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Scotty Love: The Good Listener

Get to know Scotty Love’s darling wife this week, and get a crash course in how NOT to communicate with your own bride!

Part two of the Scotty Love Videvo Bible Study for Guys.

Share and enjoy!

LESSON TWO
Listen Up!
Key Scripture: Proverbs 18:13, James 1:19, Prov 10:19.

ICE BREAKERS

How many of you can recite your favorite (clean) line from your favorite movie?

How many of you can remember what the pastor preached on last Sunday?

What’s the last thing your wife, boss, roommate or someone said to you before you came here?

INTRODUCTION

There’s a big difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is the physical act of hearing, while listening is the act of giving attention to what we hear. We hear things all the time that we never will remember – dogs, car engines, rain, wind, music, Muzak, and yes, the voices of other people. We have the ability to give these sounds our attention or to tune them out. When we tune out voices that want to be heard, we can get ourselves into big trouble.

Friends, wives, girlfriends, children, doctors and bosses are just some of the people who want us to listen. Failing to listen can cause fractures in a relationship. It can get you in trouble. It can get you fired. It can lead to a night spent on the couch, or, as Scotty Love found out, a very, very expensive credit card bill.

Listening is critical to doing business. It’s also key to good marriages, good friendships, and yes, good small groups. If we want to be the men God wants us to be, we have to pay attention and listen!

READ AND DISCUSS

Can anyone share a recent story of a time you didn’t listen and got yourself in hot water?

Mark Twain once said, “It is better to remain silent and thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” How does speaking without listening make us look like a fool?

Why is it important we hear the whole story before we speak?

Why do we tend to start speaking and offer answers before we know the whole story?

Read James 1:19 and Proverbs 10:19

Is there a correlation between speaking too soon and becoming angry?

Have you ever made someone angry because you spoke too soon? Or has someone angered you by failing to hear you out?

What other problems do we create when we fail to listen?

CHALLENGE

Where do you struggle to listen the most: with your family, at work, or at church?

How do you think social media has changed the way we listen? Do we “listen” better or worse online?

Sometimes we don’t hear people who want us to listen because we are distracted. They hit us up when we are busy doing something else, or when we don’t have time to chat. How often does this cause listeng problems for you?

Do you think you can be a good listener while you are doing other things?

What other factors/situations can you think of that lead to people not hearing one another?

How can you eliminate distractions or otherwise improve your ability to listen to others when they want to talk?

What other habits do you need to change in order to become a better listener?

When is it okay to speak up and give answers or advice to someone who needs it?

How can we respond when we don’t have the answers?

WRAP UP

If we want to become better listeners, we need to plan ahead. We need to discover the things that keep us from listening, and we need strategies to help us eliminate those distractions. When someone needs to talk, we need to give them our attention – not just our ears, but eye contact. We need to stop work if we can, or ask if it can wait a minute. If it can wait, we need to get to a stopping point and give the attention that’s needed.

Failure to communicate rarely happens because people aren’t speaking. It happens because someone isn’t listening. Don’t miss an opportunity to love someone because you’re too distracted to hear them out. Stop and listen. Let them finish. Then speak only when necessary. Sometimes just listening is enough.

PRAYER

Dear God,

Forgive us for the way we run our mouths. Forgive us for being bad listeners. Teach us to stop and listen when someone needs our ear, and give us the wisdom to know when to answer, and when to stay silent.

In Jesus’s name,
Amen

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Free Skit – Spread the Seed

Hasn’t happened in a while, but it did today. Heard a new insight in an old Bible story this morning in church, and that insight led to a new monologue.

Spread some seed this week, wherever you are.

Share and enjoy.

Spread the Seed
By John Cosper
www.righteousinsanity.com

THEME: Parable of the Sower

CHARACTERS
Millie – A city woman now living on a farm (Monologue)

Millie enters, looking like Eva Gabor from Green Acres.

It was just about a year ago, Harry came home from work with this big, dopey grin on his face. “I did it! “ he says. “I finally did it!”

“You did what?” I ask him.

