August 11, 2002
Our eight truckers today included a husband and wife team who had visited us a few weeks ago.
It was hard to keep the discussion on track, not in the sense of poor subject matter but of the tendency of one driver to filibuster. Occasionally this happens, and I must tactfully find a way to jump in and get other people into the conversation. It becomes difficult when the talker never seems to take a breath, and when a breath is taken it is a quick one in the middle of a sentence. But we managed.
[This is an utterly valuable skill that any who hope to teach in a group setting need to learn: to tactfully show someone that they are taking up too much time and/or getting away from the intended purpose of a meeting. With a little practice and the Spirit of God, one does not need a dictatorship to preserve order. — NSE]
One topic discussed today was the perpendicular pronoun (“I”). King Saul had a problem with this, as did Lucifer, and so did the Pharisee of Luke 18. We all want to be the center of our own little universes, yet we do not want to take responsibility for our own actions. God, when He introduced himself to Moses at the burning bush, called himself “I Am”, which at least implies that He is the self-existent one, the true center of the universe and who should also be at the center of our being.
One of the men was relatively new to Christianity, but eager to learn. He had a question about tongues, and his understanding is similar to mine, but others in the room take a more charismatic approach to it. We were able to disagree on this without mutually disfellowshipping each other, if you know what I mean. The real question the man had, though, was his concern that if the charismatics are correct, then what about his salvation? Must one have this “baptism of the Holy Ghost” in order to be saved? We reviewed the scriptures in Acts and 1 Corinthians that refer to tongues, and my reading in my New King James leads me to believe that these were simply foreign languages, but even more importantly, we read 1 Corinthians 13, which plainly says that tongues and all these other gifts are worthless without love.
He raised similar questions about baptism—must one be baptized to be saved? Why would one not want to be baptized? The Bible says to do it and also explains what baptism means (Romans 6). We are baptized not for God’s sake but for our own, for it is a meaningful ceremony from our point of view.
I ended today by reminding everyone to ask for God’s mercy on us and our nation, even as Moses asked for the same for Israel. God relented from destroying the people at Moses’ request. We should also pray the same.
[The Bible clearly shows that speaking in tongues was a gift that not everyone had (1Cor 12:29–30). However, baptism was something that everyone could do—no gift was required. Furthermore, the use of tongues in services was to be limited to those that were interpreted (1Cor 14:27). But I see no difficulty with brethren who believe they are speaking “in the tongues of angels” (1Cor 13:1) or speaking “mysteries… in the spirit” (1Cor 14:2), as long as it is not contrary to other scriptures. — NSE]
August 25, 2002
Today’s Bible study was non-eventful, but with two important lessons. We had four truck drivers, several of whom knew their Bibles quite well. One of the men had a bit of a habit that I found interesting. I would make a comment about something, and he would disagree. Then he would explain it in his way, which was essentially what I said only in different words. This happened several times. I didn’t take this as malicious. I took it as an inability to listen.
One thing I have noticed time and again is how these men do not tend to identify themselves by their denominations. One man today said that he attends a Baptist church, but he defines himself as a “believer”. Another defined himself as a son of God, and a third said he doesn’t care what church he attends as long as the Bible is the center of its beliefs.
I look forward to my next opportunity to attend the truck stop.
[At some Christian meetings, one can see massive “earth-shaking” changes in the lives of some of the people involved. That is good and right. Other times, the Bible studies simply provide a place for believers to share their existing faith in God in the trucker’s world that is otherwise dominated by trucks, schedules, sex and entertainment. Some drivers are forbidden by rules—maybe monitored by satellite—to drive even one mile off of their route to attend a Bible study. But they are allowed to rest at a truck stop. A truck stop Bible study is just what they need.]
September 8, 2002
We had a good Bible study today. Four men joined me who are sincerely searching for God, one of whom was a repeat customer.
Because we are into the Holy Day season and many are aware of Rosh Hoshana, I gave an introduction of sorts to the Holy Days with a special emphasis on Trumpets and the return of Christ. I doubt that any of the men heard anything like this before and seemed to have an interest. The discussion led to one on the millennium and how there is a resurrection at the end of the thousand years.
