Unconditional Love

June 17, 2016



“The mountains and hills may crumble, but My love for you will never end; I will keep forever My promise of peace.” So says the LORD who loves you.

~Isaiah 54:10, GNT


The mystery of ministry is that we have been chosen to make our own limited and very conditional love the gateway for the unlimited and unconditional love of God.

~Henry Nouwen

As fallen sinners, we are programmed to think that love must be earned. We fail to understand that we are too depraved to earn God’s love. God loves us because that is who He is and what He does. It has nothing to do with your performance or pedigree. We are like Jospeh’s brothers: we are jealous, mistrusting, deeply insecure, disobedient, selfish and when we do something good, it is for the wrong reason. Joseph’s brothers deserved to be hung: they lied to their father and betrayed their brother. Twenty years later, when their wicked plot is uncovered, they bow before Joseph and beg for their lives. They were not truly repentant, they were trying to save their necks. Joseph loved them and forgave them but only because of his superior character. As Jacob knew all alone, Joseph was a better man than his brothers.

God loves you because He chose to love you. He decided before the foundation of the world to love you. This is an unalterable fact that you cannot change. As Junior Hill says, “Jesus loves you and there is nothing you can do about it.” He has already made up His mind to love you and His love is greater than your foul ups. This is the most liberating news on the planet.

Jesus didn’t love Israel because they were good or better than others: the Jews by nature or stiff necked and rebellious. They may be the most obstinate and obnoxious people on the face of earth but God loves them and that is not going to change even though they murdered His Son. The point is: if God can love a Jew, he can love anyone. It is about GRACE not race.


  • Bumper Sticker of the Day: My Mother had morning sickness after I was born. {Rodney Dangerfield}
  • VBS day four 208. Papa John’s pizza today.
  • Thank God for the rain. I had to drive to the South yesterday and I noticed that those South of Danville got a good rain just as we did. This one is going to make some corn. For the first time: we have corn, squash, cucumbers and tomatoes during VBS. Now, if we can get to the corn before the coons do, that is the question.

girls in VBS


June 10, 2016



Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

~Romans 12:2, NLT


Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

~Albert Einstein

Einstein was a rocket scientist but it does not take an Einstein to understand what he said: you cannot expect different results from the same old behavior. A huge part of transformation is God changing the way we think. If your thinking is fouled up, your behavior will follow suit. 

Which generation of American’s feel most entitled? I don’t think it is a particular generation. I think the entitlement mentality is getting worse with each generation and some of that has to do with the way we have raised our children and I am prime example. I never made my children earn; we gave them everything. Not only did we give them everything, we never made them pay us back when they borrowed. In defense of Generation X, I know people my age who believed they were entitled to their parents savings and worried themselves silly because they were afraid their parents were going to spend their inheritance.

For the record: you are not entitled to anything, especially grace. Blacks are not entitled, Hispanics are not entitled, Senior Adults are not entitled. If you paid in Social Security, you are entitled  back what you invested with interest but no one owes you anything. I was paying a personal debt to a friend when I noticed the name of another friend on his ledger. It was an old debt and no effort had been made to resolve it. Because the man was a friend, I confronted him. He said, “Yes, I borrowed the money but he has plenty so I have not worried about paying him back.” This is stinking thinking: I don’t care if he has 100 billion dollars, a debt is a debt and you are stealing when you don’t pay them.


  • God is good and we thank HIM for HIS infinite goodness in granting us traveling mercies. We carried the kids to see their mother last night. I was tired and dreaded the trip but everything went well: THANK YOU JESUS. Hope needs wisdom: pray that God would give her the wisdom to figure this thing out. We definitely need a transformed mind.
  • We will be working on VBS stuff today: I hope we are not as rushed as yesterday.
  • Remember, our Sunday night church is at the TABERNACLE in Hartselle, 7:00 pm with Junior Hill preaching.

