Devontional - October 2015

Saturday, Oct 31

Over the years I've tried to teach and live the ministry of presence. What this means is quite simple. In moments of grief, loss, anxiety, uncertainty, aloneness, and depression, people may not remember what you say, but they'll remember if you were there. Sometimes the calm assurance of caring, loving people can make all the difference in the world. I remember when my dad died the day before Easter, 2005. When I finally got home on that Saturday night, there must have been 100 people crammed into my home. All of my deacons were there. I remember the strength and comfort we received by the presence of so many people. When someone you love is going through a tough time, they don't necessarily need words of wisdom. What they need is the assurance that they're not alone. You can do that. All it takes is just a little time. Godspeed.

Friday, Oct 30

More than anytime in our history, you better know what you know. Not only is it important to be informed as a child of God, but you better be able to give a defense on what you know and believe. Not only you, but your children as well. It's an open battlefield out in the world today. Over the past week I've had two of my former youth call me and ask me how they can stand firm in their faith when their college professors are teaching a world view which has little tolerance for Christianity. Isn't it interesting that the group which screams tolerance is usually the most intolerant of all!!!!??? That's why it's important to ground your child in the Word of God. "Train a child in the way they should go and when they are old, they won't depart from it." It may be a battle to get them to church, but remember you are preparing a soldier in The Lords army. If that soldier isn't prepared, destruction is not far away. The greatest gift you can give a child is the gift of faith. Godspeed.

Thursday, Oct 29

This time of year always takes me back to my college years. My Dad would breeze into town for the Mississippi Baptist Convention around the end of October. He'd call me and invite me to meet him for dinner at Primos Restaurant in Jackson. I'd put on a coat and tie and meet him in between sessions. We'd talk baseball, school, and life in general. He'd usually give me 20.00 and kiss me on the cheek before he got in his car to head back for the night session. The last few nights I've enjoyed getting to spend time with my girls. I guess it's just one of those simple traditions which makes life a bit more bearable. Later on, after I moved to Canton, Ms to pastor FBC, my Dad and I attended the convention together. Now I can tell you, it didn't get any better than that. At this time of year I miss him just a little bit more. Cherish the simple things in life, for they're usually the most fulfilling. Godspeed.

Wednesday, Oct 28

Have you ever felt alone and isolated?? You feel as though no one's there, and if they were, they wouldn't care. Most of us have struggled with this overwhelming sensation. The feeling of loneliness. It may have happened to you years ago, or the feeling might be what you're experiencing at this very moment. Some of the greatest saints to ever walk the face of the earth have struggled with this feeling. Jeremiah, Elijah, Moses, and John the Baptist. Even our Lord and Savior, Jesus, cried out from the cross: "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"  I became a child of God at the age of 8. For 46 years I've had those moments of loneliness, but I've never been alone. Sometimes the darkness is so thick and we can't see what's before us or even that which is beside us. However, God has promised us two things which we need to remember. First, His love is unconditional. Second, He'll never leave nor forsake you. The brokenness may make it difficult to feel Him, but rest assured, He's there, and you're not alone. Godspeed.

Tuesday, Oct 27

They're words only words. How harmful can they be? Words have started and ended families. Words have nurtured and severed friendships. Words have hired and fired employees. Words lift us up and they tear us down. Words inspire us to dream and in the blink of an eye they shatter those dreams. Words offer us hope and yet at times they leave us hopeless. We've been taught since kindergarten the lesson: "Sticks and stones may break our bones but words will never hurt us." However, we know that is one of the biggest lies of all times. Words hit harder than our fist ever could. Words leave permanent scares of our hearts which have a hard time healing. Words used in a dangerous and slanderous way can destroy other people's reputation and character. Gossip is one of those acceptable sins in our society. However, before you repeat something about another, ask the following questions: 1. Is it true? 2. Is it necessary for me to repeat it? 3. Will it build this individual up or tear him down. 4. Will God be honored if I repeat this? The Psalmist reminded us: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable and pleasing in your sight." Be careful how you use your words. Godspeed.

Monday, Oct 26

Let's go back to the young lady who last week said: "There's good in all religions". Well not only did she show up for church, but she also attended Sunday School. However, during the hymn of invitation she was no where to be found. The song was sung, she made no decision. But remember, she asked if she could continue to attend church. After of service she told one of my visiting partners: "Don't think the words spoken to me have fallen on deaf ears, I had to go check on my child in children's church during the invitation." We are close! Oh and by the way, they brought an adult visitor with them. Never underestimate the power of a simple invitation to church. 90% of people asked will say yes. Are you asking? That might be the problem. Godspeed.

Sunday, Oct 25

Big day on The Hill for us today. In just a few hours we'll celebrate Tailgate/Football Sunday at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. Two of the area football teams will be our special guest and our featured speaker will be Mark Cahill. Mark is a former academic All-American in basketball at Auburn University. He travels all over the world preaching and doing personal evangelism. This is a great opportunity for our church to touch the lives of many young people who don't know The Lord. Please keep us in your prayers. Oh yeah, after the service, a huge tailgate party begins. Come join us. Godspeed.

Saturday, Oct 24

Let me go back to a statement which was made earlier this week: "There's good in all religions". However, there's eternity and truth in only one, Christianity. When Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father except through me". Now, there may be some grey areas in the Bible which denominations can split hairs over, this is not one. There is but one way, a specific way. Suppose today you had a high blood pressure or heart disease and needed medication. You go to the pharmacist and request the proper medication. She looks at you and says: "Just get any medication, it really doesn't matter, they all do the same thing." You'd look at her as if she had three heads because you want the proper medicine. The same is true with our plight in life, we're sinners and there's only one cure. His name is Jesus. That my friends is what we call a nonnegotiable in our faith. Godspeed.

Friday, Oct 23

One of my big regrets of my early ministry is I'm not sure I truly appreciated or enjoyed the times when God was blessing my work. Too often I was caught up in planning, preparation, and doing that I forgot to say: "Thank you, God!" Now don't get me wrong, I was grateful, but, my gratitude wasn't overflowing with deep appreciation for the victories God gave us. That is one mistake I have sincerely strived to correct in my life and ministry. Great rides in your spiritual journey don't come around too often, be it in a church or an individual life. When you do experience that great wave, you better sit back and enjoy it. There's absolutely nothing special about my abilities or talents, but through this pilgramage, God has blessed me with some extraordinary experiences. He's put smarter people around me who have yielded to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. What I'm experiencing right now in my ministry, I'm enjoying every second. Each day I thank God for the opportunity to serve and I pray I won't screw it up. Thanks to a lot of you out there who have shared in the joy of the journey. Let's enjoy the ride. Godspeed and flaps down.

Thursday, Oct 22

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to share the gospel with a young lady, who quite frankly didn't know much about the Christian faith. Her statement to me was: "There's good in all religions." I told her that may be true, but there's only everlasting life in one. You see, it's not about being religious, Bin Laden was religious, but he split Hell wide open when he died. Christianity is about a relationship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. At the end of our conversation, this young lady said: "I'm not sure I can believe what you want me to believe." I told her she was missing the point. She needed to believe what God wants her to believe. That's where it starts. She's not there yet, but the beautiful thing is, she asked if she could still come to church. "You bet you can, because as you come, God's going to jump all over you" I said. Pray for her, she's real close. Godspeed.

Wednesday, Oct 21

The last time I saw him, he was a troubled young man. He had flunked out of college and was headed down a path to destruction. I had preached his father's funeral and to be honest, I wouldn't have been surprised to be preaching this young man's service if things kept going the direction he was headed. I had talked to him, but everything fell on deaf ears. He knew it all and and wanted zero advice from me. His mother was worried to death, because he increasingly became harder to deal with. So you can imagine my surprise when I walked into an associational baptist meeting last night, and this young man approached me. Of course I recognized him immediately. He looked great. As a matter of fact, he looked better than he did when he was in his early teens. He's probably in his mid 30's now. He introduced me to his wife in this fashion: "This is Dr. Hurt, my former preacher. He saw me through some real tough times." Later on that night, I was talking to his pastor and he told me this young man was a deacon in their church. "He's a fine young man." I can't tell you how grateful I was last night. A little overwhelmed. You see, one of the downsides to this profession is, you never see the end result. However, there are moments, rare as they may be, that God shows you something and reminds you to keep on keeping on. You never know when something you do or say can make a difference. Godspeed my friends.

Tuesday, Oct 20

When my time on earth is done, let me be judged by my creator, the children, and my dog. When I see my Savior face to face, my hope and prayer is He says: "Well done ". For at the end of the day it's more important what God thinks rather than other people. As for the children, you can't con them, they see through you long before other adults do. Yesterday I walked into a labor and delivery room only to be greeted by the exuberant joy of a 6 year old girl who was about to become a big sister. "It's Brother Bill and he came to surprise us!" It'd be nice to be greeted like that everyday. Last night we were visiting a prospective family and as we were leaving I felt something grab my right leg. I looked down to the wide eyes of another six year old, this time, it was a little boy. The look on his face was priceless. As for my dogs, there's never been a time when they weren't glad to see me. My prayer: Lord make me half the man my dog thinks I am. The reason these are the ones I wish to render my final fate???? They'll be fair and honest. I'll take my chances with them. Godspeed.

Monday, Oct 19

There are some of you out there who are a little disappointed in God. For some reason, due to the circumstances of life, you feel like He hasn't upheld His end of the bargain. You've lived a good, clean, honest life. You've regularly attended church and have pretty much done the right thing. Now things have turned against you and life has all of a sudden gotten hard. Relationships have crumbled, children have rebelled, or your health has started to fail. You pray, but Heaven seems to be made of brass. "It's not fair!" you cry. God hasn't upheld His part of the deal. You become disillusioned and spiritually frustrated. Listen close, you can't make a deal with God when He holds all the chips. Life is not a by-product of what you deserve. The reality of life is: bad things happen to good people. As a matter of fact, Jesus said: "In this life you'll have trouble!" So why would you expect anything less? There is no such thing as a "prosperity gospel." When hard times come, God doesn't remove them, but rather He takes us by the hand and walks with us through them. That my friend is where our faith is stretched and developed. Be grateful today you don't get what you deserve. If you did, you'd be lost forever with no hope. Godspeed.

Sunday, Oct 18

Winning is not an entitlement. In other words, you can't show up and just win without putting in the practice, preparation, and attention to detail. You can't assume your opponent's just gonna rollover and play dead because you just arrived and got off the bus. Winning is hard. If 99.9 % of the armchair quarterbacks out there, who've never played a down, a second, or an inning truly understood how hard it is to win a game, there would be more patience and support. You do realize only half of the teams that played yesterday won, right? A lot of the same principles can be applied to church and worship. Just because you just show up, doesn't mean you're going to actually experience something spiritual. Just as a team that just goes through the motions is in trouble, so is the church goer who does the same thing. The sad part of church is, there are a bunch of folks sitting in the pews who are as lost as a goose in a hail storm. They assume eternal life is an entitlement because of who they are. That my friends is a tragic mistake. Godspeed.

Saturday, Oct 17

Yesterday we went to see the new Christian movie, "Woodlawn". It's based on the true story of former Alabama running back, Tony Nathan. It recounts the horrific events in Birmingham, Alabama which took place during the integration process of public schools. Looking back on those days it's hard to understand the stupidity of our culture at that time. The sad part is, today we find ourselves fighting the same battles of equality in a country which guarantees "that all men are created equal." This issue is something which has shaped and formed me as an individual. You see, most of you know, my father pastored the first church in the Mississippi Delta which voted to have an open door policy. In other words, we allowed African Americans to attend and if led join our church. So many members walked out the back door, over 130, never to come back again. It's kinda funny to see some of them as flaming liberals today. My question is: Where were you in 1976???? The movie is worth seeing and you'll be blessed by the message. For me it brings back some not so pleasant days. Hopefully we can move on from them. Godspeed.

