Sunday, December 26, 2010

Let It Snow Baby, Don't Let It Rain Dear, part 2

Snow in Cassatt, SC. December 26, 2010.





Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010


Christmas at the Leigh's












Luke's Axe








Stevie's I-POD Touch






Shea's Nook

Let It Snow Baby, Don't Let It Rain Dear

It no doubt happened all across Dixie. A small girl sat, with the blunt end of a red crayon tapping her forehead, chin securely nestled between her thumb and index finger, staring at a precisely folded piece of green construction paper. The purple glitter and opaque glue on her fingers gave testimony to the careful art work on the reverse side of the paper. The only question that remained would be what to ask for? A puppy? A new bike? No, this year, once again, she would ask. THIS year would be different! The non-believers? They could go down to that hot place where the devil lived. (Gainesville--or so her daddy had said to the TV last week!) She would do it! And this year he would deliver. This time Santa Claus would come through. She just knew it.


As she wrote, she could hear her mom in the kitchen fussing about the stove or the turkey. Her dad, styling in his shorts and Hawaiian shirt smirked over her shoulder. Waiting to take the envelope, already addressed to North Pole, to the post office on his way to 18 holes...a Thanksgiving Day tradition that mom didn't mind one bit. "It's a fair trade," she would say, indicating her shopping trip that would begin at Midnight. Thanksgiving in the Southland always meant turkey, golf, football, and shopping.

So, the little girl wrote, in big handwriting and broken letters,

Dear Santa Klaus Claus,
I wont a white Christmas this year.
Love XOXOXO
Sue Ellen.
(and a Barbie)

(an a Xbox 360 with dual wireless controllers. OK, Daddy ass me to write that)

Her dad's smirk was well intentioned and heartfelt. How many times had he asked for a white Christmas. It just didn't happen in the South. His little girl would carry on the generations long tradition of not seeing snow on her own front lawn. Well, golf on Thanksgiving came with a price. One the adults were usually willing to pay. So he kissed momma, took the envelope, headed to the post office and loved every round of sunny, eighty degree golf.



All over the Deep South, such scenes played out. And guess what?! A little Christmas miracle is on its way.

Atlanta, GA? The last white Christmas? 1882.

Augusta, GA? Columbia, SC? If there ever was one, it was the Native Americans who last saw it. There is no record of snow on the ground on December 25th since white people have lived here.



The national weather service has put us under a Winter Weather Warning. They are expecting up to 3". Folks, that is enough to disable this town! Total white-out conditions for Dixie. Our expectations are low. We've been duped before! (the blizzard of '93? anyone? anyone?) And we've been hit hard. Well, once. 1974. 12" in February. But to say that this causes panic in the South is like saying Granny's biscuits are good. It's an understatement of immense proportions. Let the local weatherman say the word "snow'" and there will be a run on the grocery store for milk and eggs. (What is it about snow makes you want to eat scrambled eggs? I'll never know.) Once, when I was plant manager in Waynesboro, the High Sherriff himself called me at home on a Sunday, and asked me to open the plant two hours late. The forecast was for a dusting, and he didn't want too many people on the road! (It snowed about one flake an acre. Nothing stuck, not even to the grass.) When I was in high school, school was closed because of the temperature! No kidding. Of course it was a high that day of 12, and that's Dixie in the Deep Freeze!

We are just not prepared for this kind of weather. Our coats aren't heavy enough, our cars have no snow tires. We do have a disproportionate amount of 4x4's though!



None-the-less, I say...Let it snow baby, don't let it rain dear.



Dreaming of a white Christmas since 1973....

Merry Christmas

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Merry★* 。 • ˚ ˚ •。★Christmas★ 。* 。*
° 。 ° ˚* _Π_____*。*˚★ 。* 。*。 • ˚ ˚ •。★
˚ ˛ •˛•*/______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛★ 。* 。*★ 。* 。*
˚ ˛ •˛• | 田田|門| ˚and Happy New Year!! God Bless!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Boy Driving


So my baby is 15 as of Wednesday, and today he drove me home from the DMV.

I feel old.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Crock Pot Potato Soup Recipe


Potato Soup



1lb Velveeta

4 cups 1/2 and 1/2

1 cup milk

2 cups chicken broth

1/2 stick butter

1/2 cup flour

10 medium Red Potatoes

1/2 slab Bacon; crumbled (optional)





Boil cubed potatoes for 10 minutes and drain.

Add Velveeta to Crock Pot on low setting and allow to start melting.

Melt butter in a sauce pan and slowly mix in flour until smooth.

Add milk, chicken broth, and half and half and mix with buttered flour until smooth, stir regularly. (Half and Half can scorch so be careful.) Bring to a light boil.

Transfer to Crock Pot.

Stir until smoothed, then add cooked potatoes. (If you like the bacon, add it here on top as a garnish, or some shredded cheddar cheese.)

When it's all hot, it's ready to serve.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Marine stabbed by suspected shoplifter in Georgia

This is from my hometoen newspaper, The Augusta Chrinicle. The story happened on Black Friday. Some holiday spirit, eh?



Marine stabbed by suspected shoplifter in Georgia
Fri Nov 26, 4:28 pm ET

   AUGUSTA, Ga. – A U.S. Marine reservist collecting toys for children was stabbed when he helped stop a suspected shoplifter in eastern Georgia.

Best Buy sales manager Orvin Smith told The Augusta Chronicle that man was seen on surveillance cameras Friday putting a laptop under his jacket at the Augusta store.

When confronted, the man became irate, knocked down an employee, pulled a knife and ran toward the door. Outside were four Marines collecting toys for the service branch's "Toys For Tots" program.
Smith said the Marines stopped the man, but he stabbed one of them, Cpl. Phillip Duggan, in the back. The cut did not appear to be severe.

The suspect, whose name was not released, was held until police arrived. The suspect was transported to University Hospital with possible broken ribs and multiple lacerations and bruises suffered when he fell while attempting to flee after having stabbed the marine. The Richmond County Sheriff's office said it is investigating.






(OK. So I made the last part up. But still, you know he had a few bruises when they carted him off. )


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101126/ap_on_re_us/us_marine_stabbed

http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/crime-courts/2010-11-26/shoplifting-suspect-stabs-marine

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How To “Spend” Your Life

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Well, it’s that time of year again. Yuletide spirits, roasting chestnuts, and Figgy Pudding fill our every waking moment. Oh, wait. That’s not it; it’s endless marketing, flattering advertisements, and blatant materialism. (And, what exactly IS figgy pudding, anyway! Seriously? Does anybody know!?)



