what our goals are, how will we make our mark in this world? For us to learn to say, I am a man, a woman, a Christian.
There is nothing great about that but there is nothing worth more.
In a series of Facebook posts Pastor Duke post “Ministry Memory” and they are worth reading a couple times.
Ministry memory. One summer night only weeks after we arrived in NY I was knocking doors in a mobile home park. I met a grease monkey sort of guy working on his car. He was a wise guy..my favorite kind. I boldly gave him the Gospel. He said “I ain’t ready for that but when I am you’ll see me again”. A year later he showed up in our bank hall and said he was ready. Soon he and his wife and mother in law all came to Christ and were baptized. He asked prayer for his boss who owned a garbage company. The garbage boss soon showed up and said “I came to find out what happened to Doug Miller. I want what he’s got”. The garbage mogul turned out to be Pastor Larry DiNovo our second church planter. JoEllen and I introduced Larry to Marianne,a girl from my home church in Ohio. Larry married her and today my only son is married to their daughter. Thank you Doug for sharing your faith. God is always up to something but most of the time we are not seeing it till a little later down the road. He is the I AM not the I was.