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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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Out Of The Storm

October 17, 2015

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SCRIPTURE

Then out of the storm, the LORD spoke to Job.

~Job 38:1, GNT

QUOTE

We have all done things and said things that hurt other people.

~Selwyn Hughes

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The book of Job is not a tragedy but it does begin with a tragedy. Job loses all ten children to a tornado, he loses all his possession to thieves and natural disasters and just when he thought, it could get no worse: it got worse–Job lost his health. His body was covered with ulcers which made him unclean. He is forced to a life in the wilderness. In a matter of a few days, he went from living in a mansion to living in a hole in the ground. Perhaps for the first time in his life, Job is alone. Relying upon his great wisdom and keen intellect, he begins to recount the details and try to make some sense out of all the tragedy. He begins to search his soul but he has no clue as to why the LORD has allowed such a horrific storm to come against him. What had he done? Was this a cruel joke that God was playing? Job searched his heart but he could come up with nothing. He had always helped the poor, stood for justice, been faithful to his wife, prayed for his children; what could he possibly have done to offend the Almighty?

Then his friends show up. They begin pointing out Jobs sins but this only makes Job angry. These blabber mouths don’t know when to shut up.  After these wind bags had said all they knew to say, Job was no less distressed but then comes chapter 38 which begins with “Then” which is a connecting word. Then means after all that has happened in Job 1-37, “Then out of the storm the LORD spoke to Job.” Isn’t it amazing that Job’s four brilliant friends with all their words could not convict Job of a single sin, then the LORD speaks and Job repents.

There are a couple of lessons in this story. [1] There was not a better man on the face of the earth than Job but the best of us needs to repent just as much as the worse of us. [2] God’s words are infinitely more powerful than ours. God spoke and a life was changed forever.

Don’t misunderstand what I am saying: I hold Job in high esteem. I think that next to Jesus and possibly John the Baptist, Job is the best man in the bible but even the best of us needs mercy and grace.

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  • Johnny Burnett and eight other men from Morgan Baptist Association are headed to SC as a feeding team. They will be working with other disaster relief groups. SC suffered over a billion dollars in damages and 14 people lost their lives. Some of the 14 disregarded road blocks and warning signs. You know who I thought of when I read the article, myself, sounds like something Jack Bailey would do or Kay Orr. {JK}
  • It was too late to bother Kane and Michelle when I did the blog so I don’t have a update.
  • GOLDEN GIRLS this morning and then I have to lock myself in somewhere and study. Hasn’t been a good week for study.
  • Tomorrow’s schedule is full: Deacons at 7:45, Donuts and biscuits at 8:30, LCBS at 9:15 and worship at 10:15 and 6:15. Zander Robinson will be baptized after the am worship celebration [Lord willing]. AWANA at 5:30 and Visitation at 5:30. David has prayed for God to give me more fruit in my last year than I’ve had in the previous 36 and I don’t mind if you join him. We do have around 8-10 candidates for baptism. Thank God for every one. We have some health issues with some of them but when they get able, they intend to be baptized. I am telling you: God is at work. You pray for me to have boldness in my personal witness.
  • Don’t forget to sign up for TRUNK-A-TREAT and the cook out. I’d like to know what we are looking at so we’ll know what we need to do. Personally, I think it is going to be cool, maybe cold and I’m wondering if a stew would not be more appropriate.  One way or the other, we are going to have a supper and a fellowship. I am into fellowship.

Gary, Keri and Kane

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Flying Off The Handle

November 25, 2014

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SCRIPTURE

As one of them was felling a timber, his axhead flew off and sank in the river.

~II Kings 6:5, MSG

QUOTE

Sometimes it takes losing something to realize what you had.

~Anonymous

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The seminary students under the tutoring of Elisha wanted to build extra dormitory rooms for the seminary and so they went to the river to cut some timber. Being preachers, they didn’t have the money or the tools so they borrowed an ax. The ax handle had not been soaked or wedged properly and the ax head flew off the handle and went into the river. The handle was no problem. Handles were carved from wood and very common: the iron ax head was a different matter. It had great value and it was borrowed. The handler of the ax was not being lazy but he did get careless: every woodman can tell when the ax head is lose.

Actually this is the way we lose most things including our temper: we just get careless. You can lose a job by being careless. You can lose a family by being careless. A man came to me some 20 years ago and said, “Preacher, she told me a half dozen times that if I didn’t change, she was going to leave. I never believed she would do it but guess what: she is gone and she’s not coming back and I have no one to blame except myself.” Not many people are as honest with me but this man was telling the truth.

The seminary story has a happy ending. Elisha recovered the ax: his prayer or faith or both brought the ax head to the top of the water. The ax head was floating on the surface and a seminary student reached out and retrieved it. Just remember, it took a miracle to recover what they had lost. Be careful with what God has entrusted to you: if you lose it, there is always the possibility you will not get it back.

