Monday, January 30, 2012


Sunday night, last night, Wanda and I attended the annual pastor's school here at First Baptist Church. They always have great speakers and fabulous music. It is a little taste of heaven. I love the musical presentations they do.

The speaker was Joel Rosenburg, author and prophecy speaker. It was very interesting as Joel spoke from Daniel 5 and made implications of America and impending judgement. He also spoke of the strong possibility of was between Israel and Iran in 2012. I would tend to agree with him.

As the program progressed, they introduced House Speaker Newt Ginrich. They didn't let him address the crowd, but he did get a standing ovation. Newt also got to hear the Gospel. The pastor of First Baptist didn't give an endorsement of any kind, but you could didn't get the feel of pro-Newt in the crowd.

I couldn't help but wonder what this service might mean to Newt and America if per chance he was to win the Presidency? I don't know that he will be elected, but who knows?

The bottom line is that we had better pray daily for America. I believe our Country's soul and future is weighing in the balance. Our victory is not merely in conservations winning elections, but rather us humbling ourselves before God.

Tuesday I will vote, but everyday I am praying for America. That is our only hope.

Friday, January 27, 2012




This is Mitt Romney, or Newt. None of the others have called yet.

So who shall I vote for? One man flip-flops over the abortion and pro-life/pro-choice issue. One man has had multiple affairs. One man doesn't seem to have a very good chance to win. One man has dropped out of the race. So who do you vote for in the Florida Republican Primary?

I weary of all the phone calls and negative ads and ugly debates. Why do they have to make is so personal rather than focusing on the needs and future of our Country?

The sad news is that we're only getting started. The Republican Primary will end and then we'll head to the National Elections. Want that be fun?

So what is my choice?

I chose to pray for America. I chose to vote my conscience after prayerful and forthright thought. America is in God's hands. He knows the future. I need not worry. I'm just tired of all of the fussing and politics.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Love doesn't always come easy. Sometimes it has a price. It can require great sacrifice, endurance, forbearance, and patience. Deep love moves beyond moods, feelings, or sheer attractions.

It is a choice to have a forgiving love.

It is a choice to have a sacrificial love.

It is a choice to have an overlooking love.

It is a choice to have an extra-mile love.

It is a choice to have a until death we part love.

I have found that God's love in us is that extra push, motivation, and grace to live beyond the moment and mere feelings. God's love doesn't fail, waver, or fall short. It chooses to stand and remain faithful.

Wanda and I are reading an new book entitled "The Sexperiment". Now isn't that an interesting title. In it the authors, Ed and Lisa Young, write about oneness. They share that when you are one in marriage that any harm to the other becomes harm to you. Oneness means that as we are joined in heart, faith, spirit, and body that you cannot separate what effects one from the other.

To hurt your mate means you are hurting yourself because you are one. You cannot separate the impact of the other from yourself. It becomes impossible. So it only seems reasonable to make sure that the choices that one makes are good choices. Those chooses bless or hurt your own being.

In marriage when we are one, the equation is like this:

1 + 1 = 1

This is the marriage equation. So I have made the choice to love. It is a decision that binds me to how I will act and react. It is a premeditated choice of of love. It blesses me for we are one.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Wanda cooked an incredible lunch for Sunday dinner. Mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet corn, and a pork loin made for a delicious feast. It was scrumptious. Her mom and Carolyn, one of her sisters, came over from Tallahassee to spend a day or so. She also had a jello, strawberry, whipped cream dessert. My goodness was that ever good.

After the feast, we sat around the table talking. Someone brought up the cookbook the ladies group from Bartow First Assembly put together when I was the pastor there. Wanda got the book out, and I scanned through the recipes. Now there are some fantastic dishes there. Church folks know how to cook.

While scanning the book, I found my one and only entry into a cookbook. Now you know that I don't cook, so what could I put in there?

It is my famous Raisin Bran cereal recipe. You can't miss with this one. Simple is the key word. Maybe funny is the word too! But it really is in the book.

Friday, January 20, 2012


That never to be forgotten Christmas gift surely will never be forgotten. It leaks!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Food is fuel. It helps run my body and your body too. I have a theory about food and fat. It goes like this: food is like gasoline for our cars in that food is our fuel. With our bodies, the more we expend energy and physical exertion, the more the fuel is burned up. The more we put fuel in without using it, the more and the faster it turns to fat.

Fuel + No Exercise = Fat


Here is the better formula:

Fuel + Exercise = Fit

So what kind of fuel should we use? And, how much exercise should we do? I am working on that formula and Wanda is helping me with the food part. We are leaving off fried foods and heavy starches and sugars. That means no sweets and desserts. Now that is a change from the Holidays. Our diet is balanced and we're actually eating more. We're eating 3 meals a day with 3 small snacks a day too.

I recently had a test to determine my body fat. I am 8 points too high. It was 28% and should be around 19-20% for my age and height. The same test noted that my body is is 72 years old. That isn't so hot for a 62 year old man. I've got to change that, and I am.