“I quit my job,” he says. “I sold the apartment. I bought us a farm in Upstate. We move in a month.”

“Are you kidding me?” I say. “You? On a farm? What are you gonna do on a farm?”

He tells me we’re gonna live off the land. We’re gonna raise crops. We’re gonna sell ‘em at the local market, barter for the things we need, and farewell to the things we don’t. Department store credit cards. Valet parking. Reddit. It’s all gotta go.

I says to him, “Harry, valet and Reddit I can do without. But what makes you think you got the green thumb? The only plants we ever had were two plastic palms, and you killed ‘em both!”

Well, there’s no arguing with Harry when he sets his mind to something. A month later, we say goodbye to the city. We move out to a thirty acre farm outside Corning. Day one, he gets up, puts on bib overalls and a straw hat like he’s Old MacDonald. He finds this patch of dirt and starts tossing corn out on the ground.

“How do you know the corn’s gonna grow there?” I ask. “You never farmed a day in your life!”

He tells me, “This is the good soil! It’s gotta grow here!”

I look around and see a patch of weeds growing by an old water pump. I see a gravel pile by the barn, and a driveway leading to the garage.

“Harry,” I says, “I bet you I can grow more seeds in the weeds, the rocks, and the driveway than you can!”

“Ha!” he says. “You can’t sow seed there!” But he humors me. He gives me a fist full of corn. So I drop some in the weeds. I spread some on the gravel. I toss some on the driveway.

Six months later, wouldn’t you know who won the pony? Harry’s corn sprouted all right, but a bunch of rabbits showed up in July and ate them down to the ground. Meanwhile I get two dozen ears from the corn sown in the weeds and four dozen from the gravel. I woulda had a bunch more on the driveway, but that deadbeat dad of his shows up Fourth of July and parks his RV over my crop for the next month.

Just last week, Bentley Mains, our Sunday School teacher in our little country church, was talking about the sower planting seed. He spread some in the rocks, some in the weeds, some on the path, and some in the good soil. “We all gotta be good soil,” he says. “So God can grow in our hearts.”

Judy Finch, our neighbor down in the holler, asks him, “If God wants us to be good soil, why did the sower toss seed in the weeds and the rocks and on the path?”

I smiled and told her, “Because sometimes, they surprise you. Sometimes the seed grows in the weeds. Sometimes it grows in the gravel. Sometimes it grows on the driveway. God wants us to be generous with where we sow, because it might be difficult to grow in the weeds, but it’s not impossible.”

It’s planting season, and Harry’s out there again. He tilled the soil. He fertilized it. He put a fence around it. Maybe he’ll get a good crop out of the good soil this season. I’ve already sown my crop in the weeds, in the rocks, and on the path. Maybe I won’t get lucky again, but I did it to remind myself that we need to sow seed everywhere. Be generous where you sow. Sometimes God will surprise you, and sometimes even the seed sown on the driveway will grow. You just need a little sun, a little prayer, and a couple saw horses to keep your father-in-law from parking on your corn all summer long.

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Scotty Love: Small Groups

The Scotty Love Show was conceived as a video Bible study for guys, especially guys who might not be used to the small group or Bible study atmosphere. The idea was to present a skit or video in which the host of the Scotty Love show discusses a topic relevant to Christian men – poorly. Afterwards, the guys in the group dig into the Bible and some discussion time to seek some real answers. It’s an ideal program for young adult men, or a mixed age group, as Scotty’s guests include older and younger male friends, not to mention his sassy wife and unflappable daughter.

Week one of the series is, appropriately enough: Small Groups.

Here’s episode one. Bible study is below the video.

Share and enjoy!

Iron Sharpens Iron
Key Scripture: Proverbs 27:7, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

ICE BREAKERS

What is your favorite sports team?

What is the greatest action movie of all time?

What is the funniest movie of all time?

INTRODUCTION

Guys are not naturals when it comes to opening up. We don’t go to the bathroom in groups to talk about our dates. Guys don’t call guys just to say, “Whatcha doin’?” Guys don’t meet over coffee, and they never, ever talk about “feelings.”

