Tuesday, July 22, 2014

(My Five Observations Regarding Mat Boy)

This is a sermon that has been stewing around in me for a while.

I hear so many people moan and complain and whine and carry on about what they don't have and what they wish they had and how all they need is a little of this and a little of that and what all they could have IF ONLY someone else or something else would help them or get out of their way....

In the book of John, fifth chapter, we meet a man who has been lying on his mat for THIRTY-EIGHT years.  

When we are introduced to him, the man is in the vicinity of the healing pool.
1.  Yep - what he needs is in the neighborhood.

Jesus asks him, "Do you want to get well?" 
2.  Hint - Hint - Significant Question:  "Do you WANT to get well?"

Guess what?  The man does NOT say "Yes!".  The man who has been on his mat for THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS starts whining - yes, whining.  He whimpers that there has been no one to help him pick up his mat and get into the pool of water. 
3.  Sound familiar?  Someone else should be helping him.

 He then states that no one will help him get into the pool when the "water is stirred".  
4.  Imagine that - he thinks he has to continue reclining, waiting for just the right moment to try to change his situation.

Further, Mat Boy complains that every time he tries to get into the water, someone or something gets in his way. 
5.   Help him, Jesus - It just wasn't his fault...

Jesus said to him, 


Jesus didn't say, "Here, let me help you up."  He also didn't say, "Let me help you with that nasty mat you've been wallowing on for thirty-eight years."  He also didn't say, "Let me stand here and listen to your list of excuses.  And, oh yeah, Jesus did not say, "You can leave that filthy mat for someone else to pick up and clean up."


I wasn't there, but I love to think that Jesus lost it and yelled "GET UP!" to the top of his lungs.

How badly do you want your situation to be changed?  Do you really want it to change? If yes, maybe you need to get up and do something.  If no, keep lying on your mat.  Maybe someone will bring you a cool one.  But I hope someone who loves you dearly will scream at you, "GET UP!"

Take a step on your own and watch what happens.

P.S.  If I had a church, I would do sermons like this - short and sweet and straight to the gut - and you could eat your Sunday fried chicken with something to think about.  Just sayin'...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ankle Socks and a Johnny Cash Concert…

Today, as I pick at my writings, I am thinking of days gone by and those I miss the most.

I miss Uncle Cecil.

When I was a child, I was fascinated by the way Uncle Cecil put on his socks.  He wore those very thin white socks.  He would pull one all the way up his leg and then, in one fast motion, roll the sock down with the palms of his hands.  It made a fine thin roll at his ankle.  I tried doing that, recently, with one of my pricey trouser socks, and it didn't work as well.  Sock-rolling may be a lost art.

I also miss that, after Uncle Cecil would "take a drink" on Friday night, he would go to the livingroom, put a Johnny Cash album on the old record player, and sit on the sofa, alone, strumming his guitar along with Johnny.  I watched, mesmerized, from behind the door.   My own private Johnny Cash concert on Buttermilk Road in Anniston, Alabama.

Even though he isn't here anymore, Uncle Cecil lives on.  He told me some dandy stories before he went to meet Johnny and the Lord.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Grief doesn’t come and go
He mostly stays.
He is like a stranger who comes to call.
A big nasty stranger with mud on his shoes.
Someone frightening – someone you would not normally let into your house.
But he doesn’t even ask - he opens the door and walks through you -
like in a nightmare.
He picks your favorite chair and props his feet on the coffee table.

You don’t like this uncomfortableness in your home
And hope this stranger will leave right away so you can get on with your chores.
But he moves in without even asking your permission
Claiming closets and bathrooms and dresser drawers and even your secrets.

Un-invited, he sits in the chair beside you
No matter which chair you choose.
He watches you undress.
He watches you eat.
He hears you laugh and rushes to make you bite your lip to stop.

He mocks you when you pray.

And he stays.

Sara Joanne Saxon Hill
September 28, 2009

Monday, February 17, 2014

Choices and Rules....

"My Flowers" - by Majo

Yesterday, I came out of Macy’s to hear a young mom ask a 
two-ish-year-old two questions:

1.  “Do you want to put on your hat?”  
(It was the kind of weather that requires a child to wear a hat)

2.  “Can you be calm?”
(The child seemed to be behaving very nicely.)

Funny – when I was a kid, I did not realize that I had an OPTION to (A) be calm, or to (B) act like a heathen.

The one thing I would wish for today’s young parents is that you would behave like a PARENT and not like you have to be your child’s best friend.  I think the best friend part is a given – you are required to be always be there for your child.  But being a good parent is different and carries a lot more responsibility.  There are rules you have to explain and enforce - whether you want to or not.   

I am speaking this on the authority of the Bible.  Dad and Mom are required to be in charge of their household.

In some things you don’t teach a CHOICE.  You teach the RULES.  You are responsible for teaching your child what is expected and what is necessary to get along in this society.

I realize that small ones are sometimes going to have melt-downs.  Children do that.  But if they are doing it a lot, ask yourself:  By giving them choices instead of rules, are YOU causing most of the melt-downs?

Monday, February 10, 2014

"Night Sail..."


“Wait,” I begged.
“Wait just a little while. 
There is more I want to say to you. 
I have some things to show you!  
We have more things to do!”

But you paid no attention. 
You ignored me quietly and then curtly,
With your eyes fixed on something I could not see nor could I be a part of – yet.
You had something else to do and it could not wait for me.