celebrate Jesus Son of God

SCRIPTURE

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 29:11 NLT

QUOTE

The moment you start blaming others; your risk of failure increases.

~Yaakov

my thoughts red

The physical universe is a reflection of spiritual realities. Jesus taught spiritual truth using images from the natural world. We must remind ourselves that Jesus created both realms, the natural and the spiritual. Jesus reminded us that His Father is always at work and He has the ability to work through all things natural or spiritual, good or bad. We have a tendency to give up when negative things happen but God can use the negative to produce the positive. We live in a world of opposites and God can use one just as well as the other.

Light-Darkness
Good-Evil
Love-Hate
Hot-Cold
Wet-Dry
Peace-Emity
Male-Female
Success-Failure
Pleasure-Pain
 

Whereas most folks prefer day, night is necessary. We sometimes wonder why God allows evil but if there was no evil, could we know good. If we had no knowledge of war, peace would mean very little. If we did not know failure, we could not know success. The fact that negative things happen to us does not mean that God is against us. God is always working in our favor for His glory. God has a plan for you which gives you a future and a hope. Don’t quit; don’t even give it consideration. Walt Disney went bankrupt seven times. Donald Trump went bankrupt once. Henry Ford never graduated high school. Albert Einstein could not read until he was seven years old. Colonel Sanders was broke and homeless at the age of 62.

  1. Take responsibility for your sins.
  2. Don’t make excuses: make plans.
  3. Keep your eyes on Jesus
  4. Remember: failure is not final unless you quit. Don’t quit.

P.S. There is only one way to heaven-Jesus and one way to hell-not Jesus.

EXTRA animated

  • Heavenly Treasures Jewelry Show at Danville Baptist WEE Care May 1st [this morning] 8:30-11:00 am. Presented by Barbara Pickens and Debbie Blackwood
  • Visitation for Betty Hodgman, David Wood’s aunt is today [May 1] at Pecks 11:00-1:00, burial at Mt. Tabor.
  • Visitation and COLS for Mr. Truman Screws is today at Pecks-Visitation 1-3 and service at 3 pm.
  • Shohn is in Atlanta at a Children’s Workshop and I will be going to the funeral home around none and may go to hospital a little before so no one will be at the office.
  • Kenny Holladay had a little better day yesterday but he is still in a lot of discomfort and has more test today: the kind of test we all dread.
 

A Story Of A King

March 30, 2013

SCRIPTURE: The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son. [Matthew 22:2, NLT]

QUOTE: There is no one so great and mighty that he can avoid the misery that will rise up against him if he strives against God. ~John Calvin

COMMENTARY: Jesus tells a fascinating story in Matthew 22. It is about a king who had a son and the son was getting married. The king was hosting a huge wedding feast for a list of special guest. He sent out engraved invitations to this select group. He had his servants kill the fatted beef and prepare a huge meal: everything was ready but no one came. The king was puzzled so he sent his servants out to find out what was going on. The invited guest refused to come. One after another they made excuses: some went to work, others went about their business and some were so bold that they killed the kings messengers. The king was furious. He sent his army and they killed the men who murdered his servants and burned their city. Then he sent his servants back into the streets and by-ways inviting everyone to the feast. The palace was packed with people when the king entered. The king noticed one man who was not wearing a wedding garment and he had his servant remove that man.

The moral of story: [1] It is not wise to insult a king about anything but especially by refusing an invitation to his son’s wedding. [2] It is doubly unwise to dishonor and disrespect the king’s Son. [3] You don’t dare dine with a king if you are not properly attired. The kings servants offered the man a wedding robe when he entered but he refused to wear it. His attitude toward the king was: “I’m OK just the way I am, I don’t need his garment.” But we do need a wedding garment. We all must be robed in the righteousness of Christ are we will not get admitted to the wedding feast of the LAMB.

