Greener grass or artificial turf

Some people go through life trying to find a reason why they’re not successful where they are. They feel like the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. It may look greener, but it is usually artificial turf! God’s greenest grass is right where you are standing. Produce where you are planted!

For years, I went to Larry Brown at Kut Above to get my hair cut. I was always fascinated by a sign that he had right in front of the barber’s chair. In the center was a picture of him and his grandchildren. The plaque was a quote from George Moore which said, “A man travels the world over in search of what he needs – and returns home to find it.”

5 years ago, I was in Zurich, Switzerland, with some other pastors working with the Billion Soul Initiative. We’d spent a couple of days making strategic plans to carry out Dr. Bill Bright’s goal of starting 5 million churches and winning 1 billion people to Christ. When we finished our meeting, a couple of Pastors from the U.S. said that we ought to go and visit Ulrich Zwingly’s church. One person, who claimed to be an expert on church history, said that it was in Lucerne, which was about an hour away by train.

I responded that I would not be able to go because my plane would be leaving in a couple of hours. They had more time, so they caught the train and went to Lucerne. On my way to the airport, I asked the cab driver about Ulrich Zwingly’s church, and the driver told me that it was one block from where he picked me up! I asked him if he was sure, and he told me that he’d lived there all of his life, had been to the church, and he was certain.

My friends spent several hours of valuable time going to look for a famous church, and they were standing one block away from it all the time!

I remember hearing a great story about a farmer who got tired of the hard work on the farm and wanted to go find his fortune. He sold his farm and set out to search for diamonds. He spent his life going to different parts of the world, but never did find any diamonds. He returned to his hometown and went back to see his old farm. He was shocked to see that the man who had bought the farm had discovered one of the largest and most valuable collections of diamonds right in his own backyard! The farmer had swapped green grass for artificial turf!

In Luke 15, Jesus told about a boy who wanted greener pastures. He got his inheritance, went to a new pasture, wasted all he had, and wound up in a pigpen. His greener pasture was artificial turf!

One of the most beautiful verses of scripture is Luke 15:17, “He came to himself.” The Greek translation literally means he “woke up” and started thinking correctly. He decided to go home where his father gladly received him and threw a big party for him. God still gives wake-up calls today!

It’s easy to think that things could be better if we were elsewhere. God might be saying to us – “think correctly – come to yourself – realize that I put you where you are for a certain reason, and your greatest joy and happiness always occurs where I put you. You are standing in green grass! Bloom where you’re planted.”

God’s grass is never artificial turf, but always greenest where He puts us!!

I Know exactly who will be our next president

It’s no secret. And fairly obvious if you think about it. A Democrat? Joe Biden? A Republican? Donald Trump? A woman? A dark horse Independent?

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Giving or Getting

Doris Buffett was the older sister of Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world. Warren announced in 2006 that he wanted to donate most of his $77 billion fortune before he died. Doris volunteered to sift through all of the requests and to make recommendations to her brother.

Doris was interested in helping people who really needed it, such as paying for dentures, wheelchairs, automobile repairs, etc. She did give money to some big organizations that do things like aid victims of domestic violence, improve the lives of the mentally ill, educate prisoners, etc. Doris also gave away $200 billion dollars of her own wealth. She said, “The plan is for my last check to bounce.”

She didn’t want to just give to things like the symphony, opera, and ballet. She wanted to give to ordinary people. She would also advise recipients how they could make extra money, use what they had more effectively, etc.

She said she wanted her epitaph on her grave to read, “She made a difference.” When questioned about it, she explained, “Unless you do, why were you here?”

Giving is a life or death matter. Consider two bodies of water in the Holy Land. One is the Sea of Galilee. The other is the Dead Sea. Both of them receive their water from the same source. But each body of water produces drastically different results.

The Sea of Galilee is surrounded by luscious green grass and trees and has many fish living within it. Its water is very pure. It also is used to fertilize the fields around it to produce fruit. The Sea of Galilee doesn’t keep the water it receives but has an outlet to send the water forward. The Sea of Galilee produces life!

The Dead Sea has nothing living in it or around it. It is so salty that you can literally float in it. I’ve done that! It has no outlet. It keeps the water for itself and therefore becomes impure. It produces death.

Getting without giving can turn life into death. It’s more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35) I’ve had many funerals during my 60 years of ministry. In the funeral procession, the minister’s car is always placed just behind the hearse carrying the body to the gravesite. I’ve never seen a U-Haul hooked up to the back of the hearse because somebody wanted to “carry it with them.” Read Psalm 49:14-17.

We need to be careful about which groups we give to so we can be certain that our gift is used for its intended purposes. I’m reminded that the people who emphasize that “you can’t take it with you” might be trying to “take it with them!”

Billy Graham started an organization called ECFA – Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. They have stringent requirements for membership, but it helps to ensure donors that their gifts will be used in accordance with the purpose of the organization. Joining ECFA was the first thing we did when the John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries was established. I advise all nonprofit ministries and religious groups to join it.

Doris Buffett died this year. Let’s learn her legacy lesson on giving!

Politics and Religion

Hospital pause

Last week I spent three days in the hospital dealing with some painful bladder and prostate issues. So I’m playing catch up this week with posts I had planned for last week.

Character

My friends over at Webster’s Dictionary define character as doing the right thing when no one is looking. Character, they say, is the way you treat people who can do nothing for you.

My dear friend Richard Sudderth was a brilliant, shining example of someone who had more character in his little finger than I have in my whole body.

Richard went home to be with Jesus on Tuesday. He passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was 95.

Richard was among the very first friends I met when my church, One Heart, merged with First Baptist Norcross seven years ago. We struck up a close friendship right away. We both were an active part of the Saturday morning small group men’s Bible study until it became too much of a struggle for him to make it by 8 a.m. on Saturdays. Richard was also a member in good standing of the older mens’ Bible study on Sundays.

I never heard Richard utter a negative word or comment about another human being EVER! He ALWAYS found a way to say something positive or encouraging in every situation.

