Protection

June 28, 2016

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Scripture

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful, because I come to you for safety. In the shadow of your wings I find protection until the raging storms are over.

~Psalms 57:1, GNT

Quote

In the dark of the midnight,
Have I oft hid my face;
While the storm howls above me,
And there’s no hiding place;
‘Mid the crash of the thunder,
Precious Lord, hear my cry;
“Keep me safe ’til the storm passes by.”

~Mosie Lister

In the ancient world, you were not safe unless you had a “Protector.” One reason Israel desired a king was so they would have a high protector; someone who would care for them and protect them. It did not have to be a king but it needed to be someone who commanded an army. Abraham was Lot’s high protector. David became a protector but in his youth, he had no protector: his king was trying to kill him, not protect him. David learned what we all learn eventually, the LORD is our High Protector.

When I feel threatened, I run to Jesus and take refuge underneath the shelter of His omnipotent wings. I think about the woman caught in adultery, and how Jesus gave her protection amidst a hateful crowd who were ready to stone her to death. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

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  • Our search team did not get to meet with Jay last night: he had a wreck on the way from Birmingham. He totaled his vehicle but he is uninjured thank goodness.
  • What about that rain! We got 1 and a half inches here in Rocky Ford. I think that rain will make Jake’s corn and Kurt’s Cotton on Stephenson road is as pretty as any I’ve ever seen. Thank You Jesus for the rain.
  • We’ve been having some BP issues and they are putting me on two medications to try to get it down. They think the head aches are coming from the high blood pressure. My heart rate is so low that they ran an EKG but it turned out OK, thank You Jesus.
  • The sweet woman who took care of us while we were in Seminary is going to be 90 her birthday. She is living in a retirement home in New Orleans but we met her in Ashville, Alabama yesterday and had a nice visit. We hope to get to visit her when Joe David graduates NOBTS this December. I graduated there in May of 1974. Joe David will be December 2016. If my math is right, that is 42 years a part. Trust me folks, I had no idea something like this would happen.

BLOCK PARTY AUGUST 13

If Only I Had Wings

June 26, 2016

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Scripture

I wish I had wings like a dove, so I could fly far away and be at peace.

~Psalm 55:6, CEV

Quote

Some people live in a dream world while other face reality and a rare few learn to turn one into the other.

~Doug Everett

Escapism is the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant circumstances or realities. We may achieve this relief through entertainment, recreation, hard work, drugs or fantasy. Usually, when a person get addicted to drugs, it is an effort to escape an unpleasant reality. In David’s case, his life was threatened by a friend who betrayed him and David came so close to death that he was terrified. In that moment of fear and anxiety, David prayed, “I wish I had wings like a dove, so I could fly away and be at peace.”

Hey, there is nothing wrong with David’s desire for peace and security. Only a fool would pray to be on someone’s hit list. A powerful person had a contract on David’s life and he was feeling very insecure. He longed to be like a bird because they have a distinct advantage over their predators and over we humans; they have wings. In seconds a dove can escape danger by taking flight. They can fly above the fray and they leave no tracts for those who would hunt them. Have you ever saw a dove in a storm? Birds don’t do storms; instinctively they fly away from or above the storms. They are the ultimate escape artist.

So, David is wishing he could be like a bird and escape his problems by getting away from the storm and the turmoil. BUT we are not birds and God is not pleased when we run from our problems. Little children use fantasy as an escape valve and that is a God given survival instinct but a part of growing up is learning to face reality whether it is pleasant or not. By the way, there is one bird that doesn’t fly away to escape reality, it buries its head in the sand. Its the Ostrich and it is a stupid bird. [Job 39:13-18]

So, don’t make excuses and don’t be childish, immature or stupid–face your problems. It is not like you are alone, Jesus will help you. He is our courage and our peace.

BLOCK PARTY AUGUST 13

With Kenny Evans

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Kenny Evans

 

I Want To Be Like A Tree

April 29, 2016

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Scripture

They are like trees growing beside a stream, trees that produce fruit in season and always have leaves. Those people succeed in everything they do.

