Monday, November 30, 2009

HEBREWS 12:1-2

Saturday, Wanda and I watched the big interstate rivalry football game between the Florida Gators and the Florida State Seminoles. Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators put on quite a show against Florida State and it really wasn't much of a game as they beat up on the Noles pretty bad.

tim-tebow-john316.jpg

Tebow has a tradition of putting Scripture verses under his eyes which is a big witness to all the fans in the stadium and millions watching on TV. He actually doesn't put the whole verse, just the text location. This past Saturday Tim put the following verses location:

Hebrews 12

The Race of Faith
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The TV announcer actually read these verses during the game. It is impressive the humble witness that Tim Tebow has shared during his career. I am definitely not a Gator fan and definitely will be rooting for Alabama this coming Saturday as Florida and Alabama play for the SEC Championship and the right to go on to play for the National Championship, but I do salute Tim Tebow for his boldness for God. He is a super player with an even more super witness.

Wanda is an avid Seminole fan and was disappointed in her team, but as they say, just wait 'til next year. Tebow will not be playing for the Gators so maybe the Noles can win one for Coach Bobby Bowden.


Friday, November 27, 2009

AMAZING 65 YEARS OF MARRIAGE


Thanksgiving had double meaning for us this year. All of my siblings met at my middle sister's home (Tricia and Rick) in Leesburg to celebrate Mom and Dad's 65th Wedding Anniversary. It was a wonderfully fitting day, Thanksgiving Day, to honor Mom and Dad. All their kids were present and we each gave them a card with a $65 gift card to their favorite restaurants. It was a special day of thanksgiving.

We ate a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner and shared wonderful memories our family with each child telling their stories of Mom and Dad. Some of the stories were funny, some were touching and tearful, and all of them were in loving remembrance of Mom and Dad's love for God and their family.

Julie and Jennifer, my daughters, asked our family to pause and honor Kristy and Jim, Wanda's first husband. They are greatly missed by all of our families. I was touched by the kindness of my family in honoring and remembering them. Julie and Alex and Nic were present but Jennifer and her family were not able to come up from Puerto Rico. We missed them greatly and look forward to seeing them at Christmas. We will see all of Wanda's family on Friday and Saturday in Tallahassee.

Tricia and Rick were great hosts and she took the lead in putting together an incredible feast. They have a beautiful home on five acres in the country. They are right in the middle of horse country in Central Florida and she actually has a couple of horses she rides. The grands enjoyed riding her pony, shooting bows and arrows, and shooting the pellet and BB rifles.




There are not many families that enjoy celebrating their parents 65th Wedding Anniversary as we did on Thanksgiving. Not many parents live as long as Mom and Dad have and not many are as committed to their wedding vows as they are. We are blessed to have them with us. It wasn't but a few years back that we weren't sure Mom would make it. God raised her up and she is enjoying good health.

Dad shared briefly their story of their first love. Here is part of it. You might be surprised at some of his story as he is a preacher, but I guess even preachers are human.

video

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

THANK YOU!

Everyone is getting ready for Thanksgiving and the opportunity of enjoying family, friends, and good food and football. Well, maybe not everyone is into football, but I do hope you are looking forward to some family time and good eating. It is a time of giving thanks and expressing gratitude for life's blessings, unless you are a turkey. Now, I hope you are not a turkey.

I have so much for which I can express thankfulness.

First, I am thankful to God for my salvation and every blessing of life. God has been good to me.

Second, to my precious wife. Wanda is a gift from God to me. I literally believe that our marriage was pre-arranged in heaven. It is such an unusual and amazing story. She adds so much to my life and is a gift--a rare gift from God.

Third, my precious children and grandchildren. Julie, Jennifer and Javier, and my step-children Mark and Tara and Jennifer and Paul, have all blessed me beyond measure. They are such a joy in life and their kids, my grandkids, are pure sugar and sweetness, especially the two little girls. Guys are too manly to be too sweet.

Fourth, my dear family. On Thanksgiving Day, we will celebrate Mom and Dad's 65 wedding anniversary. They are still helping their first born, me, through encouragement, love, and prayers. All my siblings and Wanda's siblings are such a load of fun. And Wanda's mother is a very special lady. Wow, I am blessed.

Fifth, my dear church family at Southside Assembly here in Jacksonville. They are a wonderful, loving, caring church family. I love to preach God's Word and lovingly lead them.

Sixth, my dear friends, who are too many to list. I cannot begin to tell you the untold acts of kindness my friends have shown me these recent months. Good friend are rare gifts.

Seventh, I am thankful for the privilege of doing the work of the ministry. It truly is the highest calling. Thank you Lord for calling me to preach your wonderful Word.

I am thankful for good health, a nice home, good food, a warm bed, clean clothes, cars and a motorcycle.

I am thankful to live in America. I am grateful for our freedoms to worship as we please and live a good and honorable life with peace and without fear.

I am thankful for all of God's blessings on me. Thank you Jesus for your great love.

Monday, November 23, 2009

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME



Take me out to the ballgame, a football game that is.

It is OK to be a ball enthusiast if it is not at the top of the list of priorities. I enjoy sports, but seldom get to go in person to watch a football game. Sunday one of my good church members invited me to a Jaguar football game and we won!!!! I made it to the game after our morning worship service and was back at church for a worship and praise gathering at 6 PM. It is just minutes from our church to the stadium so I was sitting in the stands listening to the National Anthem and watching the kickoff at 1 PM.

The score was 18-15 Jags against the Buffalo Bills. The game was close and we were behind 10-15 with just four minutes or so to go in the game. It looked like the Bills would upset us, but our defense held and the offense drove down the field and scored.



One highlight of the game was Terrell Owens of the Bills catching a 98 yard touchdown against us. That was almost the winning score. It wasn't pretty for the Jags but a very spectacular play for the Bills. It was the longest touchdown pass I had ever seen and was the longest one ever against the Jags.



Another highlight was the military parachutists who landed on the football field during halftime. Several of them jumped from their plane and glided onto the field to the applause of the fans. It was exciting.

Here is a video of their landing. Enjoy.


video

Friday, November 20, 2009

A NEW WONDER DRUG?

You just got to read this article.

Now understand, this is for married couples and is with a christian view. Mark Gungor wrote this on his web page and I just thought someone might miss reading it. So I am sharing it here.

God is incredibly wise with His creation. His plan works and always works for our good when we follow His rules. Need better health? If you're married read this with thanks.

Wonder Drug
by Mark Gungor on November 17th,
29Share

What if I were to tell you there was a pill you could take three times a week that would give you the following health benefits:

  • Lower your risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Reduce symptoms of depression
  • Reduce risk of certain types of cancers
  • Boost self-esteem and improve your mental health
  • Reduce and relieve stress
  • Help you sleep better
  • Control your weight
  • Increase your physical fitness
  • Relieve pain
  • Reduce the number of colds and flu
  • Boost your immune system
  • Improve bladder function
  • Make you look younger
  • Improve your reproductive health
  • Prolong your life

And on top of these incredible benefits, this pill has no side effects, is completely safe, and it’s free! What would most people say? “Man, give me some of that!” Everyone would be in line trying to get the Wonder Drug. Point of fact, there is such a thing: it’s called sex. Studies have shown that sex has amazing health benefits. But let me point out that it’s not just any old sex—these studies show that the benefits do not come with the hot and heavy rush of new romance or illicit sex, but rather the sex that is a by product of a calm, stable, committed marriage. It’s not just sex. It’s long-term, married sex that is the Wonder Drug.

Want to read more? Then finish the article at:

Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage.com


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

CONGRATULATIONS MOM AND DAD


Yesterday, Nov. 17, was my Mom and Dad's 65th wedding anniversary. That is a lot of living, lovin', and forgiving, and loving some more. Wanda and I have been married a total of 69 years with her first marriage of 32 years and my first marriage of 37 years, but we have only been married to each other for 7 months. It took two marriages for us to beat them. I am thankful and grateful to God and Mom and Dad for them sticking it out all these years.

"Sticking it out" may not be the best way to describing a marriage of longevity. I'm sure that the good times have far outweighed the hard times, but every marriage has things that have to be worked through. The good news is that they have stayed together and that makes even grown "kids" feel good.

Next week my siblings will gather on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate their 65th. I think Thanksgiving Day is a wonderful time to give thanks to Mom and Dad for all they have done for our family. We are going to eat turkey and trimmings and pumpkin pie and pecan pie and Max's dump cake and more. It will be a super celebration--a super Thanksgiving.

Congratulations Mom and Dad. I am proud of you and thankful God gave me as your first born. You have invested into my life beyond what my small vocabulary can express. May God give you many more years together.