God doesn’t want us to keep it all to ourselves. If he did, he wouldn’t have gifted women with the ability to make us open up when we don’t feel like talking. But God doesn’t want us to stop there. He wants us to band together as men to encourage, support, and strengthen one another.

Being part of a small group is a serious commitment, but a small group demands all of its members to make that commitment in order to succeed. We need to commit ourselves to listen, to share, and maybe most important – to keep it in the group.

READ AND DISCUSS

Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

What benefits does Solomon give for working together instead of going it alone?

How often do you undertake a task that would be better done with two people?

Why do you think we choose to do those jobs on our own?

Have you ever had any disasters – small or large – because you didn’t ask for help? What happened?

Read Prov 27:17

How have you been “sharpened” by mentors – teachers, coaches, pastors, bosses – in your life?

How have you been sharpened by peers in your life?

What other benefits have you experienced working with or playing on a team vs. going alone?

CHALLENGE

Why did you decide to join a small group?

How do you expect to be “sharpened” by being in this group?

What fears do you have about being in a small group?

What expectations do you have for this group, and for your fellow group members?

How nervous are you about sharing things that are going on in your life?

The first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club. The same rule has to apply to a small group. How can we create a safe environment where guys can be heard without worrying that what is said here will leave this room?

What other questions or concerns do you have that you’d like to address as we begin our small group studies together?

WRAP UP

Whatever your expectations are coming into this group, one thing is certain: we will get out of it what we put in. If we put on fronts and refuse to be honest with each other, we will never become sharper. If we betray the trust required to make this group a success, we will fall apart. But if we are genuinely open and honest with one another, there’s no limit to what God can do with our group.

Let’s ask God to bless the time we spend together. Let’s pray for the courage to open up and be real. And let’s ask God to use each of us to sharpen one another.

PRAYER

Dear God,

Thank you for bringing each one of us to this group. I pray that you will use this group to encourage and inspire every member. Help us to build the trust we need to hold each other accountable and build each other up.

In Jesus’s name,
Amen

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Free Skit – A Wacky Little Devil

Sorry it’s been a while since I posted a freebie. This is a classic, and a reminder what a devious enemy we have.

I’ve also posted a video of the skit on YouTube below the script.

Share and enjoy.

A Wacky Little Devil
By John Cosper
www.righteousinsanity.com

THEME: Satan

CHARACTERS
Glen and Mike – Young guys, roommates
Satan- Their “wacky” roommate
Laura – A smart girl

AUTHOR’S NOTE: It’s nothing new that the devil has become a parody in our society. It’s also no secret to those who are in Christ that this is exactly the way he wants it. If there’s nothing (and no one) to fear, then why does a person need Jesus? Satan wins by making himself a joke. We as Christians need to remember – and remind others of – the term Peter used to describe him: the enemy.

A counter is stage right. A desk with a swivel chair is stage left. Satan, in a red suit and horns and tail, sits in the swivel chair, facing upstage. Glen is at the counter with an empty box of cereal, trying to pour some. Mike enters.

GLEN: Mike, how many times do I have to tell you? Don’t eat the last of my cereal and put the empty box back!
MIKE: I didn’t eat your cereal!
GLEN: You didn’t?
MIKE: You know I hate that cereal. It’s disgusting.
GLEN: Well if you didn’t eat it, and I didn’t eat it, who did?

Both guys sigh.

GLEN/MIKE: Satan!

Satan swivels around. He laughs.

SATAN: (doing a Paul Lynde impression) Oh, I am such a devil!

A catching theme song plays.
 
JINGLE: He’s a naughty little devil and that’s a fact.
A little bit silly and kinda wacked.
He’ll make you laugh on a gloomy day
He’s the devil, he’s the devil, and he’s okay!

Song ends.

GLEN: Satan, did you eat my cereal and put the box back?
SATAN: I cannot tell a lie. Oh who am I kidding? I’m the father of lies.
GLEN: You know I need my breakfast in the morning!
SATAN: I’m sorry, Glen. The devil made me do it.
MIKE: You are the devil.
SATAN: I know. Aren’t I a naughty boy?
GLEN: Whatever. I’ll grab a donut on my way in.
SATAN: Have a good day, Glen!
MIKE: Bye.

