From My Heart to Yours

                  

 

Bro. Bill Scroggs

 

 

 

Showers of Blessing

August 21, 2022

This week we were blessed with rain that was much needed.  This should finalize driving the burn ban away for the fall and bring some nice color to our leaves.  Of course, the cooler temperatures have also been appreciated, especially as the political season heats up.  Fortunately, it has been fairly quiet for the past few months since our primary election in May.

Sport are being discussed in positive tones and there is much excitement with some fanatical fans even talking about us defeating Alabama, (not rational fans mind you) but it is early and after the first snap reality could allow our fans to return to earth.

The blessing of rain and cooler temperatures enough for us to rejoice and have hope for the days ahead.  The apostle Paul gives us this advice from Philippians 4:8, “Finally, Brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Then we can count our blessings.

 

Exciting Times

August 14, 2022

The end of summer has many reasons to be excited. The new school is starting which means Football is about to start.
There is a possibility of cooler weather.  The hunting seasons are about to open, we were able to support our Arkansas
Baptist Children’s Homes with a back to school offering as well as offerings to the mountain children who have
connections to our church.

Now to top it off we get to participate in The Dixie Jackson Missions offering for Arkansas state missions! To me this is
exciting because as recipients of grants from the Dixie Jackson Offering helped to build our church, this is our privilege
to give back and pay it forward to the next generation of churches and ministries in our state.

We are blessed to have Roger Gaunt with us today to share about things going on in Arkansas. Roger has been a
longtime friend of our church and has seen many changes in his partnership between us and the state convention.

This year’s theme is, “While It Is Still Light” based on John 9:4, “I must do the works of Him who sent me, while it is
day; the night cometh when no man can work.” Let us be found to be about our Father’s business.

 

 

Have You Ever Wondered?

July 31, 2022

There has been a lot of trial and error before we were ever even born. We are blessed to live in a time where we can go to
the grocery store and pick out foods we enjoy with very little thought or effort. We can even pick out and try foods we have
never seen or tried before. But what caused the first person to say, “I think I will put that in my mouth.” How many folks had
to det sick or die before someone said, “Don’t eat that, it is not good for you?” Or how did they find out some things that will
kill you can be prepared just a little differently and it is edible and, in some cases, even good for you?

Today someone can tell you something you have never tried is good or good for you, and you will or might try it. Sometime the
one advising you was your parents or a friend. The same thing can be true for a relationship with GOD. Maybe your parents
or a friend introduced you to GOD and you paid attention because you trusted them.

How are our children and friends going to know and follow GOD unless we tell them? Acts 1:8 reminds us that we must be
“witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and unto the uttermost parts of the world.” That means start at home with our family, friends and
everywhere else we have opportunity. Let’s not wonder what would happen if we don’t.

 

Dog Days...

July 24, 2022

While the world turns, and we get more ‘senior’ we/I don’t always remember things the way they were. I remember
prior to my teen years hearing for the first time the phrase, ‘Dog days.’ When Iasked what that meant, the explanation
was, “The days are so hot and miserable in August, that they are not fit for a dog.”

This year I have given a lot of thought to these hot dry days we have gone through in not just July but starting in
June.  We must pray the trend does not continue.

I thought rain was bad when I was young, but my mind has been changed as I grew older. Several folks over the
years have said, “Any rain is good in August.” Now we can say any rain is good in June and July. We are grateful
for the showers we got this week, but the drought is nowhere near over.
Pray… Pray… Pray…

I also thought I could handle a lot of things by myself. That I now know is definitely not the truth. I must ask for
help from GOD daily. We are reminded in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it shall be given you.”  Now that is advice to
remember.

 

What Causes That?

July 17, 2022

This morning I was sitting outside drinking in the cool of the day and watching the trees gently swaying and
listening to the birds singing to each other. As I sat there my eye was drawn to a branch in the center of a group of
trees where one branch was moving in a rhythm contrary to the rest of the tree. At first, I figured it was a squirrel
climbing through the tree, but it kept moving only about 3-4 inches in a predictable pattern and frequency.

While I focused in on the action, I saw a little bird pecking on a pinecone. I am not sure what or if the bird was getting
anything out of its target, but I was entertained by the persistence the bird was demonstrating.

