Devotional September 2016

Friday, September 30, 2016

I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to grow up when and where I did. It wasn't perfect, but it was pretty good. We actually would spend the night at someone else's house without fear. We didn't need a play outside for 60 minutes initiative, that's all we did. We listened to sporting events on the radio. We had the greatest sports heroes of all time and they played because they  loved the sports. We had the greatest generations of music during the 60's and 70's. Everyone knew how to play "Kick the Can". We ran behind mosquito fogging trucks on hot summer nights like we were running through a tunnel to start a college football game. It didn't matter that we were breathing in DDT. (It didn't effect most of us) We lived in the same house for most of our lives. We stayed home on the weekends. We went to church on Sunday. We didn't lock our houses or cars. Everyone looked out and protected and corrected every child at the high school football game. We played cupball and break-up. If you got in trouble at school, you got in trouble at home. We had three channels on the TV. We loved God, family, friends, and country. But we also had air conditioning and indoor plumbing. I'm sorry kids today can't experience a simpler life. They might enjoy it. Thank You,  Lord! Godspeed.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

It was just a pin. A small lapel pin that one would hardly notice; however, it was special because of who gave it to me and what it represented. It was a small multicolored umbrella which is the logo that represents Arnold Palmer. My brother, Richard, had been to Bay Hill Country Club in Orlando, Florida, for a meeting. He was told Mr. Palmer was there and he actually got to meet him. Richard, knowing I was a big fan, got me the lapel pin. It's something you can't buy; it's given to people. As a matter of fact, the cardboard it was attached to said: "With Compliments, Arnold Palmer."  Now I can't find it and my stomach hurts. Through the years, the moves, the transitions, it's missing. I called Bay Hill today, they don't sell them. Some things just can't be replaced or bought. It reminds me of my salvation, it means everything because of who gave it to me and why. All because He loved me. So glad I can't lose it. Godspeed.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

When we look at the state of our nation today, everything looks upside down. It amazes me that the fastest growing religion in our country is the Muslim religion. If you'd have told us this 20 years ago, no one would have believed it. This past Monday night, hundreds of millions of individuals tuned into the first presidential debate. Two candidates told you their vision to restoring America back to greatness. Here's my slant and vision. It's really pretty simple:  "Make Christianity Great Again!!!" When believers get off their lazy rear ends and understand the task is enormous and start taking their faith seriously, then we can have an impact on the world. Stop waiting on the world to change and start changing the world by sharing your faith with those who don't know Christ. It sounds simple, but few are willing to do it. Yes, the answer, our motto, our battle cry: "Make Christianity Great Again!" When that happens, our nation will truly be: "One nation under God."  And we will be one people under God. What a concept. Unfortunately, even believers won't buy into the vision or hope. And that is exactly why we're where we are. God help us. Godspeed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