One thing I believe all Americans can agree on, Christmas has become too materialistic. Hmmm...this could be what we need to unify our nation—Democrats and Republicans, Evangelicals and Atheists, Catholics and Protestants agree, the Season has the wrong focus. What to do?



Truthfully, I’m not sure, but maybe this idea, originally postulated by Fred Craddock, could start us in the right direction. How will we spend our Christmas? Or, as Craddock askes, "How will we 'spend' our lives?"



Craddock say he thinks many of us have the concept of “giving our all to the Lord” as though we take a $1,000 bill and lay it on the Altar. We then say, “Here’s my life Lord. I’m giving my all.” But Craddock says he thinks God views us giving all by sending us to the bank and having us cash that $1,000 bill in on quarters. I like that! See, then we go through life putting out 25¢ here and 50¢ there.



Ever spend a Friday at a nursing home, painting fingernails and listening to the same story for the hundredth time? Ca-ching, 25¢! Ever get a call from a neighbor’s teenager at midnight? You could have said “Get lost.”, but you just listened until two in the morning. Have you served on a committee, poured drinks at a fellowship, or driven a battered wife to a shelter? Ever rung a Salvation Army bell, picked out an angel from a Christmas tree, or gone to a shut-in's house singing Christmas carols? 25¢ here. 50¢ there.


For the most part, giving our life to Christ isn’t glorious. It is done in those little acts of love, spent 25¢ at a time. It would be easier to go out in a flash of glory, but it is more important to live the Christian life little by little over the long haul.



That is how Christ saw it. He said, "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." Matthew 25:40. In-other-words, what we do for the helpless in society, we are doing for Him. So spend a little more this Christmas. Not in dollars, but in the “quarters” of your life. Donate your time. Drop an extra dollar in the Sacks of Love offering or Salvation Army bucket. Take some food to a needy neighbor. Invite someone to church.



Mostly...just love somebody—25¢ at a time.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Palin Mocked For Saying Jesus Was A Christian

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I am no fan of Sarah Palin. Let me say that at the outset. I do not believe that she can win the presidency, but I also do not believe she could do any worse than the current holder of that office, either.



But I am greatly troubled by the constant barrage of criticism leveled at her by the main stream media. The double standard is appalling, and their oversight of VP Biden's flubs, while gawking with amazement at her slightest misstep shows the ever widening gap in their "unbiased" journalism. It is downright yellow.



But the latest just takes the cake. Liberal journalist Richard Wolfe of Newsweek has mocked Palin for saying that Jesus was Christian. Well...OK...so it was ALMOST that bad. What he actually mocked her for was saying that she took "divine inspiration" from The Chronicles of Narnia, the allegorical series of children's books written by the most prominent Christian apologist of the Twentieth Century. Said Wolfe, "How could she get divine inspiration from a series of kids books?"



Ahhh...the irony. Such a learned Englishman, such a naive little American girl. Tsk. Tsk. Sarah. Aren't you aware that C.S. Lewis and religion have no ties? How could you take children's literature and so ignorantly cast aspersions of religiosity on to its greatest bard? You ignorant, saucy little thing. I suppose you believe J. R. R. Tolkien to be a faith based writer as well. Ah, you dim witted Colonists' and your lack of understanding of proper English writing.



What a jack-wagon! Wolfe was quickly shut down by Host Chris Matthews. Here is a transcript:



WOLFFE: Look, divine inspiration from a series of kids books? I don`t think C.S. Lewis would really want Newsmax in --


MATTHEWS: But I wouldn`t put down C.S. Lewis.



WOLFFE: No, I`m not putting him down.



MATTHEWS: Right.



WOLFFE: But divine inspiration? There are things she could have said for divine inspiration. Choosing C.S. Lewis is an interesting one.


What a moron! But of course, try and find that tid bit of info in the main stream. It'll never happen.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks Living

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So it's Thanksgiving Day, and our thoughts turn toward a list of things we are "thankful" for. I have such a list. Do you?
1) I have a “know-so-salvation.”
2) I have a wonderful wife and a healthy family.
3) I have the great joy of pastoring at a faithful church.
4) I have a great God and Savior.

On and on it could go...friends, shelter, cars, country, reaching self-actualization (OK. That one was to see if you're paying attention :)

Let me encourage you not to allow this Thanksgiving to come and go without taking inventory of your blessings.

However, I do not want us to be thankful for these things just because it is November. Biblical gratitude isn't something that should pass from our minds with the passing of a season. Biblical gratitude is an attitude of the heart; a God-centered response to whatever circumstances comes our way—each moment of each day of each year.

I believe that is what the Psalmist was thinking when he wrote “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (Psalm 34:1) I couldn’t help but think about that little phrase, “At All Times!” What a thought. It is more than just an admonition; it is a command to be thankful! Thanksgiving may be only one day a year on the world’s calendar, but for Believers, thanksgiving is to become "thanks-living."

If you want a great study, trace the words “thanks” or “thanksgiving” through Paul’s epistles and see how much gratitude is part of what it means to be a Christian. You see, when thanksgiving becomes a way of life, it is the first thing that comes out of our mouths, and we can begin to thank God in any circumstance. How you ask? It’s simple really; God will never allow anything to happen to you that is outside of His perfect will. That’s why Jesus taught us to pray, “Your will be done” (Matthew 6:10). Once we know that God’s plan and purpose for our lives is perfect, that He makes no mistakes, we will say, “Thank You” for what ever comes our way, and we will practice Thanks Living.



May you, your family, and friends enjoy a blessed Thanksgiving season...all year!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Rabbi Walked Into A Bar With A Box Of Oil

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2 Kings 9 and 10 tell the story of Jehu. This is the funniest, brutalist, and yet, most moving of the escapades of Elisha recorded in the Bible. While the story is long in its telling, it is direct and to the point in its application. Jehu, realizing God’s call and acting upon it in timely fashion, is able to overthrow the brutal regime of Jezebel. More specifically, it ends the regime of Joram, Jezebel’s vassal off-spring of the hellish union between her and Ahab.

The specifics are bloody and brutal, Jehu starts off as a hero and winds up a bloodied tyrant of a king, Jezebel ends up a crumpled mess on the palace floor, eaten by dogs to the point of unrecognizableness. Seventy princes are slain at Jezreel, and the line of ungodliness continues.

But, if you look hard enough, perhaps even with head cocked to the right and eyes squinted just so, you can see and hear the God of Psalm 2, laughing and shaking His head in bewilderment at the saga and drama of the lowly creatures He made. Their deft attempts to bring Him low, allowing the angels to snigger just a bit. The comedy revolves around a young rabbi and a task fitting for a priest.

