Category Archives: community

Revival In Soddy-Daisy

Ever been to an old-fashioned tent revival? Well, here’s your chance!

I mean, here’s your chance to at least watch one night’s meeting from one.

The video link below was originally uploaded from my phone on Facebook live. It was filmed during the evening service on June 5, 2019. The event was a city-wide community revival, each night featuring 2 local pastors.

My daughter and I take the stage in the second half, after which I preach. For you preachers out there, it was a perfect homiletical lesson in the importance of learning how to preach extemporaneously (without notes).

I pray it’s a blessing.

Advertisements

9 Comments

Filed under Christian Unity, community, Preaching

Happy Earth Day 2019

Embracing Diversity

Let’s face it, I have a wide variety of people who follow this blog. They range from the ultra-right-wing conservative branches of the political and religious spectrum to the left-wing, tree-hugging,  tofu-eating, god-hating leftist trolls who do nothing all day but listen for billy goats to cross their pitiful bridges. Obviously, I’m happy you’re here reading this, no matter who you are.

It may be strange to hear a conservative Christian say it, but I embrace this diversity! My arms are extended and waiting to offer hugs to anyone and everyone who would let me show love. I may not affirm how you choose to live, and I may disagree with what you believe, but at least I care about you.

That being said, I know someone is going to be offended by what I’m about to write. However, there’s always another day and another blog post that you can enjoy.

As the climate fluctuates, so do the posts of this blog 😉

Another Earth Day

A lot of melted glacial water has floated to the ocean since the first days of Earth Day celebrations. Predictions have come and gone, and yet the world is still flowing right along. A little warmer, maybe, but still here.

Early predictions from the first Earth Day in 1970 guaranteed that we would not be around until the year 2000. Some predictions had the world ending by 1985. AOC says we’ll be done for in 12 years.

Do I believe that the earth might be a little warmer than it was in 1970? I guess it could be. I mean, I haven’t really been checking the temperature every day since I was three years old. But what I do know, is that we still have four seasons every year. Just like it’s always been, seasons change, and so will the epochs of nature.

If global warming is truly a thing, do I believe that man is contributing to it? No, I don’t. It has been warmer, then it got colder (they called it the ice age). Then, for some reason, long before man used coal and gasoline-powered engines to industrialize the world, things got warmer! Man had nothing to do with it!

A Proper Perspective 

What I do believe is that God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). He created both the earth and day, and night, and time, and matter, and us. This is His world, not ours; but we are to be good stewards of what He has given us to manage.

I do not believe it is the Christian thing to do to waste resources, t0 pollute the environment, to run crazy with all of our self-pleasing pursuits at the risk of damaging creation. God cares about his creation, which is why one day He will remove the curse that is upon it because of sin. However, because creation belongs to the Creator, it is not the creation that we should be worshiping; we should be celebrating the One who made it.

If kept in the proper perspective, World Earth Day could be a good thing. On the other hand, if all it is meant to be is an anti-capitalist, anti-God, celebration of a deified planet, one where humans are taught to be the scourge of the earth, rather than the epitome of creation, you can keep it!

In reality, I sort of feel like paraphrasing the apostle Paul when he was writing to the church at Corinth: “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you” (1 Thessalonians 5:1).

Just take care of what God has given you, praise God for it, and leave the season changing to him (Daniel 2:21).

PS, here’s a great article for today by reporter John Stossel. 

2 Comments

Filed under blogging, community, current events, General Observations, Global Warming, Weather, World View

Rescuing Discarded Valor

The Would-be Soldier

It was in the mid-70’s, when I was just a kid, that playing “army” was a thing I loved doing. I had green fatigues from an army surplus store, a WWII-era ammo belt, a canteen, and even a metal helmet to take out into the woods where I’d spend hours fighting imaginary Germans. Needless to say, going squirrel hunting in the mountains with my .22 cal. Marlin rifle offered a perfect opportunity for my imagination to take me to another place and time, to play the warrior in my mind.

