Tag Archives: memories

A Thanksgiving Edition: Family, Friends and the Weber-Wanna-Be

A close proximity of the Weber-Wanna-Be: no picture still exists of this ancient barbecue


Five months into our young marriage Dee Dee and I bought our first home. To celebrate this unbelievable occasion, our friends threw us a house-warming party. Several couples chipped in and bought us a kettle grill. You’ve seen the kind, those black porcelain-covered, almost egg-shaped, three-legged barbecuing wonders. They are known as Webers, except, because our crowd was fresh out of college and financially challenged, they bought us an off-brand, what we affectionately called our Webber-Wanna-Be.

Dee Dee and I proudly set our new grill out in the dirt, just to the right of the small concrete block that masqueraded as a back porch, and wasted no time in pressing the Weber-Wanna-Be into service. Our first official grilling fed those very same friends who gave her to us. The guys fired up the coals as the ladies did whatever ladies do during barbecues. Soon smoke rolled out of her vents and streamed into our small window over our kitchen table, where the women were holding court.

A sudden downpour threatened the party. Banished to the muddy backyard, all of us guys gathered round the grill in our rain ponchos and suddenly the Weber-Wanne-Be became a camp fire. We poked the coals, shifted out of the smoke, flipped burgers, and waxed eloquent. I don’t remember exactly the topic, but I’m sure the slim chance of the Denver Broncos making another Super Bowl came up. I know we also discussed our new marriages–what it was like sharing everything with a woman–what our futures held–whether our meager incomes could support us–how our entire worlds had turned upside down–that we were the luckiest guys in the universe. None of us really noticed all of this then. We just thought we were doing what young friends do: sharing a meal and a laugh and a prayer. To us the Weber-Wanna-Be remained a simple grill on which I turned hamburgers to hockey pucks.

No actual Weber was injured in the cooking of this turkey

Later Dee Dee and I read about a special way to roast a turkey on a grill. It sounded like such an easy recipe even I couldn’t ruin it. So on Thanksgiving day we plopped a 16 pounder on the grill. My mother nervously watched her son, who, while growing up, couldn’t fix himself a bowl of cereal, run in and out from the back stoop basting, and probably ruining, the holy bird of Scott family traditions. To my surprise, the turkey turned out so tender that my mother instantly pronounced it a new Scott tradition. Somehow I, and the Weber-Wanna-Be, rose in stature in the sight of my family that day.

Over the next few years, we cooked anything we could on the Weber-Wanna-Be. We laughed and took pictures and ate and planned the next barbecue. We even hauled her to parks for picnics where the same group friends gathered for “Airforce Football,” and offering smoky prayers deeper than the “Good friends, good grub, good God! Let’s eat” type. From barbecue to barbecue, our group nursed premature children, lost jobs, fought cancer, worried over rocky marriages, and grew close. Sometimes it felt like our only hope was that the smoke from our Weber-Wanna-Be would carry our combined prayers higher than we could lift them ourselves.

Soon the Weber-Wanna-Be cooked better than she looked. Once she fell out of the back of my truck coming home from one of our picnics. Everyone said the dent gave the lid character. Then her handle was broken off when some boys from our youth group ran her over. Then we moved, four times in four years, chasing a dream. In Illinois we boasted a bigger deck out back but the Weber-Wanna-Be gathered only rust spots.

In Tulsa, however, we recalled her into service. One night we sat out back with new friends and sizzled brats while God dazzled us with a show of lightning bolts that surpassed any Hollywood special effects. We suddenly ceased wrestling with the issues of raising adolescents to sit in silent awe together, the grill radiating heat from the corner of the porch. We renewed that Scott tradition when our families traveled to Tulsa for our famous barbecued Thanksgiving turkey. Once again, our prayers of thankfulness rose with the blue smoke of our Weber-Wanna-Be.

But slowly, like her owners, the Weber-Wanna-Be began to show her age. We often threatened to purchase an easier to use gas grill. Then one day, almost twenty-years after that first barbecue, I returned home from work and found the old Webber-Wanna-Be waiting mutely for the next days’ garbage pick up. Stunned, I walked down to the curb fully intending, like a school child who has just discovered that prized art project in the trash, to rescue the Weber-Wanna-Be.

