Practice What You Preach

March 31, 2016



For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
~Jeremiah 32:9, NLT


The preacher who only preaches what he can practice is not worth our listening.

~Manley Beasley

In theory, preachers should preach the pure and perfect word of God. We who are grossly imperfect lift up a perfect standard. I don’t measure up to what I preach and neither do you. Manley Beasley was one of my favorite preachers of last century. I have heard him read a text, make an opening remark which was usually his sermon in a sentence: Then, with a grin, he would pause and say, “I’ve already said more than you can live up to.”

Whereas it is impossible for the herald to live up to the perfect standard of the king, he had best take his job seriously and be ready to demonstrate the message he preaches. Jeremiah preached faith and hope. Israel was being invaded by the Babylonians. The invaders had crossed the northern borders and were capturing cities in the upper regions. Jeremiah had been telling the people not to give up hope in Israel’s long range future; yes, there would be a captivity but Israel would return and have a future and a hope.

Jeremiah’s cousin  Hanamel decided to put him to the test so he visited the prophet who was in prison and offered him the family farm for a price. If Jeremiah had said, “Are you kidding me? Do I look stupid? The Babylonian army is camping on this piece of property as we speak and you want to sell it to me? Then Hanamel would say, “You are just like all the false prophets, you don’t mean what you say.” Jeremiah, knowing he would never set foot on the land, bought the land as a gesture of faith.

The moral of the story is that preachers need to be careful about what we say: God may give us a chance to practice what we preach. I talked once about how easy it was to forgive and the LORD allowed something to happen in my life that taught me how hard it can be to forgive.

I went back and reread my last five blogs. I wrote them for the sake of others without realizing they would be for me. As my wise mother was fond of saying to me, “You are getting a taste of your own medicine. How do you like it.” Right now, I’m getting a heavy doze of humility which may not be appreciated but definitely needed.


Coming to DBC in 2016…Kenny Evans {Mother’s Day} and Dr. Junior Hill in August 21…

  • SENOR ADULT DAY this Sunday with SWAMP JOHN’S for lunch. I need some dessert makers.
  • Today is the last day of March and the end of the first quarter. One forth of 2016 is gone like a freight train. Just 38 days till Mother’s Day, 60 days to Memorial Day and 269 days till Christmas. I would tell you how many days until VBS but I don’t know. We may possible change the date. Mandy will meet with workers this Sunday.
  • Franklin Graham prayer rally April 14



March 30, 2016



Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.

I Peter 3:8, NIV


Never let them see you sweat.

~Phil Slott 

The quote above, “Never let them see you sweat,” was coined in 1984 by ad man Phil Slott for a Gillette deodorant commercial but the slogan quickly took on new connotations. It is one of many “Never quotes” for professionals such as…Never say never…Never give up…Hope always but never expect…etc.

Solomon said, “There is a time for everything.” There is a time to be vulnerable and a time not to be vulnerable. Never assume that everyone has your interest at heart. All professing Christians should be like-minded, sympathetic, loving, compassionate and understanding but they aren’t. Our churches are filled with people who have no compassion, no sympathy, and no understanding. Like the Pharisees of old, they are hard, cold, indifferent, judgmental and void of love and compassion. Never make yourself vulnerable to those who do not care about your spiritual welfare.

A professional boxer learns the discipline of “Covering up.” This is not an act of deceit, but one of protection. If he leaves himself open, he will get hurt. His opponent is ready to pounce on his weakness. I know it sounds cruel but it’s the same way in life. You have some people praying for you to prosper but you also have some praying for you to fail. You are leaving yourself open to serious hurt when you reveal your weakness to those who have no concern for your welfare. Thus comes the rule, “Never let them see you sweat.”

Several years ago, I attended a COLS where a former pastor was officiating the service. He took the opportunity to lash out at those who had forced his resignation. I bowed my head and prayed for him to stop but he was not going to be denied his day in court. I know he thought he was hurting his persecutors but he wasn’t. You cannot hurt folks who don’t care but you can get hurt yourself by assuming they do.

EXTRA animated

  • I know our Senior Adults are getting excited about Sunday.
  • Another beautiful Spring day. The wind was a little chilly but otherwise perfect.
  • The GATHERING TONIGHT at 6:30 pm.
  • Franklin Graham Prayer Rally…only five signed up, we can do better folks.