Monday, November 16, 2009

JUST FIVE YEARS OLD


Five years old is big, especially if you've just turned five years old. Actually it is big for parents and grandparents as well as step-grandparents. Wanda's granddaughter Paige celebrated her fifth birthday this weekend as her parents gave her a wonderful party. Wanda and I drove down and met other family members to join in the fun.

Kids love opening presents and their friends love to help and play in the paper. Of course grandparents enjoy watching the excitement and fun.

Julie and Alex and Nic came over from Tampa and got in on the fun as the grandkids enjoyed playing with the pumpkins they found in the pumpkin hunt. Not they didn't hunt eggs, just pumpkins. That was a different treat.

I can still remember when I was five -- though just barely. I have memories of being in church in a tent when my Mom and Dad were starting a church in North Alabama. We met in a tent
a couple of winters. Brrrr....it was cold. I remember Mom accidently starting a brush fire out in the country where we lived when they started that church. It almost caught the house on fire. Oh, and I remember when the tent almost caught on fire from smug pots that were used to heat the tent during winter. I remember most of all finding Christ as my Savior not long after I had turned five.

Five is a special time just before 1st grade. Life changes then. Happy Birthday Paige. You are a beautiful little princess.

Friday, November 13, 2009

FREEDOM EMANATES FROM TRUTH

Freedom is what makes America great.

Ultimately, all freedom come from God. How sad that some misconstrue the truth of God's Word as a binding force. Without truth there can be no real freedom. Without God and His Word, there is no real truth. Isn't it sad but yet interesting that the most depressed and impoverished nations of the world are nations that do not honor God? God and the freedom that flows from His righteousness and truth are a blessing.

Truth sets people free. Now, we are living in an age where truth is being exchanged for a lie. Lies always lead to bondage, corruption, and death.

Want some examples?

What about David Letterman? He laughed about moral people until he was found to have been living immoral and had to apologize to his wife, family, other employees, as well as his audience. The lies he had winked at and mocked have now shamed him.

What about the numerous national government leaders who have resigned in shame due to immoral actions. The world laughs and mocks morality until the ugly truth is found out that a lack of virtue is a shame and a reproach and leads to bondage.

When I was a teenager working my way through college, I worked a construction job one summer. I was a christian and let my light shine. I wasn't afraid to share God's love and stand up for my convictions.

Every Friday the boss would joke and kid me about going to party with the gang. "Let's go get some beer and women and let's have some fun," he would poke at me. Of course, I wouldn't go and they would rag me even more.

Until one Friday I told I would go with them. They just about fell off the roof where we were working in amazement. "You're going to party with us," the boss asked?

"Yes," I responded, "But with one condition. I get to party and have your teenage daughter for the night."

Well, that ended the kidding and poking fun at me. They never brought that subject up to me again. The boss didn't want his daughter hurt, or taken advantage of, or to become pregnant. The truth of immoral consequences hit him right between the eyes.

The lies are in our Nation are many and cover sexual, economic, and governmental immoralities. Of course the ultimate source of all these lies is Satan, the father of lies.

I am praying that God will show mercy to our Nation and that the truth of God's Word and His righteousness will shine bright again. I am praying that the foolishness of sinful choices will hit Congressional leaders right between the eyes and the that truth of immoral consequences will be exposed for the lie and shame they are. I am praying that righteousness and truth will cover our Nation again.

So sadly our President has declared that America is not a Christian Nation. How shameful that such a stance would be taken. Can't our leaders see that God has blessed America as we have stood upon judeo christian ethics and principles.? Can't they see that blessings come from following and applying truth in our lives? Can't they see that shame is the result of veering from truth found in God's Word?

Oh God, please have mercy on America . Reveal truth in the high and low places. Let truth reign again so America can be free.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

101 THINGS TO DO

I am reading a book entitled 101 Things You Should Do Before Going to Heaven. This book caught my attention while browsing in the library's new book section. Heaven is my goal and sooner or later I plan on walking on streets of gold. Until then, there are still some things I want to do.

I am saved and in the process of being sanctified and the top three things I want to do are to glorify God with my life, bless my family, and finish my life strong.

But scanning this book pushed my to see if my "to do" list before going to heaven should be expanded. As I ran down the list, many of the things the book suggests I have done, but there are some that I would like to do that the book suggests that haven't been checked off.

