God’s Missionary Heart

June 19, 2016



I will bring them to my holy mountain of Jerusalem and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer. I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices, because my Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations.

~Isaiah 56:7, NLT


“God’s love is like the ocean: we can see it beginning but we can not see its depth or its end.”

~Image Quotes

The “them” in Isaiah 56:7 is in reference to us the Gentiles. God had miraculously and mysteriously brought the Jews home from exile but He promised to bring others to join them. In the same breath, Isaiah denounces the leaders of the Jews. He said, “You leaders are not doing your job. Instead of warning My people, you are blind and ignorant. You are like watch dogs who don’t bark. You lay around like a lazy dog who sleeps all the time. You are greedy dogs who never get enough. You have no understanding and you seek your own pleasure by taking advantage of others.”

Israel misinterpreted their call and responsibility. Isaiah made it crystal clear in 42:6, “I, the LORD, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness. I will take you by the hand and guard you, and I will give you to my people, Israel, as a symbol of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide the nations.

Israel failed to demonstrate God’s righteousness and they failed to be a light to the nations but Jesus did not fail. He did what Israel failed to do. Israel will eventually be a light, a guide to the nations but if will be a new Israel with Jesus as King and you and I will be a part of this great kingdom.


  • Thank you Jesus for the cooler air: it is refreshing!
  • BUMPER STICKER OF THE DAY: “Somewhere in Kenya, a village is missing its idiot.”
  • Full schedule today: Deacon’s meeting at 8:15, LCBS at 9:15, Worship at 10:15, Kids leave for camp at 11:30, Pastor’s Search Team meets at 4:00, VBS Commencement at 5:00 and picnic to follow.
  • I got to visit four families yesterday. I’m slow because I get to talking and stay too long. Every visit I have made has been excellent. I haven’t heard a complaint yet: I have had a couple of close calls or near misses. We had a great time at Emily and Sean’s last night. I think I’ve finally got the boys figured out.
  • Children leaving for camp today and will be back Friday. We have a record number going. I think it is 26 plus counselors.




Giving By Faith

January 19, 2016



So you cannot become my disciple without giving

~Luke 14:33, NLT


“Only giving increases our capacity for receiving.”



Giving can be risky business. People who have to have guarantees before they give, do very little giving. How do we know that our Mission dollars are spent wisely, whether it be IMB, NAMB, CP, or to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association? This has been the number one complaint of the BLOCK PARTY–“What are these people doing with the things we are giving away each year: how do we know they are being used wisely?”

The answer is: we don’t know how each penny is spent; it is practically impossible for us to know or to find out. God knows but we have no way of knowing that every dime is spent properly. Let me ask you a question: do you spend every dime properly? Have you bought things that you didn’t need but you wanted? What is the alternative to giving without risks? It would be not giving!

My grandmother on my Daddy’s side was a good woman, straight as an arrow in many ways. She lost her husband in her 30’s and she had five children from ages 2-16. She had to sub-divide the family farm and sell off parts in order to keep the home and a few acres. She was a hard worker and very energetic but she was not perfect: she had a couple of besetting sins. I only going to mention one, she despised the subject of tithing or giving from the pulpit. She told me every time she got the chance, “There is plenty in the bible for you to talk about without you begging for money.” She didn’t know it but she was making me more determined to do the right thing. If you don’t learn to give; it will hurt you not me.

If you don’t have the heart and the desire to give, any excuse will do.

While serving a church is my college days, I set a Lottie Moon goal and challenged the little church to give. One old fellow was very upset. His argument was and I quote: “We don’t know where this money is going. For all we know, it is going to the Viet Cong.” Are you kidding me? I told him the truth: “I don’t know where every penny is going but I can assure you that none is going to Viet Cong.” The FMB {now IMB} may have spent some money in North Viet Nam but if they did, it was to share the gospel. The old man said, “That money may being buying the very bullets that are killing our boys.”

I hadn’t encountered any one quite so ignorant lately but those who don’t want  to give are going to justify their greed with some kind of lame excuse. It is what it is!


