About Me

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Knoxville, TN, United States
Interim Pastor of Evergreen Presbyterian Church (USA), Dothan, AL.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Driving Your Soul

Today's "A Little More" is from guest blogger, Scott Hood. 

The traffic was terrible.  Patience was running low and most people were lifting their hands in disgust and talking in another language!  Since we were moving so slowly, I glanced over to the car beside me.  The driver looked so calm and a pleasant smile was on his face.  This was very odd compared to all the other drivers.  He had a very small car that seemed to fit him just right.  As he moved a little ahead of me I noticed that he was driving a Soul.  If you have never seen a Soul, it is a very interesting car.  My memory flashed back to the many times that I have seen the Soul in parking lots and I always liked the style and size of the car. 

I remember that I once was visiting a car lot and noticed a Soul in the used section of the dealership.  The seats looked just big enough to fit me like a glove and I liked the look of the inside of the car.  Of course, the gas mileage was very good and you could park that car anywhere!  My only concern was that if (heaven forbid) one was in a wreck, that car would fold up like an aluminum can. 

So much of our life is spent seeing and touching tangible things.  It is not a surprise that faith is difficult for so many of us.  Faith is, by definition, something that you cannot touch or see.  We are a society of people who want proof.  We want to see and touch proof.  We don't seem to do well with explanations that have very little proof and a great deal of "believe me" dialog.  And so it is with our souls.

Like faith, our soul is something that we cannot touch or see.  It is one of those "intangibles" that we have trouble believing exists or trouble trying to explain.  But our soul fits us.  It is who we are.  According to many religions, it is the center of our being and controls our thoughts and actions.  You may know the saying, "deep down in your soul"?  Deep down is where most people find their life compass.  Deep down is where you can find the soul. 

I find it interesting that a car company would name a car Soul.  It was made to go the extra mile and the design of the car is to "fit" (there is also a car called Fit, but that is another topic!) a person like a glove.  And you can take that car anywhere.  No parking spot is too small for the Soul.  I have a friend who has a Soul.  They love the way it drives and they never worry about traffic jams because they said their Soul could get them out of any situation.

Life can be a traffic jam that seems to trap us in so many ways.  The way that we react to the trouble often shapes who we are.  God has given us a wonderful gift of a brain that helps us think through situations and make decisions.  He gave us a heart to feel right from wrong, but it the soul that brings our heart and brain together to guide us through our lives.  The soul; you can take it anywhere.  And believe me; it can get you out of life's traffic jams.  Take it out for a test drive.  You will be smiling in traffic, too!

-- Scott Hood 

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Complaining About Complaining

Complaining About Complaining

I love the story from Numbers, chapter 11, where the children of Israel complain about their manna. They didn't like the manna. It tasted bad. They were happier in Egypt; they were enslaved, but at least they had free fish, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic. Now they're free, but the food literally stinks and is the delightful color of resin.

So Moses does a little complaining, too. "What am I supposed to do with these people? What did I do to deserve that you treat me this way, God? If this is the way things are going to be, then please kill me now so I don't have to listen to all this complaining!"

People complain. It's free, and it's fun for all ages. We start complaining about the time we start talking, maybe sooner. And we hone the skill the rest of our lives.

What's your favorite thing to complain about? Does complaining make you feel better? What do you do when people complain around you? Do you join in? Do you follow their lead and bolster the chorus? What do you do when people complain ABOUT you?

So, after Moses complains, God kicks into gear. The first thing God does is tell Moses that he shouldn't have to bear the burden of complaints all by himself. He's to appoint 70 others to help him. And then, in one of the funniest statements of God in the Bible, God declares that the people of Israel will get meat instead of manna. In fact, they'll get so much meat it'll be coming out their nostrils.

So, I take this episode as some guidance for handling complaints.

1. Listen to the complaints.

2. Get help.

3. Laugh about it.

No matter what you do, people will complain. Whether in bondage or in freedom, whether eating manna from heaven or filet mignon, they'll find a reason to complain. So, listen, get help, and then laugh. Even God gets fed up hearing complaints, too.