Richard and I enjoyed some wonderful fellowship and friendship around his kitchen table. He would invite me over or I’d stop by and we’d gab over big bowls of ice cream and A & W root beer (the only brand he’d allow in the house).

On more than one occasion after church on Sunday Richard would invite me and Marie and our daughter Lois and our two granddaughters out for dinner. The dinner was always a time of great fun and laughter. Richard enjoyed it because he got to shoot spit balls through his straw at our granddaughters while we ate. He still had a big kid inside himself into his 90’s.

I cried when I got word of his death. I’m choking up tears as I write this now. I will miss everything about my dear friend. But he has left an indelible mark of his integrity, his sense of humor, and his shining character on me. I can only hope and pray that my family and friends remember me with one one/hundredth of the character Richard showed me.

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Southern Comfort

In the South we’re big on comfort. Especially some of the things we call comfort food. We like to take our time at the dinner table and enjoy our comfort food.

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Sweet tea and Jesus

(Editor’s note) I wrote Sweet Tea and Jesus several years ago. It remains one of my readers’ most liked posts.

Folks who live outside the Deep South don’t understand Sweet Tea. If you go to most restaurants or truck stops north of the Tennessee line and ask if they have Sweet Tea, they’ll say, “Sure, sugar’s on the table.” (That means, “No.  We don’t have sweet tea. Sugar’s on the table.”)

When you make real Sweet Tea, first dump two cups of sugar into a pitcher. Bring a half gallon of water to a boil. When it boils put in three family-sized tea bags. Leave it alone for five or six minutes. Remove the tea bags and bring the tea to a boil. Pour the tea into the pitcher and stir it until the sugar melts. Fill the pitcher half way with ice and stir until the ice melts. Then fill the pitcher with cold water. Stir until blended.

Something real scientific happens when you make Sweet Tea. When the sugar dissolves in the tea, you no longer have sugar and tea, you have Sweet Tea. It is a different mixture. Two separate ingredients mix together to form a new substance. It’s no longer sugar, and no longer tea. It’s Sweet Tea. The sugar won’t settle on the bottom of the pitcher, because it’s not sugar any more. The liquid will always be Sweet Tea to the last sweet drop in the pitcher.

The Bible teaches us that’s the same thing that happens when we accept Jesus Christ as Savior and invite Him into our hearts. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man (water) be in Christ, (sugar) he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (Sweet Tea).

As born again believers we are now spiritually in Christ, and will be forever. God has already guaranteed our position in Christ for eternity.  Ephesians 2:5-6 proclaims, “even when we were dead in our transgressions (God) made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

As a new creation in Christ, He wants to live His life in us, through us and as us to bring glory to God. As part of our true identity we are in Christ and Christ is in us. We’re new creations.

The next time you drink a big glass of Sweet Tea, think about being a new creation with Christ living in you and you in Christ. And for all you Yankees, I hope y’all get to visit us down here one day and savor a tall cool glass of this delicious nectar us Southern folks call Sweet Tea. Y’all will just love it.

A little goes a long way

One of Jesus’ most amazing miracles was the feeding of the 5,000. And he did it with five loaves and two fishes. Mathematically speaking that makes no sense at all–except that Jesus knew a principle his Father taught him. With God a little goes a long way.

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Right into the storm

One of Jesus’ most memorable miracles occured when The Savior fed 5,000 men and their women and children in a remote location as night was approaching. From Mark 6; Matthew 14:13-21;, Mark 6:31-44;

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Leftovers

My all-time favorite meal growing up was my mom’s leftover hash from her pot roast.

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How big is your but?

In his book, The Rest of the Gospel, author Dan Stone writes a chapter called, “The Holy But”¹. Stone writes that the Holy But originated in the Garden of Gasthemene,

“Going a little farther, he (Jesus) fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, ΒUT as You will.’ ” (Matthew 26:39)

Jesus was suffering and grieving about what He was about to do. His circumstances led Him to the cross to die a painful, bloody, lonely death. In spite of the horrible agony He suffered, Jesus lived behind the Holy But. “Yet not my will BUT Yours be done.” Jesus put His life in the hands of His Heavenly Father. He focused on His Father, not His circumstances. Jesus chose God’s will over His own.

Stone says we all live behind our buts.

For example,

  • “I like our pastor, but he’s too long-winded.”
  • “I’d volunteer in the nursery, but Sunday’s my only day off.”
  • “Our atheist neighbors are facing a crisis, but I’m afraid to talk to him about Jesus.”
  • “We’d like to tithe, but we barely make enough to pay the bills.”

Do we know some Christians with big buts like these?

  • “I know Jesus loves me, but you don’t know what I’ve done.”
  • “The Bible says Jesus freed me from sin, but I still sin.”
  • “I believe in Jesus, but church people are hypocrites.”
  • “I know I need to forgive my dad for abandoning us, but I just can’t.”
  • “I know I need to pray more, but I just don’t have the time.”
  • “The Bible tells me God accepts me completely, but I don’t feel accepted.”
  • “God’s grace may work for some people, but not for me.”

The Apostle Paul lived after his but as well. In 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 Paul says,

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 48-9

Paul faced dreadful, seemingly hopeless circumstances, but he chose to live behind his buts and above beyone his circumstances.

Later in that chapter, Paul writes,

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  Vs 16-18

Paul put the trouble in front of his buts and put God, or God’s perspective, after the but. He was still afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down. But, his perspective and his focus was on God and what God could do.

God’s word teaches us we are totally loved, totally accepted, children of the eternal God? Let’s start putting our circumstances before our “buts” and our faith (and God’s truth about us) behind them.

If we know who we are in Christ, isn’t it time we get off our big but?

1The Rest of the Gospel, Dan Stone, One Press, Dallas, Texas <&copy;> 2000

The “D” word

We don’t like to think about it. We don’t like to talk about it. We don’t know when it will visit us.

