Monday, October 31, 2011


Sunday night we had our first Trunk or Treat at church which takes the place of our annual Harvest Festival. It was a great night of candy, candy, candy!

What is Trunk or Treat?

Glad you asked.

It is a fun night of games, bouncy house, music, painted faces, hot dogs, and candy, candy, candy. Trunks of cars, vans, and motorcycles were decorated and kids got to Trick or Treat in trunks. I was amazed at the creativity and unusual presentation.

Everyone had a super time. I guess the kiddies will need stomach medication for all the candy, and moms and dads needed nerve medication from all the hyper kids.

See those three little kiddies? Those are triplets and their big sister. They are the only triplets I have ever had in a church where I was pastor. They are cut-ties!

Wanda and I decorated "Big Red". She wanted to make it a lady bug, but that was too female sounding for "Big Red". We need a little more masculinity happening. "Big Red" would not have wanted to be dressed in lady bug garb.

Trunk or Treat is a unique way to present an alternative to Halloween. I love it! Fun!

Can somebody say, "Candy, candy, candy!"

Friday, October 28, 2011


Here are pictures from the landing of the Ocala Veteran’s Honor Flight to Washington D. C. Dad was one of over 100 veterans who made the day long flight to Washington and back to see the World War II Memorial. The landing ceremony was quite impressive as hundreds turned out to salute the veterans. I was proud of dad and all of the vets. It was a touching time to see men and women who served our Nation with such honor.

Salute Again!

I left late Thursday afternoon and rode "Big Red" to the Ocala Fl Airport and waited with all the other thankful families and friends and Americans for the Honor Flight. They landed to great celebration and fanfare. It made you proud to be an American.

They call World War II veterans "the greatest generation". I think there is something to that. We have so much to learn from this group, but not much time to capture their spirit and heart.

So, thanks again Dad, and welcome home!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


My father, Oscar Milton Dykes, served in the Navy in WWII. He served at the end of the war in Pensacola, Fl. Through the years I have heard his stories of Navy service and have been thankful and proud of him. He gave his time and service in an admirable manner.

Now he is planning a trip to Washington D.C., to visit the WWII Memorial. On Thursday, dad will be going with some 100+ other WWII veterans provided for them free as a honor for their service by the Ocala Veterans Honor Flight. They pay all the expenses for the veterans and give them a great day.


I admire and appreciate Dad and all of our veterans for the sacrifices they made. We enjoy freedom because they gave. We all owe them a deep heart felt thanks for their efforts.

Some gave their lives and died on foreign soil. Some received war injuries. To all we say again, "Thank You" for a job well done.

I wish I could go with dad on this trip. It isn't possible, but I do want him and all of our servicemen and serviceladies to know that I am grateful to live in the greatest nation in the world. They helped make it the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Thanks, Dad. I love you and am very proud of you.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Good pastors truly shepherd and care for the flocks. Pastors can't be everywhere doing everything for everyone, but good pastors watch over the sheep. Someone said that good pastors smell like sheep. I think there is some truth to that.

This morning I am making a couple of hospital calls. One member is having a heart cath with stints. Another member is old and losing health. Both members need prayer.

How does a pastor make a successful hospital visit?

1. Show up.
2. Show care.
2. Pray
3. Assist with needs.
4. Leave

Praying and leaving quickly generally make the visit go better especially when someone is very ill. Sick people need prayer and rest. They don't need to entertain the preacher or anyone else for that matter.

Jesus cared for the flock. He sought out the lost sheep. He gave His life for us. Can we do any less?

Oh, pastors don't know someone is sick and in the hospital if they aren't told. Catch the drift?

Friday, October 21, 2011


So, can you tell I am enjoying my new Ipad2?

It is amazing. I carry less books around. Don't need paper to write on anymore. Read the newspaper and can read magazines on it. It is a reminder. My banker. Weather report system. It is my camera, video, and photo system. It has all of my music.

it is my dictionary, thesaurus, map, and reference books holder.

I carry all my Bibles and sermon notes in it.

I used it to preach my last funeral sermon and Wed. night message.

I even read my blog on it.

All of its info is stored in my computer and Iphone too.

Just Amazing!

Wish I had gotten one before now.

No, I still haven't played any games with it yet.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Wanda and I rode "The Tail of the Dragon" in Deals Gap, NC. We rode it in the rain. That is 11 miles with 318 curves. Now before you say we are crazy, let me tell you that I had a certified trainer coaching us through the drive.

People ride from all over America to ride Dragon's Tail. Personally I don't think it is the toughest ride in the Smokies, but it is extremely challenging.

What is the point of riding Dragon's Tail?

For a biker, it is the challenge.
It is fun.
It is beautiful.
It gives bragging rites.
It is an amazing ride.

They have a "Tree of Shame" at the bottom where motorcycle parts are hung from fallen motorcycles. We didn't do it with thrill expectations riding at fast speeds. It was more a fun ride just enjoying the curves. I will admit the first part in hard rain wasn't the best, but we rode through that in a moment and then the ride was pleasant.

Riding in the Smokies is so different than in Florida. Here it is straight and boring. I love Florida, but I love riding in the Smokies more.

Isn't Wanda a trooper. She said she actually enjoyed riding Dragon's Tail. Now that is some wife

Monday, October 17, 2011


Faithful church members are jewels in my book. I am talking about those who are there when the doors are open. I mean those who remain faithful to their church for years and do not leave. These kind love their pastors and don't shun any. They carry the load of church work. They are givers and not takers. Faithful church members are not fair weather folks. They don't merely ride on the band wagon. They love the Lord, their church, and the lost. They stick through thick and thin.

Here is on of those church members.

I am talking about Edna Smart in Elba, Alabama.

Wanda and I preached there at First Assembly a couple of weeks back. Edna was there when I was pastor in 1975. There are other wonderful church members that I could write about in that church.

Edna Smart has taught Sunday School for 50+ years and was chosen as the Sunday School Teacher of the Year in Alabama for the Assemblies of God. That is special. She is a shining light and a model to follow. She is not perfect. No one is perfect, but she has been faithful and loved the Lord, her church, and the lost.

There have been many times she could have quit or gone somewhere else to church. She could have quit attending period, but she didn't.

Thank God for God for faithful church members. Edna Smart has a great reward in heaven. I am sure.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Friendship keeps life from being lonely and boring. Friends stick with you, at least true friends do, through thick and thin. They don't run away when you aren't your best. They don't care if you're riding high or sinking low. They accept you regardless. That is a true friend.

Friendship is the result of being friendly. It happens when no records are kept.

I have been fortunate to enjoy having many friends and some for years. I wouldn't attempt to name them because I would surely leave someone off the list. Not good!

What do good friendships require?

Time. Trust. Truth. Tact.

Friendships that are genuine can be picked up even after long lapes of involvement. They don't fade or wash out.

What make for friendship?

A smile. A kind word. A few compliments. A thoughtful deed.

What makes for friendship?

Reaching out again. Being hard to be offended. Accepting the good, the bad, the ugly.

Jesus is my friend.

Wanda is my friend.

My family are all friends.

The list goes from there. I hope I can be a good friend. So many have been kind to me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Riding a motorcycle in the rain is challenging. No, sometimes it can be nerve racking. I ride for pleasure not for thrill, but sometimes you get caught in the rain. So what do you do? Slow down. Use caution. Pay attention to potential slick spots. No quick stops, turns, or sudden changes. Ride through curves at a constant speed. Give lots of room for cars, trucks, or any other vehicle. Pay attention. Or, just park it.

Safe riding isn't automatic. It requires focus.

Safe journeying in life also demands more attention. My heart breaks when I see personal life crashes. I have ministered to so many fallen individuals. It hurts when you see people hurt.

I have ridden "Big Red" in the rain some this week. God has kept me safe. I thank Him.

Now, may God help me to complete my life journey safely too.

That is all that matters.

Maybe I need to slow down. That is a key in safe riding. Maybe I should wait more on the Lord. He will guide if I will listen.

Wait on the Lord.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Love and faithfulness are fruits of the Spirit. Gal. 5:22 tells us that.

Solomon wrote that love and faithfulness should never depart from us. They bring favor with men and God.

Sunday I preached a message entitled "Juicy Fruit". We all need them. They bless and add joy. At the end of my message I gave everyone a pack of Juicy Fruit chewing gum. Now chew on this message. Let the sweetness of love and faithfulness bless you.

Just Juicy Fruit.


Friday, October 7, 2011


I am having fun with my new IPad2. In fact, I am typing this post on my IPad. I have a wireless keypad that lets me do it rather easy. Man, am I cool or what?

In the early '80's I bought one of the first Apple computers. It had a floppy disk, but it was cool for the day. Not many folks had one back then. It basically was a word processor. It couldn't do much more.

Now with a MacBook, IPhone, IPad2, I am cooking with gas, as my father would say. What am I doing with it?

Research, reading, writing, journaling, bill paying, calendaring, and the list goes on.

I love reading with it. I don't have to carry a handful of books around everywhere. It is something!

It is interesting to learning how to use it. I check an IPad2 book for Dummies out of the library. That's me. I am a dummy, but I am learning.

What does John Maxwell say about leaders?

Leaders must be learners. So, I am a dummy, but everyday I am learning a little more.

I wonder what will be coming down the road? When I was in college, it was an old typewriter. Now, I am cool. I'm hip. Like man, I am with it.

Just a dummy having fun!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


It isn't Christmas is it? I guess that is still three months away, but I feel like it is Christmas. Wanda bought me an Ipad for my birthday. Can you believe it. She said that I had bought her lots of nice jewelry and she wanted to do something nice for me.

She is quite a lady and is an incredible blessing to me.

So I am learning the new toy, err, I mean work tool. Actually I don't have any games on it or any of my computers. I think I should add some. Maybe it would keep me from being so dull. I could turn into a really hip guy.

Maybe this Ipad will help with that. My secretary came into my office and saw me working on my Ipad. She accused me of playing with my toy. Well, it is fun, but I wasn't playing I was working.

What will my Ipad do?

Too much for me to write here. It has a camera, Ipod, calender, contact list, GPS, internet and email, photos, movies, library, and the list goes on and on.

There are many changes in this world that I haven't enjoyed and personally just don't like. Computer technology is huge to me.

Thanks Wanda. You are a blessing to me. Love you!

Monday, October 3, 2011


I love church folks. "Folks" is a Southern term for people. I love people, but I really love church folks. They are the salt of the earth. They are light in a dark world. They are healers and helpers. They pick people up when they are down.

Church folks are not perfect, but they have God's love in their hearts. That love is what makes church folks incredibly special.

I see that love in action over and over. I have felt that love and have been blessed by it. Yes, church folks are difference makers. They help smooth over the rough spots in life, and give second, third, and infinitum chances.

Now maybe you have been hurt by a church "folk." That can happen too. I have been hurt by a few, but the greatest majority by far can be counted on the help you when your down.

After being in The Church all these years, I have decided I will stay in the Ship of Zion until I get to the others side. Jesus loved The Church. He died for it. The Church is close to the heart of God, and He wants us to treat it with love and proper care. My commitment is to love and care for The Church as a good shepherd.

An by the way, Church folks are good cooks. They make great banana puddings.

Don't get down on church folks. Let God's love fill your heart again for them if there is a hurt spot or disappointment.

I love good church folks. Hope you do too!

Be Blessed!