"Keep Your Head Down!"

“Keep Your Head Down!”

By Paul R. Blake

            I miss my friend. He has gone home. Harry King passed from this life and went to his reward in October of 2012. I met Harry on June 4, 1995 at the Sunday morning service of the Westview church of Christ. He was very welcoming. I sensed from our first conversation that we would be more than brethren worshiping together in a local congregation; we would become good friends. And become friends we did! Harry was a man entirely without guile; with him, what you saw was exactly what he was within and without. He was kind, generous, direct, and an unselfconscious encourager.  In the 17 years I knew him, I never once had any fear that he feigned anything.

            Harry taught me how to play golf. Most folks who know me are not sure whether they should thank him or blame him for that. Golf stands apart from all other sports because in golf, one does not have referees; each player calls penalties on himself. This makes golf a test of one’s honesty and character. Harry taught me to play the game according to the rules for myself without forcing them on others who just wanted to play “friendly golf” (playing golf just for fun and not for the score). He was very patient with me while I was learning to play; he didn’t criticize when I hacked the ball around the course, and he made every effort to say something good when I got lucky and made a nice shot. That was the way he lived his life in Christ. He followed the rule of faith carefully while being humble and patient with others who were learning the way.

            However, Harry had the same answer for nearly every errant shot I made: “Keep your head down!” Over time I became irritated by what I thought was a rather repetitive and pointless correction, cringing every time I hit a poor shot knowing Harry was going to say, “Keep your head down!” But I eventually discovered that there was a great deal of wisdom in that old saying.

            “Keep your head down!” means stay focused on what you are doing. Golfers often lift their heads during the swing to see where the ball is going before the club strikes it. This frequently results in a mishit. because the player is not concentrating on the ball, but rather on where he hopes it will go. In other words, stay focused until the task is finished. And Harry did just that. His faith and godly works never wavered; he walked before the Lord until it was time for him to go home. Paul wrote: “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2Tim. 4:6-8).

            Harry kept his head down and focused until the end. The last time I visited him in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital South, he was sitting in a chair smiling and talking of getting well, going home, and getting back to worship services. He knew at some point that multiple myeloma cancer was going to send him to his eternal home, but his present task was to finish his course in this world. He would not lift his head until he finished his swing in this life. Then he would lift his head and look to see the results of his shot, a resting place in Paradise until all of the saints are gathered in heaven. Harry kept his head down; now he’s looking up.

            Harry J King helped to shape my life with the countless things he taught me in the four years we shared at Austintown and in the 13 years afterward. I thank God often for the wisdom, patience, and love He manifested toward me through Harry, my brother and friend.

            Harry, I am trying to keep my head down, but I look forward to lifting up my eyes in heaven and seeing you there.  I miss my friend.

“Jesus Returns!”

            To many Londoners, 1666 looked like the year when Jesus would return. Prophecy enthusiasts had added 1,000 years since Christ’s birth to 666, the number of Antichrist, to arrive at the date 1666.

            The world did seem to be on the verge of destruction when in 1665 a plague claimed the lives of 100,000 people in London. Then in September 1666, a London fire destroyed tens of thousands of buildings. Some misguidedly wondered, “Didn’t the Bible predict catastrophes at the end of the world?” (Matt. 24:1-8). Yet the year 1666 passed, and life went on seemingly as it had before.

            Even in our own day, there are those who have predicted the end of the world. A date is predicted, the media covers the frenzy, and then that day passes uneventfully.

            In God’s wisdom, the actual time of Christ’s return has been kept from us. Jesus said, “Of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36). This any moment aspect of Jesus’ return helps keep believers motivated in Christian service and spiritual growth all the time—not just near a certain date (25:1-13; 1John 3:2-3).

            Be assured, Christ’s personal return will take place. And as we await that day, our lives should be marked by “holy conduct and godliness” (2Peter 3:11). No doctrine is more closely linked to practical daily living than that of the Lord’s return.

A Moments Wisdom on Change

--To change and to change for the better are two different things.

--A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will.

--The risk you take if you change: that people you've been involved with won't like the new you. --But other people who do will come along.

--Everybody wants to do something to help, but nobody wants to be the first.

--Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

--People can cry much easier than they can change.

--Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.

--By nature man hates change; seldom will he quit his old home till it has actually fallen around his ears.

--“There is no new thing under the sun… To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecc. 1:9, 3:1).

Test Your Bible Knowledge of the Return from Exile

1. I was the prophet who told the remnant to focus on building the temple __________

2. I was the prophet who warned Judah against worship weariness __________

3. I was the former cupbearer for the king, but I came to Jerusalem to rebuild __________

4. I was the prophet who made the people cry by reading God’s word to them __________

5. I was the prophet who saw a vision of Joshua the high priest standing before God ________

Upcoming Sermons

9/26/21 AM - The Gospel of Self; PM - God’s Purpose for Planet Earth

10/3/21 AM - Some Things Never Change; PM - Themed Song Service: Around the Table of the Lord

10/10/21 AM & PM - What Does the Bible Teach About Christians and Indebtedness

10/17/21 AM & PM - Gospel Meeting with Barry Hudson, October 17-22, 2021

10/24/21 AM - “Fruit Worthy of Repentance”; PM - Joseph the Just

10/31/21 AM - How Well Does God Know Me?; PM - Guest Speaker: Doug Sanders

  1. Wed PM Bible Study
    12/8/21 07:30pm
  2. Sun AM Bible Study
    12/12/21 09:30am
  3. Sun AM Worship
    12/12/21 10:30am
  4. Sun PM Worship
    12/12/21 05:00pm
  5. Wed PM Bible Study
    12/15/21 07:30pm
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