Every day we have someone or more than one observing us in our lives. Are we as consistent and persistent in our
walk with CHRIST? Do we build up or are we tearing down our friends and family?
Do others see JESUS in us? We are reminded in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not grow weary in well doing: for in
due season we shall reap, if we faint
not.”

 

Can You Tell?

July 10, 2022

I learned how to cook in most ways from my Mom and Dad.  Mom could cook anything she wanted to and was even willing to follow directions in a cookbook or her personal file.  I remember asking her how to make this or that and many times she would go to her recipes and give you this textbook answer rather than trying to guess how to do it.

The best meal for Dad’s expertise was breakfast and I don’t remember recipes, but I do remember his whistling and watching it all come together with his fluffy scrambled eggs.

Much of the joy I got for cooking was from my parents.  I learned how to ‘thump’ a watermelon to tell if it was ripe and consider myself to have learned that skill fairly well.  I learned how to tell the status of a steak by touching it with my finger as it comes close to being done.  Sometimes, but not always I can judge the quality of the roast or steak by looking at it.

God looks at us and HE can see we are all no good.  Yet even though we are not any good, God commended HIS love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8) Yes, HE can tell we are not worthy, but HE loves us too, warts and all.

 

Father’s Day

June 19, 2022

The institution of Father’s Day is credited to a woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd. She wanted a
special day to honor her father, Henry Jackson Smart. Her father was widowed when his wife died during the birth of
their sixth child. Mr. Smart was left to raise the newborn and his other five children by himself on a rural farm in
eastern Washington State.

As an adult, Sonora realized the sacrifice her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent. In the eyes
of this daughter, he was a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Some of my fondest childhood
memories were times Dad would load us 3-5 children depending on how far back and go off on adventures that
might be swimming or it would be a fishing trip whether a creek, lake river or pond. I remember the patience of
Dad when dealing with five children with as many demanding needs. As a parent the demands made me
appreciate all the sacrifices Dad made for us.

Thank GOD for my Dad, I am grateful to GOD as my heavenly Father and for who He (GOD) is in our family’s life and what
He has taught my Dad and each of us. Matthew 7:11 reminds us, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts
unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” 

What a challenge!
 

Grateful

June 12, 2022

It seems most of us are able to find reasons to be grateful every day for something… If we halfway look. While
we find many bitter people who don’t like anything around them, others in spite of bad circumstances are able to
‘rejoice’ and praise GOD for showers of blessings.

I am grateful for healthy children and grands and now greats that GOD blessed us with. I am grateful to have
my children serving GOD and now some of the Grands are working in Vacation Bible Schools, carrying on traditions
Reta and I have left for them. I am grateful Reta was able to work with children all of her life, not only our
children and their progeny, but hundreds and maybe thousands both in church, community choir but at this last
part of her life in the public school. I am grateful for Reta and the hours she has invested in kids, and in my life. I am
grateful for HIS protection on both her health issues as well as mine. We are less than half a year until our nation
celebrates Thanksgiving but let us not wait until then to give GOD praise.

Psalm 86:12 gives us this encouraging word, “I will
praise thee, O LORD my GOD with my heart all my heart: and will glorify thy name forever.”

 

Memorial Day

May 29, 2922

Many will celebrate the day off without giving a thought to the men and women who gave their lives to protect our country and others around the world to keep us free and safe.  As each year passes, we are reminded that our peace and safety came with a price and that price continues to grow as the terrorists continue to show us how vulnerable our soldiers are and in turn how insecure it even makes our loved ones.

I am proud of the men and women in uniform serving our country and stepping up to answer the call as countless soldiers have in the past.  We are reminded of these words from Psalms 33:12, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” As we remember the ones who gave their lives, let us remember our creator who made us the country we have been.

May we return to being a nation whose God is The Lord.

Sleight of Hand

May 15, 2022

Many of us enjoy watching an illusionist as they weave stories moving with words and sleight of hand to make you think you see something you really don’t see. It is such a science; I am afraid that real life is trying to do the same thing to us. We are told things we can perfectly see are not really so. In fact, sometimes we are so fooled if we are not careful the world’s lies begin to confuse us. We can’t always believe what we think.