I yanked her out from under a broken toilet seat, an old turn-table, and several other priceless items. But the Weber-Wanna-Be was beyond even my towering handy-man skills. The vents were rusted shut or broken off. My home-made, wooden, replacement handle was charred beyond use. The plastic wheels had long ago dissolved. And the grill itself resembled a relic found after the eruption of Mount Saint Helen.

That day my burned-out grill gave me one last gift. It’s true, you know, what Jesus said. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. . .” Every day we must choose to value the eternal over the temporary. And though we all know things don’t last, even treasured things, we still struggle with those choices.

The Weber-Wanna-Be reminded me that we fail to choose the eternal because we forget what turns material things into treasures–people. The Weber-Wanna-Be smoked out a place in my heart because of the people gathered around her.  People are the only eternal treasures God deposits in our day-to-day lives. Recently Dee Dee and I moved into a new house. We have added some new friends to our old ones and a new garage-sale Weber (not a Weber-Wanne-Be) to our deck. Of the two I now know which is eternal.

Editor’s note: I (Eugene) wrote this several years ago but thought it might remind us, on a day in America when we try to remember what our treasures really are and what we do have to be thankful for.

Eugene C. Scott joins Mike in writing A Daily Bible Conversation twice a week.

TODAY’S READING (click here to view today’s reading online)

Daniel 1:1-2:23

1 Peter 3:8-4:6

Psalm 119:65-80

Proverbs 28:14

If you’re reading this blog on Facebook and you’d like to join the conversation, click here. www.bibleconversation.com.

Eugene co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, CO and writes a blog eugenesgodsightings.blogspot.com


Filed under Uncategorized

When A Picture Is Worth More Than Thousand Words

Nailed to a bulletin board above my office computer monitor is a 5 year old photo of my family. We were on vacation in San Diego—one of our favorite destinations—walking around Seaport Village. A gentle breeze was blowing kisses our direction and a man playing a pan flute was entertaining the crowd in the distance. My two youngest daughters hadn’t hit adolescence just yet so they were still pretty low maintenance.

Best of all, Kelley and I had just lost a bunch of weight, so we looked pretty good.

Isn’t it amazing how a single photo can bring back so many memories?

Today we’re going to look at a word that brings us so much more than just good memories.

Please join us!


1 Samuel 17:1-19:24
John 8:21-59
Psalm 111:1-112:1-10
Proverbs 15:11-14


1 Samuel 17:1-19:24. This is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. At a young age, David demonstrates the character that Saul lacks.

Although people may claim Goliath’s size is exaggerated, The Bible Background Commentary cites extra-biblical resources that support the Biblical account:

Champions of this size are not simply a figment of Israelite imagination or the result of embellished legends. The Egyptian letter on Papyrus Anastasi I (thirteenth century b.c.) describes fierce warriors in Canaan who are seven to nine feet tall. Additionally, two female skeletons about seven feet tall from the twelfth century have been found at Tell es-Sa’ideyeh in Transjordan.

Seeing Goliath’s size, and knowing he stood “head and shoulders” above everyone around, Saul seemed like the perfect match. Yet verse 11 tells us that Saul, along with his men, was “dismayed and terrified.”

David’s comments in 17:26 reveal that Goliath’s challenge bothered him in a different way than the rest of the army. David wasn’t interested in garnering wealth and honor, he was troubled that Goliath was disgracing the God of Israel. For 40 days, Goliath continuously challenged the armies—and the God—of Israel. Yet the army did nothing. Over time, this must have been very demoralizing on the troops. David, on the other hand, was ready to take on the giant immediately after hearing his words. Quite a contrast from Saul!

To his credit, Saul gave this accidental hero permission to fight Goliath.

Verses 38-39 foreshadow what would eventually take place between Saul and David, as well as provide  a symbolic window into the role David wasn’t prepared to assume:

Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.

Saul dressed David with his royal armor, which David eventually wore as Israel’s rightful king. But also notice that the armor didn’t feel comfortable. David would require years of trials and testing before he was adequately fitted for it.

