Jun 22

“Hot Wheels” And A Burning Conscience

7019_Road_DragsterJust down the street from where I grew up was a drug store that sold “Hot Wheels” cars. That was great news to a little boy who loved to play with and collect “Hot Wheels.” One day I saw a car that I just had to have. It was on a shelf and the sticker beneath it read 89¢. However, when the cashier rang it up, I was only charged 59¢.

I left the store and I was thrilled! The store had under-charged me 30¢, plus I had a really cool new “Hot Wheels” car! However, my excitement was short lived for I soon discovered that I just couldn’t bring myself to play with this car. Every time I tried, my conscience would burn within me. Since I couldn’t stand the pangs of guilt, a couple days later, I took three dimes from my savings, went back to the store, laid them on the counter, and ran out of the store as fast as I could go.

I still have that car to this day. The front wheels are broken off from a lot of play. Most people might throw away a broken car with no wheels, but I’ve kept this car through the years as a reminder not to violate my conscience.

What about you? Do you have a clear conscience? If not, collect your “30¢” and go make things right! You’ll be glad you did!

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Jun 19

A Memory of My Dad on Father’s Day

radio1 On this second “Father’s Day” since the passing of my father, I thought I would share a memory of my Dad.

The picture to the left represents an important part of my dad’s life. For more than 40 years, Dad conducted a 15 minute, daily radio program called, “Bible Meditations.” I don’t think many people understand what a commitment this work involved. Imagine setting aside a minimum of an hour every weekday, in the middle of the day, and working your schedule around it. That’s what Dad did for years. Frequently, he recorded his programs live at the radio station, but in later years, he recorded his programs on a reel-to-reel recorder, and eventually on CDs.

Whenever we went on vacation, or when Dad was away in a gospel meeting, or when we just wanted to be somewhere around noon, it required that Dad pre-record shows. I can remember Dad spending hours sitting at the microphone, making advance recordings so we could be out of town. I also remember countless times I would walk in on him as he was recording, causing him to have to start all over. I can only imagine how frustrating that must have been, but he never let on to me.

For those of you who listened to “Bible Meditations,” let me let you in on an insider tidbit. Do you see the stopwatch in the picture? Dad and I had a lot of fun with that through the years. My uncle gave me that stopwatch when I was about 12 years old. However, Dad commandeered it for his radio program. (For years we had a running joke that Dad would get me things for Christmas and my birthday that he wanted and would eventually take from me). This stopwatch was one of those things. But here’s the insider information. If you listen closely during many of Dad’s radio programs, you can hear the ticking of that stopwatch in many episodes.

Today, my (Dad’s) stopwatch sits on my desk. The time is set on 9.27 the month and day my Dad died. I look at this stopwatch every day and it serves to remind me that my time here is limited. Of course, it also serves to remind me of my Dad, the fun we had going back and forth about who that stopwatch belonged to.  And it also serves to remind me of the untiring work my Dad did in the Kingdom.

(If you’ve never heard Dad’s radio show, you can listen to a cleaned up version [I removed the beginning song, and the local references and announcements] at “Bible Meditations.”

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Jun 18

The Sermon My Dad Didn’t Get To Preach

dad-deathAs we approach “Father’s Day” this weekend, I’ve done a lot of thinking about my Dad lately. This fall will mark two years since my dad, Frank Higginbotham, unexpectedly passed away. Dad was 80 years old and preached for more than 60 years. Even at the age of 80, Dad had gospel meetings scheduled out more than 10 years into the future.

But as I went through Dad’s files after he died, I ran across one of the last sermons he had prepared.  It was a sermon he was scheduled to present at the 2013 West Virginia Christian Lectureship but was unable to do so.  He had already written the manuscript for the book, but never got the opportunity to present this lesson.

The title of this lesson was, of all things, “Preparation for Death.” Little did my Dad know that as he prepared this lesson, he would not have the opportunity to present it. However, I would like to share his manuscript with you, and as you read this sermon on “Preparation for Death,” keep in mind that this is a sermon that sickness and death kept my Dad from preaching.

Here is the link for his sermon “Preparation for Death”

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Jun 03

Shakespeare Couldn’t Read?

thWilliam Shakespeare is regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. Although four hundred years have passed since his death, every school student today will study his life and works.However, there’s a startling fact about Shakespeare that few people know. When Shakespeare’s daughter Judith married, she signed her marriage license with a mark or the equivalence of an “X.” In other words, she was illiterate, being unable to read or write!

Here’s my question, “How is is possible for the greatest writer in the English language to allow his own daughter to be illiterate? You would think that to a man like Shakespeare, reading and writing would have meant everything. Surely, he would have taken the time to teach his daughter to read and write, but the stark reality is that he didn’t. Let this soak in, “The greatest writer in the English language had children who could not read or write.”

As unimaginable as this fact is, how much more unimaginable is it that Christian parents would not not pass on their knowledge of God to their children?  In the days of the judges, a generation of God’s children were allowed to grow up without knowing the Lord of the works he had done for them (Judges 2:10). I’m afraid many parents are allowing the same thing to happen today. What are we to think of parents who don’t teach the Bible to their children at home. Not only do they not teach their own children, it’s not enough of a priority to allow others to teach them in Bible class. It’s puzzling!

A better question than asking how William Shakespeare could allow his children to remain illiterate is how can we allow our children to grow up biblically illiterate!  Give it some thought.

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May 29

A Standing Ovation

dogtag1Two weeks ago, I attended a High School graduation ceremony at a Christian High School. While there, an incident occurred that I didn’t even give thought to until my wife asked me some time later if I had noticed it. Ever since she brought this incident to my attention, I haven’t stopped thinking about it. Here’s what happened.

As the graduating seniors were being introduced, some received special honors while others had their life-plans announced.  One young man received a special award for being the best “Bible student and Christian example” at the school. For this, he received what I would call, “polite applause.”  Another young man revealed that it was his plans to get a Bible degree and spend his life preaching and doing mission work.  Again, “polite applause.”  Then another young man announced his plans to enter the military to which he received a standing ovation.

Now, if you think I was opposed to the young man who was planning to enter the military receiving a standing ovation, you’re mistaken.  I feel it was totally appropriate. Nationalism and patriotism run deep within me. I was among the number of those who stood and applauded.  But here’s the question that has nagged at me ever since.  If dedicating one’s life to the service of one’s country deserved a standing ovation, then how much more would the dedication of one’s life to the kingdom of God deserve a standing ovation?  Yet, among all those Christians present, myself included, we remained seated and politely clapped.

As I said, this incident has nagged at me and caused me to do a lot of reflection. I share it with you as a simple reminder of how easy it is, even for a group of Christians, to allow our priorities to get fuzzy and get caught up more by the temporal than the eternal. Give is some thought.

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