Saturday, August 29, 2009

OK, One More Thought

The more I thought about the last Lesson of the Goose, the more I thought about Mark 14 and Jesus at Simon the Leper’s house. Here’s the story...

And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. 4 But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply. 6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. 7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. 8 She has done what she could. Mark 14:3-8 (NKJV)

Why is it that we who follow the Great I Am, are the ones who are first to shout, “You can’t” every time a new plan arises? For those who see the world as the half empty glass, notice that these people “criticized her sharply.” It is so sad to see fresh ideas and enthusiasm dashed with the cold water of legalism and orthodoxy, even when it’s a half glass. Stop barking discouragement and start honking encouragement!

This woman’s passion was for Jesus and she got pounded for it. Notice Jesus says that she did what she could. What could she do?

Could she sing? That seems to be valuable in the church world. I don’t know.

Could she teach? Another commodity desperately in need. Again, I have no clue.

Could she give lots of money? This seems as the only criteria some have for judging worth in the church. Obviously she had means, because the perfume was expensive, about a year's salary. Probably $35,000 in today’s economy. But it is also possible this represented her life’s savings. But again, I don’t know.

What I do know is that she could love Jesus. And she did.

Oh how I long to always be the opposite of the Ephesian church of Revelation 2, full of correct doctrine, but cold in its application. How I long to never lose my first love, to have correct doctrine, yes, but also to see it fully implemented in my life.

There are many who see the glass half empty. Half empty treasuries. Half empty pews. Half empty ministries.
There are few who see the pews half full. Full of potential and simply awaiting someone to fill them. You know, I serve the Great I Am, not the Great I Can’t. Through Him all things are possible. I’m just gonna keep on honking encouragement until His appearing.

Even so, Lord Jesus, come!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Last Lesson From The Goose

Time to move on.

We can take many lessons from the nature God created. Here are a few lessons from the formation Geese make as they fly North and South seasonally.

#5. The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

Lesson: We need to make sure our honking from behind is encouraging- -not something less than helpful. Don't tear down--build up. Don't criticize--encourage.

Check out the "Goose" label for other lessons.

Where You Are

Possibly my favorite praise chorus is Where You Are.

I just want to be where You are
Dwelling daily in Your presence
I don’t want to worship from afar
Draw me near to where You are

I just want to be where You are
In Your dwelling place forever
Take me to the place where You are
I just want to be with You

I want to be where You are
Feasting at Your table
Dwelling in Your presence
Surrounded by Your glory
In Your presence, that’s where I always want to be
I just want to be, I just want to be with You

That about sums it up. I know He IS everywhere. (Don’t get technical with me.) But I want to be with His presence and surrounded by His love.

How ‘bout you?

Thursday, August 27, 2009


My nephews, Sam and Jack: The next Stan Musial and Bob Gibson!?

Phil and Joe Niekro never looked better! Even when they both played for the Bravo's.

What poise. What grace under pressure!

Such confiedence. Such assurance. Such focus!

OK. Maybe not. But he's still pretty darn cute.

Go Cards.

The Other Half

“It’s not what you do with your life; it’s who you do it with that really matters. It’s this other half that really matters” ~ Rio guy from Post Grad

It is not what you do, but who you do it with. I love that quote and I love that I’ve gotten to do half of my life with the right who!

He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22 (NIV)

I don't always say it enough...I love you, Patty!

Lessons From The Goose

We can take many lessons from the nature God created. Here are a few lessons from the formation Geese make as they fly North and South seasonally.

#4. When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position.

Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership responsibilities. Burn-out is the most common clergy killer and a plague among the laity.

Check out the "Goose" label for other lessons.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Two Witnesses

In Revelation 11 we read about the Two Witnesses.

I wonder....hmmmm...


I wonder if God is accepting applications for one of these 2 positions? I could do this job. I would love the benefits.

The Bible says that if any one tries to stop them when they preach, fire comes out of their mouths and devours that person.

This could come in handy.
“Preacher, we wish you wouldn’t preach past 12 o’clock.” Psssssst.
“Preacher, we can’t find any one to teach the seventh grade boys class.” Psssssst.“Preacher, what in the world were you thinking preaching on tithing? Talking money and sin from the pulpit is a sure-fired way of running people off.” Psssssst.“Preacher, I make a motion that we paint the baptistery purple & orange with a Tiger Paw in the front.” Psssssst.“Preacher, the Constitution and By-law says tha” Psssssst.

Also, the Bible says that they could keep it from raining for as long as they wanted. They could turn the water into blood. And, they could cause plagues to strike the earth as often as they want.

Well, maybe I’d better leave this to the experts. I wouldn’t want to accidently start a swine flu epidemic because I overheard someone gossiping about a fellow church member.


Thanks to Jen Gets Fancy for the new look. Hope y'all like it. I certainly do!

Check her out at the link below or the embedded link on her name. She is very reasonably priced.

The Lord’s Day

Ahhh. It was a good Lord’s Day. A great Lord’s Day, actually. Let’s begin with Saturday. Our Sunday School class watched Fireproof and had a fellowship. The Lord blessed. We launched the Fireproof Your Marriage curriculum this morning. The Lord more than blessed, he provided a miracle, and these days I’ll take everyone he chooses to send my way. Church was wonderful. Afterwards we had lunch with some spectacular people. We were so encouraged by that fellowship. Again, God is so good. I laughed so hard and had such a good time with these fellow Believers. Tonight, the Revelation study. Great crowd, and a good study.

I’m a blessed man.

This has been the Lord's day.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lessons From The Goose

We can take many lessons from the nature God created. Here are a few lessons from the formation Geese make as they fly North and South seasonally.

# 3. Whenever a goose falls out of the formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.

Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed where we want to go.

Check out the "Goose" label for more.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blessedly Old

Here are a few reasons I feel old:

1) Children: Today my BabyGirl registered for classes at college. ***siiiigh**. As if the constant reminders about my graying hair and receding hairline didn’t make me feel old enough, I only have one left in school.

2) Diets. I started dieting last week. When I was young I could cutback a little, drop the cokes and up the water and lose weight. I did good this week. Weigh in was today and I have lost 5 pounds. Not bad for week one, but I know I’m getting old because I didn’t LOSE any of it! I know exactly where it went. A lot more work goes into it now. I am considering a new blog. I can chronicle my weight loss journey. I think I’ll call it FatPastor.

3) Twitter. I came in to the blog world hesitantly, but soon found I loved it. I came into the FaceBook world kicking and screaming, and found it to be laborious and boring, but OK as a communication tool. Please don't ask me to join your mafia. I don't even know what that means! Twitter I don’t get. Never will get. I feel like some of the seasoned adults at church when they speak of computers. “I don’t know nothing about ‘em, and don’t want to learn!” Amen, on Tweating.

Let me ask you; are "Twitters" egomaniacs that think that I really care that they just ate lunch, or are they so consumed with their consumer electronics that they must justify the thirty bucks a month they pay for their Media ad-ons by updating their status sixteen times a day? Where do you people work!? How do you have time to tap out sixteen status updates on that wee little keyboard? In either case, Leave Me The Heck Alone! Tweat to some one who has time to read a bajillion texts a day! And let me tell you, that ain’t me!

Here are a few reasons I feel blessed:

1) This is the day the Lord has made.

2) I will rejoice and be glad in it.

3) I ministered to a family today, (a group of siblings) that made the toughest decision of their adult lives. Details can be spared, but I spent my day at a nursing home. It was heartbreaking all around. In the midst of the anguish; however, we all laughed as their mother relished in her talking teddy bear. It was a beautiful moment of levity in a stress filled day. And I silently thanked Jehovah Jireh, the Lord Who Provides, for that blessed moment.

Thank Him always,
for everything,
for He is worthy!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nothing To Write About

Another Sunday, come and gone. I started A Jet Tour of Revelation tonight. Must have been an anticipated study, our attendance was waaay up. Got to love that.

I must say though, Daniel and Revelation have not moved as easily from sermon to post as I originally thought. Plus, there were a myriad...make that a blizzard, of, “That’s uhm...pretty...uhm...boring. Really. Love ya, though. I mean, you’re a nice guy and all. Very pastoral, quite a handsome a Dom Deluise kinda way. But the Eschatological Musings post??? What up? I mean, dude!?” comments.

OK. OK. It doesn’t translate. I’m still a fine Bible expositor, I’ll have you know. It just carries better in person. I’ll let you know next Sunday night if the crowd grew or shrank. That’ll tell a lot.

So. That leaves me with nothing to write about.

Except this one small thing I’ll say about Revelation, then I’m out of here.

The book of Revelation is divided into five parts, or five extended visions.
In Chapter 1 we see The Vision of Christ. (That's what it's all about)
In Chapters 2-3, we have The Vision of the Churches. (I may actually post about these seven churches in detail as the narrative and historical context are quite fascinating.)
From Chapter 4-18 we have The Vision of the Condemnation. (I may have to blog about the significance of the number 7 in numerology and eschatology. Oh, and the 4 Horsemen. And the Two Witnesses. And the Beast. And the Harlot that rides on the Dragon. It would be inconceivable to not go there.)
Chapter 19-20 is The Vision of the Coming King. (My favorite part. Jesus on a White Horse. That's good stuff!)
And it rounds out with Chapters 21&22 The Vision of the Celestial City. (i.e. Home Sweet Home)

Well, I could go on and on. But for now, I say: Farwell.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Good Life

"Of all virtues and dignities of the mind, goodness is the greatest, being the character of the deity; and, without it, man is a busy, mischievous, wretched thing." ~ Sir Francis Bacon

"He has shown you, o man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness...and goodness. Galatians 5:22

What does it mean to be good? For some it is the culmination of life. To live the good life, so-to-speak. A hot tub, back rub, and a drink at the pub? The Money, Mansion, and Mercedes in the garage mentality? For some it is a virtue. How well did they treat other people? Did they kick dogs or push down old ladies?

Some say goodness is a matter of the head. If we will only educate our citizenry, teach them ethics and morals and values, they will be good. My question is, whose values and ethics. If it is based on majority rules, then abortion is an ethical (i.e. a good) thing. No, goodness is not about education. If you educate a thief, you’ll only get a smart thief.

Some say goodness is a matter of the hands. The fact is, doing good does not make you good. Goodness is not something that man manufacturers. It is something that God gives. The Bible makes that abundantly clear. “There is none who does good, no, not one.” Romans 3:12. People are not basically good. People are basically bad.

So the biblical conclusion must be that, “Good ain’t good enough.” We consistently fall short of meeting God’s standards of piety and goodness. This means that goodness is not a matter of the hands or a matter of the head. Goodness is a matter of the heart. Jesus said, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” Goodness is not a matter of what you know, nor what you do. It is a matter of what you are. Goodness is not a deed that you do; it is fruit that you bear. It is not about what you know, but about Whom you know.

See, if you have love in your heart, joy in your soul and peace in your life; then you will be patient and enduring, you will be kind and ...yes...even good. Nevertheless, it all goes back to love in your heart, doesn’t it. And how do you get that? Micah 6:8, the last part says that you must walk humbly with your God.

How do we live the good life? By having a relationship with God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lessons From The Goose

We can take many lessons from the nature God created. Here are a few lessons from the formation Geese make as they fly North and South seasonally.

#2. When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down. They stay with the goose to help and protect it until it is able to fly again or dies. Then they launch out with another formation to catch up with the flock.

Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other.

Check out the "Goose" label for more...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rick & Bubba’s Guide To The Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage

A Book Review

It is not to often that I laugh out loud while reading a book, but I certainly did while reading Rick and Bubba’s Guide To The Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage. The story Rick told about husbands, wives, and driving directions is hilarious. Having said that, calling this book a “Guide’ is rather tongue in cheek. The boys spend the majority of the book poking fun at themselves and their respective spouses. As I mentioned earlier, it is humorous, but lacks a lot of substance.

In reality, I would recommend the book for wives to read, so that they could get an idea for what their husbands are truly feeling (err, thinking. We men don’t tend to “feel” very much when it comes to relationships.) Guys, if you would like a good laugh then this book is a good choice. This is especially true considering the bonus CD that includes spots from their radio program.

To use this as a study might be a stretch. However, it would be a good companion study along with How To Get Your Husband To Talk To You, by Connie Grigsby and Nancy Cobb. My wife has led this as a ladies study at our church and it was a huge success. The two could be combined for men to study Rick and Bubba while the ladies studied Connie and Nancy.

Well, food for thought.



Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lessons From The Goose

We can take many lessons from the nature God created. Here are a few lessons from the formation Geese make as they fly North and South seasonally.

#1. As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird behind it. By flying in a V-formation, the whole flock adds 71 percent more flying range than if each bird flew alone.

Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier when they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

I'll add another in a few days. Look for the "Goose" label.



Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Disciple's Pledge

I am a part of the Kingdom of God
I am a disciple of the King
By His grace I pledge my loyalty
I will not look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be silenced
My past is redeemed, my present is victorious, and my future is secure
I am through will low living, sight walking, smooth knees, and no vision
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, popularity
I do not have to be right, recognized, regarded, or rewarded
I live by faith in His word. Walk by His Spirit, and labor by His power
My face is set, my step is steady,
The road is narrow, but my destination is sure
My companions are few, but my guide is reliable
My purpose is clear, my victory unquestioned
I will not be detoured or delayed
I will not be compromised, lured away, or turned back
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice
Hesitate at the presents of adversity
Ponder at the pool of popularity
Meander in the maze of mediocrity, or
Negotiate at the table of the enemy
I will not give up, shut up, or let up
I want to be prayed up, and filled up until I am called up to heaven
Either at my death or His appearing
And when I see King Jesus
I want Him to be able to look at me and say
“He is My disciple.”

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Year? How Time Flies!

Here are a few of my favorite posts from last summer, just in case you missed them. Don't forget that I was in Atlanta looking for a church. A real live pastor, with out a real live church. :)

Jesus Christ, Superstar?

Handling Fear in the Face of Oppression

The Inconceivable Glory of Fish Vomit



Thursday, August 6, 2009

Family Night

So last night was family night. For you SBC folks, that’s our Brotherhood, WMU, RA/GA time. On family nights I generally work with the yutes. Last night I gave them a puzzle, and now I'll share it with you. Maybe you’ve seen it before, maybe not, but...

Can you find sixteen books of the Bible in this story!?

I once made a remark about the hidden books of the Bible. It was a lulu. Kept people looking so hard for facts and for others it was a revelation. Some were in a jam, especially since the names of the books were not capitalized: but the truth finally struck home to numbers of readers. To others it was a real job. We want it to be a most fascinating few moments for you. YES, THERE WILL BE SOME REALLY EASY ONES TO SPOT. Others may require judges to help them. I will quickly admit, it usually takes a minister to find one of them, and there will be loud laminations when it is found. A little lady says she brews a cup of tea so she can concentrate better. See how well you can compete. Relax now, for there are really sixteen books of the Bible in this story.

Can’t stand it? Have to know but can’t find them all? Post a comment with your email and I’ll send you the answer.



Tuesday, August 4, 2009

You Complete Me

Hmmmm. August 4th. Why does that date sound important? Something...something...Oh, yeah. It is the day I became complete.

I love the elevator scene in the movie Jerry McGuire. A deaf man is talking to his wife in ASL. He points to her and then draws a circle in the air. Interpretation: “You complete me.” No man is truly complete until he finds the one woman God intended for him—made, created, and designed to be his other half. Right down to our DNA, God matches us.

Listen, don’t take my word for it. Consider the Bible's account the first marriage...

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:21-25 (NKJV)
And so, every August 4th, I give a little extra praise to God; for knowing my DNA and completing my life by giving to me the same gift He gave to Adam-- bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, and an eternal mate for my soul.

Happy Anniversary Patty Dawn Anderson Leigh. You complete me.

Monday, August 3, 2009

How Many Church People


Charismatics - Only one. (Hands are already in the air.)

Roman Catholics - None. They use candles.

Pentecostals - Ten. One to change the bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

Presbyterians - None. God has predestined when the lights will be on and off.

Episcopalians - Eight. One to call the electrician, and seven to say how much they liked the old one better.

Mormons - Five. One man to change the bulb, and four wives to tell him how to do it.

Baptists - At least 15. One to change the light bulb, and two or three committees to approve the change. Oh, and also bring a casserole.

Lutherans - None. Lutherans don't believe in change. But bring the casserole, anyway.

Unitarians - We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey you have found that light bulbs work for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your personal relationship with your light bulb, and present it next month at our annual light bulb Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.

Amish - Light bulb?

The Ant and the Grasshopper

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

Be responsible for yourself!

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving. CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so? Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, "It's Not Easy Being Green." Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, "We shall overcome." Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake. Barbra Boxer and Nancy Pelosi exclaim in an interview with Brian Williamsthat the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his "fair share."

Finally, the EEOC drafts the "Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act," retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Barak Obama appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients during his administration. The ant loses the case. The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow. The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

Vote Republican

Check it out! This fits under the "told you so." category

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama's treasury secretary said Sunday he cannot rule out higher taxes to help tame an exploding budget deficit, and his chief economic adviser would not dismiss raising them on middle-class Americans as part of a health care overhaul.
full text: