Antichrist

February 23, 2016

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Scripture

Then a herald shouted out, “People of all races and nations and languages, listen to the king’s command!  When you hear the sound….of music, bow to the ground to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue.”

~Daniel 3:4-5, NLT

Quote

‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’

~Lucifer [Shinning Star]

The devils prideful ambition is to be God. In truth, he is a fallen angel  evicted from heaven and cast down to earth. He is not just a fallen angel, he is a mad angel. He is infuriated at being ousted from heaven where he very much wanted to be the center of attention. A big part of his desire to be God is that he has a craving to be worshipped. He even tempted Jesus to fall down and worship him. Eventually, he will empower the antichrist to do wonders that will amaze the world and in return, the antichrist will be worshipped.

Understand there have been hundred’s of antichrist [people that fit the type] such as king Nebuchadnezzar. The man wanted all nations and languages to fall down and worship himself. He went into a devil like fit of rage when the Hebrews boys refused to bow. Nebuchadnezzar wanted the glory that belongs to God and God alone. In order to get the glory, he had to become the object of worship.

It is this prideful lust for glory that gets us in trouble. We want to be the center; we want everything to revolve around us. We crave praise and recognition but we do not deserve either. Praise, honor, glory and worship belong to the LORD.

I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to anyone else, nor share my praise with carved idols.  {Isaiah 42:8}

swamp johns

  • We made February 22nd our Holiday instead of the 16th. George Washington’s birth date should be a national holiday. If we had the gumption to flush the stinky toilet in Washington, we might  put General George where he belongs and that is the greatest president of all time. Ronald Reagan would be second or third; probably third.
  • I attended the girls game Monday and then locked my self in to prepare for the JBS at Sardis Springs. The girls ran into a hot shooting team. I think West Limestone, June’s alma Mata, missed only two free throws and less than ten three’s. They didn’t miss many.
  • Extra from the Imprimis: J. Paul Getty was a miser and a cheapskate who made visitors to his estate use a pay phone he had installed in his mansion even though he was one of the richest men in the world. When his 17 year old grandson was kidnapped in Italy and held for $17 million ransom, the dickered over the amount until the kidnappers mailed him his grandson’s ear. Even then Getty refused to pay. He did loan his son [the boys father] the $17 million but made him pay it back at an interest rate of 4%.

Gary, Keri and Kane

In The Sweet By And By

September 15, 2015

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SCRIPTURE

“You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”

~John 13:7, NLT

QUOTE

Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of worship.

~Neil Armstrong

my-thoughts-red

The above verse jumped out at me yesterday during my daily bible study. Jesus did not feel compelled to explain Himself or His actions. He knew that Peter and the others were not to the point of understanding. Jesus was teaching His disciples how to minister to each other and to others. He did so by demonstrating the two key components on the eve of His death. The two components of ministry are Humility and Love. He took off his robe and girded Himself with a towel, then He stooped to wash their dirty feet. Then He gave them a New Commandment: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

A man came home and told his wife that God had called him to preach. She said, “No, He hasn’t!” He said, “What do you mean, do you presume to know more than God?” She said, “No, but you do not love people and I know that preachers have to love people.” He said, “Well I can change can’t I?” She said, “You’ll have to if your going to preach.” It is not just a requirement for preachers, it is a requirement for anyone who attempts to minister. It takes humility and love to touch lives for Jesus sake. These are not suggestions, they are requirements.

By the way, the guy was telling the truth. God was calling him and he did change. He has faithfully served a church to our South for over twenty years.

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  • Gary Garner is still very weak and he’s really discouraged: please pray. It is one of those things we don’t understand now but will someday.
  • Josh and Charity’s Jonah came through the surgery good.
  • Memphis Report: The chemo has upset his pancreas and that has caused desperate pain. He was hurting terribly. They finally got him a morphine pump combined with other things and now he is easy. The treatment for pancreatitis is fluids and sleep. I pray he sleeps till the pancreas is calm again. They say 2 to 3 days. After treatment he should have no problems. [I think we need to pray a little extra for Kane]
  • More bad news OFFICE DEPOT takes radical stand against the rights of the unborn: they are unashamedly pro-abortion. Sorry Office Depot, I will take my business elsewhere….Office Depot Pro-Abort and Anti-Life
  • REVIVAL at Belleview going well. We had a very good service last night. I wish there was a way that we could meet together Wednesday night. I think it would really be encouraging to them. What if I promise to preach a short sermon or to take everyone to Popeye’s after the service.

Gary, Keri and Kane

At The Feet Of Jesus

September 11, 2015

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SCRIPTURE

The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to Him, grasped his feet, and worshiped Him.

~Matthew 28:8-9, NLT

QUOTE

Worship is always an act of giving: you cannot divorce giving from worship–it’s impossible.

~Ya’akov

my thoughts red

Remember what Paul said about the Macedonian Churches–They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do. [2 Cor.8:5] Mary of Bethany {Martha’s sister} is mentioned in three different passages and in each one she is at the feet of Jesus.

  • John 11:32–When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at His feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
  • John 12:3–Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.
  • Luke 10:39– Mary sat at the LORD’s feet, listening to what He taught.

What is the significance of posturing yourself at the feet of Jesus?

  1. It is an act of worship.
  2. It is an act of submission.
  3. It is an expression of adoration.
  4. It is a place to pray.
  5. It is a place to learn.
  6. It is a place to rest.

Understand the truth: The Macedonians first gave themselves to the LORD but then they gave a large offering, much more than they could afford. Mary was not just a sponge soaking up the teaching of Jesus; she gave Him the most precious thing she had, a bottle of perfume that was worth a years wages. For me, that would be $60,000.00. How does that compare with our giving? I would call her gift extravagant, wouldn’t you? Worship is always and act of giving and giving should always be an act of worship.

SONG

“We Fall Down (My Jesus I Love Thee)”

We fall down, We lay our crowns,  At the feet of Jesus

The greatness of Mercy and love… At the feet of Jesus

We cry holy, holy, holy;  We cry holy, holy, holy;  We cry holy, holy, holy Is the lamb.

My Jesus, I love you, I know thou are mine
To thee all the follies of sin I resign
My gracious redeemer
My savior, art thou
If ever I’ll love you
My Jesus tis now

[If this doesn’t move your spirit, you need reviving]
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  • Tracey Hill should get to come home today is all goes well.
  • Gary Garner is fully awake but he still need our prayers: don’t let up.
  • Kane Hogan: I got this report from Michelle at 8:00 PM [Sept.10]….He is better. Blood suger is still up and down but treating it with insulin. Staying in the hospital till Saturday. Then to Ronald McDonald House for 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Pray for Judy Davis: she is one of our best Shepherds. We need Judy! Those senior adult women respond to her.
  • I have a Uncle [Daddy’s baby brother] and an Aunt who are battling cancer. I pray for Revival daily and sometimes more than once a day and I also pray for a cure for cancer. I don’t have any long range plans for this sin cursed earth, it is not that: I just hate cancer and what it does to people. I loathe it with every bone and breath.
  • The Stripers finally showed up and showed out: the kid who runs the machine is 25 years old and he doesn’t slow down. He was trained my his dad but he got so good his dad realized that he was better and gave him the reins. Our parking lot looks great. We need to seal-coat in next July during the break. He and his helper are both believers: we had good fellowship.
  • Sunday schedule: Biscuits and donuts at 9:00, LCBS at 9:15, worship at 10:15 and 6:15. AWANA and VISITATION at 5:30.
  • I will be in REVIVAL @ Belleview Sunday through Wednesday.
  • Joe David and Lori had 27 at the Thursday night college Bible Study.

College Bible study

Gary, Keri and Kane

Forgiveness And Worship

December 6, 2014

 

 

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SCRIPTURE

Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you.

~Psalms 130:3-4, NLT

QUOTE

It may be possible to have awe and not worship but it is impossible to worship without awe.

~Yaakov

my thoughts red

God is holy and there is a record of our sin. Fortunately for us, Christ took all our sin and shame upon Himself and on the cross and suffered our hell and death. As Paul said to the Colossians in chapter 2He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. Praise God, our sinful deeds have been blotted out by the blood of Jesus. Understanding the above: there are two things needful for worship: [1] We must get a glimpse of the holiness of God and His hatred for sin–this should produce fear and awe. [2] We have to feel a sense of deep gratitude to God for sending His Son to be our Savior and of course, a deep love for Christ who died for our sins.

Most of what we label worship is a subtle form of narcissism. To counter narcissistic worship and the consumer mentality we have to be intentional. FIRST: We must desire transformation into the image of Christ. This means change and I am not talking small alterations but deep change. If you refuse to embrace change, there is little chance that you will worship. SEDOND: We have to be actively resistant to the world’s pressure to conform us to it’s image. Not only must there be radical change which God does gently and incrementally by grace, there must be our awareness that this change is going to be opposed by the world and the powers of darkness. THIRD: We have to be like Paul and have a deep desire to know HIM and partake in the fellowship of His suffering. This is where the rubber meets the road. Are you willing to bear shame for Christ sake? Are you willing to bear a cross, to suffer for His sake? Can you say honestly, Thy will be done? Are you willing to express your love for Christ by serving others? Can you give up self and live sacrificially?

There is little chance that we will experience transforming worship until we stand in awe and repent of sin. Choose any worship style, any music: it will not matter. A mute who fears God trumps an angel who does not. Don’t forget: Satan, a fallen angel is the father of narcissistic worship.

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  • Wow! You talk about blown away, 35 at our SENIOR ADULT CHRISTMAS at Cracker Barrel. It is not a record but it is the best turn out in the last five or so years. I was thrilled. LORD willing, I have one more SA Christmas party and I can tell you, it will probably be at Cracker Barrel.
  • TODAY WE PRAY FOR STUDENTS…youth helpers
  • Normal schedule tomorrow with Deacon’s meeting at 8:00, LCBS at 9:15 and worship at 10:15 and 6:00. We are starting a Christmas series of three messages in the morning. The choir will be doing a Christmas song to go with the message.
  • Next Sunday [Dec.14] morning Joe David preaches and next Sunday evening the children will do their play at 5:30 followed by our annual CHRISTMAS SUPPER in the FORTE. On the 21st we will have LCBS at 9:00 and morning worship at 10:15 with no pm services. We will follow the same schedule on December 28th. We will meet Christmas Eve at 6:00 for a candle light communion service but no services on New Years Eve.

LIFE CHANGING BIBLE STUDY PREVIEW

December 7, 2014

The Shelter of God’s Presence

Key Question: What is the biggest storm you’ve ever encountered?

Make a Top Ten

What are things about Storms that you do not like.

  1. Make us feel small and helpless.
  2. Make us afraid.
  3. ______________________
  4. ______________________

Some of us have weather apps on our phones that help us see approaching storms but not all storms can be detected. Sometimes they arise suddenly with no advance warning. No one is their right mind walks out into a storm. We a storm happens, we look for shelter. Storm shelters are a big business in this area. Today we are going to talk about some storm shelters of a different nature. One of the great storm shelters in the bible is Psalm 23.

  The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Facts About Storms

  1. They happen: life is a series of storms, they are unavoidable.
  2. They have super power: hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes are all devastating. No human or group of humans can stop these storms.
  3. Storms humble us: they make us afraid. They knock the props of pride out from under us.
  4. Storms take things: sometimes our homes, our possessions and even the lives of our friends and love ones. The 2011 Hackleburg–Phil Campbell, Alabama tornado was a violent, long-track EF5 tornado that devastated several towns in northern Alabama, before tearing through the western suburbs of Huntsville and causing damage in rural portions of southern Tennessee on the afternoon and early evening of April 27, 2011. It was the deadliest tornado of the April 25–28, 2011 tornado outbreak, the largest tornado outbreak in United States history. The tornado reached a maximum width of 1.25 mi (2.01 km) and was estimated to have had peak winds of 210 mph (340 km/h). The tornado killed 72 people, making it the deadliest tornado in Alabama history. It was the deadliest tornado to strike the U.S. since the Udall, Kansas tornado of 1955 until the catastrophic tornado on May 22, 2011, which killed 158 people in Joplin, Missouri.
  5. Storms bring people together.
  6. Storms are great teachers. In Matthew 14 Jesus sends His disciple into a storm intentionally to teach them some valuable lessons. The April 11 storm taught me to love light and electricity.

How is Psalm 23 like a Storm Shelter?

  1. It reminds us that we have a Guardian Shepherd in Jesus. The ancient Palestinian shepherd was everything the sheep needed embodied in one individual. He lead the sheep; he fed the sheep, he protected the sheep, he rescued them from themselves and from danger. Jesus HIMSELF is our SHELTER. He is our ARK. He is the same thing to us that the Ark was to Noah and family. In Christ we are safe.
  2. It reminds us that Christ our Great Shepherd is present with us, even when we walk through difficult places. The disciples were terrified of storms but when Jesus manifested His presence to them, they cease to be afraid. Jesus presence calmed their hearts before His voice calmed the sea. The key to weathering any storm is the presence of Christ in the storm.
  3. The key verse is 4, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me, Your rod and staff, they comfort me.” The rod [club] could be used to discipline a rebellious sheep but primarily, it was a weapon used against the predators. David killed both a lion and a bear by clubbing them to death. The shepherds presence had a calming effect on sheep who by nature are timid and defenseless.
  4. Two things I think you should keep in mind: Christ is present with us. Our awareness of His presence has nothing to do with the fact of His presence. He was with the disciples on the road to Emmaus but they did not recognize His presence: regardless to what they recognized–Jesus was present. HIS PRESENCE IS A FACT NOT A FEELING. We must live by faith in His word and not rely on feelings. The second thing is that you under surveillance.  You are being pursued by Goodness and Mercy [love]. Women looking for a husband could only hope to be pursued by a good man who loves them unconditionally.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. What are some things that keeps us from recognizing God’s presence?
  2. Do you know what or when your next storm will come?
  3. How do you think Peter would answer the key question: “What is the worse storm of your life?” Did Peter see the storm coming? Who did?
  4. When do you seem to feel God’s presence most?
  5. What is the most frightening aspect of a storm?
  6. Have you ever enjoyed a storm?
  7. Have you learned from a storm?

INSIGHTS

  1. One diagnosis, one accident, one tragic event can change your life in a matter of seconds. Who knows, today would be the worse day of your life but Jesus is praying for you and He will see you through…Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. {Hebrews 7:25}
  2. The Presence of Christ gives us Peace and Courage. His goodness gives us Hope and His love gives us fulfillment.
  3. No believer is ever without hope.
  4. Christ is our shelter, our ARK of safety.
  5. Everyone needs a shelter from the storms.
  6. When we do not know what storm lies in our path, Jesus knows and He is praying for us.

Footnotes:

obama care

Dogs water Christmas Tree

What Do We Do Now?

November 12, 2014

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SCRIPTURE

“If we let Him go on, pretty soon everyone will be believing in Him and the Romans will come and remove what little power and privilege we still have.”

~John 11:48, MSG

QUOTE

When the power of love overcomes the love of power: you have peace.

~Jimi Hendrix

my thoughts redJesus raising Lazarus created quite a stir in the greater Jerusalem district. Many Jews became believers due to the testimony of Lazarus. The amazing thing is that Lazarus never speaks one word in scripture. Some have suggested that his sisters did all the talking but I think he most likely was the quiet sort. Words or not, God used him and the popularity of Jesus was growing in leaps and bounds. This had the Jewish religious establishment on their heels. The Jewish leaders loved the praise of men and they worked around the clock to raise their image in the opinion polls. Jesus came in and suddenly, it is like the Jewish leaders don’t exist: everyone is going after Jesus to their dismay. In the short verse above the Jews unwittingly make three confessions:

  1. They confess their ignorance…”If we let Him go”…Yeah right, like they had power over Jesus and he was operating on their permission. Folks, we don’t let God do anything…Our God lives in heaven and He does what He pleases.
  2. They were envious…”Pretty soon, everyone will be believing in HIM.” They were upset by Jesus popularity. Envy can cause religious folks to do some hateful and malicious things. I would be thrilled to see Jesus become the most popular figure in America. I would love to see people kneel to Him in adoration and worship but Pharisees are upset when people make a fuss over Jesus.
  3. Their real concern was their power and privilege. They were not concerned for the nation or the people, they were in it for themselves.

