Monday, January 31, 2011


When you are little you need a mommy and a daddy. They feed, clothe, bath, and watch over you. It is called parenting. It is the greatest and most important work in the world. Loving and caring for your family; fathers and mothers loving each other and providing loving care for their little ones.

As life progresses, so do the demands within the home. Little ones get bigger. Bruised shins and elbows leave way to dating, courting, and heart issues. The stakes are larger with huge consequences. The nest becomes empty.

Then young adults marry and the process begins again. It is the cycle of love and life filled with tons of joy as well as bumps and bruises.

Then momma and daddy get older. Hopefully they move into the twilight years together.

The tables turn.

Love and care received for many, many, many years moves more in the other direction with love and care now to be given. Families of love know how to do it. You just take care of each other.

Love received must become love given.

Friday, January 28, 2011


I am continuing to train for the upcoming Gate River Run in March. It is a 15 K or 9.3 mile race. Presently I am running about 3 miles a couple of times a week and bumping it up to 4 miles another time or so. Now it goes to 5 miles on one run. I think I feel sore muscles already.

Running is a quick way to exercise and it is cheap. In a half an hour I can burn enough calories to justify eating what I want and even lose a little weight. HA!

It does takes some discipline and effort. I usually don't feel like running at first, but once I get down the road and catch a second wind things go better.

What is my goal?

To finish the River Run and not to throw up!

Actually I would like to finish again in the top 1/3 of the runners. I have done that in each of my previous River Runs. So out the door I go.

Five Miles Today.

Just run.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Mom and Dad have been married 66 years. I am the oldest of five children with three sisters and one brother. They have lived for the Lord all of their lives and have spent all their years together in the work of God. They have amazing and incredible stories of God's faithful blessings on their lives.

Now both are in the hospital. Dad has pneumonia and mom tripped in the hospital in a hallway as they were moving dad from the ER to a private room. She shattered her left shoulder. The surgeon said it looked like a bomb had exploded in her shoulder. Now both are in the hospital.

Dad said this was the first time that both of them had been "down" in all their years together. Now, both had urgent needs.

Please remember them in your prayers. Both still have a ways to go to recover. Mom has weeks of rehab ahead of her. It won't be easy. She has lots of pain.

Somehow God takes all these things and works them together for good. He has promised so. I believe Him.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I preached this past Sunday morning from the Book of Daniel. He was a man of character, courage, and commitment. He continually served the Lord and was faithful to God regardless of how easy or tough things were. We were completing a 21 day Daniel fast in our church and I was excited about what God is doing in our church family.

As the sermon developed, I finally got to the part where Daniel was trapped by jealous leaders in King Darius' Court. They contrived a plan that they hoped were do away with Daniel.

So I said, "They threw Daniel in the lion of dens," and continued on with my message. Then I caught what I said. I immediately corrected my blooper and asked how many heard what I had misspoke. Only about 15% caught my error. I am amazed that I caught it. Bloopers happen.

Later Sunday afternoon I overheard Wanda on the phone. She said, "How open are you late?"


We all do it.

Friday, January 21, 2011


I took my father about three years ago to to a dentist to get all of his teeth pulled so he could get false teeth. It was about an hour ride to the dental center where he had it done. We checked in and after a few moments they called for him to go back into the office for the procedure.

It seemed like just a couple of minutes that he came back where I was waiting. His lips were shut tight. He didn't talk. I couldn't imagine that they could have pulled his teeth, but they had. He grinned without opening his mouth and motioned to the door.

"Are you ready to go," I asked?

He nodded in the affirmative, and out the door we went. All of Dad's teeth were gone. He was toothless. Couldn't talk, but was ready to go.

Later that afternoon we were to ride back the same office for him to be fitted with his new teeth. Pam! He all happened so quickly.

This past Thursday evening, my sister and I were in dad's hospital room where dad is recovering from a severe bout of pneumonia. Just before we left, Dad looked a Tricia and asked if she would mind cleaning his teeth. She took them and scrubbed them good and put them away for the night.

She looked at me and said, "Won't be long before you'll have some of these!"

I laughed and said I was going to take good care of the one's I have.

False teeth are better than none, but I like the ones I have now. Don't know why I wrote about this. I guess that it simply pointed out the progression of life and all of its many nuances and issues.