Entering the showdown, David demonstrated his confidence in God’s presence by running quickly to the battle line to meet him (verse 48). Imagine a scrawny, red-headed, freckle-faced kid running toward a nine foot giant. But he conquered him!

After slaying the giant, Saul asks Abner about the identity of this new hero. While it seems to contradict 1 Samuel 16:14-23, which tells us the two had already met, remember that Saul was about to give his daughter’s hand in marriage to David. The king wanted to know more about the family who was marrying into his.

In chapter 18, Saul’s insecurities rise to the surface as he grows increasingly jealous of his country’s new hero. Three times we read that Saul was afraid of David. Nevertheless, David maintains an attitude of humility and servanthood.

John 8:21-59. The interplay between Jesus and the Jews is interesting. Not until I read through it a third and fourth time did I realize Jesus was addressing people who believed in him (verse 31). It’s obvious that Jesus wasn’t intent on becoming a popular personality.

Jesus’ words in verses 31-41 contradicts conventional wisdom. Our society wants the freedom to do whatever it pleases, whenever it pleases. Really, it seeks to sin at will. True freedom, according to Jesus, is freedom from sin, not the freedom to do it. I’m not an advocate of excessive laws to prevent people from doing bad things, but we do need an understanding of the nature of true freedom.

As people begin to understand Jesus’ claim to an exclusive relationship with his heavenly Father, they level a pretty fierce accusation.

“You’re nothing but a demon-possessed Samaritan,” they tell him.

“I am not demon-possessed,” he replies.

Did you get that? Jesus implied he was a Samaritan…of Jewish lineage of course. Jews considered Samaritans to be worse than a Gentile. They were defiled because they were cross breeds between the Jews and the Assyrians. Jesus’ statement tells us he is not only one with us, but one of us. One with everyone.

Psalm 111. This psalm begins book 3 in the book of Psalms. You may recognize the last verse: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (verse 10). It’s identical to Proverbs 9:10 and similar to Proverbs 1:7.

Psalm 112. Sometime, you might consider making a list of the characteristics of the person who fears the Lord—based on this chapter. The characteristic that jumps out at me in this list is the generosity of the person who fears the Lord.


As we read David’s response to Saul, I can’t help but recommend to you my favorite book of all time. Gene Edwards’ book A Tale of Three Kings: A Study In Brokenness compares the lives of Saul, David, and Absalom. If you’ve ever been abused by a boss, a Christian leader, or a friend—or if someone has ever betrayed you, I can’t urge you enough to read this book.

If you’ve found A Daily Bible Conversation helpful, share it with your friends! Forward your daily email or send them a link to the website: http://www.bibleconversation.com.


I wonder what ran through Goliath’s eyes as he looked into David’s eyes.

What’s wrong with this kid—doesn’t he know who I am? I could eat this kid as an appetizer for lunch! He must be crazy!

David was crazy. Just read his words to Goliath:

“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”

What gave David such confidence?

First, we read that before facing Goliath, he had killed his ions and bears (1 Samuel 17:34-36). That’s a sermon waiting to be preached (or a blog entry waiting to be written).

But more than that, David was confident that God was right there with him. To say you come in the name of a person in that day meant that the person being called upon was actively present.

Kind of like the way glancing a photo can bring back a flood of memories, so does calling on the Lord God Almighty usher his presence.

Later in Philippians 2 we read that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. That’s why David can say in verse 47, “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

As we call on the name of Jesus, he is present with us. Of course, he’s present in the sense that he’s always there. But by calling on his name, it’s like bringing Jesus (or his heavenly father) to attention.

The next time you’re in trouble, or afraid, or paralyzed and don’t know what to do—call on his name.

It’s much better than a photo!


  1. What spoke to your in today’s reading?
  2. What is your favorite insight from the story of David and Goliath?
  3. What was admirable about Jonathan? What can you learn from him?
  4. Reading through Psalm 112, what characteristics speak to you most? Why?

If you’re reading this blog on FaceBook and you’d like to join the conversation, click here.


Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, Colorado.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized