Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Jennifer, my daughter in Puerto Rico, shared this touching and amazing story with me. It lets me know that God cares about little things.

A few days back, a large iguana fell out of a tree onto a small porch off one of the bedrooms in their home. She and the kiddies were gone and Javier, her husband, went in to remove the iguana. Before he could do capture it, the iguana got loose in the house and he had to chase it down. They are fast little critters, but finally he caught it. He took it down stairs to release, but something happened and it appeared to have died.

For almost an hour it lay motionless on the floor of their garage long after Jennifer and the kiddies had arrived back at home. They tried everything they could to revive the poor thing, but ants began to crawl up on it and it seemed to have departed to iguana heaven.

Jennifer was a little more concerned about this event as Claudia had just had a little baby chick die that she had aquired from school and that coupled with their dog that got hit by a car and died and her Nana passing had really upset the little ones. So, Jennifer was worried this would be "another death" that would set the kiddies back.

After putting some water on the iguana to hopefully revive it but with no success, Jennifer decided to pray for the lizard.

Her husband laughed and said there was no need to pray because it was dead, but Jennifer and Claudia got down on their knees with Lorenzo and placed their hands on this Puerto Rican lizard and began to pray. Amazingly, after over an hour with no signs of life, the iguana began to move and crawled out of their carport.

Wow, is that something or what?

Does God heal lizards? Does he care about sparrows, or lillies, or the number of the hairs on our head?

Sure, and sometimes he heals iguanas too. No, I am not saying the iguana was dead nor did Jennifer either. Javier was sure he was dead, but now the iguana is roaming Puerto Rico enjoying a second life.

What is the point?

God answers prayer and cares about little things--even iquanas.


Since this post was made, I have found out the iguanas actually play dead. I had thought of that possibility, but Jennifer said that Javier had chased the iguana all over the house. It hadn't played dead then, and Jennifer thought the iguana had been hurt and injured in all the chasing. Nevertheless, he got a lot of prayer and it is enjoying sunny San Juan again whether it played dead or died or was just tired and hurt.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Norma and I completed our best of three games of Scrabble and I am proud to claim the championship. She won the first game, but I won the next two so that makes me the champ. We had fun playing and the games were close.

Life is like Scrabble. In Scrabble, like life, you don't get a choice in the letters you draw. You have to play with the luck of the draw. Scrabble turns into a game like life in that the words are the letters you play. Scrabble is chance mixed with choice and skill. In life we have to play with what we were born in talent, skill, and abilities. That is just the way it is.

Norma won the first game by forcing me into playing my words so that she would get "set-up" to get to use the double and triple word spots. Now isn't that kinda like the way the devil does it. He sets us up so that he wins and we lose.

No, I am not saying that my precious sister, who is as old as I am, is the devil. No she is a wonderful, loving sister who just likes to win at Scrabble. But she did set me up to give her the bigger scores. That is until I got wise to her ways.

Now that is what we have to do with the devil. We have to get wise to his ways and turn the tables on him. We need to know the cunning ways of the enemy of our souls. Life is far more important than Scrabble, but we must learn about life and how to stay ahead of the enemy of our souls.

There are many other analogies between life and Scrabble, but to draw all of the conclusions would really begin to sound like a sermon and I would have to include a joke and a poem. I will stop now.

Friday, September 25, 2009


I have an interesting book that I read every so often that is a book of lists. It is titled The Big Book of Lists to live by for everything that Really Matters compiled by Alice Grey, Dr. Steve Stephens, and John Van Diest.

It is a thick book that covers what really matters in life or at least a lot of what really matters. In light of the last post, I have included a section that helps put life into proper perspective. It lists ways to simplify life:


1. Eliminate ten things from your life.
2. Cut back on TV.
3. Escape to a quiet spot.
4. Set your own pace.
5. Get rid of clutter.
6. When you bring home something new, throw out something old.
7. Do only one thing at a time.
8. Say no at least once a day.
9. Enjoy the little things.
10. Take at least four breaks per day.
11. Determine what really matters.
12. Make peace with all people.
13. Tell the truth.
14. Appreciate beauty.
15. If you don't need it, don't buy it.
16. If you don't have time, don't do it.
17. Have a place for everything and put everything in its place.
18. Share your thoughts, feelings, and opinions with a friend every day.
19. Allow time to pray.
20. Thank God for what you have.