Elisha tasks one of his seminary students with the job of anointing Jehu king of Israel. This is not altogether surprising, considering he also sent Gehazi to answer the door when Haaman came knocking. But it is not quite as irreverent as it may first seem. The young prophet would not attract the same attention as the venerable old Elisha, whom no doubt Jezebel had a cruel and crooked eye on all the time. Treachery, as Joram would later call this, would be less likely seen in the young rabbi. So he anoints Jehu as king, using his “box” of oil. This would not have been a simple, modern anointing…touching of the finger to oil, then transference to the head. Oh, no. This would be Six quarts of oil, poured casually over the entire body, head first.

Leaving the empty box of oil, the young fled quickly. Treachery is a tricky business after all. The funny part comes from Jehu’s reaction. When asked about the youngster’s motives, Jehu plays it cool. “It was nuttin.” When pressed by his comrades, Jehu, dripping from a fresh bath in 6 quarts of oil, fesses up to the prophet’s motive. They pronounce their intentions to recognize him as king, and off the troupe heads to Jezreel to see about the coup in proper fashion. Spelled: High Treason and Execution. He rides furiously, still covered in oil. I can imagine the dust and horse hair sticking to his skin and clogging up the pores.

Perhaps I read the Bible differently than you, but this always makes me crack a smile, and, turning my head just right, I think I might hear Elisha chuckle a bit also. The thought of this brute, covered with dirt, oil, and fur, bring down the most beautiful, and wicked, women who ever lived…her face painted, hair tired, looking very much like an ancient Tammy Faye Baker…must have brought some satisfaction to the old preacher.

Hard as we try, we are just human after all! And seeing the downfall of folks who come against you has some satisfying elements—at least when the down fall is God’s doing, not your own. I can sympathize with Elisha. Jezebel’s comeuppance was long overdue. And to think, it all started when a young Rabbi walked into a bar with a box of oil in his arms, looking to do God’s will.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Six K

Well, tonight--November 4, 2010-- I just passed my 6,000th visitor.



Thanks everybody who bothers to read. I'll try to get back to some serious writing soon. In the mean time, enjoy my favorite blogs
HERE

The Little Band That Did

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So for several weeks now I have been posting about our little band at North Central High School. The NCHS Marching Band is the smallest marching band in the state of South Carolina with only 17 kids, three of which are color guard. The show for this season was entitled Versatility and each member played at least two instruments, including the three guard girls who played percussion, saxophone, electric guitar, and most of the musicians waving flags. All of this sounds impressive to me, an extreme musical novice. I often have trouble playing the radio, much less a musical instrument. It has; however, become an increasingly impressive feat as I have heard other band parents and musicians tout the incredible nature of this accomplishment. Most notably, the change from wood-wind to brass and back again has impressed the musically literate of my run-in-tos.




Now, my son is one of the members, which of course, you know. (And a wood-wind to brass switch-hitter, I might add.) But despite my natural inclinations toward prejudice, I can honestly say, the band of which I write is a group of phenomenal kids. I started calling them the Little Band That Could a few weeks back, as they kept performing beyond the expectations of everyone around us...but us. They kept hitting their stride, climbing higher and higher in their scores. Until, one crisp Fall evening, just North of Greenville, SC, the Little Band that Could…did. The band placed sixth in the Up-State Regional’s. They were just good enough to allow them to make the State finals. Now, mind you, there are 52 bands in SC that are in Division 1-A—a school with a population of 450 or so students. Most bands in this division have 40-50 kids on field. We were sixth out of about 25 bands in the up-state division. So when we went to the State finals, we would be ranked either eleventh or twelfth, depending on the score of the sixth best band from the lower-state. We ended up eleventh.



So, on we went to Batesburg-Leesville High School and the STATE compitetion. They played their hearts out and left everything on the feild. After all twelve bands preformed, our little band marched on to the field for the awards cerimony, dwarfed by the bands around us.
Twelfth was called. Not us! We expected as much.
Eleventh…where we were ranked when we started the afternoon. Not us again! Yes! We would be in the Top Ten.
But, not tenth.
Not Ninth.
Not even eighth.
With baited breath we listened...“And in seventh place, with a score of 89.92 (or something similar) The North Central High School Marching Knights.”




Wow. They might have been the smallest band in compitetion, but they were the seventh best band in the state of South Carolina! This was the best finish in the school's history. The Batesburg-Leesville High School Band ended up being first. (Maybe a little home cooking there.?) But they were no way near as happy or ecstatic as 17 kids, one band director, and a dozen or so parents from little old Boonetown, SC that night. For the Mighty Knights had conquered. They had conquered the prejudice of size. They had conquered the prejudice of reputation. And they had conquered the stinging budget cuts that threatened their ability to even travel to such competitions as these. Against all odds, they had prevailed.



And that warm Autumn afternoon, before my very eyes, The Little Band That Could became The Little Band That Did. They became champions; they became more than conquerors; they became my heroes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Luke The Evangelist

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Ask the average Christian to name THE evangelist, and they will most likely say Billy Graham. According to denomination, historical knowledge, cultural setting, or theological persuasion, they might say Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, C.H. Spurgeon, or D.L. Moody. But…ask any seminary student the name of the Evangelists and you’ll surely get Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as your answer. The original Evangelists, usually with a capital E, are the four Gospel writers. The word Evangel is old English for the Gospel of Christianity, hence the Evangelists are those who wrote that Gospel.

With the case of Luke, the book and name hold special affections for me. First of all, Luke’s telling of the Lord’s story is the first of my memories of the Christian faith. It would be most of ours if we were to think hard on it. My earliest memories are of my sisters teaching me to sing Away In A Manger. Naturally, that whole song is a culmination of the story in Luke 2. Secondly, it was the first Gospel I read in its entirety, as a twelve year old boy. This was not long after I saw Star Wars’ second installment, The Empire Strikes Back, and I thought, “Hey. Luke is in the Bible. Luke is in Star Wars.” The profundity of that thought does not escape me. Thus started my love affair with Luke.

The third reason would be the fact that my son is named Luke. (Hmm. Wonder why?) To me, the name Luke represents the personification of manhood, machismo and the essence of coolness. My Luke was named, by-the-way, more in reference to Cool Hand Luke, than the Luke of the Bible or Luke Skywalker. (Although there was certainly a strong influence from the Evangel and the Jedi.)