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  • I’m still glowing from Sunday–What a day! Thank YOU Jesus!
  • Today we pray for TEACHERS. I know they are tickled, they have a short week.
  • Remember no Wednesday night meetings of any kind but we will meet Thanksgiving morning at 9:30 for a brief time of giving thanks. Maybe we can get granny to sing for us. I’m serious. Do it granny!
  • Alan is working with the Mac: I am hoping that he can help me solve a problem or two. I met with him at Keith’s yesterday morning.  I’d love to have him here all the time. There are some families that I love to visit and Keith and Judy are one of them. They have the gift of hospitality. If you don’t feel at home there, you have problems.
  • Bobby sent me a great pic that I want to run but I feel a little guilty: it is about an attempt to take a certain leader hostage. You will have to read between the line: I am deleting the font. It may be hard to figure out but I think the deeply intellectual will get it.

a flying rain deer-cartoon-2

A rudolph shot my mom

attempt to take president hostage

What Makes Jesus Furious?

September 6, 2014

 

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SCRIPTURE

Jesus was furious as He looked out over the crowd, and He was grieved by their hard hearts.

~Mark 3:5

QUOTE

The only way to be anger and sin not, is to be angry at sin.

~Matthew Henry

my two cents worth.

Jesus was angry more than once but He did not sin: His anger was against sin. In John 11:38 Jesus was intensely troubled, embrimaomai [to snort or groan with anger]. Some scholars believe Jesus groaned in anger due to the unbelief of the Jews who were accompanying Mary and Martha to the tomb. In Mark 3:5 we have two words, orgē  [anger, wrath, indignation] and syllypeō [inward grief from the pain of indignation]. I like the way the VOICE translated this verse: Jesus was furious and grieved. In Mark there is no question, Jesus was upset with the religious Jews for their lack of compassion on the man with a withered hand. They could have cared less about the man and his hand, their concern was with the law. They considered healing work and thus Jesus was working on the Sabbath.

Ironically, it was they who were breaking the law. The law can be summed up in two commandments: [1] Love the LORD God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind and [2] Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. They were in violation of both: Jesus was God and they were not loving HIM and they didn’t love their neighbor with a withered hand either. They understood the letter of the law but they didn’t understand the spirit of the law. God did not create man for the Sabbath: He created the Sabbath for man. The Jews had it backwards. They had twisted the truth to pacify their vain motives.

Who does Christ want you to show compassion on today? There is someone in the circle of your influence that needs to know you care. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find that person and show them compassion.

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  1. GOLDEN GIRLS this morning 9:00 am. I think I am getting pecan pancakes.
  2. Had a great visit with Kenny Holladay yesterday. Kenny was feeling good, PTL. I do believe he will make a BAMA game before the season is over.
  3. Miss Clara was not feeling good last night but they say she is better. Holly and I carried the gift bags you sent and she said “Thanks.” Of course she is partial to Big Mama who got her a baby doll but she liked everything. We didn’t stay long because she felt bad. She is in the new part of Children’s. It was my first time to see the new facility. It was impressive and full. It is always full of sick children. There will not be in hospitals in heaven. Praise Jesus, we will not need them up there.
  4. No bulletins Sunday. It has been a long time since I did one and I used my time to study. Be sure and appreciate the girls when they get back: Both Mandy and Shohn do a good job. Regular schedule Sunday, plus I have to go to Athens Sunday evening. I’ll be one tired puppy [old dog] Sunday night.
  5. Sunday’s Deacon’s meeting is open to all Deacons whether you are active or not. We have a couple of hard decisions coming up and a business meeting most likely. I want to get as much feed back as possible before we schedule the Business Meeting. I think we are looking at October 5.
  6. Holly and I got home late last night and so my proofer went to bed…this is unedited…do the best you can.

Who Cares?

August 28, 2014

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SCRIPTURE

Take a look around and see—to the right, to the left—no one is there who cares for me.
There’s no way out of here; no one cares about the state of my soul.

~Psalm 142:4, The VOICE

QUOTE

God will mend a broken heart if you give Him all the pieces.

~Aesop

my two cents worth.

The human heart is more fragile than we want to admit. We may not weep in public but very few of us will escape this life without shedding some tears. I talked to a widow woman yesterday who is grieving the lost of her husband. She said, “I break down over the simplest things like a coffee cup that he use to drink from.” Remember Lacey Strum, she cried her self to sleep for 15 years and these were her childhood and adolescent years. Broken homes break children’s hearts. Only God knows how many children cry themselves to sleep due to the sins of their parents.

King David was one of the most successful people who has walked this earth. He was a multi-talented super-star who was loved and adored by thousands that is until his charming son Absalom stole the hearts of the people and turned them against David. The king would not even wear shoes as he fled for his life. He left the city walking barefoot, head down, weeping with every step. I wonder if he remembered the song he wrote in Psalm 56, “You have kept record of my days of wandering. You have stored my tears in your bottle and counted each of them.” It is no shame for a man to cry; even Jesus wept.