This past Sunday Les Miles, former head coach at LSU, was finally fired following a bizarre ending to a game against Auburn. While at LSU, Miles achieved a record of 112-32, won a National Championship, and in 2011 he was voted coach of the year. I've heard all the reasons why he should have been fired and this post isn't to defend him or blast fans for calling for his job. I just want you to see the other side. This is what I've heard people say: "He's getting an 11 million dollar buy-out, I'd like to be fired and get that!"  Money doesn't take the sting of not being wanted away. Money doesn't silence the voices surrounding your family, especially your children. Money doesn't keep you from feeling like a failure. Money doesn't take the sleepless nights away. Money doesn't reassure you that despite being fired, you were successful. What he achieved at LSU, if that had taken place at either school in Mississippi, we'd be running naked in the streets. I know first hand what it's like to not be wanted. I've been there when you wonder: "What now?" There was a time when I thought: "I'll never pastor again because no one will want me!"  You see, what has taken place in sports, has now crept into the church. Successful pastors and ministers are let go because their offense isn't exciting anymore. I'm fortunate to have landed on my feet, but the casualties were many and the pain was real. Les will get a job, but don't assume money eases the pain. It can pay the bills, it won't mend a broken spirit nor a daughter's broken heart. That's the part we don't ever see because we choose not to. That in a way, makes me sad. I still love LSU, and I'd like to have dinner one day with Les. I think we'd have a lot to talk about. Godspeed.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Yesterday was a tough day in the world of sports. We woke up and discovered Jose Fernandez, 24 year old pitcher for the Marlins had been tragically killed in a boating accident early Sunday morning. And then last night, a day we knew was coming, but hoped it never would. Arnold Palmer died at the age of 87. Two deaths, one in his prime, the other in the twilight of his life. One hard to understand, the other hard to accept. But the reality is this, two great athletes, one an iconic figure who was the most important golfer of all-time, both died. The statistics on death is one out of one dies. Last Sunday night I preached a sermon on the three ways one can die, which we see at the cross. Three crosses were planted on a hill and three people died. One thief died in his sin, one died out of his sin, and one died for sin. This is such a simple concept that a 6 year old child went home and repeated the sermon to his parents. Two famous people died yesterday. One I loved and admired all my life. I hope they both were prepared. I hope you are as well. Godspeed.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Instant gratification, that's what we want today. We live in a world of drive through restaurants, smart phone photos, instant messages, and microwave food. We have a hard time waiting because we've eliminated that gene from our DNA. Everyone wants what they want when they want it!! In other words, we want to win and win now, and when we don't, the vultures start circling. Last night an SEC game was played with both coaches futures hanging in the balance. Why? Because we want to win and win now. Last year some were calling Hugh Freeze a good small school coach who was over his head. Now some actually want to fire Dan Mullen. Trust me, both schools won't do much better. Why do we have such an attitude? We hate to wait. However, God instructs us to wait. As a matter of fact, aren't you glad that patience and waiting are at the very core of God's DNA?  God moves in His time, not ours and you better be glad. He lovingly and graciously waits for us to come to Him. His arms are open wide today. Learn to wait productively and creatively. Not everything come in a hurry. Godspeed.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Who is your God? It may seem like an easy question, but think hard for a moment and answer wisely. Could it be your job? Possibly your money. Might be your family. Do you worship your hobby and pass time?  Oh, I see, it's your children. Nope, just a moment, it could even be your church. This is a simple rule: "What you prize, you will praise. What you praise, you will worship." So the question remains:  Who is your God? Your actions and worship will always give you away. Remember the words of God himself: "You shall have no other gods before me."  That one is pretty plain and simple. What part are we missing? Godspeed my friends.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Broken.  Have you ever seen it?  I'm not talking about a broken vase or mirror, those can easily be fixed or replaced. But have you ever really seen or experienced broken? It may have come in the form of a broken heart, relationship, spirit, dream, aspiration, promise, or life. I guess in my line of work I've seen broken all too often in lives of people I've pastored. Brokenness leads to hopelessness and despair. What does one do when their whole life, the very essence of ones soul is shattered into pieces? Many turn to destructive methods and sources which help them escape the brokenness for a while. The problem with this avenue is, the problem's never solved and sometimes it becomes worse. Others turn to family and friends only to find their responses trite and superficial. So when brokenness comes, where do we go and where do we turn. Naturally if something is broken, you want to get it to someone who has experience in this area. Seems I read somewhere that before he became a traveling preacher, Jesus grew up in a carpenter's shop. I imagine he saw his fair share of broken chairs, tables, and almost anything made of wood. You see, he has always been in the business of broken, even as a child. Only now, he's an expert in broken lives. Take the brokenness to Him and leave it there. He'll know what to do if you trust him. The results may not happen over night, but the touch lasts a lifetime and beyond. And believe me, he knows what he's doing. Godspeed.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

While watching a radio show on TV yesterday, (Yes, you read that correctly) the host gave a simple principle which I've preached for many years. We tend to be like the people we surround ourselves with on a daily basis. In other words, ethical people don't tend to hang with unethical individuals. Liberals don't socialize with conservatives, for the most part. People who are fun loving and have a sense of humor don't run with serious folks. Intellectuals for the most part don't hang with morons. There are exceptions to that rule, I've had a lot of intelligent people and friends who have allowed me into their circle of friends. Believe me, I brought the group IQ down a few notches. In other words, I was the dumbest one in the pack. There's another exception to that rule. There's never been a group that Jesus couldn't associate with. He's smart enough for the intellectuals, and simple enough for small children. He can fit in any crowd, but he won't go along with the crowd. He's usually the one who sits opposite of the majority because his way calls for a higher standard. But man, when we reach it, it's life changing and Spirit driven. Don't allow the crowd to crowd Him out of your life. That would be the greatest tragedy of all. Godspeed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The reality of life is you will revisit old hurts and pains from the past. They may come in the form of an encounter with someone who hurt you years ago. You may have a flashback to stressful or painful time and place in your life. You may experience a new situation that's eerily similar to a previous situation from years gone by. Any or all of these can cause your heart to beat a little faster and your blood pressure to rise significantly. You find yourself crossing the waters of discontent, depression, anxiety and pain. But here's the kicker. You get to decide if you stay in the water and get devoured by the piranhas of past experiences, or cross over to the other side. Now understand, when you get out of the waters, there will be scars and possibly a few new scars, but your residence is in the present and not the past. You and I get to decide if the old pains from the past are going to dominate our lives in the present, or if we are going to move forward in the present. That doesn't mean there won't be more pain and setbacks;  however, it does allow us to draw from the past and help us live more productivity in the the present. The first step is moving forward. It happens one stroke, one step, one day at a time. Godspeed.

Tuesday, September  20,  2016

Have you ever been at the end of your rope?? All life as you've known it has ceased to exist and you struggle to find meaning and purpose. In your moment, day, month, or year of wilderness wondering, God seems distant and remote.  You search for Him, but his presence seems to be just beyond your grasp or sight. You echo the words of Job:  "Oh that I may find Him!"  The darkness and the clouds seem to cover you line of sight and your prayers seem to echo off the walls around you as if to say: "Return to sender, address unknown."  Just at that moment when you're about to give up, remember this important fact. God is always present, even when He's silent. Sometimes our self-doubt, our destruction, our sin keeps us from hearing His voice and feeling His presence. So stop the mad rush and be still and know that He is God. A funny thing will happen. He'll find you. Godspeed.

Monday September  19, 2016

Every now and then a name, a face, a group will pop up from my past and I'll remember the investment those people made in my life. I think about family members, teachers, church leaders, employers, mentors, and friends who saw something in me and encouraged me to follow God's calling for my life. When times have been hard, difficult, and demanding, all of a sudden there was a word, a card, an embrace or pat on the back that let me know someone else was in my corner. I believe God puts such people in our lives to help us navigate the journey of our days here on earth. Imagine where you'd be today if it weren't for those special people?  Why not take the time and give those people a shoutout for their impact on your life? You may think there's plenty of time to say thank you, but in reality, today may be the only time you have. I'm going to get us started by thanking J Paul Tucker all the way in Louisville, Kentucky. I worked for Paul during my three years of seminary at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. Paul not only provided me a job, but a safe haven away from the demands of school and preaching. To this day he still holds a special place in my heart, both him and his wife Sandy. Thanks Paul, you are and were a difference maker. Now, do the same with someone else. Godspeed.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

If you are clinging to a wrong which was committed against you in the past, you're only hurting yourself. Rest assured, those who have hurt you aren't going to line up and admit their wrong doing. The only person you're hurting, by clinging to this bitterness is you. The best course of action is not to forgive and forget, but rather forgive and move on. You're not responsible for those individuals and the actions they take, but you are responsible for yours.  It's time to throw the baggage of hurt and bitterness away and get on with it. Those folks can only hurt you in the present if you let them. Don't let that happen. Your better than that and God expects more from you. Move on. Godspeed. I am so 