March 29, 2016



We can rejoice when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance and endurance develops character, and character strengthens our hope …And this hope will not lead to disappointment

~Romans 5:3-4


Disappointment is God’s way of saying, “Be patient, I have something better.”

Disappointment is the feeling of sadness or displeasure that comes when our hopes or expectations are unfulfilled. Sometimes we cover our disappointment for the sake of others but there are times when we are visibly shaken. In any human relationship, disappointments are going to happen, they are unavoidable. I don’t like to be on either end, the disappointing or the disappointed but I know it happens.
What’s the solution? Well, I don’t think we are going to be able to live a life free of disappointment but their are some key adjustments we can make:
  1. Understand that only Christ is completely trustworthy. The higher your expectations of people, the greater your risk of being disappointed.
  2. Deep disappointments sometimes lead to great revelations. We had an example in our LCBS lesson last Sunday. Mary and Martha were deeply disappointed in Jesus for not responding to their request immediately. They were hurt and they could not hide it. Jesus did not scold them but He did give them something better, they expected a healing but He gave them a resurrection.
  3. Disappointment hurts because it is so personal. What is deeply disappointing to you may have no affect on those nearest to you. It is one of those pains that only Jesus can understand. This is what makes a personal relationship with Jesus vital: He always understands. I learned years ago that disappointment can lead to heartbreak but if you aren’t careful, you will get a greater heartbreak from the indifference of those that you thought really cared.

The thought reminds me of a Baptist hymn, “Tell It To Jesus.” 

Are you weary, are you heavy hearted?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Are you grieving over joys departed?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

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  • We have a prayer request…We desperately need VBS workers. Many of the school teachers are unable to work due to Summer programs. The school system is killing us. Our culture values education more than faith. Very few people will put church before school and this is sad. Pray to the LORD of the harvest, that He would send workers into the fields that are white. The most prosperous field for evangelism is children.
  • I didn’t check our attendance yesterday but it was no where close to a record. We may have had a record in Sunrise but not the kind we would want. We did have more than usual and I thought the praise and worship was awesome. Joe David’s message was very good and I thought we would have some decisions. I know one thing, God is working. 
  • I have an 85 year old woman that we will refer to as Mrs. C. I went to share with her son [an old middle school class mate] Saturday’s a week ago and I noticed her listening and afterwards showing interest. I carried her the Billy Graham book, WHERE I AM last Saturday and I am supposed to go back in two or three weeks and discuss it with her. Buford’s conversion has given me more confidence. I really believe God may be at work in this woman’s heart.
  • This Sunday is SENIOR ADULT DAY with special guest John and Joye Tucker. We are going to have an old fashioned service with piano and organ. We will also have SWAMP JOHN’S for lunch. David and the band get a much deserved rest. This is just the am service.



March 27, 2016



But those who die in the LORD will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joyFor your life-giving light will fall like dew on your people in the place of the dead!

~Isaiah 26:19, NLT


Blessed are those who can live with unanswered questions, who can rest in what they see and who can wait patiently for God to reveal what they can’t see.

~Charles Rozell Swindoll

When it comes to questions, I have them and it took time and grace for me to learn to live with unanswered questions. There is a lot we will not know in this life. Our understanding of reality is very dim but God has given us this blessed thing called “Hope.” How miserable we would be if we had no hope. Job had questions, lots of questions. One is found in Job 14:14…Can the dead live again? If so, this would give me hope through all my years of struggle, and I would eagerly await the release of death.

God created both the natural and spiritual world with the natural reflecting the spiritual. When it comes to the resurrection, our Creator has given us signs in all direction. A nights of restful sleep and then the awakening is a picture of the resurrection. Spring time is a picture of the resurrection–everything appeared dead but has sprang back to life. Plants are a sign of the resurrection. The same olive trees that Jesus prayed beneath are still in existence. Didn’t Titus the Roman have them cut to the ground? Yes, but that doesn’t kill and olive tree, they shoot branches from the stump. Seeds are another sign. I have all kinds of garden seed in the freezer. There is no apparent life in them but soon I will be planting them and they will come up.

Feed your faith, starve your doubt, cling to hope and trust God with all your unanswered question.


