Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Lucado Inspirational Reader

One of the greatest things about Max’s writings are the way he lures you in with everyday subject matters and issues, and then “Wham” he slams you with biblical application. The Lucado Inspirational Reader does the exact same thing, except, you get whammed on a daily basis instead of every six months or so when he spits out another book. (It’s just not fair that he has so much talent for writing and coming up with this stuff. I mean, really!! )

The book is subtitled Hope and Encouragement for Your Everyday Life. It is certainly filled with both. The format is designed so that instead of a small devotional each day on a 365 calendar, you get the best of Max on particular subjects such as prayer, comfort, purpose, and salvation.

This would make an excellent gift for anyone, or a great treat for yourself.

Available at Amazon… HERE

Disclosure of Material Connection:

I received a free copy of Moments of Truth through BookSneeze. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Poppy, Thanksgiving, and Cold Cornbread Dressings


Poppy, Thanksgiving, and Cold Cornbread Dressings

When I was a kid, Thanksgiving was the holiday when we traveled to Florida—and a day when I got to eat a whole lot of good food and see all my cousins, many times for the first time in a year. 

And a time for leftovers. While everyone else was either glued to the football game or snoring in a recliner, I was seizing my Granny’s cornbread dressing from the fridge and finishing it off cold and in the pan.

But besides being a holiday when I had permission to eat from the pan, thanksgiving was also a word my Poppy always incorporated at the end of his prayers: "And in Jesus' name, with thanksgiving, Amen." I always wondered why he used a word that made me think of pumpkin pie and construction-paper turkeys; but I knew he must have had a good reason.

Years later, I think I now understand. In that one word, he was saying "Thank You for giving." The “You” there, being God. From my Poppy’s example, I see that thanksgiving was more than about family gatherings, turkey dinners, or time off from school and work. It was and is a way of living, a daily act of expressing gratitude to our Maker who first gave to us.

At this time of year, I sit and think about when I last thanked God for giving me anything—let alone His Son, Jesus Christ. I'm ashamed to admit that it has been a while. But I know that I want to make such gratefulness a way of life. I desire to have an attitude of gratitude and an attitude of graciousness.  

There's no better thanksgiving wisdom than that found in God's Word, especially Psalm 100. If you open your Bible and take a look at this passage, you'll see a notation under the heading: A

Psalm of Thanksgiving.

1 Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! 2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. 3 Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. 4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 5 For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations. (NKJV)

Here are some suggestions that can help us live a life of Thanksgiving ...

1) Make a joyful noise to the Lord

2) Serve God joyfully

3) Come to God with a song

4) Give Him the thanksgiving for all of your circumstances, not just the good ones

5) Remember that the Lord is good … His mercy is never-ending … His faith is unchanging

Reflect on these today, and ask the Lord how He can help you practice Thanks living each day of the year.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mere Christianity


C. S. Lewis is one of the premier minds in Christendom. An author with a broad reach and large audiences, Lewis is the famed author of The Chronicle Of Narnia series and The Screwtape Letters among others. However, Lewis has written his pièce de résistance with Mere Christianity. Taken from a series of lectures he delivered over the BBC in 1943, Mere Christianity is Lewis’ treatises on the Christian faith, morality, and the problem of evil. Mingling humor and an ascorbic wit along with a rational and starkly contemporary illustration of Nazism, he weaves us through the hardest questions of life, concluding with the needed all humanity has for a righteous and sovereign God.

 Mere Christianity is a though provoking book, that takes the reader systematically through the problem of evil. Because the book was originally a set of lectures presented via radio, the book has a pleasant conversational tone. It is almost as if Lewis were in a conversation with you, asking questions and, after waiting on your response, going on to the next thought he wants you to ponder. This particular edition is an easy read at two hundred twenty seven pages; and while the illustrations are dated, one could certainly hear Lewis speaking just as easily about Al Qaeda in Fallujah, as Nazis in Frankfurt. The enemy may be personified in Nazism, but undergirding this is the realization that the true enemy is the falleness of humanity itself.

        The basis for Mere Christianity seems to be centered around the failures of mankind’s feeble attempts at achieving the sought after Utopia of modernity. With the onset of the Twentieth Century and the enlightenment of Rationalism, the “civilized world” believed that this fabled Utopian society of Nietzsche and Marx would be realized by century’s end. However; by 1943, two world wars and the daily bombings of London had produced a malaise among the people. In addition, uncertainty in the face of the devastation and atrocities of war left people with little hope. The background of this catastrophe leads to the fallow ground that Lewis would till.

