Tuesday, May 31,2016

There's a reason why you're not real close to your pastor. The simple reason is, he can't trust you. Oh, it's not that you've done anything to hurt him in the past, but you can bet he's been burned by someone he trusted. Because of that, there's a wall that most preachers/ministers erect around their personal life. They refuse to allow many people inside their inner circle. Why? Because all it takes is one word taken out of context, one betrayed confidence, one person who has anointed themselves the watchdog of the church. I've said it before, there's very few people that I trust with every facet of my life. (Jesus only had three in his inner circle.) I also regularly talk to various preacher friends who are facing a dark situation because someone they trusted has turned against them. And furthermore, this has become an epidemic in today's society. All it takes is about two or three people in a church to ruin and take down an entire ministry. If you think I'm exaggerating, then why in the state of Mississippi are we firing one Baptist preacher a week?  Many are not because of moral failure. They just don't like him anymore. So the next time you feel your preacher's a bit cold or distant, there's a good reason. Love him, don't judge him. Godspeed.

 

 Monday, May 30,2016

What do you do when God answers your prayers in a positive way? Most of us have the routine down when He says "no". We pout, moan and groan and feel sorry for ourselves and pitch a hissy fit before God. We bemoan the fact that God's out of touch with the real needs in our lives. However, what do we do and how do we respond to God when He moves in a supernatural way to answer our prayers?  We've asked Him to intervene on our behalf, and He does, now what?  Do you remember all those things you promised? Do you keep your vows and honor your end of the relationship?  By the way, you do realize you can't bargain with God, don't you?  It's hard to bargain with the one who holds all the chips. However, I believe there are several things one can do. First, has it ever dawned on you that you might want to express your gratitude. Remember the story of the 10 lepers who received healing from Jesus?  Only one returned to say thank you. Jesus replied by saying: "Where are the other nine?" Second, worship Him. Now worship is more than attending church, it's a life style. However, worshipping with fellow believers is important. It demonstrates priorities. Finally, tell others about how God answered your prayers. Who knows who will be inspired by your story. It may be just the encouragement someone else needs to keep on praying and not give up. So, what'll it be, when God answers, are you going to assume you're entitled? Or are you going to fulfill your vow?  He's waiting and others are watching. Godspeed.

 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Christianity is a religion of joy. As a believer, if you've missed that, you've missed everything.  Joy is more than pleasure and it's more than happiness. Happiness depends so much on external conditions, but joy is bedded deep within the darkest recesses of a believer's heart. It's like the wild card which gives us the opportunity to look at things a bit different. We may lose a loved one, but eternal life is a reality. We may feel misunderstood, but God always understands. We may feel rejected, but He always accepts us. We may be experiencing the dark night of the soul, but God always knows how to turn on the light. We may feel lost and confused, and yet He says: "I am the way." Because of that, life can be lived with joy and expectancy. Joy will allow you to get up and face the day knowing you won't face it alone. If you're having a difficult time remember, Jesus said it would be like that. "In this world you will have tribulation." That's a given. However, He went on to say: "Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world."  Now that should bring joy to your heart. Godspeed.

 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Yesterday around 1 pm I decided to head over to Hoover, Alabama for the SEC baseball tournament. (Hindsight, it didn't turn out too well.) As I arrived in the parking lot, the quest for obtaining a ticket became my main focus. The first game was already in the second inning, so I had decided the first decent seat I could find was going to be mine. As I made my way to the stadium, I noticed a group of Mississippi State fans tailgating close to the ball park. I walked up and asked if they had an extra ticket to the game. They told me they had one, 5 rows from the field. The exchange was made. I didn't see my new friends until they came in for the second game. As we began to talk, it turns out we grew up together in Cleveland, Mississippi. The years and weariness of life had worn on both of us, that we didn't recognize each other. After this revelation came to mind, a thought raced through my mind. There are all kinds of reunions on this earth. Class reunions, team reunions, church reunions, homecomings, and even work reunions. As we get older, it is hard to put names with faces. However, there's a reunion which will be for all of God's children one day. And believe me, you won't have a hard time recognizing anyone. We'll all be eternally young. That's one party I intend to make. See you there, I hope. Oh, if you don't already have your ticket, there won't be any available in the parking lot, not even from an old friend. Godspeed.