  • EASTER SUNDAY…can you believe it!
  • Sunrise @ 8:00…Breakfast @8:30…LCBS @ 9:15…Easter Parade @ 10:10 and Celebrate Jesus @ 10:15
  • Today is your last chance to get SWAMP JOHN’S TICKETS.
  • I finished Dr. Graham’s latest and probably last book, “Where I Am” last week and I highly recommend it. It would make a good gift for a lost friend who is seeking.


March 26, 2016



Don’t plan anything that will hurt your neighbors; they live beside you, trusting you.

~Proverbs 3:29, GNT


If you truly love your neighbor as you love yourself, you will not put a password on your WiFi.

~Image Quotes

Yesterday morning, I woke up thinking about Gary Garner and then in my morning bible study I came across three verses that epitomize the life of Gary Garner. It is Proverbs 3:27-29…Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it. Never tell your neighbors to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now. Don’t plan anything that will hurt your neighbors; they live beside you, trusting you. Gary was the consummate neighbor. He loved helping others. We heard five testimonies in the COLS yesterday and there  was a common thread running through all: Gary laid down his life for his friends and neighbors. If there was a need and Gary found out about it, he was on his way to help. Any one would be considered blessed to have a Gary Garner for a neighbor.

  • In my line of work, you take one day at a time. I woke up yesterday with one thing on my mind and I didn’t fully relax until 8:00 pm last night which is when I got home. I could not have made it through yesterday without June. In Mandy’s absence, she took charge and did what had to be done. I do want to thank those who helped her: Jennifer, Mary, Sarah, Hannah and Holly. I also want to thank those who brought food. We had enough to feed an army. We also thank Catfish for running the sound.
  • Today will be a visitation day. The LORD has laid someone on my heart and so LORD willing, I will be going to Thatch [this side of Ardmore]. I hope to have a story come out of this but we’ll have to wait and see. I could use some prayer.
  • Today is Joe David’s 40th Birthday. He is now officially over the hill.
  • Tomorrow is Easter, can you believe it? Sunrise at 8:00, breakfast, LCBS at 9:15 and worship at 10:15 with no pm service.
  • Franklin Graham Prayer Rally April 14.


March 25, 2016



But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.

~I John 3:8, NLT


There is pleasure in sin but only for a season. If there was no pleasure involved, no one would be tempted.

~Tim Kamikaze Keenum

Sin is similar to fire in that he attracts but then destroys. Moths will fly into the flame of a candle. Mosquitoes and many other insects are attracted to light, they cannot resist the temptation although it means certain death. Sin is like fire in the way it destroys, first it attracts and then it burns.

Ultimately all who refuse to repent will suffer the consequences of eternal fire. Have you heard of Baba Gurgur. It is a natural gas fire near the city of  Kirkuk in Northern Iraq. Scientist estimate that it has been burning for 2,500 years and no one can put it out. The flames are perpetuated by natural gas percolating through the rocks. Similar fires are found in India, Australia, Germany, Indonesia, Turkey, and Turkmenistan. No one started these fires and no one can put them out.

Would a loving God send humans into an eternal flame? Technically God does not send us to hell, we are attracted to sin and refuse to repent. The essence of sin is “I must have my way: I insist upon it.” This attitude puts us in a constant state of rebellion. As C.S. Lewis says, “In the end God says, ‘not my will but thy will be done.'” Hell is the consequence of demanding our way.

EXTRA animated

  • I cannot get over the wonderful weather this week. It has been perfect. Thank YOU Jesus.
  • We completed the first phase of our new office and man cave. The LORD blessed me with three days off and just enough energy and health to get it done. Phase two is wiring and getting electricity to the building.
  • Today is a happy/sad day for me. Gary and I shared some dreams together and I was convinced that the LORD was going to heal him. We had some big plans that will not materialize in this world. Six weeks or so ago, I realized that Gary was not getting better and I have grieved since. Gary loved to help people. He was a people person. He not only helped others, he did it cheerfully. Every time I look at the ramp in the FORTE, I will think of Gary. I do rejoice that Gary’s suffering is over. He suffered much more than people realize and in that light, I am thankful for his promotion. Pray for his COLS which is today at 3:00 at DBC. God blessed me and DBC when he lead Gary to join our fellowship.
  • June just told me that Kevin Turner [former Bama fullback] passed away with ALS at the youthful age of 46. His son is going to Clemson. Dabo and Kevin were team mates at Bama.
  • Tomorrow is Joe David 40th birthday. It doesn’t seem possible. Our children were born in March, April, May and June. All are two years a part. It didn’t happen according to plan, it was providential.
  • SWAMP JOHN’S coming April 3rd. Sunday is your last day to purchase tickets. Amy has to call a number in on Monday. I think we are around 250 but I thought we would do much better. We have to pay them $8 per plate so we are not raising much for St. Jude’s and in my opinion, they are worthy. St. Jude’s is a charity hospital and yet they treat you like royalty. I have never seen anything like it.

