November 30

There is a simple Biblical principle, when implemented, goes a long way to avoid misunderstandings and confusion. However, most people, including those in the Body of Christ, refuse to follow this practical teaching of Jesus. The teaching is as follows: “If you have a problem with another person, go to that individual.” Now why is this such a hard teaching to follow?

First, it actually requires an action and an open mind. It’s easier to just brood and get angry rather than actually make an effort to solve a problem. I’ve had people come to me and express their displeasure with another person. My first response is: “Have you gone to that person and talked to them? A majority of the time, they haven’t. Why? Because it takes an effort on their part and it’s just easier to sit and pout.

Second, we all have biases. In other words, most of us have already formed an opinion not on the current facts, but on the actions of the past. We never allow the possibility that people change over the course of time. We simply judge them on their past.

There are been moments in my life that I’ve rushed to judgement based on inaccurate facts and in doing so, I’ve damaged other people’s reputations and also hurt the cause of Christ. As I’ve matured in my faith, I’ve tried to do better. Go to the source, in doing so, you are following the teaching of Christ. Godspeed my friends.

 

November 29

Are you tired and worn out from carrying extra weight in your life? I’m not talking about the personal pounds on your body, but the burdens from the past. So many people are carrying resentment, anger, jealousy, strife, and animosity. All of these feelings are due to past actions done to you or someone you love. Each and everyday you continue to lug these extra pounds around.

How long do you intend to keep on doing this? What you need to realize is, this is having a negative effect on your life. It’s robbing you of the joy of this day. Far too many of us are trapped in a room of despair from the wrongs life has issued us. These feelings have been around so long that some of us have forgotten who we’re mad at and why we’re so unhappy. What’s even stranger is, this happens to people who claim to be a part of the family of God, yet they’re not experiencing the joy He brings to a life.

Don’t you think it’s time to close your book of complaints on life? Isn’t time we exercised a bit of forgiveness and grace and thus experience those two vital ingredients in our own life? It requires a huge effort on your part and what’s even sadder is some folks have found great delight in their misery. Don’t be one of those individuals. Shed the excess weight that keeps you from being what you were created to be. If you do so, life will look a lot brighter and even better. Godspeed my friends.

 

 

November 28

Are you tired and worn out from carrying extra weight in your life? I’m not talking about the personal pounds on your body, but the burdens from the past. So many people are carrying resentment, anger, jealousy, strife, and animosity. All of these feelings are due to past actions done to you or someone you love. Each and everyday you continue to lug these extra pounds around.

How long do you intend to keep on doing this? What you need to realize is, this is having a negative effect on your life. It’s robbing you of the joy of this day. Far too many of us are trapped in a room of despair from the wrongs life has issued us. These feelings have been around so long that some of us have forgotten who we’re mad at and why we’re so unhappy. What’s even stranger is, this happens to people who claim to be a part of the family of God, yet they’re not experiencing the joy He brings to a life.

Don’t you think it’s time to close your book of complaints on life? Isn’t time we exercised a bit of forgiveness and grace and thus experience those two vital ingredients in our own life? It requires a huge effort on your part and what’s even sadder is some folks have found great delight in their misery. Don’t be one of those individuals. Shed the excess weight that keeps you from being what you were created to be. If you do so, life will look a lot brighter and even better. Godspeed my friends.

 

November 27

We don’t live in a what have you done for me lately society, but rather what have you done for me today? Most folks don’t care if you helped them in the past, they’re more concerned about the here and now. Past blessings don’t necessarily translate to present gratitude. We see this in all areas of society today. From the sports world to the church, it’s all about now. I find it interesting that people are quick to throw the word “loyalty” around when it benefits them. However, these same individuals want to be held to a different standard when it comes to their lives and actions. The door has to swing both ways. Loyalty has to be a two way street.