Friday, Oct 16

Several years ago, while attending a high school reunion, I was asked the question: "What is the hardest thing about being a pastor." I can assure you, it's not the demands of preaching, that's the fun part. It's not dealing with crisis situations, you expect the unexpected. It's really not being on call 24/7, for you know that's what the job requires. The answer for me has always been the same, the loneliness that goes with the job. If you think I'm grandstanding, ask almost any pastor the same question and I can assure you, they will share the same sentiment. Over the years God has blessed me with great friends. An abundance of them who have seen me through tough, difficult days. But the true friends, the ones who see the pastor as he really is, behind the scenes when the church lights are off, are few and far between. The prophet Jeremiah even said: "I sat alone because your hand was upon me". Remember the words of Jesus from the cross: "My God my, my God, why have you forsaken me?" That was the first time Jesus referred to God as God. Ususally, when he prayed he called God, Abba, or Father. Also he was probably quoting the 22nd Psalm. We as ministers know and recognize the demands of the job, laypeople need to understand the toil it takes on a life and ministry. Encourage and pray for you minister, he needs it and you'll grow to love and appreciate the work they do. You don't have to be best friends, just let them know you're in their corner. It'll make a difference. Godspeed.

Thursday, Oct 15

I've come to the conclusion that I'm a dinosaur when it comes to preachers. I must have been the last on the assembly line when they changed the models. I'm 54 years old and I'm wondering if I can hold on until it's time to retire. When you look at churches in the 1960's, 70's, and even the 80's, there wasn't a huge change. Contrast that to the 90's and now in the 2000's. There have been a lot of changes, not all for the good nor the betterment of Christianity. But then again, I'm old school. I still believe the best way to get people involved in church is through small groups such as Sunday School. I believe in Biblical preaching which should take people deeper in their walk with Christ. I believe that worship is not entertainment for people, but rather it's what we do for God. I don't believe you have to have to make the Gospel palatable in order to attract crowds. I believe the Holy Spirit still convicts people of their sins. I believe we need to remind folks that the gospel is offensive because it calls us to repentance. I believe the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ. I believe the best way to impact your community is through the local church. I believe in a free pulpit where the preacher deliverers the message God has give him. I believe in preaching on Hell, because when we stopped, that's when it all broke out. I believe God deserves our best, from our dress to our time and talents. I believe mission work always starts at home. And I believe it better for a church to be 100 ft wide and 20 ft deep rather than a thousand miles wide and an inch deep. I'm a dinosaur, because I believe the Old Rugged cross still changes lives. Godspeed.

Wednesday, Oct 14

I can't remember when I haven't been in a pastor's home. I was raised a son of a preacher man and later became one myself. People have asked me: "Why did you choose to become a pastor?" My answer is always the same. "I didn't choose it, it chose me." I'm assuming this went all the way back to my mother's womb. God had a plan. That's why every life is precious in the eyes of God. This profession known as the ministry is a hard and oftentimes lonely road to travel. Over the past 30 years I watched new life come into this world, and I've buried babies that lived for just moments on this earth. I've had to tell a wife their husband had been killed in a car wreck. I've sat in waiting rooms with families only to have the doctor come out and say: "I'm sorry, we've done all we could." I've been with friends when they've been told their cancer is in stage four. I've held the hands of special people who have crossed over from this life in the next. I've baptized people in their 80's as they've given their life to Christ. I've had people I trusted burn me and rip my heart out at the very core. I've had people, even staff members lie about me. I've watched my family be broken over the actions of so called Christians. I've been told I'm a poor leader and a great one. I've been told I'm direct, blunt, and unyielding. (Really?). There have been moments on this journey that I've wanted to give up and quit. But through it all God has been faithful. Two weeks ago, we baptized 5 at the end of our service. I received a text from one of my deacons. He simply said: "You realize we visited in the homes of all those baptized today? God honors our faithfulness." Do I feel appreciated??? I'm not sure that's the point. I certainly feel unworthy to do what God has called me to do. I'm a fellow struggler trying to be obedient. Godspeed my friends. Encourage your pastor today, odds are he/she needs it.

