Control Issues

October 21, 2011

SCRIPTURE: Do you not know that I have the power to release You, and the power to crucify You? Jesus answered him [Pilate], “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above.” [John 19:10-11, NRSV]

QUOTE: The older I get, the more I realize that I am not in control. —Eddie Burdette

THOUGHT: I would guess that 98% of church conflicts are about control issues and from my experience in Guatemala, if must be universal.

COMMENTARY: The fall not only left us extremely self-centered, it also left us very insecure and one of our greatest fears is the “loss of control”. Our insecurity makes us very afraid of vulnerability and we have a horror of surrendering control. Jesus the unique Son of God voluntarily laid His divine rights aside and made Himself subject to the likes of Herod [a profane and vile man], Caiaphas [a diabolically evil man], Pilate [Ambitious politician], and of course the cruel Roman Soldiers. He put Himself is a position of helplessness to the point of death on the cross. You would think that we would relinquish control for His sake but it does not happen. We have to have our finger in every piece of the pie. Would a parent pull for the opposing team if their child was sitting the bench? As Luther use to say, “You better believe it.” Do we secretly pray for others to fail simply so we can say, “You should have checked with me.” Our insecurity causes us to do many things that someday we will regret. The way of healing is to begin by trusting the LORD Jesus Christ. If you can’t trust Him, you have major control issues.

EXTRA: Today is our last day in Guatemala. It is indeed a beautiful country. I could not resist the temptation to ask my class some questions yesterday. I was tired of talking and I wanted to get their point of view. I was so surprised that the number one problem in their churches is control. The generation gap here may be more severe than it is in the States. I suppose some problems are universal. It has been a very humbling experience from day one. I have no doubt in my mind that God loves Guatemalians. If I did not believe that I would not have come. This beautiful country does not need me or a million like me, they need Jesus just like everyone else. I hope we reflected His love. I especially appreciate Teddy mentoring Joe David. I have no way of knowing but I believe that Joe David will be back to Guatemala. It is a fact that he went house looking today. We did visit an incredible home that had multiple gardens, water falls, a huge sun roof patio and much, much more. This home in the States would bring close to a million dollars. Here you can get one like for 1/10 of that price. Anyway, Joe David and I want to thank Teddy and the Friendship Baptist Church of Grand Bay, Alabama for being such fantastic host.

Happy Birthday Lara and Lexi

Here is you a good desktop pic

The Brain Trust...Teddy, Mark, Jim and Joe David

A Shop in the mall...everyone loves Christmas

Joe David, Tico and Teddy

Two Masters

October 11, 2011

SCRIPTURE: “No one can serve two masters. He will hate the first master and love the second, or he will be devoted to the first and despise the second. You cannot serve God and wealth.” [Matthew 6:24,GWT]

QUOTE: Your life will conform to the image of the master you serve. —Thomas Merton

THOUGHT: You cannot serve God and ________. You fill in the blank: money, spouse, employer, etc.

COMMENTARY: Jesus did not have a wife but He did have a family and they were not very supportive in the early days of His ministry. In Mark 3:20-21 we find these words– Then Jesus went home. Another crowd gathered so that Jesus and his disciples could not even eat. When his family heard about it, they went to get him. They said, “He’s out of his mind!” Can you believe that? His own family. Study the gospels and you will discover that Jesus never made any attempt to control his family’s behavior and He never allowed them to control His. He did not demand that they agree with Him nor that they support Him. He did not sulk and pout when they spoke insults against him [He is out of His mind]. He did not make his mission to please them. He had only one master. How many masters are you trying to serve?

