We Are Able

October 23, 2015



Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!”

~Mark 10:39, NLT


Despair ruins some, presumption ruins many.

~Benjamin Franklin


You see James and John’s presumptuous answer above but what is the question? Jesus asked them, Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink? Are you able to be baptized with the baptism of suffering I must be baptized with?” Without a moments hesitation, they replied, “We are able.” I’m sure Jesus just shook His head in unbelief. These guys who were a part of the inner circle {Peter, James and John} had committed to mistakes.

Their first mistake was that they were not paying attention to what Jesus had just said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die and hand him over to the Romans. They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again.” Jesus had no more than got this out of His mouth when the two asked for seats of honor in His kingdom. Their second mistake is as bad as the first, it was ignorance. They had no idea what they were asking for or committing themselves to do. I don’t know which was greater: their arrogance, their ignorance or their insensitivity.

James and John did undergo Christ’s baptism and they did drink from His bitter cup. James was the first to die for Christ. They were able to drink the cup because Jesus made them able. Sometimes we allow our mouth to overload our ability. We are able only because His grace enables.  Oh the needless grief we bring into our lives by our prideful presumption.


  • Talked to Noah yesterday evening: Michelle is still packing. They are planning to be here by tonight.
  • We got a lot done yesterday that we have been putting off. We have paper towel racks in the women’s bathroom in the FORTE. We also got the baptistery cleaned and filled with fresh water. Lord willing, we will baptize three this Sunday and we have one scheduled for November 1. I pray that we will baptize every Sunday between now and Christmas.
  • FELLOWSHIP Sunday night at 5:30–Hay rides at 6:15. Members bring a pot, not a bowl, but a pot of stew, soup or chili. If you do not bring one of the three then your option is two of the following items: homemade desert, cornbread, chips [Frito’s], cokes. We have crackers and Tea.
  • We had 28 in our COLLEGE BIBLE STUDY last night.
  • I’m probably going to have to get off of Facebook but I do enjoy the pictures: this one comes from Sandy Hendrix in Cherokee, Alabama. It was made at mile marker 375 on the Natchez Trace Parkway. The Trace runs less than a mile behind the first church I served out of Seminary. I would love to drive the Northern stretch [in a gentle rain], from Cherokee to Franklin, Tennessee. I got to do that a few years ago and I loved it.

old trace at mile post 375

Gary, Keri and Kane


September 23, 2014

Celebrate Jesus.crimsonjpg


“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

~John 8:32


Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth.

~Blaise Pascal

my thoughts red

Our God is an awesome God and He is enshrouded in mystery. Many of the truths about His character are paradoxical. He is a God of wrath and a God of love. The rational mind declares, “He cannot be both,” but He is: He loves good and hates evil. If He did not love good, He would not hate evil and vice-versa. He is the God of salvation and the God of judgment. Again the rational mind deduces that He can be one or the other but not both: He is both. The flood was His judgment and by it He saved Noah and his family and thus saved the human race from self-destruction. At Calvary, we have the same thing: the cross is a place of judgment. Jesus who knew no sin became sin for us all and God pronounced judgement upon sin with Jesus being the scape goat.  Jesus literally died for our sins. On the other hand, the cross is salvation to all who believe. I’m a little uneasy around folks who try to out think God. If we could put God into a little skull of human brains, He would not be a God big enough to worship. So you made 35 on the ACT and you have a PhD, big deal, you still don’t have enough sense for God’s sense to make sense. Jesus said, “The truth will make you free not arrogant.”


school teachers c


  • Mission to the Park, Saturday a.m. 7:30.
  • Talk to Kellie at Middle School yesterday: we need Shampoo, soap and deodorant for middle school girls. She doesn’t need anything else at this time.
  • Jeff is still in CRMC. They made some changes yesterday, going to try some new med…pray for Jeff.
  • Friday morning at 7:00…Food for Football [Breakfast for DHS Hawks}
  • SENIOR ADULT TAILGATE PARTY Friday at 11:30. We may have some guest: don’t know for sure at this time. We will have a new team represented, Peggy has a University of South Florida jersey.
  • With such a great summer, I have vowed not to complain but I sure would enjoy a 3 inch rain.

ysam EXTRA

Two patients limp into two different doctors’ offices with the same complaint: Both have trouble walking and may require hip surgery. Patient one is examined within the hour, is x-rayed the same day and has a time booked for surgery the following week.

Patient two sees his family doctor after waiting 3 weeks for an appointment, then waits 8 weeks to see a specialist, then gets an x-ray, which isn’t reviewed for another week and finally has his surgery scheduled for 6 months from then, pending the review board’s decision on his/her age and remaining value to society.

