Offensive

June 22, 2016

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Scripture

Against you – you above all – I have sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight.

~Psalms 51:4, NET

Quote

Every sin has a consequence or consequences.

~Ya’akov

All sin is first and foremost against God because only God is holy in the perfect sense. God hates sin, all sin and that includes gossip, gluttony and greed. Some sins offend us and some attract us but God is not attracted to any sin, He hates them all with a passion. David knew he was wrong from the beginning. He had six wives and a harem of concubines so why did he steal another man’s wife. Uriah was a noble man, a man of integrity and loyal to David. He was one of David’s decorated veterans. David’s sin was against Uriah and resulted in his death but it was first and foremost against God.

There is no sin without consequences. You can have your roll in the hay but sooner or later, you are going to pay. It is the law, God’s law: the wages of sin is death and every time we sin, something dies as a result. It may be brain cells, lung cells, an opportunity, a relationship but you mark my word, there is no sin without consequence. You may be free to sin but you will become a slave to the consequences. Every sin hurts someone.

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  • Bumper Sticker of the Day: I’m not lazy, I have switched to my energy saving mode.
  • The GATHERING tonight at 6:30
  • BLOCK PARTY August 13
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No Immunity

June 21, 2016

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Scripture

As the scriptures say, “There is no one who is righteous… All have turned away from God; they have all gone wrong; no one does what is right, not even one.

~Romans 3:10-12, GNT

Quote

“The depravity of man is at once the most empirically verifiable reality but at the same time the most intellectually resisted fact.”

~Malcolm Muggeridge

June and I got hooked on TNT’s The Last Ship which comes on Sunday nights at 8:00. A deadly virus broke out causing a pandemic, the entire human race was threatened until Dr. Rachel Scott came up with a vaccine. The antagonistic in the drama is a group they call the “Immunes“. Due to their rare DNA, they are immune to the virus and many of them form an alliance to rule the world. On the final episode of the 2015 season, an Immune shot and killed Dr. Scott and I am not happy about her departure.

There are no immunes when it comes to sin, we are all infected; from the poorest peasant to the richest king, we are all hopelessly depraved. We all have a self-centered rebellious nature. Our sin has been sufficiently dealt with by Jesus but to appropriate this cleansing we have to acknowledge our sin which most refuse to do. The liberals not only deny personal sin, they deny the presence of evil. It takes a fool to deny the existence of God or the presence of evil. So we have another word for the “Immunes;” it is “fool.”

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  • I am not going to complain about hot weather but I am going to praise the LORD for the two cooler days {Sunday and Monday}.
  • I’ve decided that I will not go home in the evening until I have made four visits. My problem is that I enjoy them so much, I tend to stay way too long. I spent an hour and a half at my last stop yesterday. It seemed like 30 minutes.
  • VBS evaluation: I realize things that the average DBC member does not-We are blessed with good help. Mandy and Shohn are VBS, they do all the planning, enlisting workers, props, etc. They put hours into the planning before VBS begins. You are not going to find two better employees who not only know what they are doing but enjoy doing it. It might be a good idea to appreciate them. We are also blessed at DBC to have a lot of school teachers. Although some that could have helped didn’t, still our school teachers help us. Our master teachers are superb and we have had the best refreshment crew in VBS for a number of years. As far as I know the school went great and the program and picnic was the best ever. The unsung heroes in our VBS were the nursery workers, we had 26 children in our three nurseries.

God’s Missionary Heart

June 19, 2016

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Scripture

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

Quote

“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.

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  • 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.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

Daddyww2

 

Unconditional Love

June 17, 2016

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Scripture

“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

Quote

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.

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  • 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

The Jewish Dilemma

June 16, 2016

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Scripture

“Who would have believed what we now report? Who could have seen the LORD’s hand in this?

~Isaiah 53:1, GNT

Quote

Jesus was treated the way we [all humankind] deserve so that we [all who repent and believe] can be treated the way Jesus deserves.

~Tim Keller

There is no question in my mind that Isaiah’s prophecies of the suffering servant refer both to the nation of Israel in general and the Messiah in particular. The prevailing rabbinic interpretation of Isaiah 53 ascribes the “servant” to the nation of Israel who silently endured unimaginable suffering at the hands of its Gentile oppressors. The unbelief expressed in the two exclamations…Who would believed what we now report? Who could have seen the LORD’s hand in this?–refers to Gentile shock over the coming Jewish triumph and world domination. God will crush all Gentile rulers and the Jews will rule the word through their messianic king. In other words: Gentiles are the bad guys and Jews are the good guys. We are the oppressors and they are the victims.

