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Sunday, June 29, 2014

I Sort Of Want To Be Like You…

My parents gave me a guitar, a Silvertone finger cutter, when I was 11 years old.  I took lessons for a while, twice.  So that was what, 53 years ago?  I have played that guitar and many others since then.  Solo, in bands, in worship groups, in front of one person, and in front of hundreds.  In 1969 I bought a Goya 12 String.  I played that until the neck broke off about 8 years ago.  I replaced it with a Takamine EF400SC 12 string.  I play that just about every day.  Over the years I have had a lot of people come and tell me that they wished they could play guitar like I do.  Really?
Saying we want to do something and doing it are two vastly different things.  Thoughts at DTTB.
In 1973 I was confronted with the claims of Christ’s lordship over my life.  I knew about the savior thing, the lord thing was a new idea.  I started doing Bible study that summer.  In six months I was leading seven a week.  I was in undergraduate pilot training at the time.  Averaging about 12 – 14 hours a day in class and at the flight line.

Since then I have pretty much continually been in Bible study.  Most of those were Bible and blank sheet of paper.  I heard messages from Prof about synthetic Bible study.  I took notes, drove from Selma to Tuscaloosa weekly to sit in on a study at the University of Alabama that was working through that method.  I found a graduate of DTS who had the notes from Prof’s class, I made photo copies and studied them.
Saying we want to do something and doing it are two vastly different things.  Thoughts at DTTB.
I relearned English grammar and sentence diagraming.  I figured out how to determine which Greek or Hebrew word was behind the text in my NASB.  I tried to teach myself Greek, ended up taking Greek and Hebrew at Western Kentucky University while stationed there with a Christian ministry.  Then four years at DTS taking a ThM.

I have had a lot of men over the years who have come up to me and said I wish I could study the Bible like you do.  Really?  I always respond, “Ok, meet me at [whatever restaurant] next [day] for breakfast and we will get started.  With very few exceptions they last two maybe three weeks.

Guitar and Bible, two things I do fairly well.  Probably Bible better than guitar.  People like the idea of playing and studying.  Most people are not willing to pay the price, do the work, invest the time, or sacrifice the leisure time to actually learn to play or study.

There is no pill one can take that will make you a guitar hero or a Bible scholar.  This isn’t the Matrix where Tank can upload a guitar or Bible program into your brain, along with the Kung Fu.  Nope, both skills take time, practice, and discipline.

So if you wish you could do it, whatever it is, do it.  Turn off the TV, pick up the guitar or Bible, and get after it.  You will struggle.  You will have a hard time with an F chord.  You may not be good at observations in Bible study.  You will get better.  Each week you will progress.  But you have to stay with it.

It is not too late.  Stop wishing.  Start doing.


  1. Your example, commitment to the Lord, hunger for the Word, willingness to pay the price to excel in learning and to pass onto those willing to learn from you inspire me. Thanks to you, Mike, I am stretched to grow, learn new methods of feeding myself the meat of the Word, more deeply in love with the Lord and willing to pay it forward. Keep on running. It makes easier for those who follow.

  2. True word, Mike! And "Turn off the TV" is likely the most practical and easily applicable advice you could give.

    On the journey (a long way back....).

    1. Yeah but there is so much good content on the TV! It is so hard to leave all that great stuff...