If your life revolves around your popularity, power and privilege: you are going to have a miserable life. The most miserable people in the world are those who try to control others and we certainly have no control over God. In Luke 12:29, Jesus said, “What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, not be preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving.” [Message]

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  • Very good to be back in circulation last night: it is not only a joy to serve, it is a joy to be able to serve.
  • Today we pray for those under trials. I want us to really focus on Kenny Holliday. As I have stated previously, he is not having any good days. I know that many of you have problems but right now, I think we should focus on Kenny. Pray for him today.
  • Sunday is a big day with LCBS at 9:00 and the worship celebrations at 10:15 and 6:00. We will be honoring the Volleyball Champs in the AM and dedicating the RAMP in the PM. God is good!
  • My plans are to be out 4-6 days and then be back next Wednesday. I hope to get to attend Sunday, at least the worship services. I don’t have any idea about the blog. If I feel up to it; I will do it. We will play it by ear. It is not a good time to be out but it is time to do something about the problem. I’m afraid I will not get to mulch any leaves this year and you know how much I love grinding leaves with the Gravely.

my two cents worth.

Good Jim

Good Jim

bad jim

Bad Jim

I live for football season then don’t enjoy it. It’s to the point that I dread Saturdays. No one predicted the Florida romp over Georgia and no one, especially me, believed A & M could beat Auburn on any field but especially not at Jordan Hair. I am afraid the SEC West is going to beat itself to death. State could still lose two; Alabama has a real good change of losing two. It is very possible that both Alabama and Auburn could end up with three loses to SEC opponents and they may well be the two bests teams in the country. You don’t have this kind of pressure to win in the NFL. It is hard on Coaches, Players and idiot fans like myself. I think Saban has had some kind of spiritual experience. He never went ballistic at Baton Rouge. Even when it looked like our goose was cooked; he was calm on the outside. I was just as calm, watching the tape, after I knew the final score. I am not longer a fan of the NFL but I do enjoy watching San Francisco. Harbaugh reminds me of someone, I wonder who? Love him or hate him; you have to admit they guy is good entertainment.

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Sunday Night Church

June 30, 2014

celebrate Jesus

SCRIPTURE

That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said.  As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!

~John 20:19-20, NLT

QUOTE

Jesus yoke is ‘easy’ only to those who love Him.

~Bernard of Clairvaux

my thoughts red

Some years ago, a turkey from the Alabama Baptist State Convention came to our pastor’s conference to speak and basically he said, “Sunday night church is not biblical; that there was no Sunday night church before electricity.” Needless to say, I did not allow him to finish his presentation without reminding him that the first two Sunday meetings [that got our Sunday tradition started] were on Sunday night. He was visibly shaken and rebuked me for interrupting. He never recovered. I think he lost his place in his notes or something but he never regains his composure. He stammered and stumbled until he finally closed by blaming the entire fiasco on me. Trust me, I did not get a hero’s welcome from the pastors. I had embarrassed  them as well as the speaker. They gave me the old silent treatment but I didn’t care. I don’t have to be affirmed when I have scripture to back me up.

What is this thing about professing believers hating Sunday night church? Do you hate to go home after work? Do you mark the time you spend with your spouse? If you go home out of a sense of obligation or you keep a record of the time you spend with your wife or husband, you are not in love, not with them. Jesus showed up last night and I got blessed with peace and joy. Hey, I’ll take all the joy I can get. The overwhelming majority of our folks played Thomas last night: they stayed at home. They got enough Jesus Sunday morning to last them all week and for some it will last a month. Me? I feel guilty, I had more fun last night than any man deserves.

Sunday night church is not the problem. Our lack of love for Jesus, that is the problem.

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  • Shohn and crew are painting FORTE today, beginning at 11:00. Catfish and some of the youth are helping. David and I talked about the last phase last night but we did not set a time frame. Once we get the outside beam sit, it will not take long.
  • I did not check any numbers yesterday but I do know we had 66 last night.
  • We have a two week period to pray about God’s will for the BLOCK PARTY. The final decision will be made July 13th. 
  • Judy Davis had a birthday yesterday I think [this week for sure] and for her birthday, she wanted her family to come to church with her: they packed more than one pew. Way to go Judy, Judy, Judy!

Judy Davis bunch

 

Daffy crapping on porch

Our Help

March 24, 2014

celebrate Jesus Son of God

SCRIPTURE

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

~Psalms 121:1-2, NASB

QUOTE

We are all born helpless.