EXTRA: DHS Girls win the area tournament in Volley Ball. I think they go to regional next and then sub-state. I have never been a Hank Williams Jr. fan but you can down load the song he wrote last Friday called “Keep The Change”. I don’t agree with Hank Jr.’s lifestyle but I do like his political views. Shame on Fox and Friends: I thought they were conservative. Pat Dye said they got a rain in Auburn, this is no joke. They are dryer in the Southern part of the State than we are here but we could all use a rain. I attended Butch Reddings Celebration of life service yesterday. Butch got killed in a freak accident. He was 62. He had two sisters precede him and they both died at age 62. I saw two old friends at the funeral home: Johnny King and Mike Totten. Had not seen Johnny since Athens College days. A very sweet and beautiful young lady thought I was Seth’s daddy yesterday…I said, “Oh no, I am his granddaddy”. She said [Oh she was beautiful] you don’t look old enough to be his granddaddy.” I told her that she would get two cakes this Christmas. Her daddy in law and I are good friends. At the ER the other night when Big L got injured. Hope and I had taken him to x-ray and the tech said to Big L, “Your parents can wait outside”. Hope blurted out, “He is not his [Landon’s] dad, he is my dad”. I gave her over a week to confess and she hasn’t said a word. Old men are vain, aren’t they!

Raley Hay, Sid, Kerri and Jada

First Impulse

September 15, 2011

SCRIPTURE: “Stay awake, and pray that you want be tempted. You want to do what is right, but you’re weak.” [Matthew 26:41, GWT]

QUOTE: Our first problem comes from a place where we are not looking [the flesh] and it comes the very moment we wake up in the morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like a wild animal. —C.S. Lewis

THOUGHT: Many translations read “Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation, the spirit  is indeed willing but the flesh is weak”.

COMMENTARY: Whether you are running a race, playing a football game or just living out a day of life, getting a good start really helps. I am not saying that you cannot by the grace of God overcome a bad start but I think we all agree that it is better for us that we get a good start. Responding to the first impulse is natural but not wise. C.S. Lewis believed that the first impulse originates from our flesh and therefore we must learn to ignore that voice and wait for the Spirit. What this means for most of us is that we need to “watch out” and “slow down”. If we get in a hurry and respond to first impulse, we may go off half-cocked and the first little incident will pull our trigger. Isaiah said, “They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”  So, sometimes the difference between being in the flesh and being in the Spirit is WATCHING AND WAITING. I do understand that we have a group out there that “Waits only” and that is not what Isaiah 40:31 teaches. We wait for the LORD to renew our strength for soaring, running and walking. Don’t leave out the verbs. To follow Christ, we have to move because He is constantly moving. My friends out there is blog land are thinking: he wrote this devotion for himself. My friends would be right!

EXTRA: Last night was “Crazy Hair” night in AWANA

Mylee Getting a Cheese Burger on Crazy Hair Night

Shohn Miller on Crazy Hair Night

The "L" Train on Crazy Hair Night

Crazy Hair on a Crazy Woman

Brody Cole with some real funky hair

Myla, sitting beside Aunt Bernice with Crazy Hair


Get The Question Right?

September 8, 2011

SCRIPTURE: “There is a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” [John 6:9,NLT]

QUOTE: Faith means believing in something where doubt is theoretically possible. —William James

THOUGHT: Christ was tempted to rely on His divine nature; we are tempted to rely on our human nature without giving consideration to the divine.

COMMENTARY: Andrew ask the wrong question, “What good is the Lad’s lunch with a crowd like this?” His question should have been accompanied by a broad grin, “How big of a problem can this be for an infinite God?” Don’t get me wrong, had I been there, I would have reacted the same way that Phillip and Andrew did: I would have said something dumb like, “Lord, are you kidding me? You want us to feed this horde. We don’t have the time or the money. This is impossible. If we had an entire block of McDonalds we could not feed this bunch of cool-aid and cooker cravers.” It was never about the disciples feeding the multitude. Jesus knew that they could not and He knew that He could. This was a teaching moment. [1] God’s resources are infinite. The more He gives, the more He has to give. Giving does not diminish God. [2] Jesus was saying, “I AM God”. Don’t look within, look at Me, trust Me not your flesh or your resources. [3] Your resources in My hands will be multiplied. Folks, it is not how much we have but how much we commit to the hand of Christ. Five loaves and two fish in our hands equals five loaves and two fish. Five loaves and two fish in the hand of Jesus equals more than enough to feed every hunger person on that hill-side. We are fools to even attempt to meet people’s needs through our uncommitted resources. Our resources have to be placed into the hand of Jesus and then He will take them, break them and give them back to us to feed the multitude.

