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Scripture

Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come.

~Isaiah 57:1, NLT

Quote

For reasons we don’t understand, bad things happen to good people, and perhaps even more inexplicable is that good things happen to bad people.

~John Hamby

Pat Summit, the legendary coach of the Tennessee Volunteer women basketball team died yesterday morning early at the age of 64. She had suffered from Alzheimer’s for the last six years. This means that her quality of life dropped drastically at age 58 and that my friend is young. I’ve had a lot of friends to die young. The number is so large, I would be afraid to list them. Perhaps all of them were better men than myself; some of them for sure and it left me wondering: Lord, why would you take them and leave me. Why did you take them and leave drug pushers, wife beaters, dead beats, crooks and child molesters? It doesn’t make sense to us, does it?

Josiah was the best king  in Israel’s history: yes, he was a much better man than David. Josiah was a puritan with bulldog tenacity. He set out to destroy the pagan altars in Israel and his crusade lead him into the North where he was not recognized as a king. He hated Baal with a passion and he loved Yahweh. He got killed in battle at the age of 39 but the Lord allowed this to protect Josiah from seeing the evil that was to come. God has a way of turning our deepest grief into our greatest joy. My oldest brother died as an infant. My mother almost gave way to despair and she did have a root of bitterness. God gave her three more sons and all three broke her heart more than once. She told me once, “The only son that I’m sure will be in heaven is the one I gave up.” God took her grief and turned it into a comfort. He is an amazing God.

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  • You never know what a day will bring. I met Sammy and Kathy at the 4-way in Danville this morning. Little did I know what was happening. Sammy has suffered a major stroke and is fighting for his life. Doctors say the next 24 hours is critical. Pray for Sammy Crow and family.
  • BUMPER STICKER OF THE DAY: “Heaven, don’t miss it for the world!
  • GATHERING tonight at 6:30
  • SUNDAY SCHEDULE: Deacon’s and wives meeting in the sanctuary at 9:05, LCBS at 9:15 and worship at 10:15. No pm worship.
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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]

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  • 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

The Hour of Darkness

March 24, 2016

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Scripture

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

Quote

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.

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  • 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.

Evil

March 23, 2014

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SCRIPTURE

As soon as day came, the elders of the people, the high priests and the scribes assembled and brought Him back before their council, and said, “Tell us if You are the Christ.”

~Luke 22:66, Williams

QUOTE

At the heart of the story stands the cross of Christ where evil did its worst and met its match.

~John W. Wenham

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The cross exposes our depravity. The disciples acted in weakness and cowardice. One betrayed Christ, another denied Him and all abandoned Him.  The Jews were driven by envy, hate and murder. The Romans were cold, cruel, callous and careless. The women were the best of the lot and even they were helpless. I read Luke 22 in Williams yesterday and jotted down these characteristics of evil that we see in and around the cross.

  1. Evil is persistent: The religious Jews never let up, they were determined to destroy Jesus.
  2. Evil is driven by envy and hate.
  3. Evil is disguised by pretense: the Jews pretended to be acting in God’s behalf.
  4. Evil is diabolical, it loves the cover of darkness. They waited for daylight to pass the verdict but they did the dirty work during the night.
  5. Evil is always antichrist.
  6. Evil is present in us all. What sins are not evil? Is pride, prayerlessness and indifference not sins? Why do we pretend?
  7. Evil is defeated in the end. The Jews thought the cross would put and end to Jesus but instead it put an end to the reign of sin, Satan and death.

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  • Baptism today at the conclusion of our worship celebration.
  • Deacon’s meeting at 8:00, LCBS at 9:00 and worship celebration at 10:15.
  • We have a very pressing schedule: prayer appreciated.
  • We have them headed in all directions: to the beach, on cruises, camping and only the LORD knows where else. We’ll have church with whoever shows up. Going to be some more changes today. I know how much you love changing.
  • The Sanctuary will look a little different: it is set up for the 2:00 PM memorial service for Clayton Clemons.

The Problem of Evil

January 6, 2014

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SCRIPTURE

The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.”

QUOTE

God judged it better to bring good out of evil than to suffer no evil to exist.

~Augustine

COMMENTARY

Some say the “Problem of Evil” is the rock of atheism. There logic is, “God is either not good because He allows evil or He is impotent because He does not eradicate evil.” We do not deny evils existence but we do believe that God is greater, just as light is greater than darkness.

Speaking of evil, I came across these interesting statistics the other day.  In the United States there is…

  • A murder every 32.4 minutes.
  • A rape every 5.5 minutes.
  • An aggravated assault every 35.3 seconds.
  • A burglary every 14.7 seconds

To put that in perspective, in the next 30 minutes there will be 1 murder, 6 rapes, 51 aggravated assaults, 71 car thefts and 123 burglaries.