~C.S. Lewis

Blog strip

I suppose we all strive for some degree of independence, it is our human nature but not only were we born helpless, many times we return to state of helplessness before we depart this world. A man is a fool to deny his need for help: we all need help and we all need to be helpers. Psalm 121 was my Mother’s favorite Psalm. It is what they call a Psalm of ascent. It’s a song the pilgrims sang as they neared the summit of Zion. To the ancient Jews, the mountains were a symbol of worship, refuge and strength.  Mountains are majestic master pieces of God’s creative power but the mountains are not our source of help. Our help comes from the Maker of the mountains.

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  • Dick and Laura wanted me to express thanks to the church for use of the facilities and for all the help: I know that Holly called on several of you to help with the food. Carrie Beth and Brett, Will and Chanda and Tracey Hill worked the entire visitation. A special thanks to Terry Cowart who ran the sound and stayed at the church all evening until all the flowers were picked up and he also stayed for the evening service and ran the sound. A very special thanks to Joe Fitzgerald and Rickey Fields for working through the LCBS hour to get our bathroom working. Last but not least I must thank all of those who are in His Majesty’s Secret Service [that would be my prayer warriors]. Thank you guys!
  • I was totally shocked when I walked in last night: I expected 20 and we had three times that many. I was blown away. I apologize to the kids but we didn’t think we would have any and we ended up with a dozen. Big Mama didn’t bring the candy. We will make up for it next week.
  • More good news: Our offering for the Dana Segars memorial was $1,372.00. That will buy 130 bibles. I was thrilled and so were Jimmy and Sandra. Way to go DBC.
  • LORD willing, the entire Bailey bunch will leave for a retreat in Gatlinburg, Tennessee sometime March 24.
  • The woman on the left [below] is Tinkerbelle, she is Len Cox boss. She told me that when she says “jump,” Len says, “how high?” She is also Rebecca’s Stephenson’s mother. Rebecca was Clayton’s fiancé.
Tinkerbelle and Sister

Tinkerbelle and Sister

The Question Of Authority

October 14, 2013

Prayer For REVIVAL in America

Prayer For REVIVAL in America

SCRIPTURE

The non-Jewish people have men they call rulers. You know that those rulers love to show their power over the people. And their important leaders love to use all their authority over the people. But it should not be that way with you. Whoever wants to be your leader must be your servant.

~Mark 10:42-43, ERV

QUOTE

The question of trust, which is closely related to that of authority, is determined by the faithfulness with which a man serves Jesus Christ, never by extraordinary talents which he possesses.

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

COMMENTARY

People have a rather sick need to admire spiritual leaders. Giving due respect to a spiritual leader is one thing but when our admiration reaches the borders of worship, we have gone too far. For this reason, I’m almost thankful when people are critical; at least I know they are not in danger of putting me on a pedestal. Every cult is centered upon a human personality that is larger than life to its adherents. These cult leaders are often exceptionally gifted and charismatic. They appear to be virtuous  and altogether spiritual when in fact they are very worldly. All cultish leaders have one thing in common, they have the ability to mislead and manipulate others. Bonhoeffer said, “The pastor is a simple, faithful man, sound in faith and life, who rightly discharges his duties to the Church. His authority lies in the exercise of his ministry [service]. In the man himself, there is nothing to admire.” [Life Together, Page 108-109]

EXTRA

Happy Columbus Day! I celebrate the day even though they discovered that Columbus was a democrat. When he sat sail, he did not know where he was going. When he got there, he didn’t know where he was and the government paid for the entire trip. Just kidding, Columbus was a Christian. We had some new faces yesterday and some of them were children. One little boy in foster care said to his care giver [during the morning service] in reference to me as I preached, “Is that Jesus up there?” She said, “No, Jesus is a lot nicer.” I went over yesterday morning to help Shohn get Clara up the steps but neither were comfortable with me helping so I saw Jason and hollowed for him. He just reached down and grabbed Clara out of the wheel chair and went up the steps. All I had to carry was the wheel chair. Clara was smiling from ear to ear. I said , “Clara, do you realize how many females in this church would like for Jason to carry them up the steps.” The next woman around the corner was Floyd, I said, “What about you Floyd, do you want Jason to carry you up the steps.” I pretty sure she said, “No thanks.” The LORD is good! Pray for MY HOPE and have a great day.

