Unconditional Love

June 17, 2016



“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


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.


  • 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 Power of Words

February 16, 2016



The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.”

~John 7:46, NASB


“Kind words cost little but accomplish much.”

~Blaise Pascal

The testimony  came about from the Temple guards who were sent to arrest Jesus; needless to say, they returned empty handed. When the priest questioned them they confessed, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” The Pharisees and Scribes replied with scorn, “Have you too been lead astray. You don’t see any of us following this man do you?”

I believe these guards were honest. I fully believe that no one could speak the way Jesus spoke. What set Him a part? Was it His extraordinary wisdom? Perhaps it was His eloquence? Maybe it was His boldness and the ring of authority in His words? It could have been a combination of things but I think is was the genuineness of His love. Jesus was free of all prejudice. He had no bias, none at all. I cannot imagine such purity.

Everything I say is perverted in some way by my prejudice. I am extremely bias. A family entered an elevator I was using at the hospital the other day. They were dirty, disheveled, reeked with cigarette smoke. I gladly backed to the rear of the elevator and gave them room. Several thoughts when through my mind, none of them worthy of mention and then the Spirit spoke, “You failed again, Jack. It is no use being sorry now, they saw the look on your face when they invaded your comfort zone. They may not be highly educated, but they know what you are thinking. You don’t love them, the way I love them and they know it. [P.S.–This is not your elevator]


  • I forgot to look at anything yesterday so I don’t know anything about offerings, attendance or anything else. We were up in AWANA and I had a lot of fun preaching Sunday night. I sure like making that first visit before dark and its only going to get better. Three more weeks and we will be going and coming in the light.
  • Services for Mary Wilbourn will be Wednesday at Roselawn at 12:00 with visitation from 10:00-12:00. This is Debbie and Charlie’s mom.
  • Gary Garner was about the same so far as I could tell: he did not wake up while I was there.
  • Swamp John’s is not going well: some think it will pick up as we get closer to the deadline. We have sold 30% of the required number with about 6 weeks to go.

swamp johns

Inner Conflict

February 26, 2015

Celebrate Jesus.crimsonjpg


Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.”

~Luke 10:30


Being created in the image of God, we are made to be known.

~J. A. Ackerman

my thoughts red

Jesus told the story of the Jewish man who was viciously attacked by a gang of bandits as he was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. We all know that thieves take money but in those days, they also took your clothes, all of them. So here is a man lying in his own blood, too weak to walk and he is buck naked. Being right there by the road side, it was impossible for people to pass without seeing him in his miserable condition. Within the heart of the hurting is a conflict: a part of us wants to be noticed but another part wants to hid. We are hurt and need help but we are also ashamed.  Deep down we want to be known but at the same time, we are afraid to be known. We are afraid that if people really know us, they would reject us. I have to be honest, with ordinary people, rejection is always possible. Some folks think this is why Facebook is so popular, rejected people get the opportunity to defriend someone else for a change.

Establishing and maintaining relationships can be tough but the place to begin is with Jesus. His love is unconditional. He does not love us on the basis of our merit; He loves us on the basis of His merit, character and choice. You can relax with Jesus, He already knows all about you and that includes the dark side. He will not reject you. He is so secure in who He is that He will allow you to reject Him but He doesn’t reject you. Potentially, He is the best Friend you can possibly have. Once you are firmly established in His grace, you will not feel the pressure to pretend before others.


  • Today we pray for those facing TRIALS and I think we should pray for Kelvin, Tracey and Kerri. They have some hard decisions to make. Right now, they are leaning toward going back to Birmingham where Kerri had surgery previously.
  • Well, old Tornado chasing Dan Scatterfield got it right. I have to give the little man credit; he may know more about weather than I do after all. I don’t know who was most excited, Big Mama or Mandy. Hannah pretended to be dreading it and she stayed on the roads until dark slipping and sliding like Joe Fitzgerald. Snow is beautiful when it falls like it did yesterday but I am still ready for Spring. The snow want bother me if the power will stay on. I love electricity. Thank YOU Jesus for Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison.
  • As you may or may not know and possibly don’t care: I am on a diet. I had tuna fish made with Greek yogurt for lunch and did 11,628 steps which means I can have 1,970 Calories without gaining weight. I got home around 3:00 and June [who said she was never baking again] was baking homemade peanut butter cookies and oatmeal cookies with pecans. I inhaled two cookies before you could say Jack Robinson. As I work on the blog, my mind is on the cookies. If I make 100 more laps around the house, I can have one more cookie. As Scar said on the Lion King, “Life is not fair.” Big Mama is no help to a fat man. Now she is telling me that she is making snow cream tomorrow.
  • Below is Josie and Ty’s snow woman. She needs a tan!