Why the different treatment for the two patients? The FIRST is a Golden Retriever taken to a vet. The SECOND is a Senior Citizen on Obama care. In November, if there is no change in government, we’ll all have to find a good vet. Unfortunately, this is not a joke.



September 22, 2014

Celebrate Jesus.crimsonjpg


All of you should treat each other with humility, for as it says in Proverbs, “God opposes the proud but offers grace to the humble.”

~I Peter 5:5, The VOICE


Pride is a two-headed coin: the top side is arrogance and the bottom is self-pity. No one wants to hear you whine about your failure nor gloat over your success.


my thoughts red

Many people are good at acting humble but true humility is not an act. Humility is the freedom to be the person God created you to be. God made you unique like everyone else. Seriously, there is no one like you. You must learn to celebrate your uniqueness. No prideful pretense; no phony bologna; just be yourself. To borrow a thought from Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu: If you are truly humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise not success because you know who you are in Christ.


  • Today we pray for MINISTERS and MISSIONARIES
  • Jeff Garner is better PTL. Still doesn’t know when he will get to come home but we are relieved that he is improving. Continue if you would to pray for my friends Larry and Kenny.
  • Great sermon yesterday morning: another grand slam. God is good. Good Deacon’s meeting, good bible study lesson, and two good services. Thank YOU Jesus!
  • We are planning a Communion Service this Sunday morning 10:15.
  • We are going to ordain Jeff Bass on Sunday night October 19.
  • We go to the Park in Birmingham this Saturday [hand out OJ, muffins, and bibles].
  • In the pic below is Charlie and Maggie Cunningham. Charlie is an ARMY RANGER and he, Maggie and Jason Charles are headed for the land of Pizza: they are leaving for sunny Italy tomorrow. Charlie is one of many who has laid down [devoted a part of his life] their lives to protect America. He got a standing ovation from DBC. That $50 shirt makes me look fat. I’m going to have Big Mama take it back. Picture courtesy of Sammy Jo from Coco Mo.
Charlie and Maggie Cunningham

Charlie and Maggie Cunningham





Pride and Pedigree

September 4, 2013

Prayer For REVIVAL in America

Prayer For REVIVAL in America



Give her this message from the Sovereign Lord: You are nothing but a Canaanite! Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.

~Ezekiel 16:3, NLT


Knowing God without knowing our own wretchedness makes for pride. Knowing our own wretchedness without knowing God makes for despair. Knowing Jesus Christ strikes the balance because He shows us both God and our own wretchedness.

~Blaise Pascal


The Jews took great pride in their ethnicity and their pedigree, they were quick to tell you that Abraham was their father and Sarah was their mother. Abraham was not an Amorite and Sarah was not a Hittite so what is Ezekiel talking about? Keep in mind that Ezekiel is a prophet and they often color outside the lines. The Jews of Ezekiel’s day were filled with pride and they refused to acknowledge their sins. Ezekiel is not talking about their ethnicity, he is making a satirical comment about their ethics or lack thereof. The Canaanites were known for their immorality. Hittite women seem to have been especially prone to prostitution. Remember Esau married two Hittite women and his mother and father were very upset with his choices. Bathsheba was a Hittite. Ezekiel’s point is that the Jews have lowered their standard beneath that of the Canaanites. He tells the Jews [who take pride in their family tree]…Your father was an Amorite, your mother a Hittite and you have two sisters, Sodom and Samaria. I doubt you have been offended when you read Ezekiel 16 but this was very offensive to the Jews. In effect, Ezekiel is saying to the Jews, “You are not better than the Canaanites you despise, matter of fact, you are worse.”

One more note: The Jews who took so much pride in being pure were not pure at all. Boaz mother was Rahab, a Canaanite harlot. I do think she changed her ways when she converted but she was Canaanite by birth. So, Boaz is half Jew and half Canaanite. Boaz marries Ruth and she is a Moabite. They have a son Obed; so what does that make Obed? If my math is right, he is 25% Jew and 75% something else. It doesn’t stop there, where does Solomon get the tendency to worship Canaanite deities? His mother was a Hittite. Ezekiel is just making a viable point: “You are not pure; your ethnicity and your ethics are corrupt.”


  • Youth Room beginning to take shape but still a lot to be done. I left around 7:00; they had a good crew but a lot to do. It is going to be nice.
  • People keep asking me about the Sunday numbers: they were not bad for a holiday weekend: Lottie Moon was really good and the budget offering was also good. I keep forgetting to look at worship attendance but it was not bad and the service was excellent.
  • Chick-Fil-A tonight at 5:30, AWANA at 6:15 with the Gathering at 6:30
  • Pray for MY HOPE.