There is one tiny problem with their wishful thinking: there are no good guys. Both Jew and Gentile stand condemned before holy God. The Jews have suffered oppression in part due to their rebellious nature and their defiance of God. Isaiah made in clear in 53:8 that the sacrifice would be a person of purity. We know that Jesus was this person and He fulfilled all the Jewish demands of an acceptable sacrifice. The idea that the Jewish nation can save itself by its own merit is ridiculous. The trial and the execution of Jesus is proof that the Jews are as depraved as everyone else. Annas and Caiaphas orchestrated the entire thing and both were far more concerned with power and wealth than with justice.

The Jews have one hope and its JESUS. We have one hope and its JESUS. We are all in the same boat and to withstand the coming judgment, that boat [Our Ark] must be Jesus. We are all at the mercy of a holy God who shows no partiality: if He did, He wouldn’t be holy.

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  • Bumper Sticker of the day: Rich people stay rich because they live like they are poor. Poor people stay poor because they live like they are rich.
  • PTL we got an inch and one half of rain last night around 7:00 pm: THANK YOU JESUS!
  • VBS going great. Evangelism emphasis today, so pray. We had 206 on Monday, 212 on Tuesday and 222 on Wednesday. I think we have enrolled 287. You can see pics on my Facebook page. I’m not sure they are on the church page. Holly has posted hundreds.
  • The Gator Train is powered by the old gator Tom gave us. I guess we could call it Thomas the Train.

train

The Arrow

June 12, 2016

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Scripture

He made Me like an arrow, sharp and ready for use.

~Isaiah 49:2, CEV

Quote

I wish to be useful, and every kind of service necessary to the public good becomes honorable by being necessary.

~Nathan Hale

There are four servant songs or poems in Isaiah: [1] Isaiah 42:1-4 [2] Isaiah 49:1-6 [3] Isaiah 50:4-9 and [4] Isaiah 53 which everyone is familiar with. Over the ages, scholars have debated whether the servant is Israel the nation of Jesus the Messiah. There is no question that Isaiah 53 is about Jesus. This is the passage the Ethiopian eunuch was reading and Philip took this same scripture and preached Jesus. I think the answer is both and, not either or. Israel is God’s servant and so is Christ. The difference is: Jesus is God’s perfect servant.

  • God choose Christ, anointed Him [Isaiah 49:1]
  • God not only anointed Christ, He pointed Him, made Him sharp. [49:2]
  • God appointed Christ to bring His people back [49:5]
  • God made Christ a light to the nations [49:6]
  • God made Christ the SAVIOR of the world [49:6]
  • God made Christ despised and rejected [49:7]
  • God made Christ the KING of kings and kings and queens will bow before HIM [49:7]
  • God anointed Christ to set the captives free. [49:9]
  • God used Christ to bring comfort to His people. [49:13]
  • God made Christ a tangible expression of His love [49:14-16]

My favorite metaphor describing Christ in Isaiah 49 is the ‘Arrow’. God made Jesus an arrow. An arrow is directed or aimed. An arrow is sharp, to the point. An arrow is sent. In many cases, it goes where the archer cannot go. An arrow can protect and it can also conquer. Not only is Jesus an Arrow, you and I are arrows in His quiver. Our lives should be focused and to the point. We are to be driven by God’s energy. Remember, an arrow is of no use as long as it stays in the quiver: arrows are made to be used. We are God’s arrows created to serve His purpose.

Useful people are busy doing useful things; they don’t have time to be offended by those who treat them as useless. On the other hand, a useless person usually thinks him or herself as being important and is easily offended if not coddled and applauded.

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  • Well folks it is VBS eve 2016. May the Ruach be with us.
  • Ruth is at Vickie’s and very content.
  • Today’s schedule: Deacon’s meeting at 8;15, LCBS at 9:15, Worship at 10:15 and tonight we go to the TABERNACLE in Hartselle to hear Junior Hill.
  • Today’s Mission offering goes to a house in Guatemala in memory of Tom Bennich and then to bibles for the Gideons in memory of Tom. I would like to do 1,000 bibles in Tom’s memory. By the way, Tom was an arrow.

Tom Bennich

 

God Cares About You

June 11, 2016

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Scripture

I am poor and needy, but, LORD God, you care about me and you will come to my rescue.

~Psalms 40;17, CEV

Quote

No one will ever love you more than Jesus.

~Image Quotes

In Psalm 41:12, David declares his innocence but in Psalm 40 he is feeling the weight of his sins. I like David’s confession, {40:12} I have more troubles than I can count. My sins are all around me, and I can’t find my way. My sins out number the hairs on my head, and I feel weak. I also like his confidence, The LORD will come to my rescue, and He did come to David’s rescue and ours as well. He came in the person of Jesus who lived a perfect life in our behalf and then died an atoning death, paying for all our sins. So David was a poet and a prophet, he predicted the incarnation. Do you realize how many prophecies are fulfilled in Christ? Jesus was a difference maker, a game changer. He fulfilled prophecies that would be impossible for a mere man. O hallelujah, O what a Savior!