I don’t understand a lot of the Revelation but I do understand 7:17 and 21:4, “He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.” These words don’t mean much to those who are at ease in Zion but to the broken-hearted they are words of hope. Jesus is our King, our Liberator, our Savior, and so much more: just don’t forget that He is also a healer and He is going to mend your broken heart. You can count on it.

I keep thinking of Winston Churchill’s quote: “When you are going through hell, keep going.” Don’t give up. Do like King David, keeping walking and say a prayer with each step. It is OK to weep while you walk but do not quit: Never, never, never quit!

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  • GREAT PICNIC…good crowd…plenty of food and outstanding desserts. Way to go ladies, you hit a grand slam. We want to thank Johnny Burnett for cooking and Zeb and Justin for helping. They did a great job.
  • Tomorrow [Friday] is full: Breakfast for football team at 7:00; Senior Adult Lunch at 11:30 [Fried Chicken and trimmings] and 5th Quarter after ball game. Ginger committed to working with us on the Senior Adult lunches last night and David told her she did not have to go back to work as long as she was involved in Ministry, not! Ginger has a good heart if she could just get some encouragement at home.
  • Looking ahead: no Deacons meeting Sunday. Donuts and Biscuits at 8:30, LCBS at 9:00 and worship at 10:15 with Joe David preaching.
  • A little bird told me some 3-4 years ago that it was coming [or he feared that it was coming] and it happened yesterday. The board of trustees of the IMB elected David Platt, a five point Calvinist, as President of the IMB. It makes absolutely no sense. His church has never supported the Cooperative Program nor Lottie Moon. I confronted them when we were in Richmond either 3-4 years ago next month. It was a surprise because sources had told me it had been taken care of but evidently they got bad information. Folks we need to pray. I cannot in good faith support the propagation of Calvinism. I am all for getting the true gospel to the world but I will not support the propagation of reform theology. Let them use their own money. It would also be nice if they would be honest about their intentions.

Hopelessness and Despair

October 3, 2013

Pray For Revival

Pray For Revival

SCRIPTURE

Don’t call me Naomi,” she responded. “Instead, call me Mara, for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me.

~Ruth 1:20, NLT

QUOTE

Many things are possible for the person who has hope. Even more is possible for the person who has faith. And still more is possible for the person who knows how to love. But everything is possible for the person who practices all three virtues.

~Brother Lawrence

COMMENTARY

Because we live in a fallen world we face a mixture of failure and success, joy and sorrow, the hope of being delighted and the despair of being disappointed. Naomi had more than a share of disappointment. She was forced to leave the land of her birth because of famine and then while residing in a strange and foreign land, she lost her husband and both sons which made up her entire family except for her two daughter-in-laws. She came home bitter: she corrected the women of Bethlehem who came out to greet her, “Don’t call me pleasant [Naomi], call me bitter [Mara], for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me.”

Let’s be honest and not critical: she had endured a lot of grief, more than I can imagine. Naomi had been hurt and disappointed to the point that she was resigned to hopelessness and despair: in short, Naomi had given up on life. She told her daughter-in-laws {JEV}, “You don’t want to tag along with me. I am an old woman and I have no future and you will not have a future either if you go with me, so go back home to your families.” I have some good news for all the Naomi’s and there are a lot of us who are prone to despair…

  1. God will determine your future: Naomi gave up on God but He did not give up on her. He by grace, gave Naomi a loyal daughter-in-law, a new son-in-law [so to speak] and a grand son. This grandson changed Naomi’s life.
  2. Naomi was down on God for what he had not done but she was missing what He was doing. He intervened through Ruth who became Naomi’s savior. Despair drives us to seclusion. Naomi wanted to be left alone but Ruth would not allow it.
  3. Nothing is impossible with God. Naomi didn’t believe that anything, or anyone could give her hope but she was wrong. Naomi took the baby and cuddled him to her breast. And she cared for him as if he were her own. The neighbor women said, “Now at last Naomi has a son again!” And they named him Obed [Serving]. He became the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David. [Ruth 4:16-17]

EXTRA

Wow, what a crowd of young people last night: unbelievable. If we could get the adults to match suit, we would fill the house up and the praise and worship was great. I loved it all but especially the solo’s by Brent on the guitar. He plays every instrument on the stage. The LORD has blessed us with a good band. God is at work. Two POF’s Sunday and JD had one more last night. Thank You Jesus. I was listening to Carol Lynn as I cooked last night and she said that Duck Dynasty has a Christmas Album coming out called “Duck The Halls.”  I thought it was funny, no one else was impressed. Don’t forget to get to pray for MY HOPE.