Irenaeus believed that God permits evil in order to achieve a greater good, a good not possible if free-will and evil did not exist. Think of the virtues that could not exist without free-will and evils existence: Courage, mercy, forgiveness, patience, heroism, perseverance, self-control and obedience to mention a few.

Job was a sage, a man of great intelligence and he wrestled with the problem of evil and the suffering it brings. He questioned God but God never gave him an explanation, not even for his personal suffering. In the end Job realizes that the finite cannot comprehend the reasoning of the infinite. Job was right, so what it boils down to is faith. God ways are beyond our understanding and this is a good thing. If you could put God in your little box of brains, He wouldn’t be a God big enough to worship. Think about it, those who believe there is no God due to evils existence have no hope because they don’t see anything greater than evil. They have no one to deliver them from evil, we do!

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  • Another good day, thank YOU Jesus. Got to baptize a grandson, Ryder Ace, a huge Auburn fan. I blame his Dad and his Aunt Beth for misleading the child.
  • Preston Grammer [Ruth’s grandson] is having heart surgery today at Princeton’s in B’town.
  • David Orr has knee surgery Wednesday at DGH.
  • We did not have good holidays in terms of football. June’s Georgia Bulldogs bit the dust but at least they played well enough to win, just dropped a couple of critical passes. Alabama, on the other hand, stunk it up. Utah all over again. I think we’ve been going down hill since the big win over LSU. After Bama, I am a Stanford fan and they didn’t play up to par and Michigan State beat them. I’m through with college football. There is no need for me to watch tonight because I know what’s going to happen. I am going to lower my point spread. I’ve been saying Auburn by two touchdowns: I am going to change that to just a win and it will be similar to the prayer at Jordan Hare. They will win but not by the margin I first predicted.
  • Pray for upcoming Revivals.
Ryder Ace Reeves

Ryder Ace Reeves

my Hope Jesus

SCRIPTURE

And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

~Luke 11:4, NKJV

QUOTE

God judged it better to bring good out of evil than to suffer no evil to exist.

~Augustine

COMMENTARY

It is appalling to a believer, but secular humanism denies the existence of evil. Their philosophy is “No sin means no guilt, no guilt means no need for forgiveness and no need for forgiveness means no need for a Savior.” Unfortunately, the liberals live in denial. On July 20, 2012, fans gathered in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado for the premier of Warner Brothers production The Dark Knight Rises. In spite of the rating, many parent brought young children. During the movie a 24 year man dressed in black and wearing a gas mask came into the theater, unleashed a canister of tear gas and then opened fire. In a matter of second, he had killed 10 and wounded 50. Here is the sad irony: the movie continued to roll uninterrupted but no one was watching. People were running, screaming, hiding under the seats: the sudden appearance of actual evil totally eclipsed fictional evil. This is like hand writing on the wall: it is not rocket science. Only a moron can deny the existence of evil.

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We have some families is crisis: please pray for Roger and Dot Burcham. Their daughter-in-law Michelle is very critical. The entire family has been through so much that I don’t know where to begin. Pray for Chris and the girls. This has been a hard week for all and it may get harder. Let’s bath this family in prayer today.

Danny Alred has been very sick. He was feeling so bad Tuesday that I didn’t even bother him. They did surgery yesterday and hopefully he will improve. I am going to make an effort to see him today.

The care boxes for the two elderly women went well, I will deliver them this morning, LORD Willing. If this is up your alley, I will hand off: it is as easy as falling off a log. All you need is the right attitude and vehicle. If you want to go with me, be at the office by 9:00 and call me around 8:00 and let me know you are coming.

Chuck Swindoll says that life is 10% circumstances and 90% our response to the circumstances. Every person has the right to choose their attitude or response to our circumstances.

Emily Shipley Mead is in HH Women and Children, Room 213. She is on bed rest. She is carrying three precious boys. She feels good but she is bored and wants company. If you are in the Huntsville area, drop in and see Emily. Let me warn you, parking is a nightmare unless you use one of the decks or go on the weekend.

Pray for Penny Hazel who suffers from cancer. She is a precious woman and has two young daughters. Penny is Tony Smallwood’s sister.

Ray Edwards continues to make progress at Health South in Huntsville. He should come home next Friday.

Record crowd for Supper last night but not for the gathering. The YOUTH out numbered the adults 4 to 1. We have some adults who have leaking cups. I may say more about this Sunday. We have 9 new Christians among our youth who need encouraging. You can’t encourage them when you are not present. The modern version of Hebrews 10:25 is…I will forsake the assembly any time I please, I don’t care who it discourages.

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Evil

October 30, 2013

Pray For MY HOPE

Pray For MY HOPE

SCRIPTURE

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

~Matthew 6:13, NASB

QUOTE

At the heart of the story stands the cross of Christ where evil did its worst and met its match.