Saturday,  September 17, 2016

Just for a moment let me talk to my young adults out there, ages 25-45. If your parents are still living, I'm about to let you in on a little secret that will make their day. Probably in the last 10 years or so, your parents have asked little of you, correct?  But you've been fairly demanding of them. Need a baby sitter? Boom, call the grandparents. Need someone to pick up the kids from school? Boom, call the grandparents. Need someone to pick up the check at supper? Boom, develop alligator arms and the grandparents will get it. All your parents want from you, their adult children, is to join them on Sunday morning to worship with them. Believe me, there will come a day when you wish you had that opportunity back. Not too long ago I was at a funeral and ran into a couple I really like. However, they don't attend church very regularly. I told them we missed them and how much it would mean to their parents. I said:  Not too long from now we'll be in this funeral home for your parents and it'll be too late to change anything. All they want is for you to sit with them in church. Possibly that's all your parent wants from you. Trust me, one day you'll wish you did and then it'll be too late. That would be a tragedy. Godspeed.

Friday, September 16, 2016

When you're hurting, where you receive comfort and who ministers to you is vitally important. In 2007 I'd just accepted a new pastorate, leaving a very good and successful situation. Within a month of moving to my new church, my mother died. Talk about lost. I was being comforted by people I didn't know. Now to their credit, they did the best they could. It was to say the least, an awkward situation which never got better. Two years earlier when my Dad had passed away, it was different. My church family knew me, and I knew them. Where you receive comfort is sometimes the difference in making it through the storm or taking up residence there. There is a passage of scripture in the book of Revelation which literally sends chills up my spine. It says: "He will wipe away every tear from our eyes."  He, being God, provides the comfort. He doesn't delegate the responsibility to the angels, nor the disciples, or anyone else. There will be a day my friends when the creator of the universe takes his thumbs and gently strokes our cheeks and the tears disappear forever. Imagine what a day that will be. The ultimate comfort from the ultimate Healer!  That comfort will be complete. Godspeed.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Don't make people feel bad when they finally come to church. Right or wrong, folks are hypersensitive today and comments like:  "Somebody check the roof and see if it's about to fall in!" or "Lord have mercy, look who finally showed up!" or one of my favorites, "Are you sure you're in the right place? You do know this is church, right?" This is what I've noticed over my ministry, sometimes it takes a tragedy or an attention getter to get someone back in church. Keeping them in church, well that's a whole different ballgame there. However, how we receive visitors and non-church goers will either encourage them to continue on this journey or it'll derail them. Also, while we're talking about this, let's get this through our head....THERE ARE NO ASSIGNED SEATS IN CHURCH!!!!!!  You may sit in the same place Sunday after Sunday, but if someone gets there before you, especially a visitor, just smile, move along and get there five minutes earlier next week. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. Remember, the church isn't a collection of saints, but rather a gathering of sinners saved by grace.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

I remember when I was finally finishing my doctorate at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. I had one last seminar to attend and wrap up my course work and my dissertation was already close to being completed. This particular seminar was going to require me to be gone for 10 straight days and my travel would take me to Jacksonville, Florida. The time away from my family during my studies had been hard at times. Our girls were in elementary school and they hated it when I was gone for extended periods of time. The night before I left for Florida, I went in to kiss my girls good night. My youngest, Melanie Brashier, was taking it particularly hard. I remember laying down in the bed with her and all of a sudden we started singing: "How do I get through one night without you? If I had to live without you, what kind of life would that be?" You see, I taught my girls to love country music and Trisha Yearwood was one of our favorites. Later in life, when I'd call Melanie, that song was her ringtone for me. When she got married, we danced to that song. Yesterday I heard it on the radio and for a split moment, I was taken back to that night when a little 7 year old girl sang that with me with tears in her eyes. I thank God everyday for those special moments in the past that at the time I didn't realize were so important. Don't miss your's today, they can't be recaptured. Godspeed.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I love the story of J.D. Grey, former pastor at First Baptist Church in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dr. Grey served that church for 35 years. He was also the youngest individual elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention at the age of 40. Dr. Grey was also a tad bit eccentric, but he was a real man. He was who he was and made no apologies for it. Dr. Grey was a man who liked a good cigar as well. One day he was accosted by one of his self-righteous female members in his church. She said:  "Dr. Grey, I feel it is inappropriate for a man in your position to smoke cigars!!!" To which Dr. Grey responded: "That's my sin my lady, what's yours?"  It's easy for us to point out the sins and shortcomings of others rather than dealing with our own. It's much easier to render judgement rather than receive it. Most of us see the speck in someone else's eye and totally ignore the two by four in ours. Self-righteousness is one of the most besetting sins of our generation. I told this story years ago and following my sermon a lady came to me and said: "Well, it sounds like Dr. Grey was a arrogant piece of work!" I thanked her for making his point. Godspeed.

