"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
2 Timothy 3: 16
I had a cousin that lived most of his life in Southeast Missouri. I'm told Missouri is the "Show-Me-State," but in Tom's case it was the "I'll show you state."
This is not to say he was an over-bearing know-it-all. It is simply saying he was highly intelligent and very well versed in a number of subjects.
Actually, he was a very soft spoken and gentle man. He did not expound his knowledge, but I learned many years ago, if I needed to find information on several subjects, he was the man to ask.
Tom smoked a pipe. I can still visualize him taking a puff, appearing to think something over (which he really already knew) and then speaking quietly and slowly. He was a man's man and one most any woman could respect and admire.
Tom was a teacher of Vocational Agriculture. He wasn't a farmer as such but possessed most of the skills necessary to be a farmer.
About 15 years into his education career, he was hired as a school superintendent in central Missouri. His home during those years was in Bunker, Missouri.
I was not privileged to be in his presence very many times during those years. However, I will always well remember a statement he made as a superintendent.
The discussion involved the hiring of teachers which was one of his responsibilities as superintendent. The statement was, "A teacher that does not believe his/her subject is the most important subject in the school, is not worth their salt."
I suppose if that's true, I was definitely worth salt during my teaching career. I firmly believed (and still do) my subject, Industrial Arts was the most important subject in which a student could enroll. IA is the study of the materials, tools and processes used in the construction and manufacturing industries.
Before I taught building, I taught math. Students must know how to read a measuring devise, (feet and inches), figure board feet of lumber, a bill of materials, yards of concrete and hundreds of other items. They had to know square, cubic, linear measure, the Pythagorean Theorem, and other algebraic problems. In electricity/electronics figuring amps, volts, watts and ohms is imperative.
In engineering and architectural drafting and design, students must possess fundamental skills in area, volume, geometric construction, and orthographic projection.
They must have reading abilities; and writing skills in many areas. Deductive reasoning is essential in all areas of industry. And, of course, in woods, metals and plastics, science is of utmost importance.
Now, I'm sure after my little speech, you are in agreement, industrial arts by far is the most important subject in any school, unless, of course, you teach a different subject. The powers-that-be, however, did not agree. They removed IA from the curriculum and implemented Technology Education so the students could more effectively play computer games and manipulate the social media sites.
On a brighter note, I talked to a high school principal last week from Arkansas. He told me, they are reintroducing traditional industrial arts in many Arkansas schools.
Perhaps this generation of mechanical and vocational minded illiterates will be the last generation.
As Christians, what must we believe is the most important aspect of the church? At this point, some of you may say things like fellowship, worship or Bible study. All those are well and good.
The number one priority of any church should be missions. Missions is reaching out to the unchurched in an attempt to win them to the saving power of our Lord Jesus. We, at times, tend to think of missions as projects, which is not all bad but a missional attitude is a lifestyle.
Missions come in many forms. Essentially, in order to tell unchurched people about our Jesus, we must be where they are or go where they are. We have worked projects all the way from county fairs in Western Kentucky to markets and villages in several African countries.
We have found, no matter where we are, there are people that have not been introduced to the gospel of Lord Jesus. Homeless missions, prisons, motorcycle rallies, stock car races, the checkout line in Home Depot, the unchurched are there. When working disaster relief the purpose is not only to help victims, but to share our faith.
As Christians, we must be constantly aware of the desperate need this world has for Jesus. And we must seek out the people and in which ever method is best for the individual Christian, use it.
There is such a place as heaven and the concept of eternity is real and true. All indications are the Bible is the real thing, inspired by the creator of the universe, Jehovah God, and written by men. It is His divine word revealed to us. It is our instruction book, our personal owner's manual, and a life guide for us.
The Bible tells us Jesus was God in the flesh (John 1: 14) and He is alive in heaven today and forever. His last statement to us before ascending into heaven was, "Preach this gospel to all nations." That's missions.