~John W. Wenham

COMMENTARY

A few years back a man by the name of Rick Santorum was running for president and he made the statement that he believed the devil had targeted America. The secular media went into a frenzy. Go back a few more years and the greatest president in our life time referred to communism as the evil empire. The secular media made every attempt to vilify him but he was too popular and they had to let it go. In one century, communism murdered more Christians than all other persecutors combined over the 19 previous centuries.  Secular humanist [liberals] are hypocrites: they say there is no such thing as evil and then they put dead bolt locks on their doors. Jesus prayed that we would be delivered from evil and He would not have prayed such a prayer if evil did not exist. Our problem is that we do not understand how evil works. We are looking for a man with horns, dressed in flaming red and carrying a pitch fork. Evil is much more subtle, matter of fact, evil often appears to be good. Evil works in degrees via the compromise. Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom and then he pitched it again, this time a little closer to Sodom, and again until he was near the wall and then he sold his tent and bought a condo in Sodom. He would have been destroyed by the evil  of Sodom had not it been for his uncle’s faithful intercession and intervention of God. How much have you compromised in the last decade? What are you doing now that was totally unacceptable ten years ago? “Father, deliver us from evil, the evil one and his evil schemes.”

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Stew tonight from 5:30-7:00. It is one of our longest running traditions that began back in the early 80’s. Traditions are hard to maintain these days. The AWANA kids are doing hay rides and I think they want to leave about 6:15 and get back no later than 7:15. Choir will met at 7:00 but Adults and Youth will not met. Just come enjoy a bowl of stew on the house. Bring a dessert or drink if want but you don’t have to bring anything. Tomorrow night is TRUNK-A-TREAT from 6:00-7:00 pm. They have changed the weather forecast, rain holding off until later in the night but even if it rains, we will use the FORTE. We always do TRUNK-A-TREAT on October 31  come rain, sun, volley ball or high water.

SCRIPTURE: But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. [I Timothy 6:9, NLT]

QUOTE: Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. —Thomas Alva Edison

COMMENTARY: Nothing can stop a man who has the right attitude–nothing can help him if he has a bad one, especially money. On December 25, 2002, West Virginia building contractor Andrew Jackson “Jack”  Whittaker Jr. won $315 million in the Powerball multi-state lottery, at that  time the largest jackpot in history won by a single person. Of course the publicity from the lottery windfall was misleading. West Virginia keeps over 41%, then there are federal taxes. When all the dust settled, Jack got 93 million. Before winning the lottery, Jack was the president of a successful contracting firm called Diversified Enterprises  Construction. The 55-year-old Whittaker was living a successfully comfortable American life complete with a net worth of over one million dollars, a well-rounded family, great job and a healthy  granddaughter. After winning the prize, he famously pledged 10% of his winnings to various Christian charities and created the Jack Whittaker Foundation with another $14 million.

Jack, Bragg and Wife is 2002 just after winning lottery

Jack, Bragg and Wife is 2002 just after winning lottery

Whittaker did some good, but his bad deeds make his story. He was arrested twice, once for drunk driving and once for threatening a bar manager. A woman sued him after he groped her at a dog racetrack. Thieves  took $545,000 in cash from Whittaker’s car while he was visiting a strip club.  About a year later, thieves again stole $200,000 from his car. Caesars Atlantic City sued him for bouncing $1.5 million in checks. It gets worse, much worse… In 2003, Whittaker’s granddaughter’s boyfriend was found dead of an overdose inside Whittaker’s home. His 17-year-old granddaughter Bragg, whom he had been giving a $2,100 weekly allowance, fatally overdosed months later, at a different location. His wife filed for divorce and got it in April of 2008. They have been married 42 years.  The following July, Jack only daughter, Ginger was found dead in her home. Cause of death has never been determined. Ginger was 42 years old at the time of her death. Jack granted a rare interview to David Samuel’s that was published in Bloomberg Businessweek [December 2012]. When he did the interview, Jack had no family, one secretary and his only friend was his pastor.  Whittaker with no family and no fortune, said “I wish I’d torn  that ticket up.” [Below is a recent picture of Jack]

Jack Whittaker after losing the money

Experts say that Lottery winners suffer tremendous guilt as a result of their good fortune; they also have immediate trouble with family members and friends who feel that they are entitled to a share. Since winning in 2002, Jack has had 460 law suits filed against him. Some of the suits came from casinos where he had gambled and lost.

EXTRA: No commentary needed for the story above: most of it is cut and paste. I think it speaks for itself. Actually the bottom picture is more than a thousand words. Money will not bring happiness–only Jesus can give you peace, joy, hope, happiness and eternal life.

SMALL GROUP PROJECT: Our small group project is big. Matter of fact, OVERWHELMING is the word I used but we are going to give it a shot. You will be hearing about it soon. We have a week to pray before we meet again. Our project will take place March 29-30 from 7:00-9:00 on the West Lawn of the worship center. As Barney Fife would say, “It’s big, really big!” So pray, really pray!