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If I could. . .

comparison trap

If I could ever have . . .
If I could ever do . . .
If I could ever marry . . .
If I could ever own . . .
If I could ever accomplish . . .
If I could ever be . . .
If I could ever make . . .
If I could ever get his/her approval

then . . . maybe then . . .enough people . . .or that one person. . . would begin to look at me and say, “You know, you’re alright.”

And if they say that about me, then . . .maybe . . .just maybe . . .I’ll begin to feel “okay” about myself and it will fix whatever it is inside of me that’s broken.

Is this about anybody else out there besides me? Do we sometimes look around at other people and what they have and what they do and how much money they have to make us feel better about ourselves?  Do we sometimes compare our lives to others?

We all do it in some season in our lives. At our core, when we compare ourselves to others to make us feel alright about ourselves, it’s called envy.  Solomon, the wisest man in the world said this:

Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. Ecclesiastes 4:4

If we believe Solomon, then every work of ours, every  job, every service, every use of our skills and talents is motivated by envy.
And it’s all worth nothing–like striving after wind.

Envy rots the bones.

There is no win comparing ourselves to those around us.

Never call a sweet hot drink at Christmas time hot cocoa

That’s like asking for a mustard when you want a hotdog, Mustard is an ingredient on a hotdog. Cocoa is an ingredient of hot chocolate. The drink is ALWAYS referred to as hot chocolate. Never hot cocoa. If you were to drink a cup of cocoa it would make you gag. You would spit it out. It is bitter. It tastes like dust.

The thing about corn

I grew up in Shenandoah, a small farming town in Southwest Iowa,

35 miles from Nebraska and 13 miles from Missouri. Corn is the primary agricultural crop in the state.

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Our afflictions

I have refined you, though not as silver;
    I have tested you in the furnace of affliction
. Isaiah 48:10

Raise your hand if you like afflictions

Nobody. Right? Well guess what? Afflictions are good for us. So are trials and tribulations and struggles. Before you click off my blog and tell me I’m crazy. . .

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Losing it all

What do you do, where do you go, how do you find solace and comfort when you lose something or someone you really love?

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What if . . .

. . .the stock market crashed?

. . . your 401k lost ALL its value?

. . .grocery stores ran out of food and closed?

‘ ‘ ‘they cancelled Dancing With The Stars?

. . .the Covid 19 virus didn’t end?

. . .anarchists shut down the government?

. . .every member of your family, except you, died in a tragic accident?

. . .your business collapsed and you had to declare bankruptcy?

. . .the Russians invaded the U.S.?

. . .two/thirds of the U.S. population died in a single day from a nuclear poison gas bomb?

. . .some or all of the things above came true?

What would you do?

Is any of the stuff above so far-fetched?

The main thing

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!

If you’re anything like me lots of times we get distracted by things we consider real important. For instance every Saturday in the Fall you’ll find me parked in front of the TV from noon till well into the night watching college football ( the SEC and of course Alabama). For several hours I slip into an activity that becomes the main thing in my life.

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Hello, my name is . . .

It’s so important for every person to return the Census information so that they are counted. Your name counts! It’s important for you, for our state, and our nation.

A census worker came to an unpretentious house. When he knocked on the door, he was greeted by a weary mother. He said, “Lady, I want to know how many there are in this family. How many children do you have?” 

“Well…” she said in a leisurely fashion, “there’s Johnny, and Mary, and Charles, and…”

“No, no, no,” interrupted the census taker impatiently. “I don’t want to know their names, just the number.”

The lady replied indignantly, “They ain’t got numbers. They all got names!”

A name is so important. Everybody gets one. Last year, American babies were given 1,100 brand new names that hadn’t appeared in data before. There were a lot of unique names given. On March 27, 2020, a couple in India gave birth to twins – a boy and a girl. They named them “Corona” and “Covid.” Now, those are names that nobody will forget.

Billionaire Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk and his girlfriend, electronic musician Grimes, have a newborn son. While they weren’t sure the name would be accepted by California officials (and I understand it was not), they named him X Æ A-12. One new mother said that she would name her new infant MNLEFXZP, in honor of his father. When asked if the baby’s father was Polish, the mother replied, “No, he’s an optometrist!” Remember Johnny Cash’s hit song – “A Boy Named Sue?”

Some interesting names have popped up in politics. Recently, the Democratic representative, Paul Ruiz, of CA was challenged by Republican Paul Ruiz. Same name – the Republican Ruiz brags that he is 57, which is 10 years his opponent’s senior, and he had the name first.

Recently, in Arizona, a congressional candidate changed his name to Cesar Chavez in order to appeal to Hispanic voters. He was formerly known as Scott Firstler, but he had lost two previous elections as a Republican. He changed his name and his political party. The candidate said he wanted “a name people can feel comfortable with.”

Today’s culture can create challenges with names. A New Jersey woman’s name is Alexa Seary. That sounds just like the two most popular virtual assistants – Amazon Echo’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. She’s 21 years old and claims that coworkers order her around as if she was a soulless machine. She’s tired of hearing “Siri, do this. Siri, do that. Alexa, get this.”

Covid, Inc. is a successful Arizona-based manufacturer of audiovisual cables.  When the World Health Organization named this coronavirus COVID-19, it greatly affected that business.

We had no choice in the name we received. We have every choice in what it comes to mean. “A good name is more important than riches” (Prov. 22:1) We should protect our name. A name is something that we pass on to our children. We need to be very careful to protect the reputation of our name.

I am blessed that so many people in my family in the past made the name Mathison a good name. It was always known in communities as the names of people who were God-fearing, honest, excellent citizens, and church members, and people who had a positive influence. I’m blessed to have that name.

The most important thing is that my name “is in the Book of Life.” (Phil 4:3)

Starry starry night

I live outside Atlanta. We live with an abundance of light pollution. So much so that we can only see a handful of stars in our sky most nights.

But if you lived in Death Valley California, one of the darkest cities in the U.S., your night sky will resemble the picture above, because Death Valley has virtually no light pollution. Behind the stars in the picture are billions more stars even further out in the universe that we can’t see..

Our sun is like a star. It is a paltry 93 million miles from earth. The nearest star to earth is Alpha Centauri. It is 4.3 million light years from Earth. Light travel at a rate of approximately 186,000 miles a second. Light travels about 5.8 trillion miles in one earth year. Do the math.

This picture is from the Whirlpool galaxy. It is 31million light years away.

To me it is God’s reminder to us that Christ is all and in all. He gave his life to give us His life.

I imagine that the white shading around the cross is more space, more universe, more stars, more creation beyond what we can’t see or imagine–more of God continuing to create His universe for us.

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Spiritual blessings

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Ephesians 1:3

We have a universally accepted funny saying here in the South. It goes like this: “You can say anything you want, good or bad, about anyone and it will be alright as long as you follow it up by saying, “Bless his/her heart.”

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Idols

My wife had one of her keen observations the other day during one our frequent discussions about the pandemic and the state of our nation. “What if God is working in this pandemic to tear down our idols?”

“What a thought,” I said. I suppose that may be what’s going on,” I said.

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A bright light in History

Are you aware of the important place that the Bible played in the early history of our nation? What influence does the Bible have today in governing our personal lives and governmental practices?

The Continental Congress was closely related to the American Bible Society. Elias Boudinot was the president of the Continental Congress in 1782 and the first president of the American Bible Society.

Our sixth U.S. President, John Quincy Adams, also had a role in the American Bible Society. On April 27, 1837, Adams wrote, “The highest, the transcendent glory of the American Revolution was this—it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the precepts of Christianity.” The author of our National Anthem, Francis Scott Key, was the vice president of the American Bible Society from 1817 until his death in 1843. It has been reported that the Continental Congress purchased 2,000 copies of the Bible from the American Bible Society for the people of this nation.

On September 19, 1796, George Washington indicated the impossibility of trying to govern the world without God and the Bible. He said, “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

One of the most influential educational tools was they Readere McGuffey Reader, written by William Holmes McGuffey. Public schools used it for over 100 years. It sold over one million copies each year. President Lincoln called him, “the Schoolmaster to the Nation.” McGuffey said, “From no source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred scriptures. From all these extracts from the Bible I make no apology.”

In 1782, the Congress authorized the first American printing of an English language Bible in the U.S. In response to a lawsuit in 1844 involving the teaching of the Bible in a school, the Supreme Court ruled, “Why should not the Bible and especially the New Testament…be read and taught as a divine revelation in the school? Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?”   

Do you remember singing a little song as a child, “The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me! I stand alone on the word of God, the B-I-B-L-E!” Could there be more wisdom in that verse of that childhood song than the advanced degrees of education that we are issuing today?Discuss with your friends, family, coworkers, these questions: 

1.) Are we smarter than our forefathers? 

2.) Has the Bible changed or have we changed?

3.) What place do you think the Bible should play in our political and educational system today?

4.) What are some things our 116th Congress today could learn from the leaders of the Continental Congress?

How bright is the light for your path today? (Psalm 119:105)

Without Love

The Doobie Brothers recorded a song in 1973 called “Long Train Runnin”. One of the lyrics in the song is “Without Love, where would you be right now?” Think of all the things, places and people in our lives to which we ascribe love.

That lyric begs the question, “Without love where would we be right now?

Imagine for a moment marriages without love. Think of all the people places and things to which we ascribe some form of what we believe is love.

I love my wife with compassionate, unconditional devoted love. I love my children. I love to listen to Gospel music. I love rock and roll. I love fried chicken and corn on the cob.

I love pizza, I love chicken salad. I love to watch college football, I love our church family, I love chocolate. I could go and on about the things in my life to which I attach the emotion of love.

It is a worldly misconception that love means different things to different people.

ALL love of every kind, for any person, place or thing comes from God in the person of Jesus Christ. There is no other source. There is no other definition or meaning.

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

James 1:17

God is the creator and source for all love.

THE Way

Jesus proclaimed in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes t0 the Father except through me.”

He didn’t say, “I am a way.” He didn’t say, “I am the best way.” He didn’t say, Why don’t you try my way and see if you like it”

Heo said, “I am THE way. Period. Do not pass go and collect $two hundred dollars. He is the ONLY way.

I know folks, I have family members and friends who say there’s several ways to get to heaven. They can’t explain what they are, but they are sure there are some.

I have a close relative who asks me,”What about Buddhists and Muslims and harry krishnans” This is a popular secular defense against hearing or believing the Gospel or admitting that Jesus is the only way. When I hear this defense I respond with a question, “What about them?” They change the subject. They don’t offer any defense for their supposition.

The bottom line is: Jesus said it and He is truth. So I’m going to go with Jesus. Some day soon it will all be over. And we’ll find out whether the world was right and there are lots of ways to get to heaven; or Jesus is right and, like He says He is the one and only way to spend eternity with him and the Father in heaven.

I’ll choose Jesus every time. How about you?

Happy Dependence Day

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The world’s No’s

“You’ll never be a writer?” “They won’t hire you.” “”That house is too expensive.” “You’re a woman.” “They can’t do that.” “It can’t last.” “No! That’s impossible.” “We just don’t have the right people.”

“So the LORD must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion.


“But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)e.

For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.” Isaiah 30:18 (NLT)

We don’t like to hear NO! It means we’re not going to get our way. It can mean we feel rejection. It can hurt. It can mean we made a mistake or a bad decision. “No” is usually negative in our lives. And sometimes during our waiting process God must say, “No.” We may not be ready to receive his blessing. It may be because God has to prune us more. For whatever reason God chooses to say no for our own good.

I don’t know about you but waiting on God is one of the hardest, if not THE hardest things I must do to remain faithful and trusting in God. I’ve learned over the years though that there is real reward and blessing for waiting until God intervenes in my life.

I mess everything up though when I get tired of waiting and try to solve problems and seek blessings with my own resources.

What can I do?

WHAT CAN I DO? – PART III: LEAN & Love

My first two steps are to listen and to learn. These lead me to lean on God and love all people.

