Do Your Duty…Vote…or NOT!

This Tuesday will be the day we go to the polls to vote.  Unless you were one who voted early, Tuesday will be the day you should do your public duty as a citizen of the United States.  VOTE!

But WAIT!!!  Do you know what you are doing?

Do you know who you are going to vote for?  If not, why? If you go to the polls November 3rd just so you can push a few buttons, or check off a few marks, what good did you do?  If you only go to fulfill a responsibility, without knowing any details, what kind of steward of this blood-bought gift are you?  

If you don’t know the difference between liberty and liberalism, democracy and democrats, or socialism and social networking – DON’T VOTE!  Just stay home and watch Oprah or Dr. Phil.  

When others are heading to the polls that evening, just veg out while you enjoy another episode of some cake-baking, tatoo-designing, dance-off competition.

For over 200 years men and women have been shedding their blood for the freedom we enjoy.

More will die to preserve it in the future, that is, if we still have freedom to defend. If the uneducated, illiterate, uninformed and apathetic continue to vote for more government, all so that they can receive more “freebies,” not to mention tax-payer funded health care, then blood was shed in vain.

Stay at home, ye who do not know what is going on.  Stay at home, all ye who will vote simply to remove “Orange Man” from the White House.  Stay at home all ye who said “anything is better than what we have.”  

Please, for the love of God and country, STAY HOME!  

Let the people who have strong ideals go vote.  Let the mature, the concerned, the alert, the forward-looking, the reader, the listener, the active citizen (as opposed to the apathetic moocher) go vote.  We know the importance of what we are doing and take it seriously.  We can handle the responsibility…

Yes, we can!

People all over the world would, have, and will die for the opportunity to have what we have.

Take it seriously.  Make yourself a student, at least a “C” student, of what and Who made this country a “shining city on a hill.”  Read the Constitution.  Read the Bible.  Take responsibility for your own actions.  Know what the candidates truly stand for, then make a decision.  

But if you’re wondering if it’s worth taking the time to drive to the poll…if you have to watch CNN right before you walk out the door to help you decide who to vote for…please, we’ll send you a “I Voted” sticker, just stay home.  

It’s your patriotic duty.

But if you want to know what’s at stake, this will help.

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Filed under Christian Living, Culture Wars, General Observations, Uncategorized, voting, World View

Meeting Jesus Changed My Life More than Meeting Bill “Superfoot” Wallace

When I Met “Superfoot”

I think it was in 1984, or maybe it was in ’83 or ’85, but somewhere along that timeframe I went to and competed in the Battle of Atlanta (a major Karate tournament). While there, I had the memorable experience of meeting the undefeated middleweight champion the world in full-contact kickboxing (PKA), Bill “Superfoot” Wallace.

If you are unaware of Bill Wallace, he was the kind of fighter that deserved respect, even from the great Chuck Norris. As a matter of fact, it was Bill Wallace who was tapped to be Norris’ enemy in the 1979 movie “A Force of One.”

Here is Wallace with a young Jackie Chan in the 1985 film “The Protector.”

Now, movies are one thing, but real fighting is something else. As some of you may know, Chuck Norris was a great fighter, but he never competed in full-contact professional matches. Yes, he was the 7x World Champion, but that was in “point” fighting. Jackie Chan is a great martial artist, but not a true fighter. Bill Wallace went 23-0 with half of those wins being by knockouts.

Check out this next video. It is a more recent interview in which Wallace explains his unique fighting style.

So, Bill Wallace was somewhat of a hero of mine back in the day. For a short time I became as flexible as he was, but I never won any fights by knocking out my opponents. Heck, after I had a car wreck back in 1988 and inhaled the horn of my 1967 Mustang, I didn’t want to get punched in the face anymore. That’s when I gave it up.

And that’s when I no longer tried to emulate any of my martial arts heroes.

When I Met Jesus

But it was back in the 1970’s when I met Someone who would literally change my life forever. His name was Jesus.