Later, twice in the 90’s, I attempted to enlist in the military, but I was turned down twice, both times for a eye condition (glaucoma) that I never actually had. Funny thing, both my dad and my grandfather had volunteered for service, but they were turned down, too! But at least it was in our nature… we were Tennesseans, after all (aka “Volunteers”).

So, I’ve always had a part of me that wanted to be a soldier, a warrior, a hero, a patriot. Unfortunately/fortunately – it’s hard to tell – I never qualified to wear the uniform for real. That is why I have the utmost respect for our servicemen and servicewomen who voluntarily stand in the gap to defend our freedom, especially those who faced actual combat. not squirrels.

That brings me to the real reason for writing this, today: the memory of something I found as a kid while “dumpster diving.”

Discarded Valor

Back when I was younger, one of the things my dad and I did as a “hobby” was something called “dumpster diving.” All that means is that we would often scavenge through dumpsters full of trash, even walk through junk yards, to see what people would throw away. Believe it or not, people through away perfectly good stuff!

One day, for instance, my dad looked inside a dumpster not far from where he worked and found a bag of golf clubs. Yes, a whole bag of golf clubs. Only one of them was broken, which led us to conclude that whoever used them last gave up the sport after one last slice into the woods. Nevertheless, since we had never owned any clubs before, this gave my dad and me an opportunity to practically (although not intentionally) reenact the Three Stooges’ on a short course of nine holes.

But on another day, while waiting for my dad to get off work, after my mom had dropped me off at his shop, I went dumpster diving on my own. That day I found what I thought at the time to be totally cool – medals and pictures, including a Purple Heart in its box, all from the Vietnam War. These items fascinated me so much that I took them home and kept them for years. It wasn’t until later in life that I even considered the reason these items were in the trash.

Fast forward to today. This morning I sat once again with veterans from conflicts ranging from World War 2 to Operation Enduring Freedom. Every Wednesday that meet as a part of Operation Song, an outreach/therapy/ministry meant to help veterans cope by telling their stories through song. Click HERE to learn more.

Once again, listening to the stories of what our veterans have gone through, and not just those who saw combat, I was reminded how valuable they are, each one of them. Their sacrifice, manifested in so many ways, is worth remembering and honoring. And today that got me to thinking back to that purple heart I found in the dumpster nearly 40 years ago.

Who threw it away? Was it the soldier? A family member? Someone just cleaning out the trash from an abandoned apartment? Either way, no matter the reason, somebody, maybe even the veteran himself, failed to see the value in what they were tossing out. What it represented to them was nothing more than the left-overs from a TV dinner.

Rescue the Valor

 

A lot of soldiers, sailors, and marines feel that way about themselves. They feel like no one cares, like all they did and all they sacrificed is now worthless. But they are so wrong.

The last thing any service member or service member’s family needs to feel is that their sacrifice, whether in time or blood or both (including the tangible relics of their sacrifice) are worthless.

It’s past time that we start looking through the “dumpsters” for those discarded treasures. We need to reclaim them, along with their memories, and put them back in the places of honor they deserve.

We need to be about rescuing the valor that some have discarded. It NEVER loses value. 

If you’re a veteran, you have a song.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under America, community, General Observations

The Best a Man Can Get

Gillette

By now you’ve probably watched the video that Gillette put out, the one some have praised, while others (most men) have condemned for being anti-masculine.

To be honest – and I’m a very conservative kind of guy – I can see both the pros and the cons. However, I’m more than a little tired of  the way it’s taking women to define what a man should be, at least in the world’s eyes.

Evidently, man can monitor themselves; it takes a strong woman.

In case you’ve not seen it, here’s a link (I’ll just attach the response from Ben Shapiro in National Review which contains the the commercial in the story).

Joshua and Jesus

There has been a lot of response to the Gillette commercial – most of it, at least from men, is negative.

But what bothers me about the commercial is the whole premise that masculinity is toxic. The APA (American Psychological Association) even recently released their opinion that “traditional masculinity” is harmful to boys.

Well, when it comes to masculinity, I prefer to get my guidelines from the Bible, and a few particular verses immediately come to mind.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. – Joshua 24:15 

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men [be brave, courageous], be strong. Let all your things be done with charity [love]. – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising [disregarding] the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:2 KJV

“etc., etc., etc….”