EXTRA

  • The first night of the Re-enactment of the crucifixion went well and a big THANK YOU goes out to the young folks who helped us. Our group could have never pulled this off without help and the young married class came through big time. Thank You Change, Kevin, T.J., Justin, Jimmy and Will. These guys did great. We also want to thank Sir Anthony for bringing the horse. Our Roman guards did great also. We want to thank all who came to make up our crowd.
  • We are going [LORD willing] to do another hour tonight from 7:00-8:00. Pray for good weather. Last night was close to perfect. The wind blew until we started and it just stopped. We were feeling a soft rain right as we shut down at 9:00.
  • I talked to Haley Clark last night and they are excited about Sunday. We have an interpretive dance team and they will be doing “Behold The Lamb” in the worship service.
  • LORD willing [all depends on weather] we will have COMMUNION AT THE CROSS Sunday morning at 7:45, Breakfast at 8:00, LCBS at 9:00 and worship at 10:15.
  • I did not know what to expect last night but once we got going, it was impressive and a blessing. Thanks for praying for us. I am very proud of these young men who are not afraid to bear reproach for Jesus. I’m very impressed. He bore our reproach and we should not be ashamed to bear some in His behalf. If you didn’t see it last night, you need to drive by or better yet, put on a costume and join us at the cross. We had only two Pharisees and their wives last night but guess what, no one was looking at the Pharisees. Every one was focused on the cross. Amen! That’s as it should be.

SCRIPTURE: For He knows how weak we are; He remembers we are only dust. [Psalm 103:14, NLT]

QUOTE: The greatest weakness of all is the fear of appearing weak. ~Jacques B. Bossuel

COMMENTARY: We can deny it, even attempt to hid it but the truth is–we humans are weak. Because of our sinful nature we are prone to selfish and small living. Because we live in a flesh and blood body, we catch virus’s and diseases that some time lead to physical death. We act tough but words of criticism do sting. We would do anything to cover it up, but rejection and betrayal in a relationship can break our heart. It is easy to let our opponents or the circumstances overwhelm us. Abraham hid behind Sarah’s coattail twice. Jacob deceived his own father. Joseph was a socialist. Moses murdered a man. David committed adultery. Job married a witch. Everyone has a weakness. Paul says it best in 2 Corinthians 12…So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.  That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 EXTRA: PRAISE GOD FOR THE RAIN!!!!I know that it’s dirty but Bev was 33 plus thirty yesterday. A big happy 36th to Bev. I was able to catch almost four barrels of rain water. Close to 1,000 gallons in all. They say we may get more today. I will be by myself at the office today so do not call. I don’t like having to answer the phone. Call my cell phone if you need me because I am not answering all those tele-marketers.

Youth just before leaving on Monday

Elkanah

July 7, 2012

View of the tabernacle. This is a model create...

SCRIPTURE: There was a man named Elkanah [God creates or God possesses] who live in Ramah in the Region of Zuph [Honeycomb] in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham [showing pity], son of Elihu [He is my God], son of Tohu [Lowly], son of Zuph [Honeycomb] of Ephraim. Each year Elkanah would travel to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to the LORD of Heavens’s Armies at the Tabernacle. {I Samuel 1:1,3, NLT}

QUOTE: Happy people seldom think of being happy. They are too busy serving the interest of others. ~David Augsburger