Dr. Junior Hill


Fresh Mercy

June 1, 2016



The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.

~Lamentations 3:22-23, NLT


Old ways seldom open new doors.

~Image Quotes

As I was praying yesterday about Tom’s COLS, my mind flashed back to May 22, a Marathon Sunday at DBC. For the last 21 years, I have had the privilege of speaking at our WEE Care graduation. This year, the house was packed and not one of them came to hear me. Tammy wants me to fill in the time between their program and the graduation which is hard to do. So you are speaking to an audience that doesn’t want to hear you and you are watching to see when the kids are ready so you can hush. I am not that good of a speaker so this year, I told her what I was going to do. 

To be honest with you, I came up with the idea on the way to the service. My plan was to tell a Max Lucado story out of his book “Gentle Thunder.” I had Catfish to wire me up [I’ve done this gig solo for years and it was good to have help] and I walk out on stage talking to the children as they exit. Somehow, my conversation with the children relaxed me and I begin to forget myself. I begin the story and something wonderful happens, the metaphors and adjectives are rolling off my tongue and I feel the Spirit of God, the mighty Ruach coursing through my veins. I knew what was happening but I understood that the audience did not. Did the audience get quiet? Were they really listening? I don’t know, I because so engrossed in the story that I was oblivious to what was going on around me. 

Now, back to my prayer and preparation for Tom’s COLS, “I thought LORD, do for me today what you did on May 22nd,” but before I could enter that thought in my prayer journal, I had another thought, “I don’t need to asked for this do I LORD because you have something fresh and new for me today, right?” Whatever grace you are celebrating about yesterday, it is a good chance that you will never see that exact grace or mercy again. Don’t get upset, God is not running out of mercies or grace: He has something new and fresh for you each day. His mercies are new every morning.


  • Praise the LORD for a good day. Tom’s service went well. I knew I would leave some things out if I did go by my notes but the notes get in my way. Sure enough I thought of three things I should have said on the way to the car. Tom was a great man, not because he did great things but because he did little things well. God loves to use small things: He gets more glory. To bring down the blaspheming Goliath, God used a little boy, a little sling and a little stone.
  • Its hard to believe that today is Wednesday; it will be like Monday to me. It is also hard to believe that it could get so dry so fast: we need rain. Pray for rain. Drought oppresses me and depresses me.

Thanks For The Memories

Everything Is A Gift

May 21, 2016



What do you have that you did not receive?

~1 Corinthians 4:7, NIV


Grace is getting what we do no deserve, namely heaven; Mercy is not getting what we do deserve, namely hell. Gratitude is our way of making His grace and mercy visible.

~Ya’akov [adapted]

I stumbled across the verse above several years ago and it literally changed my life. I had a pagan friend who boasted about his accomplishments and I could not wait to try this question on him. I asked him, “What do you have that you did not receive? He got quiet and didn’t say anything for several seconds and then he shocked me, “I guess the answer to that question preacher, is nothing.” I didn’t know what to say next: the heathen got it right.

I heard a man say once, “No one has given me anything. I worked for everything I have.” I told him, “You mother gave you birth, is that not a gift? God has put air in your lungs; is that not a gift?Everything you have is a gift. God gives us intellect, talents, the ability to work and to make wealth–everything is a gift which means I nor anyone else wants to hear your narcissistic diatribe. 

I don’t worship doctors. I need them from time to time but their are not my God. My God gave them great intellect and skill so I give HIM the glory.

EXTRA animated

  • Tom Bennich is better and I am not for sure that Ruth came home.
  • Sunday is slightly different: we will have Deacon’s meeting at 8:15 and LCBS at 9:15. We will be observing communion in the morning service and Sunday evening is Baccalaureate.
  • Sunday is also SENIOR DAY for high school and college graduates. We will do recognition’s in the morning service.
  • MISSION OFFERINGS will be going to HOUSES IN GUATEMALA for the next few weeks.


