Friday, July 23, 2010

Hotter Than A Snake's Belly In A Wagon Rut


I love Southern idioms. For instance: "It's hotter than a snake's belly in a wagon rut," and brother, that's hot.

This is the third day in a row that the actualized air temp is over 100*f. And the next four days are so forecasted as well. Currently, (2:16 pm on July 23, 2010) Weatherbug has the air temp at 97*f with a dew point of 79*f making the "feel like temp" 113*f. It will get over 100*f  by 4:00. How hot that will make the feel like I don't know, but it'll be hotter than a goat's colon in a pepper patch.  Welcome to the Southeast, baby!

All that leading back to my idioms:

"It's hotter than a habanero stuffed jalapeno popper."

"It's hotter than a $2 pistol."

"It's hotter than a firecracker on the 4th of July."

"It's hotter than a mule chewing on a bumblebee!"

Ahh...welcome to the South indeed!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Crazy Train, part deux

So surely the Preacher is crazy to post the words to an Ozzy Ozbourne song. Right? Well, there is a back story.

Family is a precious commodity, and one I cherish. But, like many folks, my family comes with ...certain...certain...challenges.?.  So when I'm on the phone with said family, Patty is always just in ear shot saying in a sing-song voice "Crazy Train!"

Of course, to know Patty is to know that the only time she has heard anything remotely Ozzy Ozbourne would be when Chipper Jones is coming to bat. But, after a long and disturbing phone call with...*sigh* ....  (dramatic pause)...*sigh*... family, and hearing "Crazy Train" sing-songed over and over, I couldn't shake the song from my (distant) past out of my head. So, I share with the world--Ozzy.......

Inheriting troubles, I'm mentally numb

Crazy, I just cannot bare

I'm living with something that just isn't fair

Mental wounds not healing

Who and what's to blame

I'm going off the rails on a crazy train

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Crazy Train

Crazy,but that's how it goes

Millions of people living as foes

Maybe it's not too late

To learn how to love

And forget how to hate

Mental wounds not healing

life's a bitter shame

I'm going off the rails on a crazy train

I've listened to preachers

I've listened to fools

I've watched all the dropouts

Who make their own rules

One person conditioned to rule and control

The media sells it and you live the role

Mental wounds still screaming

Driving me insane

I'm going off the rails on a crazy train

I know that things are going wrong for me

You gotta listen to my words


Heirs of a cold war

That's what we've become

Inheriting troubles I'm mentally numb

Crazy, I just cannot bare

I'm living with something that just isn't fair

Mental wounds not healing

Who and what's to blame

I'm going off the rails on a crazy train

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Tower Of Independence

Sunday I preached on Independence. It was July 4th, the day we celebrate our independence from Great Britain and the tyranny of King George III.

This Dude!

The Declaration of Independence was signed by our forefathers on this date in 1776, and, politically speaking, we became free men. This 234 year old experiment in government has been quite successful as we have survived an invasion in 1812, civil war in 1865 (or as it is known around these parts: "The War Of Northern Aggression") two world wars, and countless skirmishes and assaults. We have had, best as History 101 allows, two presidents impeached, and none removed from office, politically or militarily. Our government has never been usurped, there has never been a coup, and no president has been dragged from the White House by his socks after losing an election.

So we are independent...politically. But are we truly free? The answer is no. We have never really been independent, because we have always, humanity, not just Americans, been dependent upon God. This is so clearly seen in my text, Genesis 11.

Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. 3 Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. 4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” 5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. 9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

Notice that the whole earth comes together and starts to build a city. This is in direct defiance of what God had instructed them after the flood, where He said “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth." Instead, they decided they would settle down in one place and set up a religion that did not need God. Make no mistake about that last part. Nimrod and company were declaring their independence. Forget all the Sunday School coloring sheets you had as a kid. This "tower" did not reach into the clouds, nor was it intended to. In actuality it was a ziggurat, basically a stepped pyramid. It would have been very similar to what the Mayans built in South America. The idea was not to literally reach into the sky, but figuratively reach into heaven, the dwelling place of God. It was an attempt to usurp His throne. This was a rebellion, a revolution against the God of this universe by wee little men. Religion was at the heart of Babylon's beginning, just as it will be at Babylon's end.

The Tower of Babel

But do notice verse 5. The Lord came down. It does not matter how high we lift our collective self-esteems, it does not matter how high we raise our academic prowess, nor our technological idols, nor our humanistic self-worship, God still has to "come down," He still must condescend Himself to reach our level. We may think that we can declare our independence from Him, but we simply fool ourselves. However; it is of note what God said in verse 6. God confused their language so that they would not succeed in their diabolical plans. So He scattered us because of a lack of communication. And so we stay to this day. Men not communicating with women, Christians not communicating with Hindus, Jews and Muslims not talking, blacks and whites not listening, Yankees and Rebels...well you get the point. We have not and most likely will not get together to solve our biggest problems. As stated earlier, I am podcasting. You would be surprised how hard it is for our church's CD recorder to communicate with my podcasting host. More commutative miscues, MP3 vs WMA! But we have been dependant on Him, which is not a bad thing at all. So, as we remember our political independence, let us not forget to declare our dependence upon our God and Savior.

