In A Quandary

February 5, 2016



Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”
~John 13:7, NLT


“If you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention.”
~Tom Peters
A quandary is a state of perplexity over what to do or say in a difficult situation. I think it is safe to say, “I’ve been in a quandary the past two weeks.” With this thought in mind, I was reading through John 13 yesterday when verse 7 leaped from pages and penetrated my cerebral cortex.
Think about how perplexed and confused the disciples must have been when Jesus laid His robe aside, girded Himself with a towel, grabbed a basin of water and started washing feet. No one in the room had a clue as to what He was doing or why. When Jesus came to Peter there arose a slight debate: LORD, are you going to wash my feet? Peter was humiliated and ashamed and was not going to allow Jesus to wash his feet.
This is when Jesus said, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.” Are there things going on around you that you don’t understand? Do you have everything figured out so that it all make sense? I have an aunt who is as gentle, kind and sweet as anyone on the planet–she has stage four cancer. I have a friend that I thought was getting better when in fact, he was getting weaker each day. I have a nephew that made his fourth trip to HH last night after having surgery in December.
To be honest with you, I don’t understand any of it but Jesus does and someday He will make it all clear. In the meantime, I must live like father Abraham–by faith, one day at a time.
swamp johns
  • Fuzz Dobbins got to come home from DGH last night. Gary Garner was resting peacefully. My nephew Heath was readmitted to HH. Continue to pray. I can’t explain it but I believe every prayer helps. My neighbor and landlord Ray Edwards has been sick this week also.
  • We’ve had some computer problems at the office but we got things sorted out yesterday and we are able to change the sign. Shohn did a fabulous job on our Swamp John Tickets and 13 are already sold. That leaves us 187 to sell Sunday.
  • Sunday night is LIFE CHANGING BIBLE STUDY CLASS PARTY NIGHT. Childcare begins at 5:15 and goes to 7:45. I need two nursery workers and we will pay. If you know anyone interested, give me a call.

Gary, Keri and Kane

No Place Like Home

November 27, 2015



Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.

~Luke 16:9, NLT


“He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.”

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


I have lived in many houses, apartments, etc. but in my 66 years I have really had only two homes. While my parents were living, I considered Sardis Springs my home but now my earthy home is in Danville or Rocky Ford, if you want to be technical. A house is made of brick and beams, a home is made by hope and dreams. A house has no eternal significance but home has infinite worth.

Bro. Inman use to say, “Everyone needs three homes, a Christian Home, a Church Home and a Heavenly Home.” Thank God for a Christian home and for a church home but the best is yet to come. I’ve had an easy life but many of my friends have had deal with sorrow upon sorrow.

I visited one of the sweetest ladies I know on Wednesday and she has stood at the grave side of three children: not one, not two but three and has a sweet spirit and wonderful attitude in spite of the sorrow.

I have a cousin who can’t remember a healthy family. His father had rheumatoid arthritis and sugar diabetes. His oldest brother had MS, his only sister had a rare disease that I can’t spell. His mother had a bad heart and his baby brother was a chronic diabetic, two insulin shots per day since he was 10 years old. His dad and older brother died in their 50’s, his mom, sister and baby brother died in their 60’s. At age 70, he has outlived everyone in his family by three years. No one else got past 67.

I am sick of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and all the other forms of illness that bring pain and sorrow to families. Do I have perfect peace in this world? NO! I see hurting people almost every day of my life and I am looking forward to going home, my real home where we will experience infinite joy, peach and love–with no sorrow, sickness or death.


  • Another great THANKSGIVING service. I loves things that are simple and we had a service in which our children could participate. When Braden Bass grabs the mic, I thought, “There is no telling what he is going to say,” but the little fellow was clear, articulate and right on the money. If his dad had been there, he would swelled up like an old dead dog. Renee was so moved, she could not say a word. Granny T came with Sue and when it came her time she said, “I am thankful for Teddy.” Just kidding, she said, “I am thankful for Sue.” Sue is so high on Granny’s list that she can be the center of a family photo. They still make Adam stand on the edge in case he needs to be cropped out someday. Granny would have sung for us but June could not find the sheet music. We’ve booked her for next year.
  • Gary Garner had his final chemo on Wednesday, we pray.
  • Dropped in to see David and Kay: David is doing well but also being careful to follow the doctor’s orders. He may get out Sunday if everything falls into place.
  • Also stopped by to see Mrs. Jewel Roberts who has not been out in 5 weeks but she may get to come Sunday weather permitting.
  • Folks, I had a great THANKSGIVING. I am thankful for a lot but at 1120 Ironman, Big Mama is the MVP. I didn’t mention that at church or with the family but we all depend on Big Mama and she does a terrific job taking care of the family. I am very blessed! All Bailey’s have sinned and come short of the perfection we see in Jesus but all things considered, I am very proud of my children and grand children. I hope you had a good day also.

Gary, Keri and Kane


April 6, 2015

Celebrate Jesus.crimsonjpg


Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

~James 1:2, NLT


We learn more from life’s trials than we do life’s triumphs.

~Chip Ingram

my thoughts red

The Chinese word for “crisis” (simplified Chinese: 危机; traditional Chinese: 危機; pinyin: wēijī) is frequently invoked in Western motivational speaking because the word is composed of two Chinese characters that can represent “danger” and “opportunity“. Some linguist accuse motivational speakers of taking liberties with the word.

One such case was in a speech by President John F. Kennedy, in Indianapolis on April 12, 1959. In his speech, Kennedy said that, “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity.”

The word “crisis” (wēijī) consists of two syllables that are written with two separate characters, wēi and jī. . . . While it is true that wēijī does indeed mean “crisis” and that the wēi does convey the notion of “danger,” the jī syllable of wēijī does not literally mean opportunity but it can be translated “Critical or defining moment” which is most always an opportunity.

This same concept is what James has in mind, we should consider trouble [various trials] as opportunities for ministry, spiritual advancement and joy. How did Job respond when the bottom fell out of his world? He did respond nobly with sincere worship but you would not consider his first response one of ecstatic joy. Generally, when trouble comes our way, our first response is and intense struggle with our faith that may lend itself to doubt, discouragement and despair. With time we begin to see God at work in our crisis and we begin learning things that we could never understand a part from the crisis. The joy of the crisis is like the sonic boom that follows a super sonic jet. You see the plane long before you hear the sound. Our first response to crisis will most likely be fear but the joy is coming. In Psalm 30:5 David stated the principle like this: Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.

I hate to agree with a democrat but I’m going to concur with Kennedy, a crisis is a critical point that presents both danger and opportunity. Remember the old adage, “Don’t waste your sorrows.”

extra 2

  • It is good to be back on line after being down for two weeks. I am no where near 100% but I am better PTL.  I hope this is not a premature celebration but Lord willing I will be blogging daily again: at least that is my prayer. I was able to attend the second service yesterday and see all the babies and children in their Easter outfits. I enjoyed the Praise and worship: The Band, David, the Choir and the Praise and Motion Team were fantastic. I thought Joe David had a great message and I enjoyed the entire service and that includes the offerings.
  • At this time we do not know what the treatment will be for the back and sciatic nerve. They may do an MRI next week. I stay on the steroids this week. Barring a miraculous turn around, I doubt that I can be back in the pulpit for a couple of more weeks. We will play it by ear.

Renewed Day By Day

January 30, 2015

Celebrate Jesus.crimsonjpg


Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

~2 Corinthians 4:16, NIV


How incessant and great are the ills with which a prolonged old age is replete.

~C. S. Lewis

my thoughts red

Martha Allen Newby, James M. Newby and Naola Bailey

Martha Allen Newby, James M. Newby and Naola Bailey

Mrs. Martha Newby had a simple way of stating the C. S. Lewis quote: She said, “I don’t see anything golden about the golden years.” Life gets tough when you start losing your faculties and your figure. So many people put so much emphasis on the body but aging is a reality we have to face. You can fight it tooth and nail like Kenny Rogers and Joan Rivers but you may as well admit the outer man is in a state of decay. I don’t mind telling you, I prefer spiritual exercise over the physical and it use to be the opposite. I heard Junior Hill say once that he did two exercises every day: roll overs and pull ups. He said, “I roll over in the bed and pull up the covers.”  I am down to roll overs, pull ups and fork lifts. I’d rather read the bible than lift weights. Actually, I’d rather have a root canal as to lift weights.