~Psalms 1:3, CEV

Quote

My struggles have not defined me, destroyed me, deterred me or defeated me. They have only strengthened me.

Image Quotes

Psalms 1 is a contrast between the Godly and the ungodly. The Godly are like a tree:

  1. Planted with deep roots
  2. Nourished by the water
  3. Growing, getting stronger each day
  4. Productive, bearing fruit in season
  5. Helpful, giving shade and shelter to others

The ungodly are like straw:

  1. No roots
  2. No fruits
  3. No stability
  4. No substance
  5. No usefulness [unless you’re starting a fire]

A tree has the strength to endure the storms but straw has no substance and is blown away by the wind. You can depend on trees but you cannot count on straw. Which do you want to be? I want to be a tree.

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  • Don’t forget, Sunday is the last day to buy a ROSE FOR MOM.
  • Last week, schools let out a day early and we had a long weekend–attendance plummeted. This week we have Talladega. I hope it rains all day. We need the rain.
  • Good news from Bessemer: we are thankful and we appreciate your prayers. If you want to send Hope a card, the address is Hope Garner, The Foundary Women’s Center  1800 4th Ave. N., Bessemer, AL 35020.
  • Pray for rain!

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Caught In The Storm

December 18, 2015

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Scripture

“O that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.”

~Psalm 55:6

Quote

“The best way to endure a storm is to stay low–on your knees.”

~Paul Chappell

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As humans, it is impossible to evade all the storms of life. Storms of grief, sorrow, heartache, anxiety, fear and suffering come to all. Like David, it is our instinct to flee the storm, to find shelter or a safe place.

As I mediated on Psalm 55 yesterday, this question came to mind: can a dove fly above the storm. There is an African vulture, the Ruppell’s Griffon, that can fly at 37,800 feet. This ugly birds has a wing span of ten feet but I doubt if a small bird like the dove has the capability to fly half this high. The average altitude of a dove in flight is 500 feet. Dove’s are low flyers. Thunderstorms can rise to heights of 70,000 feet which means, Jets don’t fly above them, let alone birds. When a storm comes, the smaller birds like the dove look for shelter in a bush or wooded area. The goal of the dove is safety and shelter.

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We humans are a lot like doves. We are not that brave when it comes to storms. Our instincts tell us to run, seek shelter or find a safe hiding place. Noah found shelter in the midst of the storm. The Ark was his hiding place. Noah didn’t avoid the storm, he went through the storm in the safety of the Ark. Jesus is our Ark. He doesn’t always save us from the storm but through the storm. I seek His shelter daily. Jesus is my hiding place.

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  • June and I got home from the doctor at 8:15, we had to hustle from Cullman to Hartselle before Rite Aid closed. I have a ruptured disc in L-3-4 and it is pinching two nerves. The nerve going to my left foot and the one coming back. Dr. Ward is trying to schedule an LES Lumbar Epidural Steroid shot for immediate relief but they are backed up and his goal is sometime before Christmas. This means my life style, 8 hours up and 16 down is not going to change.  One thing to be thankful for this time is that I can sit up and walk a little whereas last Spring I couldn’t walk or sit.
  • Sunday Schedule: Donuts @ 9:00, LCBS @ 9:15, CELEBRATE JESUS in worship @ 10:15, and Nursing Home Ministry at 1:00 [Summerfords].
  • The YOUNG PEOPLE are great about sending old folks CHRISTMAS CARDS. Call me old foggy but I like the ones with the entire family. I walked by the frig tonight and said to June, “I don’t even know this kid.” She said, “Yes you do, it is so an so.” I said, “Why don’t the parents put themselves in the picture?” She said, “Because that is they way they want to do it.” But I am thankful for all the young families that send us cards. I like the ones with multiple pics and holiday colors and the word Christmas but I’m not complaining. Thank you for the cards.
  • Today has been a question day for me: The government got half of my daughter’s Christmas bonus and she works hard for every dollar. How is that our government takes half of the tax payers Christmas bonus and yet give illegal immigrants, namely Muslims, food vouchers, Medicaid, and SS benefits when they have paid no taxes and do not give allegiance to the United States of American? Every Muslim is a potential terrorist. I am not profiling, I am telling the truth. “Is there one democrat with Integrity and is there one Republican with Courage?Does anyone, other than the CEO and first Vice President of Genesis Construction, care enough about this country to lean on our congressmen? I contacted all three for the last two weeks. Shelby has never responded [I am beginning to wonder if he is alive], Sessions the first time but not the second. I think Mo will respond to the second but he has not to this point. Please, for the sake of my grandkids, let our congressmen know how you feel about this insanity of relocating Muslim in the U.S. Third and final question: what happened to France after they showed compassion and allowed the immigration of thousand of Muslims?
  • By the way, for what it is worth: [1] Obama is anti-American. We have always had American haters but not in the White House. [2] Only a corrupt and morally degenerate political party would allow a man to run for President who was not born in the U.S. Obama isn’t the only trader: the democratic party is guilty of treason. [3] Our present state could not have happend if the majority of Americans were not selfish and indifferent. [4] Judgment is most likely right around the next corner and when it comes, there are going to be Christians, Jews and decent people regretting their neglect and indifference.
  • YES, I DO KNOW THAT READERS DON’T LIKE LONG BLOGS but the ten who read my blog will forgive me. I am just sick and tired of the imperial Obama and the impotent congress.
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Wake up Richard! Please wake up!

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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Going Overboard

October 14, 2015

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SCRIPTURE

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.

~Matthew 14:29

QUOTE

There can be no faith so feeble that Christ does not respond to it.

~Alexander MacLaren

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Folks like Peter, the impetus types, are ridiculed for acting before thinking but Peter got a blessing which no other disciple received. He didn’t have perfect faith but he had enough to do something daring. It is true that Peter’s faith or lack thereof, let him down but think of all the right things he did.

  1. He asked for a miracle–“Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” Galilean fishermen don’t walk on water, not naturally. Peter is asking Jesus to enable him to do something supernatural.
  2. He responded obediently to the word of Christ Yes, come,” Jesus said.
  3. He got out of the boatSo Peter went over the side of the boat. Peter left his comfort zone. 
  4. He moved toward JesusHe walked on the water toward Jesus. It is never a mistake to move toward Jesus.
  5. He walked on waterSo Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water. He may not have walked far, but he walked further than you and I.

Soul Search:

  1. Do you have the faith to ask Jesus for a miracle?
  2. Would you obey if Jesus commanded you to do something daring?
  3. Are you willing to leave your comfort zone?
  4. Are you moving toward Jesus or away from Jesus?
  5. Are you willing to put yourself in a position where you are totally dependent on Jesus?

Life is filled with storms. Jesus is in every storm. Look for Jesus in your storm and move toward HIM. Don’t be afraid to obey HIM, there is abundant blessing and glorious victory in doing as He commands.

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  • I want to ask everyone to pray for Bill Wilbourn, this is Debbie Gilliland’s brother, also Charlie’s brother. He is in stable but serious condition at DGH. When I left last night, he was still in ER but they were waiting on a bed in ICU. All his vitals were stable but he was in great discomfort. They were putting him on a bigger bed when I left.
  • Kane Update: Got new meds for kidney hypertension caused by all the trauma in his gut. It should lower the blood pressure. If it does we are Danville bound this weekend.
  • If everything checked out yesterday, Gary Garner was to have his second chemo treatment today.
  • GOLDEN GIRLS this Saturday morning at 9:30–CB in Hartselle. We will plan our November meeting which will be at Lisa’s house.
  • THE GATHERING tonight at 6:30. I am thrilled with way you have adjusted to the PM services. We are having better attendance on Sunday night and Wednesday night.

Gary, Keri and Kane

Ghost Stories

September 9, 2014

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SCRIPTURE

He saw that the disciples were making little progress because they were rowing against a stiff wind. Before daylight He came near them, walking on the water, and would have passed by them. Some of them saw Him walking on the surface of the water, thought He was a ghost, and cried out. When they all saw Him, they were terrified.

~Mark 6:48-50, The VOICE

QUOTE

Faith is absolute trust in Christ–trust that could never imagine Jesus forsaking us.

