Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Does God turn His back on us?

Yes. He does.

If you have not heard, we are the owners of a beagle puppy named Button. We named her that because of the cute little spot she has on her head.  I have been trying to get this dog trained in many different ways, however  I have to wait on obedience class until she is at least six months old. Right now, I have submersed myself in a plethora of books on training dogs. I watch any TV show about dog training. I ask anybody who has a good dog on what they did to train their dog. Well, through my “extensive” research, I found out that if you turn your back on a dog that they will come to you. Yea, I was doing the opposite and it was not working. Well, it was working now because she is a puppy and I am stealth enough to catch her.  Since this dog came into our lives, we have adopted some new things. We go for walks with our beast. It has really been good to take walks with my kids and wife and just be family. No video games just us. One of the walks we take is to school. My wife is blessed to work at the same school that our kids attend. This morning, my daughter and I walked to school. My son has become to macho and decided the wet weather might mess up his new Nike Huarachas. Yea, we are at that stage with him so pray for us. At least, he is using deodorant without being told now.

                Anyway,  the dog got out without her leash this morning and walked across our yard to the neighbor’s yard to visit some of his canine compadres.  They are in a fence, but  they sniff and great each other.  Here we go: LET’S TEST THIS TURNING BACK THEORY.  I told my daughter to walk like we were headed to school and don’t look back and let us see what happens. We did and the pooch spotted us until she found and glorifying  new scent (gotta love beagles).  So we kept walking and she was still standing at this bush with a deep infatuation with this scent.  I directed my daughter to stop walking but keep our back turned to her.  We stayed there. I took glances. The next thing I saw was that adorable puppy sitting next to my daughter  wanting to know what we she was supposed to do.  IT WORKED.  I attempted a second time on the way home from school and IT WORKED AGAIN.

The Scriptures tells us that we can see the attributes of an invisible God by His visible creation.  I caught a glimpse in that today.  DOES GOD TURN HIS BACK ON US?  Yes, If he is leading , you will see his back. Does God turn his back on us being upset and angry? Yes, To show us where he is and we need to get back on course, except I see it as an act of grace instead of being upset and angry. If you are going to follow God, you are probably going to see “his back” more than his face. Moses did and His face shined so bright he had to put a veil. The Bible says to FOLLOW ME.  Are you following?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter: Window dressing or the right way?

I am just going to preface this has been interesting discussion I have had with people. So bring it on.

Imagine going to a restaurant that friends have told you about and have told you how wonderful it was. They tell you the best day to go is a week from now. So you get a chance to go with your spouse and walk into a beautiful eating establishment. You are immediately seated with no wait and the service is spectacular. The food and just the overall experience are nothing like you never had. You leave the restaurant already planning the next visit. You have scheduled to go the same time the next week. You walk into this establishment and they greet you and seat with very nice service again, but instead of fine china you dixie paper plates. The food is Ok but the ambiance is not the same and you walk away disappointed, because it did not meet up to your first visit expectations.

Is this what the church of America does with Easter? We have extra services because people are coming. We give gifts. We have radio promos. We bombard social media. We have extra choir specials. Why? Because people are coming on Easter and Christmas. Here is my question: Have we adapted Easter/Christmas people to be that way because the rest of our services are just a paper plate restaurant. Scoffers will say, "but it is resurrection Sunday!" Isn't every Sunday resurrection Sunday? The Book of Acts said the Christians in Antioch celebrated on the first day of the week because of the resurrection.

My point is why aren't we doing an "Easter" service every Sunday. Pastors will tell their congregations to give the first fruits (tithes) to the church, but we take one Sunday to put our best foot forward. Churches pray more, prepare more, practice more and give more than any other Sunday. Critics will say, "But more people are coming that Sunday!" And I say you are offering them a red carpet service with all the bells and whistles only for them to come back and get nothing like they got the first time.
Begin the name calling. Vote me out. I am not saying not give gifts or don't do the other publicity stuff for Easter, however what I am saying is doing for 52 weeks and then maybe our Easter/Christmas people might be 52ers.  If Easter is your best, then do it for the rest...of the year.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Andy Stanley is not the only one.