  • This is “Go to your doctor week for me.” I will be {Lord Willing} at DMH this morning for stomach test; Dr. Ward on Thursday and Dr. Keith on Friday.
  • I had a good visit with Mavis Fitzgerald yesterday. She is feeling better after a rough Sunday.
  • Debbie Gilliland’s brother Bill is not doing well. They have moved him to Comfort Care. If I feel up to it, I am going to try to visit Bill today.
  • Just 53 days until the time changes and hopefully by then, we will have a warm day every now and them. If I read the chart right, from January 1-March 13 we will gain exactly one hour of daylight and the time change will give us another hour on the PM side.

Gary, Keri and Kane



“We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted.”

~Numbers 11:5, NLT


Slaves always eat free.



Moses lead close to 2 million Israelites through a wilderness that produces no food and little water. A generation of Israelites died in this wilderness but not from starvation or thirst; they died because they rebelled against God. In miraculous fashion God provided for this massive horde with bread from heaven and water from the Rock. Instead of being grateful for God’s supernatural provision, the Israelites grumbled about the menu. There was no meat; in Egypt they had fish and it was free.

Sure it was free, they were slaves. Why do farmers feed cattle? Because they are valuable at the market and so are slaves. A master would be foolish to starve a slave. What if Joseph could have declared “Free Agency,” how much would a slave of Joseph’s caliber be worth. I think Joseph would put those greedy athlete’s of today in the shade. He would be worth at least a billion. The Egyptians were not going to starve their slaves: all slaves eat free and their housing is covered.

The Israelites were still thinking like slaves: they wanted free stuff without any responsibility. A free man has to think, he has to take responsibility but the Israelites preferred slavery and a lash on the back to taking responsibility. Liberals are such hypocrites: they want to make an issue out of slavery and the poor idiots don’t realize that they are caught in a far worse kind of slavery than any of their forefathers. The idea that only blacks have suffered from slavery is ridiculous. A lot of blacks and whites are slaves today because they get the free lunches. The democratic party doesn’t mind; they are the ones who have created the bondage. This gives them the leverage to tell these dupes how to vote. Obama got the black vote including so called republicans like Colon Benedict Arnold Powell but Ben Carson will not get their vote. Ben loves freedom more than a free lunch. He took responsibility for his life. I am not suggesting that Carson is the only black man who has done so but he is in a minority. Alan West is an independent thinker and there are others but how I long for the blacks and Jews to wake up and realize that they are being used by a vicious political machine. Of course, some of the rich Jews are a part of the machine.


  • Jim Corum passed away yesterday. It was a shock to me although I had noticed his extreme weight loss. Jim was an avid Hartselle Tiger fan. He had cancer and didn’t know it until last week.
  • Joe David did the hospital visitation yesterday: Bill Wilbourn is about the same. Diane Taylor {Shannon’s mother} is in 473 at DGH. John’s and Jarod’s granddad, Fletcher Hill is in 465 at DGH. Pat Halbrooks is in HH.
  • Kane has to go back to Memphis this week but as an out patient.
  • LORD willing, I attended my next to last annual meeting last night. Danville is the host in 2016, I think this is our second time to host the meeting. It’s been trimmed down to one session and one sermon. When I was a kid it was a two day meeting with a couple of meals and three sermons: Mission, Doctrinal and Annual–Now it is one, the Annual Sermon. It’s just another reminder that our world is changing and the changes seem to be speeding up for this old dinosaur. It’s a good thing I came along when I did, I probably wouldn’t get consideration these days. I thank God for calling me and giving me a place to preach. I feel blessed and I wouldn’t change a thing. I love Danville, it is the nearest thing to home I have on this earth. Thank God for family and friends.
  • A missionary couple we know is being basically forced to retire along with several other IMB M’s. I have my suspicions about what is happening in the IMB but I am going to hold my comments until I get my hunch confirmed. The LORD has laid it on my heart to get them a vehicle and a couple of others have partnered with me but I want to give everyone a chance to help who so desires. We have until February to get the vehicle so for now I want us to concentrate on the Guatemala project. We are not yet halfway to our goal but the last two offerings have been encouraging. How I do wish MISSION was as important to us as sports and recreation.
  • Has the Decatur School Board lost their mind? What are they thinking?
  • FALL is a beautiful time of the year as you see in the pic below. Thank you Jesus for the gentle rain.
Photo by Rex Looney

Photo by Rex Looney

Gary, Keri and Kane


February 6, 2015

Celebrate Jesus.crimsonjpg


So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.