America, Bless God!

May 7, 2016



Israel, you have forgotten the God who rescued you and protects you like a mighty rock.

~Isaiah 17:10, GNT


Some things are not worth remembering while other things must not be forgotten.


Isaiah said in chapter one, “Even an ox knows its owner, and a donkey recognizes his master’s care–but Israel doesn’t know its master and they don’t recognize the one who gives them care.” God has been especially good to the sons of Israel. He redeemed them from bondage in Egypt, He lead them for 40 years in the wilderness: if ever a country was blessed by God, it was Israel. Unfortunately, the Israelites were dumber than an ox; even a Jackass had more sense than the ungrateful Israelites.

I’m a student of the American revolution. Our founding fathers were viewed as traitors by the Crown. The English would not recognize the continental army as a viable force and mocked George Washington our commander-in-chief. They were simply referred to as ‘rebels.’ No one thought the colonies had a chance, not even a slim chance of gaining their independence. The English probably underestimated the resolve of the Patriots but the greatest factor in the war was divine providence. Even Washington knew that we were not supposed to win.

Like Israel, we are a nation born out of divine providence and like Israel, we have forgotten the God who rescued us from the tyranny of king George and has protected us these 240 years by His grace and mercy. My generation has witness a moral decline that is mind boggling. First, there was Roe V. Wade and the conspiracy of the Supreme Court to rob the unborn of their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A decade later, the gays came out of the closet and began marching down main street with the approval of media and politicians. Then came the barbaric practice of partial birth abortion. Now we have the trans-gender movement, gay marriage and the mass immigration of Muslims. I never dreamed that we would be discussing these things in my life time.

We are still singing God Bless America but we have no intention of Blessing the God who made this country great. One day, we will repent with bitter tears but by then, America, the Great Republic and bastion of freedom, will be a memory.


  • GOLDEN GIRLS this morning at 9:00 am.
  • LIFE CHANGING BIBLE STUDY and Mother’s Day Special tomorrow. LCBS begins at 9:15, donuts and biscuits at 9:00 am. 
  • Busy day ahead: Golden Girls, a COLS and some visits to make.
Kenny evans

Kenny Evans our special guest tomorrow.




Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe.”

~John 11:14-15, NKJV


Sometimes good things come a part so that better things can come together.

~Image Quotes

Normally, we don’t associate death with gladness but Jesus had the unique ability to turn a funeral into a celebration of life. Only Jesus can turn a funeral into a fun time. Everyone thought Lazarus death was tragic but Jesus saw it as an opportunity to reveal more of Himself. Sometimes heartbreaking things happen and at first glance, we see absolutely no good coming from them but the more we study and contemplate, the more we see God’s providential grace. 

A few weeks back on a Tuesday evening, I came home from work exhausted. I was praying that no one had ball games and without a moments hesitation, I came in and went straight to bed. Less than an hour later, June woke me up telling me that one of our children needed me pronto. It turned out to be a very disappointing evening and a long night. The next day wasn’t any better. The anger and resentment began to build, “Why do people disrespect me? Don’t they realize that I am old and tired? For the next few days I was like a blind man bumping into the furniture. I did not know what to do next. I asked all my friends to pray that God would give me wisdom.

I have good news, the LORD answered the prayers of my friends and out of the blue, God gave me a plan. It was so clear I could have written it on a piece of paper. Since implementing the plan, I have not only seen God work, I have also come to understand why this happened. Every inconvenience, every embarrassment, every difficulty was for our good. I have no doubt, God is going to make all these things work together for our good and His glory.


  • Another great night at the GATHERING.
  • Ronnie Earley {Amy Penney’s dad} is battling three serious health problems. He has prostate cancer, colon cancer and needs heart surgery which at this time, they are not able to do. Please pray for Ronnie and Family. Joe David talked with him yesterday. He says Ronnie has a great attitude.
  • Don’t forget those ROSES FOR MAMA on Mother’s Day. Sunday is your last day.
  • Looking ahead: May 8th–Kenny Evans [Pigeon Forge], May 15th–Ken Blackwood, May 22nd–Baccalaureate, May 29th–LCBS Party Night.Vacation Bible School–June 13-17.