Let me ask you a few questions. How loyal or dedicated are you to your local church? Are you regular in your attendance and support, or just a casual member? How loyal are you to your God? How much time do you spend in prayer or Bible study? But when troubles come your way and disappointment falls on your life, you expect immediate spiritual relief with no effort on your part. That type of faith will never sustain a life. True faith will never ask: “What’s in it for me?” Maybe we need to adjust our loyalties just a bit. Godspeed.

 

November 26

There are moments here on earth when we get a small glimpse of what Heaven might be like. Last week was one of those times in my life.

About 30 minuets before the wedding of my oldest daughter was to begin, I found myself in the foyer area of the church. This was the place where the guest book was located and entrance for those attending the service. As  I was waiting, family, friends, church members, former church members came in one by one. Some of these individuals I hadn’t seen in years. It was a time of joy and celebration. There’s no way that you can describe the emotions which were running through my heart. It was like a family reunion and a church homecoming all wrapped in one. There was a feeling of humbleness and gratitude which brought a warm feeling to my heart.

Jesus himself used the symbolism of wedding joy to describe the ecstasy of his followers whenever he was present with them. I would imagine when we arrive at our eternal home, there’s going to be joy that will surpass the grief we’ve experienced on this earth. All things will be made new as we are welcomed one by one by those who have gone before us. Indeed, what a day of rejoicing that will be. Godspeed my friends.

 

November 25

In this country we are guaranteed the freedom of speech. However, you’re not free to say anything you want. For instance, if you choose to say you intend to harm the President of the United States, or our country, there will be repercussions. Your words can make all the difference in living free or living in jail or under investigation.

Likewise, your words can be the difference in living in harmony with others or in a state of division and chaos. What you say to others will either build or destroy those relationships. Text messaging and social media has given us a new platform to speak our mind, but at what cost? Words written and sent or posted can have a damaging effect on so many lives. One post, one text sent in a moment of anger can change a whole relationship. Our words can hit harder than our fist ever could.

How many times have we seen celebrities have to apologize for words they have posted or messages they have sent. A good rule of thumb is to give a situation a little bit of time. At least 24 hours. Once a word is spoken, text, or posted, it’s impossible to get it back. Let’s use our words to build one another up. There’s enough tearing down these days to last two lifetimes. Godspeed my friends.

 

November 24

In the early morning hours of the day after Thanksgiving, people all over our country will out shopping for great deals for Christmas gifts. To the retailers it’s known as “Black Friday”. To me it’s known as an act of insanity. Oh, don’t get me wrong, my family is out there with the masses trying to get an early jump on their holiday shopping as well. But it has always been something I️ don’t get.

Here’s my conflict and lack of understanding towards Black Friday or anything else that demands an alter in our regular daily schedule. We’ll take time to rush out and shop, but come Sunday, following a weekend of family and food, we’re just too tired for church because it starts so early. We have to be at Bible Study at a whopping 9 a.m. and worship at the early morning hour of 10:30. Who can be expected to get up so early after a long weekend?

It comes down to priorities, plain and simple. We take time for what is important to us. This weekend is about giving thanks, so naturally, wouldn’t we want to do that collectively in God’s House? It’s simple, what you praise you praise. Get your shopping done today and then rest up tomorrow and be ready to worship the one worthy of your praise. Remember what He did for you on the original “Black Friday.” That alone demands your time, talents, and praise. Godspeed my friends. Be careful out there today. There are a lot of crazy people among you.

 

November 23

Today is a day set apart for giving thanks. As with most of you I’m thankful for my family, friends, and faith. I can’t imagine my life without those three key elements in it. However, let me share a word of gratitude to some specific people.

Today, I’m eternally grateful to the great people of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. For nearly six years it has been my highest honor to serve as your pastor. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you folks have been the embodiment of love. You literally saved my ministry as a pastor. It has been an interesting ride as we’ve share high moments and low ones. We’ve had times of joy and likewise times of sorrow. We’ve experienced the trauma of losing a sanctuary, but have also shared the joy of building a new worship facility. In 30 plus years of ministry we’ve never been around a more loving and fluid group of people. Thank you for your patience and hard work. I honestly believe our best years are ahead of us.