3. LEAN.

It is tempting in our day and age to think that we humans are so smart we can figure out all the answers. We have smart people, but the answers to the greatest issues of life come from God!

“Trust in God and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

The Bible also teaches us that God has a much bigger plan for us than we can even imagine. We can have big thoughts and dreams, but His are bigger. God said, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)

Facing the task of dealing with COVID-19, and challenging race relationships, and trying to balance all of that with the economy and the political situation – it’s tempting to rely on what we think is best. I’m learning that I must lean on God.

As we celebrate our nations’ birthday, I’m reminded that our forefathers leaned on God for everything.  They trusted Him and gave Him the credit for all of the victories.  David said, “Unless the Lord guards a city, those who guard it do so in vain.”  (Psalm 127:1)  We must learn to lean on Him. 

4. LOVE.

When I listen, learn, and lean on God, I begin to see that loving all people is a possibility.  Love is not a noun. It is a verb. It is a powerful force that we put into action.

Today, I see many people on medical teams and first responders who are living out love as they put their lives in danger so that we might see victory over the coronavirus. Many people of all races are wearing law enforcement uniforms and are ready to lay down their life for any citizen in Montgomery. There are many men and women of all races who are willing to protest injustice by showing love.

Montgomery is the home of Dr. Martin Luther King. His dream helped change the world. That dream was partially conceived on Dexter Avenue in Montgomery. His message was one of love rather than hate. He reminded us that you can’t eliminate hate with hate, but only with love.

I’ve had some people from different races say to me that the idea that Dr. King had about love was for his day, but not for our day. They propose that change will come through violence, conflict, destruction, and eliminating people that stand in the way.  They are wrong!! Representative John Lewis says, “Rioting, looting, and burning is not the way.  Be constructive, not destructive.  History has proved time and again that non-violent, peaceful protest is the way to achieve the justice and equality that we all deserve.” 

Dr. King had the best way. His way was constructive – not destructive. His strategy was love. He quoted Jesus as our Authority (read Matthew 22:36-40), and Jesus is still right today!

I’m praying for an epidemic of love to be let loose in my city, state, nation, and world that will spread more rapidly and more powerfully than the coronavirus and make our economic downturn look like an insignificant blip on the screen of life in 2020. That epidemic of love will help people of all colors of the world live in unity. Love paves the way for people of all races to live together in peace and unity.  

What can I do? – Listen to God and people, learn what God can do, lean on God, and love all people.

Next week – Part IV Back to my blog

A better way to think do ya think?

I heard a great analogy the other day when I was listening to Pastor Adrian Roger’s daily devotional, Love Worth Finding. Pastor Rogers is a wonderful, Spirit-filled Bible teacher. If you read his teaching you will be blessed.

He equated the way we can choose to think like one of those electronic scanners at the airport. You put all your loose stuff in one of those trays on a conveyer belt with your shoes and belt and loose change. And then you walk through.

If you have anything on you that’s not supposed to be on the plane you’ll hear that annoying beep. So you search yourself for the forbidden item. The scanner acts as a filter to identify forbidden items we have to discard or leave behind.

What a great new way to think. We think a lot of good thoughts during our day. But sometimes, some times more than others, a bad thought, a hateful thought, a resentful or angry thought creeps into our thinking.

Wouldn’t it be good for us if one of those negative thoughts snuck into our thinking we could bat it down or chase it away so it would be forbidden from getting into our thinking? We have that scanner available to us. With every thought we think we have the choice to accept it or reject it with our scanner.

I’m going to try this scanner business on my thinking. God’s word gives us some positive things to think about in Philippians: 8-9. I’m going to start thinkin about those things too to see if I can improve my thinking.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

What can I do

WHAT CAN I DO? – PART II: LEARN

Last week, I wrote about how I have been listening. My next step is to learn.

2. LEARN.

Authentic listening creates a platform for learning. I’ve learned so much about what many of my friends have been exposed to in this community – some really tough things. The best way to learn about people of another race is to sit down and listen to their stories.

Learning brings change. I believe that God can change anybody, anytime, anywhere! I believe it is essential to allow God to change our hearts before our attitudes and actions will change. Changed hearts and minds will change relationships!

Governor George C. Wallace was the icon of segregation when he stood in the schoolhouse door in Tuscaloosa and said, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.” As he grew older, Gov. Wallace began to listen to God and listen to people. He learned that he was wrong about racial relationships. God changed his heart!

Wallace watched our Frazer worship services on television because, following the attempted assassination on his life, his hearing had become severely impaired. He invited me many times to visit him. He wanted to know if God would forgive him and if black people would forgive him. Wallace even showed me a letter from the Pope and a letter from Billy Graham telling him that God would forgive him, but he still wasn’t completely convinced.

When visiting with him, he would use a blackboard and chalk to write. Some of the best words I’ve ever seen written were those the Governor wrote a few months before he died, “I know that God has forgiven me, and I know that the black people I harmed have forgiven me. I really know it!!!”

Last week, I was in a meeting with a wonderful black minister who told of going to visit George Wallace. He was very skeptical about this dramatic change, but he heard Wallace’s witness and was totally convinced that he was sincere. The pastor started crying. He realized what God had done in Wallace’s life – and what he now had to do.

The past few years, I’ve spoken at racial reconciliation rallies in the Mississippi Delta, Selma, and Lowndesboro. To each of these, I carried Tommy Waites, a big black man who served time in prison and hated whites – especially policemen – and Wes Strane, a big white former policeman who openly confessed that he hated blacks – especially convicts.

These two men – a black prisoner who hated white policemen and a white policeman who hated black prisoners – testified how God turned them from hatred to love. They would look at each other and say, “I love you, brother,” and then bear hug! Only God could make that happen!!

I’m learning that if God can change me, George Wallace, Tommy Waites, and Wes Strane – he can change anybody, anytime, anywhere! And I am going into the future based on that assurance!

What can I do? – listen and continue learning what God can do!!