 

Friday, May 27,2016

Yesterday I received a call from a number unrecognizable to me. It was from a law office in Decatur telling me they'd be handling the closing on my house on Tuesday afternoon. Some of the sweetest words I've heard were: "Mr. Hurt, the lender for you buyer has said everything is ready, we are set for 3:00 pm on Tuesday."  It almost doesn't seem possible that it's actually going to happen. Even though things haven't happened the way I planned, God has been faithful throughout this whole journey. You, my friends have also been extremely encouraging to us as we've navigated the last four years. However, the papers haven't been signed, and the journey isn't complete. I'll take nothing for granted until we walk out of that lawyer's office. Thanks for loving us through this, it sure hasn't been easy. Godspeed.

 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

In an age of strobe lights and theatrical productions, at times I'm wonder if we're talking about a Broadway production or church. Somehow, in my opinion, we've missed what worship is all about. Many of us view worship from the view point that the congregation is the the audience, the pastor or worship leader (they keep changing the name of the music minister) is the actor and God is the prompter. When in reality, we have an audience of one. The congregation are the participants and the worship leaders are the prompters.  When we collectively gather for worship, it should be about Him. It has nothing to do with how you feel. That's the biggest problem in our churches today, we've made everything about us. Our question when we leave a service should be one: "Was God pleased with our effort."  If that would be our focus, then we would get away from raising a generation of consumers and get back to making disciples. We've taken our eyes off the main thing and in doing so, we've sacrificed souls at the alter of massive egos and selfish desires. And don't even get me started on these satellite campuses which pop up in towns that are already saturated with good churches. Want to plant a church? How about Montana or the state of Washington? God help us, we can't save ourselves from ourselves. And we wonder why as Christians we have lost our influence on the world. Sorry for the rant, but sometimes you have to speak the truth. What good are you if you're a thousand miles wide as a church, but only an inch deep?  I'll stop now. Godspeed.

 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I've said this a million times throughout my ministry:  "You better know the character of the people your child surrounds themselves with on a daily basis."  Why? Because regardless of how spiritual your child is, they won't elevate the crowd spiritually, but rather the crowd will bring them to a lower level. A simple principle in life is:  Surround yourself with good people who will elevate your character and challenge you spiritually. Your character will be directly influenced by the people you spend the majority of your time. I've seen good positive, energetic people become the most negative and cynical individuals due to the company they keep. I watched wonderful young people, on fire for the Lord, drop out of church and turn the way of the world due to the company they keep. You don't think it matters? Your dead wrong. The crowd has a tremendous influence on all of us. Don't just watch your children's company, be careful who you associate with. Don't be one of the masses, be the one who influenced by the Giver of life itself. Then your life will take on a new meaning and you'll be headed in the right direction, influenced by the righteous one. Godspeed.

 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Over the years of my ministry I've learned there are worse things than dying. I've witnessed the struggle, pain, suffering, and agony of an individual who is stuck on this side of life. There is a longing for release and freedom from the illness which has robbed them of their independence. I'll never forget my Dad telling me that he had lost all sense of self-dignity. He was an independent man who struggled to allow others to shave, bath, and groom him. I've been with church members who have wept rivers of tears because their body has failed them, but not enough to allow them to cross over Jordan. They feel stuck in a foreign land and long to go home. We who are left struggle as well. It's hard to let go to someone who has been your everything. However, to truly love someone is to allow them to continue their journey into the next phase of their life. As I told my mom prior to her death: "This is going to end well for you, but not for me." That's why it's important to have these tough conversations prior to the event. Listen to your loved ones and be strong and courageous enough to abide by their wishes. Believe me, there are worse things than dying. Godspeed.