COMMENTARY: I have preached several sermons using Hannah as my subject but I don’t remember ever using her husband Elkanah. As I was reading I Samuel in the NRSV a few days ago, Elkanah got my attention. He was not perfect: he did have two wives and that did create a problem. No wife needs a rival and Hannah had one who was a pain in the neck {I am being nice}. Elkanah had some good qualities as a man, husband and father: [1] He was faithful to worship. He did not miss worship. The year that Hannah chose to stay home, Elkanah went to Shiloh without her. Twenty-five years ago I probably took faithful folks for granted but not these days. I told the congregation a few weeks ago that we have a bunch of Tornado Baptist at Danville: we don’t know when they are coming and how much damage they will do when they get here. Faithfulness to worship is huge. [2] Elkanah was a kind and compassionate man. He was, as his name suggest, one of God’s masterpieces. His father’s name was Honeycomb so he must have had a sweet disposition. His granddad’s name was Lowly so he must have been humble. His great-granddad’s name was “He is my God” so he must have had faith and his great-great-granddaddy’s name was “Showing Pity” so he must have had compassion. I see some of all in Elkanah. He certainly had faith but the way he deals with Hannah makes me believe that he was compassionate, understanding, humble and of a sweet disposition. [3] The third thing that impressed me about Elkanah was the way he honored Hannah’s vow. In the Hebrew world, the man, the Patriarch was lord and master. The law of Moses allowed Elkanah to cancel Hannah’s vow. He had the power to make it null and void but I don’t think the thought crossed his mind. He did not want to interfere with Hannah’s personal commitment to the LORD. Samuel was his son as much as Hannah’s but not a selfish word does he speak. I think he thought more of Hannah’s happiness than he did his own which was why he was such a happy fellow. Don’t aim for happiness, if you do, you will miss it: Aim for Jesus, He is the only way to happiness. God can not give you happiness a part from His Son.

EXTRA: Well another day of record Temps yesterday. Hey, I guess we must be getting use to it. The bible says that it rains on the just and the unjust. They are getting rain everyday in L.A. [Lower Alabama]. Seriously, those folks must be paying their preacher a lot. When a man can build all his children a house and have a house on the beach–he has to be knocking down some serious cash. No wonder they get a rain a day.

 June got her car back yesterday. Norman did a superb job: it looks brand new. They had wind damage in Moulton on Thursday night: the same night that we got 1/10th of 1/10th inch of rain. Tracey and Bev’s Mom Blondie got home yesterday. No Deacon’s meeting Sunday morning.  Baptism in the am service.

SCRIPTURE: “I know where you live.” [Revelation 2:13, NET]

QUOTE: “Could the veil be lifted, we would see that angels of God are around us to preserve us from unseen dangers.” ~Ellen White

COMMENTARY: In earlier days, I enjoyed exploring caves but not any more. I know my departure is coming but I want to leave from the surface. I was horrified when the 33 Chilean miners were trapped a few years back. After they had the shaft in place and the single occupant elevator, it took them almost two days to get everyone out. Think about the anxiety those guys felt before the rescuers were able to communicate with them. At least, the tiny shaft with oxygen, light and communication gave them hope. They knew that the folks above knew their exact location. Have you ever felt anxious, alone, trapped, in the dark, and no options? It is not a good feeling. It is a comfort to know that our Heavenly Father knows exactly where we are and what is going on.

EXTRA: 105 degress at 5:00 pm…As Keith would say, “Unbelievable.” Or I could quote Luther, “You better believe it” because it will be just as hot tomorrow they say. We had a great turn out for our Senior Adult Luncheon yesterday….37 and four of our regulars were not with us. We had some new members: Robert and Marty joined us and they enjoyed it. Felton got me inspired and I did a couple of TOP TENS about the heat. One is honor of Felton and one in honor of David Wood who is an avid reader of the Blog, Soapbox, and Top Ten. No body is reading the Screwtape Letters which is a bit of a surprise and not many check out the TOP TENS. I have discovered that blogs are a way of storing and saving things. I have decided to put my first book on line. He will be inexpensive and you can help me correct all the mistakes. The first thing I have to do is find the manuscript: I thought I had it on disc but Tracey says its on a 3 1/2 which I probably can’t convert if I can find. If it is worth anything, someone will publish it someday and if it’s not worth anything, it does not need to be published.

SAFE

SAFE

Yum, Yum, Vegetables, Fried Chicken and Apple Pies with IC

EXTRA/EXTRA: Yesterday was Mylee’s 6th birthday and today is Hannah’s. We had their party last night. It was a good party and  a good day: hot but good.

