If Only I Had Wings

June 26, 2016

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Scripture

I wish I had wings like a dove, so I could fly far away and be at peace.

~Psalm 55:6, CEV

Quote

Some people live in a dream world while other face reality and a rare few learn to turn one into the other.

~Doug Everett

Escapism is the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant circumstances or realities. We may achieve this relief through entertainment, recreation, hard work, drugs or fantasy. Usually, when a person get addicted to drugs, it is an effort to escape an unpleasant reality. In David’s case, his life was threatened by a friend who betrayed him and David came so close to death that he was terrified. In that moment of fear and anxiety, David prayed, “I wish I had wings like a dove, so I could fly away and be at peace.”

Hey, there is nothing wrong with David’s desire for peace and security. Only a fool would pray to be on someone’s hit list. A powerful person had a contract on David’s life and he was feeling very insecure. He longed to be like a bird because they have a distinct advantage over their predators and over we humans; they have wings. In seconds a dove can escape danger by taking flight. They can fly above the fray and they leave no tracts for those who would hunt them. Have you ever saw a dove in a storm? Birds don’t do storms; instinctively they fly away from or above the storms. They are the ultimate escape artist.

So, David is wishing he could be like a bird and escape his problems by getting away from the storm and the turmoil. BUT we are not birds and God is not pleased when we run from our problems. Little children use fantasy as an escape valve and that is a God given survival instinct but a part of growing up is learning to face reality whether it is pleasant or not. By the way, there is one bird that doesn’t fly away to escape reality, it buries its head in the sand. Its the Ostrich and it is a stupid bird. [Job 39:13-18]

So, don’t make excuses and don’t be childish, immature or stupid–face your problems. It is not like you are alone, Jesus will help you. He is our courage and our peace.

BLOCK PARTY AUGUST 13

With Kenny Evans

Kenny evans

Kenny Evans

 

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Offensive

June 22, 2016

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Scripture

Against you – you above all – I have sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight.

~Psalms 51:4, NET

Quote

Every sin has a consequence or consequences.

~Ya’akov

All sin is first and foremost against God because only God is holy in the perfect sense. God hates sin, all sin and that includes gossip, gluttony and greed. Some sins offend us and some attract us but God is not attracted to any sin, He hates them all with a passion. David knew he was wrong from the beginning. He had six wives and a harem of concubines so why did he steal another man’s wife. Uriah was a noble man, a man of integrity and loyal to David. He was one of David’s decorated veterans. David’s sin was against Uriah and resulted in his death but it was first and foremost against God.

There is no sin without consequences. You can have your roll in the hay but sooner or later, you are going to pay. It is the law, God’s law: the wages of sin is death and every time we sin, something dies as a result. It may be brain cells, lung cells, an opportunity, a relationship but you mark my word, there is no sin without consequence. You may be free to sin but you will become a slave to the consequences. Every sin hurts someone.

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  • Bumper Sticker of the Day: I’m not lazy, I have switched to my energy saving mode.
  • The GATHERING tonight at 6:30
  • BLOCK PARTY August 13

The Wicked

June 8, 2016

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Scripture

Soon the wicked will disappear. Though you look for them, they will be gone.

~Psalm 37:10, NLT

Quote

The  evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.

~Solomon

The Hebrew word ra’a’ means evil, bad, wicked, injurious, displeasing and unethical. It is used 96 times in the Psalms and 15 times in Psalm 37 which is a classic. A wonderful future awaits the one who sets his/her delight in the LORD Jesus Christ but for those who rebel against God and His anointed, there is no future. You cannot fight against God and win. You do not have to repent; you do not have to turn from sin and your selfish ways but you have zero chance of succeeding.

God told David, “Don’t waste time fretting over the success of the wicked, their triumph will be short lived–they are going no where.” They will dry up like spring flowers on a hot scorching summer day. They will disappear like smoke from a chimney: first you see  them, then poof, they vanish. It may appear that they are succeeding but their judgment is coming and their strength will be broken. Our God is so secure in who He is that He laughs [v.13] when He sees them plotting and scheming.