What day is it?

What day is it?

~Ruth 1:20

Loneliness

September 10, 2013

Prayer For REVIVAL in America

Prayer For REVIVAL in America

SCRIPTURE

Nothing I say makes my pain go away but keeping quiet does not help either.

Job 16:6, ERV

QUOTE

Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery’s shadow or reflection: the fact that you don’t merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief.

~C.S. Lewis

COMMENTARY

It is one thing to grieve but to grieve alone intensifies our grief. All of Job’s ten children had been killed by a tornado. Job’s wife was a beast and I am being nice. She advised him to give up his integrity, curse God and kill himself. How would you like to lie down beside that each night.  Job thought he had some friends but he discovered to his dismay that they were not real friends and they made miserable comforters. They assumed that God was punishing job for some sin and so they were full of judgment and condemnation which was the last thing that Job needed. I think the two greatest emotional pains are loneliness and rejection and Job felt them both. Job did not have one friend in this world who cared enough to listen to what he had to say, not one. Job had spent his life helping others but when he needed help, no one responded. Job suffered from an injustice. He was the victim of a diabolical prank. The best friend in the world is the one who will listen sympathetically without passing judgment and Job did have that kind of friend here on earth but he believed that he had One in heaven. I see Jesus in what Job said…[16:19-21]…“Earth, don’t hide the wrong things that were done to me. Don’t let my begging for fairness be stopped. Even now there is someone in heaven who will speak for me. There is someone above who will testify for me. My friend speaks for me, while my eyes pour out tears to God. He speaks to God for me, like someone presenting an argument for a friend. What a friend we have in Jesus!

EXTRA

We had 40 in children’s church Sunday. Shohn was thrilled and so am I. We had more kids to sing Sunday night than we’ve had since were started: Ellie Mae and Bree joined our children’s choir and the band played for us. Matthew laid out on us. I’ll have to get over there and jack him up but it was probably his mama’s fault. We also had a very good offering and our overall attendance was up. Vellene’s surgery went well, she should get to come home today. She’ll have to take it easy for a couple of weeks. Kenny Holladay went in to DGH last night. He aspirated and was still in some pain when I talked to him around 7:00. I’m going up first thing this morning. Great response on the Pencil Boxes.

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Making Sense of Tragedy

December 15, 2012

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SCRIPTURE: Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts. [Isaiah 55:9, ERV]

QUOTE: When you bump into someone who has all the answers: you have encountered someone who is much closer to insanity than yourself. ~Chuck Swindoll

COMMENTARY: Cindy’s dad killed in a one vehicle wreck; Debbie’s brother murdered and then the horrible story coming out of Connecticut about the brutal slaying of an entire Kindergarten Class–none of this makes sense. I did not have any definitive answers for Debbie’s mom and I would not have any for the grieving families in Connecticut. What do you say to a parent whose five-year old was gunned down by a lunatic. In the face of tragedy, I just try to manifest the love of Christ. These grieving people are in shock; they have been traumatized. You and I know that eventually, something good comes out of tragedy but that’s not what you want to hear when your child has been murdered in cold blood.

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Adam Walsh

I believe God has a master plan but I do not know how tragedy fits into that plan. I do know this: it helps to believe in eternal life. Physical death is a temporary state. It may exist in time but it does not exist in eternity. That does not mean that there is no pain or grief in physical death; but it does mean that we have hope. My oldest brother died at six months of age. When my two brothers and I were teenagers and above, we grieved our mother severely by the way we lived. At one time, none of us bore the fruits of a believer. Mother didn’t know where we would go if we died but she always said about Joe David [oldest brother]– “I know where he is.” The very death that had once grieved her became a comfort in time.

A woman can miscarry and then get pregnant again within weeks of the miscarriage [I know a woman that had this exact experience]. She goes to term and has a beautiful baby that she loves. This does not mean that she did not grieve over the miscarriage; she did but there is no way she could have had both babies. Out of the death of one came the birth of the other. Out of the grief of one came the joy of the other. I fully believe that every aborted baby, every miscarried baby and every innocent child that has died or been killed is in heaven. In the eternal reality of things, they are more alive than most who walk the face of this earth. What happened yesterday horrifies me but so does abortion and we do that everyday.

EXTRA: I do think we should say a prayer for these families that are in deepest grief. Let us pray…Father, we don’t have all the answers. We probably have more questions than answers but we know that prayer works and in the midst of tragedy, we would covet the prayers of all, therefore we do pray for these hurting families. We pray for their peace and salvation. Father, only You could bring something good out of something so evil and we pray that You do. May Your Kingdom come soon. We lone for the rule of the Prince of Peace. We are tired of the violence and bloodshed. In Your infinite wisdom: touch these hurting families with your tender love. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!

JUST 20 DAYS TO GO: THANKS FOR ALL YOUR PRAYERS

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