I've lost about 4 pounds. I am running 5 days a week training for another 15K Gate River Run in March. I did a four mile run last Friday.

Actually, on Thursday I attempted a 3 mile run and just couldn't do it. I quit after about 2.5 miles. My tank was empty. It was discouraging. Later, I realized I just didn't have the energy needed for the run because I had not eaten in several hours.

On Friday just one day later, I ate properly at the right time and breezed through a four mile run. The day before I couldn't make it 3 miles. Amazing! Eating right pays!

Spiritually, we need to make sure we are feeding our lives. Too many are drained, zapped, and wasted because they failed to eat properly spiritually. Jesus said that we cannot live by bread alone. We need spiritual food.

So I am eating properly, with right portions, and regularly. It makes the day go better. Likewise, I am taking care of my spiritual man. That makes everything go better.

Monday, January 16, 2012


I grew up in Montgomery, Al, as a boy when Martin Luther King lived there. He obviously was much older than me as he was a pastor. I was just a kid. I remember him leading marches and the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement.

This Sunday at church one of our families mentioned that they would be a part of the Martin Luther King Parade today here in Jacksonville. There was a sense of pride, thankfulness, and excitement in their hearts. I was thrilled for them.

There once was a sad day in America when African Americans were pushed to the back and treated unfairly. Even worse there was a day of slavery. Thankfully those days are long gone. Segregation as I knew it as a boy has ended. Thank God. Regretfully, there are many predjudices that still exist race toward race and some even interracially. How sad.

Marting Luther King wasn't perfect, but he did push for a nonviolent approach toward ending racial inequality. I salute him for that and many other good things he did.

Today, may God help us to treat others as we would want to be treated. I believe our Lord taught us to do that.

Friday, January 13, 2012


It seems like I spend a ton of time getting ready to go. In and out of the driveway day after day, I go. That is preceded by dressing up. Teeth brushed, shaved, bathed, hair combed, properly dressed, gathering all the stuff needed for the day, and here I go again, and again, and again, and again.

Isn't that life?

Sometimes I have to get dressed several times in one day, depending on what's happening. If I run or jog or have and evening church event or work in the yard, then I go through the process over and over.

When we get our new, glorified bodies, it would be nice if they automatically cleaned themselves and you could just think what you needed to have on to wear, and poof! It just all took place.

That would help this getting ready over and over again.

I feel all this frustration and I'm a man. It doesn't take me but a few minutes to prepare for the day. I don't wear makeup, or have to fix-up my hair, or coordinate much. However, it still gets tiresome.

But getting dressed isn't the only preparations happening in my day. I prepare for teaching, preaching, and ministering over and over. I love that part. The longer I have prepared the more I have learned how to prepare. Reading, studying, meditating, praying, making notes and outlines, and so forth are all a part of preparing.

Then there is preparations for all kinds of other life projects. Like yard work. Or general oversight of things here at the church, or trips, or events, weddings, funerals, and counseling.

Sometimes, preparations seem to never end, but without proper preparation the process of doing is slowed or becomes futile. Preparation is vital to life success.

What about preparing for heaven? Or eternity? What about preparing loved ones for the next life. Jesus said not everyone is going to make heaven. That is not my words, those are our Lord's Words.

So I think I'll spend a little more time getting ready for eternity. That is the only preparation that matters. What do you think?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I have a greater hunger for God's Word. I have read it, memorized it, taught it, preached it, meditated on it, and quoted it all my life. In my family growing up we always included God's Word every morning before beginning the day. Mom or dad read the Scriptures to us. I learned the importance of God's Word daily through them.

Now I have made an even greater commitment to reading the Word. I don't know how many times I have read the Bible through. I have read and re-read it over and over. I have memorized many chapters and once memorized a whole book.

Why read the Bible?

It is alive. It is truth. It guides, corrects, instructs, inspires, comforts, and points the way to God. It feeds my soul and purifies my being. It helps me to keep from sinning. It convicts me of my sin and points me in the right way. It blesses my life. It is the best.

Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. The Bible is The Word of God.

This year I am committing to reading the Bible through four times and the New Testament through four more times. So I will have read the New Testament through a total of eight times when the year ends.

How do you read the Bible through four times or once every ninety days? You do it by reading approxiamately fifteen chapters daily. To read the New Testament through in ninety days, you must read three chapters daily. That makes for reading 18 chapters or so each day. How long does that take? For me, it takes about forty minutes or so. That does not include studying or meditating, but merely reading through the text.

I have already read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and I am into Numbers. I have read through Matthew also. The more I read, them more I want to read. It is exhilarating!

I use YouVersion and one of their reading plans. It is a website that allows you to make an account and choose a reading plan. It checked it off as I read. It makes it easy to keep track.

Reading is a hobby for me anyhow. This year, I have already read Tim Tebow's new book that Wanda gave me for Christmas. Julie gave me a copy of his book too. I am reading Joel Osteen's new book, and also just completed reading Bart Starr's latest book. He is the legendary quarterback for Alabama and the Green Bay Packers.

Why read so much? There is so much to learn, experience, and enjoy.

