Friday, December 30, 2011


The New Year is just a day away. I can't believe 2011 is spent. Time just flies when you're having fun. We had a full and enjoyable year. So many good things happened in our church. Sadly, we lost some wonderful church members who are in heaven now. The good news is that they are in heaven. There is another alternative, you know.

Wanda and I traveled a good bit this year. We made a motorcycle trip to the mountains and traveled to Arizona. Of course, there were many trips to see family.

Now what is in store for 2012?

Sunday I am preaching a sermon entitled, "Five Things To Do So That You Can Enjoy All God Has for You in 2012."

What are they?

1. Connect with God.
2. Throw Out the Trash.
3. Read Something Good.
4. Take Care of Your Temple.
5. Do What You Know To Do.

Of course I will elaborate some, but that is it. We all need to pay attention to each of these points. I believe they are the secret to having a great New Year!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Grace is unmerited favor. It is kindness shown for the undeserving. It is the manifestation of God's love. It is clemency. It covers failures and shortcomings. It forgives, forgets, and forbears.

All of us need it. We all fall short. No one is perfecK.

Grace should not be taken for-granted or abused. Grace received should be with thanksgiving and gratitude.

Once I had to go before a judge due to not having a properly registered car tag. I had registered the car, but unknowing to me the metal tag wasn't current. A officer stopped me and gave me a citation. As I stood before the judge I could show that the car sticker was current, but I didn't know what happened with the tag. It could have cost several hundred dollars.

But, the judge was gracious. The state prosecutor wanted a harsher sentence, but the judge accepted my answer and let me go.


Was I ever grateful. I deserved a fine, but grace was given.

I was thankful beyond my few words here. What is the point? All of us need grace at one time or another. It behooves us to show grace.

Grace is good.

Monday, December 26, 2011


I told Wanda that I had bought her a gift for Christmas this year that she would never forget. That perked her curiosity. We both bought each other five gifts for Christmas. It wasn't planned, but that is what happened.

So on Christmas Eve she opened three gifts and I opened three gifts. We saved two each to open on Christmas morning. I picked the ones she was to open and she picked the ones I was to open.

You guessed it. The gift that she will never forget was saved to open until Christmas morning. She got more curious.

Now all the giving and receiving is over, except for Julie and the boys. There is one Christmas celebration to share. They are excited.

But probably not any more curious than Wanda was about her gift to remember. I kept telling her that she would never forget this one. So Sunday morning came and two more gifts were opened by each of us.

One of her gifts was gold earrings. She loved them, but they were not to the gift to remember. That was yet to come. What do you think?

A ring?


A car?

A purse?


No, this was to be a gift never to be forgotten. We've gotten into camping some, and when you camp in a tent there is one convenience that they don't add in any tent I have ever seen. Wanda has had to slip out into the night and into the bushes because of this forgotten convenience. So have you guessed the gift to remember yet? I gave her a camping, portable potty! She laughed and loved it. Now that is a gift to remember on a cold, dark night in a tent!

Friday, December 23, 2011


My post is brief. I'm busy.

What do pastors do?

Shepherd the flock. Pray. Preach the Word. Reach the lost. Disciple converts. Equip saints. Administrate. Vision cast. Plan. Organize. Implement. Help the fallen. Marry. Bury. Dedicate. Fellowship. Eat. Visit. Counsel......

Start all over and do it again, and again, and again, and again.

There is never a boring moment. Some moments are challenging, but never boring.

I love being a pastor. I serve a wonderful church. They are the best.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I will admit it that shopping isn't my most favorite thing. I do love to buy gifts, that is if I know what the person would like. Wanda has been asking me what I want for Christmas. I've asked her too. We both want to see each other blessed, and our children and families blessed, and our church blessed. So how do we do it?

Wanda has asked over and over what I would like beyond seeing others blessed. I have had a difficult time coming up with much. See bought me and Ipad2 for my birthday, and I have bought the needed apps to make it do what I want.

She has told me a couple of things she would like and has been nice enough to pick them out. That makes my job much easier. I will pick something out also for her. She is such a wonderful, beautiful wife. I love her. I want to see a smile when she opens my gift. I still have some shopping and gift buying to do.

A couple years back we didn't have gifts under our tree for each other due to other things we were doing and enjoying that we counted as Christmas. It wasn't quite the same. There wasn't a package to shake or tear into. We missed the fun and joy of opening gifts. We won't do that again.