New Podcasting

I'm using a new host for my podcast. They should appear in the upper left corner of this Blog. Also, I am too cheap to NOT use the free site, sooooo, there are sponsors that overwrite the sermon title, but if you click it, it will/should be me. Double click it and you'll be redirected to the sponsors site.

anyway, click the link to avoid confusion!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


This is an increasingly frequent scene at my house, and it is the highest compliment a pastor can be paid. When the youth group feels comfortable being at the pastor’s house he is doing something right. Affecting the next generation in a positive way is his job, so that the rest of their lives they will have fond memories of church.

The problem with many of our churches is that we have made such a large dichotomy between the adults and youth that there is no hope of winning some of them back. I have seen what can happen, first hand, when the adults squash the hopes of the next generation. We must quit losing these kids!

Pray that God will revive a generation and bring them back to Him.

From Here To There And Back Again

A few great quotes from great men of yesteryear. Mercer has all but abandoned these principles set forth near her beginning.

"There have appeared men in these later days who feel persecuted if they are not allowed to enter pulpits established to uphold a given set of principles, and there to overthrow the very doctrines the church is set to defend. Men who do not preach the accepted doctrines of the Baptists, have no right in Baptist pulpits, and it is no abridgement of their rights nor any persecution to keep them out. We are under no sort of obligations to furnish heretics with means to subvert the truth." ~ J.B. Gambrell, the President of Mercer University from 1893 - 1896


John Wesley, founder of Methodism, who would ask his young men returning from preaching two questions. "Did anyone get saved? Did anyone get mad?" If they answered no to both he told them they were not called to preach, for "a sermon will either lead a soul to Christ or the truth will anger them."

We must return to the day where we no longer feel so threatened by political correctness or "church growth" strategies that we abandon the true message of Jesus Christ. We must know of no other, except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Measure Of A Woman

Here is a great post...for any of my female fanbase. Check it out.

Declaration Of Independence

I believe it is safe to say that the Declaration Of Independence may be the most cited, yet least read document in US history. Have YOU read it lately?

Here it is, verbatim, including capitalization and spelling, by Thomas Jefferson and cohorts. God Bless the USA!

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Friday, July 2, 2010

American SoccerBall

My son loves soccer, and he's pretty good at it, too. I love football, and while I played High School ball, I'm more adept at coaching than playing. I'm quite certain that if, IF, I were the head ballcoach at UGA, we would never lose a game. Every touchdown is a direct result of a play that I would have called, and every fumble is caused by an idiot I would have never allowed on my team in the first place. Every assistant coach would be a world class instructor and work for the same under-valued-salary that most pastors earn. It would be one heck of a show!

So I am confident in my worldview of football. But admittedly a little lost in my son's world of soccerball. I am also know for my vast array of trivial knowledge. My ability to talk small is staggering. I can usually answer facts on dates, history, and especially etymology. One elusive bit of trivia that I did not know; however, was the etymological roots of the word soccer. Why do we call it soccer here, and the rest of the world screw it up and call it football there? Everybody knows that football is played with both hands and feet! Well, I recently read an article about the origins of why soccer is incorrectly called football by every other tribe, nation, or tongue.

According to Clive Toye, the man who started American Soccer and brought Pele to the US, the word Soccer has British roots.

“Soccer is a synonym for football,” said Toye, who helped launch the North American Soccer League in the late 1960s. “And it has been used as such for more years than I can count. When I was a kid in England and grabbed a ball to go out and play … I would just as easily have said: ‘Let’s have a game of soccer’ as I would use the word ‘football’ instead. And I didn’t start it.”

To trace the origin of “soccer” we must go all the way back to 1863, and a meeting of gentlemen at a London pub, who congregated with the purpose of standardizing the rules of “football,” which was in its infant years as an organized sport but was growing rapidly in popularity.

Those assembled became the founding members of the Football Association (which still oversees the game in England to this day). And they decided to call their code Association Football, to differentiate it from Rugby Football.

A quirk of British culture is the permanent need to familiarize names by shortening them. “My friend Brian Johnston was Johnners,” said Toye. “They took the third, fourth and fifth letters of Association and called it SOCcer. So there you are.”

So there you are indeed. Good show, old boy. I know a little more about soccer. Even if it's not what causes an off-side penalty in soccer. I mean, how can your guy... be standing near MY goal...and I'm the one off sides!? Geesh!

*******sigh********** Maybe I'll just stick with football

Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 1st

Ahhhhhh. July 1st. The air is sticky and humid, and it is unbelievably hot. At least 152*.....Celsius! PTL for the invention of air conditioning.

July means ripe watermelons the size of mini-vans, kids running through sprinklers, fireworks displays, patriotism, and vacations.

It also means that kick-off to college football is in 66 days. How 'bout them dawgs!? (Living amongst the enemy is never easy, but when one of their teams wins a national title in anything, it makes it even more so. Plus this year we have a good chance of NOT beating USC in football.)

But this year, July will be dampened a bit. Please pray for my Mom and Dad. Both are in poor health. So, we will take our "vacation" and go to possibly the hottest place in the universe, in the middle of the hottest month, and see them. My mom's next Dr's appointment is July 12 at MD Anderson, where she will have a PET scan. I believe that my dad is too stubborn to get worse, but pray his heart holds out through this next few weeks of intense stress, and that we can convince him to have the angioplasty before mom's "completely well."

Hmmm. Is stubbornness hereditary?