A wonderful future awaits those who delight in Christ–Those who fear God and acknowledge His son. They will live in peace and inherent the land but the rebellious have no future, none at all. [v.37-38]

EXTRA animated

  • I visited on Monday night and got in so late that there was no blog. Actually, I had two things come up on Monday: [1] My computer at the office crashed and [2] I was out late and give out. June asked if I was going to do a blog and I said “no’. I don’t think she could not believe it.
  • This is a busy week as we prepare for VBS: one of the last DAY SCHOOLS in the county. June noticed as we drove by last night, East Highland has gone to a night school. I am glad I am retiring. I’ve been telling you it was coming but I still don’t like it. We are going to be busy the rest of the week getting ready so if you call the office and no one answers, it is because we are outside or in the other building.
  • I made a mistake on May 29 of telling you that we had our debt reduced to 2016 but that was wrong: I was looking at the wrong chart. We did reduce it by two months. Our balance is around $58,000 and our next offering is July 31. Again, it falls on a Holiday weekend but there is nothing we can do about that. Our last one will be October 30 but Halloween Eve shouldn’t hurt us.
  • Don’t forget, our Sunday night church this week is at the HARTSELLE CAMP MEETING. Dr. Junior Hill will be preaching. Junior will be with us on August 21 and possibly for my retirement party. I am considering incorporating in January and working under the umbrella of EASTERN GATE MINISTRIES which was Junior’s brain child.

Junior Hill

Worship

May 29, 2016

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Scripture

The one thing I ask of the LORD — the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD ’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.

~Psalms 27:4, NLT

Quote

Enter His presences thanksgiving and praise and He will enter your circumstances with his power and grace.

~Image Quotes

Everyone needs a sanctuary; we all need a place to go to get away from the condemnation and critical eye of the world. David loved to go to the Tabernacle, the tent of meeting and spend time with the LORD. David went to the tabernacle to delight, to meditate on the Lord’s perfection. Worship is not about us. It is not about our sin or shortcomings. We don’t go to worship to focus on our sin, we go to focus on our sinless Savior. If Jesus was not sinless, we would have no one to worship. When we congregate, the primary objective is not to talk about what is wrong with us but what is right with Jesus.

Obviously, we will not worship unless we confess our sinfulness but that is not the focus of our worship. Psalm 27 addresses our problem of fear and we all have it. The good news is that Jesus didn’t: He was not afraid, not ever and by grace He becomes our courage. I love to meditate on Jesus courage. I try to imagine being there the day He made the whip and drove out the merchants and bankers. The Jewish Religious Establishment, made up of elite and wealthy Jews, hated Jesus with a passion and they still do. Jesus was not afraid, He marched right into their stronghold and He never flinched. Wow! What a magnificent Savior.

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  • Spent the day on the road visiting: didn’t get a lot done but did have some quality visits. Kathleen Anders is in DGH. She has COPD and she believes she is in the last stages. Most of you don’t know Kathleen, she is Hugh’s first cousin and a female version of the same. She’s feeling rather low. She was in the room beside Tom and we didn’t know it.
  • Tom’s Celebration of Life Service will be Tuesday, First Baptist Hartselle at 2:00 and visitation will be Monday night 5:00-8:00 at Pecks. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, brother Joe Bennich, daughter Debra Anne Bennich and a son Darrell Brian Bennich. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Edith Smithson Bennich, Two SonsDewayne Bennich (Carol) of Falkville, Dan Bennich (Christy) of Hartselle, one daughter Donna Bennich Rushen (Jim) of Summerville, SC and two brothers Larry Bennich (Linda) of Decatur and Rex Bennich (Karen) of Hartselle. Pallbearers are: Barry Pearson, Mike Childers, Steve McKee, Stacy Adams, Joe David Bailey, Charles Sanford, Charles Quinn and Joe Howell.

    Members of the Morgan Baptist Disaster Relief Team, First Baptist Ramp Builders and members of the Morgan South Gideons Camp will serve as Honorary Pallbearers.

Tom Bennich

Hurting People

May 4, 2016

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Scripture

For I am poor and needy, and my heart is full of pain.

~Psalms 109:22, NLT

Quote

Hurting people hurt people.

~Joe David Bailey

In Psalm 3, David prays for God to break the jaws and shatter the teeth of his enemies.  An enemy to David and an enemy to me may be two different things. David didn’t want his enemies bad mouthing him, so he prayed for God to break both jaws. It would be pretty difficult to run your mouth with two broke jaws and shattered teeth. David’s enemies were of the Islamic type: they would have removed his head had that got the chance. My enemies are not that hostile and lack the courage to take up arms.

I know three brothers and they have one thing in common; none of the tree love nor support their pastor and all three have different pastors. The pastors are not the problem: the problem is in the family. This Psalm put me to thinking. I am not naive, I know that not everyone loves and supports me. I have many who pray for me to succeed and other who pray for me to fail. Any preacher who doesn’t understand what I just said is not facing reality. I have a few, very few, who will defend my honor but many more who will join in the fray once something negative is spoken about me. I call it piling on. The least respected player on the field is the one who piles on or hits a defenseless player when he is down.

