Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Finally! Darrell Scott's "Sentence Sermons"

Rev. Darrell Scott (1933 – 2017) was a faithful, compassionate, and much beloved Christian whose beneficial influence was not only profound but is still active in many, many lives.   Darrell was a dedicated student of the Bible, an excellent preacher, a disciple maker, an energetic and winsome evangelist, a humble intercessor, an encouraging friend, and a devoted husband and father.  Indeed, in all of these roles, he truly shined.  Earlier in his life, Darrell won the title of "Mr. Omaha" in a bodybuilding contest and, despite dealing for many years with serious heart problems, those succeeding decades saw him keep in excellent shape and vibrant spirits. He was thus a sterling example of self-discipline and commitment. However, it was through his ministries as the pastor of Pleasantview Church, preacher, evangelist, and friend that he became as widely known and keenly admired as just about anyone in town.  In a very real sense, Darrell Scott was still "Mr. Omaha" at age 84 and still building the body -- but it was now the Body of Christ that had claimed his attention.

Darrell Scott was also noted for the witty and wise proverbs with which he liberally seasoned his sermons and conversations.  Along with the Bible verses that he so faithfully memorized, Darrell had a remarkable knack for communicating spiritual truths in ways that were clear, persuasive, and memorable.  He often referred to these as “sentence sermons” while those of us who were quick to write them into the margins of our Bibles called them “Pleasantview proverbs” or simply “Darrell Scottisms.”

It turns out that we weren’t the only ones writing these things down.  So was Darrell.  Indeed, throughout his life, he kept notebooks in which he recorded pithy proverbs, one-line exhortations, sermon illustrations, quotations, even quick jokes that he knew would effectively connect with people. They came from his reading, from listening to the sermons of others, from conversations with friends from a wide variety of backgrounds and, of course, many of them came from the perceptive and experienced mind of Darrell himself.

Shortly before Darrell’s death, we talked about this extensive collection of proverbs and his frustration that he had never organized and edited it. Well, Claire and I, who had been close friends and enthusiastic fans of Darrell Scott since way back in 1970, offered to try our hand at the project.  He was delighted with our offer but warned us about how daunting a task it would be.  After all, he knew that our responsibilities with Vital Signs Ministries would mean that we would only be able to work on the project now and again.  Nevertheless, we agreed to grab a few friends and try. And that meant the world to Darrell.

We are now delighted and honored to present several hundred of what we believe are the most sparkling and provocative of these “sentence sermons.” We hope you will find them, as we do, of great value. Use them as points to ponder, stimulants to prayer, conversation starters, and sanity checks. And Darrell would love it if you would also use them as seasoning for your own letters, evangelism, counsel, and sermons.  Finally, for those of you who treasured your friendship with Darrell Scott, we hope these “sentence sermons” will help remind you of a very dear saint who we will all see again when we begin our heavenly celebrations in the presence of the Lord Jesus.

If you are interested in getting one copy or more (one friend has already ordered ten), let us know by phone, email or FB message. The cost is $3 which is simply the cost of having them printed.

Let the proverbs proceed.