Part III next week.Back to my blog

Nobody listens

“Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this.” Mark:7:14

We’re in the mess we’re in culturally and socially today because nobody listens anymore. Oh, we hear each other ramble on and shout at one another. We hear protesters spew anger and frustration. We hear all the politicians ramble ramble ramble on communicating absolutely nothing significant. They’re all hearing but nobody’s listening.

Hearing is unilateral–it only goes one way. I listen to the radio.

Listening on the other hand goes both ways it is transactional. It requires a response. It requires one person to say something and another person or persons to respond–then “listening” has taken place.

But no one no group no faction no protesters, no race, no religious group, no politician, no legislator–NO ONE is genuinely listening.

No committee, no symposium, no focus group, no town hall, no bi-racial commission will ever bridge the divide or solve the problems we face today. If we’re going to solve anything or make any progress at all it’s going to be one person at a time reaching out to someone different and truly listening to them. One on one. One person at a time.

The dot and the line

What’s your perspective?

Let’s imagine for a moment that the dot on the line in the image above represents all of time from Genesis 3, when God created Adam and Eve all the way until God’s new earth descended from heaven in Revelation.

Then assume that the line represents eternity which has no beginning or ending because the Bible teaches that eternity is uncreated and has always been.

Do you think more about time and your mundane life in time? Or do you think more about eternity? You probably think about tine and life and consider eternity a concept to think about in your future?

Of course you probably think more about time and life here on earth because you have to fix dinner tonight and go to work tomorrow.

But the bible teaches that God has placed eternity in our hearts Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, 

Here’s a question: When will you make eternity your perspective? When you die and begin to live in eternity? No! Remember–God has placed eternity in our hearts! It’s there now

Paul teaches us in Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

We have all the riches in Christ available to us to feast on right now.We don’t have to wait to die to live in eternity. We can live in our blessed eternity today.

So can you imagine a different perspective now?

A list of the Christian’s rights

2.

3.

4.

5

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

Christians (authentic followers of Jesus) have no rights. They have surrendered all rights to Him.

Christians become willing to give up control.

Christians don’t believe in living by feelings or old patters of behavior

Christians are obedient because they want to be not because the think they have to be.

Christians don’t perform for God, they actively allow Christ in then to live his life in them, for him and through him.

The Jesus Way

We have our way of doing things. And Jesus has His way of doing things.

Our ways are always worldly and self-centered. Jesus’ ways are always eternal and God-centered.

Take the feeding of the 5,000 for example in John  6.  When the crowds gathered, his disciples didn’t have a way.  They thought the people should all go home and feed themselves.

When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”

Andrew found a young boy with five small barley loaves and two fishes. He gave them to Andrew and Andrew gave them to Jesus.

Taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. – Matthew 14:13-21

The Jesus way of doing things is not our way. In fact, Jesus doesn’t even want us to try our way.  His desire is for us to allow His life to flow through us and out of us in love to others. If we do that it won’t leave any room for our ways.

Jesus’ heartfelt desire


Do you know what one of Jesus’ great desires is?  He wants to be with me!  He wants to be with you!  He desires our fellowship and companionship

We are going to be good friends.   Think of all the things you do with good friends now. All the candid conversations. The friendly chats The meaningful discussions.  Well, Jesus wants to be a friend to do all that with me and you too. He wants to spend precious time with you and me and be with us for fellowship and real intimate friendship.

In John 14:2-3 Jesus is teaching and tells the crowd, “I go to prepare a place for you, “And if I go to prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you to Myself that where I am there you may be also.”

Then as Jesus is wrapping up his ministry here on earth he’s praying to the Father and says, “Father I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with me where I am, in order that they may behold my glory which Thou hast given Me.”

It is highly inconceivable to me as I stumble through life here in this earth suit that one day very soon the glory of heaven, Jesus himself and me are going to be good friends and that He’ll look forward to spending time with me.

Good advice–don’t give it

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in life is to refrain from ever giving advice. In high school, for some reason some girls liked  to ask me for my opinion, usually about an issue they were having with a boyfriend.

I lapped it up in my best Ann Landers imitation. “Steve, what do you think I ought to do}?” “Oh, Steve, what would you do if you were me? (which obviously I wasn’t) “Steve, would you talk to ____________ for me and see if he really likes me?

As I recall none of my advice ever panned out and in a few cases some angry boyfriends cautioned (threatened) me to mind my own business. It took me several decades and years in recovery rooms to learn that lesson–to mind my own business.

The major reason giving advice is wrong and usually harmful is you (I) can never know all the circumstances and details of the other side of the situation in order to render objective advice. You won’t know all the people involved or the impact your advice may have on others or the situation. You can’t know the biases or prejudices of others in the situation.

But God does. He knows all the players, their motivations, their hearts, all the circumstances, the decisions the players will make, and the impact of those decision.

And guess what? God already knows the outcome.

He.’s known it all along. He knew the outcome before there was even a question.

We can avoid a bunch of time consuming energy if we just stop giving advice all together and trust God to handle situations we need answers for. God has a much better plan ( it’s a perfect plan) than we could ever devise with our own advice.

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Open Book Test

Remember all those tests we took in school? Those fill in the blanks tests and those awful essay tests. I could never copy the answers across the aisle because Nancy Ross and Kathy Anderson on the other side wrote way too small for me to see their answers.

Then there were multiple choice tests (my favorites). If I didn’t know the answer outright I had a good chance of being right Easier to copy answers. If I picked C. My friend Roger, the class Brainiac, told me I had a 37% better chance of being right if I picked C.

And of course some teachers liked to surprise us with open book tests sometimes.

God has an open book test for each of us as well. And he has all the answers right along with any question we might have.

When it’s all said there’s only one question on God’s open book test

Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord? Oh, my brothers and sisters, listen to me. God longs, even yearns for you to pass this test. God wants to love you. He longs to have fellowship with you. He wrote his story in the book so you might read the book and discover how very much he loves you and wants you to be one of his precious children and spend eternity with him.