Hannah and Hannah Jr. Or Mary III and IV

The Four Amigos

SCRIPTURE: He said to her, “You’re talking like a godless fool. We accept the good that God gives us. Shouldn’t we also accept the bad?” Through all this Job’s lips did not utter one sinful word. [Job 2:10, GWT]

QUOTE: Success in getting what you want. Contentment is delighting in what you already have. ~Source Know but quote edited

COMMENTS: The Jews of Malachi’s day were ungrateful and forgetful–these two always run together. They had forgotten that God had just delivered them from their Babylonian Captivity. When they got back to the Holy Land they assumed that everything would be peaches and cream. When they encountered adversity and hard times, they turned bitter and resentful. They had the audacity to say, “It does not pay to serve God.” Things don’t always go smoothly for God’s children. Jesus did not die of old age–He was crucified in the prime of life. We live in a sin cursed world. Life is not fair but don’t get angry at God–It was our parents that sinned. By the way, we do not serve God for the pay: we serve Him because He is worthy of our love and loyalty. He has already done for more for us than we deserve. Be thankful for what He has already done for you in Christ instead of always wanting more.

EXTRA: After the service yesterday, I was talking to T.J. and Malory and Caleb dived for me. I got his mama to make our picture.  Pray for me: I am scheduled to preach to the preachers today if they don’t cancel me again. This makes the third week in a row that I was to preach but each week they keep finding someone better and putting me on hold.

Caleb Smith my new buddy!

SCRIPTUREThe Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. [Psalms 34:18-19, NKJV]

QUOTE: Give God the respect that is due Him. Turn to Him during difficult times rather than relying on the world. ~Max Lucado

COMMENTARY: A part of being a pastor is sharing the sorrow and shock that members of the flock experience. We learn the hard way not to assume anything. We learn not to judge things or people by the way they appear. Samuel Porter Jones (October 16, 1847 – October 15, 1906) was one of the most celebrated revivalist at the close of the 19th century. Famous for his wry wit and masterful story-telling, he is credited as a principal influence on Will Rogers. He also lead Thomas Green Ryman to faith in Christ. On May 10, 1885, Ryman came to heckle Jones as he preached. He got convicted and was saved. He built the Ryman Auditorium for Jones to preach in when he was in Nashville. Anyway, this same Sam Jones was traveling from one revival to another by train. He was exhausted from preaching and travel and went to his sleeping car to get some rest. He couldn’t rest for a man pacing up and down the hall of the sleeping car with a crying baby. He got out of bed and said, “Man, I need some rest. Would you please take the baby to his mother.” “I would love to do just that,” said the man “but his mother is in the box car behind us in a coffin. I have not had any sleep in two days because this baby will not stop crying.” “Give me the baby,” said Jones “and you get some rest.” Just remember, you may be nearer to a broken hearted person than you realize.

EXTRA: Two very good services I thought and attendance much better. We had 19 in our LCBS class. VBS begins today. We also praise Jesus for the rain. God is good. I loved the band doing Jesus Is My Lord yesterday morning. I enjoyed the entire day.

Jonah

June 10, 2012

SCRIPTURE: Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time:  “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you.”  This time Jonah obeyed the Lord’s command and went to Nineveh... [Jonah 3:1-3, NLT]

QUOTE: We only learn to behave ourselves in the presence of God, ~C.S. Lewis

COMMENTARY: Everyone knows that I like to pick on Jonah. He was a narrow minded, indifferent, rebellious, bigoted Jew with a rotten attitude and he hated Assyrians with a passion. Yes, he did have a lot going against him but he does have some positive traits which I have never mentioned: [1] He had unbelievable courage. He was not afraid of the storm [everybody else was]; he was not afraid to be pitched into the sea, and he was not afraid to preach to his bitter enemies [be like me going to a muslim country and telling them to repent or else burn in hell]. I don’t have that Nineveh courage, do you? Jonah never shows fear. [2] Jonah would tell the truth and preach it under a little pressure. He was not the kind of guy that just jumped up and opened his bible but when put on the spot, he told the truth. [3] He knew how to pray. I’m not saying that he had a regular quiet time but in distress he could pray like a pentecostal preacher. [4] He did obey although it was delayed and reluctant. He wasn’t all bad but he is still the O.T. poster child for grace.