The book, then, is a look at Christianity and the great questions of the faith and faithful. Where is God when Nazi’s commit such heinousness crimes? How can a good God allow an Adolph Hitler to reign? What is a person to believe, and where can they find refuge? The greatness of Mere Christianity is in the answers that Lewis provides. These are answers that still ring true in the Twenty-first Century, when the question is, “Where was God when the world stopped turning, that cool September morn?”

            The lectures themselves have been divided into four “books.” Book One deals with human nature and what can be seen of an invisible God in a very visible natural law. Book Two focuses on Christian Belief, while Book Three looks at Christian Behavior. Lastly, Book Four deals with acclimatizing the reader to basic doctrine.

            In dealing with the natural law first, Lewis attempts to speak to the reader about the things of God, which we may see but take for granted. For instance, the fact that right and wrong does exist. In fact, humanity has a moral compass that proves that right and wrong exist. This standard is neither something that we have developed nor one that we have evolved in our human endeavors, so it must come from outside of us; namely, from God.

            In Book Two C. S. begins to develop thoughts on Christian Beliefs. His philosophical rambling run a little long in the tooth in this section; nevertheless, his points are generally on target. In Book Three he moves to Christian Behavior. This section is much more relevant to the average reader. In fact, his treatment of the Golden Rule is superior. The quote from “Dr. Johnson” that, “People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.” (82) is fabulous. How right that is. The Golden Rule is nothing new, every major religion having a form of it. Of course, Jesus puts His in the positive, whereas all others put it in the negative.

Again, the last section, titled Book Four, deals with specific doctrines of the Christian Faith. In a way, I feel the sentiments of the old RAF Captain, and I feel Lewis’ plight. People do not care about doctrine. They want a personal God. Nevertheless, we must understand what we understand. In that realm, we see the need for doctrines. Lewis puts together a doctrine study with the same wit and humor that captivates the audience and lulls them into a forgetful trance that makes them forget they are indeed studying doctrine.

The book, taken as a whole, is a deep well of influencing argument for the agnostic and atheist, and a primer or refresher course for the believer. As Lewis put in the preface, the book should be seen as an entrance into the halls of Christianity. (XV) Where one goes and what rooms are explored is left up to the reader. Nevertheless, the reader will certainly leave with a more thoughtful view of Christianity and

            This book can be an incredibly valuable tool for the minister’s library. It certainly will help a minister develop a “down to earth” philosophy of life and the problem that a life with God can cause. There is a great quote from Kathleen Norris’ in the foreword to the Harper One edition: “Lewis seeks in Mere Christianity to help us see religion with fresh eyes, as a radical faith whose adherents might be likened to an underground group gathering in a war zone, a place where evil seems to have the upper hand, to hear messages of hope from the other side.”  C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity is one of the rare jewels that come along once a generation, and remain timeless and relevant.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Grace Of God


I have always appreciated Andy Stanley’s writings. He has a way of make a point that is profound, sound very, maybe even overly simplistic. Yet when you think about it, you come back around to the profundity of his thought. Andy does that repeatedly in The Grace Of God. Beginning at the beginning, the story of Adam and Eve, Andy relates through each chapter of his book, and through the Bible, showing the Grace of God each way.

With his carefree and easy going style, Andy has written a book that would be enjoyed by scholar and layman alike. I would highly recommend y’all reading this book, learning more about the gracious God that we serve. I am giving this book five stars, a rating I stingily pass out. I am linking it through to Amazon. This would be a great purchase for yourself or as a Christmas gift.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tolerating The Intolerant; Why ESPN Is The Real PC Bully


This is an opinion piece I wrote for my buddy Dan at Stronger Christian. Please click through and visit his site.



This week ESPN, the global sports and entertainment giant, once again showed its idiocy by firing Hank Williams, Jr. over comments he made on FoxNews. Williams compared a golf outing between President Obama and House Speaker Boehner as a similar pairing of Adolph Hitler and Benjamin Netanyahu. The idea of Hitler and a powerful Jew playing golf juxtaposed with a Democratic President and Republican leader is a bit extreme, but certainly not a fireable offence.