~Hebrews 2:1, NLT


Yes, apostasy happens. Sometimes the catalyst is flagrant sin but most of the time, it is a quiet drifting that is not reversed by the knowledge of biblical warnings.

~Sinclair Ferguson 

my thoughts red

God’s redemptive purpose is a giant river and we are to stay in the mainstream, in the channel. God is blessing in the deep; He is moving in the current of channel. Have you noticed: when you throw a floating object into the channel of a stream, that object has a tendency to drift to one side or the other. Instead of moving down stream with the current, the object finds a resting place in an eddy or a shallow inlet. We Christians are the same way: we have a tendency to drift and it is not toward the mainstream of God’s redemptive purpose. We have a tendency to drift into the shallow, the stagnant; that part of the stream that is not moving.

Drifting is a continuous slow movement from one place to another. You don’t drift toward evangelism or missions: you drift away. Drifting is not dramatic or sudden but it effectively gets us out of the mainstream of God’s redemptive purpose. The devil does not care if it is quick or dramatic, he just wants us to waste our lives in the shallows. The fish are in the channel. Life is in the channel. Repent and push yourself out into the deep.

Revival Strip

  • Today is FRIDAY {TYJ} and we pray for FAMILY. Why don’t we lift up the Hogan family today?
  • Joe David and I went to Memphis yesterday. I’ve been to Memphis hospitals before but not to St. Jude. Kane had a chemo and afterwards we got to eat lunch with him and roll him to his apartment. The kid has a super attitude. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anything like it. I can’t tell you how proud I am of Kane. He gave himself an insulin shot in his stomach. I could not watch. The child is tougher than I am. They are moving to the Ronald McDonald House tomorrow which is good news because they will have more room. The bad news is Michelle has collected enough stuff to fill a U-haul. Thanks for your prayers, cards, letters, food, money and all around support. We did meet another family from Hartselle.  I posted their pic and names on TWITTER earlier.
  • On the way back from Memphis we turned at Muscle Shoals and went down to Hamilton to see the DHS girls play Basketball. There is no way this school is 4-A. Someone in Montgomery favors them. They have a McDonalds, Sonic, Hardee’s, Obryan’s Steak House, 24 traffic lights, a motel and I-22. The only thing we have two of is Fire Departments. We don’t even have two lights and our one light blinks. I’m telling the system is corrupt. BUT we beat’em and made them like it. Way to go girls. Our girls played great! 
  • GOLDEN GIRLS tomorrow at Cracker Barrel, 9:00 am.
  • Normal schedule Sunday…Deacons Meeting at 8:15, LCBS at 9:15 and worship at 10:15 and 6:00.
  • Speaking of DHS Girls Basketball, here is a pic of mid-90’s team.

dhs basketball



Objective: the purpose of this lesson is to inspire us to commit to a life of sexual purity and influence others to do like wise.

Scripture: Ephesians 5:1-10, NIV

1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord.


Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. 3 Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. 4 Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. 5 You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. 6 Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. 7 Don’t participate in the things these people do. 8 For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! 9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. 10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.


Chip Ingram, a pastor in California and popular conference speaker is the writer of this READY series. Chip had a friend who was a professional base ball player. He does not give a name which is wise because he shares the man’s confession: 

 When I was playing baseball, I got a real buzz from the crowd. I started pursuing sexual relationships with women in different cities where we played. My life revolved around these sexual encounters. But one day I woke up feeling numb. I realized I had left a tiny piece of my soul with each woman and it was something that I could not get back. I am tormented by guilt, and I don’t know how to have a real relationship. I am asking God to heal me.”

I’ll go ahead and tell you what this anonymous baseball player has already figured out: he will not get those missing parts of his soul back. This is one of consequences of sexual immorality. There is no such thing as casual sex: there are always strings attached: you may not see them but they are there. Jesus said in Matthew 19,This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. 6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” If this sacred union is broken, somethings are irretrievable.

Sadly, we live in a culture that glorifies and promotes sexual immorality. The IRS even persecutes married couples. The bible runs counter to culture and Ephesians 5 is a good example.


