Husband, dad, pastor/preacher/teacher, musician, and Time Magazine's Person of The Year in 2006 (no joke!). Loves coffee (big time), good movies, and sarcastic humor. Currently pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry. Most importantly, a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. All glory belongs to Him!
Good Wednesday, everyone! I just wanted to give you a quick update and then get back to work.
In about a week or so I will be done with all the writing requirements needed to finish my DMin. Lord willing, I will graduate July 30th!
When I get all of this out of the way, my writing here and other places will start up again, even if slow at first.
In the meantime, as you know, my mother passed away in March, leaving my sister and I without both our parents. My sister flew in from Germany to be here when my our mom died, but COVID red tape kept her from getting here in time. That was very painful for all of us, but especially for her.
Once Rebecca arrived, besides the funeral and all that went along with a week of services in two different states, there was the arduous task of going through our mother’s belongings and deciding what to do with it all! She has literally been away from her husband and home for 3 months!
So, today is bittersweet. My sister is flying out of Atlanta, today. The past 3 months have been the best time I have ever had with her. We are closer now than we were when we were children, teens, or even when we played music in a band together. I am going to truly hate to see her leave, but I am happy that she will be able to get back home to her Carlos – I know he has missed her!
Do you know what’s next? For the very first time – ever – my wife and I will be alone! For some people, that’s a dream come true, and it sorta is for us, too. However, make no mistake, it won’t take long before the silence left after 29 years of laughter, tears, and all things “family” will be deafening.
Well, it won’t be long before we head out to the airport, stopping by a Cracker Barrel on the way (a last stop for American food). It won’t be long before we part ways for at least another year. It won’t be long until Valerie and I are by ourselves in a big house.
That all being said, I’m glad that sad departures won’t always be a thing. It won’t be that long until time will be no more and parting will be a thing long forgotten.
Honestly, I’ve written some fairly decent songs over the years, but one of my favorites (at least in the month of May) is “The Mother’s Day Song.”
Therefore, I want you to listen to this song again.
Seriously. It’s a tradition. And I would love for you to share it in honor of my late mother who went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on March 16th.
Read Them, Love Them
Now, it’s not because I’m being lazy, it’s just that some previous Mother’s Day posts I wrote were pretty good ones, and I’m not really up to writing much more than this on this Mother’s Day. Below are a couple of links.
(As a bonus, scroll through the comments and you’ll get to see me play and sing it live.)
My grandmother died in 2019, then my mother died a couple of months ago. With all my grandparents, and now both my parents gone, I’m truly the “adult” in the family. When my mom was still living (and she lived with us), there were times I would take a piece of art to her, or ask her about a sermon, and say, “What do/did you think?” Even as a 53-year-old man I wanted my mother’s approval.
That’s one of the things I already miss that I truly took for granted.
But I know she liked my “Mother’s Day Song” and smiled when I sang it.
So, appreciate your mother on Mother’s Day, everyone! Sing the song!
In Sandersville, Georgia, just a few miles south of me, is an old jailhouse. What makes it special is that up until the 1980’s it was one of the very few jailhouses where the Sheriff actually lived!
Now the jail is a museum and also houses the historical archives for the area. However, because of tourism being down, like with most places, they could use some extra funds to keep things up and going.
If you would like to purchase a print of the painting I did of the jail, click on the link below and 75% of the profit will go to the museum.
The following is a response to a news story I saw on Facebook. I wanted to share it here, too.
First, it is tragic that a young man with a son was killed. It was also tragic that someone who put her life on the line in a very difficult position accidentally shot a young man and killed him. He is dead, but her life is forever changed, if not in danger.
What frustrates me, and why I am taking the time to write this, is that there are not only two sides to the story, two people whose lives are forever altered, and a child who is now an orphan, but the side where the media consistently perpetuates a narrative that the shooting victim was loved and model citizen, while the officer who pulled the trigger was a racist, trigger-happy, cold-blooded, murderer worth of the death penalty.
For example, the photo shows Daunte smiling, holding his cute little boy. The article is full of glowing recollections. Yet what happened? As he was standing there beside the car, he decided to take the route of a fool and violently resist arrest! He didn’t think wisely. He didn’t consider all the consequences. He didn’t fall back on the wisdom offered by one of his mentors. No, he wrestled himself away from officers and attempted attempted to flee the scene!
Had he accomplished his intentions and fled in his car, would that have ended any better? Other innocents could have been hurt or killed in the chase, not to mention other lives changed forever by his recklessness, and he would have even more likely been subject to deadly force.