~Oswald Chambers

my two cents worth.

Jesus dispatched His disciples by boat to the other side of the lake while He went to a mountain top to pray. The mountain overlooked the sea and the disciples were never out of Jesus sight nor mind. Before the disciples can reach the other side, they get caught in a turbulent storm. The disciples frantically fight the elements but seem to be making no progress. Just before daybreak, Jesus comes toward them walking on the water. They are terrified thinking He was a ghost. Jesus knew they were horrified so He called out, “Don’t be frightened, it is I.” When Jesus stepped into the boat, two amazing things happened: [1] The storm calmed and [2] the bank was very near.

All believers encounter storms even when we are being obedient to Christ. Storms can be frightening and they put our faith to the test. We must remember Jesus is always above the storm and in the storm. Some times it takes a while to see Him. Sometimes it gets frightening because we see the disturbed elements and we see the ghost but we don’t see Jesus. But in His time, Jesus will reveal Himself clearly and this will bring a calm and a peace to our soul. As a bonus, Jesus climbs in the boat with us. Jesus walks on the very waves that terrify us. All the elements we fear are under His feet.

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  • Miss Clara came home yesterday, PTL.
  • You need to call Mandy today if you are coming to supper and I need to call Michelle and make arrangements for the bus kids. Someone remind me! I forgot it yesterday.
  • I talked with an IMB board member yesterday. He did answer my questions but I am still in a quandary. I was not shocked: what I expected was true. I want to discuss it with the deacons Sunday before we make any decision about what to do next.
  • We ordered the bibles for the MORNING IN THE PARK event September 27. I am excited. I came up with a way today to make coffee in the van so we can set up a table and serve coffee, muffins, water, etc.
  • Today is our day to PRAY FOR TEACHERS.

Sent Into The Storm

January 15, 2014

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SCRIPTURE

Immediately He {Jesus} made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away.

~Matthew 14:22, NASB

QUOTE

“God can’t deliver you out of something that you don’t have the courage to get into.”

~ E.V. Hill

COMMENTARY

Immediately after Jesus feed the 5,000, He commanded His disciples to get in a boat and cross the sea of Galilee. Jesus sent the crowd home and then went to the top of the mountain to pray. Meanwhile, His disciples got caught in the middle of a terrific storm. Jesus is God and He knew the storm was coming but He commanded them to get into the boat and set sail for the other side. Why would Jesus deliberately send His disciples into a storm?

He did it to teach them. They didn’t take good notes at the feeding of the 5,000 and Jesus wanted to teach them to rely upon Him for every need and in every circumstance of life.  What were the lessons from the sea?

  1. Obedience to Christ does not give us immunity from trials and difficulties.
  2. Storms teach and test: the storms reveal our lack of faith and they magnify our doubt and fear. The disciples thought they were ready for college but this storm made them realize that they were in kindergarten.
  3. Storms not only reveal our weakness, they magnify the power of Christ. This storm gave Jesus an opportunity to show them his incredible power. Jesus showed the disciples that He was greater than the storm.
  4. Storms teach us to rely on Christ and not ourselves.
  5. Storms teach us that Jesus is omnipresent. If you are in a storm, look for Jesus. The fact that you don’t see Him right away doesn’t mean that He is not in the storm with you. He was with His disciples long before they realized it.

EXTRA

  • Week going by fast for us. If Revival had anything to do with food, we would be having one. Our hotel suite is still filled with food, we got a fresh cake delivered yesterday and LISA’S BUFFET is open every night and you never know who is going to show up. Last night we had a magician named Dale. He did some pretty amazing stuff but when I gave him a $5 and told him to turn it into $100, he was stumped. We also meet Joey the deer hunter. He sees 15 anytime he goes. I think they have more deer in L.A. Seth would love it here.
  • Pray for our service tonight. We have had some good ones but I still fill like we have fallen short. Revival is a God thing for sure.  Mercy drops round us are falling, Oh for a down pour we plead.
  • We have decided to stay in Mobile tonight and drive home tomorrow.
  • Forgot to take my camera last night and I don’t have any pics. What about a Kinkade!

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