As I prayed for my enemies, the Lord revealed something to me. All my enemies are hurting is some shape, form or fashion. All have suffered a major disappointment in life either from a relationship gone bad or their own personal failure. Some of my enemies feel cheated. They feel disrespected. I have failed to recognize them and their accomplishments. With some, it is an authority issue. Somewhere in their past, they were hurt by an authority figure. I doubt if any would pull the trigger on me; they don’t really hate me, they lash out at me because they are hurting. You can get bit by an injured dog. You may be trying to save its life by pulling it to the side of the road but when you touch it the pain intensifies and it bits in self-defense.

What I really need is more love and patience. Most of my so-called enemies want me to love them more than I do. My indifference has hurt them and now they are trying to hurt me.

What hurting people need to realize is; the more they lash out [usually with the tongue], the harder it is for folks to love them. Eventually, hurting people drive others away. People are people and they don’t want to be hurt. Eventually, they will avoid those who hurt them. This creates a greater and deeper loneliness on the part of the hurting.

So I did not join David. I did not pray for God to break my enemies jaws or even their hearts. Their hearts are already broken which is why they can’t focus on others, let alone help them. Hurting people hurt people. Don’t misunderstand, we are all hurting in a sense but those in ministry have given their hurt to Jesus and He uses it in our lives to help others.

So what about the cocky, arrogant, smug: the “I have it all together type”. They don’t appear to be hurting but they are. The cocky brash exterior is a cover, a shell that they hid in.

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  • Mothers Day–Kenny Evans am service.
  • Communion May 22nd, am service.
  • Debt Retirement Offering May 29th, am service.
  • THE GATHERING today at 6:30 pm.
  • VBS–June 13-17

The Human Problem

December 4, 2015

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Scripture

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow Me.”
~Matthew 16:28, NLT

Quote

Selfishness is never so exquisitely selfish as when it is on its knees.
~A.W. Tozer
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I am reading through the Psalms in the Good News Translation and a few days back, I read Psalm 38, a prayer of David. I am aware of David’s greatness: what God accomplished through this man is unbelievable but David was human and his bent toward self comes out in Psalms 38.
Forty-eight times in this prayer, David refers to himself. He makes reference to other, including his enemies, eight times and there are nine references to God.
Most of us do not listen to the details of our prayers but God convicted me some time ago about how selfish I tend to be in my prayers. I am like an immature child, I dive right in and go to asking. My son doesn’t do that, he begins his prayers with a litany of praise. God has convicted me through him. So, I have been trying to discipline myself to put the LORD first and others second and save my supplication until last. It is a struggle.
Remember the story of the staff eating out: if I am familiar with the restaurant, I know what I want before I sit down and when the waiter or waitress comes to the table and says, “What will it be today?” Without a moment of hesitation, I blurt out, “I want the tortilla soup, the club sandwich and the salad with one of those delicious croissants.”
I did this very thing a couple of years ago and everyone at the table starting laughing. Joe David was laughing at me and they were probably laughing the expression on his face. I said, “What, did I do wrong?” He said, “Daddy is customary to let ladies order first.” I said, “But I am paying for it.” He said, “That’s beside the point.” Hey, it’s a hard habit to break.
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  • Buford is suppose to come home today. He walked all over the hospital yesterday. PTL
  • Kane got home from HH at 8:00 PM [12/4/15] last night.
  • We enjoyed the CHRISTMAS PARTY with Jeff’s class. I love parties. I limped in and limped out but it was worth it. We had 21 counting Sue and Granny.
  • My good friend and landlord Ray Edwards is sick. We think it is a UTI: should know for sure today.
  • We’ll have a slightly different order of worship Sunday: The Choir will do their Christmas music in middle and we will close with a baptism I hope. There will also be a short sermon, I hope.
  • GOLDEN GIRLS and Senior Adults CHRISTMAS PARTY is Saturday at 9:30 at Cracker Barrel in Hartselle.
  • Deacons Meeting Sunday morning at 8:15.
  • Children’s Christmas Play and Supper is Sunday night December 13th at 5:30. This Sunday night is AWANA and Worship at 6:15.

Gary, Keri and Kane

Man Up!

June 13, 2015

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SCRIPTURE

“I am going where everyone on earth must someday go. Take courage and be a man.”