I’d also like to thank all of my Facebook friends. Everyday I’ve tried to post some words that will help and minster to you. The funny part of that is through this journey, I’ve received the blessings. The words of encouragement which you’ve shared with me have motivated and stimulated me to reach deeper in my my heart, mind, and faith. You’ve challenged me each day to write and share my struggles, victories, and spiritual walk in words. I would have never believed this would be possible with such a simple person as myself.

I️ hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. Stop for a moment and give thanks to the one who is responsible for every good and perfect gift. Godspeed my friends.

 

November 22

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, football, and food. Many of us will gather around our dinner tables and eat more than what we need. We’ll spend the afternoon watching a football game or two and the day will seem complete. However, will any of us take the time to be thankful for the blessings we have in our lives? How much gratitude will we actually demonstrate on a day that at its very core is centered around being thankful?

I  can’t help but think of the multitude of friends of mine who will face an empty chair this year at the table. While many of us will laugh and enjoy the company of special people in our lives, others will have to learn how to get through the next month and a half. We need to remember, we all could be faced with this situation this time next year. Who knows what a year holds?

This is the only day we’ve been promised. Scripture reminds us: “This is the day the Lord has made, we shall rejoice and be glad in it.” You are one tragedy from changing your life forever. Be thankful you have this day and remember those who are hurting. One day, it will be you, that’s just the way life is. Godspeed my friends.

 

November 21

Are you thankful for what you have in life or do you think you deserve what you have? When was the last time you took an inventory of your life, good and bad, and considered how much you’ve been blessed? Even in the trails and setbacks, God has blessed you and me more than what we deserve.

When think about our lives, what part do we give God? Do we give Him the best of our resources and time or what we have leftover? Too often we divide up our time and resources according to how it benefits us, then what’s left, if anything, we’ll consider giving that to God. All along the way, we want God to lavish His first blessings on us without any effort on our part.

This past weekend we celebrated the marriage of our first child. Let me tell you, if you haven’t priced a wedding these days, you’ll find out they’re pretty expensive. What I’m about to share with you is not done to boast, but to give you an understanding of how important it is to give God what he deserves. In the past two years, as a family, we’ve paid for two weddings. We didn’t borrow a dime. In that time we have increased our giving to the church. I honestly don’t think we could have done this if God didn’t get the first fruits of our labor. We struggle just like everyone else, but we’ve always been obedient in our financial commitment to The Lord through his local church.

God wants to bless your life, but He’s not going to do it without an effort on your part. If you want to get your finances in order, first make God your partner and then the dominos will fall in place. You’ll be surprised at the flood gates that open for you and your family. You simply cannot out give God. Try it, you’ll be amazed and blessed. Godspeed.

 

November 20

The events of this past weekend have given me time to reflect on my relationship with my oldest daughter, Laura Jo Hurt. As we celebrated her marriage to Grant Ferguson, a thought came to my mind. The happiest I’ve ever seen my daughter was on two occasions. Both times she was leaving me. Before you accuse me of being a horrible parent, let me explain.

The first was when we took her to freshman orientation at Mississippi College. To this day I can see her almost gliding towards us as we picked her up after she had registered for her first semester. I knew in order for her to be the person God created her to be, as parents we needed to let her go and find her way through life.

The second time I saw her that happy was this weekend when she married Grant. Again, this was another time when I saw her moving away from us so that she might start a family of her own. I’m pretty sure this is how life is suppose to be.

As parents, our job is to prepare our children for adulthood and life. If this is going to take place, you actually have to let them go and allow them to sink or swim, succeed or fail. It just how things are meant to be. I get so much joy seeing my children happy that it makes my heart soar. Allow your children to grow up and find their way through life. Godspeed my friends.

 

November 19

Well, we got up at 3:45 to make sure we got to the airport at 4:30 to see the honeymooners off. They asked us to come and it was our honor and joy to give them a loving send off. It’s hard to believe the weekend has come and gone. My oh my, how things will change for this moment on. Both of our daughters are now all married up and we pray God’s blessings on both.