Monday, September 12, 2016

This past Saturday we made our way over to Starkvegas for a little college football. I'm going to tell you, IT WAS HOT!!! It's been a long time since I've been that hot and sweaty during a football game. Then there was a lightning delay for over an hour. We sat there and waited. Of course, some left, but recent history would indicate that the game wasn't close to being over. There's an interesting thing about college football. Most of the starting times on their schedule are TBA. For those that don't know, that means: "To be announced." All of this is centered around TV scheduling as to who plays when. However, 65,000-125,000 fans adjust their entire weekend with a weeks notice. During my ministry, the biggest complaint I've heard from church members is when we change a schedule. You would think we've committed some act of heresy. So what society communicates is, they are willing to change for the betterment of a football program. What the church often communicates is, we're not changing for anyone. At our current church, PHBC, I've never been around a group of people who adapt to change as well as them. Their philosophy has been:  "We'll try anything to help others know Christ."  Oh, that their tribe would increase. Imagine the difference we'd make in our society. Godspeed.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

It was 15 years ago our lives changed as a nation. We watched in horror as passenger plans became suicide bombs flown into the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC. The sight of those buildings coming down like a house of cards, and the smoke engulfing the city of New York are forever engrained in our minds. There was total confusion and fear that dominated our minds and hearts. How could this happen here, on our own soil? When we learned the fate of the first responders, and the bravery they demonstrated, our heart's were broken. For a while, our spirits were frozen and confusion and doubt dominated our lives. But we are America, the greatest country in the world. We pulled together, worked as one, and went to work to reclaim what had been taken from us. Things have changed since 9/11, and so have we. However, if we don't learn from history, we are destined to repeat it. Are we safer today? That's debatable. But we are divided, which can be more destructive than attacks from outside our own ranks. There's nothing like a tragedy to pull people together. Let's not wait that long. Innocent people are destroyed and lives are lost. Let's work together to be the nation which holds the bar high for decency and morality, rather than stooping to the world's standard of correctness. Then we will be "one nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and justice for all."  Godspeed and God bless America.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

There is an interesting phenomenon which is taking place in our society. More grandparents are raising their grandchildren than ever before. Now I'm not just talking about a teenage pregnancy where a young girl receives grace, forgiveness, and support from her parents. No, I'm talking about adult couples who never interrupt their social calendars in order to raise their own children. They just let the grandparents do it. Now I'm not suggesting that grandparents shouldn't be invested in their grandchildren's live. Of course not. But I was thinking the other day. Through my life, and my children's lives, we never lived in the same town as our grandparents. If our children needed to be babysat, we hired a babysitter. What I see more and more today is adult parents passing the buck of parenthood off to the grandparents. And that my friend is wrong. Grandparents exist four one reason and one reason only and that is to spoil their grandchildren. Unfortunately today, many senior adults are worn out because they've raised two generations of children. If your old enough to have a child, you're old enough to raise that child. It's your responsibility as a parent to nurture your child physicality, emotionally, and spiritually. After all, you're responsible, not your parents. Godspeed.