 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Yesterday was senior recognition day at our church. As I began to preach, I noticed a nice looking couple seated midway back on the left side of our sanctuary. As I was preaching, you could tell they were locked into the message. At times they would nod with agreement, at other times they'd just smile. After the service had concluded, I noticed they had made their way over to speak to Tommi Jo. As I got closer, the lady asked me: "Do you remember us." Now, they did look familiar, but it wasn't until they told me who they were that the memories came flooding back. They had been members of our first full time church, Valley View Baptist in Vine Grove, Kentucky. As a matter of fact, I had shared the gospel with him and he accepted Christ and was baptized. They said: "We'll never forget the night you came to our house and visited us. It was pouring down rain, but you came anyway." I recalled the tragic death of her brother and how it had a profound effect on her husband. As a matter of fact, that tragedy ultimately led to him coming to faith in Christ. As I told the story to them, I watched them wipe the tears from their eyes. I was their pastor in 1989. Somethings you never forget. They had been close by for a graduation and decided to surprise us with a visit. As we talked, they kept saying: "You'll have no idea how much your ministry meant to us!" I was a 28 years old when I baptized him. I was green and pretty much an idiot. However, in an 18 month period, while serving that church, we had 120 additions. Most were by profession of faith. I remember one night baptizing 27 people. 20 of them were adults. Yesterday was the best blessing I've received in years. I guess what we do does make a difference. Thank God for the reminder. Godspeed.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Last night I was wearing a pair of shorts, as I often do this time of year. As I looked down to the top of my leg, I noticed a scar which has been there since my early childhood. Some days it's hardly noticeable, but other days, one can see it quite well. It doesn't hurt at all, but it's there nonetheless. The physical scars usually heal much faster and more complete than the emotional and spiritual ones. In my life, as well as yours, there are scars which have been placed in our hearts and mind through the events of life, but also the actions of others. These wounds cause little pain and suffering at this point in life because we've learn to adjust our lives in order to live productively in the present. But the scars still exist. There are some hurts, pains, and sufferings which we never totally get over, we just develop a higher threshold of pain and learn to live with it. The good news is, those scars and wounds from old events in our journey are often healed more rapidly when we allow the great physician to bind and attend those hurts. The simple assurance that we're not alone is motivation enough to stand up and rise above the pain. Oh, the scars are still there, but the burdens are lighter through His love and care. Godspeed.

 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Last night I had the opportunity to attend the graduation ceremony for several seniors from our church. Whenever I'm in attendance of such an event, this thought always runs through my mind: "I wonder what these seniors are thinking at this moment?" Are they excited? Are they anxious? Are they afraid? Are they ready to get on with the graduation party after the program? I can tell you this, in 1979, when I graduated from high school, I had no clue as to what I was going to do. That moment, that night, was all I was concerned about. The reality was apparent in my mind. First, I wasn't as smart as most of my class. Two, I wasn't as talented as most of my class. However, I did know, even at 18, that God had a plan for my life. How He was going to do it was going to involve some type of miracle. Little did I know that night that I would also graduate in 1983, 1989, and 1999. Had you told me that on my high school graduation night, I'd have told you, no way. But often, God takes the least expected, the less talented, and the not so gifted and uses their inadequate abilities to accomplish a His plan. If there has ever been one who has been ill prepared or equipped, it was and is me. Somewhere on that stage last night there was a young person thinking: "What do I have to offer?" However, when little is placed into the hands of God, it is multiplied and He is glorified. Always has, always will. I'm living proof, average intelligence at best, but willing to be used. Godspeed.

 

Friday, May 20, 2016

There are certain things in life which you can pray for over and over and it will not turn out how you want. God simply says: "Not this time. Now you have to conform to my will."  And when this occurs, why are we surprised?  Better yet, why are we angry? You see we've come to think that God exists for us. No, no, we have it backwards, we exist for Him. We were created by Him and for Him.  Our position is to serve, praise, honor, worship, and follow Him.  Not the opposite. The Apostle Paul prayed over and over that God would remove the thorn in his flesh, but God said "no." However, Paul came back and said: "Your grace is sufficient."  Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane prayed: "If there's any other way of doing this, but not my will, your will be done." One of the hardest things for us is when God says "no". It totally rocks our world and breaks our spirit. But remember this, God has been God for a long time. Trust Him and echo the words: "Your will be done for your grace is sufficient", even when I don't understand it. It is in these moments we grow the most. Godspeed.

