The Christian’s Life

Another Sunday is just around the corner, and many pastors, including myself, are putting the finishing touches (as best we can) on sermons to be delivered. Many of us will put in long hours of study and contemplation in preparation for those few moments during which we expound God’s Word.

What is your duty? What is your responsibility as the parishioner, the church member, or simply the Christian who randomly wanders in to hear some preaching?

As William Gurnall (17th century English clergyman) said…

“The Christian’s life should put his minister’s sermon in print.”

Please, dear Christian, don’t waste what you hear; put it into print with your life.


Filed under Christian Living, Preaching

I Support Coach Joe Kennedy

This week a high school football coach in Washington was fired from his job,

  • not because he molested a student;
  • not because he stole from the locker room;
  • not because he posted offensive language on the school’s website;
  • not because he exposed himself to other teachers while in the teacher’s lounge;
  • not because he was encouraging excessive violence on the field;
  • not because he was conspiring with terrorists;
  • not because he threatened the coach of another team;
  • not because he tried to contaminate the food in the concession stand;
  • not because he was caught cheating;
  • not because he was caught paying students to play;
  • not because he cursed a player’s parents during a game.

No, the reason he was fired was because he dared to kneel and silently pray on the 50 yard line of the ball field AFTER the game. The audacity!

Congress begins with prayer, and the most liberal president we’ve ever had attends national prayer breakfasts, but a high school football coach can’t silently pray on his own time for fear that it might send the message that a public school endorses religion? Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Not.

Now, the school where Coach Joe Kennedy USED to work, Bremerton High School, DID give him an option: he could pray silently alone inside the school, in a room chosen by the administration, just not on the field.

Senator Lankford of Colorado stood on the senate floor and said the following: “Government doesn’t have the authority to confine your faith to the location of government’s choosing.” However, this is where we are heading if people of ALL faiths don’t stand up and speak out.

This is STILL America. We are STILL unique in the world with regard to religious freedom. Don’t let those who want to prohibit the expression of faith in public – our Constitutionally-affirmed right – get away with this.

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Filed under America, Christian Unity, Culture Wars, current events, Prayer

It’s Your Choice

I don’t have enough time, with all the other stuff going on this weekend, to write about everything of which I have an opinion. There’s just too much in the news.

Therefore, I want YOU to decide on what I write about next! You know, it’s sorta like a reverse of Fox News’ “We Report. You Decide.

You decide. I will report.

Now, if you would like a few suggestions, just consider what has been in the news over the last few days and weeks. Maybe one of these topics would interest you.

  1. The Republican and Democrat Presidential debates in America.
  2. Policemen jerking unruly punk kids out of their desks in school.
  3. Policemen getting killed for being policemen.
  4. China ends one-child-only policy, but only ups it to two.
  5. Miley Cyrus and her upcoming naked concert.
  6. A football coach getting fired for praying after games at the 50-yard line.
  7. School shootings and gun-free zones.
  8. NCIS and Gibbs’ new look.
  9. Chinese and American tensions in the South China Sea.
  10. The possibility the Russians are going to cut internet cables in the Atlantic.

Then there are other things that aren’t in the news, but are nevertheless important – at least to some:

  1. Portlandia.
  2. NCIS compared to Castle.
  3. My DVR is full and erasing things I want to see but don’t have time to watch.
  4. Candy corn.
  5. How to keep trick-or-treaters away from your front door.
  6. The American public education system and Asian exchange students.
  7. Sharing the news of a missing pet on social media.
  8. Posting embarrassing photos of your teenage children when they were young.
  9. The horrors of being in the driver’s seat at a drive-thru with 6 other people in your minivan trying to tell you what they want, and all of them being females who can’t keep anything simple.
  10. Camera phones and legalism.
And then there's this.

And then there’s this. Aren’t you curious?


What do you want me to write about (excluding ending sentences with a preposition)?

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Filed under blogging, current events

Trying to Understand the Undead 2.0


I hate Halloween. But if you are a big fan, one who looks forward to the glorification of death, evil, and the grotesque, then ghoul for you. My minimal desire for bags of candy and apples bobbed for in spit-filled water is not enough to make me dress up like a satanic mass murderer, which is what most costumes seem to portray.

Actually, this time of year gets on my nerves, and one of the biggest reasons is the proliferation of horror movies. Horror movies don’t scare me that much; they tick me off! They are always full of idiots walking into the dark asking, “Buffy, is that you?” And what’s worse, so many of today’s horror flicks involve ghostly, demonic hauntings by creepy dead kids. HINT: if a soaking-wet dead girl crawls out of a well and starts climbing through your TV, change the channel (preferably to a Christian station).

On a side note, has it ever occurred to anyone that all the demonic activity pictured in horror movies is nothing more than an attempt to convince us that the spiritual realm is real?

Really, I hate Halloween. I find no pleasure celebrating the very Enemy taking my friends and loved ones to hell.