EXTRA: Saw a little sunshine late yesterday evening but I think we will see more today. Have a great day and thanks for reading the blog.

Dove Season Opened last Saturday at Noon

My favorite all time Beach Pic

A House Of Straw

September 4, 2011

SCRIPTURE: As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head. [Obadiah 15, NRSV]

QUOTE: An eye for an eye would make the whole world blind. Gandhi

THOUGHT: It is never wise to gloat, even over those who are considered our enemies.

COMMENTARY: The Edomites were descendants of Esau and they literally hated the sons of Jacob [Israelites]. When the Babylonians captured Jerusalem and began the deportation, the Edomites not only celebrated in the streets, they refused to give quarter to fleeing refugees and they followed the Babylonian army looting and pillaging the land. Obadiah told them, “You have built a house of straw that will be kindled and consumed” [v.18, Moffatt]. We’ve all heard the adages…what goes round comes round, you reap what you sow, your chickens will come home to roost… and they are true. Jesus said, “If you live by the sword, you will die by the sword”. If you sow violence, you will reap violence; if you sow hate, you will reap hate. The Edomites were full of hate and resentment and it ultimately destroyed the entire nation. The Sons of Jacob are still with us. The Edomites are no more. pointwas

EXTRA: After reading Wurmbrand yesterday morning, I wrote a little poem. Wurmbrand’s that the greatest of saints are seldom recognized in this world. Eddie will like this: Ryder, our 4 year old grandson has become an obnoxious Auburn fan. I was picking at him at Landon’s game because it appeared that Auburn was going to get beat. Last night I get a phone call and I hear this little squeaky voice say “War Eagle”. I blame his misguided daddy in part and his retarded mother but the worst influence is coming out of the NORTH [Athens]. It is the Great Aunt who lives near Ardmore. You don’t have to worry! They don’t have internet or cable. I’m not sure they have a TV. I told him if he called me back with that crap that I was coming to burn his house down. I am comforted by the fact that SETH was at the Alabama game. You don’t have to worry about TY…He is Crimson through and through and Landon is also. I am still batting 750.

There is no man praising me and that is the way that it should be.

It’s not God’s plan that I be applauded; it is His Son that must be lauded.

His intent for me is that I should be pure in heart and perfect in soul,

And that is for His pleasure not for men to behold.

The world has never appreciated the Saints, their names are unknown in earthy ranks.

But God knows their heart and He sees what they treasure and that is what brings the Eternal One pleasure.

Some of our Blog Sponsors...thank You!

Ryder Before He was corrupted by his Great Aunt...note the Bama Jersey


September 3, 2011

SCRIPTURE: I will go back to My place until they admit that they are guilty. Then they will search for Me. In their distress they will eagerly look for me. [Hosea 5:15, GWT]

QUOTE: Every man is guilty of the good he could have done but did not. anonymous

THOUGHT: Guilt may be unpleasant but it is a necessary evil.

COMMENTARY: Guilt is to the spirit what fever is to the body, it is an indication that something is wrong. No one likes fever but it is a vital warning that can save your life. When we begin to run a high fever, we go to the Doctor or the ER and they begin running test because the fever is an indicator that some virus or disease has attacked the body. Guilt is a feeling of responsibility for some offense, crime or injustice either real or imagined. Guilt is a dirty word: we don’t like to admit it. They tell me that prisons are filled with inmates who swear that they are innocent. We may not like guilt but it is a spiritual indicator. It is telling us that something is wrong spiritually. We can make no approach to God until we acknowledge our guilt. I hate guilt but at the same time, I thank God that He has put something in me that makes me realize my need for Him. Don’t misunderstand, I do not like feeling guilty, it destroys my peace of mind and it hinders my work. My greatest expectation for heaven other than seeing Jesus, is to be rid of guilt [good riddance]. In heaven we live guilt free, hallelujah! No calories and no guilt in heaven.