How much does God love you? He gave his only begotten son that WHOSOEVER believeth in him shall never perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16.

my favorie

Then

Nancy or Katy

What can we do?

Pastors’ response to what we can do now

America can never be the same following the fight against COVID-19 and the expressions of racism and protests. Injustice against anybody at any level must be eliminated! Arriving at that victory is possible – but it must be approached with integrity, love, forgiveness, and respect for others. I don’t have all of the answers, but I do have some things that I’m going to practice myself.

On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, a couple of us pastors responded to requests for a press conference. We had 6 pastors – 3 white and 3 black. Several other pastors came downtown at the last minute. We spoke about how we could work together to make the City of Montgomery what God envisions. We have tremendous resources in the leadership of our mayor, police chief, sheriff, politicians, pastors, and good laypeople.

That press conference was placed on the social media pages of WSFA Channel 12 and CBS Channel 8. On those two Facebook pages alone, the press conference has been viewed by over 96,000 people! And that’s not counting the radio stations, individual videos, etc. Montgomery has a lot of problems, but we want to make progress so that every citizen in Montgomery can receive and enjoy the privileges that we have.

My comments at the press conference centered around how we need to listen, learn, and love. I’m trying to practice those things now. I reflected on them and feel even more convinced that for me, and maybe for others, these are some things I can do. I’ve expanded my thinking in the last few days. Let me share where I am today:

1. LISTEN.

A little boy was tired of a long sermon. He asked his dad what else the preacher did besides preach. His dad listed several things and then said he had to rest up because preaching isn’t easy. The little boy quickly said, “Well, listening ain’t easy either!” He’s right. Listening ain’t easy!

When I speak, I only repeat things that I already know. When I listen, I learn things I did not know. I’ve got two ears and only one mouth – I need to listen twice as much as I speak. A high school teacher asked the class to define the difference between listening and hearing. At first, there was no response. Finally, a hand went up, and a student offered this wise definition: “Listening is wanting to hear.”

We must first listen to God. God has spoken very clearly about all relationships. Moses said, “Israel, be quiet and listen.” (Deuteronomy 27:9) God said, “For all who listen to Me will live in peace.” (Proverbs 1:33) God has all the answers for us if we are willing to listen to Him.

We need to listen to each other. I’ve been sitting down with some persons of other races and just listening. Many of us don’t act correctly because we haven’t listened.

I’ve listened to some of my black friends who are pastors and laypeople. I’ve listened to what they’ve experienced. I have tried to see life through their eyes. I’m learning a lot!

I believe that violence and destruction have been avoided in Montgomery because our mayor, police, pastors, politicians, and good people have been willing to listen. Be quick to listen! (James 1:19)

What can I do? – LISTEN

Look for Part II next week!

What do you need?

What do you need right now? Whatever you need, a job, more income, freedom from anxiety, less stress, more patience, victory over temptation, a new kidney, peace and quiet?

Whatever your need…the resources are already there to meet it. (2 Peter 1:3)

Paul teaches us in Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING in the heavenly places IN CHRIST.

So…whatever you ever need, whenever you need it, wherever you need it, God’s riches in Christ are available to meet your need.

And consider this: God’s resources are available to meet your need before you even know you have a need.

In Genesis 3 when God created Adam and Eve, they had air to breathe and water to drink. Had they not had air to breathe they would have had only a minute or two to live. If they hadn’t had water, they could only hope to live for a couple of days to live at best.

Jesus’ heartfelt desire

Do you know what one of Jesus’ great desires is?  He wants to be with me!  He wants to be with you!  He desires our fellowship and companionship

We are going to be good friends.   Think of all the things you do with good friends now. All the candid conversations. The friendly chats The meaningful discussions.  Well, Jesus wants to be a friend to do all that with me and you too. He wants to spend precious time with you and me and be with us for fellowship and real intimate friendship.

In John 14:2-3 Jesus is teaching and tells the crowd, “I go to prepare a place for you, “And if I go to prepaare a place for you I will come again and receive you to Myself that where I am there you may be also.”

Then as Jesus is wrapping up his ministry here on earth he’s praying to the Father and says, “Father I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with me where I am, in order that they may behold my glory which Thou hast given Me.”

It is highly inconceivable to me as I stumble through life here in this earth suit that one day very soon the glory of heaven, Jesus himself and me are going to be good friends and that He’ll look forward to spending time with me.

An instrument of peace

I believe that when this Covid-19-trial is over we’ll all have at least some say in how our personal “new” normal looks.

I grew up in an alcoholic home. It was dysfunctional but it was our normal. Years later in ACOA (Adult Children Of Alcoholics) 12-step recovery rooms I learned that all four of us in our family played certain dysfunctional roles.

My role was that of the family clown/peacemaker. During family confrontations and conflicts I would use jokes and humor to try to diffuse the tension. That’s how I honed my polished sense of humor people say I have.

I don’t play that role anymore and Marie and I don’t have a dysfunctional family, but I still enjoy playing the role of peacemaker, but in a totally different context. In our 12-step recovery rooms I learned an invaluable recovery tool. It’s a poem by St. Frances of Assisi, I rely on it regularly to make peace with my family, friends, believers and everyone I meet. And I certainly would love for peacemaker to remain a part of my “new” normal.

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace

Where there is injury, let me show pardon

where there is doubt, let me show faith

where there is despair, hope

where there is darkness, light

and where there is sadness, let me show joy 

O, Divine Master grant that I might seek

not so much to be consoled as to console

to be understood as to understand

to be loved as to love

for it is in giving that we receive

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned

and it in dying that we are born again.

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Knock, Knock

KNOCK, KNOCK – WHO’S THERE?

“When opportunity knocks.” That’s a phrase I’m hearing from high school and college graduates as they go out into the world – from business people as we are beginning to emerge from the shelter-in-place and look at doing business differently – from the church as it looks at how best to do ministry in the new normal.