Gratitude, Who Needs It?

April 27, 2016



In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

~I Thessalonians 5:18, KJV


“Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic.”

~John Henry Jowett

Without gratitude, you will live a miserable life. An ungrateful spirit will foul up everything. You will never be content; always wanting more. Your hope will lack perception and your faith will lack passion. You will limp through life without joy or celebration. If will even vex you when others celebrate. You will record all transgressions; keep track of every debt and be offended every time you are not recognized for your devotion and service. You will never know the joy of resting in His grace.

For those who have seen the holiness of God and the wretched depravity of the human heart, every thing is grace. We even learn to celebrate our weakness like Paul… His grace is sufficient for us and His power is perfected in our weakness. Most gladly, therefore, we will rejoice in our weakness, so that the power of Christ may dwell in us. {JEV} Paul said, “In every think give thanks.” It is God’s will for you to be thankful no matter what the circumstances. Paul said “In” everything not for everything.


  • Ronnie Earley {Amy Penney’s dad} is battling three serious health problems. He has prostate cancer, colon cancer and needs heart surgery which at this time, they are not able to do. Please pray for Ronnie and Family. Joe David talked with him yesterday. He says Ronnie has a great attitude.
  • Very good report from Bessemer today: Thank YOU Jesus!
  • Two Celebration of Life Services today: Ida Hughes–Visitation from 11:00-1:00 and service at 1:00 at Peck. This is Willard’s aunt, his mother {Jackie} sister. Also Judy Blackwood’s mom, Beatrice Freeze service at 3:00.
  • THE GATHERING at 6:30 with the best praise and worship in the country. I may be a little prejudice but I put our guys up against any and they make great music on Wednesday night. I think they are more laid back.
  • Don’t forget those ROSES FOR MAMA on Mother’s Day. Sunday is your last day.
  • Looking ahead: May 8th–Kenny Evans [Pigeon Forge], May 15th–Ken Blackwood, May 22nd–Baccalaureate, May 29th–LCBS Party Night. Vacation Bible School–June 13-17.
Granddad Lexi and Lara

Our Two Seniors have less than a month

The Law Of Gravity

April 19, 2016



Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.

~2 Peter 3:18, NLT


Grow old along with me; the best is yet to be.

~Robert Browing

Astronaut Scott Kelly, 52, returned home from space a little bit taller than his brother and former astronaut Mark Kelly. The identical twins used to be the same height — but not anymore. Scott Kelly grew two inches during his 340 days aboard the International Space Station. Without the pull of gravity, the spine elongates.

When I heard the phenomenal news, two things crossed my mind: [1] If I could have spent two years in space, as a young person, I would have reached my coveted 6’3″. After reading up on the subject, I realized spending time in space would not have resulted in real height. Scott Kelly will return to his original height in just a few months. The weight of gravity will pull him back down. [2] Being earth bound keeps us from growing spiritually. The carnal influence of the world system is constantly pulling us down. This means we have to make a conscience effort to grow in grace and knowledge of the LORD Jesus Christ.

Long day, no extra.



Our Time of Need

April 8, 2016



Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

~Hebrews 4:16, NIV


No trial is too great, no temptation is too strong, but that Jesus Christ can give us the mercy and grace we need, when we need it.

~Warren W. Wiersbe

Moses did not lead the Israelites into the Promise Land [rest], matter of fact, Moses did not enter himself. Joshua lead Israel into their physical rest [Promise Land] but not into the ultimate spiritual rest. Aaron, the first high priest and all his descendants were unable to lead Israel into this “Spiritual Rest.” Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the ‘Rest’ referred to in Deuteronomy 12:9,10, Joshua 1:13 and Psalms 95:11. The Promise Land was only a shadow of the reality that would come in Jesus.