But this is the fate of the culture left to the devices of Political Correctness. When the pc crowd "outlawed" the use of certain words and phrases as "bad taste", we merrily went along for the sake of the victims of certain slanders. "Why," we reasoned, "WOULD someone want to hurt the feelings of that small person by calling them a midget? SHOULDN'T we call them vertically challenged?" It seemed sensible at the time. If the label "handicap" was hurtful, why wouldn't we say that they were physically challenged instead? Perhaps it was more fitting to refer to a blind person as sight challenged, and to drop the word retarded from our vocabulary in preference to mentally challenged. My point is not to say that these changes were not compassionate or eagerly received by the individuals affected, but that this opened a door that has allowed the "tolerance at all cost" crowd to gain a strong foothold in the culture. And, it seems apparent that this has become circular in its practicality, as it is becoming increasingly offence to many to be referred to as challenged.

This is in similar vein to the race designation of Black Americans, which progressed from Negro to Colored to Black, and now to African American. Many who fought for the change from Negro to Colored now find the designation Colored offensive itself. Not that I blame them. I have been called Racist (because I don't like Obama) Redneck, (Because I am from the South) a Jesus Freak (Because I am) and White. Despite the fact that I am more .......wellllll.....peachy. I think I should be called a Person of Non-Color. Come to think of it, I'm white in the winter, tan in the summer, blue when I get cold, green when I get sick, and red when I stay in the sun too long. Maybe I'm the one who should be called colored!

The real problem with all of this PC nonsense is that it has opened the door for an Über-tolerance mood in the country. It is intolerant for Hank Jr. to use the words Obama and Hitler in the same sentence. (By the way; shouldn't Netanyahu be the REAL offended person by that comment?!) But it is not intolerant of ESPN to castigate him as some Redneck Hillbilly. It is intolerant of anyone to criticize the President or his policies. You are either a racist (if you're Peachy) or an Uncle Tom (Hello Mr. Cain) if you're Black. It is inconceivable that you just disagree with the man's ideology. And the real point; It is intolerant for a Christian to be intolerant.

Unfortunately though, that is exactly who we are as Believers in Jesus Christ. I don't like it. It doesn't make me happy. But it is THE core truth that all of Christianity rides on. The doctrine is known as The Exclusivity of Christ. You see, it does not matter if Jesus was born of a virgin, or that He lived a perfect life, or that He died for sins, or that He rose from the grave, or that He ascended to Heaven, or that He sent a Helper. If Jesus is not the exclusive way to the Father, none of that matters, because I could simply find someone else to get me there. Jesus said of Himself that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He also said that no one would get to the Father EXCEPT through Him. He, therefore, is exclusive, and we, therefore, are intolerant. We are intolerant of others saying they can get you to heaven. We are intolerant of those who say there are many paths to heaven. And we are intolerant of those who say it does not matter because all good people go to heaven.

In our culture today, Political Correctness has become more than a feel-good, compassionate ride to acceptance. It is the vehicle used by the BHL's to usher in an age of tolerance, where everything is tolerated except intolerance itself. But, these folks are wolves in sheep's clothing, for they have become the ones who are the most intolerant of all. Which is to say that they have become intolerant of everything that disagrees with them. Hank Williams, Jr. may have made a bad analogy, but where has all the tolerance gone? In the end, it seems to me that ESPN is the real PC bully.

Friday, October 7, 2011



Ministry can be difficult. It’s very much like being in the military (I can attest to that also) because you start getting Christmas cards from Allied Van Lines. When the moving company knows your first name, you’ve moved around some! It’s not really been that bad, we’ve been here in Cassatt for three years now, and we were in Kentucky for five and in Middle Tennessee for seven. But the names and faces are starting to pile up.

My “best” friend is and probably will always be Tracy Ponder. Trace and I have one of those relationships where I can go for years and not talk to him , yet with the next phone call we are back in rhythm, talking (as Patty says) in our own language. (So does Luke and Will; have their own language that is. Maybe it’s a guy thing.!?. Hey Tracy: Andithadsevemheads! Andlilbittyfeets!)

I have made several really good lifelong friends over the years. Tony Higgins, Kelly Cotton,  and John Wynn are all men I could call if I needed and they would be there for me, and they could do the same with me.

There is another name to add to the list; Roy Broughman. God put Roy and me together at a time when we both desperately needed each other. We both needed intellectually stimulating conversations. I love these farmers that that I pastor without equivocation, but a discussion on the ramifications of particular redemption on our soteriological urgency ain’t gonna happen in our conversations.  But now Roy is the one with Allied Van Lines in the parsonage driveway. So once again I guess I’ll have to keep my epistemological arguments about open theism to myself. (But I’ll tell you that I don’t like it!)