The word opportunity is interesting. Before we had modern harbors, a ship would have to wait for the flood-tide before it could make its way to the pier or the port. The situation is described in Latin as ob portu, that is, a ship standing over against the port, waiting for the moment when it could ride the tide to the harbor. It was essential that everyone was ready. If you missed that moment, you had to wait for another tide to come in. When opportunity to do something good knocks – we must be ready to open the door.

Shakespeare used this image of opportunity in one of his most famous passages in Julius Caesar:

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.  

Here are some essentials to get ready, recognize, and respond to opportunity’s knock:

  1. Create an attitude that is looking for an opportunity and listening for its knock. It will come. Some will see it – others will not because they are looking for some lucky or easy situation. When opportunity knocks, be sure you’re not out in the backyard looking for four-leaf clovers!
  2. Focus on the opportunity. Don’t get distracted with unimportant things and miss the opportunity to ride the tide. In south Alabama, there is a wonderful city named Opp. The sign entering the town says, “Welcome to Opp – the City of Opportunity!” Today, move mentally to Opp!
  3. Remember that opportunity will be in front of you. Many times, you don’t see a door opening because you’re still looking at the door that just closed. Don’t spend your time and energy focusing on things that you lost during the past months of the pandemic. Acknowledge what you lost but don’t miss what is in front of you. If you look in a mirror, all you see is yourself and what’s behind you. If you look through a window, you’ll see what’s in front of you. Keep looking forward!
  4. When opportunity knocks, it doesn’t wear a name-tag. Sometimes it is disguised as adversity. Sometimes it wears the costume of an unsolvable problem. It seldom comes as an easy, quick fix. Opportunity will be wearing work clothes!

“Be wise; make the most of every opportunity.” Eph. 4:5

“Pharaoh is just a big noise because he let his opportunity pass by.” Jeremiah 46:17

READY – RECOGNIZE – RESPOND!

Knock, knock – who’s there?

The rest of the Serenity Prayer

One of the most beneficial tools we learn in 12-step recovery rooms is to turn to the Serenity Prayer for comfort and peace in our lives. Some meetings open with everyone reciting it in unison.

Many of us commit the prayer to memory so we can call it to mind when we encounter situations or circumstances when we could use a dose of serenity, comfort or peace.

For most folks their serenity prayer is an abbreviated version

I have discovered over the years that the complete serenity prayer offers me more serenity and peace and the opportunity to fellowship with Jesus as I’m praying it. What do you think?

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change

 the courage to change the things I can

 and the wisdom to know the difference

 living one day at a time

 enjoying one moment at a time

 accepting hardship as the pathway to peace

taking as Jesus djd this sinful world as it is

rather than how I would have it

trusting that you will make everything light

as I turn my will over to you

so that II will be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy forever with You in the next.

The only solution

I think most people would agree that the days  we’re  living in now  are some of the darkest  in our nation’s history.  Many in the faith community tell us we’ll  get through this and be better off on the other side.  In the midst of this crisis our  Ieaders are looking for answers when at times they don’t even know what question to ask.

Confusion, misinformation, Martin-Luther-King–style leadership and mistrust rule the day.

How will we get out of this mess? Who will get us out of this mess? The president can’t do it. Democrats can’t do it, Republicans can’t,  the Pope can’t., Dr. Phil can’t,  Maek Zukerberg can’t, the CDC can’t, the WHO can’t, the UN can’t, not even the church can.

The only way out

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Thou O Lord

The problem with praying 2 Chronicles 7:14

Continue reading →

Grace and. . .

I know there’s a boatload of folks out there who profess to be Christians who believe they’ve been saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8). They can even tell you their salvation story.

Continue reading →

Politics and Religion

You will never read a word on this blog about politics or religion. I don’t disparage Democrats or support Republicans. I will never put my hope in any president or elected official. Nor will I put my hope in any evangelist or TV ministry.

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What do you pray for?

When most Christians pray don’t they usually want God to do something for them?

Generally speaking don’t most of our prayers fall into one of four categories?

  • heal me
  • answer my prayer requests
  • hand me (get something for me
  • help me

Max Lucado Ministries did a survey of 1,000 folks who professed to be Christians Lucado asked them what they prayed for. Below is a list of their responses:

  1. 51% of the respondents prayed for their own sin
  2. 46% prayed for their enemies
  3. 44% prayed for natural disasters
  4. 20% said they prayed to win the lottery
  5. 10% said they prayed for revenge for someone who hurt them
  6. 11% said they prayed for their favorite team to win
  7. 9% said they prayed to find a good parking spot
  8. 7% said they prayed not to caught for speeding

Most surveys we regard as unreliable. At best we are skeptical of their findings. But if we swallow any of Lucado’s results, even with a grain block of salt, to me they tell a sad story. These numbers tell me we’ve got a lot of church folks and people who claim to be Christians who have no clue about prayer. How to do it. How not to do it and what the purpose of real prayer should be.

Fire Drill

Remember those fire drills in elementary school? The teacher would say, “Okay, boys and girls, today at 1:30 we’re going to have a fire drill.”

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What would you do?

The bible teaches us that Daniel was a man of integrity. For 70 years throughout his life he did the right thing. Even when doing the right thing threatened to get him devoured by lions.

Politicians today aren’t concerned in the least with doing the right thing. They won’t make the tough, right calls. They make the easy, cheap, popular, self aggrandizing calls. Not like Daniel who always did what was right.

Would you choose to do the right thing?

  • What if they passed a law that forbid you to read the bible?
  • What if it was against the law to pray?
  • What if it was against the law to sing praise songs?
  • What if the law forbid you to gather in small groups to pray?

Would you defy te law to do what you knew was the right thing to do?

Think about it. The culture is encroaching on believers more every day. Will you cave to the social pressure to conform to the world or will you do what you know is the right thing to do?

How we got here

Occasionally I like to remind myself how I got here.

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“I hope you rot in hell.”

I was listening to the news the other night. They were in a courtroom and victims of a seriel killer just sentenced to life in prison were delivering their impact statements to the killer.

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