Unlike the fading effect Bill Wallace had on me, Jesus has been affecting every part of my life ever since I gave my life to Him (I never gave my life to Mr. Wallace). What’s even more awesome is the fact that the longer I’ve known Jesus, the more and more I have become like Him!

Knowing Bill Wallace all these years might have made me a better fighter, but age and injuries would have eventually caught up with me, the end result being lots of conversations about the “glory days” and little opportunity to do any full splits or kick opponents.

But man, having met Jesus, then maintaining a relationship with Him, means that no matter what the future holds I will always be in tip-top shape; the tools of my fighting art will never dull; and there will always be opponents over which to gain victory!

Meeting Bill Wallace had an effect with a limited shelf life. It’s the same with so many other things. But meeting Jesus has – in the present tense – an unlimited and eternal shelf life! It’s better than honey!

Who’s your hero? Has your life been changed forever because of that meeting? If you’d like, I could introduce you to Jesus. He’d love to spend time with you!

If you have the time, here’s one more video you can watch. It’s from this past Sunday morning at Bethlehem Baptist Church where I am the Pastor. The title of the sermon is “Encountering the Living Word.”

https://fb.watch/1nYQM1cDQT/

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Filed under Christianity, Preaching, salvation

I Wouldn’t Ask for More

They Did It!

Last Tuesday I told you that my daughter Katie was getting married that night. Well, despite my advice to walk away while there was still time, my Katie Bug, Katie Marie Baker, became Katie Marie Pearson.

The father and the bride

Don’t get me wrong, as I stood there alone with her behind the paper-thin walls of the tent, waiting for the moment I was to escort her out into the open for the world to see, I wasn’t expecting Katie to walk away. No, her heart and mind were made up, unchangeable, set “like a flint” to walk that aisle and say, “I do.”

And man! Did she ever!

The Vows

I have a few pictures, but I don’t want to share them with the world. What I would rather do is wait until Katie is able to share the professional photos that were taken of the wedding and reception. The only exceptions will be those you see here.

However, I do want to share with you a couple of other things, namely Gus (that’s my new son-in-law’s name) and Katie’s vows . . . and a video which we’ll get to in a moment.

In my years of pastoral ministry, I’ve performed over 200 weddings. That being said, I have never heard wedding vows more biblical and gospel-centered than the ones Gus and Katie shared. I was blown away! There was hardly any need to say anything else but “Kiss your bride.”

Therefore, if you don’t mind, I would like to share with you my daughter and son-in-law’s vows.

Gus’ Vows:

Katie Marie, from just our first few weeks working at Chick-fil-A, I knew our friendship would be a great one. Whenever I was near you, I felt a spirit of joy radiating from you, and there was no doubt where that joy comes from. God has gifted you with a joyous and bubbly personality, and it is one that I wanted to be around often. Today, I stand in front of our family and friends who have chosen to be witnesses to observe the covenant relationship I am making with you and God in marriage. I promise to spend every day I have on this earth with you dedicated and honoring this covenant we have made to each other before God. I promise to protect you and to provide for you and to trust God to do so when I cannot. I promise to love you, Katie Marie, my bride, as Christ loves us, the church, his bride. I will love you selflessly and sacrificially, and as I grow closer to Christ, my love for you will grow stronger. As the head of our household I promise to honor you as my equal in our new life together, and treat you with understanding as we begin this new journey. When hard times come, I promise to strive to exude wisdom and to point us, in our struggles, to the one that holds everything in his hands. Whether a disagreement, a concern, a crisis, that health, or anything that breaks us down, I will take it to God in prayer and seek his guidance. I promise all of these things with the hope for a future that leads us both toward Christ. It is my goal in this marriage to lead you with wisdom in the path God sets before us, and as Christ showed us by example, the best leaders are those who know how to serve. As we take the next step in our journey, I think it would be appropriate to make a reference to where it all began, and say, “Katie Marie, it will forever be my pleasure to serve you.