Roy is headed to the Promised Land…the Land Where God’s Glory Dwells…The Land Of The Shekhinah Glory…otherwise known as Georgia. Maybe God will see fit to put us close together again—preferably before we no longer have a need to discuss eschatology. In the mean time I give to Roy the greatest advice possible: you must learn a few things from my sagely wisdom on all things Georgia.

 1) Just say, “Go you silver britches” occasionally in your sermon and you’ll do fine. (i.e. “And in Luke 14:36 Jesus said, ‘For Florida is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill!  Go you silver britches.’”)

2) Do not wear anything orange. If you have any orange clothing, burn them at the state line.

3) In Georgia, especially where you are, a “mess” is a good thing. If you hear, “Preacher! We brought you a mess of peanuts,” don’t panic. That’s actually the good ones.

4) No. All of your deacons are not pig farmers. When they gather together each Sunday and talk about their Bush Hogs, they are referring to machinery. A bush hog is not actually a pig, but an extra large mowing device.

5) In South Georgia there is this terrible thing known as “Oyster Stew.” DO NOT BE FOOLED! You will be told it is a tradition. You will be told it is comfort food. You will be told it is delicious. The fact is that it is the equivalent of boiled snot served in that congealed liquid from a can of Vienna sausages. If you are offered oyster stew you must act quickly. Feign a ruptured appendix.  Lie on the floor and twitch your right leg and cry out, “Myrtle!” Keep this up until the ambulance arrives. Once you are cleared of the scene, have the EMT’s drop you off at the nearest Texas Roadhouse.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Betty Crocker And Jesus: The Secret Is In The Mix


The story goes that back in the 50’s, Betty Crocker began to sell cake mixes in the now famous red box. They developed a mix that only required someone to add water and bake. Apparently, it bombed. No one bought this easy-to-use mix. So the company did some market research, and found out that people didn’t buy the cake mix because it seemed too easy. Surely something that just takes water, consumers reasoned, would be dry and tasteless. Also, researchers discovered that people wanted to feel like they had to play their part to make the cake “homemade.” So, armed with this knowledge, Betty Crocker changed the formula to require that an egg and oil be added in addition to the water. And, you guessed it — it was a huge success! As Paul Harvey would say…The rest is history. No, wait…Paul Harvey would say, That was the rest of the story. Right? Hmmmmm??? Anyway…

My take is that many people think that way about our relationship with the Lord—that our relationship with God works like that second cake mix. God does most of the work, but we have to do our part and then we can know that we’re right with Him. The process of salvation is just too dang simple for some people. “Just Add Jesus” makes us uncomfortable. We need to add two freshly cracked good deeds and a ¼ cup of our own sanctification, and then the mix will come out OK. Otherwise, we’re afraid it just won’t work.

But the truth is that the secret is in the simplicity. No works. No deeds. No religion. No rituals. Just add Jesus. Over a billion satisfied customers later, the process still works. Just ask the Philippian jailer. He asked Paul, “What must I do to be saved?” There you go. “What must I DO to be saved?”
Paul gave him the simple secret of a successful mix; “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” Acts 16:31 (NKJV) emphasis mine.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Camel Stew, Anyone?


How about this from my daily reading from the Old Testament…

Among the animals, whatever divides the hoof, having cloven hooves and chewing the cud—that you may eat. 4 Nevertheless these you shall not eat among those that chew the cud or those that have cloven hooves: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you. Leviticus 11:3-5 (NKJV)


I so wanted my OT passage today to be like, oh, I don’t know, Psalm 40 maybe?!

LORD, be pleased to deliver me; hurry to help me, LORD. Let those who seek to take my life be disgraced and confounded. Let those who wish me harm be driven back and humiliated. Let those who say to me, "Aha, aha!" be horrified because of their shame. Psalm 40:13-15 (HCSB)

Or Psalm 34…

Oppose my opponents, LORD; fight those who fight me. 2 Take Your shields—large and small—and come to my aid. 3 Draw the spear and javelin against my pursuers, and assure me: "I am your deliverance." Psalm 35:1-3 (HCSB)

Nope. I’m in Leviticus.

How does one apply this passage? If I told my folks that they couldn’t eat camel, I doubt I would hear, “Preach, Preacher! Preach!” (I would most likely hear, “Thank you, Jesus!”) And while I have told a few of them to stop smoking Camels, I’ve never told any of them to not eat them. But the Bible says of itself that all Scripture is given for instruction. Hmmmmmmmm

Well, let’s think about this. God didn’t really tell us WHY we couldn’t eat camels. I mean, the fact it has hooves and chews cud is kind of like the “don’t put milk in your meat” thing. Basically, I would say, God wants us to do what He tells us to, even when He doesn’t explain it. We’ve all either heard or said, “Because I said so!” If we are allowed that parental proclivity, so is the Father.

Actually, although the passage doesn’t inherently say this, God didn’t want them to eat these animals because their neighbors did. If the Jews didn’t eat camel, it made it harder for them to fellowship with the pagans next door. Sort of a way to keep them from being influenced by the Baal worshipers in town. It’s a sure sign of danger ahead when the new bride can’t cook camel the way mama did. So the pagan boys might shy away from the Jewess who couldn’t cook a pork chop to save her life.  

Well, if nothing else at least I have a new appreciation for the local grocery store’s meat case. We may have chicken feet in Camden, but not camel hump.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Baptism today. Here are a few pics.

I need to get our baptism pictures updated. (Note to self; get pictures.)

Patty took these from the front pew.

Jesus, Paul Simon, And Mr. Popular


Jesus told a parable about a father and his two sons. No. Not that one. I’ll preach about that family in Luke 15 in a few weeks. (I’ll try to get those on the sermon player at the bottom of this blog later.) I’m talking about the father who asked his two sons to go and work in his field. Listen to Jesus.

“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ 29 He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. 30 Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to Him, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.

Jesus tells us a simple story about a man with two sons who asked them to work in his vineyard. The first told his father to go jump in the lake. He absolutely would not waste his time working in a vineyard. The second promised to hustle right over and find the foreman for his assignment. The first regretted his harsh words almost immediately. And he went to the field and found the foreman, punched his time card and put in a sweaty day tending grapes. The second, and presumably younger son, did not show up. We might say he laid-out and went and played TRON with his homeys down at the Video Shack.

Jesus asks his audience which son actually did the will of the father. The unanimous response was the older son, who actually went to work. Jesus then chided the religious elite in the crowd and told them in essence, it’s not how you start, but how you finish.

We don’t know what happened to the younger son. Maybe he got distracted. Maybe he lost his way. Maybe someone attacked him. Maybe someone shot at him. Maybe he got hurt.
I’ve been at this ministry thing for a long time and I’ve been shot at few times, sometimes the Devil is actually the one pulling the trigger! Sometimes we get hurt, lost, distracted. We start off strong. We say to the Father, “I will go.” And we never really fulfill the will of the Father, because things come along. I mean, a 1/3 of the angels started off good, but ended up bad. If the angels can mess up--so can we.
It happens to many believers. It happened to Paul’s apprentice Demas. We don’t know what happened to Demas. He is mentioned three times. Paul calls him Demas my faithful soldier in Philemon, then he reports that Demas is with him in Colossians, and lastly, to Timothy, he says that Demas has forsaken him. We don’t know what made Demas start off so strong and flitter out at the end. Maybe it had to do with the fact that his name means “popular” in the Greek. Who knows. I do know that Gal 5:7 is one of the saddest verses in the whole Bible. Paul writes, ” You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?”

I don’t want my last days to be more bleak than my beginning. And as a pastor, I don’t want any of my flock falling away or forsaking their strong start with years of complacency. I have seen it of course. And so I know the hurt that Paul had in his heart writing of Mr. Popular’s desertion.

If you are my age or older you might remember these words from Paul Simon.

You Just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don't need to be coy, Roy
Just get yourself free
Hop on the bus, Gus
You don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free

Yes, I guess there are Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover

Patty and I are working hard on 21 years. And I have no plans of leaving her or letting her go out the back. Jack.

But as a pastor, I have seen and experienced many hurtful things.
I was there when Jack, slipped out the back.
I have seen Stan make a new plan.
I’ve heard Roy be coy along with Gus, discussing much in the church parking lot.
I’ve had Lee, trying to break free of his obligations at home and church, drop of his keys.

I’ve seen many start so strong, only to end up getting tripped up. See, there is more than one way to get tripped up, to stumble, and to get lost. Speaking of Luke 15, sheep wander--coins roll away--sons rebel. But do you know how to tell that a sheep is a sheep and not a goat? A goat is happy being lost, but a sheep is miserable.

If you’re miserable today—as you read this, if the only joy in your life is a dish-washing detergent, maybe you’ve left your first lover. Revelation 3 says the church at Ephesus left its first love. They did not lose it. They LEFT their lover.

Yes, there is at least Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover, probably more. But there is only one way to get back. The older son did the will of the Father. Won’t you ask Him to reveal His will to you today?

The Father stands on the front porch of heaven and cries out, “Come home, little one. And all will be well.”

Friday, September 23, 2011


I love little gadgets that have no real purpose other than being cool. (Or scary, as the case may be.)

Take for instance the Live World feature of my blog. Scroll down about half way and you should see a revolving globe on the left side.

It should be showing...YOU!

Where are you? Or at least, where is your Internet port connecting from?

Remember, I'm watching you. lol-out-loud!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Note To The NFL; Stop Whining And Start Working

The big controversy this week in football has been fake injuries. Fake hand-offs, fake punts, and fake field goals are a part of the game, but faking injury is actually dangerous. Here’s why, in my humble but actuate opinion.

The NFL will be forced into rule changes because of the practice of faking injury to stop the clock. So the most prevalent idea is to make the “injured” player set out the rest of the series or quarter. But this WILL lead to some players not reporting injuries or trying to cover them up so they won’t miss valuable playing time. Then they are more susceptible to further injury. The bottom line is, “If you want to score points by whining, join a European Soccer league!”

Whining has no place in football, and it has no place in the victorious Christian life either. Consider what Paul wrote to the church in Philippi:

But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

For years I’ve heard the above passage of Scripture used to justify telling people that they need to share the Gospel, no matter what their circumstances. That’s a great truth, just not the truth of Paul’s passage here. What Paul is telling us is that we need to stop asking God to change our situation or circumstances, and start praying that God would use the situation or circumstance that we are in to glorify Himself. If we will stop whining and start working, our faithfulness for Him during a crisis or down point in life will cause others to be strengthened and emboldened to fight the good fight.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Good News And Other Stuff


Revival has been wonderful! Great, great preaching and wonderful  music coupled with larger crowds each night have led me to call this one a success. Dearal Rodgers preaches tonight and I can’t-hardly-wait!

Baptism Sunday this morning. Between the revival and getting wet Sunday before I preach, we should have a great service this week. There is nothing finer than getting into that water. I really feel sorry for my Methodist brothers. A wet glove can’t conjure up that feeling.

Got some interesting news this week. You know—when we get down to nothing, God is up to something.

Got some interesting news this week, part deux. Happy and sad at the same time.

I just love being cryptic. More details soon.

New stuff up at sermon.net/beaverdam. The sermon player at the bottom MIGHT be working. It’s hit or miss.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

sermon player


I guess the sermon player below is having trouble again.

If it doesn't load, you can try the link below.



Mercy Drops From Heaven


Beaverdam Baptist Church has been holding Revival Services this week. We have heard some great preaching from Pastors Roy Broughman and Condy Richardson, and we are looking forward to Craigan Blankenship tonight and Dearal Rodgers tomorrow.

I preached Sunday morning from 2 Kings 4 about us being empty vessels that God could fill. We are blessed; but we still need the Lord. The man of God said to the widow that when one of the vessels got full, to set that vessel aside. The application is strong. When we get satisfied and are convinced that we have enough of God and are full of Him, then He sets us aside. Now I'm not questioning my Baptist heritage. I still believe in eternal security. I'm speaking about blessings not salvation.

The New Testament precedent would be the church at Laodicea. The church said, "We are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing." Also notice that Jesus stood outside the door of that church. So when we come and cry out to God for more of Him, guess what? We get blessed. Sometimes that comes in the form of a little mercy drop from God. Sometimes it is as simple as a greeting card sent in the mail, the words of a small child, a great sermon that hits home, or even in a voicemail left on a forgotten cell phone. You hear God speak to you through those things, and know that all is still right in the universe.

I am blessed. But I need You Lord. I need more of You. May I never get so satisfied with my stuff, that I get satisfied with You.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Luke The Evangelists

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!”

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

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, or 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, and 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 presence 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.”

Monday, September 12, 2011



Preached at The Gathering last night. We had a really good crowd, and all five churches were there, although Bethune Baptist's crowd was smaller. I'm sure it had to due to the fact there were several 9-11 events, including one in Bethune.

Hopefully I'll have some new stuff up at the Sermon.net site this week.

Meanwhile, the older stuff is still there if you haven't listened yet, check it out.


Friday, September 9, 2011



Just when things look the darkest, God send a little mercy drop of laughter to brighten your day.

Going into this weekend's game against SC, I needed this.

Thanks, Steveo.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Saved by The Bell


Last night Stacy Broughman led a class at the church she called Saved by The Bell. The youth and our youth leaders really enjoyed the talk. It centers on the rights students have in sharing their faith at public schools.

Stacy is the wife of Roy Broughman, pastor at Shamrock Baptist Church. If you are in or around Columbia/Camden SC area, I would suggest asking her to come and speak at your church.

The youth loved it...of course, it helps to have pizza and Little Debbies!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Quick Update


It's been an interesting few weeks. Here are some quick updates:

Passed 14k visitors about 2 weeks ago. Thanks again for bothering to read. Many, many folks are still reading the book review on Heaven Is For Real. Go figure.

Great couple of weeks at church. The Adversary is sniffing around BDBC again, but that's OK. It just means that God is moving also.

Start classes again this week. That break was waaaaay to short, but it's the price to pay for those two little letters. d. r. It's funny because there is no way I would ever want to be called anything but "Preacher" or just "Steve". The High Potentate, Doctor Reverend, Exalted Pastor Leigh is a little over the top. I didn't like "Brother Steve" in KY and didn't care much for "Preacher" when I moved here. But Preacher has grown on me. Especially when the kids call me that. "Hey Pweacher." "Good moaning, Pweacher." too cute. Or Maddie (5 years old), who like me loves Cracker Barrel brand cheese. I gave her some one day on a youth trip and now she always asks her mom for "Preacher Cheese." hmm, now that I think about it, I wonder if she wants extra sharp cheddar or more of my jokes.

Patty is pursuing her EdS, so add that to the Lupus, work, and mom duties. I am praying that she can handle it without getting too stressed.

Georgia football is back. Need I say more. The only thing more embarrassing than that game against Boise would be the Power Ranger uniforms. I am a traditionalist. I did/do like the black unies, for special occasion only, and the new helmets were tre' cool, but please Coach, never. ever. EVER! wear those red pajama pants again!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Second Greatest Steve Spurrier Joke Ever

Steve Spurrier comes into the locker room before practice and says to his star receiver, "You’re failing math. If you don’t want to become academically ineligible you’ll have to answer these math questions correctly."

The star receiver agrees and Spurrier asks him "What does 4 plus 4 equal?”
"Eleven” says the athlete. The rest of the team pleads, “
give him another chance! give him another chance!”

Spurrier then asks, "What does 2 plus 2 equal?" and the receiver says "Four". The rest of the team yells give him another chance! give him another chance!”

Go You Silver Britches!


4 days, 10 hours and thirty-five minutes!

How 'bout them dawgs!?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Why God Won’t Go Away

Atheism is certainly nothing new. In fact, many first century Christians were accused of being atheists because they stopped believing in the pantheistic system of many gods of their culture. The beginning of atheism being the main stream thought in Western Culture began as a philosophic outpouring of the industrial age. The so-called Modern man was too rational and too logical to be bogged down with the superstitious subjects of faith and religion. This full blown cultural shift was brought to bear populously by the Scopes “Monkey” trial and seen its culmination culturally in the ber logical Mr. Spock on TV’s Star Trek.

But a cultural shift only lasts so long before it begins to be overrun by the next philosophical upheaval. Modernity was rapidly replaced by post-modernism and the “end of reason” crowd soon told us that “what’s good for you is good for you, and what’s good for me is good for me.” Along with this came a renewed interest in all things spiritual. Not necessarily the religion of your grandparents, but absolutely not the stagnant, cold, unbelieving rationality of your parents either. Gen X began to seek after a new spirituality that was zen and created fung shui.

Coming out of this new postmodern, all things go, mentality, the clerics of atheism began a new atheistic movement, dubbed unoriginally as “New Atheism.”  Targeting not just the illogicality of religion, but taking a much nastier turn than the live and let live of old, new atheism pompously touts itself as the only kid on the block. Men such as Richard Dawkins (the scientist, not to be confused with Newkirk on Hogan’s Heroes), Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris do battle with the likes of Ravi Zacharias, Alister McGrath, and William Lane Craig, three of the brightest minds in Christian Apologetics.

McGrath’s Book, Why God Won’t Go Away, answers these critics from New Atheism and delivers a resounding blow to an anti-religion fad that is on its way to the junk piles of history. The book would be suitable for someone that is above average in their knowledge of apologetics, but it is really designed for the individual with an even higher understanding than that. Not recommended as casual reading or for the causal theologian…unless you’re suffering from insomnia. But for the pastor or serious Bible student, this would come as highly recommended.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Trust And Obey

An eighty year old man had never flown on an airplane. Finally, he worked up the courage to buy a ticket. He flew on a round trip to New York. When he got back his kids asked him how things went. He said, “Well, it was fine. But to tell you the truth, I never really put all my weight on it.”

Many of us do the same thing…spiritually. We claim that we place all of our confidence on God, but we never really put our full weight on Him. We find other things to put our trust in: money, relationships, stuff. Oh, here’s a good one. Many people place their trust in religion. They believe that religion can save them. I once asked a man if he was a Christian. He said, “I grew up in a Christian home.” I said, “Being born in a Christian home no more makes you a Christian than being born in a doughnut shop makes you a cop.” Religion doesn’t save us. Rituals and Rites don’t bring us closer to God,

So only place your trust in one thing. God Himself. Put the full weight of your confidence in the One that deserves your trust. David said, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” Amen David.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Help Wanted: A Witness

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 in the church parking lot about a fellow member.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Boise State And Underwhelming Football

So there has been much discussion about the UGA v Boise State game. No doubt BSU has a great team. I would never consider them overrated; I learned that lesson watching the Football Kick-Off Classic last year. (You know the old joke about a Hookie being a castrated rooster???) The problem that Boise State fans don’t seem to get is that their team may be good, but their competition is not. All this talk about a BCS Championship game appearance is way over the top. Let’s say for arguments sake that BSU defeats UGA. All we will hear from Boise fans will be how they beat a SEC team and how that validates their contention for a BCS birth. But they should not get ahead of themselves.

First of all, as a lifelong, died in the wool, red-blooded, silver britches wearing, Bulldawg fan; let me be the one who says that UGA is not a stand-out SEC team this year (or for the last several, honestly.) Defeating the Bulldogs would be a good notch in their belt, but considering the SEC East Champion Gamecocks were ranked sixth in the conference, beating UGA does not equal being considered a first tier team—or deserving a BCS Championship spot.

BSU fans, it’s time to come down to earth and do a reality check. Yes, your first and last game of the season is always against a high level team and you perform admirably. The reason is because you don’t have the grueling week in and week out schedule. I know you are tied to your conference and I applaud you for scheduling anyone and everyone that will play you. But when the season is over, you will have played no ranked teams. (Maybe one…if TCU is still ranked.) South Carolina will have played five, Georgia will have played five, Alabama will have played seven, Auburn seven, and LSU seven. When Alabama and LSU play each other BSU will play UNLV. When USC plays Auburn, BSU plays Nevada. When UGA plays UF, Boise will be in a bye week coming off Air Force. And when the SEC Championship game has the two best SEC teams knocking each other off again, Boise will be starting to prep for their January bowl game.

Sorry Boise. Playing two ranked teams does not qualify you to jump a one loss SEC, PAC 12, or Big Twelve team. It just doesn’t.

College Will Not Play Nation Anthem Due To Violent Content


C'mon man #6

So Goshen College has told us that they will no longer play the Nation Anthem at NCAA home games because the content is too violent. According to college president James E. Brenneman, the song is incongruent with the Mennonite philosophy of passivism, and therefore; they are switching to America the Beautiful instead.

C'mon man! part 1...

Major League baseball has long held that God Bless America could be played in lieu of the Star Spangled Banner. (Not to be confused with Lee Greenwood's God Bless the USA. Kate Smith's lyrics here.) So no prob with switching songs------but because it is TOO VIOLENT!?!?!?!!? Have you ever heard the last stanza of America the Beautiful?

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man's avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

Oh, yeah...the violent content that is so offensive to Mennonite ears??? "The rockets' red glare; the bombs bursting in air" I kid you not. Oh my lord, I need to duct tape my head before it explodes!

C'mon man! part 2

あなたが これを読み 取るこ とができな  い場合...その後アメリカ の暴力的な過去をあ りがとう!

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