Aaron and his sons offered thousands of sacrifices but the blood of bulls and goats could not take away our sins. These sacrifices reminded us of our sin but they did not remove our guilt–they simply foreshadowed better things to come. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, He said:

“You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given Me a body to offer. You were not pleased with burnt offerings or other offerings for sin.”

Then Jesus said:

“Look, I have come to do Your will, O God—as is written about Me in the Scriptures.”

In light of what Christ has done in our behalf– Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. {Hebrews 4:16, NLT}

Four things we need:

  1. Confidence: {parrēsia} freedom to speak openly, frankly, without fear or concealment.
  2. Mercy: {eleos} kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them.
  3. Grace: {charis} that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, and loveliness. God’s undeserved loving kindness and favor.
  4. Help: {boētheia} under-girding. Used twice in NT. Here an Acts 27:17. Refers to the cables or ropes that sailors used to bind or under-gird the hull of the ship to keep it from breaking up.

Jesus, as our Faithful and Sympathetic High Priest can give us all four things.


  • Day two of Phase-One went well and God has answered a prayer concerning Phase-Two. With Hope in mind, use the four points above to pray specifically for her.
  • We got some bad news from Athens yesterday: my sister Joy’s former son-in-law was killed in a 4-wheeler accident. He was around the age of 45 and had two sons which, of course, are my sister’s grand sons.
  • I have a wedding Saturday and for the first time in my life, I am excited in a positive way about a wedding. They called yesterday telling me  it was an Alabama wedding and to wear jeans and an Alabama shirt. Instead of pronouncing them man and wife, I am to say ROLL TIDE. Just kidding on that last part.
  • Sunday Schedule: Deacon’s meeting @ 8:15, LCBS @ 9:15, Worship @ 10:15, Business Meeting @ 11:00, AWANA @ 5:30, Visitation @ 5:30 and worship @ 6:15.
  • Franklin Graham Prayer Rally this coming Thursday, April 14. I think Joe David said we could leave the church at 9:30 am.


April 6, 2016



When the day came for the heavenly beings to appear before the LORD again, Satan was there among them.

~Job 2:1, GNT


There are two extremes that we must avoid in relationship to Satan: one is to disbelieve in his existence and the other is to become obsessed with his person and power.


I was reading in Job 2 yesterday morning when three words exploded in my mind, “Satan was there.” God called a meeting of the heavenly beings and Satan was there among them. Isn’t that just like him, the diabolical intruder always showing up when he hasn’t been invited. When brothers and sisters in Christ gather for worship, Satan is there among them. Have a REVIVAL meeting and Satan will show up. Have a business meeting and Satan is there. Plan a prayer meeting and Satan will try to get it stopped but if that failed, he will show up, he will be there. He is always there.

I have no intention of saying anything good about the devil but I will tell you what I know. First of all, he is an angel, a fallen angel: he is not God, he is simply a want-to-be god. He is antichrist and he hates anyone who worships Jesus. Thus he hates all believers and does everything in his power to destroy our bodies, reputations, witness, testimony, joy, confidence, integrity and courage.

Jesus has changed things forever, He came to destroy the works of the devil and He was successful. We who trust Him with our sin and shame will congregate in heaven in the not to distant future and Satan will not be there.


  • I saw something last night that I have never seen. In Ty’s game, a kid grounds out to first and made a home run. Normally, that would be impossible but it happens. The kid was out by three steps and the ump called him safe, then we commit a comedy of errors and the kid scores. The P.A. announcer [probably his mom] said, “Home run for Tommy, winner of a Firehouse Sub.”
  • Dog Wood Winter is here and it gets cool with the sun goes down.
  • Speaking of prayer–Franklin Graham Prayer Rally April 14.