Today’s study was a bit short because some of the men had to check on loads, but I joined one of the men in the restaurant later for a cup of coffee, and two of the other men joined us again as well. One fellow is Australian. He used to run a club in the Outback and then moved into radio broadcasting. While visiting this country some time back to study American radio, he was hired by the station. He spent some time in Europe with Armed Forces Radio, and after returning to the states became #1 in Arbitron ratings in Savannah, Georgia. But a falling out with the station manager and the low pay led him to truck driving where he is now. He and his wife are both truck drivers and used to team together, but in a bad business deal they ended up with two trucks and a need to have them both on the road, so for a while they will be driving separately.
He feels that in the past he was like the wheat that fell on thorny ground. He grew with enthusiasm, but was distracted by the things of this world which choked the word. He’s determined to have things different this time around. An interesting fellow.
One of the truck drivers lamented that years ago there was more respect for the “Sabbath”, by which he meant Sunday. It was a time dedicated to God. “If you didn’t buy it on Saturday, you had to wait until Monday”.
Another trucker challenged him. Which day is really the Sabbath? In his view Saturday should be a time set aside for family and Sunday set aside for the Lord. We had a brief discussion about which day is the Sabbath according to the Bible, which planted a seed that came up later down in the restaurant. I hope they look into it more.
Remember the men and women who are in the transportation industry. They are the lifeblood of our economy, yet they live difficult and dangerous lives.
September 15, 2002
The Bible study began today with three guests, with more joining later.
I was going to cover the Day of Atonement and the meaning behind it, but there was really a more important issue that needed to be discussed. One of the ladies today is a drifter who relayed to us a rather detailed story of her rough life, including how she just recently had her winter clothes and extra money stolen from her, that she had nothing to eat for two days, and that she was dying of cancer, but that she is searching for God. Currently she is hitching rides to see the country. Frankly, I didn’t believe her story, but I figured if she was hungry I would buy her something to eat. Lying or not, if she was hungry, then she was hungry. I told her that after the study I would get her something at the restaurant.
We do see drifters occasionally, and the problem we run into is determining whether they are telling the truth about their situation. But even if we can’t get to the real truth, hunger is hunger, and that need should be taken care of. A gift of a Bible doesn’t hurt either.
The Bible study itself focused on coming to know God and having an intimate relationship with him, what some have called the “Abba, Father” relationship. In many ancient societies (and modern ones as far as that goes) the father was not intimately involved with his children. The father was an authority figure, yet Jesus depicted the Father/Son relationship as one of a close bond. “Abba” is akin to “Daddy”! Modern culture has done its best to belittle men and ridicule fathers. I was struck not long ago while watching reruns of the old “Leave it to Beaver” series how the father of the family was kind, wise, yet firm without being overbearing. Compare that to Homer Simpson.
That concludes our Trucker’s studies until after the Feast of Tabernacles. We do have coverage for next week, and everything will be fine.
— Lenny Cacchio, L_cacchio@yahoo.com
705 NE Bryant Drive, Lee’s Summit, Missouri 64086
Determining the best way to help others is an important issue for everyone who serves Jesus Christ. Jesus fed and healed thousands of people. Some of them thanked Him and listened to His teachings, but others did not. We may not be able to discern the true intent of individuals as quickly as He did, but if we do find someone coming to us for a continual “handout”, we can realize that Jesus did not provide continual free food to anybody, and then we can answer as He answered:
Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him” (John 6:26–27). — NSE
Any Sabbath-Observing Trucking Companies?
I was looking on the internet for truck driving opportunities, when I checked for Sabbath keepers relating to the trucking industry. I came across articles relating to the Sabbath, and wondered if you knew of a company that observes the 7th day Sabbath, not expecting their drivers to work that day?
Thank you for honestly addressing the Sabbath.
— John Bryant
I do not know of any such companies, but maybe some of our readers do. It seems that any trucking company that gladly allows drivers to observe the Sabbath would be of interest—even if its management are not Sabbath keepers themselves. We would print a news item about such companies if they would like, or just forward the information to John Bryant if that is preferred. Let us hear from you!