Friday, September 30, 2011


Wanda and I are headed to Elba, Al, to preach their annual homecoming service. I was their pastor in the mid-'70's. That was a special time in my life. My second child, Jennifer, was born while we were there, and I led the Elba First congregation into a church relocation and building program. I have many fond memories there.

Coffee County is famous for peanuts. I love peanut butter, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and peanut butter pie. Delicious! Oh man, hope somebody makes a peanut butter pie for Sunday lunch. I know they will have banana pudding. Yum!

Seeing old friends and wonderful church people will be most special. They loved us and cared for us. I can't understand why they let a 26 year old kid be their pastor. Can you believe it?

While I was their pastor, God spoke into my heart that He would use me in writing. I developed a love and vision for sharing my thoughts on the printed page. Amazingly, beyond what I could imagine, God turned those dreams into reality. Vision and dreams propel us to a better end, if they are from the Lord.

I am looking forward to a great time in Elba.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


This Thursday, Sept. 29, I can officially file for Social Security. That doesn't seem possible. How did I get that old so quick? I won't be filing because I love what I do as a pastor and I am not ready to retire. I am re-fired and ready to preach the Word. I love what I do so filing for Social Security is not in the plan.

But I am getting older.

You may have heard another rumor. It is true.

Norma is as old as I am.

That's right. My little sister is my age.

I rib her a lot about that each year from the first part of August until the end of September. She just can't bear the fact that we're the same age for a month and a half, or at least the same numerical age. Teasing her is fun. Of course, she give it back to me when my birthday rolls around.

Birthdays are coming around faster every year for me. Whew! Here comes another one.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Change can be hard when it comes to losing precious people you work with. Sunday I sadly had to announce the upcoming loss and transition of our wonderful music director, Carlos Santiago. He grew up in our church and graduated from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fl, my alma mater.

Carlos came back home from college to work in our church and help his pastor. I will always be grateful for his faithful, gifted ministry. He is an extremely talented soloist. My can that young man sing! Close your eyes and open your ears and you can not tell if Carlos or Steve Green is singing. What a voice!

Now, it is time for Carlos to go and find his own way in another setting. We don't want to see him go, but I guess it is time. It is so sad for us, but at the same time there is a sense of pride, no, not pride but of thankfulness, for Carlos. He is one of us. He is from our DNA. He is a spiritual son.

Carlos will be with us a few weeks, and then change will come. God has new things for Carlos, and there are new things for our fellowship. I pray God's highest blessings on Carlos and our precious church family.

God does all things well. Our tomorrows are promised to be exciting, rewarding, and fruitful.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Bright, alive colors get my attention. I love reds and yellows and oranges, and greens and blues and all of the rainbow's hew. Colors capture my eyes view. They stimulate and inspire. They decorate and make for better connection.

Nature's colors really get my attention. I love the colors of Spring and Fall. The deep greens of Summer catch my attention too. Even the grays of Winter make for an interesting change, though not as glorious.

I suppose that is why I love flowers in our back yard. When I read the Word and pray and meditate, the beauty of God's glory shines. They proclaim His radiant life. The flowers show His handiwork. He is alive. He is real. He is active in my world.

That is why I love what Wanda does in making our backyard glow. Her mother is here now and they have added new flowers and plants and colors. The reds and yellows, and oranges and whites beam. They inspire and motivate.

I love it.

God created flowers, but loving hands place them in prominent places.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I know it is not Thanksgiving yet, but thanksgiving is not merely an annual event. It should be a moment by moment expression of our hearts. Thankfulness is the nutriment of positive living. It is soul food for the faithful.

In our staff meeting at church this week I took time for each staff member to go around the room and express in one sentence what they were thankful for in the lives of their fellow workers. When the time ended, there were smiles and a few tears of gratitude around the room. It was a faith building, love bonding moment. We all grew.

Some said to me, pastor I am thankful for you because:

1. you are steadfast.
2. you are my spiritual mentor.
3. you are here for us.
4. you are a good letter writer.

There were other comments, but I will tell you I felt better after that staff meeting. They all felt better too.

Don't wait to express to others why you are thankful to the Lord for them. Why not build them up today. Think on the positive values of others. Let God focus on their weaknesses. You help build up their strengths.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Good words spoken in due season have power to change lives. Encouraging words are like rain on dry plants. They water the soul and give life to the dry heart. The give courage to the weary traveler.

Once when I was a young teenager, I missed the last question of a Bible state quiz championship playoff game that cost our team. We lost because my mind went blank. It was in front of hundreds of people. I was deflated and defeated.

After the quiz was over, I went to my seat in the audience. I was embarrassed and wanted to hide.

But an old minister, leaned over to me and spoke encouraging words and helped my wounded feelings and spirit.

I have never forgotten that moment of encouragement. It helped me try again. I got over my defeat and discouragement.

That is the power of an encouraging word.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Getting up before the crack of dawn has never been my forte. I don't get up at the crack of noon either, but times are changing. Is it my age? Or body chemistry? Or a late change of life? Whatever the reason, I find myself late in late wanting to go to bed earlier and rise earlier.

For preachers, so much of our life ministry is in the evenings, and because of that, we need to be our best in the evening. That makes sense doesn't it. Also, does it really matter if work and life is done early or late?

Jesus rose early to pray. Of course He is the perfect model to follow, but He also prayed at night. Sometimes He prayed all night. I wonder if our Lord ever took an afternoon power nap?

Nevertheless, I am rising earlier and spending more time with the Lord and preparing for the events of the day. Yes, I am struggling some in the evening, but that's life.

Meeting the Lord early does make the day go better. Just a few moments with Him changes everything.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Life should be lived intentionally, with purpose, with a sense of direction. Aimless living leads to aimless lives. If you don't know what your shooting for, then you are sure to miss it every time. That is not a good way to get anywhere fast.

Here are five points on how to have a great day:

1. Invite God to walk with you.

2. Begin with a thankfulness and choose to be positive.

3. Eat the frog first. Do the worst task or thing you must do first, everything after that is downhill.

4. Be flexible. Interruptions are bound to happen. Just know adjustments are certain.

5. Good choices lead to good days.

6. At the end of the day, give the good, the bad, the ugly to God. God will take it all and work it together for good, if we love Him and are doing His will.

I once read a quote that goes, "There is nothing that can happen today, that with God's help, I can't handle."

Good days and bad days are bound to occur. I choose to be proactive and believe for a great day!

Monday, September 12, 2011


How can God hear all of us at the same time? He must have really good hearing. The greater question is why would he care to listen? It is amazing!

Wanda has to pull me back into focus too often because of my getting distracted. There are so many things that vie for my attention and admittedly I struggle. That's not good.

Why don't we listen better to one another or more importantly to God? Again, we get distracted. We fail to realize the importance. We think what we are doing is more important than God or others. Not good again.

This past week I have made it a point to shut down distractions. Turn the TV off. I have made it a point to listen to God. Oh, I am making it a point to listen to Wanda too.

Listening to God and Wanda and those dear are all vitally important. I must give full attention. Good things happen when I do.

Friday, September 9, 2011


I remember 9/11/01 as if it were yesterday. We will all remember where we were and what we were doing on 9/11 for the rest of our lives. I was at home and turned the TV on just as the first attack had occurred and was being reported. I never turn the TV on in the mornings, but I did that day. I thought I was watching a promo for a movie. It was surreal. It took a few moments to realize this was real, not a movie.

It is an unforgettable date. It is like Dec 7, Pearl Harbor Day or Nov 22, the day President Kennedy was shot. Those dates are indelible.

Once I ate dinner on the 109th floor of the World Trade Center. It was expensive and very high up in the air. I have flown on airplanes that didn’t get that high. I remember thinking that if terrorists were ever to knock down on of those buildings that it would be a world changing event, and it truly was.

But what do these unusual dates mean to us? What should our responses be? What should good Americans or good Christians do?

We can remember. Pay respects. Show honor. Give thanks. Reflect. Move to right action.

But our greatest need and greatest response or action should be prayer. America needs prayer. We are in a battle for our survival. It is a war against terrorist and a war against spiritual attacks against the very fabric of society. Neither war will be won without prayer.

This weekend, join with me in renewing efforts in prayer for our Nation. Let’s humble ourselves and pray. Let’s turn from sinful ways. God will hear and answer.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


There is a difference between a handout and a helping hand. Handouts don't mean much and that don't change much. They often are appreciated, and they are quickly forgotten.

Helping hands pull desperate people out of impossible situations. They reach out with love and compassion because of previous mercy shown them. They see need and do something good. They cannot ignore. Refuse to forget and resist self-pity.

I have been a recipient of helping hands. I know that I would not be here unless they had been extended. They reached out sharing God's love, picked me up, comforted my soul, and gently pointed me in the right way.

Many hands make for light work. Now that is a true statement. Here is another one. Free is better than cheap, but that has nothing to do with this article.

There are many who are hurting and need a helping hand, or maybe an encouraging word, or another chance, or an extra bonus, or just a helping hand.

Offer a kind word to someone unsuspecting. It could make the total difference in their destiny.

Monday, September 5, 2011


I am spending this week in a prayer retreat. Wanda and I have focused on prayer and waiting on God. Prayer is vital in our spiritual walk. Not everything is shut down, but there isn't much happening this week but prayer.

Now tell me, what could be more important than talking to God?

Just think of it, God is willing to spend time with me?


Beyond incredible!

Too much to comprehend.

He cares to talk to me.

Try calling the Queen of England and see how long you can get her on the phone, but God is waiting to talk to me.

I need time alone with God.

Friday, September 2, 2011


It seems I spend most of my life in meetings of some kind. I love church meetings because I love to go to church. It is all those other meetings that get me.

Sometimes it is denominational preacher meetings that get tiring. Sometimes it is necessary staff or church ministry meetings that are trying. Sometimes is is counseling meetings, or even more impacting, meetings with families over the loss of a loved one.

Meetings! Meetings! Meetings!

Now don't get me wrong. I love my calling. It is filled with so many varied and wonderful opportunities. It is just getting ready over and over again for another meeting. It is the boring ones that really get me.

I once heard a preacher say that he wasn't too interested in going in the rapture. He heard that "there was going to be a meeting in the air" and he had been to enough meetings.

Now that is one meeting that I don't plan on missing. I am ready for that meeting. It will be the best!