swamp johns

The Hour of Darkness

March 24, 2016



Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there every day. But this is your moment, the time when the power of darkness reigns.

~Luke 22:53, NLT


The battle line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man.

~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

I am a sore loser. As bad as I hate to confess it, I have something in common with Cam Newton; I don’t lose graciously. I hate to lose at T-ball. Back when Ty played, I was trying to get him to chase this kid down and tag him out but Joe David told him no and he did what his daddy commanded. I was fit to be tied, Ty could have tagged this kid easily. Lori came to the fence and said, “Granddaddy, the kid has autism, we don’t try to get him out.” I said, “We have two on our team that are just as bad and they are tagging them.” She said, “I know Granddaddy, but we aren’t them.” 

I am also a sore loser when it comes to the devil, evil and injustice. I hate abortion and few days pass without me thinking about the grip that evil has on our nation. I hate cancer and I hate drugs and that includes alcohol and tobacco. Cigarettes took the life of my bother and nephew. Some times we pray sincerely for what we believe will glorify Christ but our prayers are not answered, at least in the way we imagined. It appears at times that the power of darkness in triumphant over the light but the apostle John’s words on this subject are encouraging, “For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.” Sunrise is a slow methodical process, the darkness does not disappear in an instant but once the sun burst on to the scene, we know that darkness will soon be gone.

The most damning practice of this evil world may be propaganda. I was thinking last night about this and I can’t think of a single injustice that is not perpetuated by lies. Abortion is based on a lie and so is evolution. We don’t even teach kids the truth about our nation, its founding and forefathers. As long as lying works and deceives the masses, I doubt that Satan will change his tactics.

EXTRA animated

  • Enjoying this beautiful weather. Thank You Jesus.
  • Gary Garner’s COLS is tomorrow at 3:00 with visitation from 12:00-3:00, interment at Shoal Creek and feeding the family at DBC. The visitation and service will be at the church.
  • Kenny Evans will be with us on Mother’s Day, this is one week earlier than the original date.
  • Sunday is your last chance to get SWAMP JOHN tickets for April 3. If you do not get advance tickets, you are taking a risk and no one can guarantee you a plate. The ones who have tickets eat first and then if there is any left, people can buy a plate for $12.
  • Franklin Graham Prayer Rally April 14. Do you care enough about this country and the future of our grandchildren to miss one day of work. We have six men signed up, it should be 60. The last prayer rally we had in Montgomery was to support biblical marriage. We may have had 200 show up. It was a pitiful turnout. I beg you in Jesus name to get concerned: prayer is our only hope because Christ is our only hope.

Ignorance Can Be Bliss

March 23, 2016



The wiser you are, the more worries you have; the more you know, the more it hurts.

Ecclesiastes 1:18, GNT


If ignorance is bliss, shouldn’t there be more happy people?

~Image Quotes

I am not a big Solomon fan but I think he has a valid point. Mr. James Newby, one of my mentors, said often, “You don’t have to know everything.” If you keep prying and nosing around you might discover more than you can handle; its very possible that you could get your heart broken. The truth can set you free but it may hurt you first. When people come to me and say, “Do you know what so-in-so said about you?” I tactfully say, “No, not really.” I am a big believer in TMI, too much information; there are some things I had rather not know. To be able to say, “I don’t know anything about that…” can be a great relief.

Years ago, I was invited to speak at a Valentine banquet and the pastor who invited me gave me this introduction. “When I first met Bro. Jack, I didn’t like him but over the years I have grown to appreciate him.” It’s hard to speak after such an introduction: as I was trying to speak, the thought kept coming back to my mind, “What was about me, that he didn’t like.”  The pastor in question has become a good friend but that night, he gave me too much information.