Glen exits.
 
MIKE: Now, Satan, my new girlfriend is coming by. You promise not to embarrass me?
SATAN: Mike, when have I ever embarrassed you?
MIKE: Well, there was the time you switched my Coke with rum at grandma’s birthday. And the time you got me to date two girls at once and they found out about it. And graduation night.
SATAN: Ohh, did I do that?
MIKE: Look, just promise to be nice, will ya?
SATAN: And if I do, what do I get in return?
MIKE: What do you want?
SATAN: Oh, I dunno… Your eternal soul? (wacky laugh) Ha ha ha ha.

There’s a knock on the door.

MIKE: Okay, fine, have my soul. Just don’t embarrass me.
SATAN: You won’t even know I’m here.

Satan exits. Mike answers the door. Laura enters.

MIKE: Hey, honey.
LAURA: Morning. Looks like someone forgot to shower.
MIKE: I just got back from my run.
LAURA: Mike, this is a nice place.
MIKE: Thanks.
LAURA: Did you decorate this yourself?
MIKE: No, my roommate did.
LAURA: Glen? He decorated this?
MIKE: No, not him. My other roommate.
LAURA: You keep mentioning this other roommate, but you don’t say much about him. Is he here?
MIKE: I think he went out.

There’s a loud crash off stage.

LAURA: What was that?
MIKE: Oh, that must be Glen in the kitchen.
LAURA: That can’t be. I saw Glen on his way downstairs. Looked like he was in a hurry too.

Another loud banging.

LAURA: Is that the third guy?
MIKE: Yeah, I guess it is him.
LAURA: Well can I meet him?
MIKE: Oh, you don’t want to meet him.
LAURA: Yes I do!
MIKE: Really, he’s a bit anti-social. And he smells bad. I mean like sulfur.
LAURA: Come on, it can’t be that bad.

Satan enters with two plates of chocolate cake.

SATAN: Good morning, kids. Anyone care for a Me-Food Cake?
MIKE: Oh no.
LAURA: What kind of cake is it?
SATAN: Me-Food. Oh, excuse me, I believe you would call it Devil’s Food. Ha ha ha ha. (slaps Mike on the arm) Well go on, ya big palooka. Introduce us!
MIKE: Laura, this is my roommate Lucifer.
LAURA: Lucifer?
SATAN: Lucifer. Satan. The Devil. When you get to know me better, you can call me by my old college nickname, Scooter.
LAURA: Your roommate is the devil?
SATAN: (nudging Mike) Only when he forgets to clean the bathroom. Ha ha ha. Just joking. He’s no devil. I am.
LAURA: But… but THE devil?
SATAN: In the third degree burned flesh. (hands a plate of cake to Laura) You want some milk to go with that cake?
LAURA: I, uh…
SATAN: Wait right here.

Satan runs off.

MIKE: Sorry, I wanted to prepare you for–
LAURA: That’s the devil.
MIKE: Yep.
LAURA: Lucifer. Satan. Hades!
MIKE: Yeah, that’s Scooter.
LAURA: Mike, how long have you been living with the devil?
MIKE: I dunno, four years, maybe five?
LAURA: Don’t you know he’s dangerous?
MIKE: You’re kidding, right?
SATAN: (off stage) Hey, who drank all of my Slim Fasts?
MIKE: I’ll admit, he’s a little eccentric. He’s got a morbid sense of humor. (beat) And he’s a filthy liar. But you’ve met the guy. He’s harmless as a kitten.
LAURA: You don’t get it, do you? He makes you think he’s this sweet, cuddly guy, lures you into a false sense of security – and them bam! He hits you when you least expect it.
MIKE: With what, his copy of The Lake House?

Satan enters with a glass of milk.

SATAN: Oh, I know you’re not making fun of my favorite book again.
MIKE: No, never.
SATAN: Here you go, honey.

Laura takes the milk.