FrIday, September 9, 2016

Much has been said and written about Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand during the National Anthem. A lot of people see this as a lack of respect for our military, police, first responders, and our country. However, this lack of respect isn't limited to professional athletes and their protest on social issues. Talk to almost anyone in a position of authority and they will tell you about how attitudes towards them have changed drastically in the last few years. Sit down with any elementary, middle school, high school teacher or coach and they will tell you about their diminishing authority and lack of respect they receive. It would shock you to know how students talk to teachers today. The same is true in the church and the lack of respect members show to their ministers. Long gone are the days when you hear someone say: "Well, I don't agree with him, but he's God's man so I'm going to support him!" That attitude is dying out fast. It would blow your mind if you read a pastor's text messages and emails. What has caused such a shift in our society in our attitude towards any authority? First, I believe we live in a time of entitlement. Not only are we entitled to certain things, we are entitled to certain attitudes and words as well. Second, we live in a me now generation. What pleases me? What do I want? What can I get?  Third, respect is rarely taught in the home and our children are learning it from our behavior. Finally, social media has raised a generation of cowards who feel like they can say what they want, when they want, and to whom they want. What's sad is, it's only going to get worse as time goes by.  When you rip Colin, ask yourself this question: "How am I doing in the respect department these days?" Maybe you're not the most qualified to sit on the judgement seat. Godspeed.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

You take time for what is important in your life. If your family is important to you, then you will carve out time in your schedule to be with them. If your work is important to you, then you will most definitely submerge yourself in your job. If recreation is important to you, then you will find time to relax and enjoy a hobby or two. If your relationship with Christ is important, then you will find time to spend with him through prayer, Bible study and worship. And finally, if growing with fellow believers is really important, then you will be in church on a regular basis. The fact is, Christ and His church aren't much of a priority these days to a lot of folks. There are more churches in decline than there are ones growing. Now look at the condition of our world. Do you think it's a coincidence?  What you prize, you will praise. What you praise, you will worship. What or who do you worship???? Godspeed.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Christian life is easy when everything is running smoothly in your life. When everything is coming up roses, it's easy to praise God for His goodness and provisions. However, when the roses die and the thorns become more prevalent, can you see and feel the goodness of God? Can you praise God when you lose a loved one?  Can you sense His presence when the diagnosis is cancer? Can you worship God when the darkness overtakes you and you can't find one friend?  Is God real in your life when loneliness overwhelms you to the point of depression? Does God make a difference when the waves of life are too strong for your little rowboat?  When the darkness overtakes you, the only way you can combat it is with the light of the world. It's not an easy answer, but it's the same answer He gives us time and time again. Stop living off a religious cliches and cultivate a relationship with the Living God. When you do this, though the world will rise against you, it will never defeat you. Victory is a given through Christ, even if it's a long time coming. Just you wait!  Godspeed.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

There are three essential questions that all of us need to answer. The first is: "Who are you?"  The second:  "Where did you come from?" And three: "Where are you going?"  I have found over the years that many people struggle with these simple questions. As a matter of fact, people spend a lot of time trying to find out who they are. You are more than your parent's child, more than your vocation, and more than a number. You are uniquely and wonderfully made! You were created in the very imagine of a God. As a matter of fact you were created to have a relationship with the very one who created you. That's who you are. Second, you didn't come just from your mother's womb, but you came as a gift from God. That's right, God loved you and knew you before your parents ever conceived you. Chew on that for a minute. Finally, where are you going? That is the million dollar question so many would like answered. From the moment you enter this world, you begin a journey to eternity. The good news is, you get to decide where that will be. Eternal life and life everlasting only come through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. So, the answers to the questions: You can be a child of the King.  Second, you came from God. Third, you should be going back to Him. That is a road map for life. Get that right and your well on your way to living with purpose. Godspeed.