Read the Bible first. It will feed you soul.

Monday, January 9, 2012


A life-long minister friend, David Arnold, recently shared this story. It is faith-building. Hope it blesses you.

David wrote:

Dallas Seminary was founded in 1924, and shortly afterwards, due to financial lack, it almost folded. It was nearing bankruptcy. The creditors were prepared to foreclose at 12:00 noon on a particular day.

That morning, the founders of the school gathered in the president’s office to pray for God’s provision. During the prayer meeting, Harry Ironside prayed boldly, “Lord, we know that the cattle on a thousand hills are Thine. Please sell some of them and send us the money.” See Psalm 50:10.

About that same time, a tall Texan, with his large boots and hat, walked into the business office. “Howdy!” he expressed to the secretary. “I just sold two carloads of cattle over in Fort Worth. I’ve been trying to make a business deal go through, but it just won’t work. I feel God wants me to give this money to the seminary. I don’t know if you need it or not, but here’s the check,” handing it to her.

The secretary took the check, and, aware of the critical hour, went to the door of the prayer meeting and softly tapped. Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, the founder and president of the school, answered the door, and took the check from her. When he looked at the amount, it was for the exact amount of the debt. Then he recognized the name on the check as that of a cattleman. Turning to Dr. Ironside, he said, “Harry, God sold the cattle!”

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).


So what is your need?

Turn it over to the Lord. He has enough cattle to sell for all of us.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Does God speak to people today? How does He speak? How do you know if it is the Lord speaking, or your own inner thinking, or maybe even the devil talking to you? Does the devil talk to us?

Jesus said that His sheep know His voice. So according to our Lord, He speaks and if we are one of His sheep then we know His voice.

For me, there are times that I clearly know that He is speaking to me, but there are are some other times that I wonder. I have uncertainty about what I am to do or what He wants me to do.

How do we know His voice? How does He speak?

The most obvious way He speaks is through His written Word. That is His will, His thoughts, His voice. But what about specific issues that His Word doesn't address in my life? Like, who should I marry? Or where should I work, or live, or changes to I might need to make? How do we know His will in these matters? How does He speak to us about these choices?

Here are a few thoughts that have worked for me:

1. What does godly counsel say about it.
2. Is the door open for this?
3. What is the Holy Spirit saying to me?
4. Do I have a peace about it?

Prayer includes listening to God. It includes waiting with quiet meditation. It is willing to be still. It gives God a fair shot at getting through all the clutter of life.

Here is a good verse:

Psalm 46:

10 Be still, and know that I am God;.....

If we will just be still, wait, and listen, then He will speak and we will know His voice and all will be well.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Sunday I told my congregation that we need to be diligent to take care of our bodies, after all, we only get one body here on earth. In heaven we will have a glorified body, but here on earth we live in the body we were given at birth. What we do with it is up to us. God's Word says that our bodies are His temple. I need to pay attention to what kind of shape I keep His house.

Through the years I have tried to keep in some form of reasonably good shape. It is hard as a pastor. Banana pudding, fried chicken, mother's delicious pound cake, and all those church fellowship dinners make it hard to do.

Tennis, jogging, walking, sit-ups, pushups, yard work, basketball, a little swimming, and biking have all been part of my routine. I have actually jumped rope some too. Some of these forms of exercise are better than others. Mom and Dad don't like my jogging. Wanda loves to walk. Now I am hitting it again as a New Year begins.

My goal is to lose 15 pounds or so. I am training for the 15K Gate River Run in March. Losing two pounds a week isn't too much too ask.

I won't to enjoy life, work, and all that God has for me. Keeping in good shape will make that happen. So it is back to work. I feel better already!

Monday, January 2, 2012


When I was a boy I learned to quote the Books of the Bible in order by singing them. We often sang them in children's church. Then we would have Bible sword drills to see who could find a passage the quickest. Singing the Books of the Bible and sword drills were a fun and motivating way to learn about the Bible.

How many Books are in the Old Testament?

How many Books are in the New Testament?

How many Books are in the Bible?

What are the Gospels? Poetic Books? Prophetic? Epistles? Pentateuch?

How did we get the Bible in the first place? Why is it such an important book? Is it important? How often should we read it?

There are many other questions and thoughts about this most amazing book. As I have begun this New Year, I have started a Bible reading program that will take me through the Bible four times this year. That will take some time and effort, but this Book is alive. It is powerful. It is wisdom. It speaks to us today.

While Nic and Alex were here with their mother during Christmas, I challenged the boys to learn the Books of the Bible. We went online and found UTube videos of children singing the Books. They loved it. I told them that there was $10 for each of them when they could say or sing the Books in order. They are both diligently learning them. We also read the Roman road together.

What is the Roman Road?

Read Romans 3:23, 6:23, 10:9,10.

These Scriptures tells us our need of salvation and how to be saved. Along with John 3:16, they are some of the most important Scriptures in the Bible.

Can you sing the Books of the Bible? Do you know the Books of the Bible. It is a Holy Book. It is the Holy Word of God. Read it. Memorize it. It is Life!