The Undead

But what I really don’t get is the “undead”…zombies…Michael Jackson’s dance partners. Can somebody help me understand the logic behind the capabilities and actions of walking corpses?

English: A participant of a Zombie walk, Asbur...

English: A participant of a Zombie walk, Asbury Park NJ, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There has been so much talk about zombies, lately. There have been a lot of movies and television programs devoted to grossing us out with their nastiness and appetite for human flesh. What’s the deal? Is it just an attempt to shift our attention away from the spiritual to the natural or animalistic? Who knows?

All I know is that the walking dead make no sense. Consider the following:

  1. Health. Why is it that when I have the flu I feel as good as dead, yet when a zombie is dead he feels more alive than me? If I break a bone I can’t function, but a zombie can have all his bones broken and break into an armored car! Have you seen what people die from? Why is it they have more energy once they’ve rotted away than when they were still exfoliating?
  2. Appetite. Why is it that the walking dead never seem to recognize that their fellow walkers are also human, and edible? And why are humans the only meat worth eating? Why don’t the walking dead break into grocery stores, butcher shops, and kennels? Seriously, don’t the dead understand that there is far more meat and brains in a cow?! Why eat the farmer???
  3. Blood. I’ve had too much experience in funeral homes to buy the idea that zombies coming out of graves have bright, red, flowing blood. How many walking dead have you seen dripping embalming fluid? Hmmm?
  4. Speed. Why can’t healthy people, including clumsy women in high heels, outrun people with muscles falling off the bone? Bones don’t work alone to cause movement; limbs need muscles to function. Even if one tripped over every blade of grass in an attempt to flee a rotting granny, how fast could granny be?
  5. Practicalities. If old people become zombies, do they have to keep their false teeth in order to chew their neighbor? Also, what is the life expectancy of something that is already dead? Oh, and when a zombie eats a human, where does the meat go? Do zombies poop?

The Real Undead

To be very honest, I am more afraid of my own stinking flesh than some dancer from Thriller.

“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24)

I must crucify it on a daily basis and live in the life of Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14). For if I live in the power of my own zombie-like self, I will die: but if through the Spirit I put to death the deeds of this stinking body, I shall live (Romans 8:13).


That “2.0″ Part

What you just read was originally written in 2013, so it might interest you to learn what has happened since then. The girl from “The Ring” might be living in my house!

Actually, this year we decided to host a foreign exchange student from South Korea. She is a totally adorable teenager with a great sense of humor, and we love her bunches. However, I don’t think she’s ever seen “The Ring,” nor is she familiar with the black-haired, demonic ghost-girl that disjointedly crawls out of a well and through the television screen to kill people.

Credit: "The Ring"

Credit: “The Ring”

If she had seen the movie, and if she really didn’t want to creep me out, then maybe she would stop coming out of the shower at night, on the way to her room, with her long black hair covering her entire face.

Maybe…just maybe…when getting on my school bus in the morning, when it is dark, and sitting in a seat behind me, like she did this morning, she could uncover her sleepy face and have a smile on it when I look into the mirror!

I’ll just keep telling myself she’s never seen the movie. She hates scary movies.

Or does she?

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Filed under Christian Maturity, current events, General Observations, Humor, World View

2,500 Followers and Bacon

Saturday List

Before I write anything else, I must warn you that my wife has a long list of things for me to complete, such as clean the windows, scrub the floor, clean of my computer desk, and make sure there’s nothing left on the china cabinet but dishes that we never use.

I just wanted to tell you about the list that awaits me because I am typing as fast as I can, all in the attempt to get this post written before my wife finishes breakfast and begins staring daggers through me.

Bad Bacon

Bacon. Yes, bacon.

Bacon. Yes, bacon.

Here’s a totally random question. Bacon…if it’s past the expiration date and slightly turned in color, but doesn’t smell bad, does frying it, thereby causing it to sit in sizzling grease, kill any bacteria or germs? In other words, can carbonized bacon make you sick?

Well, I just ate some. We will see.


Now, to the point of the day: 2,500 followers.

Do I really have 2,500 followers? Technically, no I do not, for as of this writing I am 20 followers shy of the mark. But the real question I have is how many of those followers are actual followers? How many of those nearly 2,500 people actually come behind me, watch my steps, and then walk in the path I am blazing? One? Three?

If the truth be known, many of those called “followers” are not really followers of me, or my blog. Many have only subscribed in order to get me to follow their blogs. Many have subscribed in haste after reading only one interesting post, then never come back. Others follow my blog and what I write in order to find fault, gather evidence, or get a laugh.

So, as I digest my bacon, what is the point I am frantically trying to make before my blogging time for the day is up? I don’t know, really. However, here are a few thoughts…

  • I am glad there are not 2,500 people looking over my shoulder
  • It would be nice if I could manage 2,500 views a day
  • If I really had 2,500 followers, more would question why I take certain paths
  • There is no way on earth I can write something without offending hundreds – if they actually read what I write
  • I want to be a better follower of Christ than I am a “follower” of someone’s blog

No Cross Required

If you want to know what it means to be a REAL follower – a disciple – then be a follower of Jesus Christ. But if you want to follow Jesus, please note that He requires more than a click and an email address.