Tuesday, Oct 13

Spoiler alert. I hate to inform you of this, but here it goes. You can't change people. You can influence them, encourage them, pray for them, and provide opportunities for them, but you can't change them. Furthermore, it's really not your job nor responsibility to do so. We exhaust so much time and energy trying to make friends, family and coworkers something other than what they are. It drains us and takes the focus off what we're suppose to be doing, and that my friends is a tragedy. We are to change ourselves into to very image and nature of Christ. In other words we are the ones who need to continue to change and evolve. Understand, "He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it." Stop running races you weren't meant to run and taking on projects you can't complete. Work on you and be what He wants you to be. Godspeed.

Monday, Oct 12

At the very heart of Christianity is the business of forgiveness. As children of God, we are reminded: "If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive our sin and cleanse us of all unrighteousness." Always a comforting thought as we start today. However, there is a little hitch in our gitty up when we fail to realize our forgiveness from God is directly tied to our forgiveness of others. Man, we all realized there had to be some kind of fine print. Well here it is. Because God has canceled such a huge debt on our side, so should we being willing to do the same for others. Now I know what you're about to say: "You have no clue what others have done to me!!! There's no way on earth I can forgive them!" If that's your attitude, then there's no way in heaven you're going to be forgiven. It's just that simple. But here's some good news and bad. The standard of forgiveness you use on others is the exact standard a God uses on you. Good side? At least you get to decide. Choose wisely. Godspeed.

Sunday, Oct 11

Today could be a pivotal point in your life and the decision is all yours. The anger and resentment you've had over the last few years, months, or days can be resolved and it's all up to you. Because when it comes down to it, we can't control what others do, we can only control how we respond. So follow me for just a moment. Your anger or frustration with someone else will effect so many areas of your life. Your trust level with others will go down, thus, it will have a negative effect on other relationships. The worst part is, it will have a negative effect on your relationship with God and your worship. Simple truth: You can't be right with God when you're wrong with others. Finally, your attitude and negativity won't really bother the person or people directed towards, for the most part, they could care less. So now, in order to be what you're suppose to be.....get over it once and for all. Don't allow a few bad seeds to damage your walk with God. Like I said, this ones up to you. Godspeed.

Saturday, Oct 10

Yesterday we knew our daughter, Laura Jo, was coming home for the weekend. So, in order to get ready for her arrival, we started cleaning and straightening up the house. To be honest with you, I never understood this as a child. One of my brothers would come home for a few days and we'd spend hours getting the house ready. I'd always tell my mom: "This is an act of stupidity. He knows the house isn't always this clean." You know how far that got me! Here's a simple observation. People for years have continued to think they have to clean themselves up and make their appearance acceptable to God. We try to rid ourselves of the clutter, dust, and dirt of life on our own. It never works and it never will. You and I come to God as we are, not as we ought to be. When this happens, a marvelous thing takes place. He rids us of all the mess and clutter of life. Stop trying to do what only God can do. It really is that simple. Godspeed.

Friday, Oct 9

Yesterday I got quite the surprise. I received a phone call from an old friend who I've not spoken to in several years. It's an unusual friendship. His parents were members of a church I pastored many years ago. When he and his family would come visit his folks, we'd usually have Sunday lunch and an occasional round of golf. He's a great guy and a very successful executive. He hunts with Bo Jackson, dines with the likes of Johnny Miller, and for a while lived in the same neighborhood as Jeff Gordon. Yet, yesterday he said, since we had lost touch, he'd spent the better part of an hour tracking me down. He comment was: "I just was thinking about you and decided to find you." When we got off the phone, the first thing which crossed my mind was: "Here's a busy executive, who am I that he'd want to talk to me?" But here's something that really blows my mind. The creator of the the stars, the one who breathed life into humanity, the maker of all things thinks about you and me all the time. We don't just cross his mind, we stay there 24/7!!! Who am I that He should think of me, know me, and love me in spite of me. My old friend and I talked, laughed and promised to get together soon. Don't wait to get back to God. As you turn to Him, you'll see His arms opened wide and waiting. Godspeed.