LAURA: Thank – oh wow, it’s hot.
SATAN: Again? Darn. That walk from the fridge to hear is just too far. I can’t ever seem to serve anything cold. Remember that ice cream bar at Glen’s birthday?
MIKE: How could I forget? The carpet cleaning cost over three thousand bucks.
SATAN: Lucky for you, Glen had the money to pay for it. Even luckier, he sold me his soul to get the money to pay for it.

Satan exits, giggling.

MIKE: He’s a card, isn’t he?

Laura sets down the cake and glass and grabs Mike’s arm.

LAURA: Mike, you need to get out with me. Now!
MIKE: Laura, this is my place.
LAURA: And you’re in grave danger as long as that thing is around.
SATAN: (off) Hey, who’s been using my Paula Deen cookbook? It didn’t walk off by itself!
MIKE: Yeah, he’s real dangerous.
LAURA: Fine. You stay here and see what happens. I’m leaving.

Laura storms for the door.

MIKE: Come on, Laura. (standing) Laura, wait!

Mike exits after her. Satan enters.

SATAN: I’m gonna fix some salad for lunch. How many should I…

Satan sees everyone is gone. There’s a squeal of tires off stage. Satan rushes to the window and looks out. He then walks to the desk and the phone, and picks up the phone.

SATAN: (drops the Paul Lynde act; very serious, business-like) It’s me. The first one should be down any second. Expect the other one by dinner. You know what to do.

Blackout.

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Desperately Seeking… God’s Best

Part six, the final chapter (for now) of Desperately Seeking.

Share and enjoy.

First Impressions

What do you think of Jenny?

What are some good things we can say about Jenny?

Is there anything that concerns you about Jenny?

 

Introduction

Jenny really is interested in finding God’s best, isn’t she? She’s read the books, and she’s looking for God to give her all of the good things in life. There’s just one problem: God has already given us his best. He’s given us Jesus. Jesus came not to give us wealth and good health. He came to give us the best blessing of all: our salvation.

Too many believers are focused on what God can do for them. Not enough are concerned with what they can do to serve the Lord. Jesus died for us. He’s given far more than we could ever earn or deserve.

The Christian life isn’t about what we can get from God. It’s about how we can give back. We can never give enough to equal what Jesus has done, but we can use our time, our gifts, and the blessings God has given us to serve the Lord and serve other people.

 

Read Matthew 20:20-28

Why do you think James and John’s mother asked Jesus for a favor?

How did Jesus respond to her request?

Jesus said that whomever wants to be the greatest has to be the servant of all. How did Jesus live out this command?

Does anyone know how James and John ultimately lived out their lives? (James was martyred, as were nine other disciples. John was repeatedly jailed and tortured for Christ and was even dipped in boiling oil. He died of natural causes in exile.)

 

Application

Why do you think people are drawn to teachers who tell them that God wants to give them riches and blessings?

Do teachings like the so-called prosperity gospel do more to help or hurt the cause of Christ?

What would you say to someone like Jenny about God’s best?

What advice would you give to someone who wanted God’s best life right now?

 

Prayer

Dear Jesus,

Forgive us for the times we treat you like a blessing machine. Help us remember all Jesus as done for us. Teach us to be servants so we can live the life you have planned for us.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen

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Desperately Seeking… Compatibility

Does Christian genre fiction have groupies? Like the Trekkies? Let’s hope this is just fiction.

Part 5 of Desperately Seeking, our video Bible study for singles. Share and enjoy.

First Impressions

What do you think of Doug?

What are some good things we can say about Doug?

If he asked, would you go to the movies with Doug?

 

Introduction

Regardless of what you may think about his taste in movies and literature, we’re all a little like Doug. Some of us love science fiction and comic books. Some are sports fans. Some like art and classical music. And some people can’t get enough of professional wrestling.

Finding things in common with a mate is important, but what commonalities are most important? As Christians we need to be seeking people who are like-minded in their faith. We need to find someone who shares our values so that we can live out our faith and pass it on to our children.