 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Okay, it's time for true confession. I've carried this burden for far too long. Jesus said: "The truth shall set you free." Well here it goes. Back in 1970, I was under the watchful care of Ruby Webb one afternoon. The Webb's were senior adult members of our church. They had no children and no grandchildren. So I guess they took great delight in keeping me or one of my brothers from time to time. Well, as a reward for being so good, we made a special trip to Simmon's Drugstore for a milkshake. To the best of my recollection, they at one time had a soda fountain. As we were about to leave, I made my way over to the 45 records. Yes, the drugstore also had a music section where they sold 8-tracks, albums, and single 45's. If I'm not mistaken, I believe that's where my brother Pete got his Black Oak Arkansas collection. (This was way before we got the Soundcenter, where I would eventually work.) But I digress. Ruby Webb in my eyes was old, I'm mean really old, older than dirt, and I spotted a record I really wanted. The record was George Harrison's, "My Sweet Lord." Mrs. Webb was a Lawrence Welk, George Beverly Shea kinda person. I convinced her, at the age of 9, that this was a religious song. Reluctantly, she bought it for me. When we got back to her house, she insisted that I play it for her. Just so glad that she nor I knew what Hare Krishna meant. I feel better now, and I have to admit, I still love that song. It was actually inspired by "Oh Happy Day!" Close enough for me! I'll have a private time of forgiveness later. Godspeed.


Wednesday, May 18,  2016

A quote from last night's NCIS: Tony DiNozzo, played by Michael Weatherly has a special moment and says these words: "I've never been anyone's everything." I would imagine there are many who have echoed those words. We've longed to be loved by someone, cared for by them, in other words, we've wanted to matter to them. It could have been our parents, our children, our spouse, or our sibling, but we've wanted to feel needed  and loved. But you are everything to someone. Though you may be just one to the world, there's one that you are the world to Him. He knows you better than anyone could or ever will know you. And still, you are everything to Him. You are the crown of His creation, and remember, you are the only thing created in His image. You have the capability to love, because He first loved you. How do I know you are His everything?  Because He was willing to die so that you might live. So when you feel like no one cares, remember, that's a devil's lie. You are the world to the one who created the world. Friend, it doesn't get much better than that. Godspeed.

 

 Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Have you ever had a bad meal at a restaurant? Quite possibly you got sick as a dog because of something you ate. Did you stop eating out all together? Have you ever had a bad shopping experience? I mean it was like you were invisible. The customer service was absolutely horrific and the prices were out of this world. Did you give up shopping forever?  Have you ever attended a sporting event and your team actually lost. It was heartbreaking. Have you stopped watching sports forever?  Have you ever had a bad vacation? I mean nothing went right. The accommodations were not what you expected, it rained the whole time and you came home exhausted. Have you been on any other trips since?  I find it interesting that so many people have dropped out of church over one little event or incident. And for many, they have not only dropped out of their church, but they're not attending any church. I know several people who sit at home week after week because of an isolated event that took place years ago. What's funny and sad is these people can't seem to understand they are the ones who have a problem. To love Christ is to love His bride, the church. Some need to realize they have become indifferent to Christ and that is a huge deal. Furthermore, it is just sad. Godspeed.

 

Monday, May 16,2016

There are moments as a pastor when you look at your congregation and think:  "These folks actually get it!" Last night was such a night. During our hymn of invitation, a young lady, who was visiting, and her daughter walked the aisle towards me as I was standing at the front of the church. They came forward because they needed prayer. She is a single mom raising two children. Her daughter, who is only 10 was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor last week. They will be traveling to St. Jude Children's hospital this week. Oh, what I didn't mention is, she is white and her two children are African American. When we finished singing, I called them up to stand by me and asked all those who were willing to come pray over them, to please come down. The entire congregation came forward to lay hands on and pray over them. As people came out of the church, knowing these two were not members, they said: "Let us know what we can do to help." That my friends is being the hands and feet of Christ. That's why I'm honored to pastor people who actually "get it." That makes the ministry fun and exciting. Godspeed.


Sunday, May 15,2016

How many times have we said: "We'll be praying for you." It could be a friend who has a prodigal child. Or, it could be a fellow church member who has been diagnosed with cancer. It may be a neighbor who has just lost their spouse. We utter those words so quickly and some times haphazardly that we don't give them a second thought. Do you really pray for those people in need?  I mean earnestly and sincerely? When you tell others you're keeping them in your thoughts and prayers, do you? Let me encourage you to do something which may make you feel uncomfortable. Instead of telling someone you're going to pray for them, why not pray for them right then and right there. You'd be surprised at the response you get. You don't have to get caught up on your quiet time, but a simple two or three sentence prayer can change a person's position. You're also doing what you said you would do. Prayer is a sacred gift and responsibility, it's time we stop making a mockery out of this holy conversation with the Creator of the universe. If you say you're going to do it, then by golly, do it. You'll find out quickly that your life will be blessed. Godspeed.

 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

By now most of you have heard that the King, oh, excuse me, the President of the United States has made the decision as to how bathrooms are to used in public schools. His decision is based on the law we know as Title IX, which says no one can be discriminated against by any educational program receiving federal money. For most of us, we equate Title IX to college athletics and the balance of funds between men and women's sports. However, the King, who has no fear of God, nor does he respect any person, has decided to use this law to allow transgender individuals to choose the bathroom they most identify with as an individual.  Now if I have this correct, according to how the King interprets the law of the land, shouldn't transgender individuals get to participate in the sport they most identify with?  In other words, if you have a male transgender,shouldn't he be allowed to play women's basketball??? Or shouldn't he be allowed to play girls softball? It seems to me if that's your argument, then you've opened Pandora's Box. Now, I'm not even mentioning the moral and Biblical stance on the stupidity of this law. This president thinks he is above any law of the land. Rest assured, God's law will not be mocked. There's a payday someday as the late R.G. Lee would say. We have absolutely lost our cotton picking minds. Godspeed and God help us.

 

Friday, May 13, 2016

I started running back in 1997 while I was working on my doctorate. I needed something to help alleviate the stress level in my life. I ran for five years before participating in a simple road race. Since that time I've run in countless 5K and 10K races. I've run in two marathons and three half marathons. This is a lesson I've learned over the years: It takes a long time and discipline to get in shape. There is no substitute for hard work and sweat and pain. The flip side is, it doesn't take long to get out of shape. All you have to do is skip a week or so, and before you know it, your body has slipped. The same is true with our spiritual life. It takes time, discipline, and effort to grow in your walk with God. You have to put in the hours of Bible study, prayer, and worship. It only takes a little time for Satan to distract you and steal your attention from spiritual matters. Before you realize it, you’re an out of shape Christian. The sad part is, you can attend church regularly and still be out of fellowship with Christ. Just walking into a fitness center doesn't get you in shape. You have to do the work. The same with your walk with Christ. Talk to Him, study His word, grow in your love for Him. It's worth the effort. Get in shape. Godspeed