Yesterday in the wedding ceremony I shared the following to Laura Jo Hurt: “We were the first to hold you. He will now hold you for all time. We taught you to walk. He will teach you to fly. We taught you about love. He will be the embodiment of love. We taught you about faith in Christ Jesus. Now the two of you must build a household of faith.”

I want to thank all of you who made Laura Jo and Grant’s day so special. God has blessed us with some mighty good friends over the years. He knew I needed all the help I could get. Time to rest up and get ready for the holiday season. It’s sure going to be different this year! Godspeed my friends.

 

November 18

When my oldest daughter, Laura Jo Hurt, was in kindergarten I would often take her to school. I’d strap her in her car seat and crank up the car. She’d immediately start chanting: “Put yourself in my shoes, daddy! Put yourself in my shoes!” You see, she loved the song, “Put Yourself in my Shoes” by Clint Black. Her little head would bog back and forth, and to the best of her ability, she’d sing every word. In my mind’s eye I can see and hear her at this moment.

Today that little girl will marry the man God chose for her. She’ll stand at the alter and take her vows. All of her dreams and aspirations will come true in a matter of a few moments. I’ll present the couple for the first time and the journey will begin. Everything will change and I’m truly happy for her and Grant. But put yourself in my shoes as she walks away and I say: “There goes my life.”

We’ve done everything imaginable to get her to this moment. Now it’s time for us to step back and let them step forward. But put yourself in my shoes. It’s hard to let go. However, I know it’s the right thing to do. May God bless you my dear with many years of happiness. But the door will always be open for you to walk right back to me. Just make sure my grandchildren are with you. Godspeed Grant and Laura Jo. We love you both with all our hearts.

 

November 17

Yesterday I had to be in Natchez at 7:40 am for my annual physical. I knew without a doubt that I needed to leave Clinton by 6. I set my alarm for 5am. When it went off, or so I thought, I immediately got up and cut the coffee pot on and shaved my face. As I was pouring my coffee I looked down at my watch. It read 1:10 am. I guess the alarm has gone off in my head. Oh well, back to bed we went. A second chance would later come a 5.

When the alarm goes off, it’s time to move. So it is when God calls us, He expects us to go. To hit the snooze alarm with God and say: “Not now is to say, no.” God expects us to move at his time, not ours. Who knows if you’ll have a second chance with the way things are in the world and the uncertainty and brevity of life. You better make hay while the sun shines.

The good news is, other than moments of mental failure, I’m in perfect health. My resting heart rate is 39 and my blood pressure is 110/50. My doctor said if I were any better I’d be dead. Godspeed my friends. Get up and get moving.

 

November 16

Who you are as an individual isn’t revealed in the good days, but rather in the bad. You say more about your faith when you face trials and setbacks than at any other time in your life. If you profess to be a Christian, you better believe the world is watching to see if you really believe what you say you believe. The real question on countless minds, including people in the church is: “When the chips are down, does Christ really make a difference?” In other words, fair or not, the world wants to see a sermon rather than hear one.

I know it doesn’t seem fair to have so much on you at the worst possible time in your life. But that’s just the reality of life. Anyone can be a follower of Christ in the good days. But in the dark moments, when you question everything about life and religion, will you really “cling to the old rugged cross?” Will you mount up on wings of eagles? Or will you turn your back on the very one who has the power to sustain you?

In my life I’ve found that God indeed does make a difference. He doesn’t necessarily put out every fire, but he does stand with me in the midst of the flame. That is enough for me trust Him with my pain, suffering, and heartbreak. I’ll stand with Him because He died for me. As for you, show the world that He does make a difference. Godspeed.

 

November 15

It’s official, I’m getting old. You know you’re getting old when you have your own pill box. Now the reason for the pill daily organizer is not because I have a high quantity of medications, but rather there are moments when I can’t remember if I took them or not. That’s when you know your getting old.

