Cumberland Times-News

David Sandvick - Life Lessons on Faith

May 1, 2008

Take an old-fashioned test drive ... in church

Lately, a television commercial is proposing that we change the way we buy a new or used car. No longer should we actually go to a car dealer, kick the tires or take it for a test drive.

Instead, we are given testimonials of people preferring to purchase their car via an Internet site that takes you on a video test drive. With a simple click of a mouse, you can watch someone else drive the car around on a test loop.

One lady says, "You can see the front of the car and the back!" Another says, "It was just like being there." The last fellow says, "I'll never buy another car the old way again."

Oh, please! Are they telling me they'd prefer to buy a used car that they've never seen, or smelled, or touched? How can you tell how the car handles the road from watching a video? Or how would you know if the car ran over a skunk and they couldn't get the smell out? The only fun in the purchase of any car is the test drive and now they're telling us we won't get to do that!

Some people are convinced that watching a TV preacher on Sunday is the same as attending a church. They prefer to have no interaction with others, not to sit in uncomfortable old pews, and to have no flesh and blood minister to inquire to their spiritual well-being.

There's a reason that God wants us to go to church and not just be the church. It is so that God can work through us to be the answer to someone else's need. It is the opportunity to encourage others, pray for others and set an example of Christ-likeness that you cannot do at home on your sofa.

If you're not attending church, get out there and kick a few tires and become a part of one.

As for car buying, I'll take the old fashioned test drive ... pedal to the metal!

David Sandvick is pastor of First English Baptist Church in Frostburg.

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David Sandvick - Life Lessons on Faith
  • Don't just go to church, be the church We are in the middle of the summer Olympics and one can't help but root for the U.S. of A. (that is if you're from here, of course). I've watched some rowing, volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, and basketball and find it an extraordinary opportunity to see such gifted athletes gathered together in one place competing at such a high level in the most popular sports in the world.

    August 14, 2008

  • Make right choice with church On a recent visit to Tennessee, I spoke with the wife of a Christian camp director and she related this story to me. Her husband bought her an ipod Shuffle (one of the really little ones) for a birthday present.

    August 7, 2008

  • Join with God in his church July is a month that many people head to the beach or to a park to enjoy a summer vacation. As I think about my own recent vacation, I am reminded of a practical joke I played on my wife.

    July 24, 2008

  • Seek God, his kingdom, rest will fall into place On a recent shopping outing I was asked an interesting question. As we checked out, the cashier at the department store asked, "Did you find everything okay?"

    July 17, 2008

  • Bible School puts back what is easily lost Have you ever noticed how many food products are "enriched" with vitamins and minerals? Actually, the term might be "re"-enriched because much of the nutritional value of foods such as bread is depleted when it is processed to give it longer shelf life. Vitamins and nutrients that are lost in this manufacturing processing are restored.

    July 3, 2008

  • Listen to God's still voice: 'You can do it' It was the same day that I rappelled off the tower that I climbed up its rock wall side. I had come to the conclusion that a near-50- year-old man need not prove himself anymore, when a voice in my head said, "Do it anyway!"

    June 26, 2008

  • You should be real sure about going to heaven I recently returned from east Tennessee after speaking for a week at a youth camp. While there, I tried to get to know the young people and participate in many of the activities with them. Tubing on the lake, swimming, rappelling, rock wall climbing, and riding go-carts all combined to make it a truly exhausting work week.

    June 19, 2008

  • God looking for children love him Sunday is Father's Day and the television is filled with advertisements for potential gifts that seem to follow two lines of thinking. One line of gifts I've particularly noticed are handyman type gifts.

    June 12, 2008

  • Christians also have a natural enemy - Satan My garden plantings are growing like weeds. Oh, wait a minute, that one was a weed. A closer inspection reveals that something is gnawing on my plants. The leaves are missing on some of the vegetation and I suspect a wabbit! I asked my wife if rabbits had any natural enemies. She said, "Elmer Fudd." She's no help at all.

    June 5, 2008

  • Ready soil of heart to hear word of God I was working in my garden the other day. Well, it's not really a garden as much as a patch. Actually, patch may be stretching it a bit also. Perhaps bed is the most accurate rendering. A twin size bed to be exact.

    May 29, 2008

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