1 Kings 2:2, NLT

QUOTE

Being a male is a matter of genetics; being a man is a matter of courage and being a gentleman is a matter of choice.

~Source Unknown

my thoughts red

David was no sissy; I give him credit for being a man. Solomon was not cut from the same cloth as David; I think his mama’s genes were dominant. David was warrior, a man of valor and courage. Solomon was an intellectual. I am not saying that he was a sissy but I think David was concerned because he did not see the toughness in Solomon that he saw in himself and his generation.

Bro. Tim has a great sermon on this verse…”Take courage and be a man,” and I remember his first point: IF YOU ARE A MAN, EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW IT. THERE SHOULD BE NO DOUBT ABOUT YOUR MANHOOD. Every time I check out at Dollar General, I walk by the magazine rack and there is Bruce Jenner. This narcissistic freak has ten children; what are they going to do for FATHER’S DAY? You cannot convince me that the three wives and ten children are not hurt by what he has done. He says that he has always been female in his soul but he completed in the Olympics as a male. I think the only fair thing to do is to strip him of his gold medal since was a woman competing in a men’s event.

I got a rule I try to live by, “Don’t mess with mother nature.” Be content with whatever God made you.

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  • I probably say this every year, but we had a great VBS and I enjoyed it thoroughly. We did some things different this year and everything we tried worked perfectly or very close to perfect. The kids don’t need my help on the pledges: they do great and it was music to my ears. We enrolled 243 and had an average attendance of 188.
  • Deacon’s meeting Sunday morning. We have something that needs discussing.  LCBS at 9:15 and worship at 10:15. The VBS program is at 5:00 followed by the picnic. All the meat and buns are furnished. You can bring Tea, chips, desserts or a freezer of cream. Don’t bring Cokes, we have a lot of coke left.

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An Honest Book

June 12, 2015

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SCRIPTURE

“The LORD will return his blood on his own head, because he fell upon two men more righteous and better than he and killed them with the sword, while my father David did not know it: Abner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah.”
~1 Kings 2:32

QUOTE

It is not at all incredible, that a book which has been so long in the possession of mankind should contain many truths as yet undiscovered.
~ Bishop Butler
my thoughts red
The above verse is part of Solomon’s conversation with Benaiah who has just received orders to execute Joab. Solomon mentioned Joab’s treacherous and cold blooded murder of two good men and one was his first cousin. I don’t disagree with Solomon, I have no doubt that Abner and Amasa were better men than Joab. My problem is that I think they were better men than David. I think Jonathan and Uriah were better men than David. Matter of fact, the more I read through the O.T. the less I think of David. Promises came easy to David but keeping them was a different matter. David is without a doubt one of the most gifted humans in history but he lacked integrity. He lied, murdered, cheated, manipulated people to get what he wanted and broke up two marriages.
You may or may not be surprised to know that I think even less of Bathsheba {Daughter of wealth or abundance}. She was the granddaughter of Ahitophel, one of David’s advisors who joined Absalom in his rebellion. Bathsheba was capable, ambitious, gifted, clever,  and unscrupulous. I do not have a single doubt that she stripped with the intention of David seeing her. She knew what time of day he took his walk. I guarantee you, she was three steps ahead of him. She wanted to get pregnant by him and she wanted her son to be king and she very much wanted to be queen mother. She was a political animal, more manipulative than David himself.
What do I think of Uriah? I think he was a man of honor, nobility, integrity, courage and loyal to a fault which makes him a much better man than David. How do I explain David’s success, his beautiful Psalms, his orthodox theology, his ability to lead? GRACE! David is the bible poster boy for GRACE. 
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  • Another absolutely wonderful day of VBS. I cannot praise the LORD enough. I am thankful to be a part of such a noble enterprise. Little Ceasar’s Pizza today.
  • Betty Harpe had surgery Wednesday at Princeton and was intending to come home last night. Surgery went well.
  • Carmen Livingston has been in ICU at DGH all week but he is better.

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SCRIPTURE

“Listen to my prayer O God, pay attention to my plea! For strangers are attacking me; violent people are trying to kill me. They care nothing for God.