Dad is getting better. He'll need those false teeth.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Good health is one of the greatest blessings of life. You can't buy it. You can't trade for it. You can't borrow it from someone. Good genetics can help. Proper hygiene and diet definitely can improve it. Poor habits can destroy it. Accidents can totally ruin it.

During almost 40 years of ministry I have visited untold sick people and prayed for thousands. Some get well. Some get worse. Some have gone to heaven. Some have gone to hell. All of that is pretty sobering.

I have watched people choose terrible eating habits and even worse habits of smoking, drugs, and drinking. They all inevitably pay a tough price. Many of them beg for more time and improved health far too late when help is almost impossible.

I have learned that living by God's laws and the instructions of His Word always improve and lengthen life spans. Time and time again I have noticed the impact on those with poor health created by poor choices as they have ignored what God's Word teaches about health care.

God's Word has a lot to say about gluttony. I am working on the overeating part and trying to get back to my more ideal weight.

So, what is the take-a-way today? Take care of yourself. You are living in the only body that you will have in this life. Spare parts are hard to find and often don't match. I haven't seen too many grow new parts and the repaired parts often only last a short while.

So take charge today. Get good rest. Don't overeat, or smoke, or get drunk, or do other abusive things to your body.

You'll have to go to heaven to get a new body. I don't think they get new bodies in hell. They just get tanned real dark.

Monday, January 17, 2011


I love doin' church. There is no music like Gospel music. There are no meetings like church meetings. And, I love good preachin'.

We used to have three week church revivals. Night after night we would go. Altar services were long and powerful. Lives were changed. Eternity was impacted.

Now we have church concerts and an occasional revival meeting. I think we need more preaching. Now, don't get me wrong. I love the music and good singing. But preaching the Word convicts and cleanses the soul.

Sunday we had an evangelist preach for us, and the altars were filled with people reaching out to God. There were tears and repentance and lives were changed.

I pray that God will turn the hearts of His people back to the altar and deep, long, soul searching moments before Him. I think our homes would be the better for it. I think America would be impacted.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Important meetings usually require an appointment. Try getting to see your doctor in the next five minutes, or your dentist, or the Mayor of Jacksonville. If you were to call any of these offices the receptionist will suggest you try first with an appointment. Important meetings are preceded by an appointment.

Amazingly we get busy and too many fail to set aside time for the most important meeting of any of our lives. That is a daily meeting with God. From the beginning of our day in early morning to the final moments of our day, our lives are filled with busy, busy, busy. I hear many say that they meant to pray. They meant to meet with God. They meant to talk to Him, but they were too busy and time just got away.

Here is the solution. Make an appointment. Set aside time and set a specific time to meet with God in a few moments of prayer and devotion. I suggest first thing in the morning, but any time will work. He is waiting to hear from you.

Now just think about this idea for a moment. God, The Creator of the heavens and earth, is waiting and willing to meet with you at any moment of any time of any day. Try doing that with our Governor or President and see how far you get. It won’t happen.

Yet, our God is waiting to meet with you. Are you too busy or too big to meet with Him?

Oh, by the way, one day you will have a final appointment with Him. You want to make sure He knows who you are.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Wanda and I are continuing our Daniel fast. We are eating vegetables and leaving off sweets. God has been so faithful to already answer prayers. Prayer is the beginning of connecting and growing in God. I feel His presence strong in this season of waiting to hear His voice and learn more of Him.

As I write, we are at a minister's conference where the primary theme of the gathering is prayer. This was unexpected, but it certainly is an encouragement to us in the Daniel fast.

One speaker spoke on the importance of making a daily appointment to meet with God. He had some super thoughts on this and made me even more keenly aware of the value of time spent with God.

I make many appointments in the process of a week's activities. I even make appointments with Wanda. We schedule time together for date nights and sometimes even a quiet lunch. We do that because it is vital that we spend time together, quality time.

Quality time with God is even more important. We get busy, busy, busy. God gets left in the fast pace of life, and that is a huge mistake.

Wanda and I have early morning devotions with prayer, Scripture, and a devotional book reading. It begins our day together right. It is a daily appointment together with God. It is a blessing.

We both have other times of appointments with God privately.

Just think of it. A private appointment with the Creator of the heavens and earth.

Wow! That's cool.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Wanda is a focus shopper when it comes to buying gifts. She goes the extra mile to pay attention to likes and dislikes and find something that the recipient would like. That has happened over and over. I like it. So do others.