The first thing on their list is "to risk looking stupid." Well, I know. You think I have already covered that one. The last thing on their list is to do "what's last on your list." I guess that means that after you have checked everything on the list but one, then you do it.

Here are a few other of their suggestions in the order they listed:

5. Clean Someone Else's Toilet.
12. Record Your Life Story.
32. Become an Undercover Encourager.
33. Let Go of The Grudge.
53. Explore Your Family Tree.
60. Walk in the Redwoods.
69. Visit a Former Battlefield.
83. Weep with Those Who Weep.
88. Travel Outside of Your Comfort Zone.
90. Greet the Dawn.
95. Shun Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.
96. Find Beauty in Broken Things.

Each point is followed by a brief devotional and encouragement. They all actually make sense once you've read their comments which follow. If you don't like this list, why not make you own list. You are going to heaven aren't you? Get your ticket now. The train is about to load and you may be boarding sooner than you think. So hurry up and get with the list. Time is wasting.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A BETTER MARRIAGE

Generally speaking, what you work on in life is what works. Diligence is a good word and makes all things better. That carries over in marriage too.

This weekend we had a marriage video seminar with Mark Gungor and enjoyed his teaching on Laughing Your Way to a Better Marriage. Mark has fabulous and enlightening teaching on how men and woman differ especially in their thinking processes. He is a hoot!

He also does a fabulous job sharing the Biblical view of sexual relations in marriage. The world offers the most foolish approach to sex, but the Bible is the highest truth on any subject including marriage relations.

Check Mark Gungor out. Google his name. You won't be disappointed.

Friday, November 6, 2009

FOUR GREAT QUOTES



I enjoy great quotes.

I have numerous books with nothing but quotes and find myself reading quotes that are highlighted in magazines. What is your favorite quote? Which quote has impacted your life the most?

My favorite quotes actually come from my father, Oscar Dykes. He says some funny but pointed stuff. This is what he often told me as I grew up.

"Keep you nose clean, even if it takes both shirtsleeves."

"Every tub has to sit on its own bottom."

"Don't try to figure her out, just love her."

"Every dog has its day."

Now, I am sure that those quotes cover much of what is important in life. They have helped me stay on the right course, and get back on course when I missed a turn.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

LAURA BUSH IS GREAT!

Monday I attended an all day motivational at the Jacksonville Municipal auditorium with speakers former First Lady Laura Bush, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Zig Zigler, Terry Bradshaw, Gen. Colin Powell, and others. It was an inspiring day and I left motivated and encouraged.


To me, Laura Bush was the most moving speaker of the day. She was gracious, poised, transparent, and inspiring. It is amazing the incredible things her family has accomplished and how they have stood with such integrity in spite of harsh criticism and even personal attacks. I could not have been prouder of her as a former First Lady at the manner she presented herself. She was such a "first class act."

What did I learn at the seminar?

I learned that the past is the past. Go forward in life.

I learned that smiling is better than frowning.

I learned that working smarter is better than just working hard.

I learned that "not so smart" people can succeed.

I learned that diligence is important.

I learned that gifts can be developed.

I learned that being prepared helps you for things that you might not anticipate.

I learned that family counts most, after God.

I learned that no one makes it alone.

I learned that a winning belief system is the assurance of things not seen. (The Bible calls that faith.)

I learned that some people are internally motivated and some are externally motivated. (I haven't learned just which category I fit.)

I learned that I have a lot to be thankful for.

I learned that famous people face the same issues that the rest of us face.



Monday, November 2, 2009

DON'T STEP ON THE GRENADE

Can you imagine what stepping on a grenade could do to you? How would that happen anyhow?
I did not serve in the military and never been to war. However, in today's up front and personal news reporting, we see all to regularly the affects of war.

This past week, Wanda's brother, Jerry Davis, stumbled upon a grenade while on a construction work site. He is a contractor and all of a sudden there was a grenade. It made the news in Tallahassee, FL., where he works. Thankfully no one was hurt.

You can read the news report at the following sight.


What is the take-a-way from this story? Well, there are many are others types of potential "life grenades" that can wound us if we're not alert. Bitterness, jealousy, hatred, fears, anxiety, and all other manner of internal issues can hurt us. Poor choices can damage us and cause life-long problems.

No, I don't expect to find a real live grenade, and, if I do, I hope I'm alert as Jerry was. I am sure other types of grenades are lurking in the shadows. It is up to me to disarm them before they can do damage.