~Psalm 54:2-3, NLT

QUOTE

“Peace if possible, truth at all cost”  

~Martin Luther

my thoughts red

benedict Arnold

Benedict Arnold

Psalm 54 is a prayer of David which he wrote when he was trapped in the wilderness of Ziph [10 miles South of Jericho]. The Ziphites were descendants of Judah, just like David. They were supposed to be his brothers but he refers to them as “strangers” or “foreigners” because they betrayed him twice. They were King Saul’s spies and they alerted Saul every time David took refuge in their land. Three things characterize a ZIPHITE. [1] They are not what they profess to be. We do not betray our brothers. Benedict Arnold was a great commander in the field. He was brave and Washington respected him for his courage. Arnold had the misfortune of serving under a glory hog, General Horatio Gates. Arnold would fight the battles and Gates would write up false reports taking all the glory. Congress continued to promote Gates and they ignored Arnold. Eventually Arnold, influenced by his new wife [a Tory] betrayed Washington and could have cost us the war had he not been found out. Betrayal leaves a deep scar. Washington trusted Arnold and that is what makes betrayal sting so deeply. It hurts to be betrayed. [2] The Ziphites were self-seekers. They betrayed David because they believed it was in their best interest. They didn’t care for David or the Kingdom of Israel, they only cared about pursuing their own personal interest. [3] The Ziphites cared nothing for God which explains why they had no concern for David. Christian brotherhood is always greater than biological kinship. When David was having a bad day, he wrote a song or sang one. How do you handle a bad day?

When you have no where to turn, turn to Christ. His love is proven and His faithfulness is unblemished. He is our refuge in time of trouble.

TODAY WE PRAY FOR FAMILIES OR FRIENDS FACING TRIALS

Saeed Abedi in prison in Iran

Saeed Abedi in prison in Iran

VBS AND VBX JUNE 8-12

VBS Coke Wagon Crew: Don,  Jewel and Jan

VBS Coke Wagon Crew: Don, Jewel and Jan

  • WOW! What a night. The band loved the kids being with us and it was great to have a crowd for praise and worship: just think, we could have a crowd every Wednesday night if we were all in love with Jesus. I was blessed by the band and Shohn and her crew. What a great job she does with our children and what about those AWANA workers. I should have took their picture. Way to go guys, we appreciate you! A special thanks to Big Mama for ordering and picking up the pizza. That deep pan is something else!
  • SENIOR DAY this Sunday in the a.m. service: Seniors will be recognized in the a.m. service and Joe David and Lori will take them to lunch.
  • BACCALAUREATE Sunday Night at 6:00. We have a great line up and we are doing something we have never done before: imagine that!
  • WEE CARE Graduation Sunday evening at 2:00.
  • We will have a Deacon’s meeting this week at 8:15.
  • May 29 Senior Adult Cook Out.
  • June 6…Rally for Biblical Marriage in Montgomery. I think the time is 3:00 PM
  • June 8-12…VBS and VBX
  • June 14…Vote on Minister of Music [AM in the foyer, secret ballot]
  • I learn something new everyday about computers, I just can’t always remember what it is the next day but I accidently came across a page on the dashboard of the blog that rated the top ten and so I copied and pasted one from February 10, 2011. There was a snow on the ground. When it popped up, I thought “Who posted this, I don’t remember anything about Ziphites,” but it all came back to me as I read it. Mandy and Floyd did not read in in 2011 or today…they just glace through the extra to make sure I’m not slipping something by them. I have a good story on both. I know that Ginger reads it wall to wall everyday.

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The Wages Of Sin

April 7, 2015

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SCRIPTURE

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

~Romans 6:23, NLT

QUOTE

Sin comes when we take a perfectly natural desire or longing or ambition and try desperately to fulfill it without God.

~Augustine

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Have you ever wondered how you can feel so convicted and so miserable after you sin when you were so indifferent before you sinned? If there was a way to reverse these conditions, temptation might be easier to resist. God’s word is our manual that spells out the consequences of sin. We have the written record of Adam and Eve’s transgression to learn from. David’s sins are posted for public review and so was Peter’s infamous denial of Christ. God’s word spells out the wages of sin but we sin anyway. If we could grasp the bitter wages of sin before we sinned, what a difference it would make. After the fact, we all recognize that sin is not worth the pain and misery it brings?

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  • Today we pray for Teachers.
  • We had a pain free night of rest and that came after I sat up for most of the day. I still have trouble sitting under my desk but sitting in a comfortable chair is no problem, PTL. I may try to drive some today or maybe go to the office for a couple of hours. I am very thankful and I want to give all the glory to Jesus. I plan to begin my preparation for Wednesday night but we will have to see how it goes. One thing is certain: I don’t want to aggravate this nerve again.
  • GOLDEN GIRLS  is definitely on for Saturday; 9:00 am at Cracker Barrel. If I can’t make it, June is going to take care of it but I think it should be no problem unless things start going the other way.