Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I love reading daily devotionals. They speak to my heart and often confirm God's will and direction for me. God's Word is the primary source of devotionals for me, but I also love reading thoughts that others have written that have Biblical support.

One that I read is God's Word for You Today. On Monday it included the following story. It was good reading and encouragement. I felt led to share it today.

It reads:

The story’s told of a farmer whose mule fell into a well. Since he had no way to get him out, he decided to bury him there. He got a truckload of dirt and dumped it on top of the mule. But instead of lying down under it, the mule started kicking and snorting until he worked his way to the top of it. This continued all afternoon. Truckload after truckload, the mule just kept shaking it off and stepping on top of it. Finally when the dirt reached the top of the well the mule just snorted and walked away, a dirtier but a wiser mule. What was intended to bury him, just brought him out on top.

Here is the point: Sometimes we have to make a point to shake off things that otherwise would bury us. We don't have to live in depression of dismay due to life's setbacks. We can shake it off and with God's help go forward. 

Paul said to forget those things that are behind and press forward. 

I will do that today. I will shake it off and go forward. 

Monday, October 29, 2012


God called my to preach, but that has primarily been fulfilled in my life as a pastor. What does a pastor do? That is a multi-faceted question. It doesn't have just one or two simple answers. Admittedly, there are some aspects of being a pastor that are extremely enjoyable, and then there are other aspects.

I have rejoiced and laughed with dear church folks, and then I have wept and cried with them at other times that were tough. There is so much that goes into being a pastor.

I am writing this blog just as Wanda and I head out the door to go pray for a dear church member who will undergo a long 8 hour back surgery today. It is a dangerous surgery that will determine her life quality for years to come. She and and husband need prayers and support.

This past Sunday, our precious church honored us as their pastors. I have served here for 10 years and am grateful for their love and support. They are dear people whom God has put a love and passion for to shepherd them to heaven.

That is my goal. I want to see them all make it to heaven as they grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Oh Lord, please help me to be a good and faithful pastor.

Friday, October 26, 2012


I never thought I would enjoy motorcycle riding. It came late in life. I thought it was to dangerous a thing to do, and it probably is. Yet, I have had a barrel of fun doing it. My most enjoyable rides have been up to the Smokies to view Autumn.

Last week we rode almost 1400 miles from Jacksonville up to Savannah and then Northwest up to the Smokies. The skies were clear and their was a coolest in the air. It was fantastic riding weather. You couldn't ask for better.

Why do I enjoy it so much?

I totally get my mind off things.
I love the outdoors.
The smells are more succinct.
The co-riders are fun people.
The stops for coffee and meals are bonuses.
It is freedom.
It is eye-popping.
It is friendly people.
It is sharing with Wanda.

I love the picture taking too. Here are a few shots from our recent trip.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Jesus returned the the Father and has sent The Holy Spirit to us to be with us and to help us. When we have immediate, personal need, Holy Spirit is there. He doesn't leave us or forsake us. He wants us to call on the Lord and to pray in the Spirit. That is more incredible than I can write or describe.

Think of it. God has sent His Spirit to live in us. Wow!

Why would He do such a thing?

It is His love and desire to walk with us and to fellowship with us.

Day by day I am learning the blessing, privilege, and power of the Holy Spirit in my life. He leads in truth. He guides. He corrects. He teaches. He releases fruit and gifts into my life. Oh, how I need the Holy Spirit.

When no one else can be present, He is always present. He walks with me and talks with me. He is real.

Thank you Lord for sending Your Spirit into my life to be my helper. I need you every hour. Thank you for your ever present help in time of need.

You never fail.

Monday, October 22, 2012



Another loss by the Jags yesterday that could have been a win. How do they do it? What's wrong with these guys? Can we be that bad?

Football is a game of muscle, will, and determination. I know the ball can bounce the wrong way, but that happens for every team. Sooner or later a team has to own up to how they are playing.

I like the new coach. I think he is a winner, but it hasn't happened yet.

What will it take?

Muscle, will, and determination.

Oh, a maybe a few more good players who have muscle, will, and determination.

We're one of the worst teams in the NFL, but I thought we'd do better than this. We're 1-5 and going down fast. I won't give up yet. I believe. I believe they can do better.

Next week will be another game. Another opportunity. Another chance.

Until then, I hope they work on the muscle, will, and determination. That is what it takes.

Friday, October 19, 2012


In 1968 God called me into the ministry. I have no doubt. In my inner being God spoke to me and called me to preach. It was more real than you reading this post. He pressed His thumb print into my heart. I still feel it. It is real.

On our recent trip up to the mountains to enjoy the Autumn leaves, we stopped by Anniston, Al, where I grew up as a teenager. God called me into the ministry one Sunday morning in August of 1968. Here is a picture of the church building where Mom and Dad pastored. I am so grateful that He counted me faithful to preach and share His Word.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Wanda and I are off to see the autumn leaves in North Georgia and maybe the Smokies. We're crusin' on "Big Red," with some friends who like to ride motorcycles too. We're hoping to see beautiful reds, and yellows, and oranges if the leave are tuning. You never know how it will be.