We have a good–bad LCBS lesson this Sunday. It deals with the reality of aging and long term illness. As a general rule our chances of illness increase with time. I don’t think any of us want long term illness but we are not in control. The greater point of the lesson is to remind us to be compassionate to those around us who are suffering from long term illness.

Revival Strip

  • Today we pray for FAMILY.
  • Kenny was resting peacefully when I was there yesterday morning.
  • Senior Adult Fellowship today at 11:30…JD Jones famous homemade rolls. Better than Paula Dean’s!
  • REVIVAL this Sunday: two services 10:15 and 6:00.
  • Deacons and Wives meeting this Sunday morning at 9:00 in the Sanctuary. LCBS at 9:15 and REVIVAL at 10:15 and 6:00.

LCBS Lesson Preview



“I think God is nearer to suffering than to happiness and to find God in this way gives peace and rest and a strong and courageous heart.”

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Extra: Dietrich Bonhoeffer–“I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer… kneeling on the floor praying fervently to God. I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer. At the place of execution, he again said a short prayer and then climbed the few steps to the gallows, brave and composed. His death ensued after a few seconds. In the almost fifty years that I worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God.” [The testimony of the German doctor who witnessed the execution. Bonhoeffer was executed by Hitler at the age of 39. He was one of the few Pastor’s who took a stand against the evil Führer]

Ice Breaker–When you are sick, what makes you feel better? [Medication, rest, hope that you will recover soon, good care, sympathy, etc]


Chip Ingram, the writer of our current series in Life Changing Bible Study, saw both of his parent suffer for an extended time before departing. Both were Christians, both had seen God answer prayers but when they ask for personal healing the answer they received from God was the same as with Paul and Jesus. The writer of Hebrews says…While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. You will note that God did not save His Son from suffering and death. Note what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12…Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I’m not Jesus or Paul. I have not reached the point where I take pleasure in weakness, insults, hardship, persecution and trouble. I’m still prone to mope, to get down, to complain when I get overwhelmed by unpleasant circumstances but I am not the example to follow. We need the attitude of Jesus and Paul. They gave God glory when they suffered.  I don’t pretend to understand but I have observed that God allows the best among us to suffer.


2 Corinthians 4:16-18, NIV

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


2 Corinthians 12:7-10, NIV

7 Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9, NIV

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck [knocked] down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.


  1. Paul confessed he felt pressure: do you feel pressure? It could come from your work, from your relationship or even from yourself.
  2. To be perplexed is to be baffled, puzzled or at wits end. Can you relate?
  3. There were times when Paul got knocked down by unpleasant circumstances but he always got back up. What enabled him to have this inner strength not to give in to circumstances?
  4. Do you agree or disagree that today’s typical person hopes are tied up in his or her physical health or circumstances?
  5. What factor enables you to stay positive when you are sick and unable to take care of yourself?
  6. What do you classify as “light and momentary troubles”?
  7. What are some positive outcomes of pain and suffering? [helps us focus on what matters most. Reminds us that life here on earth is frail and fleeting. Helps us to be sensitive to the needs of others. Helps us to be thankful for what we already have.]
  8. What is the difference between what you worry about and what Paul worried about? 
  9. Whereas God said, “No” to healing Paul, He did make Paul a promise. What was the promise?
  10. What does the unbelieving world need to see most: a miraculous healing or a believer who can rejoice in the midst of suffering?
  11. Which one of the above conveys the most powerful message? [Healing or rejoicing in suffering]
  12. When sickness comes to stay for a friend or family member, what can we do to express Christ’s love without being trite or self-righteous?
  13. Are you intimidate by situations where the sick person is terminally ill?


  1. Sometimes God delivers us out [Children of Israel out of Egypt].
  2. Sometimes God delivers us through [The Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace]
  3. Sometimes God delivers us unto [He takes us to Himself]