Thursday, Oct 8

There's nothing wrong with getting mad. As long as we get angry over the right things. As a matter of fact, the Bible says: "Be angry, but don't sin. Don't let the sun go down on your anger." So how do we accomplish this seemingly impossible practice?? Who among us hasn't blown our tops, gone crazy, or gotten miffed over a certain situation? We've gotten angry with our spouses, children, parents, friends, church members, and others. We're all guilty of lashing out at others in anger. For a moment, let's examine the life of Jesus. After all, He's our model for living with each other. He got mad. Yep He sure did. You think he was smiling when he drove the money changers out of the temple with a whip? Do you suppose when he chastised the Pharisees, he did it without anger? When he saw the exploitation of the poor, women and outcast of society he wasn't angry? But here's the difference. His anger was never directed at someone who had do something to him. Most of our anger is. You can't control what others do to you, but you can control how you react to it. A lesson we all need to learn and practice. Godspeed.

Wednesday, Oct 7

If you would have told me years ago that I'd be getting up each morning and scrambling an egg for my dog, I'd have told you: "You're nuts!" But I have. You see, if you're dog is suffering from diabetes and must have something in her system before you can give her insulin, then you do what you have to do. You and I do for those we love what we once thought was improbable or unlikely. We'd never hold back from our children or pets what they need. Likewise, how much more does your Father in Heaven know what you need and He'll meet each and every one of those needs. However, you have to distinguish between "wants" and "needs". You better be thankful that He doesn't grant every want. Think about the mess you'd be in right now. Thank goodness we have a Heavenly Father who will do more than we can imagine to meet our needs. That dear friends is a promise. Godspeed.

Tuesday, Oct 6

Even the best of people can screw up. I'm not suggesting we should overlook or accept bad or hurtful behavior, but rather preparing you for the inevitable. In relationships, sooner or later the other person, be it a spouse, child, friend, or minister, will disappoint, hurt, or flat out mess up. Because of their actions, it will have a negative or painful effect on your life. How do we handle it? Sometimes we place people too high on a pedestal and expect them to live up to a standard which no one can achieve. So am I suggesting we lower our expectations and standards. Absolutely not, for we have been given a target for which we are to shoot for in our lives. That example is none other than Jesus. What I am suggesting is, when good people go bad, or screw up in life, it doesn't signal Divine foreclosure on that life. Just as God forgives and restores, so have you and I been given the ministry of reconciliation. If you know the disappointment in inevitable, you can better brace yourself for its arrival. No ones perfect. And by the way, the one who was, they killed him. Godspeed my friends.

Monday, Oct 5

We take time for the things we deem important in life. There was no greater evidence of this than this past weekend. While much of the east coast was getting hit with so much rain from hurricane Joaquin, stadiums all over that area were crowned with a sea of humanity waiting to cheer on their favorite team. Dabo Swinney, head coach at Clemson, said this about this past week's game against Notre Dame: "Tickets are so scarce I couldn't even get Jesus one." Swinney wasn't being sacrilegious, he's a born again Christian. He was just stating the obvious. We take time for the things we deem important in life. However, come Sunday, we are just too tired, worn out, too sleepy to attend church. So we look around our culture and wonder why so many of us are burned out, worn out, fatigued and soul searching, and drifting through life. It's simple, we've overloaded our lives with good stuff, but neglected the better things. We take time for the things we deem important in life. Look at your schedule, it'll tell you what's important to you. It will reveal your god. Godspeed.