  1. Actually, we have a greater Christian influence today than in Paul’s time. The Jews had taught sexual purity for years but the pagan world was sexually immoral. In other words, some things have not changed. Paul was challenging the new Gentile believers to pattern their lives after Christ. Jesus loved women and yet He never lusted nor did anything inapproitate with them or around them. What is the difference between Jesus love for women and our love for women?
  2. If we follow Christ example and love others the way He did, we will always put the needs of others first. Does this standard of love that Jesus exemplified apply to our sexual behavior?
  3. God created sex for [1] Procreation [2] Pleasure [3] Climax to intimacy [4] Appetizer for heaven. Sex can be edifying or destructive. What determines if it is helpful or harmful? {Context: right person, right place, right time within marriage} [Illustration: Fire, in the right place can be comforting, delightful, serving our needs but if fire gets out of its proper place, out of control, it can be destructive and deadly]
  4. Chip Ingram suggest that we memorize verse 3, “Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people.” I have two others that I think would be helpful, especially to men. Psalms 101:3, I will refuse to look at
    anything vile and vulgar.”  Job 31:1,“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman.” Which one do you think would be the best to commit to memory?
  5. The Greek word that is translated by NLT and NIV as “Foolish talk” is the word from which we get moronic. In others words, we should talk like a moron. I worked for a man one Summer who carried on this “foolish talk” and even though I was only 16, I thought it was moronic. The man was married and had a daughter. There is no place for this kind of talk in the Christian’s life. Do you know any morons? You don’t have to name them.
  6. Why did Paul mix the sin of GREED with sexual immorality?
  7. Which do you consider worse, greed or sexual impurity?
  8. Which of the two are favored by the church?
  9. Why do we minimize certain sins and give greater attention to others such as sexual immorality?
  10. How can impurity be deceiving?
  11. What makes sexual immorality so deceiving?
  12. How can we help a brother or sister who is being deceived by sexual immorality? [Don’t be self-righteous. Examine your own motive and keep your sin in mind. Pray for the right opportunity to approach them. Be loving but do not compromise God’s standard. Follow up and do  your best to hold the person accountable]
  13. What worse in the area of sexual immorality and greed: denial or deception?
  14. Which of the two, sexual immorality and greed do you think produces the greatest guilt? Harm?


Hello World

January 10, 2015

Celebrate Jesus.crimsonjpg


“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

~Acts 1:8, NASB


“The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
~Marcel Proust

my thoughts red

How big is your world and how far do you see beyond the horizon? For some the world is a tiny place. Charles Allen tells the story of a New York City shop keeper who never ventured beyond his apartment, the subway to his work, the shop and back to his apartment. He lived in New York City his entire life and never saw Times Square, the Statue Of Liberty, Broadway, Central Park or the Empire State building.

The word that Jesus used in Acts 1:8 is ‘eschatos’ from which we get our word ‘eschatology,’ a study of the end times. Eschatos not only refers to time but also to space. In Acts 1:8 Jesus is talking about space, the end place or the last place. NASB translates it ‘remotest’ and the AV says ‘uttermost parts.’ One thing is certain, Jesus was looking beyond Jerusalem and the Holy Land.

Some of us are like the guy who got to live out his dream. He acquired his own radio station but he could only afford 100 watts of power which gave him a 5 mile radius. Similar to the ESPN station 1400 AM out of Decatur. On his first broadcast he came on with this introduction: “Hello World.” Little did he understand the smallness of his world. There are 7 billion people out there and all need Jesus. We have a two fold problem: we are not seeing the world [ends of the earth] that Jesus saw and we are not seeing it the way Jesus saw it.

extra 2

  • Today we pray for Students. This week went in a hurry: I can’t believe it is SATURDAY.
  • Wow, warm front came in yesterday. It got up to 38 which was not bad in the sun. Compared to Wednesday and Thursday, it felt warm.
  • June and I had a great-great niece born yesterday, Emma Lee Grace Lock. I think this makes 6 great-great for us.
  • Full slate this Sunday: Deacons at 8:15 [we need 8 deacons in ties and jackets Sunday am], LCBS at 9:15 and Worship at 10:15 and 6:00.
  • I’m pretty sure our church directory pictures are coming up this week. Mandy will update us Sunday.
  • There will be no Deacon’s meeting on January 18. LORD willing, June and I will be in Grand Bay, Alabama January 18-21 in REVIVAL. We could use some prayer. Actually, we could use a lot of prayer.
  • I got to visit for a few minutes with Kenny yesterday. Every visit is precious to me. Please say a prayer for Kenny. Just stop right now and breathe a prayer for Kenny Holladay. Kenny wants to live but he is very prepared for the transition. A prayer from you will not hurt a thing so lift one up.
  • Debbie Gilliland’s mother, Mary Wilborn, is recovering from hip surgery in DGH. Hal Lanely is in HH.
  • I need to visit today and I also need to study…pray for the LORD to direct me.