“…If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Matthew 16:24

I am not asking you to give your life to me; no cross is required to follow The Recovering Legalist. But if you do follow my blog, I certainly hope you pick up on Whom I am following, and choose to do the same.

If you’d like to learn more about following Jesus, why not click HERE

Time to get on that to-do list my wife has for me. The bacon hasn’t killed me… yet.


Filed under blogging, Food, General Observations, salvation

Chihuahuas Attacked Me!

I Was Late

“Why are you so late?” was the question out of the first child’s mouth. That’s not true; I just felt her think that as she stepped onto the bus.

Yes, I was about ten minutes late picking up the kids this morning. Some nearly died from the additional exposure to the 49-degree weather (I know this because they got on the bus saying that they were about to die waiting on me in the cold). However, it didn’t help them too much to get on the bus, for since I was running late I didn’t have time to warm it up – or put up the windows that were put down by the elementary kids the day before.

Anyway, why was I late? I overslept…simple as that. But telling that to the first child I picked up proved to be rather boring and nothing to write about. Therefore, since my adrenaline was already pumping and my mind was functioning at regular speed (unusual for 6:40 in the morning), I decided to make the reason for my tardiness (I hate that word) more memorable.

The “Real” Reason

“You are NOT going to believe what happened to me this morning!” I exclaimed to the next kids that got on my bus. “I am running late because of a herd of chihuahuas.”

You see, what happened was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen! This morning I walked out of the house and started across the parking lot to my bus, but then all of a sudden I heard the humming sound. I first I didn’t know what to make of it, and then it got louder…then I heard growling…then a chorus of tiny, yappy barks.

My rendition of this morning's horror.

My rendition of this morning’s horror.

Totally taken aback, I look forward and peer into the early morning shadows to see the ground moving around my school bus! As I fearfully inched closer, it became clear that a dadgum herd of chihuahuas was surrounding my school bus! What the taco was going on???

At least a hundred pocket-sized terrors began barking at me, growling, snarling. When I took a few more steps toward the bus, knowing I had children to go pick up, the biting burritos from some south-of-the-border Hades started biting at my shoes – which are the expensive gray kind old men like me buy from New Balance – and that ticked me off!

At first I tried shooing them away, but they couldn’t understand me. Besides that, there was something about the bus they liked, and they wouldn’t leave for love nor pesos. That’s when I walked back to my house, went into the garage, and retrieved my personal putter normally reserved for Gooney Golf games in which I mercilessly defeat every opponent during youth outings with our church.

Knowing there were freezing  children out there waiting on the side of the road…freezing children, fearful that their bus driver had abandoned them…I had to act with speed and ferocity. With a whack here and there, followed by the Hispanic-like squeals from demonic chihuahuas,  I was finally able to clear the way to my bus.

Fifteen minutes later, in a cold bus, I was doing what God has called me to do – save the lives of freezing children and transport them to a place where they can be educated.

You Decide

Now, you can decide for yourself it the above story is a good one and believable. Unfortunately, many people are more willing to believe an exciting story than the boring truth. And beyond that, the more one tells a lie the more likely the listener (or reader) will believe it, especially if the lie is told with passion.

With that being said, Hillary Clinton is being questioned by a congressional committee. I want to hear what she has to say about the chihuahuas in Benghazi.

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Filed under current events, Humor, politics

Check Out the New Archive!

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a new tab featured at the top. It is an archive of sermons that I have preached both at church and on the radio. They will start with the most recent and work back – at least to when I started recording (and I might leave a out a few). I will keep adding older ones as I have the time to upload and link them.

It's not easy writing with a mouse.

It’s not easy writing with a mouse.  Click on the real tab at the top of the home page, not the highlighted part in the picture (in case you were confused).

If any of these sermons are a blessing to you, feel free to share them as you like. Of course, I always welcome feedback of all kinds (as long as it’s not hateful), including questions, comments on delivery, etc.

Why am I doing this? Well, it’s hard to ignore the obvious opportunity of getting the preached Word of God out into the world. For crying out loud, when might I ever get to physically expound the Bible in most of the places from which I have readers? This way what I preach from the pulpit in Chattanooga can be heard in nearly 130 countries!!

That is AWESOME!

I am not the greatest preacher, nor will I ever pretend to be. Quite frankly, it could be argued that my writing is better than my speaking (at least I think so). However, some people respond differently to different styles of delivery and personality. Maybe at least this way someone will hear the Truth of the Gospel in such a way that it might stick when it only bounced off before.

Most of the recordings you listen to were simply recorded on my iPhone placed on the pulpit. One day I would love our little church to have some more high-tech recording capability, even video, but it is what it is.

Oh, and by the way, happy Back to the Future Day!  If anyone would like to take me for a ride in a DeLorean, I’m all for it :-)

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Filed under blogging, Preaching