My son Luke was the most amazing kid, and is now the most amazing young man. Coming from the bias of all parents, he is the world’s greatest teenager. He is funny, witty, charming, a bit of a Casanova-ladies-man, and, naturally, one of the “popular kids” in High School.

But I believe it was an act of Divine providence that he shares the name of one of the Evangelist. Luke’s heart is that of an evangelist, and his spiritual giftedness is leading people to the Lord. Time after time, from a three year old to a high school freshman, he has come to his dad and told me about his “friend” at school that he has invited to church (most everyone he meets is a friend, hence the quotation marks. He, like Will Rogers, never met a stranger.) Said friend needs a ride, or his/her parents won’t let them come, or lo and behold, there they are on a Wednesday night or Sunday morning looking for their “friend” Luke who invited them. Sometimes they come looking for a meal, others for game time (an AWANA thing,) or occasionally just looking for something to do. But they all come looking for what people need most…someone to care enough to reach out, to be a friend, to say with the simplest of invitations, “I care about you. You are important to me”

As I write this, my eyes misting up with a sanctified pride, I can’t help but wonder…Church; if we were more Lukish, more Markish, more Matthewish, more Johnish, how many more people would come to church and feel like they are important to God, because they were important to His people? I can assure you, there wouldn’t be enough room to hold them.

Well, food for thought I guess.

And to my Boy I say: “Keep ‘em coming, son. There is room at the cross for them all!”

Carrabba's Is Listening!

So Patty and I went to spend our survey coupon for a free appetizer at Carrabba's Friday night. As reported earlier on this blog ;) we really enjoyed our first visit there. We asked for Simona our server last time and was told she was now a manager! So during our dinner, Simona makes her rounds checking on tables and we strike up a conversation.




Turns out, the email I sent (see post below)  to Carrabba's corporate HQ was successful. Apparently, the Big Cheese over at Outback was, of all things, on vacation in Italy. Can't help but smile at the irony there. So THE boss gets the email and presto, Simona has a bump. It is nice to know that customer comments get attention in the corporate world, at least at the Outback Family.



Oh, and bye-the-way: the food was delizioso, come sempre

chow.

Steve

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Living With Confidence in a Chaotic World


I was so excited when I was able to get a copy of David Jeremiah’s book, Living With Confidence in a Chaotic World: What On Earth Should We Do Now? This past summer I took the first book in the series, What In The World Is Going On? 10 Prophetic Clues You Cannot Afford To Ignore with me to the Myrtle Beach. It is part of my reading routine. As the pastor of a church and doctrinal student, I don’t often have time to read for pleasure, but Jeremiah always fits into that category.


I was not disappointed. The volume follows up the Prophetic issues raised in What’s Going On, with relativistic and practical ideas to deal with the current cultural war raging round us.

A pastor friend is currently preaching a series based on Jeremiah’s first book, and is planning on following that up with a series from this newest work. I believe I might join him, and turn some pleasure reading into a way of “redeeming the time, for the days are short.”

I cannot recommend this series enough. To my church members, be on the lookout for this in an upcoming series of messages at Beaverdam.

Here is a link that will allow you to purchase them in a set from Amazon.

Or, as I usually do, I’ll recommend them here where they are sold separately at CBD

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wishes May Come True

When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteor.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

North Central Knights Marching Band

Jazzing It Up!


video

Saturday, September 25, 2010

North Central High School Homecoming 2010

This video is of North Central high school's homecoming game, the Band is performing Victory March after NC scored a td.

video

Yes, I am aware that is the Notre Dame fight song. It also happens to be North Central's. and Marshall County's. And Centenial High School's as well. I'm wellllllllllll over it by now!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Carrabba's. Oh, Mama Mia!

Last Friday Patty and I went to Carrabba’s with some close friends for a meal and a time of fellowship. They are also a pastor and pastors’ wife, so Carrabba’s ain’t one of those places you go to lightly. This is a rare venture for us, and especially this destination, as Patty does not like Italian food, and even with a few trips to the Olive Garden, refused until now to try Carrabba’s. This turned out to be a wonderful decision. Personally, I love Italian and cannot get enough of it.


Our evening started off with a bang because of our waitress, Simona. I noticed when she greeted us at the table that she had a beautiful Italian accent. I thought for certain it was an act, and even commented as such to our friends. Nope. We found out she was from Italy; and if every Italian is as friendly, pleasant, and lovely as Simona, it must be a blessed country. She made the experience not only enjoyable, but I truly believe hearing the meals described in that amazing dialect made them taste better as well. Can you imagine hearing Pollo Rosa Maria being spoken with those rolling R’s. It was as if we were in Roma!

Speaking of food, mama mia! It took no convincing me that their food would be extraordinary, but they even made a believer of Patty, the Italian food hater. I spoke with the manager on duty, Reggie, and told him that I am the first to complain when things are bad, and want to be the first to complement when things are excellent. Following through with that, let me say that this was the most enjoyable restaurant experience I have ever had. The atmosphere, the service, the food, was every bit what one should expect. Bravo to you, Reggie and Simona, your restaurant was Just Il cibo migliore rammendare creato

Let me encourage you to try them out, and if you're local to Columbia, here's their address:

Carrabba’s
200 Graces Way
Columbia, SC 29223

Ask for server Simona

Monday, September 20, 2010

No Whining

If you expect to score points by whining, join a European soccer team.


I love Despair.com. Too, funny!

Outlive Your Live

The only thing I can say about Max’s new book, Outlive Your Life: You Were Made To Make A Difference, is Wow. I had read Radical by David Platt and the books coincide nicely. In fact, the orange inter-cover of Max’s newest work reminds me of Platt’s book in look as well. The main focus of Outlive Your Life is making such an impact in the lives of others now; that your legacy lives on in the life of those people you touch.


In his typical devotional style, self contained stories carry the reader along, turning pages as fast as possible. The progression of each chapter injects the reader into his main point--sacrificial  living. While being thoroughly entertained, the readers find themselves coming to the realization that their legacy can outlast their life.

If you read my blog at all, you know how much I love Max’s work. He is one of my favorite authors, and I would encourage everyone to read this book, and take its lessons to heart. You CAN outlive your live, and Max will show you how.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bibles Burned In Afghanistan At Request Of US State Department

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A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.


So a soldier had some copies of the Bible, written in Pashto, that had been sent to him by his church. They were shown in a Bible study being held by some US Soldiers on Al Jazeera TV. A few Muslim clerics who saw the clip had a fit, and so, to appease these men, MS Clinton's State Department had them BURNED.


Like I said, Amazing.


So...while Hillary says burning the Koran is "shameful," she has no qualms about burning Bibles?


While POTUS says we must be "tolerant of other people's views," and condemns those who would desecrate Islam's codex, our Soldiers are ordered to burn their Bible?


And General Petreaus condemed burning the Koran, but one of his commanders, a Lt. Col. Wright, said of the Bible burning, "soldiers are required to burn their trash." (emphasis mine)


I have too. I just have to say it again! A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. I honestly never thought I would live to see a day where the level of hypocrisy reached this high.


(Thanks to Wade Burelson for bringing this to my attention. Citation links for this are below)



U.S. military destroys soldier's Bibles

Bibles Burned To Satisfy Muslim Clerics

Wade's Post

Gloom, Despair, And Agony On Me

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So Saturday was not the greatest day. EVER. In The History Of Eternity And Infinity!
Whew. Glad I got that off my Chest.
So...in order to restore my Chi, I take solace from a mentor figure and fellow sojourner in misery.





"Daaaa-gum it." 

"Throw it. Throw it! You know you want too!!!!"


****Who Boy****

My sentiments, exactly, Stevie-Boy. EXACTLY!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Too Burn Or Not To Burn: The POTUS, Koran, And Mr. Magoo

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I can't help but wonder; if a small mosque of Muslims in New Hampshire were about to burn a Bible, would the POTUS intervene, send the FBI, or otherwise interfere? The answer is no. The reason for that is that Christians would not kill Islamists for that act. However, it is interesting to me that we are cowering against threats to our service men and fellow Believers on foreign soil, from these so-called peace loving Muslims. I have heard little from the moderate Muslims on this guy's (loon or not) right to burn a book.

Now me personally, I think it is ridiculous. The whole argument. Mostly, I am ardently opposed to burning books. That is the beginning of the fall of freedom. But also, Terry Jones pastors a church of 50 people. That's half the size of mine. Why didn't the media send trucks when I threatened a Hell-Fire-&-Brimstone sermon Sunday if my Bulldogs lose to the heathen Gamecocks? Because nobody outside of my congregation cares. No one would know anything about this dude if ABC/CNN/Fox didn't give him the time of day. Now they say, "We won't cover it!" Yeah, riggggggght. And I've got some lovely ocean-front property in Tennessee you've got to see! No one would care but his 50 people had this not been sensationalized.


This is as proverbial a mole hill into mountain situation as I've ever seen. It's a book, you idol worshiping morons! If it is your word of your god Allah, then how weak he must be for his message to be so hurt by a little fire.


So a few things.

#1) Terry Jones is a grade A, certifiable loon. Just check out his rulebook for DWOC church. Please don't miss the spelling mistakes. Fife Fold Ministry? Whoa boy. And why are we going into a Holy War with this guy!?!?!?!!? (And thanks to my English Teacher wife for grammer checking my posts)

#2 Why are we (spelled: The US Government) getting our POTUS little hands dirty with another local situation? Mr. President; Sir. You cannot tell the Islamists that their rights as Americans allow them to build at Ground Zero, and tell Mr. Magoo here that he should have better judgment and be sensitive to the religious concerns of others. That's a two way street.

#3 This has ignited a firestorm, as now at least a dozen other churches plan on burning Korans Saturday. Shame on you story-mongering-yellow-belly-low-rent journalists for turning this into a potential disaster for our fighting men and women. Sometimes you just have to stop with the sensationalizing journalism, and let a non-story die its rightful death on the vine.

#4 For those of you who sympathize with Terry Jones, I've got three words for you. Westboro Baptist Church. Yep, those evil, evil, so-called Baptists from Topeka, Kansas. The American hating folks who protest Service Member's funerals? Yep. Terry Jones is affiliated with them and has rallied with them before.

Mr. Magoo, where are you? Gainesville, Florida!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Glenn Beck Gospel

I love Glenn beck as an entertainer and his political views somewhat align with mine. But we must never confuse that with his religiosity. Glenn Beck is not a Christian, he is a Mormon. He follows the teachings of a cult. And when he talks about revival, he is not describing Evangelicalism, or bringing America "Back to God." His ideology may be conservatism, but it is not the Gospel, and we must, MUST, stop believing the lie that it is. This is no different than what Satan told Eve in the Garden, or Jesus in the wilderness. The lie never changes, it just wears new clothes.

The following link is to a post by one of my profs at Southern, Russ Moore. It is a must read on this subject. Here is a snippet...


It’s sad to see so many Christians confusing Mormon politics or American nationalism with the gospel of Jesus Christ. But, don’t get me wrong, I’m not pessimistic. Jesus will build his church, and he will build it on the gospel. He doesn’t need American Christianity to do it. Vibrant, loving, orthodox Christianity will flourish, perhaps among the poor of Haiti or the persecuted of Sudan or the outlawed of China, but it will flourish.

And there will be a new generation, in America and elsewhere, who will be ready for a gospel that is more than just Fox News at prayer.


Well said Dr Moore. Read it in its entirety below. Please.



http://www.russellmoore.com/2010/08/29/god-the-gospel-and-glenn-beck/

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year




Friday and Saturday's in the Fall. Nothing better!

The Tyranical NCAA

The NCAA is becoming like the IRS. They are tyrants that need to be reined in. It is bad enough when they issue sanctions to schools based on players knowingly violating rules, but to access fines and penalties for what fans do is absurd!

SEC: Potential bell penalties to be assessed at Mississippi State

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

AP Top 25

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Woo Who! We topped Oregon State and West Virginia! But, Boise State #3? What state are they in again?... Iowa, right?  Uh? Idaho. No, I said what STATE, not what city. Hmmm? Idaho IS a state?!?! Oh.

I see they got one first place vote. The sports writer from the Statesman no doubt. Yeah, they only play one game this year, boys. Go VA Tech!




AP Top 25
1 Alabama (54)
2 Ohio State (3)
3 Boise State (1)
4 Florida
5 Texas (1)
6 TCU
7 Oklahoma (1)
8 Nebraska
9 Iowa
10 Virginia Tech
11 Oregon
12 Wisconsin
13 Miami (FL)
14 USC
15 Pittsburgh
16 Georgia Tech
17 Arkansas
18 North Carolina
19 Penn State
20 Florida State
21 LSU
22 Auburn
23 Georgia
24 Oregon State
25 West Virginia

So A Guys Walks Into A Red Lobster...

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Red Lobster

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Biblical Turbulance

New post.

Obstacles Welcome


Having read books like From Good To Great, by Jim Collins, From Good To Great In God's Eyes, by Chip Ingram, and Jack: Straight From The Gut by Jack Welch and numbering them as some of my favorites on leadership, I could hardly wait for my copy of Obstacles Welcome: How to Turn Adversity into Advantage in Business and in Life by Ralph de la Vega to arrive.



I was not disappointed, as de la Vega jumped right into the story of his arrival from Cuba. In 1962, at 10 years old, he arrived in this country with out his parents. Very reminiscent of the Elan Gonzalez story, only de la Vega was not deported, but instead lived with friends of his parents. From there, de la Vega takes us on a journey of his meteoric rise through the ranks of one of the country's largest and most powerful telecommunications companies.



By utilizing the strengths of his faith, de la Vega was able to overcome the obstacles that can be detrimental to an immigrants success. While many stories are told of immigrants children rising to successful heights, this inspiring work is a first hand account of a man who lifted his self up from what could have caused others to wallow in self pity.



I would highly recommend Obstacles Welcome as not only a great book on leadership, but also as an inspiration saga of a great American.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Modern Look At Existentialism

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So...we live in a post-modern, relativistic world dominated by the philosophy called existentialism. This philosophy basically states that there are no absolutes in the world, especially when it comes to truth. What is true for you, is not necessarily true for me. This view of existentialism is especially held with post-modernity's view of religion. It was Friedrich Nietzsche who said, "There are no facts, only interpretations." Which he took to mean that his own statement was factual, by the way. It is like the man who says "There are no absolute truths." I say, "Are you absolutely sure?" The existentialist says, "There are no facts, only interpretations." But then tells modernists, quite factually I might add, that they are wrong and bigoted because the modernists' interpretation differs from their own.




Now friends, let me assure you that there are absolute truths in this world. For instance, let's say I hit an existentialist...when he gets up...he will know that some things hurt. That is a truth. :)



Or better yet, let's say that there are three men on the roof. One believes that the law of gravity exists. One believes that the law of gravity is relative. The third has never even heard of Newton. All three jump. I promise you this, all three will go splat. Not just the one who believed or had knowledge.



There are some inescapable truths:

2+2 will always equal 4.

What goes up, must come down.

The French will always surrender.

The Word of God is the Absolute Truth.



Look, we don't have to teach our children to lie. Do we? We also don't have to teach them to know it's bad either. An Aboriginal living away from society and western culture still knows that there is something greater than we are. He may not know which god is God, but he knows there is something that is innate in his being that desires to worship something or someone. That is an absolute, also. Even the atheist's have their gods. They may not acknowledge them as such, but they are gods in their lives. Science, technology, and even philosophy itself can be worshipped.



The Apostle Paul said this in Romans 1:

18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.


21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.


24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.


28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. 32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.

See, they try to suppress the truth, but they can't. Now tell me that this passage doesn't sound like modern America? In this new land of the free, the only thing that is not tolerated, is intolerance itself! We are told by the existentialist crowd that we MUST be tolerant of other's religious views. Yet they themselves are intolerant of our intolerance! This intolerance is Christianity's most valued doctrine. There is but one God, and His name is Jehovah. He is represented in three personalities, The Father, Son, and Spirit. And THE ONLY WAY to have a right relationship with Him, is through His Son, Jesus. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me." That is as absolute as truth gets. And quite frankly folks, as intolerant, also.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dear Mr. President...

Dear Mr. President. Let's catch up on the Ground Zero debacle, shall we. Hamas announced today that it is in favor of building this mosque less than three blocks from the site of the worst massacre in U.S. History. This is the same group that led celebrations in the streets of Palestine on September 11, 2001. So, OK, no surprise there. Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam who will be the leader of this mosque has refused to call Hamas a terror organization, and previously said that America was to blame for the 9/11 attacks.

Ummm... Oh, yeah, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid opposes it. Reid said that it was cool to build the mosque, just please build it somewhere else. Finally some sense from Harry. And on the brighter side, at least BHO is uniting the parties! Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink said families and friends of 9/11 victims are opposed to the project "and I share their view." One of his GOP opponents, Rick Scott, started running a TV ad that said: "Mr. President, ground zero is the wrong place for a mosque." Yet Mr Obama continues to strike a defiant stance.







Uhh, Mr. President. A little piece of advice...You are known by the company you keep! Perhaps it is time to start keeping company with Americans instead of celebrating Ramadan with your Muslim buddies. Then you would understand why both Republican and Democratic Americans are not in favor of the mosque being built on this site!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New Blog

Check out my newest venture:

Biblical Turbulence

Make sure you bookmark it!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I Hate Beating A Dead Horse...But

I hate to beat the proverbial dead horse, but when Charles Krauthammer writes an article that so closely resembles mine, why not?

His post, and link to the article for citation's sake.
 
 
A place is made sacred by a widespread belief that it was visited by the miraculous or the transcendent (Lourdes, the Temple Mount), by the presence there once of great nobility and sacrifice (Gettysburg), or by the blood of martyrs and the indescribable suffering of the innocent (Auschwitz).
 
When we speak of Ground Zero as hallowed ground, what we mean is that it belongs to those who suffered and died there - and that such ownership obliges us, the living, to preserve the dignity and memory of the place, never allowing it to be forgotten, trivialized or misappropriated.

That's why Disney's early '90s proposal to build an American history theme park near Manassas Battlefield was defeated by a broad coalition fearing vulgarization of the Civil War (and wiser than me; at the time I obtusely saw little harm in the venture). It's why the commercial viewing tower built right on the border of Gettysburg was taken down by the Park Service. It's why while no one objects to Japanese cultural centers, the idea of putting one up at Pearl Harbor would be offensive.

And why Pope John Paul II ordered the Carmelite nuns to leave the convent they had established at Auschwitz. He was in no way devaluing their heartfelt mission to pray for the souls of the dead. He was teaching them a lesson in respect: This is not your place, it belongs to others. However pure your voice, better to let silence reign.

Even New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who denounced opponents of the proposed 15-story mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero as tramplers on religious freedom, asked the mosque organizers "to show some special sensitivity to the situation." Yet, as columnist Rich Lowry pointedly noted, the government has no business telling churches how to conduct their business, shape their message, or show "special sensitivity" to anyone about anything. Bloomberg was thereby inadvertently conceding the claim of those he excoriates for opposing the mosque, namely, that Ground Zero is indeed unlike any other place and therefore unique criteria govern what can be done there.

Bloomberg's implication is clear: If the proposed mosque were controlled by "insensitive" Islamist radicals either excusing or celebrating 9/11, he would not support its construction.