The Shelter of God’s Protection

Key Question or Ice Breaker: What causes some people to be more fearful than others?

Psalm 91{The Soldiers Psalm}

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
He is my God, and I trust him.
3 For He will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.
9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”

  1. Three words for God in verse 1-2…Most High which speaks of the highest rank,  Shadday, the Lord God Almighty and Yahweh, the great I AM, the eternal, self-existent never changing One and creator of all things.
  2. The Psalmist testimony–“He alone is my refuge, my place of safety
  3. Note the He is…He will verses
    • He alone is my refuge
    • He is my place of safety 
    • He is my God, and I trust him.
    • He will rescue you from every trap
    • He will protect you from deadly disease
    • He will cover you with his feathers
    • He will shelter you with his wings
    • His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
  4. Things we want to be protected from…
    • Terrors of the night
    • The arrow that flies in the day
    • The disease that stalks in darkness
    • The disaster that strikes at midday
    • Though a thousand fall at your side
    • thousands dying around you

  5. The Promises….
    • No evil will conquer you
    • No plague will come near your home
    • He will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.
    • You will trample upon lions and cobras
    • You will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet
  6. The LORD’s I wills…
    • I will rescue those who love me.
    • I will protect those who trust in my name.
    • I will answer when they call
    • I will be with them in trouble
    • I will rescue and honor them
    • I will reward them with a long life


[1] QUESTION: What is meant by the term “Helicopter Parent?”

[2] QUESTION: Is self-preservation a real viable human instinct or is it a myth?

[3] QUESTION: Some people are dare-devils, they take foolish risk; others are too fearful to take any risk. How do we achieve the proper balance between recklessness and insecurity?

[4] QUESTION: What are the dangers of recklessness? What are the dangers of fearfulness?

[5] QUESTION: How can we reconcile the reality of suffering and death with the truths in these verses?


  1. The basis of our comfort is in His word: why not commit some scriptures to memory that reassure you that God is your protector.
  2. Actively pray and ask for and accept God’s protection. An umbrella can protect us from the rain if we stay under it. If we stay under the will of God, we have more protection. At least we have the confidence that comes from being obedient.
  3. Keep a journal, make a note of things God does in order to protect you.
  4. Look around: do you have a friend that is suffering from disease, terror, death, adverse circumstances or some of the other things that cause fear? What can you do to help? Do it!

We Need A Shepherd

August 1, 2013

Pray For Revival

Pray For Revival


I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.

Jeremiah 23:10, NASB


Life always offers you a second chance, it is call tomorrow.



Last night we talked about praying in God’s will and the first key to praying in His will is to walk in His steps. No one is going to pray in God’s will when they living in active rebellion against His will for their life.  Albert Schweitzer who is considered by some the greatest modern missionary was blessed with a brilliant mind and multiple gifts. He could have had a career in music, medicine or teaching and I am talking about the Oxford level, not high school. He had degrees in music, medicine, philosophy and theology. He was cleaning off his desk one day when he came across a piece of mail, a news letter from the Paris Missionary Society that he had gotten by mistake;  it was addressed to a neighbor.  The headline of the news letter read THE NEEDS OF THE CONGO MISSION. You know the rest of the story, to the Congo he went and spent the major part of his life practicing medicine and theology in Africa.

A life spent in service to others is not a wasted life.



Parking Crew

Parking Crew

The Twins

The Twins

Bull Pen for Funnel Cakes

Bull Pen for Funnel Cakes

Under Arrest

Drug Bust…to much Coke

Indiana Bowling In the Lost Cause

Indiana Bowling In the Lost Cause

Shock, Shock, Willard hanging out with young women

Shock, Shock, Willard hanging out with young women