EXTRA: I was hoping to awake to a gentle rain. We have had some because the road looks wet but of course I want another mud maker. Today is VBS eve. Ruth Livingston was in the hospital on Friday but I did not find out if she came home yesterday. She was supposed to come home if nothing went wrong.

Big Mama’s First Bucket of Green Beans

Green Bean Lane

SCRIPTURE: His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.” But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong. [Job 2:9-10, NLT]

Job and Friends

QUOTE: God never allows more to be put on us than we can handle. ~Source Unknown

COMMENTARY: I cannot find the source of the above quote but it sounds like something that Jobs friends might say. I have heard people  use it when trying to console a friend or love one. There is one major problem: it is neither biblical nor true and if your are suffering, it is not a lot of consolation to hear it. As humans were are very proud and also prone to independence. Often times God uses the sorrows of life to bring us to our knees. Sometimes He does allow more than we can handle so that we will turn to him for help. Some problems are overwhelming and there is no way that we can handle them a part from His grace and intervention.

EXTRA: I am still grieving about the rain missing us but the cooler temps are keeping me from getting depressed. I do have some praises. They are probably small to everyone else except me: but I am thrilled and thankful.  [1] I’m getting my Troy-Bilt tiller [over 35 years old] up and running for half of what I thought it would cost, PTL. I am so excited. [2] The second miracle of a sort is our new garage door for June’s Lexus. For the record, I drive a Nissan Truck. I went to LOWE’s on Friday and got a door–fully intending to put it in–no opener, just plain door. On the way home I got to thinking…This door will take me the entire weekend and I want to work in the garden, not on a door. I called Cory and he sent Larry Shepherd [the best door man I’ve ever seen] and he came within the hour. June had a door by 5:00 pm with opener, remote, the whole nine yards and for less than the door at LOWE’s which Larry had me carry back. If you need a garage door–Call Larry Shepherd 345-2836. He works like a dog. Can install five in one day. [3] A third praise for Derek Shelton. Derek did our VBS back drop this year. If you need a sign, Derek is your man. Thank you Derek, Cory, Larry and Willard. You guys have made the drought a little easier to bear. Have I ever told you–I love rain! Hard rain, soft rain, blowing rain, straight down rain, drizzle, gully washer–anything but acid rain.

EXTRA/EXTRA: A man wanted to borrow his neighbor’s lawn mower. The neighbor said, “I’m sorry, but I am going to town.” “What does that have to do with me borrowing your mower?” Said the man. “Nothing,” said the neighbor, “but if I don’t want you using my mower, one excuse is as good as another.” No excuses folks: be in LCBS this am and come to the picnic tonight. We love you and you need to love us–no excuses.

Narrow The Search

May 20, 2012

SCRIPTURE: But may all who search for You be filled with joy and gladness in You. [Psalm 40:16, NLT]

QUOTE: God is self-sufficient. He does not need anything beyond Himself, we do. We are not designed to run on our own power. ~Dallas Willard

COMMENTARY: In the early part of David’s adult life, he spent a lot of time in caves. He was not exploring them, he was hiding from Saul who pursued him madly. It is not a nice place or way to live but during these troublesome times David wrote many of his psalms. David understood that Saul was searching for the wrong thing. Had he searched for the LORD with the same passion that he searched for David, he would have been super blessed. What are you pursuing? What search has you occupied night and day? Perhaps it is time to narrow your search. “Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his ways and banish every thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the LORD that He may have mercy on them and turn to our God,  for He will abundantly pardon.” [Isaiah 55:6-7]

EXTRA: Huge day today…jam packed. I’ll be pulling out in the next 30 minutes and will not be back until 8:30 or 9:00 tonight. I covet your prayers. Pray for my good buddy Kenny Holladay as he recovers from a very tough surgery. I hope to go down tomorrow. Pray for our services today. All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One comes down. Remember, we host Baccalaureate tonight. Holly will have a sign up sheet in the foyer. We need home made ice cream and brownies.