Why do I love to ride "Big Red" so much?

I leave my worries behind.

My mind goes to the greater outdoors.

You see more and smell more.

Life seems freer.

People are friendlier.

You never know what is around the next bend.

It is just plain fun.

I'll post some pictures. Hopefully, you can share in the colors of the season too. If you get a chance, pray for our safety. I know motorcycling is fun, but is also dangerous. We'll ride safe. You pray. I know Mom is praying too.

Monday, October 15, 2012


This past Saturday, Amber, my niece, Amber married Rodney at North Beach in St. Augustine, Fl. It was a beach wedding with the Atlantic as a backdrop and the beautiful beach as the decoration. Amber is a sweet young lady and was a gorgeous bride. We are so proud of her.

She is the daughter of my younger brother, Max, and his wife, Darlene. Most of our family was present to celebrate God's blessings of their lives. My father performed the wedding. Mom and Dad know a little about marriage as they celebrate their 68th anniversary this year. Wow! That is a long time to be married.

Rodney is in the Navy, and so was Dad when he and Mom married. Dad said that he had to get  a 3 day pass when they said "I Do". I don't know if Rodney had to take leave or not.

Jesus loved weddings. He performed His first miracle of turning water into wine in Cana of Galilee. The guests said His wine was the best. I bet everyone was happy with that.

I have performed countless weddings in these 40 years of ministry. Some have been beach ceremonies and others by outdoor pools but most have been church weddings. The setting is not so important as the vows and the commitment to keep the vows. Every couple has to work at having a good marriage. That is a must.

Mark Gungor said "Don't marry, be happy". What did he mean?

He meant that if you marry to "get happy" then your kidding yourself. Get happy and then marry if you choose, but don't marry thinking that will all of a sudden make you happy. It won't happen.

Amber and Rodney looked happy on their wedding day. I pray God blesses them and gives them a long happy marriage.

Friday, October 12, 2012


I had my annual physical this week and my doctor encouraged me to take the flu shot and the shingles shot. In the past I've been hesitant to take the flu shot, but this year for some reason I felt different about taking it. So, the nurse stuck me. Wow! I was sore. In the night I started sneezing and cough and having a runny nose. I thought that they had given me the flu, but later that morning the symptoms began to fall away. I still have a slight nasal drain but no other symptoms. PTL!

I sure hope this works. I certainly don't won't the flu bug.

Several years back I had the shingles, and man does that ever hurt. They appeared across the left side of my belly. I didn't have a clue what the problem was. After hurting a few days, I made a doctor's appointment and found that I had shingles. The doctor showed me pictures of others who had severe cases of it, and was I ever thankful that mine were not that bad. Yes, they hurt, but not nearly as bad as they could have.

Hopefully, the shingles shot will keep me from having another bout of them. The shot was painful, but not near as painful as actually having a full fledged bout.

Here is a greater truth:

I have been inoculated by the blood of Jesus Christ. Sin's hold is broken. Death's sting has been taken away. He has freed me from the power of Satan. I'm free. Praise God I'm free.

The flu or shingles are bad enough, but nothing to compare with the sting and impact of sin. Thank God for the blood Jesus Christ. He sets us free.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I had my annual physical on Tuesday afternoon. The good news is that I weigh less than the last checkup. My blood pressure is fantastic. Vital signs are good. I am waiting on the lab results to see what my cholesterol is doing. That is usually high, but maybe the lost weight will help that come down too.

Physical exams are good, but daily physical care is better. Eating a balanced diet and daily exercise helps life go better. I feel stronger and am fitter for life.

I am reading through Bible for the fourth time this year and right now I am in the book of Leviticus. It gives specific directions from God to the Israelites about a lot of stuff in life. I am amazed at the clear directions God gave them through Moses. He told them what to do and what to eat and not to eat. All of that was for their good because God loved them.

God is faithful to us to give clear, good, specific directions to a better life. If we will diligently follow them then God has promised life and blessings. This was His promise to the children of Israel but also to us. We just need to checkup and see how we are doing.

My doctor checked in places that I really didn't like. He got kinda personal if you know what I mean, but it was for my good. God  gets even more personal in the deep, hidden places of our lives. He knows everything so there is nothing to hide from Him.

Spiritual checkups are good too. May God take away all in my life that would displease Him. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to Him, my Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

Monday, October 8, 2012


Last Friday I worked for several hours pulling weeds and trimming shrubbery in our yard. It was hot, humid, and tough work. I actually was enjoying being outside and being productive, but it was tiring. Stooping over and over to pull weeds and trim is one way to trim the waistline. It was working.