EXTRA: It was 11:00 pm when we got home last night which was a little more than an hour ago. We got beat by Sheffield 40-0. I don’t think Sheffield is that good if you know what I mean. Its Seth’s last year and I just want him to have a good year but we are not getting off to a good start. Mandy and Jason are on the Gulf and Mandy said it was raining [last night about 9:00]. I wish we had the rain and they had our heat and sunshine. They say we have a 40% chance on Sunday, 60% on Monday. Our pumpkins need a rain. SUNDAY is Krispy Cream Sunday and also Hawaiian Shirt Sunday. I think all my grand boys are wearing Hawaiian. Tracey said that she is wearing moo moo. June is wearing one of my shirts. So far I have not talked to anyone who is going to be at church. The top ten is hilarious and no one is going to be there to read it. I am afraid that I am going to have to eat 12 dozen donuts.

A World Without Christ

September 1, 2011

SCRIPTURE:  At that time, you were apart from Christ. You were foreigners and did not belong to God’s chosen people. You had no part in the covenants, which were based on God’s promises to His people, and you lived in this world without hope and without God. {Ephesians 2:12, GNB}

QUOTE: Despite efforts to keep Him out, God intrudes. The life of Jesus is bracketed by two impossibilities, the Virgin Birth and the Empty Tomb. Jesus entered the world through a door marked “no entrance” and He left through a door marked “no exit”. Peter Larson

THOUGHT: Our life is literally hidden in Christ; a part from Him, we have no life.

COMMENTARY: Can you imagine living in a world where there is no kindness, no mercy, no churches, no Salvation Army, no one to give any relief to the hurting, the poor or the down trodden. No acts of kindness, no songs of praise, no bible study: that is right no more Sunday School and preaching. We are taking about a world without Christ: no more Christmas and no more easter. Imagine God reaching into our world and taking everything that is good: the angels, grace, His body the church, His servants, His word and even the light. What would the world be like in such a scenario? Does the word ‘hell’ come to mind?

EXTRA: Diana Mason is in Decatur General [heart]. Having test run today. Dian Penney is home but still has some pain and discomfort.

A Mohawk in glasses

Ordination Last Sunday Night

Two Burr Heads

Love Your Enemies

August 31, 2011

SCRIPTURE: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” {Matthew 5:44, HCSB}

QUOTE: The bible teaches us to love our neighbors and our enemies because generally, they are the same people. G.K. Chesterton

THOUGHT: It takes no grace to love those that love us but no man can love his enemies without divine assistance.

COMMENTARY: Nicolae Ceausescu was the ruthless communist dictator of Romania from 1967-1989. Both he and his wife were tried on public TV and executed shortly after the broadcast. During his reign of terror thousands Christians were tortured and murdered. One of his henchman was a man referred to as Colonel Albon. The Colonel beat and tortured prisoners on a regular basis. He had heard that an inmate was preaching in the cell block so he went to investigate. No one would confess so he begins beating each prisoner one by one. When he comes to a layman by the name of Ion Stanescu; he stood up to Albon and said, “enough, you will beat no more prisoners, there is a God in heaven and He will judge you.” Every man in the block knew that Ion had signed his own death warrant but before the Colonel could respond, he was called to the prison office. He returned to the cell block two hours later but this time as a prisoner. It was common in a communist regime for one communist to betray another and someone had set the Colonel up. The other prisoners would have beaten him to death but Ion Stanescu intervened. He used his body as a human shield to protect the very man who had been beating him. Folks, I don’t know about you but as for me, I need God’s grace to love my enemies. It is something I cannot do on my own.