  • Beautiful weather, PTL. 
  • Robert Pope has done so well that he is coming home Friday.
  • Gary Garner’s COLS is Friday, 3:00 PM at Danville Baptist Church. Gary will be impossible to replace. He had the ability to do so many things and he loved helping people. I know he was a baby-boomer but he would fit right in with the “Great Generation.”  Every time I see the ramp in the FORTE, I will think of Gary. We will be feeding the family after Gary’s body is laid to rest.
  • Remember, no services tonight. 
  • Got started on my “Man Cave” today. Got more done than I expected.
  • Franklin Graham Prayer Rally April 14.

Opportunity Knocks

March 22, 2016



“For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me.”
~Mark 14:7, NASB


A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.

~Winston Churchill

The verse above keeps showing up in my devotional reading. Judas was outraged at Mary’s extravagant love. He said the perfume was worth a years wage. If you translate that into today’s economy, you are looking at 50,000 bucks. Judas excuse was that the money could have been given to the poor. John said, Judas was not concerned about the poor; he was greedy and saw the money as a waste. It not only hurts a miser to spend money, they hurt when they see others spend money.

Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why are you giving her such trouble? She did a very good thing for me. You will always have the poor with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have Me.

Not all opportunities are the same. Some opportunities are rare while others are common. Anointing Jesus for His burial was a seven day window and Mary got it done just in time. Helping the poor is a 365 day window.


  • We had a good turn out on Sunday night for the egg hunt and fellowship. We had a lot of visitors. Hey, we are blessed with preschoolers at DBC, I bet we have 50. The kids did good on their musical. They will be doing the one about Easter this Sunday morning.
  • We spent yesterday evening in Addison and Double Springs. We attended Blayton Adair’s COLS and attended the visitation of Ray’s brother-in-law John William Sudduth. Darren Cleghorn’s mother is also a Sudduth and a member of the family. Interesting evening, the battery on the Lexus was not getting a good connection and for a while, I thought I might be spending the night but a very nice man named Tim Garrison stopped and helped me. He knew more about my car than I did. Thanks to the LORD’s goodness and Tim, I got home around 8:00 pm. Joyce Moore’s nephew Lance Hogan will be helping with the service today.
  • I am sure you have heard by now that DBC took a big hit Sunday night with Gray Garner being promoted. Our loss was heaven’s gain. How could you not love Gary? I think the COLS will be Friday at the church. I will share more as the week unfolds.

Keri and Kane

Wise or Weak

March 20, 2016



“Don’t do anything with that man. He is not guilty. Last night I had a dream about him, and it troubled me very much.”

Matthew 17:19, ERV


I’m not henpecked, I only do what the voices in my wife’s head tell her to tell me what to do.

~Image quotes

If you listed to the advice your wife gives, you are wise. If you yield to her when it’s your responsibility to make the decision, you are weak. Pilot’s wife gave him some very good advice, “Jesus is innocent; have nothing to do with His execution,” but Pilot did not heed her warning. Pilot’s political career plummeted after Jesus crucifixion. Eventually he was banished to an Island where most think he committed suicide but no one is sure. There are two other legends about Pilot: one says that he lost his mind before killing himself. Pilot washed his hand over and over, saying “I can’t get His blood off my hands.” The other states that he was gloriously converted to Christianity. Augustine is among those who believe Pilate became a missionary. Both he and his wife are “Saints” in the Coptic and Greek Orthodox churches.

I don’t know enough to argue but his wife was right; she gave her husband excellent advice. Women have a intuition that men do not have and in some cases, this keen intuition gives them greater insight. I think it is wise to give her the benefit of the doubt. Of course, you can do like me, ignore her advice and bulldoze ahead but eventually you will learn to respect her opinion. 

Hey, she is at least two steps ahead of you and has been since the start. You didn’t pick her out, she picked you out. Those things you call coincidental, she calls planning.


  • Some late minute changes: No Deacons meeting and no baptism.
  • Robert Pope is responding well to rehab, he is walking some now on his own and got the feeling back in his leg.
  • I thought Gary Garner was about the same: he was asleep when I was there. I haven’t got to talk to Randy Lewis yet but hope to see him next week. I visited my Aunt Angie yesterday. She is in good spirits.
  • The Kenny Evans date has been changed to MOTHER’S DAY.

Gary, Keri and Kane