Josi and Tybo's snow woman

Faithful Love

January 24, 2015


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
~Psalm 118:1, NLT


Jesus loves you and there is nothing you can do about it.

~Junior Hill

my thoughts red

Just as the Patriarch Joseph made a commitment to love his sorry brothers so God in eternity past made a decision to love us. It is His decision, His choice, His initiative and His character that makes a love relationship possible. There is absolutely nothing you and I can do to earn, merit or deserve His love. His love is totally unconditional. You can’t do anything to cause Him to love you more or less. You have no influence over His attributes. Understanding this one simple yet profound truth can set your free of a lot of worry and fear. 

Eddie Arnold had a hit many years ago called “Make The World Go Away.” The refrain went like this…

Make the world go away
And get it off my shoulders,
Say the things you used to say
And make the world go away.

Eddie was singing about man’s fickle and conditional love. Eros is a selfish love: it loves to be loved but it cannot love when it is not reciprocated. Eros can handle only so much rejection, disappointment and loneliness and then it will cease to be. Jesus can take the world off your shoulders. You can count on His love: it is faithful, enduring, steadfast, divine and unconditional.

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  • Today we pray for STUDENTS. We can make Cain Hogan our primary target. They found out yesterday that Cain has Acute B Lymphoma which is the bad news; the good news is that it is treatable. Cain will be transferred this morning [January 24] to St. Jude’s in Memphis, Tn. He will be there from 4-6 weeks. Cain had a lot of company last night [January 23] and was in good spirits. Pray for Cain and family.
  • Had another good visit with Kenny and the boys. Kenny’s boys are knowledgeable but neither will concede on which knows the most or least. I learn something every time I talk to them. We had Kenny smiling some last evening. He is too weak to laugh or chuckle but he listens and smiles. He is a good man as men go. Let’s all lift Kenny up and his mom. Joe David visited her yesterday: pray for Mrs. Ona. She has her bags packed if you know what I mean.
  • Regular Schedule Sunday beginning at 8:15 with Deacon’s meeting.
  • REVIVAL with Phil Glisson Sunday February 1.


Ready To Help The Poor

Ice Breaker: What one thing would you have a hard time living without? [Do not consider the essentials: food, shelter and clothing]

Scripture: Deuteronomy 15:7-11 [NIV]

7 If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. 8 Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need. 9 Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. 10 Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.

Key Question: Is giving your tithe through the church enough? Are there situations where you need to give personally to an individual?

In verse 10, we are exhorted to “Give generously without a grudging heart.” Do you know any generous people? How does a person become generous? If it were your personal goal to become generous, where would you start?

NOTE OF INTEREST: The Israelites did not believe in 15 year mortgages. They had a sabbatical year every 7 years just like we have a leap year every four years. If 2017 was the sabbatical year and a neighbor came to borrow money, you had to understand that what was not collected by 2017 would be automatically canceled by the sabbatical year. Toward the end of the cycle, Jews became very tight fisted.

Deuteronomy 15:4-5….However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you,  if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today.


  • Why do we have poor people?
  • Are the poor in our area any different from the poor in Africa, India, China, Eastern Kentucky?
  • What can be done about the poor in our area?
  • How do you rate DBC? Too generous, generous, not generous enough, or not generous at all.
  • How does Deuteronomy 15 substantiate the BLOCK PARTY? 
  • God promised Israel that He would bless their generosity: do you think that promise holds true for us?
  • There is a Lazarus at every gate. The problem is, we are not looking for our Lazarus. Someone is going to need your help this week; practice being sensitive to the Holy Spirit leading you to your Lazarus. Lazarus needed food, mercy and medical care. He was not asking for part of the estate. Your Lazarus may need encouragement; he or she may just need a friend or a sympathetic ear.
  • Do you want to be remembered at “Tight-fisted” or “Generous”?
  • Look for opportunities to give.
  • Plan to give: sit down and pray about giving more. Ask God to help you give more.