EXTRA: Want to see what a watermelon looks like after a Coyote has sucked out its heart. I reckon I am running a ranch of coons, coyotes and groundhogs. I saw something today that I never thought I would see; Charlie on a lap top. I think he likes to shop on line.

8 Track Guy living in an Ipod world

Coyote Hole

Joe David's Ordination Last Sunday Night

Isaiah [God is Salvation]

August 30, 2011

SCRIPTURE: But He was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the punishment that made us whole, and by His bruises we are healed. {Isaiah 53:5, NRSV}

QUOTE: Isaiah describes the mysteries of Christ and His church so vividly that one would assume that he was not prophesying about the future but composing past events. Jerome {342-420}

THOUGHT: God can only be related to by faith and the same is true of His word. Without faith, no one will be able to accept the truth that is revealed in Scripture.

COMMENTARY: I love the prophet Isaiah and the fact that God used him to pin some incredible prophecies. Predictions that the unbelieving world cannot accept. When I was in Seminary in the early 70’s, the O.T. Professors were teaching that there was three Isaiah’s. Their problem was that he predicted the rise of the Babylonian Empire over 100 years before it actually happened and he called by name {Cyrus} the first ruler of the Persian Empire which did not take place until 550 BC. The liberal view was that there was no way possible for Isaiah to be that accurate. Bless their hearts: liberals are long on intellect and short on faith. They think that the bible is inspired in spots and that they are inspired to pick out the spots. I have a question for the libs, was there a 4th Isaiah? Read Isaiah 53 which is forbidden in Jewish circles today and tell me how the man [1st, 2nd, or 3rd] describes the passion of Christ. I’ll tell you how: Isaiah was moved by the Holy Spirit and he spoke from God. His prophecy was not a matter of his own interpretation [II Peter 1:20-21]. He wrote vividly about Cyrus, John the Baptist and Jesus and yes that would be impossible for a mere man but Isaiah was not merely a man, he was an anointed prophet of God. Let me share Isaiah 40:8 in the JEV, “The liberals doubt and the unbelievers scoff but the word of God will stand forever.”  



Bailey Bunch At Joe David's Ordination Reception

EXTRA: Dian Penney had to have emergency surgery [appendicitis] last night at Decatur General. Surgery went OK . You might want to google “elenin”. It is the comet that is coming between the earth and the sun sometime in September or October. Some of the preachers believe what they seen on YouTube. They think it is a dwarf star which has an electro magnetic field. I tend to think it is a comet but it is a stark reminder of how soon the end could come and how easily God could change the entire world in a few seconds. I’ll talk about it tomorrow, LORD willing. A dwarf star could put us back into the dark ages and I personally don’t want to go there.










Joy In Heaven

August 29, 2011

SCRIPTURE: “In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” [Luke 15:10, NLT]

QUOTE: Our obedience pulls the ropes that ring the bells of heaven’s belfries. Max Lucado

THOUGHT: If there is rejoicing in heaven over one sinner that repents, what should we be doing here on earth?

COMMENTARY: When a soul is saved, the activity of heaven ceases for a celebration yet we can have a soul saved and half of our people can’t wait to get out of the building and get to the restaurant. Imagine, a heavenly celebration took place the moment you believed. Who do you suppose leads this celebration? I can see Jesus on the front row, standing quickly and leading the cheers. Could anyone be more excited about a conversion than the one who shed His blood for us at calvary.

EXTRA: August has been a busy month but she is about to depart and hopefully things will slow down just a tad. I want to express my deep sense of gratitude for those that helped the girls with the reception last night. It was wonderful. I don’t know if anyone counted or not but we had our largest Sunday night crowd in a long, long time and the Bailey’s want to thank each and every one of you. Honestly, words cannot express the gratitude I feel. When I gave the girls the assignment; they said, “Daddy, we can’t do this without help”. They were right, we needed our friends and they really came through: thank YOU!

Joe David hugging Mavis

Laying on of hands by congregation

Who is the tallest contest