At times like this instead of getting caught up in the world’s confusion we must trust in The LORD. GOD is not confused or dismayed by all the ‘strange’ things going on. We are reminded in Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived, GOD is not mocked.” The world may fool its own, but GOD isn’t confused. That is why when the events seem strange and we don’t really know what is going on, we must, “Trust in The LORD with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).

And… I say, today we must trust even more in The LORD!

 

Mother’s Day

May 8, 2022

The celebration of Mother’s Day is always a time of mixed emotions. It is a time to welcome new moms getting to celebrate their first Mother’s Day and for some it is a time of reflecting on their children and where they are.

For some of us whose moms have gone on it is a time to remember the contributions they made to our lives. It causes us to remember the times we have questions we wish we could ask them.  We remember the milestones we would like to share with them and have them share with our children, grands and greats.

If your mother is still here find her and at the very least thank her for giving you life. There are no perfect mothers because all are human, but most do the best they can.  Some of us have spiritual moms we also need to give thanks to and for. Don’t wait for a certain day, show your love and appreciation while you can.  

“You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14).

 

Truth In Advertising

May 1, 2022

Is it true? Or… is it close? We live in a time when you can watch two or more advertisements and your mind goes back to, “did he really say that, or did someone else just say the opposite of that?”

I have often said, “I wish they had to wear a shocking collar to see if they are telling the truth.” For those who do not know what a shock collar is, we used them to train coon dogs. When the dog was running a deer and we were wanting them to run coons, he was lying to us. The shock would reinforce teaching them to bark on a coon and not to try to make us ’think’ they were running a coon. That is where we get the term “Lying Coon dog.”

In a world filled with confusion at least and deceit in reality we need something we can count on. “In the beginning GOD created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). When someone gets confused and lies about the origin, no wonder other issues get twisted as well. We must get back to the truth and align our live and decisions on the truth. In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  And… that’s the truth.

Happy New Year?

April 24, 29022

 The feeling I get after celebrating the Resurrection is very close if not more exciting than January first.  The calendar new year follows Thanksgiving and Christmas which, even with spiritual aspect of the birth of Jesus, is a stressful time.  After January first there is a “whew” moment of release from all of the stress of the hustle and bustle.

However, at the celebration of the Resurrection there is a fresh newness of elation in my heart!  True, things are blooming while other things are greening up, but more than that I feel halleluiah moments of elation grasping once again the joy of knowing “HE is not here, HE is risen, just as HE said! (Matthew 28:6)

On The Way To The Cross

April 17, 2022

There is a lot of focus on the last week of Jesus’ life as He is headed to the cross. But in reality, from the first sin of man, Jesus began each step of His journey going to the cross for our salvation.

He witnessed the fall of Adam and Eve as they sinned. He watched and listened as Adam blamed Eve for his part in the sin. He saw the first murder in the history in only the second generation.   He saw the degeneration of mankind that brought God to the point of being sorry that He has even made man by the eighth generation. He looked on as Noah and his family were extended grace as the rest of the world was destroyed by the flood.

He watched as each man sinned and was not able to maintain a righteous relationship with God until the time was right to be born of a virgin and live as a man without sin, yet tempted in all ways remaining without spot or blemish so He could take on our sins and become the ultimate sacrifice.

On the way to the cross, “God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:8).

Rejoice!

 

Which Piece of Chicken Do You Like?

April 10, 2022

When I was growing up, we seldom got to choose which piece of chicken we would rather have unless it was the neck, backbone or the gizzard.  In those days chickens had a pulley bone which actually meant you had one more piece of white meat and another piece you were only able get one out of four times.

At no time before I was in my twenties would you have heard anyone say, “I’ve got dibs on the six-piece!”  We all probably remember someone asking, “From what part of the chicken do you think the nugget came?”

Chickens have different parts because each of us has different preferences. GOD has made each of us unique because HE has need of your abilities. And… HE chose you because He Loves you.

Each of you is important and you attract others with your giftings. Remember these words in Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” Be what you were meant to be.

 

What Did You Expect?

April 3, 2022

Spring is here, isn’t it? I mean we are six weeks past Ground Hogs Day, we are past March 20 which is supposed to be the start of spring and we have entered April.