Some of these points I do well. Some need attention. A couple of the points I struggle with what to do. It is hard to say no when you're a pastor (see point 8). Also it is hard not to press to do things even if there isn't enough time (Point 16).

I do a fair job at not allowing clutter, though I have a hard time throwing away boxes that hold newly purchased items. Go figure? Why do you need a computer box from a year ago?

Which of these points to simplify do you need to work at doing better? I think I will ask the Lord which items I need to improve.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Here is a vote for a simpler life.

No, I am not going to become hermit, but the older I get the simpler I like things to be. Life has too many noises, interruptions, and confusions. I have made it a point to watch less TV and fewer ball games, and leave off reading the paper.

Church life is hectic and busy and I love it so there isn't much to change there, but I feel a need to pare things down. Can you believe that computers and the Internet actually help clean the clutter. I don't have to lug as many books around as much of my study is done via the Internet. Files drawers are not as thick because now the files are in the computer.

Even the Iphone simplifies life. Instead of multiple calendars, phone books, maps, Bibles, alarm clocks, music Cd's, and on the list goes, I have one simple device that carries all of this and far, far, more.

I recently read an article challenging people to pare down in their clothes and possessions. A pastor in Minnesota challenged his congregation to a "100 Thing Challenge," in which each person would winnow down possessions, sometimes dramatically so, to 100 "things." Some people sorta cheated, calling an entire shoe collection one "thing." It's a start. But when it comes to clothing, we're in the land of plenty, especially seeing as each person really only needs one outfit.

I'm looking for a few more ways to simplify my life.

Got any suggestions?

Monday, September 21, 2009


Norma and I are tied now in Scrabble games won. We are into the third game with me slightly ahead as I write. That could change anytime. Actually I should be far more ahead but the Iphone dictionary with the Scrabble app would not allow me a play a word.

Novate is a real word meaning to make new but it wasn't acceptable as a word by Iphone. That cost me a bunch of points. I would have made almost 60 on that word. I had to play nova instead for much less points. It is only a game. Norma is a great player and someone has to lose. I just hope it is not me. Bragging rights are important.

Oh well, I will novate something else. Mondays are a good day to novate. Make something new today. Novate a friend, dream, or recipe. I am not sure if you can properly novate each of those matters, but it sounded good to me.

Just novate. Get with it and novate today. How is that for learning a new word?

Friday, September 18, 2009


Norma won the Scrabble game. She beat me pretty soundly 345-286, but she is still as old as I am.

Now we are playing again to see who can win the best 2 out of 3 games. I'm leading but that is the way the last game started. Starting good is important,but the most points at the end of the games is what counts.


Here is an article I wrote for our church bulletin. Our church family will read it Sunday, but you get it first.

Make a New Friend

Friends make life worthwhile. They come in when all others go out. They are there and love us including all our faults and flaws. Friends make life worthwhile.

Why are friends so important? Dr. Steve Stephens wrote that friends are important because:

They laugh with us. 2. They cry with us. 3. They build memories with us. 4. They stand beside us. 5. They confront us. 6. They believe the best in us. 7. They help us grow. 8. They keep us from temptation. 9. They enrich our lives.

A friend is one who..... follows through with what he or she says.... understands and inspires... sacrifices for others... invests in another... joyfully gives and serves... respects and honors... is courteous... builds character... loves at all times... challenges growth and maturity... tells the truth and restores dignity... keeps a promise... shares a dream... keeps in touch... is forgiving -- (Glenda Hotton).