However, there are times when you feel young and your body responds. Last Friday was one of those moments. It was very cool when I went for my morning run and to be honest, I felt pretty good. At the end of my five miles I looked down at my time, 43:53. Every mile was under 9 minutes.

Our lives are like this on a regular basis. There seems to be a contradicting spirit within us all. There are moments we demonstrate great faith and moments when we doubt. There are times we fell accepted and others that we feel rejected. There are high moments which are followed by low ones. Too often we find ourselves looking for a stable base to which we can cling. Sound familiar? Yep, that’s your life and mine.

There are two things you can count on to be consistent in life. They are the love and the presence of God. When things start spinning out of control, find peace in Him. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a couple of pills to take. Now where did I leave that organizer? Godspeed.

 

November 14

The elusive church unicorn exists in every congregation. This is the individual who never has one positive thing to say about anything in the church. No matter how much you may pursue or chase after this individual, you’ll never catch them. In 30 plus years as a pastor, this person has been a part of every church I’ve served. You’ll never hear one word of praise, affirmation, or encouragement from this member. That’s why I’ve named them the church unicorn. A word of affirmation is as rare as a sighting of the aforementioned animal.

So what do you do as a minister or a leader in the church? In reality, as much as it pains you, stop chasing after what you will never catch. Remember, it’s not your job to change a person’s heart. Only God can do that. Just love them and expect them to be what they’ve always been. In other words, don’t let one person take away your joy or rob you of your passion. If you allow yourself to be consumed by this individual, before you know it, your attitude will go south and you’ll become as negative as them. It’s just not worth it.

This principle is true with almost every job out there. There will always be those who will see only the negative in your life. It’s painful, but a reality. However, there is one who sees you and loves you as you are. His name? Jesus. Seek his approval and then let the chips fall where they may. Trust me, you’ll be happier. By the way, when was the last time you saw unicorn? Godspeed my friends.

 

November 13

Well, we’re officially on the countdown for Laura Jo’s wedding. If I’m not mistaken, most of the checks have been written, (or at least my bank account says so) the programs have been folded, and the schedule has been set. Last night I polished the shoes that I will be wearing when I walk her down the aisle this coming Saturday. However, today there in one major and important aspect of the celebration which must be accomplished. That is writing the ceremony for the wedding.

There aren’t many fathers who get the opportunity to walk their daughter to the marriage alter and then perform the ceremony itself. It’s an honor to have this opportunity, but it’s difficult to do. In my ministry I’ve preached the funerals for my Father-in-Law, my Dad, and my Mom. But one of the most emotional moments of my ministry was when I performed the marriage ceremony for my youngest daughter, Melanie. You see the child you once held is the woman that stands before you. Your mind runs in a million different directions as you try to compose yourself and carry out your duty. I’ve done hundreds of weddings, but these two are different. However, there is comfort in knowing that there is one who loves your daughter as much as you. Realistically, that all you can hope for as a parent.

My thoughts are a bit jumbled right now, but in an hour or so, pen will meet paper and the task will be done. The English language will not have adequate words to convey my love and hope for this couple. Will I get emotional? You bet I will. That’s my baby girl and if the truth is to be known, she’ll always be Daddy’s heart. Godspeed my friends.

 

November 12

Not long ago I was talking to an individual who was telling me everything wrong with our world. After a while, the negativity was starting to get under my skin and I finally asked him: “Is there anything for which you’re thankful in your life?” Sorry, but subtlety has never been a spiritual gift that I possess. Far too many of us are living miserable lives because we only see the negative around us rather than the good. Each one of us, regardless of the situation we’re in, has something to be grateful for in our lives. Sometimes you have to look just a bit harder.

Let me ask you a question. Are you grateful for the things in your life or do you just assume you’re entitled to what you have? Do you remember the old hymn we use to sing: “Count your many blessings name them one by one.” If we actually did this, the list would be longer than we ever imagined. Take a few moments and just think of the gifts God has given you. Remember, it takes a thoughtful person to be a thankful person.

I’m especially thankful this morning for the individuals who have had an impact on my life. There’s no doubt that my life has been enriched through the encouragement and love I received from those people. Take time to to be thankful. Godspeed my friends.

 

November 11

Last night I had the honor of watching a couple of college basketball games with some dear friends of mine. The relationship with these people can traced back to 1991, when I became their pastor. Through the years we have shared moments of triumph and moments of defeat, high times and low times, happy days and moments of despair. But one thing has always rung true, I could always count on them and hopefully they have found the same in me.

It takes time for a minister to become a pastor to the people. Some suggest it can take as long as 5 years after you’ve buried and married the people of your congregation. Over the years God has been abundantly generous in the friends and supporters He has provided me. There have been moments of darkness in my life when the road seemed dim and the night unending and all of a sudden, a call comes from one of your former or current members with a word of affirmation.

Thank you Lord for always sending the right person at the right time to meet my needs. You’ve blessed me through these people more than I deserve. I guess that’s what your grace is all about. Godspeed.

 

November 10

You can’t judge a book by its cover. That’s what we’ve been taught since our childhood years. However, the unfortunate truth is, we do it all the time. Case in point. There’s a fairly new Mexican restaurant which has opened in our area here in Columbus. The name of it is, Noel’s. Time and time again I’ve driven by this eating establishment and thought to myself: “I’m not so sure about that place.” However, last night we decided to give it a try and in my book, it’s going to receive 5 stars for food and service. However, there was one little problem, we were the only ones in the restaurant. The location isn’t the best, but there should have been more than two people in the joint.

After we finished our meal, the owner came out and visited with us. What a nice and humble man he was. In our conversation he said: “You better be careful what you ask God for in your life.” We went on to tell us that he was a retired military man and this restaurant was a dream of his wife, Noel. However, business just hasn’t been that good. He went on to say that his faith was still intact and he was praying God would bless them. Honestly, I think more people should just try the place and they’d be fine. He went on to say that if we ever wanted them to open on a Sunday night after church, to just give him a call and they’d be glad to open for us.

But the words he spoke kept echoing in my head: “Be careful what you ask God for in your life” I would imagine most of us would say a big amen to that. Have you ever thought what a mess your life would be if you got everything you ever asked of God? Be careful in your request, for you just might get what you ask of God. As for Noel’s, give it a try. Everything is freshly made and I highly recommend the burrito

 

November 9

Last night I had the honor of watching a couple of college basketball games with some dear friends of mine. The relationship with these people can traced back to 1991, when I became their pastor. Through the years we have shared moments of triumph and moments of defeat, high times and low times, happy days and moments of despair. But one thing has always rung true, I could always count on them and hopefully they have found the same in me.

It takes time for a minister to become a pastor to the people. Some suggest it can take as long as 5 years after you’ve buried and married the people of your congregation. Over the years God has been abundantly generous in the friends and supporters He has provided me. There have been moments of darkness in my life when the road seemed dim and the night unending and all of a sudden, a call comes from one of your former or current members with a word of affirmation.

Thank you Lord for always sending the right person at the right time to meet my needs. You’ve blessed me through these people more than I deserve. I guess that’s what your grace is all about. Godspeed.

 

November 8

Last week, while visiting a patient at University Hospital in Jackson, I had an unusual experience. As I was walking towards the hospital someone called out my name. It was one of my former members from another church. She was in grade school when I became her pastor and now she’s all grown up and works as a nurse at that hospital.

As I was leaving the hospital, I ran into another former youth from that same church. Likewise, she’s all grown up and is working as a nurse at the same hospital. It was such a blessing to see these beautiful ladies using the gifts that God gave them to serve others. I was reminded of a conversation I had with an older pastor years ago while I was at that church.

This old preacher encouraged me to remember where I was located. He told me: “You’ll never baptize hundreds of people or see your numbers doubled. But remember, you are equipping the future leaders of the church and that carries with it a great responsibility.” Every so often I run into some of those young people who are now adults. Usually there’s a thought that runs through my mind: “I hope we didn’t blow it when it came to their spiritual growth and nurturing.” I guess we’ll never know this side of Heaven.

Jesus said: “Let the children come unto me.” That’s something we’ve tried to model over the years. Lord, I pray we were successful in this endeavor. Godspeed.

 

November 7

I must have missed it. The last few days have been rather busy with sermons to be preached, meetings to attend, hospitals to be visited, so I guess I missed it. There were 26 innocent people who were violently gunned down while worshiping in their local church at Sutherland Springs, Texas this past Sunday. Another 20 were wounded and a whole community will never be the same. So due to my schedule, I’m sure I’ve missed all the protests in Texas, all of the celebrity outcry’s, and the moment to lectures from late night talk show hosts. I’ve missed all the profile pictures which have been changed on Facebook and all marches that are being held all across the country. I’ve even missed the signs which read: “Christian lives matter.” I’m sure it just an oversight on my part. But for the most part, there have been a lot of silent tongues on the subject.

When acts of violence like this happen, regardless of who is the target, it is tragic, senseless, and unacceptable. However, a group that no one is talking about is being targeted today, and no one seems to care. In the last 10 years, those of us who are followers of Christ have been told we’re bigots, out of touch, intolerant, and clueless. All because we believe we live in a fallen world wrapped in sin and the only solution is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We still believe that sin is sin and we’re not free to live any way we please. We believe that there’s only one way to Heaven and that’s through the blood of Jesus Christ. We also believe we must love our neighbors and pray for those who persecute us.

Maybe, just maybe we haven’t heard all the outcry’s is because there are actually people on their knees rather than screaming at a TV camera. I’m sorry for the rant, but sometimes as a human, I wish the door could swing both ways. All lives matter to our God and all lives should matter to us. Godspeed my friends.

 

November 6

The other day the printer to my computer wouldn’t work. After trying everything imaginable, we unplugged it and let it reboot. The problem was solved. Who would have ever imagined the problem could be so easily overcome?

Last night the light on my phone wouldn’t go off without hitting the off button. This morning I shut it down completely and let it reboot and the problem was solved on the spot.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to shut down a frozen computer, smartphone, iPad, iPhone and allow them to reset themselves. For some reason beyond the realm of my comprehension, it works just about every time. When you think about it, it’s a pretty simple solution to a pretty big problem.

The same is true in our lives as well. There are moments when we find ourselves frozen, unable to move or make a decision. Everything in our lives becomes complicated and nerve racking. Maybe, just maybe we need a reboot. Shut your mind down for a second and allow the distractions of life and the junk you’re dealing with to clear from your mind. How can this be done? It’s more than just a practice in meditation, and more of a reliance on the power and presence of God. Just slow down and open your Bible to the 23rd Psalm and read. Allow the Holy Spirit to reboot your thought process. You’ll be surprised at how different your life will look. If a reboot can work on a printer, it can certainly work with a soul. Just make sure you allow Him the opportunity to start things up again. “Cast your cares upon Him, because He loves and cares for you.” Godspeed.

 

November 5

My heart is broken this morning as I reflect on the church shooting which took place in Sutherland Springs, Texas yesterday. This senseless act of violence left 26 dead and several others wounded. The emotional scares left by this cowardly act will take years to heal, if they ever do? It’s just one more tragedy, which is becoming too frequent, that has left us numb and bewildered. How could something like this happen in a small town and a small, probably loving church family?

My mind has tried to comprehend the evil which must exist in one’s heart to commit such a heinous act of terrorism. The pastor of this church was out of town on this particular Sunday, along with his wife. However, his daughter was among the 26 that were killed. I’ve tried to put myself in his shoes to think about the unbelievable weight that man is carrying. The thought that probably keeps running through his mind is: “I should have been there.”

The church ought to be a place of safety and sanctuary, and not a place of violence. I hate to bring this up, but if your church doesn’t have a trained security team, you better start organizing one. There’s not a time our church doors are open that we don’t have security in place. We hate that it has come to this in our society, but I want the people that I love to be safe as they worship. Don’t say: “It could never happen here”, because it could. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families that are suffering today. It’s just another example of the powerful salesmanship of Satan. Too bad many think we’ve become to sophisticated to believe that such an evil power really exist. That means he has many people right where he wants them. Godspeed.

 

 November 4

I did something this morning that I rarely do. I slept to 8:30. The alarm was set for 5:30 a.m. so the morning run could be accomplished. However, I hit the off button rather than the snooze and didn’t wake up for a few hours. Can’t remember when I’ve done that in a while.

Did you realize that sleep if a gift given to you by your Heavenly Father? He gives you this rest in order for your body to operate properly and effectively. One doesn’t realize the importance of rest until they are deprived of it. We don’t appreciate a good night’s sleep until we toss and turn for hours. But we all need our down time and a time for rest.

Early in my ministry I was having a difficult time sleeping at night. The pressure and the anxiety of the situation was at times, overwhelming. I can remember talking to my Dad about this one evening and he said: “When you lay your head down at night, realize that God is big enough to run the universe without your help.” He was as usual, right. Godspeed.

 

November 3

Do you believe in spiritual warfare? Do you believe that Satan is alive and well? Do you believe that he enjoys nothing more than using individuals to destroy the movement and spirit of God? He delights in taking our eyes off the main road of spirituality and detouring our journey on a road of confusion and discord. His main goal is to steal, kill, and destroy all that is good and Godly. And what you need to realize is, the evil one is most active in a time of spiritual growth in an individual and a church. In other words, he’s not concerned about the ones who are not growing in their faith because they’re right where he wants them. Nope, he more interested in the ones who are trying to live for Christ. So prepare for the battle for it can get bloody. So here are some steps to take.

First, you better be prayed up. What I mean by this is, you must spend time in prayer with your creator. Prayer is more than just asking for things. It is aligning our lives with God by having an intimate relationship with Him. That can’t be accomplished without prayer.

Second, you need to spend time in God’s word. The Bible is not just a rule book for life. It is a Divinely Inspired book which gives the accounts of numerous revelations between God and individuals. It’s not limited to the past for it demonstrates how we should live our lives today.

Finally, protect the Body of Christ known as the local church. Put on the full armor of God so you will be able to withstand the attacks from Satan. Rest assured, they are coming. Especially to a church that is on the move and transforming lives. Sometimes the evil one does his best work in the local church. Don’t let that happen on your watch. Godspeed.

 

November 2

Sometimes one has to have a little sense of humor in order to survive the grind of everyday life. With that being said, I give you the “Old Gaelic Prayer”.

“May those who love us, love us.
May those who don’t, may God turn their hearts.
If He doesn’t turn their hearts, my He turn the ankles
So we will know them by their limping.”

Just something different to lighten up your day. Sometimes we need to laugh a little at ourselves and thank God for the tough times. For it’s in those difficult days that His power is felt in our lives. Laugh a little today, it’s good medicine for the soul. Godspeed.

 

November 1

Yesterday left us stunned and horrified as we witnessed the senseless acts of violence and terrorism inflicted on the innocent people of New York. It is beyond the realm of my ability to comprehend a religion that demands the destruction and death of others. What kind of sick mind could ever rationalize such behavior and actions? It falls right in line with the job description of Satan himself in that he is out to steal, kill, and destroy all that is good. So what can be done about the situation? I’m not about to jump into international policies, but rather remind you of a simple truth.

Have you noticed that these radical followers of the Islamic faith are willing to die for what they believe. And the sad part is, we know they’re dying for a lie. However, Christians today don’t even want to be inconvenienced for a moment for a cause we know is true. And then when all Hell breaks lose in our cities, state, and nation, we wonder where God is and how He could allow such a thing. Spiritual apathy has done more to damage the cause of Christianity than any other thing. We can’t even be committed to a God who laid down His own life for us. It’s time we become light and salt to the world we live in today. Godspeed.

 

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