I can't wait to see the grands open their gifts. I see smiles already. That are so cute and loving.

But the most special gift of Christmas is Christ. All the busyiness must never cloud or distract from the meaning of it all. Our Lord gave us the gift of life by His coming into this world. We have peace and joy because He so loved us.

Gift exchanging is fun, but the first gift of Christmas was the highest.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Smiles change lives, the mood of a room, the despair of a fallen heart. What is a smile worth? First it is a very inexpensive gift, but it has priceless value. I have had people make faces at me, wrinkle their noses, and turn their heads. Nothing good comes from that, but a smile is a different thing. Smiles perk the attitude and atmosphere.

As kids we sang, "Smile awhile and give your face a rest, raise your hand to the one you love the best. Then shake hands with those near by...." My mind cannot come up with the rest of the words, but I know the value of a cheerful, warm, look.

I've read that people who smile more make more. I know that their smile shows a intentional effort to have a positive view and a positive perspective. Smiles are outer reflections of a cheerful, thankful heart.

I read a story about a man who thought all was lost. He didn't have hope. He didn't think he had a reason to smile so he didn't. He went to a counselor and told his plight. The wise counselor asked the man to take a sheet of paper and write "assets" at the top of the sheet on one side and "liabilities" on the other side.

The man said he didn't have any assets and couldn't see the reason of making such a list.

So the counselor asked the discouraged man to put deceased wife on the liability side.

"My wife isn't deceased," the man responded.

The counselor said, "Then put that on the asset side. Now, put house burned down on the liability side."

"My house hasn't burned down," the frowning man said.

"Then put your house on the asset side, and put fired from job on the liability side," the counselor continued.

"I haven't been fired either. I have a job," the man shot back.

"Then put that on the asset side," the counselor directed.

The assets were beginning to far exceed his liabilites. The point is that too often we have a very poor perspective of how things really are. So I guess we need to count our blessings for God has been so good to all of us.

Now, smile!

Friday, December 16, 2011



I don't feel so hot. I have caught the sniffles or whatever is gong around. One moment I have chills and then the next I am hot. Don't think I have had a fever. And boy can I sneeze. Just ask Wanda. I think I have sneezed to loud that she has nearly fainted.

My cure is lots of liquids, rest, soup, and cold medicines. More than that I have prayed and asked the Lord to touch my body.

Someone asked me recently if God heals. My answer is yes, I believe God heals today. Is everyone healed? The obvious answer is no. I don't have all the answers on divine healing, but I know that if we pray then God hears. I would rather believe in a prayer answering God who doesn't limit how He answers or what prayers He answers. If He answers any prayers, and He does, then I believe He can answer all prayers.

So I am expecting to get better soon. He cares about colds too!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


What is a Tebowism?

It comes from the current phenomena of Tim Tebow and his football prowess and faith. Tim Tebow became the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos this season after their team had a very poor start. They ware 1-4 before Tebow, and now the Broncos are 8-5 after Tebow. He has lead them to 7 wins and many of them in overtime. He has become a national phenomena because of his faith and grit on the football field.

Now a Tebowism is a term being used to explain the unexplainable turn of events that lead to success. It often includes miracle-like events. Tebowisms occur when people don't quit in spite of insurmountable odds.

Tim Tebow often kneels on the football field in prayerful thanks after a miraculous win. He gives glory to His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is not ashamed of his faith nor His Lord.

Tim is clean-cut, apple pie, and a generally good guy. He is also a leader, a determined football player, and strong-willed in his convictions. He doesn't compromise.

Those are head turning qualities. His sincerely, purity, and bold faith are unflappable. He is real.

Real faith is good.

He has beat all oddsmakers who said he couldn't play quarterback in the NFL. I am sincerely praying that God will help Tim to be one of the ones He uses to speak faith back into a faithless Nation.


Lord, please make Tim bold, courageous, and even more passionate. Help him bring glory to your name in winning or losing. Use Tim to speak faith to a faithless generation. Protect him and keep him.

In Jesus Name, Amen!

Monday, December 12, 2011


The snail was climbing up the tree when a worm peeked out a woodpecker hole and asked where the snail was going?

The snail replied, "I am climbing the tree to get some apples."

The worms smirked, "There are no apples in the tree."

"There will be when I get up there," the snail responded.

Sometimes slow, determined perseverance is the only way to achieve the desired goal. It would be nice if everything moved at the pace we want, but that just isn't life. Most of the great victories of life come from hard work and lots of sweat.

Here is the point. Keep climbing up the tree like the snail. You'll get there at the right time, and the apples will taste even better than you can imagine.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Wanda and I are on the run. We left Jacksonville on Thursday afternoon headed to Tampa. We left Tampa that evening driving back up to Leesburg. Friday morning we’re headed to Orlando, and then later Friday afternoon we return back to Jacksonville.

Why make such a trip?

The answer is simple.


One grandson had a track meet. One grandson had a music concert. One grandson had a football game. Proud grandparents want to see it all.

We can’t do everything or go to everything they do, but it is a joy to share in their lives and watch them grow up. It is happening so quickly. They are good grands. We are proud of them all.

We also celebrated Julie’s birthday which is next Tuesday. We made every moment count. Julie is such a beautiful young woman. We are so proud and thankful to the Lord for her.

Between going to Tampa and Orlando we stopped overnight and saw mom and dad. Our visits were too quick, but very enjoyable. We love our family.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I am amazed at how fast news travels. The speed and amount of communication in today's world is totally incredible. What must the world been like before telegraphs, trans-Atlantic cable, phones, or television.

And now we are in the age of hyper-communication with twitter, texting, social networks, Internet news, and YouTube. I can talk with folks and see them on my phone. I get pictures of grandchildren's events at long distances away. Wow!

But no modern communication comes close to the manner which God communicates. He needs no server, wires, cables, buttons, or tech savvy to share or connect to me. He is there. He is everywhere with no limits, boundaries, or barriers. He is God.

I am amazed that He would talk or spend time with me. I thank you Lord for reaching out to me, for loving me, for caring for me. I am amazed that you would patiently wait for me to talk to you. Please forgive me when I fail to take time with you. Thank you for caring for me and listening to me.

And all that with no connection costs.

Monday, December 5, 2011


What we say moves us toward what we'll eventually have. Positive words help us enjoy positive results. Spoken words have value and consequence.

I recently read these words from a devotional book. Maybe they will encourage you as they did me.

"Instead of saying, ‘We’ve never done it before,’ say, ‘We have the opportunity to be first.’

Instead of saying, ‘We don’t have the resources,’ say, ‘Necessity fuels invention.’

Instead of saying, ‘There’s not enough time,’ say, ‘We’ll change how we work.’

Instead of saying, ‘We’ve already tried that,’ say, ‘We learned from experience.’

Instead of saying, ‘We don’t have the expertise,’ say, ‘Let’s network with those who do.’

Instead of saying, ‘Our vendors and customers won’t go for it,’ say, ‘Let’s show them the opportunities.’

Instead of saying, ‘We don’t have enough money,’ say, ‘Maybe there’s something we can cut.’

Instead of saying, ‘We’re understaffed,’ say, ‘We’re a lean, hungry team.’

Instead of saying, ‘It’ll never get any better,’ say, ‘We’ll try one more time.’

Instead of saying, ‘Let somebody else deal with it,’ say, ‘I’m ready to learn something new.’

Instead of saying, ‘It’s not my job,’ say, ‘I’ll be glad to take the responsibility.’

Instead of saying, ‘I can’t,’ say, ‘By God’s grace I can!’”

(From Daily Devotionals: A Word for you Today: Word For You Today -- Online Devotionals)

So, what are you saying?


By the way, Alabama will play LSU for the National College Football Championship!

Roll Tide!

Friday, December 2, 2011


I love Christmas lights, and Christmas trees, and lots of Christmas packages. It is that time of year again. I have already climbed into the attic to pull down decorations for Wanda, and now it is time to head to the attic again to get the outdoor lights and decorations and put them up.

This has been my tradition for years and years going back to when I first owned a home in Bartow, Fl. Each year I have changed or added or left off or replaced stuff, but I like the look outdoors with Christmas lights glowing.

Our neighborhood does a good job displaying the Christmas spirit. On Christmas eve we line our streets with candles burning. People come from all over Southside to see the beauty.

I know that lots of people struggle with hurt and loss during this time especially if they have recently lost a dear one. I certainly understand that, but I also know that the Lord can shine His Light and love into our hearts to help comfort and soothe the broken heart.

His joy and peace cannot be taken away. His love brightens the way. He is, after all, The Light of the world.

So, I'll get the lights down again. I want lights, lights, and more lights to shine in a dark world.