Pastor’s viewpoint: Sept. 3, 2016

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2016

We were in Arizona preaching a revival at Blue Gap and leading two Vacation Bible schools at Blue Gap and Burnt Corn. One day they came to us at Burnt Corn and told us we needed to quickly drive back to Blue Gap. It was going to rain and we couldn’t get across the wash. That’s a dry stream bed until it rains, then the water comes rushing down the wash and can literally “wash” a car downstream!
Jesus told a story about two men who built a house; one built his house on the sand in a wash and the other built his house on the rock above the wash. Then it rained and the house in the sand was “washed” away.
Laying a good foundation is the first step in building a house and a life. Roy Disney, Walt’s brother, once said, “It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” Making a decision about your values makes all the other decisions come more easily.
“So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing. (1 Kings 18:20-21, (22-29), 30-39)
For years, Mary Ella read “The Tales of Narnia,” a series of children’s books written by C. S. Lewis, to her classes. In “The Silver Chair,” one of his characters says “Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.”
“The problem, simply put, is that,” according to Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote the book “Eat, Pray, Love,” “we cannot choose everything simultaneously.” I remember being told in seminary, “Either the Bible will drive sin out of your life, or sin will drive the Bible out of your life.” About that some time Mary Ella and I went the Wilmore United Methodist Church and heard Doug Oldham sing, “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it for me!” I decided then and there I’d believe God’s Word … and that settled it for me, too!

Charles ‘Buddy’ Whatley is a retired United Methodist pastor, a marketplace chaplain, and with Mary Ella, a missionary to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.