Sunday, Oct 4

She's pretty much lost all of her sight now. It's been painful to watch this fiercely independent being become so unsure of herself and completely dependent on others. She has always been the one to take the lead, never fearful of what was before her. Now, the diseases she's suffered have started taking a toll on her life. I lived in denial for a while, those closest to the ailing are sometimes the last to see. But she's hanging in there, and now, for the first time in 13 years, she's yielded the lead, now willing to follow and trust because she just can't see. She's more than a dog, she's part of the family. Now, she listens and follows her master. Because she's sure of his love and care. We all get to that place. Some blinded by sin, failure, disappointment, or ambition. We reach a point where the darkness is overwhelming. Listen to the Voice and reach out your hand. Your master in never far away. Believe me, you can trust Him. Godspeed.

Saturday, Oct 3

I like people who are different. You know, those individuals who march to the beat of a different drum. Those folks seem to always seem to zig when others zag. And I can tell you this, they don't give a tinker's cuss what others think about them. Today, so many of us have conformed to society to the point we've forsaken our own identities. Right at the top of the list is the church. Some churches, in order to attract more people, have mirrored society. For them it's more about entertainment rather than worship. By doing this, we've raised a generation of consumers rather than disciples. Church hopping has almost become a spectator sport these days. We want salvation with no commitment. We want to be fed, but we don't want to serve. We want cheap grace along with comfortable living. We have made religion about us and equated it to a feeling and an emotion rather than a relationship. My faith is not based on how I feel, but rather on who I know. We wonder why the church has little affect on our world - it's because it has little affect on us. We need to echo the words of John the Baptist, "He must increase, but I must decrease." Oh if only that would happen today. Revival might break out. Lord knows we need it. Godspeed.

Friday, Oct 2

Today I get the pleasure of getting my annual physical. It's a necessary evil that everyone should do once you get over the age of 35. In a little while they'll weigh me, draw blood, check my blood pressure, and do an EKG. In a few days my doctor will call me and go over all my numbers which will include my sugar levels and cholesterol numbers. This has been a priority for me over the last 15 years. What if we all had a spiritual exam each year to check out where we are in our relationship with God? Would our heart reveal it's filled with joy or sorrow?? Positive or negative? Blessings or cursing?? Would there be a need to shed a little weight. You know those things like bitterness, spite, hatred, envy, jealousy, and bigotry. Do you think our exam would reveal we are growing rapidly with our God or have we come to a standstill. Are some of us in spiritual cardiac arrest??? For you know there's no neutral ground with God, you're either moving forward or backwards. What would the great physician say to us?? Would He tell us to exercise our faith more?? Would He tell us not to worry about the things of this world, but rather focus on spiritual matters?? Would He put us on a special diet which consist of the fruit of the spirit? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control? Would He encourage us to share our faith more diligently with those who need it??? No doubt He would prescribe more visits with Him, not so he can charge us, but rather change us. It's about time we took a spiritual inventory for our own good. There are too many fat church goers who have developed spiritual atrophy of the soul. What would He say to you??? Only you and The Good Doctor know that answer. Trust Him, He has your best interest at heart. As a matter of fact, trust Him with your heart. Godspeed. Pray for me, the last part of the exam isn't much fun!!!!

Thursday, Oct 1

A lot of our problems in life are self-inflicted. They come as a result of poor decisions and judgements made by you and me. Now I understand there are external forces which cause suffering in our lives, but how many times do we bring heartache on ourselves based on a lapse in judgment? In other words, we drop our moral compass and journey down a road to destruction. We see the warning signs as we travel. "Danger Will Robinson!!!" The sad part is, the signs are ignored because we feel like our hands on the wheel are steady and sure. When we hit a major bump in the road we have chosen, immediately we expect God to come to the rescue and save us from........well, ourselves. To prevent such a situation, why not which seats with God. Allow Him to determine the path you choose? He'll never do for you what you can do for yourself. It's hard for Him to save you from you. Avoid the fall by understanding this on the front end. You'll save yourself a lot of pain in life. Too bad we learn this lesson late in life, if indeed we ever learn it. Godspeed.

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