Thug Life is better than Bud Light

Thug Life is better than Bud Light

One of my favorites

One of my favorites

Worship

June 8, 2013

Prayer For REVIVAL in America

Prayer For REVIVAL in America

SCRIPTURE: Give thanks to the Eternal! He is good, His kindness never fails. {I Chronicles 16:34, Moffatt}

QUOTE: Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the  clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility. ~Augustine

COMMENTARY: King David was in to worship. One of his very first projects when he became King of all Israel was to build a tabernacle inside Jerusalem to house the Ark of the Covenant which was at Kiriath-jearim. He did encounter some problems in moving the Ark but after learning from the mistakes of his first attempt, he got it moved into Jerusalem on the second. It you look closely at I Chronicles 16, you will see the elements involved in O.T. worship:

  1. SACRIFICE–morning and evening sacrifices. To worship without a sacrifice was unheard of; it would be paramount to saying that you had no sins.
  2. PRAISE–this would include singing, dancing, musical instruments.
  3. KNEELING–a part of O.T. worship that most Baptist don’t want any part of.
  4. AWE/REVERENCE–I think one of the things missing in our worship but that’s just my opinion.
  5. THANKSGIVING–I don’t see how we can worship without it!
  6. CELEBRATION–eventually, all worship will break out into celebration even if you are in jail like Paul and Silas.

Everyone is an expert on worship these days and I hear a lot of condescending remarks about certain leaders and congregations. I am not an expert but I will tell you one thing that worship is not: it is not condescending. One of the few things that I remember from my seminary days was William Temple’s definition of worship…“To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.” Did you catch that last line…devote the will to the purpose of God. I’d say a good illustration to all of the above would be Isaiah’s experience in chapter six. There is nothing condescending in Isaiah’s experience. When ever a so-called worship leader talks about levels of worship and getting you up to his or her level, you have problems. Humility is a basic and I’m not speaking of ‘acting humble’. All hypocrites know how to act.

EXTRA: I know that preachers are bad about hype but we did have an outstanding VBS/VBX. The physical demands are hard on a 63 year old but the rewards make it worth the effort. One of the joys for me was working with my grands. Lara and Lexi helped lead the joint worship, lead groups and then helped in the nursery. The little ones had a blast. Colton is a stand up comic, Bradley, Nate and Ross also loved VBS. Briley loves Mawmaw [Big Mama]. Chloe favors anyone who will feed her and stay on their feet. All the pre-school and grade school kids did great. It was a very good school from top to bottom. We closed out yesterday with a Pizza Party. Our program will be Sunday night  at 6:00 followed by a picnic.

It's Me and Granny T.

It’s Me and Granny T.

A Group on Evangelism Day

A Group on Evangelism Day

The Treasure Principle

May 31, 2013

Prayer For REVIVAL in America

Prayer For REVIVAL in America

SCRIPTURE: But we have this Treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. [2 Corinthians 4:7, NKJV]

QUOTE: Worship is never performance. ~Matt Redman

COMMENTARY: There are two primary things to note in the scripture above: [1] The Treasure and [2] the vessel. The Treasure is the Light and the Oil whereas the vessel is the little clay pot that holds the oil that produces the light. In this passage, Paul is reminding us that it is the Light of His presence in our lives [vessels] that we want people to notice. Jesus is the Treasure and we are the earthen vessels, the little clay pots. We live in a religious culture that promotes the vessel. We may be deceiving people when we brag about our buildings, budgets and buses but we are not fooling God. Bragging on your church is a subtle form of promoting yourself… “Our Church has the best Youth Program…Our church has the best Senior Adult Program…We have the biggest this or that.” I ask you seriously, are we not calling attention to the vessel. It is not the vessel that we are to promote, it is the TREASURE in the vessel. In heaven we are not going to worship the vessel, we are going to worship the Treasure. This explains why so much of what we call worship is merely performance: we are promoting the vessel instead of the Treasure. We do it because it is popular. Amen or O’me, or both!

EXTRA

  • SENIOR ADULT COOK OUT TODAY…11:30…BBQ ribs and chicken…homemade ice cream…Big Mama’s Bakery Brownies…and a lot more.
  • Matthew Traning…chapter two…Sunday Morning 8:30 in the sanctuary
  • Sunday is also promotion day in LCBS
  • Special Offering for the roof…June 9…am service.
  • Offering for houses in Guatemala…Sunday June 16
  • VBS commencement and picnic…Sunday night June 9 at 6:00
VBS & VBX June 3-7

VBS & VBX June 3-7