The focus of this series on making the most of our single days, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do that with an eye to the future. Learn now what’s most important to you in a husband or wife. Make your list of intangibles, and don’t compromise those in the slightest. There are worse things than being single, and being “unequally yoked” is one.

 

Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

What does it mean to be yoked? (Feel free to have someone Google this question if need be!)

Why does Paul caution against being unequally yoked?

Why would being married to an unbeliever be hard?

How would marrying an unbeliever make raising children who love Jesus difficult?

 

Application

What are some things you simply couldn’t live with in a mate? Is there anything that’s come up in a past relationship, even something small, that you just couldn’t live with? (This doesn’t have to be a serious thing; it can be small or funny.)

Have any of you ever tried “missionary dating,” dating someone to try to lead them to Christ? How did that work out for you?

Is there value in knowing what you can and can’t live with in a mate before dating?

Have each person in the group come up with a list of five things they think are most important in a mate. Share your lists, and see if you can come up with a master list.

 

Prayer

Dear Jesus,

Make us wise as look for your will in our lives. Help us to cling to what’s most important so that we won’t compromise our faith. Bless us with godly spouses who build us up in Christ.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen

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Cave World – I Goofed!

So the 3 day free download for Cave World I promised didn’t actually happen. I guess I didn’t see the set up all the way through, so no one was able to download the book Friday or Saturday.

To rectify the situation, I’ve shared the book free now through Thursday. Be sure to download Cave World for free this week, and please come back to download Return to Cave World for only $2.99. (It’s in paperback too. They both are!)

Download Cave World free on Amazon (through Thursday, 6/29).

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Three free titles on Amazon Kindle this weekend

Want to give my fiction a try? This is your weekend.

Three books are available to download for free now through Sunday.

Trish Angel is the first stand alone novel featuring the heroine from the Fluffy movies. Trish is the only person who could save the world from the Fluffy alien invasion not once, but four times. (Yes, there were four!) Now, lightyears from home, Trish is forced to become a hero once more facing a whole new alien terror.

Zorana: Confessions of a Small Town Super-Villain is a first person account of what happens when a villains plans go up in smoke. With no place to go and no clue what to do next, the world’s most dangerous woman travels back home for Christmas, looking for some direction and possibly a little redemption,

Finally, there’s Cave World, the first in a series of young adult novels about a world where every cave is a portal to another planet. It’s the story of a boy who created his own fictional universe, and after getting sucked into it, must face all the challenges and consequences that come with being an omnipotent creator.

All three books are available on Kindle free this weekend only!

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Desperately Seeking…Responsibility

Today’s we share part four of our Desperately Seeking video Bible study series. Do you know someone like Miriam? If you went to Bible college, I’m sure you do.

Share and enjoy!

 

First Impressions

What do you think of Miriam?

What are some good things we can say about Miriam?

What red flags do you see in Miriam?

 

Introduction

Miriam sounds like a young woman with a good heart. She might even make a great pastor’s wife. But Miriam was not very wise in her college plans. She had the opportunity to get a good education, to start a career, and to gain some independence. Instead, she graduated school with a huge debt and little to show for it.

Being a stay-at-home parent is as noble a life choice as having a career, but God doesn’t want us to enter the world as helpless, dependent babes. Your single years are a time for learning how to be wise with the opportunities and the blessings you have been given. It is a time to get an education, to learn how to provide for yourself, and to learn how to manage your money.

God has given each one of us talents and opportunities. If we don’t use those gifts wisely, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

 

Read Matthew 25:14-30

How did the rich man reward the servants who invested their talents wisely?

Why did the rich man punish the one who did not invest their talents?

What do you think Jesus is really talking about in this parable?

Which of the servants do you think most matches up with Miriam, and why?

 

Application

Why is it important for us to learn to be independent, even if we plan on getting married?

How would learning to be a good money manager and learning to live on your own benefit you in married life?

What other skills do you think you need in addition to being a good money manager?

What are you doing to establish yourself as a self-sufficient person right now?

Is there anything you need help with right now so that you can stand on your own two feet?

Prayer

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for the gifts you have given us. Help us to invest those gifts and be wise stewards of all you have given us.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen