Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Under New Management


"Under New Management" How many times have we seen that phrase outside of a business. It is supposed to give assurance that things are different. That they are moving in a new direction. That this “new” management can bring about needed changes to an image, or poor customer service, or faulty products, or a bad reputation. The problem is, many times theses changes do not take place. The reasoning for this is simple—while the manager may be new, the practices and procedures stay the same.

I know a little about procedures. OK. So, I know a lot about policies and procedures. It comes with the territory of being a Quality Manager. QA is all about the acronym. CA, ISO, IPA, EPA, ASQ, ANZI. You name it, we'll acronym it. Procedures and Policies are our life blood. (Not so much with pastors! Ask any financial secretary, treasurer, or organist that has ever worked for me!) The problem is, many "new" managers promise change, but never change the old habits, or...you guessed it...pro-see-jurssss.

The same can be said for our Christian walk. After all, isn’t that what we did when we were baptized? Didn't we give the controlling interest in our lives to a new manager? Of course, the answer is yes. Listen to how Paul put this to the Believers in Rome,
When we were baptized, we were buried with Christ and shared his death. So, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the wonderful power of the Father, we also can live a new life.
Romans 6:4 (NCV)

Do you see that? When we were baptized, we entered into a "new life" under "new management." That new manager is the Holy Spirit. It is like we hung a sign around our neck that said “under new management.”

For some of us that sign is new. It is as fresh as a baby-in-a-birthing-center. For others of us, the sign has aged. It has been quite sometime since the water was disturbed beneath our baptism. In either case, as we start the new year, let’s get the sign out and polish it up. Proudly display the fact that we are no longer our own. That we are under the control of the greatest manager to ever live. Really, the question on the floor is, “Have the practices and procedures in your life changed in a way that others can see that you are under new management?” I hope so.

Blessings to you in this new year. May 2011 be full of the blessings that God has in mind for you.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Today Is My Birthday

Today I turned 43. I think. I'd have to ask Patty to know for sure.
Let's see...2011-1968????? Yeah, 43! You think I'm joking? No. I have to add it up every time. (Or subtract it down???) Anyway, today is my birthday.

The Jehovah's Witnesses don't celebrate birthday's because every time a birthday is mentioned in Scripture, something bad happens.

Herod's birthday? John the Baptist goes headless.

Job's son's birthday? A tornadoes kills the entire family.

Jesus' birthday? All the children of Bethlehem slaughtered.

And so it goes.

We DO celebrate birthdays. So Happy Birthday, to me.

Anyway, I came across a website that offers a Bible verse for your special day.

Mine is James 1:17

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (NIV)

Check it out here and when it's your turn, Have A Very Happy Birthday!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Today Was A Little Different

I just preached my twentieth funeral since arriving at Beaverdam in December of 2008. To put that in perspective, I've--maybe--preached twenty funerals in the previous eighteen years I've been in ministry. Today was a little different.

I'm usually not overly emotional; pastors must be somewhat desensitized so that we can be objective, rational, and consoling during times of loss. But, today was a little different .

The funeral was for a gentleman I did not know as well. I know the family very well, but I'd only spoken with him a few times. Like I said, Today was a little different .

He was young. 47. Massive heart attack in his sleep. He left a wife and a four year old. When the service was over, doing what we Baptist do, I hugged the wife around the neck and whispered some words of encouragement. Next was the 4 year old. Today was a little different.

I hugged him and told him that I loved him and that it was going to be alright. That Psalm 68 says that the God of heaven is a Father to the fatherless. Then he grabbed me around the neck, squeezed as hard as he could, and starting sobbing. And so did I.

Today was a little different.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I love it when it snows in Dixie!

So we ended up with a little over 6". Total white out conditions! The town has been shut down for a week now. No school until Tuesday (Monday was already a holiday) so the kids will have missed five days that have to be made up. Bye-Bye Good Friday.

Ahhh...Life in the South.

Our dog Dixie. She had to leap out of the snow with every step.

Snowball fight! Well----snowdust fight. This was some dry snow...hmmm...is that an oxymoron? Anyway, it was powdery.

Yeah, it's all fun and games until someone gets snowdust in their eyes!

of course, retribution always makes things better. And snow down the collar works too.

What's retribution?

Hey! My hands are frozen together!

And, naturally, there's the one wacko that thinks it's a lovely day from a drive! (Double click the picture and notice how close they are to running over my phone box. At this point you couldn't even see the road.)

Ok, to recap. We had 6" of snow followed by 1/4" of freezing rain. The temps then plummeted to the upper teens. The ice covered snow solidified into tundra Alaska would be proud of, and has hung around in the shaded areas despite a recent 35* heat wave. Our county has no salt and only one truck with a plow, the one they use to scrape the dirt roads biannually. Yes, WE still have dirt roads. They're actually kinda sandy...but I digress. The town's been shut down for five days and counting and the kids are begging to go BACK to school.

I love it when it snows in Dixie!

Blessings, Y'all!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Heaven is for Real--a review

I am quite skeptical, so it was with great caution indeed that I agreed to review Heaven is For Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back. I wasn't sure what to expect, and am still not sure how much of it I believe--which is why it has taken me so long to write this review.

The book is well-written and reads quite easily. I don't want to doubt the tales of little Colton Burpo because, quite frankly, we all want to know more about Heaven. I also do believe that God uses children to speak to adults.

I would recommend this book, but would say that everyone should decide for themselves how they feel about it. I have thought about it off and on for months, and am still not quite sure how I feel!

This book was provided by Thomas Nelson

The Great Blizzard of '11

To all my Yankee friends...remember that I live in SOUTH Carolina!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4" and still falling in buckets

The church

The House



Road ways become hazardous in the South with a 1/2 inch. 5" can be deadly!

We stay home when the snow falls. A pot of chili, a couple of good movies, and a warm blanket snuggled on the couch with my honey-bunch. (Perhaps a nap later. Snow IS nap weather.)

Blessings everybody!