In the front of our yard are several cactus plants that have to have attention every so often with weeding too. You have to be very careful or they'll spear you or cut you. They are also very toxic. If you get any juice from those plants on you, then you'll pay. They can scar or even kill.

I have read that these plants make natural guards for forts or houses in that no one would dare get close, especially at night. Believe me, I have be pricked by these cactus more than once.

Because of that I take extra care when working around them. Friday, I had worked an hour or more before getting to these cactus. As I worked around them, I used gloves and a long hoe to keep me away from them.

I carefully bent down to pull a weed out by hand, and then it happened

All of a sudden my cheek bone jolted. Pain pierce me. I could not see. Blood flowed down my face. It happened before I could stop it. A hard, long, pointed bayonette jabbed into my upper cheekbone. It went lightening fast into my cheek and banged on the bone of my cheek.

I stumbled backward unaware of what exactly happened. When I gained composure, I realized I could see, but was hurting severely. The sharp end of a cactus blade had cut into my face less than an inch from my eye. I was hurting and bleeding, but I could see.

Earlier that morning, Wanda and I had prayed over our day and asked God for his blessing and protection. I lifted my hand and gave thanks that I could see and had not lost vision in my left eye.

I am totally convinced that I would have lost my left eye if that blade had hit me only an inch of so higher. God was merciful to me. I am grateful more than I can say. I haven't had any infection or irritation. My lower eye socket is both black and red, but I can see.

Thank God, I can see.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Can you tell what is happening in a person by how they stand? Or look at you? Or by facile expressions? Do they have to say anything for you to know? Or get the point? Or hear them?

Body language by a raised fist means something. So does turning your back, or looking down, or frowning, or scowling, or kicking, or even going to sleep.

Body language speaks volumes. You can hear the person whether they have ever uttered a word. You catch their tone, their attitude, their priority, even their values.

I watched with amusement as the first Presidential debate took place Wednesday night.

One guy looked bored, disinterested, sheepish, dispassionate, disrespectful, and un-Presidential.

The other stood confident, looked passionate, courteous, and bold.

All day the pundits have been sizing up the results and everyone, including the President's supporters, gave the challenger the win by a huge margin. I won't repeat the debate, but I couldn't help but focus on the body language. It was evident that one guy didn't have a clue or really care.


Today is the 601st post of this blog. Man, that is hard to believe, but it is true. It seems like yesterday that I was writing the first post. I enjoy writing a few thoughts each week, and appreciate those who read and respond from time to time.

My goal is to encourage people to choose the better part of life.

I hope I have done that from time to time.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I asked Wanda if she would wear a nose ring if I bought her one. Now, slow down before you think I am crazy. I haven't bought her one and I don't plan on buying one. I was reading in Genesis where Abraham's servant gave a nose ring to Rebecca after she said she would go with him to become Isaac's wife. I have read that verse many times before, but this time it caught my attention.

I like various forms of jewelry and have bought Wanda a number of pieces. She like nice things like most women, but I hadn't thought about buying a nose rise.

For some a nose ring might be just the thing. I like ear rings and rings on fingers and bracelets and necklaces, but I just hadn't really contemplated a nose ring.

From a biblical standpoint, I guess nose rings were ok with God. Abraham, God's man, had given this gift to be given to Isaac's bride to be. Surely Abraham would not have given a gift that wasn't pleasing to the Lord.

So, I guess nose rings are pleasing to the Lord, but not pleasing to Wanda.

That is ok with me too. That is not my favorite type of jewelry either.

Monday, October 1, 2012


I seldom watch the TV program 60 Minutes, but I watched a short segment of it Sunday evening. It was an interview with a former body builder, movie star, governor, and international personality. The program was sad. It was really sad.

Arnold told of an affair that he had with a housemaid while he was Governor of California. He fathered a child with the maid, and hid it from his wife and family. He was living a double life that led to shame, embarrassment, and ridicule.

He said it was the stupidest thing he has ever done. I can't speak for that, but I can say that his admission is sin. I can say that it hurt his family. I can say that a little boy will never know that love of a "real" father because of his stupidity.

My heart breaks for those who have been deceived by Satan's lies. Too often the results of sin don't settle in until it is too late and huge damage has been done.

The good news is that God forgives. The good news is that God redeems. The good news it that restoration is possible.

Here is better news.

God can keep you from sin's damage and shame. Through Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome the wicked one.

Arnold's wife, Maria, left him and has filed for a divorce. Now their four children will face a broken home. To be honest, I was a little aggravated about how the news caster exposed Schwarzenegger's sin, but the media has given the Kennedy (Maria's family) men a pass for their infidelities. There is a huge double standard going on there.

Here is the take-a-way.

Don't give way to sin. Go home to your wife. Protect your family. Don't let Satan win. Live in life and liberty through Christ Jesus. Don't live in shame.