Katie’s Vows:

Gus, From the moment I first met you, I knew there was something in you that I wanted. You were so loving and kind and warm and welcoming to anyone, and I wanted that to be in my life every day. Today, I am standing next to you in front of all of these people so that I can enter into a covenant relationship with you and with God in marriage. I promise to uphold this covenant for all of the days and nights that I live on this earth with you. I promise to be your helper and give you my time, my energy, and my focus, even if it is limited. I promise to let you be the head of the household and submit to the authority that God has placed within you to be the priest of our home. In the moments of hurt and shattered expectations, I promise to strive in showing God’s wisdom in my actions and reactions with Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. And, in the times when I strive too little, I promise to seek forgiveness. I promise all of these things with a hope for a future that leads us both toward Christ. It is my goal in this marriage to be the second violin to your first, and to trust your lead wherever you feel the need to take me.

What more would make me happy? That both of them had great incomes, perfect health, huge houses in which my wife and I could take up a room when we get old?

Honestly, if they keep their vows – and I’m pretty sure they will – I wouldn’t ask for anything more than that.

The father of the bride with Haley, the youngest daughter of the father of the bride 🙂
The oldest daughter of the father of the bride (Alicia), along with the bride and the granddaughter of the grandfather who’s the father of the bride (Emma).

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Filed under Family, History, Marriage, Relationships and Family

I Hate Blocks

Dear friends, I want to copy a post so that I can republish it. I want the original to stay where it is, but a new one to be published. Does that make sense?

That is what I have been doing with the posts at ProverbialThought.com.

But now, because of this new and “wonderful” block editor, I cannot figure out how to do what I need. And when I try to go back to the traditional editor (the one that worked well for me for 10 years), all I do is click on the option, but nothing happens.

I hate block. I don’t care how many more features this system offers! I never asked for it. I was happy with what I was using. It worked. It allowed me to become the blogger I am… I was.

One of the reasons I have not been blogging of late – even though I have a lot I could be writing about, especially my daughter’s wedding last week – is this new editor! Did I mention that I hate it?

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I just caught a breath…my daughter is getting married tonight

Hey everybody, this is spur of the moment, but here is a video that will be showing to the people coming to my daughter’s wedding tonight.

I will be doing a ceremony. 😍

Pray for us. Hard to let go. But I’m proud of the both of them.

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Filed under Family, Marriage

Encouragement Time: Keep Your Promises

It’s Friday! You’ve surely got a lot of exciting things to do, right?

Well, if your schedule is clear and you are looking for something to fill a few minutes, here is a link to today’s 2pm “Encouragement Time” I do live every weekday on Facebook.

The main subject of this short devotional time is to make sure you do what you promise to God.

https://fb.watch/19HRHFajsa/

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Filed under Bethlehem Baptist Church, Bible Study

The Peace of a Clear Conscience

This first part has nothing to do with why I am writing today. Just bear with me for a moment.

To begin with, I want to say that I feel like my blogging life has nearly dwindled and fizzled away. It’s sorta sad, I must say. For so long blogging has been an integral part of my life – over 10 years, to be precise.

However, the changes that have taken place in my life over the last year have forced me to reallocate my short blocks of attention to new places. So many things have demanded my energy that the simple task of sitting down to write has often brought feelings of dread.

The way I see it, there are more important things in this pandemic-riddled, socially-divided, always stressed, perpetually pressured world than keeping a regular blogging schedule and maintaining a high number of viewers.

I’ll be honest with you, up until the virus hit, I didn’t have any hobbies. On the other hand, there was my blog. There was this one and Proverbial Thought into which I put a lot of mental and creative energy. But now, here in the “new normal,” blogging has fallen way down the priority list.

Do I want to stop blogging? Of course not! But I definitely can’t afford for this to sap away valuable time and effort from other ministry efforts. The key will be to keep things in their proper places.

If you’ve gotten this far, you’re a wonderful person!

The real reason I decided to write was not to talk about blogging, but about Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s no-note responses to Senate questioning. It was beautiful.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, when you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything. In other words, when you always tell the truth you don’t have to remember the lie you told last week, last month, or ten minutes ago.

The thing about Judge Barrett’s testimony was that she didn’t use any notes!