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  • I am not an NBA fan. I have not watched an NBA playoff game in five years but last night I watched a half or so of the Cleveland and Golden State game. I could become a Steph Curry fan if he was not an Obama supporter. Landon told me that he and Obama are golfing buddies. I hope Obama is better at golf than he is at governing. He should be, he spends more time on the golf course. It is certainly a good thing that Curry makes better judgments on the basketball court than he does in politics.
  • I cannot get caught up: I think I’ve been behind all week. We spent all day yesterday preparing for VBS. Our garden is going to run away if we don’t get it plowed. We have squash, cucumbers and we are a week or so from having corn. We had tomatoes for weeks, but we got them from the fruit stand in Danville.
  • VBS begins Monday at 8:30. Pick up time is 11:30 sharp and commencement is Sunday night June 19 at 5:30. Hamburger supper following program.
  • Looking forward to Sunday: Deacon’s meeting at 8:15, Polls open at 9:00, LCBS at 9:15, Celebrate Jesus at 10:15 and Sunday night we go to the TABERNACLE to hear Junior Hill.
juniorhill

Dr. Junior Hill

The Wicked

June 8, 2016

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Scripture

Soon the wicked will disappear. Though you look for them, they will be gone.

~Psalm 37:10, NLT

Quote

The  evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.

~Solomon

The Hebrew word ra’a’ means evil, bad, wicked, injurious, displeasing and unethical. It is used 96 times in the Psalms and 15 times in Psalm 37 which is a classic. A wonderful future awaits the one who sets his/her delight in the LORD Jesus Christ but for those who rebel against God and His anointed, there is no future. You cannot fight against God and win. You do not have to repent; you do not have to turn from sin and your selfish ways but you have zero chance of succeeding.

God told David, “Don’t waste time fretting over the success of the wicked, their triumph will be short lived–they are going no where.” They will dry up like spring flowers on a hot scorching summer day. They will disappear like smoke from a chimney: first you see  them, then poof, they vanish. It may appear that they are succeeding but their judgment is coming and their strength will be broken. Our God is so secure in who He is that He laughs [v.13] when He sees them plotting and scheming.

A wonderful future awaits those who delight in Christ–Those who fear God and acknowledge His son. They will live in peace and inherent the land but the rebellious have no future, none at all. [v.37-38]

EXTRA animated

  • I visited on Monday night and got in so late that there was no blog. Actually, I had two things come up on Monday: [1] My computer at the office crashed and [2] I was out late and give out. June asked if I was going to do a blog and I said “no’. I don’t think she could not believe it.
  • This is a busy week as we prepare for VBS: one of the last DAY SCHOOLS in the county. June noticed as we drove by last night, East Highland has gone to a night school. I am glad I am retiring. I’ve been telling you it was coming but I still don’t like it. We are going to be busy the rest of the week getting ready so if you call the office and no one answers, it is because we are outside or in the other building.
  • I made a mistake on May 29 of telling you that we had our debt reduced to 2016 but that was wrong: I was looking at the wrong chart. We did reduce it by two months. Our balance is around $58,000 and our next offering is July 31. Again, it falls on a Holiday weekend but there is nothing we can do about that. Our last one will be October 30 but Halloween Eve shouldn’t hurt us.
  • Don’t forget, our Sunday night church this week is at the HARTSELLE CAMP MEETING. Dr. Junior Hill will be preaching. Junior will be with us on August 21 and possibly for my retirement party. I am considering incorporating in January and working under the umbrella of EASTERN GATE MINISTRIES which was Junior’s brain child.

Junior Hill

Don’t Be Stupid

June 5, 2016

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Scripture

Don’t be stupid like a horse or a mule, which must be controlled with bit and bridle to make it submit.

Psalms 32:9, GNT

Quote

God loves obedience.

~Jim Nesbitt

There are two primary ways to learn, by instruction or experience. Many of us are like the horse and mule, we have to learn things the hard way. We learn by trial and error which can be very painful. There is a better way: follow God’s instruction with prompt obedience. The LORD will guide us daily if we will submit but the more we rebel, the greater our suffering. The way of the transgressor is hard. Your happiness in this life definitely depends on your obedience to God.

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  • Great turn out for GOLDEN GIRLS. We had four of our regulars absent and still had ten. Our next meeting is July 2.
  • Harvested a bucket of squash yesterday. PTL
  • I think it is safe for me to Praise the LORD for the rain–everyone got one yesterday. That’s two for us this week. We got 1 inch on Thursday and an inch and a half today. THANK YOU JESUS.
  • VBS meeting this morning at 9:00 in Sanctuary.
  • Vote on Search Team today–9:00-10:30
  • PROMOTION DAY IN LCBS TODAY!
  • David hurt his back yesterday and Tyler is out of town–we are winging it today

VBS JUNE 13-17

Fresh Mercy

June 1, 2016

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Scripture

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

Quote

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.

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  • 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