Andy is receiving lots of attention over part of his sermon where he talks about megachurches and small churches. If you want to know the exact quote then google it. You will get the videos and critics from both sides. I write this blog as a pastor in a small church in a  town in Alabama where the population growth is negative because kids are moving out and people are moving out. With all humility, I discipline myself to be true to the Scriptures and rightly divide the word of God. I am not writing to get on Andy Stanley. I am writing to say Andy said what the Southern Baptist leaders think. No, it is not about the size of the youth group and splitting between the high school and middle school. It is far deeper than that. I used to go to my state convention every year and see the plaques awarded to the churches for highest Cooperative Program giving. How about the back page of your State paper with the churches with greatest number of baptisms? I would sink in my church feeling helpless, because I am trying to pay the light bill. See,  Andy said what others think.
    First, Andy said what other think when it comes to Cooperative Program. I am fairly young and I still believe in the Cooperative Program. However, it is the Cooperative Program and Coercion Program. What do I mean by those harsh words? You crush my spirit when I am doing every thing I can to keep the lights on, to spend some money for local evangelism, and (yes, Andy) maybe even hire a part time youth minister. See, most of your small church pastors would love to give  10% or more to cooperative program, but I can't. No, salaries aren't out of whack. We got new thermostat to keep power cost  down. I am trying  to be obedient to what God is telling me to do with my small church and being good stewards with funds. I would love to be part of denomination life, but I can't get on the board because my CP giving is not where some figure man thinks it should be.
  Secondly, Andy said what others think when it comes to highlighting the denomination's finest. Jeremiah never led anyone to repentance. He cried and whined, but he was a prophet of God. Jeremiah, if he pastored a SBC church would never be asked to preach at a conference or convention and would possibly  be shunned and talked about because he is not doing some thing right. The problem is Jeremiah is right. He is right with what God called him to do. Why am I shunned because I preach the word of God and nobody comes to make some emotional decision? Why am I shunned because I don't think using confetti and a fire truck baptism pool for kids is what God wanted us to do? Obedience to the place God called me and to preach what God told me to preach is number one priority. I am tired. I am tired of struggling for "success" that my leaders have set up. I struggle because at times I feel alone. I hurt because I preach faithfully, love my sheep I shepherd and some LIFEWAY nerd tells me that I don't know what I am doing because he has studied the data. I need an embrace for the small town pastor from our Southern Baptist denomination. Embrace the guy who is not going to lead in baptisms but faithfully pastors and disciples his sheep. Embrace the pastor who tries to give to cooperative program but is trying to keep the lights on. Embrace the pastor who sticks to the Bible and not gimmicks. Embrace and edify him
Thirdly, Andy said what others think when it comes to jacked up theology. My job as pastor and father is not to make church fun. It is to bring people to connection with God through Jesus Christ. Some times that is not fun. Ask our Chinese brethren. Yes, God brings me peace and joy, however that comes at times when our circumstances may not be fun. I love small groups. I love fellowship. I love God. I can do that at my small church and the kids don't hate church. The thrust of church was never to make my kids happy but to refueled with a body of believers. Some of the greatest moments of faith building in my Christian walk has not been with my peers, but in the small church covered dish meal talking to people older and younger than me. I remember in seminary when I got in trouble for telling the professor of my church evangelism class he was wrong. The professor said we will never reach people in heterogeneous groups. I have been reached by people different than me. I have been fueled by people different than me.  Why? Because the Holy Spirit is great and God is powerful.  Philip should have never talked to that Ethiopian eunuch about Scripture. He should have told him to go find a small group of eunuchs.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Day 1 of Dropping my fat belly.

Day 1

This morning started with at 5:15 workout. The workout was tough and I LOVED IT. Hmm. How do I put this? When I have a good workout, nature calls quickly. That happened it was great.


Two pieces of bacon, one egg and water.

 Well I had a bowl full of sea salted almonds with me but lunch was early. I never got to the almonds

Ugh! Today my baby girl graduated from kindergarten. The rule is we go to each lunch where they want to. She had decided on Logans Steakhouse. Oh yea. I had planned and researched and was going to dive in some chicken and salad. Wrong answer. That precious angel decided to go to Japanese Steakhouse. Yeah I blew it. I had water and hot tea. However, that savory, creamy, Yum Yum Sauce is the bomb diggity. I ate only half of my meal , but I did not do well with yum yum sauce.

Wood cutting and Surprise

I have a friend and we cut firewood. One of our neighbors had a tree 44 inches in diameter to fall and we have been cutting on this tree for several weeks when we have time to. It is great exercise to load and split wood. The surprise? There is a field near this tree and I saw some thing moving. Curiosity will kill me one day. I investigated and saw blackberries everywhere. So I had organic, healthy, wild, sweet blackberries for snack. Delish! ( Love Rachel Ray)


The wife says we are grazing on some yogurt and fruit since we bombed at lunch. Tomorrow is a new day and there will be setbacks but I am pressing on. OH YEAH! Victory was no sweet tea or any soft drink today. Booyah.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

My Fat LOSS journey

Here goes nothing. I am posting this for accountability and I want to see the journey. The journey is losing weight.
 Current stats:
 Male Height :6'0"
 Weight: 299.8 lbs
Pant size 42
That is me on the left with blue stripped shirt. I have large belly. This picture accentuates a whole lot more because I was doing the sorority girl snap back with front foot turned in. Yeah, it doesn't make me look smaller. Silly girls.
 Plan: Well I have read 3 diet/ workout books in the past week. So I am going with this morphed version I have concocted. 
The WORKOUT: (Mainly the ABS DIET workout)
 Monday, Wednesday, Fridays- Circuit weight training of whole body with four exercises for ABS for one circuit. (I am member of Snapfitness.)
Tuesday and Thursday- Cardio for 30 minutes. My cardio will be cycling. I have a roadie and love it.
Saturdays- AB training with a Hight Interval Training
Sundays- Chillax with Jesus.
 DIET: I have read the GRAIN BRAIN. It is an incredible read. My plan is 3 meals with 3 snacks consisting of nuts, vegetables, protein and fruit. I like the Paleo diet but I love dairy so I am going with yogurt and cheese. I have read some orthomolecular articles on the greatness of Calcium in your diet. Well that is the plan.
 My Goals:
6 weeks: 20 pounds I am preaching the wedding of the dude in the middle of the picturewith me. The preacher has got to be looking for the wedding. (FYI: The gorgeous woman in the pic is my beautiful wife. I love her and she is seven years younger than me. I am doing this because I want to be around for her and my two kids. Plus, I do not want her to get my life insurance money.) 
3 month: 45 pounds
 Christmas: 75 pounds
 5/17/2016: 100 lbs It is my 25th high school reunion next year and I hope to make the ladies in my class jealous for not taking me up on those dates. Here is to the journey beginning....PRAY!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Starting Over!

Well, I have commitments and dreams of doing great things in this life for the Lord. There is some thing inside of me that wants to write a book. Well, I believe I am not ready for that and need to take "baby steps" to get there. After talking with a college roommate during Christmas break, he inquired why I did not blog anymore. I had almost forgot that I had a blog. I have blog. I have blog which needs to be used for the Lord's glory. I some times get sidetracked with political and issues. These issues do have their place. However, I feel for the sake of the blog I will keep to the truth and the truth will set us free. I hope your challenged and encouraged. Til another day. Keep carrying the cross.