Our Christmas this year as fantastic as we shared the joy of The Season. Parties, traveling, lights, decorations, and sharing. Our kids gave us nice gifts and we are enjoying them. This year Wanda and I gave small but nice gifts to each other.

Here is my favorite.

A Goldwing sign that I have placed in the appropriate spot.

Goldwing or Harley?

Not a choice here.

Goldwings park. Harley's keep moving.

Wanda gave it to me. I like it!

Friday, January 7, 2011


No, I am not in jail. Thank God, but I do visit there occasionally to minister to inmates.

One that I have helped some told me a sad but pointed story today as I visited him. I will call him Joe (not his real name).

Joe has already spent approximately 31 years in prison. He wrote me a letter back almost a year ago as he was anticipating getting out of prison from his last sentence of some 11 years. We corresponded several times by mail before he got out of the state prison system, and then finally he was out. He called me, and we met for the first time.

He sat in my office telling me his story. He had numerous issues that I won't detail, but his last sentence was over anonymous abusive and threatening phone calls. While in prison, he turned his life over to God and became a believer. As we talked, I could sense his fears and concerns as he was approaching building a new life out of prison. He knew it wouldn't be easy, but I assured him that God had forgiven him and that he had paid his debt to society. I told him that he could make it and that God and we would help him.

He agreed to a set of parameters to protect him and "little ones" from any issue as he began to attend church. He attended faithfully for several months and then missed. I had talked with him and prayed with him as he was struggling to find work. It seemed impossible to him, but I assured him that if he would continue to make right choices that God would open a door for him.

Sadly, he did what a lot of christians do and gave up just before his answer came. He began to make many, many more abusive phone calls and was arrested again. He is facing more time, maybe many more years in prison.

Joe told me today that the very day on a Friday that he had made some of those calls that he had gotten a call that afternoon to go to a new job. God had heard and answered, but he had gotten discouraged just before the answer came. His discouragement led to poor choices and now years in prison.

As I sat across the glass barrier and talked over a phone to Joe, my heart broke. How sad, and then I thought of how so many of us give up just before the answer comes.

I asked Joe to write down what he had told me. I told him that he needed to let this be a reminder that God does answer prayers and that he should not give up too soon before the answer comes. I told him that God would give him new opportunities and that God loved him. I told him to remember that God had answered his and our prayers and to hold on to God when times are tough.

I pray that Joe listened. I pray that you listen too. I pray that I will learn from this story.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


At the beginning of each new year I set aside time to pray and wait on God. It usually includes some form of fasting. The Bible teaches that prayer with fasting is one way to maximize our prayer efforts. This year I am following the Prophet Daniel's model of fasting for 21 days. It is not a total fast, but is a fast where you basically eat as a vegetarian.

I love vegetables, but I much prefer some red meat too. I don't do too much fried food, but I love sweets. Sweets are left of the Daniel menu too.

Also, I am beginning training for the Gate River Run in March. It is a 9.3 mile run around the St. Johns River crossing the Main St. Bridge and the Hart Bridge. I have run it three times before, but it has been several years.

Changing my diet and beefing up my exercise it challenging. The primary issue is protein. I am finding new ways to get protein in me to give energy to run.

Another issue is that I want to lose weight. So more exercise couple with less calories including lots of prayer should help.

I don't know if Daniel ever ran. He did get thrown into a lions den.

My prayer goals are simple. My weight goals are heavy. My training goals are challenging. Most of all I want God to do something powerful this year.

Monday, January 3, 2011


This football season is going down hill fast. The bowl games are almost over. My beloved Alabama team is through after winning their bowl game. The Jaguars are finished. I don't much care about what happens from here on out. There is a Super Bowl to be played, and then football is over for this year.

Why do most men like so much football? The games roll over and over. One game follows another. They seem endless.

The more they play the less my enthusiasm grows for the sport. Is there a parable there somewhere to be found? Is it possible that too much of even football takes the joy out of it all?

Didn't someone once say that absence makes the heart grow fonder?

I actually didn't watch but only a few minutes of the bowl games this year. I didn't even watch Alabama play. Maybe I'm losing interest. My passion for it all is weakening. Could that be?

In few weeks this season will officially be over. Months will pass with no football, and the fervor will boil again.

If only the Jaguars had won and gone the playoffs. Maybe I wouldn't be so blue about it all.