Judge Amy Coney Barrett

She literally sat there for hours answering question after question about her past, past court cases she adjudicated, and even other cases with which the Democrats tried to make her trip. Yet, with no notes, she answered their questions with calm poise and grace.

When questions came up about her oath of office, she did bristle a little. In her lengthy testimony she made it clear on multiple occasions that she had NEVER broken her oath and she NEVER would. I believe her! And I believe it is precisely because she had kept her oath and done nothing crooked as a judge that she could sit there with a sense of peace and serenity that few of the senators even came close to having.

She didn’t have notes because she was smart enough to remember. But she also didn’t have notes because she didn’t have to remember what she never did.

Oh, how sweet it would be if all of us could have the peace of a clear conscience.

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Filed under General Observations, politics

“Whatsoever Ye Do…”

If I’ve preached it once, I’ve preached it more than 7 times (I can’t preach the same sermon over and over): “Whatever gift or talent you have, it can be used for the Lord.”

I was told that not just Saturdays, but even on Wednesdays there are vendors at the local courthouse square selling their wares (mostly vegetables and stuff).

But evidently not today! It’s just me!

At least it’s not raining 😉

That’s OK! I’ve already got to talk with people, even if I haven’t sold anything. And what did I talk about most? Church, ministry, evangelism, etc. And one college-age girl wanted to know when our services started Sunday morning (she is looking for a congregation in which to fit)!

But here I am in a parking lot on a cool day without the sun burning me up. I’ve got plenty of coffee, a chair, my Bible, and a full charge on my iPhone. I’m blessed.

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. – Colossians 3:17

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Filed under art, hobbies, ministry, Uncategorized

A Song That’ll Make You Shout

Just watch and listen.

If you’ve been more than a few steps with Jesus, you’ll understand.

Hallelujah!

Rhett Walker, I love ya, brother. Awesome song.

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Filed under Christian Maturity, Christianity, Jesus, worship

What Were You Expecting, Shakespeare and Milton?

The … ummm … Debate?

I watched it, the first shouting and arguing match between to grown males. It wasn’t a “presidential” debate because there was little if nothing presidential about it.

But I sat through the whole thing. I sat through every interruption by Donald Trump and every name-calling response from Joe Robinette (that’s his middle name, if you didn’t know). And because I sat through the whole thing, like eating too many greasy hamburgers the night before, I woke up nauseated.

Winners & Losers

Simply put, there were no clear winners last night, except maybe the demonic forces whose leathery, flapping wings fanned the flames. POTUS was consistent  with his message and policies, never wavering on his mission; VP Biden was present and accounted for, maybe even on a little meth (just kidding).

Frankly, I can’t blame Trump for coming out of his corner like a bat out of hades (that’s a figure of speech because, as far as I’ve read, there are no bats in Hell). For the last four years he has had to put up with attack after attack after attack from the likes of Biden, and so the one made famous for saying “You’re fired!” fired salvo after salvo at the USS Sleepy.

But as for “Come’on, man!” Biden, the bar had been set so low for him that just being able to complete a sentence after an hour was a shock to Republicans and Democrats alike. No one I spoke with thought Biden would be able to survive 3 minutes in the ring with Trump. Yet, even after multiple haymakers to the jaw, Biden was still standing at the end and it was Trump who was flustered.

However, the real losers were the two parties, the American people, and every parent who’s tried to instill in their children a sense of decorum and grace under pressure.

The Lesson

Sure, I suppose there are many lessons we could learn from last nights fiasco. Once could be: Never ask Chris Wallace to babysit your pit bulls. Another might be: What did you expect? Shakespeare? Milton? This was Reality Trump and Plagiarizing Biden.

But the big lesson is one that every voter should remember, especially since last night exposed the raw humanity of these two men can be found in the following verse from Psalm 20:

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” – Psalm 20:7

Whether chariots or horses, elephants or jackasses (sorry, donkeys), only God can get us out of the mess we are in right now. 

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Filed under America, current events, politics, voting