But then, why not? By the mayor's own expansive view of religious freedom, by what right do we dictate the message of any mosque? Moreover, as a practical matter, there's no guarantee this couldn't happen in the future. Religious institutions in this country are autonomous. Who is to say that the mosque won't one day hire an Anwar al-Aulaqi - spiritual mentor to the Fort Hood shooter and the Christmas Day bomber, and one-time imam at the Virginia mosque attended by two of the 9/11 terrorists?

An Aulaqi preaching in Virginia is a security problem. An Aulaqi preaching at Ground Zero is a sacrilege.

Location matters. Especially this location. Ground Zero is the site of the greatest mass murder in American history - perpetrated by Muslims of a particular Islamist orthodoxy in whose cause they died and in whose name they killed.

Of course that strain represents only a minority of Muslims. Islam is no more intrinsically Islamist than present-day Germany is Nazi - yet despite contemporary Germany's innocence, no German of good will would even think of proposing a German cultural center at, say, Treblinka.

Which makes you wonder about the good will behind Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's proposal. This is a man who has called U.S. policy "an accessory to the crime" of 9/11 and, when recently asked whether Hamas is a terrorist organization, replied, "I'm not a politician. ... The issue of terrorism is a very complex question.

America is a free country where you can build whatever you want - but not anywhere. That's why we have zoning laws. No liquor store near a school, no strip malls where they offend local sensibilities, and, if your house doesn't meet community architectural codes, you cannot build at all.

These restrictions are for reasons of aesthetics. Others are for more profound reasons of common decency and respect for the sacred. No commercial tower over Gettysburg, no convent at Auschwitz - and no mosque at Ground Zero.

Build it anywhere but there.

The governor of New York offered to help find land to build the mosque elsewhere. A mosque really seeking to build bridges, Rauf's ostensible hope for the structure, would accept the offer.

http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_15771060?source=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dp-opinion+%28Denver+Post%3A+Opinion%29


Thank you, Mr Krauthammer, for articulating so well (as you always do) my point.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mosque To Be Built At Ground Zero

If you haven't heard, there are plans approved by New York City to allow an Islamic Center, including a Mosque, swimming pool, culinary school, and an "interfaith" gathering place to be built at Ground Zero. Whether you agree or not, the Muslims in New York have a right to build their mosque wherever the law allows. If there is no violation of building permits, codes, or other such stipulations of the law, they should be allowed to build their center. If the Muslims are denied, the law has presented a case for Jewish, Buddhist, Hindi, Satanist, Mormons, JW's, and/or Baptists from building a place of worship as well.



Of course, legalities and rights aside, there is another issue here, the issue of responsibility. I dare say that building a Mosque on or near Ground Zero is an act of considerable irresponsibility. It would amount to a Shinto Temple being built within a mile of Pearl Harbor, or a Baptist Church being raised next door to the Dome of the Rock. Although my eschatology permits me to loosely consider a rebuilt temple as something of a Baptist Church, I cannot imagine a Crusade Baptist Church being built in a Muslim country as going over too well.



Understand, this is more than a matter of poor taste. It represents a serious misunderstanding of the sentiments of most Americans toward the Muslim faith and a huge gaff in their ability to win some PR points by, having now been legally cleared, backing off. Nevertheless, this is systemic of the Islamic fundamental principle of winning at all cost.



However, whether the mosque is built or not, the most distressing part of this sad saga unfolded today (August 13 , 2010) when President Obama weighed in on the discussion. Once more, as he did by saying the Cambridge Police force acted "stupidly", and then insulting disabled Americans by claiming he should bowl for Special Olympics, he has acted utterly un-presidential. By weighing in on a subject that is best left to the local law and to local officials, he has set the agenda and embolden Muslims to forget decorum and civility, and build their mosque away from an area ripe with racial tension.



Whether these Muslims are of the radical flavor or not is completely beside the point. It was Muslim men who flew those planes into the Towers and Pentagon. It was because of Islam, correctly interpreted or not, that over 2,000 individuals died that horrible September morning. And building a center to celebrate that religion on the spot memorializing their brutal murder is an affront to Western sensibilities. Shame on these people for not recognizing this and acting according to the "peaceful" faith that they attest belongs to Islam. The law may be on their side, but according to research 69% of Americans think they shouldn't build on that site. And it's not like there isn't available real estate in Manhattan that is far enough away from Ground Zero for an Islamic Center to go unnoticed. One would think they could afford a good PR firm and some good will!

********Update************
8/14/2010 7:33 pm
The prez has backed-off Mosque comments:

Obama Extends and Revises his Remarks

So, what side is he on?
BY William Kristol


"Today in Florida President Barack Obama "backed off" (as Politico’s Carol Lee put it) his defense of the Ground Zero mosque. Obama now claims that last night he was only defending the legal rights of the organizers: "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That's what our country is about. And I think it's very important as difficult as some of these issues are that we stay focused on who we are as a people and what our values are all about."

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-extends-and-revises-his-remarks


***********Update # 2**************
8/14/2010 11:41 pm
The Prez has backed-off his back-off statement of Mosque

The White House on Saturday struggled to tamp down the controversy over President Barack Obama’s statements about a mosque near Ground Zero — insisting Obama wasn’t backing off remarks Friday night where he offered support for a project that has infuriated some families whose loved ones died in the Sept. 11 attacks.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/41069.html

Great Thoughts On Reading

Check out the link below.

Alicia Hope Wagner


I follow her blog, HERE, and she recently had a blog post published by Thomas Nelson. Definitely worth the read.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thank You Jesus, It's Not South Carolina



I am very happy to report that this picture was snapped in NORTH Carolina!

Darn Yankees!





Shcool

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bo Duke vs Superman's Dad

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So I took my daughter to register for classes today. Afterwards we went to grab some lunch, and the conversation turned to TV. Stevie asked me if I had watched the latest Leverage episode, the one that stared the actor who played "Jonathan Kent." If you don't know, said actor is John Schneider, and he was in Smallville playing teenage Clark Kent's daddy. So. When did John Boy here become Superman's Dad instead of Bo Duke? Did I sleep through the last decade? Was there a SAG strike at some point that forced the populace to keep actors from being stereotyped? Or has the culture turned so relativistic that an iconic character portrayal is abandoned after a mere thirty year hiatus?



***sigh***



Getting old is no fun. I can barely type with two fingers, and now I have to text on that wee little keyboard. Although, for an introvert like me, texting is a far better communicative process than talking on the phone. And blogging is a wonderful help to sermon block. And this week I became "friends" with someone I have been friends with for thirty years, but haven't spoken to in ten. Thank you Facebook. I guess in my "old age" I am learning that some new fangled thingys are not so bad. After singing along with Margaritville for most of my life, I just learned today that it was a "pop top" that Jimmy cut his heel on. Not a "pied pot," which for three decades I took for either a Mexican confectionary device or some sort of sweet, yet pointy/sharp marijuana. I am almost afraid to do a Google search for Cheeseburger In Paradise, Lord only knows what that might turn up!



Of course, this is nothing astoundingly new, brilliant, or even revelatory for the Theologian Steve. The Bible has known for millennia that age is not the only conveyor of wisdom. Job said, " It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right." (32:9) So maybe we old dogs need to learn a new trick or two.



Hmmm.                  "John Schneider staring as Jonathan Kent. Superman's Father!" (said in that movie guys voice over)


Nah. I still like Bo Duke. He always has been, and bless his heart, he always will be. Right, Job?

Monday, August 9, 2010

The True Riches Of Believing

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I recently read an article about a pastor who was preaching in view of a call. As he got up to approach the pulpit, the chairman of the pulpit committee told him to notice an elderly lady sitting on the front row. She was dressed rather shabbily with several patched holes in her dress, and the leather of her shoes had begun to separate from the soles. The preacher later remarked about his distress for her, and wondered if she was in need of financial assistance.



Then the story was told. She and her husband were sheep farmers and lived in a small cabin and owned an old, but reliable truck. One day oil was discovered on their ranch. Contracts were signed and wells put up. However, before the first royalty checks arrived the husband died. Between her grief and timidity, the woman chased off the lawyers and never signed any additional papers. The wells continue to go up, and she continued to refuse the papers, and so the royalty checks kept amassing; never cashed. She was a millionaire on paper, but a pauper in existence.



Likewise, I am convinced that too many of us that call upon the name of Jesus live in want because we have chased away the Holy Spirit. It is not always intentional, but it is a reality. How do we grieve (chase away) the Spirit? Perhaps we are like the farmer's wife and we are too timid. The Bible says that we are not given a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love, and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7) Many believers don't accept what God has in store for them. Or, even sadder, they won't accept the challenge that God gives them.



The inverse is also true, however. Some seek position and prominence in the church. This also grieves the Spirit. The Lord does not like a haughty spirit, or one who is puffed up. In-other-words, full of themselves. (See Proverbs 6:17) When a Believer seeks prominence, instead of allowing God to call them to some task, they are running ahead of God. This comes through most obviously, to me anyway, in some men who have an "itch to preach." No, you have an itch to be scratched. If you stand before God's people to deliver God's words, you better make sure you have been called. Many good intentioned men have taken churches down roads of irreparable harm because they felt an itch, which could have been scratched by teaching a Sunday School class.


All in all, though, the basic idea is that we are missing out because we grieve the Spirit. I cannot help but think about so many Believers that are this way. Jesus said that we have not because we ask not. (Or that when we ask, it is of the wrong spirit.) We are millionaires in the heavenlies, yet we live like spiritual paupers on earth. That is the whole point of victorious Christian living. Instead of us feeling empty, and tired, and bankrupt, we should be freed to live like the victors that we are. Life will not always be easy; we will not always have our wants fulfilled; but we can be victorious in the life that we lead! If we will seek His will, His face, and suplant our desires with His.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Drama

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Much drama at church today. One of my sweethearts fell out during my sermon. No, no…none of that charismatic stuff. We are a Baptist church. I’m not exactly sure what happened. The doctors told us that she has a bladder infection. She is just back from convalescing from a six week hospital stay and 2 week nursing home rehab, so she is obviously weak to start with. I was preaching on death, and once we knew she was OK it became a bit of a joke that we were in cahoots and staged the whole thing for dramatic effect.



I was right in the middle of the story of Lazarus and the rich man, but I guess I'll move along. So... much drama at church today.  But trust me on this…with Nominating Committee and Deacon elections coming up, this drama was a welcome change. Thank you, Lord, that Ms Vuadearie is at home and resting, and that I don't end every Sunday morning by following an ambulance to the hospital.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Back To School With The Leigh's

Well, I suppose it is official now. I have been accepted into the Doctoral program at Luther Rice Seminary. Classes start September 7th. This is something I have wanted to pursue for some time now, and so I am excited to get started. Patty starts her new job on Monday. She has waited for a long time to have her own library, and the folks at Baron DeKalb Elementary are lucky to have her. Luke starts band camp Monday as well. He has taken to the trumpet like a fish to water, I just hope his sax doesn't suffer from the new attention. I think he will be a sax player in the band, with a minor part with the trumpet. We'll see. Stevie starts back to college on the 23rd. As far as I know, Shea has already started back at ASU.


So we are a schooled up family. Yes, schooled, not screwed! Pray for us as our endeavors take us on more journeys for Jesus.

Preseason USA Today Coaches' Poll

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1 Alabama (55) 0-0 1469

2 Ohio State (4) 0-0 1392

3 Florida 0-0 1245

4 Texas 0-0 1240

5 Boise State 0-0 1215

6 Virginia Tech 0-0 1052

7 TCU 0-0 1051

8 Oklahoma 0-0 1035

9 Nebraska 0-0 1001

10 Iowa 0-0 952

11 Oregon 0-0 940

12 Wisconsin 0-0 778

13 Miami (FL) 0-0 728

14 Penn State 0-0 508

15 Pittsburgh 0-0 492

16 LSU 0-0 476

17 Georgia Tech 0-0 455

18 North Carolina 0-0 445

19 Arkansas 0-0 438

20 Florida State 0-0 374

21 Georgia 0-0 312

22 Oregon State 0-0 263

23 Auburn 0-0 260

24 Utah 0-0 169

24 West Virginia 0-0 169



Well, being 21 is better than no ranking at all. Umm, South Carolina? Hello? And honestly, who in their right mind put Boise State # 5. Their first game is v Va Tech. Go Hokies! If they don't win, Boise will most likely play for the National Title having played one game and 11 scrimmages.

One last rant. Ohio State? What 4 morons put the Buckeyes #1? May I remind you that Ohio State has NEVER beaten a SEC team? Pluuzeese! Win a bowl game for Tressle's sake, and then come talk to me about a national ranking.

And of course, I refuse to discuss the team ranked #17. May Athlete's Foot plague their locker room.

Can't hardly wait for September 4 at 12:21 pm. How 'bout them Dawgs!