October 31

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, life is often unfair and it’s usually hard. We often look down the road of life and think: “Things will get easier when........” The reality is, we swap one problem for another. My mother told me in her later years that her social calendar revolved around her doctors appointments. Regardless of your age, there are problems we all face. As I remind my children, this is a grown up world for adults.

So here’s my question: Why are we so surprised when difficult days come our way? Jesus himself told us: “In this life you will have troubles.” So if you know that, brace yourself for the storms because rest assured, they’re coming. However, the good news is the rest of the story. Yes in this world you’re going to have disappointments and troubles.......wait for it!!!!! Bam

 

October 30

Too many people think God should bless them by osmosis without any effort on their part. We want to go where we want to go. We want to spend on what we want to spend. Our time is our time. But the minute we get in trouble we think it’s God’s responsibility to come clean up the mess we created. If our health is failing, we pray. If our marriage is falling apart, we turn to God. If our finances are a mess, we attend church. And when the problem is solved, we go back to our previous lifestyle.

You and I need to realize that God doesn’t exist for us. As a matter of fact, you exist for one reason and one reason only. That is to have fellowship with the Father. You were created for His pleasure. However, remember you are also the crown of His creation. More than anything, God desires to have a relationship with you. But it does require an effort on your part.

Do you think you’re entitled for the blessing in life, or are you thankful? Maybe it’s time you allow God to be the master of your life. In doing so, you’ll find contentment and security. Your way will never work. Godspeed.

 

October 29

Yesterday while attending a football game at Ole Miss, I met a family from my hometown of Cleveland. We didn’t know each other, but they were very familiar with my family, especially my Dad. As we talked about the city, they shared with me some of the things that were happening there. Towards the end of our conversation the lady looked at me and said: “I can see so much of your father in you.” Now in my eyes that’s about as high of a compliment as I could receive. However, I know without a shadow of a doubt that my Dad was a much better person than me. Physical appearance is about as close as I can come to him.

Each and every day as we are out in the world, people are seeing someone or something in our lives. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not so good. The world today needs to see the Heavenly Father in the lives of His children. With so much darkness surrounding us, others need to see the light of Christ in our words, actions, and life. Today as you navigate the path of your life, who will others see? You will never know how much you can demonstrate the love of Christ through one small act of kindness. “Let others see Jesus in you.” Godspeed.

 

October 28

Since I graduated from seminary, I’ve had the honor of pastoring five churches on a full time basis. The longest tenure we’ve had was at FBC Canton as we served there 10 years. (It’s the longest stay of any pastor in the history of the church.) As of this moment we have the privilege of serving the great people of Pleasant Hill Baptist in Columbus, Ms. We’re currently in our sixth year which is hard to believe.

In the last week I’ve had the same question asked of me by three different people. “What has been your favorite church you have served?” That’s almost like asking a parent: “Which child is your favorite?” The answer is difficult at best. Every church I’ve served in some way or some fashion has shaped and molded me into the person I am today. I do however think there’s a special place for those people who suffered during my first couple of years of ministry.

When asked that question I begin by telling them I love where I am today. I actually can’t imagine being anywhere else at this stage of my ministry. Every step along the journey has been interesting to say the least. One of the most frustrating aspects about the ministry is, you never see the end result of your work. We as pastors aren’t called to be successful, but rather obedient. I sure hope that has been the case with me. Thanks to all the people I’ve had the joy of serving. You certainly gave me more than I could ever repay. Godspeed my friends.

 

October 27

When your children hurt, so do you. The funny thing is, it doesn’t matter if they are 6 or 26 years old, you still feel their pain in tough times. The reality is, we never stop being a parent and we always want the best for our sons and daughters. The problem is, we can’t fix or solve all their problems. As a matter of fact, we do more harm at times when we try to do so.

I remember once having a conversation with one of my daughters about a situation she was facing. I assured her that she would be fine and that her mother and I had been through similar situations. Her response was: “Yeah, but you were better equipped to face the situation.” I’ve thought about that sentence, and part of it is correct.

In today’s world we don’t allow our children to fail or face disappointment very often. We swoop in like a comic book hero and solve all their problems. We never let them want for anything. In doing so, we have a generation of young folks who don’t know how to handle life because they’ve never experienced it. Sometimes the best thing you can do is allow your child to grow up by facing a bit of adversity. Stop trying to solve your adult children’s problems. Sooner or later they have to come to realization that life is unfair and Mommy and Daddy can’t fix everything. It’s an adult world and our children have to learn this sooner or later. They’ll be better of in the long run and you’ll have more money at retirement age. Godspeed.

 

October 26

For the past two years I’ve served as a caddy for my good friend John McIntyre during the Sanderson Farms Championship. In all seriousness, it’s one of my favorite things I do each year. The fact that you are inside the ropes with some of the world’s greatest players is pretty exciting. Yesterday we were paired with two time U.S. Open Champion Retief Goosen. Davis Love III was one hole ahead of us. I’ve learned some valuable lessons as a caddy.

The job isn’t as easy as you think. The walk alone is over 10 miles and remember, you have a bag strapped to your back. You need to make sure your player has the right club at the right time. You clean the golf ball before each putt. You get the yardage before each shot. You rake the trap after a bunker shot. You make sure your player is hydrated. You fold his sweater and put it in the bag. You check the wind conditions. And when the round is over, you closet the clubs. Your sole purpose is to serve your player. When done well, the caddy is basically unseen.

Do you see a pattern here? The player is central and the caddy should be unnoticed. We need to remember that we exist to serve God, not the other way around. God doesn’t exist for you, but He created you for His pleasure. It’s time to take up the bag and start caddying or serving our Lord. He’s central, not us. Godspeed.

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