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 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 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!