Monday, September 5, 2916

When you look at our world today, we're all about service. What I mean is, we love to be served. We enjoy good service in a restaurant, in a department store, and at the car dealership. However, the "being served attitude has crept into the church. We want our needs to be met when we want it done now. We look at the church and ask: "What can you do for me?" However, when you look at the life of Jesus, we see a life of servanthood. As a matter of fact, he even said: "The Son on Man didn't come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many." So if that was his attitude, why has our's become  distorted?  It's quite simple, we've made church and Christian service about ourselves and our needs. In other words, we have too many people seeking the throne rather than the towel and basin. Maybe we should look inward to see if we've gotten this thing backwards as to who serves who. God doesn't exist to serve me, I exist to serve him. When I understand that, life and Christian service becomes more balanced and fulfilling. Godspeed.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

I can't imagine how different things would have been if social media would have existed during the life of Christ. Especially the last twenty four hours of his life. Think for a moment how Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram would have been exploding. Tweets and post could have gone something like this. "What kind of leader washing the feet of his followers. LOL!!!!" "Heard he was arrested last night, betrayed by a close friend. #sosad #knewitwouldend." "Trial came to a close. He said nothing. #rushtojustice #questionablewitnesses."  Another post might read: "They beat him and made him carry his cross to Calvary. If that had been me, I can tell you, they'd have had to chase me down, or I'd have died trying to get away." "Why has the weather and climate changed so. Dark in the middle of the day? #trulyhewasthesonofgod". "What would possess a good man like that to die so violently and so unnecessarily? # "BECAUSE I LOVE YOU"John3:16" Godspeed.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Yesterday we talked about the grief process. Does it get any easier as time passes? It was interesting to read so many views and opinions on the subject. But let's turn the tables for a moment and ask this thought provoking question: What would your loved one, who has passed away, want for you and your life? More than likely they'd want you to be happy, productive, active, responsible, faithful, healthy, and not see-destructive. So are we honoring their wishes? When my mom was about to cross over Jordan, I told her: "This will end well for you, but not for me." As the time has gone by I've tried to live my life in a manner which is pleasing to my Heavenly Father and also my earthly parents. Sometimes successful, others.....not so much. The most important thing my parents would want from me is to join them one day. That's only possible through a relationship with the Father through Jesus. Honor your deceased love ones by how you live your life. In doing so, you'll honor the Father. Godspeed.

Friday, September 2, 2016

The other day I heard two ladies talking about the death of a spouse. One had recently lost her husband while the other had been widowed for over 10 years. The veteran of grief assured her friend that it got easier with time. I'm not sure the word "easier" is the accurate description of grief. I would say it gets different over time. Tasks that were difficult at the beginning of the process become a little bit easier, but I'm not sure the loss ever gets easier. We learn to live with and manage the pain so that we can get on with our lives. We are comforted by friends and loved ones which helps us navigate the chaos around and within us. For the Christian, there is a peace which passes understanding that allows us to carry on with our lives. But I easier?? I'm not sure it ever gets easier, it just becomes different and we learn to live with the pain and the absence. There are special people, family members, friends, church members, past relationships that I miss each day. It's never easy losing a loved one or someone special in your life. However, there is a hope which allows us to carry on with life, even when it's hard. Godspeed.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Okay, college football is just about to get underway and the excitement of a new season and new opportunities fill the air. Everyone in the SEC, which is really the only conference that matters, is undefeated. Now with that being said, many of us will be attending college and high school games this season, so let new stir the pot just just for a second. Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers has made headlines recently because he refuses to stand during the National Anthem before the game begins. Many of us, including myself, find this to be disrespectful and classless. Even though he's exercising his rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, it just galls most of us. But, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. I think it's disrespectful to ring cowbells, shake pom poms, yell: "Roll Tide", "Hotty Toddy" , talk, not remove your cap, or fail to stand at attention during the National Anthem. I certainly think it's highly inappropriate to yell: "Go to hell" just after you paid tribute to our country. Always remember, it's easier to point out the faults in others with ever looking at your own. Self righteousness is an ugly trait. Now it's time for football. Are you ready? Godspeed.

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