How do you have a good friend. Well, it starts by being friendly. Friendship is the return of initiating friendly ways. Jesus has promised to be our friend and will walk with us all through the journey of life. He first loved us and that is the beginning of friendship. I encourage you to stretch beyond your normal boundaries and make a new friend. Try some of the above suggestions and bless someone who needs a good friend. You will be the better and will be blessed.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Norma is still winning our Scrabble game and the letters are running out. It will take some fancy playing with my last few words to make a comeback. Comebacks happen in football, basketball, and the game of life. So, let's see if there is a comeback for me in Scrabble.

What's the score?

Norma 304--Milton 247


Tuesday was a very busy day.

We had a minister's meeting at our church with area Assembly pastors. This is a monthly gathering with current topics of interest presented, prayer, and often a special speaker. This month our Sheriff Rutherford was be present. He is a great christian leader and shared some of the great needs of our city.

Yes, and preachers eat too at preacher meetings. What else is there to serve preachers but chicken and banana pudding? So chicken and banana pudding it was.

Tuesday also included a staff meeting, prayer and devotions, sermon study, hospital visits, many phone calls, planning for up-coming events, and just lots of preacher stuff.

Wanda is in Tallahassee to visit her mother and celebrate her mom's birthday. Happy Birthday, Mrs. Davis. How old now? Oh, I know you aren't supposed to ask a lady her age.

Wanda is also going to see her daughter's son, Alex, play football. He plays on Tuesdays so it is hard for me to get over. Maybe I can make a game yet before the season ends.


So do you think preachers still just work on Sundays? A preacher's calling is a great, fulfilling and very rewarding life. This is what God has called me to do. It is the highest calling. I am humbled and grateful that the Lord has given me the privilege of preaching His Gospel and caring for His people.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Norma is winning the Scrabble game. I had have a bunch of vowels and a Q. What can you do with a Q if you don't have a "U"? Not much. I finally got to play "quin" for 33 points. Now maybe I can come back and win.

Wanda and I rode up to St. Mary's, Ga. on Saturday with our friend Jim and Judy. He is the one who found and helped get my first motorcycle and has helped train me. They just returned from a 28 day trip to San Diego, Ca., on their Goldwing and rode 9,101 miles. Can you believe it? Wow! Double Wow!

Wanda and I have logged about 500 miles or so just puttering around Florida. I don't know that we will ever make a trip across the United States and back, but we plan on enjoying the South. I pray we have just as many safe trips as Jim and Judy have made. That is all that counts.

We met former church members Lou and Cherry, who live in St. Mary's now, and ate on the water- front. It is a small quaint little community with not much happening. You can take a ferry out to Cumberland Island and they have a lodge with rooms starting at $600 per night. Maybe if we can get ten people to go together we might rent a room. Ha! I don't guess we'll do that.

Wanda rode in the rain with me on the Goldwing for just a bit on our return ride home. We crossed the Dames Point Bridge with wind and rain. I asked her what she did while I drove the motorcycle. She said she prayed a lot. That is good, but actually she really seems to enjoy riding and we are having a super time.

The Jags lost. Alabama won. Florida State won. Last Monday Wanda stayed up and watched Florida State lose to Miami. Can you believe that I have a wife who stays up later than me to watch football? Wow. That is amazing.

Friday, September 11, 2009


My sister Norma, who is as old as I am, sent a text earlier in the week to invite me to play scrabble by Iphone. I downloaded the program and we have just begun to play. Scrabble is a good way to keep the brain alive and working. I have played it through the years with family members and have enjoyed winning.

We have just play one word each so obviously we've just started. 

I am ahead 17-7, but Norma is a good player so we'll see how it goes from here.

It would be easy to cheat as we play from different states and no one is watching to see if we use dictionaries or not. But, Jesus is watching, Norma, so keep this game clean. Ha!

This is the first game I have downloaded to my Iphone. I use it as a work tool and enjoy many of its applications. Now it has turned into a game, a mind charging game. 

Let's see who wins. I'll keep you posted.


Update on scrabble score: 

Norma just played the word zee and gained 32 points. I countered with zealot for 28.


Milton 45, Norma 39

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Does God speak today in personal words to us? How does God speak? Now I am not going to preach another message, but I do have a point.

Tuesday Wanda was with me most of the day. After going to the church for brief staff meeting, I raced home and took her with me to a funeral. Then we had a quick, but late lunch and headed back to the church for a counseling session I wanted her to help me do. Then we were headed out of the church office to make a hospital visit together as we were caught at the door.

"Can I have a brief moment to speak to you," a long time friend asked?

I responded affirmatively and Wanda joined me and the friend in my study. For several minutes the friend shared and amazingly, point by point, affirmed things God had already put into my heart. It was a God moment for Wanda and me. It was a turning point, a turning moment for the fulfilling of God's will in our lives. 

We know God is at work in our lives, but God confirmed it again. Some might say this was coincidence. Others might just shrug this off altogether. That is OK with me. I know what happened and how God used this very powerful and personal moment.

Yes, God does speak in prophetic words that are personal. God is amazingly loving and good.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Football season is just about full swing again. My teams, Alabama and the Jaguars, have high hopes. Alabama beat Virginia Tech Saturday night and the Jags play the Colts this coming Sunday. Year after year I have watched football. It is a great game with lots of passion for the players as well as the fans. 

The season will end before you know it and then another one will begin and over and over it goes. So who won the Super Bowl last year anyhow? 

Who was the National Champion in collage last year? 



Oh well, I do like Tim Tebow. 

Does it really matter who wins?

I can't believe I wrote or even inferred whether it mattered or not. Football matters, but not in comparison with eternity. There is only one win that matters and that is in the game of life. To lose at life and miss eternity with God would be the greatest loss.

The good news is that in Christ we win. We win forever. That is the ultimate win! All we have to do is believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and we win--forever!

Friday, September 4, 2009


Can I encourage you to offer a cup of cool water to someone in need? Or maybe yogurt?

Earlier this week Wanda and I were visiting  a dear church member in the hospital. We asked if she needed anything and she smiled and said, "They don't have yogurt here and that would be nice." 

It would be impossible to run an errand for every person I visit in the hospital, but quickly I said, "What kind?"  Wanda offered to go with me to get some yogurt.

In a few minutes we returned with yogurt in hand and with a real "feel good" in our hearts. The lady repeatedly said she was just kidding us, but we knew she really needed some and the hospital didn't have any to offer. She was having a hard time keeping food down and the yogurt would help her.

I hope the Lord won't take our reward for telling this publicly as I don't desire to "toot" our horn, but maybe you will see someone today who could use a "cool drink of water" or some yogurt or something else. Offer your help. You will feel better for it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Why is it so hard for some christian couples to read the Bible and pray together?

Regretfully, I even know of some minister families who do not pray together. Wow, are they ever missing a blessing. You don't have to spend an hour or so to have devotions. It can be just a few minutes, but they are blessed minutes.

Men often do not want to take the time, or they do not want to be transparent, or they don't know how to have devotions. 

My parents taught me the value of morning devotions. They always took time to read the Bible and pray with us even if we missed the bus to school. We could miss the bus, but we could not miss the family devotions.

Wanda and I are using a book entitled "Devotions for Couples" by Patrick Morley for our morning devotions. It is a quick read with a Scripture, reading text, application, and prayer. It is an easy devotion and I would recommend it for couples who need an extra boost. Thankfully, we don't need that "extra boost" in our marriage, but we want to make our marriage the best it can be. Prayer certainly helps make that happen. I am thankful that I have someone who will pray with me and believe with me for the needs in my life. Likewise, I pray for Wanda and believe God to help her with her needs. And, we both spend time in prayer for family, friends, church, and special needs. 

We began our devotional prayer life from our first phones calls even before we fell in love and even before we had our first date. We had these long phone conversations each night that ended in prayer for each other. 

Real men lead in prayer. It takes a man, not a sissy, to have the courage and discipline to lead in family devotions. Weaklings don't have the strength, fortitude, wisdom, or know how to do it. 

If you don't have a family prayer time, I encourage you to give it a try. Why not invite the Lord to walk with you through the day, and pray with those who are the dearest to you? 

Remember the old say. "Families who pray together, stay together."

It is not too late to start. 

Start today.