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Someone told me the other day: "You couldn't pay me a million dollars to do your job." To which I replied: "Me either." One must definitely feel called into the ministry or they'd never do this by choice. Now this isn't me singing along with Linda Ronstadt, "Poor, poor, pitiful me", but rather giving you a bit of insight into your pastor's mind and heart. Having grown up in a minister's home, I've been associated with it for 55 years. I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly. I don't know if there's any vocation out there which rides a roller coaster of ups and downs as much as the ministry. There is the euphoria feeling after one accepts Christ in their heart. There is the feeling of despair when a great Saint is called home. There is the excitement of welcoming new people into your congregation. There is the hurt of others leaving because they are unhappy. There is the boost of energy one gets from a word of encouragement. There is the feeling of inadequacy when criticized. It's understanding that the vocal minority will always voice their opinion but the silent majority will keep silent. It's knowing sooner or later some close to you will burn you when you least expect it. It is carrying the weight of the burdens others have shared, but having no one to listen to you. It is feeling lonely because you did the right thing. However, it is comforting knowing what all you did, you didn't do it alone. It is the blessings of special people who look past the imperfections and love and support you. It's knowing your job has eternal consequences. It's hard, but I wouldn't change jobs for all the money in the world. And neither would your pastor. Godspeed.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Have you ever seen a crisis Christian?  These are the folks who flock to the church and God the minute a crisis comes into their lives. It could be the couple who is experiencing marital problems. They realize that anything and everything of this world has been their god. They're on the brink of ending their relationship and then, the church comes to mind. They meet with the pastor and discuss the mess they've created. And then for a while, they're active in church. That is until the crisis is over. Another illustration which we see is when a person encounters a financial crisis.  They look for help any and everywhere. Finally, they come to the church needing financial help. When asked where they attend church, they respond with vague answers. The church reaches out with assistance and the individual or family makes a token visit to church. But then, after the crisis has been navigated, you never see them. The crisis Christian never makes a full commitment to God. They see Him as a divine bellhop who should grant their heart's desires whenever they need something. The relationship is strictly one way and once the crisis is managed, it's back to business as usual. The sad aspect of this is, this religion trait is far too common. Don't wait for the crisis to hit, walk with Christ daily and serve Him, then the crisis will be managed as you go and the burden will be lighter. Godspeed.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The older I get, I've come to notice a few things. I don't run as fast as I used to. I can't get up as fast as I once could. I don't recover as fast as I once did. I don't heal as fast as I did when I was a youth. I'm not quick to remember as I once was. I don't catch on to things as fast as I once did. I don't walk as fast as I once did. And I don't drive as fast as I did when I was younger. Which brings me to this question: "Why was I in such a hurry?" Most of us hate the thought of slowing down because we're afraid we might miss something. However, just the opposite is true. In slowing down in life we're able to hear the song of a blue bird. In slowing down, we're able to hold hands with our children and grandchildren while they're young. By slowing down we actually get to see where, how and in whom God is working. I don't move as fast as I once did, but I see more with my eyes and my heart. In slowing down, we get to put our priorities in order and realize what's really important. Don't wait too long to hit the brakes in life. If you're not careful, everything and everyone will be a blur and you'll never really see any thing, then you'll wonder: "Why was I in such a rush? Godspeed.


Monday, May 9,2016

28 years ago we were waiting on the arrival of our first child. Tommi Jo had been in labor for a number of hours and we had settled in for what would a long, but exciting day. That was until the doctor came into the room and said those five words no prospective parent wants to hear: "The baby is in distress." The umbilical cord was wrapped around her little leg and every time Tommi Jo would have a contraction, the baby's heart would slow down. When I asked if it was serious, the doctor said serious enough that we have to do something now. In a flash they whisked mother and child to another room and within minutes the most beautiful red headed girl was placed in my arms. I never knew I could love someone so fast. To be honest, in all the years she's been on this earth, that was about the most stress she's put on her mother and me. She has been a joy to be around and I'm proud of the young lady she has become. Not because she's my daughter, but in spite of the fact, you won't hear many bad things said about her. Every parent should be so fortunate. Happy birthday Laura Jo Hurt!!! Love you more today than ever. I'm your number one fan.

 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

When you're a child you assume your mother's always going to be there. After all, she was always at your little league game. She was always there to help you with your home work. She was always there to take your temperature. She was always there when a school project was due.  She was always there to take you to scouts. She was always there to set an extra place at the table so your friend could eat supper with you. She was there when you came in from your date. She was there to keep your dad from killing you when you wrecked the car. She was there when you graduated. She was there when your heart was broken. She was there when you picked out the ring. She was there when you walked the aisle. She was there when you got the job. She was there when your child was born. And then all of a sudden, without warning, she was gone. The compass of your life was removed. Oh how you'd love to answer the million questions she'd be asking now. You wouldn't think twice about dropping everything just to see her again. The soothing quality of her voice would be the balm that would make your heart heal today. But all you have is a memory and a sense of gratitude. I miss my mom everyday and that will never change. Happy Mother's Day. Godspeed and God bless all you special ladies.

 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Do you remember the old South Central Bell Commercial featuring legendary coach Bear Bryant?  I can still hear those words today:  "Have you called your mama today? I sure wish I could call mine."  Those words would encourage the hardest of hearts and the crustiest of personalities to pick up a phone and call home. This weekend as we honor our mothers, don't assume this is a happy time for everyone. There are those who are facing "Mother's Day" for the first time without their loved one. The presence of an absence can be overwhelming for many of us during this time of year. Still, there are others who never knew the love of a nurturing mother. For some reason that relationship was strained due to various complications. Why honor a person who neglected you, abandoned you, or abused you?  And there are others who want desperately to be a mom themselves, but for whatever reason, it just hasn't happened. For those of us who were blessed to have a Proverbs 31 mom, rise up and give her the honor she deserves. However, remember, not everyone was so blessed. Happy Mother's Day weekend to all the special ladies out there. I sure wish I could call my mama. Godspeed.

 

Tuesday, May 3,2016

Yesterday I noticed that celebrity, Kirk Cameron was trending in the news. Many of you will remember Cameron for his role as Mike Seaver on the popular sitcom, "Growing Pains".  He is also a dedicated Christian who is very outspoken on his values and beliefs. Well, he stirred up a hornet's nest a few days ago when he suggested, and I paraphrase: "Wives should follow the lead of their husband." In other words, he was basically referring to Ephesians 5:22. The preceding verse encourages us to "submit to one another out of reference to Christ."  Now, I'm not about to get into a theological debate with you about scripture. However, I will say this, Kirk Cameron is more than entitled to express his views. What is double standard in my opinion is, others state their opinion about transgender, homosexuality, the gay movement, the destruction of the home, and the narrow mindedness of Christians, a people stand and applaud. To disagree with these views, one is considered hateful and bigoted. Just because I disagree with you doesn't in any way suggest I hate you. Cameron is closer to being right than most want to believe. The following is the model for the Christian home: Christ is the head of the house, wives submit to your husbands and husbands be willing to lay your life down for your wife. Who has the higher mandate? One submits, the other is willing to die. Stop arguing the little things, make Christ the head of your house and the submission issue won't be a problem. As for Kirk, he has every right to speak his mind, just as all of us do. Get off his back, he's a good man. Godspeed.

 

Monday, May 2,2016

I'm always surprised at how my God does exceedingly more than expected. Yesterday we had our "Pledge Day" for our new sanctuary. Over the past few week's we've talked about sacrificial giving, giving above and beyond our tithes and offerings to help pay for our new worship center. The weather couldn't have been worse. It was raining side ways, at least 3-4 inches fell yesterday morning. Our crowd was a bit down. But when it came to the point in our service when our cards were turned in, I was shocked, amazed, and overwhelmed at how many people participated. We've never done a pledge drive before. The initial reports exceeded what we were expecting with more cards to be turned in over the next couple of weeks. You'd think by now, after all these years, I'd understand that God always does more than we expect. I'm thankful for a church family that does more than expected too. PHBC, I've said it before and I'll say it again, you are a pleasure to serve. Thanks for your commitment, faith, and support. Let's get this thing done. Godspeed.

 

 Sunday, May 1, 2016

There was a time in my ministry that I'd be nervous and anxious about today. Years ago, sleep on a Saturday night before a special event would be difficult at best for me. You see, today at PHBC is "Pledge Day". Our people have been praying about their financial commitment to our new sanctuary. We already had two thirds of the money through our insurance claim, but today our folks will decide what they can give above and beyond their tithe. At the ripe old age of 55, I've learned the hard way that I can't motivate, stimulate, encourage someone to give sacrificially to the church, who's first not committed to Christ. That was a lesson which took a while to learn. The simple truth is, you can't out give God. That's the message we'll continue to preach and teach. I believe God is going to honor our service today and the process of paying off a sanctuary before it is finished, will begin. If I change someone's mind, it will be temporary. If God changes a heart, it will have eternal consequences. I vote for the later. Godspeed.

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