Where did this freezing weather come from? The beauty of our weather is there is only one thing for sure, and that is, the weather will change and surprise is almost guaranteed.  Right now you may need a coat as you leave the house in the morning and short sleeves in the afternoon. Already this past month we had at least one morning in the sixties and afternoons in the seventies to almost eighty.

Even in the ice, snow and cold temperatures we have already seen some beautiful flowers. With the beauty breaking forth from the bad around us, isn’t that GOD’s way? Even in the bad or confusion GOD is with us and shows HIMSELF strong.

Before Jesus left HIS disciples on earth HE told them in Matthew 28:20, “and behold I am with you, to the end of the age.”  And folks, that you can expect.

 

Thank You!

March 20, 2022

It takes each of us doing what we can as a small church to have an effective overall program. From our music program to missions and everything in between each of us has a part.

As in a sports team it is always a blessing to have a good substitute. While our main piano player, Phyllis Adams, has been out of commission caring for her helpmeet, Wayne, Wanda Owen stepped in to not only handle the duties on the piano, but also the scheduling of the songs and the singers.

She has handled the challenges well even though several times changes had to be made due to illnesses. Then illness put Wanda on the sidelines Wednesday and Anna Cody stepped up to play backup for Wanda.  Doug Scroggs fortunately was able to be home, as Reta had parent-teacher conferences at school, and led our music and gave us a great special.

With everything that is going on we have reached our goal of $1800 for Annie Armstrong Mission Offering. All I can say is as the apostle Paul said in Philippians 1:3, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” Thank you, You are a blessing to me for your faithfulness.

 

March, It’s an Adventure!

March 13, 2022

To say March came in like a lion is partially true. March has been interesting to say the least.  We have had snow, sleet, rain, tornados and even beautiful days. Everyone should have had a little bit of weather that pleased them even if it was only for a few hours. We have had some days where it started off pleasant and by the end of the day you are in a jacket. Likewise some days started off cold and wearing a coat, but by the afternoon we were in short sleeves, at least some of us anyway.

March is in reality, like life. Our best plans get modified or completely scrapped, but GOD is still in control.  We are reminded in Romans 8:28 by the apostle Paul that, “All things work together for good to them that love The LORD and are called according to HIS purpose.”

What a blessing that not only does GOD create adventures for us, but is with us all along the way.

 

Spring Is Here?

March 6, 2022

This week I heard weather person talking about March 1st being the beginning of ‘Meteorological’ Spring. Now I have always followed the experts that relied on the ground hog principal, which almost always indicates mid-March. The Spring Equinox is the first day of spring ‘Astronomically’ speaking which falls on March 19, 20 or 21 every year.

The best indicator of Spring is those 5-8 pleasant day before it becomes the blazing hot days of summer. The good news for the week is we have enjoyed sunny skies, warmer weather and spring flowers poking through the ground and some even blooming.  With all the bad news around the world it is a real treat to enjoy the beauty GOD has given us this week.

Another sure sign of spring in most states is Daylight Saving Time. Next week we will get to lose an hour of sleep so we can save it for an extra hour of sleep in the fall. The good thing about that is it might be a benefit in the fall after a long football game.

There are many ways we can see the truth of apostle Paul’s in Romans 8:28, “For we know all things work together for good to those love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.”

                                            

Hope and Faith

February 27, 2022

During a study at Harvard in the 1950s, Dr. Curt Richter placed rats in a pool of water to test how long they could tread water. On average they’d give up and sink after 15 minutes. But right before they gave up due to exhaustion, the researchers would pluck them out, dry them off, let them rest for a few minutes – and put them back in for a second round. In this second try – how long do you think they lasted? Remember – they had just swum until failure only a few short minutes ago…How long do you think?

Another 15 minutes?

10 minutes?

5 minutes?

No!                                                                    

60 hours!               

That’s not an error.

That’s right! 60 hours of swimming.

The conclusion drawn was that since the rats BELIEVED that they would eventually be rescued, they could push their bodies way past what they previously thought impossible. I will leave you with this thought:  If hope can cause exhausted rats to swim for that long, what could your faith do for you?  Remember of what you’re capable.  Remember why you’re here.

 Remember to whom you belong. The apostle Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”