Unconditional Love

December 29, 2014

Celebrate Jesus.crimsonjpg


But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.

~John 16:32, NLT


Whatever the reason for your broken intimacy with God, there is good news. Jesus waits to embrace you now in the arms of unconditional love.

~Charles Stanley

my thoughts red

Jesus was preparing His disciples for His departure. He told them plainly, “I am leaving this world and going back to the Father.” The disciples affirmed their faith by saying, “We know that You know all things and you don’t need anyone to tell you anything; this makes us trust that You came from God.” “So now you believe,” said Jesus, “In just a little while you will be running for cover, each man looking out for himself and you will leave me alone.” [JEV]

Junior HillSo, Jesus knew in advance that His disciples could not be counted on; that they would surely fail and yet He never stopped loving them. Can God the Father love us as much as He loves His only begotten? One thing you must remember: the degree of His love is not determined by anything you and I do or do not do. We have no influence over His character or attributes. He is who He is and we have nothing to add or subtract. If our behavior determined the degree of His love: it would exalt us and diminish Him and trust me folks, this is not going to happen.

Junior Hill wrote me a note of encouragement a couple of years ago and I remember the first line and the first line only: “Dr. Jack, I love you and there is nothing you can do about it.

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  • Today we pray for Ministers and Missionaries.
  • It was good to have Allen Blackwood with us yesterday. He is about to transfer to a school in California. I sure could use his technical assistance. He is a computer wiz.
  • Pray for Kenny Holladay: he did not have a good day yesterday. He has been in constant pain and discomfort: so much so that the family has asked me to encourage you to pray but not visit. That window has closed. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but he does not feel like having company.
  • I was getting ready for our LCBS party last night and I put on my leather boots and was doing a little tap dance in the kitchen while June was getting ready in the bathroom. She said, “What are you doing?” I said, “I’m doing a little tap dance.” She said, “You need to lose about 75 pounds if you’re going to tap dance.” Oh my that hurt: I ate only one Reuben sandwich at CB last night because I was so upset. I weigh 215 minus 75  would put me down to 140 which is border line anorexia. I weighed 140 in the 9th grade. This is the same women who told me just a few years ago that I was “Pear shaped” and a candidate for a heart attack. Also the same woman who told me on our first date that I did not know one musical note from another. Willard and Jason would agree with her on that one. I cannot question her friendship, she is brutally honest. She said that she was putting me on a diet next week and I said, “Sure you will and then you will bake a cake to test my resolve.”

The Love Of Christ

April 18, 2014

Celebrate Jesus-forth1


 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
~John 3:16


In our surrender, we must give ourselves to Christ in the same way He gave Himself for us–totally, unconditionally, and without reservation.
~Oswald Chambers
my thoughts red
Jesus agreed to be the vicarious sin offering for all mankind without a contract. There were no conditions. Jesus did not commit to die if we executed Him in a civil manner. He did not agree to go through this horror if we agreed to appreciate His sacrifice. He did not do it under the condition that we show Him respect: there were no conditions.  Jesus did more than lay down His life: He surrendered Himself to our depravity. They slapped Him in the face, spit in His face, mocked and ridiculed Him and stripped Him of His clothes. They did everything possible to humiliate the Son of God and as God, He had the power to stop the proceedings at any time but He did not and that my friend is amazing grace.
There is a vast gap between His surrender and ours: we want conditions. Lord I will give if…serve if…go if…deny myself if…lay down my life if but there were no ifs in Jesus surrender. The love of Christ, how rich and pure, how measureless and strong. It shall forevermore endure—The saints’ and angels’ song.
EXTRA animated
  • If you want traditional this Sunday, make an effort to get to the Sunrise Service, the second service is going to different unless the Lord directs me otherwise. I do ask you to pray. I accidently put one of the videos on the FACEBOOK page: it features the GRAHAM’s and I think it is very good. I had planned to use it Sunday and it is still a possibility but we have a couple more.
  • Remember, we have a full breakfast this Sunday. It is the only Sunday in the year that we eat breakfast together. There will not be biscuits and donuts this week so do not count on eating at 9:00. If you want to eat, you better show up by at least 8:30, 8:00 if you want it hot.