On a side note, have you ever been inside a large jail or federal prison? I have! Many, many times. I have been in multiple jails, from Florida to Kentucky, and State and Federal prisons in Tennessee and Kentucky. And do you have any idea what I saw – besides a lot of self-described wrongfully-accused? I saw a great, great number of African-Americans. I saw every color of human skin, but I also saw a disproportionate number of black men (and women). Why is that important? How is that relevant?
They were not dead – they had not been killed by police, only arrested. Think very slowly about that. Think. Let’s use our logic, folks. If the narrative of the news media and BLM and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez was true – i.e., police are out to kill black men – then why are our jails and prisons full of living, breathing black men? Doesn’t fit the narrative, does it?
If you watch enough television and movies, you will see police shoot more people in one episode than most departments shoot in a year, or ten. Believe it or not, I have never met a “Dirty Harry” type cop. Of all the ones I’ve met and worked with, including my late father and the entire Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee, even though one could have existed, I’ve never, NEVER met a man or woman who wanted to kill anybody.
As hard as it is for many to believe, many police officers and deputies go their entire careers without ever discharging their service weapon!
I know I run the risk of being criticized for writing this, but too few people are standing up against the lie that all police are evil, over-funded, racist hitmen/hitwomen. I feel it’s my obligation to bring the discussion back to the center. Yes, there are always two sides to every story, and then there’s the truth.
Simply put, Daunte Wright, regardless his past crimes or outstanding warrants against him, would be alive today if he had not wrestled away from the officer detaining him and attempted to flee in his vehicle. He could have had his day in court, but now all he gets is a funeral for his poor decisions.
My prayer is for the media, Hollywood, and the race-baiting ambulance chasers in politics to shut up, go away, or simply just REPORT the news, not create it!
Let the communities of real, caring people from all races come and work together, as they so often try, yet are divided by false narratives and manipulated information. And if we would stop making everything a race issue that’s not, black and white followers of Jesus Christ could come together as the family of God and show the world how loving one’s neighbor can heal our country.
You are welcome to share this, and I welcome any respectful comment or dialogue. God bless you all, God be with the Wright family in their time of loss, and may the officer involved be shown grace.
Funds collected above and beyond what is needed to secure my lovely wife’s gift will be donated to the ministry of Grace Charity School in Lahore, Pakistan (a Christian school dedicated to educating the children of the desperately poor brick kiln families).
To begin with, I just want to say that I am blessed beyond measure. I have a beautiful and forgiving wife, daughters who don’t hate me, and even son-in-laws who are each cool in their own ways.
On top of that, the church where I pastor is a beautiful place, the people are stellar, and the community is one where I’d be happy to retire.
AND, what’s more, God has been blessing us, encouraging us, and reviving our people in the local churches! We are getting more excited and fired up every day, for even though there will be trials and tribulations in the future, no victory ever comes without a battle, YET…
I’m looking forward to victory after victory!
That being said, this post is not about all the above; that was just me praising God 🙂
This post is about the fact that I am going to be offering up four pieces of my art as I auction them off online. It won’t be like eBay, but there won’t be any fees, either!
Check out the YouTube video I made this morning and stay tuned starting tomorrow!
Hey guys, I hope you all are having a wonderful and blessed weekend! I am!
First, I went to the doctor this week and he prescribed for me some medication to help me get my sleep back in rhythm. Today, after just two days of back-to-back 8+hours of sleep (the first in literally years) I feel great!
Amazing what sleep can do, right?
But besides that, I want to share this video I just made and posted several other places, particularly Facebook. It’s an invitation to come visit with us for Easter, either in person or online.
If you can’t visit with us in person, yet you want to be a part, check us out live on Facebook both at 7am and 11am Eastern on Facebook at @bethlehembaptistwarthen.
I appreciate all of you. Eventually I will get back to reading all of your posts, too! I miss them.
Friends, I just can’t put into words how much I look forward to writing more. Oh, I’m writing, but it’s not here. It’s just that I have priorities.
But let me tell you, God is good, His grace is sufficient (and I know about that) for every need – and oh, how deep a truth that is!
Life is not easy, nor is it always fun. Some of you in other countries have so many struggles that you look at us in America with disdain. However, please don’t do that . . . you are literally blessed beyond comprehension, not us.
Regardless, compared to heaven, our final reward, the place “not made with hands,” even the most fantastically-rich member of society is as poor in the sight of our Creator as a starving dog on the side of the road is to us.
No matter how rich by comparison to others, we are all poor, needy, broken, wounded, etc. “None are righteous, no not one.
Those who are the most wealthy are those who walk with God on a daily, even hourly basis.
The ones with true joy are the ones who’ve surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ.
Anyway, please have a sefe and glorious Easter weekend!
See you at church somewhere this Sunday!
In the meantime, I’m going to keep looking up and looking forward to great and mighty things!