Long before the #metoo movement there were men, real men, who treated women with respect (as God designed), watched out for his fellow man (and woman), protected, provided, and prayed.

Maybe if we could go back to taking our cues from godly men and fathers instead of Hollywood actors, recording industry playboys, thuggish professional athletes, and pajama-wearing couch warmers we’d raise a new generation of leaders instead of abusers and whiners.

If we could be more like Jesus, that’s the best a man can get. 

4 Comments

Filed under America, community, Culture Wars, current events, politics

Planning for 30,000!

I published my first posts on WordPress back in September of 2009 – all 4 of them. It was not until July of 2010 that I began to post more often.

But what bothers me is that I have yet to reach the 30,000-view mark. As a matter of fact, this year’s stats saw a dramatic drop, even though the number of posts I published were essentially the same (42 less than last year, and 9 more than in 2017).

So, being that this September will be my 10th anniversary with WordPress, it’s about time I break the 30K glass ceiling.

The following are my plans to accomplish the 30,000 mark:

  1. Pray before each post.
  2. Publish posts that are beneficial, not superficial nonsense meant only to score a few views.
  3. Focus on more in-depth series, like the 10-part one I’m about to do based on a sermon outline.
  4. Re-blog (share) posts from other bloggers on a regular basis.
  5. Read and comment more on other sites.
  6. Explore the “tags” and find new people to meet.
  7. Publish more than one post a day, even if the posts are shared posts or quick, encouraging thoughts, memes, or verses.
  8. Make myself available for doing guest posts.
  9. Keep a sense of humor and sanctified sarcasm 😉

If you have any other suggestions, I’d love for you to share them.

Blessings to you all!

16 Comments

Filed under blogging, community, writing

I’m a “5-Issue” Voter

Today is election day in America.

Today is the day we Americans – the ones who care – take advantage of a blood-bought privilege to determine who will represent us in the governance of our nation, from local races all the way to Washington, D.C.

Now, it’s only a “mid-term” election, but it’s still very, very important. That is why I will head to the polls with as much gravitas as I would should this be an election to determine the President of the United States.

Some people will vote solely along political party lines. Others will vote based on “who’s best for the job.” They are the ones who claim to put person over party,”principle over politics.”

But let’s be honest, folks: this election (as was the last one) is far more complicated than simple either/or choices. No one is perfect, so it’s not always easy to say there’s one candidate that’s clearly better than another. And, to be fair, depending on where you live and who’s in charge, party affiliation isn’t always a black-and-white issue.

However, there are some issues that help guide how I will vote in each election. Some folk like to think of themselves as “single-issue voters.” I, on the other hand, am more like a “5-issue voter.” Therefore, I thought I would share them with you this morning, just in case you are looking for any last-minute advice.

5 Deciding Issues

1 The First Amendment. Without a doubt, the Constitution is always under attack. One reason is because so many are woefully ignorant of what’s in the Constitution – most have never even read it! But when it comes to whom I vote for, I will NOT vote for someone who threatens to dismantle my right to free speech and my right to worship. To be specific, I will oppose a candidate who wants to enact legislation meant to silence the pulpit, chill open discussion of ideas, or restrict Christians from participation in the public square.

2. Right to Life/Life of the Unborn. Let me be very clear, I will not vote for any man or woman who condones abortion on demand. Granted, the choice might get complicated if both candidates believe the same on this issue, but differently on others, but as a general rule, if there is any other choice, I will not vote for a person – or a Party – that supports and condones the willful and unnecessary destruction of innocent human life in the womb.

3. The Second Amendment. This is America, not Europe or Australia. I will not vote for someone who wants to take away my right to bear arms. George Washington said: “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence.” For a more amplified defense of this position, I would refer you to an essay by Walter E. Williams of George Mason University (the source of the above Washington quote) entitled “Constitutional ignorance.

4. Originalist Judges. It is tragic that so much power is now placed in the courts. Yet, knowing the way things have been going as of late, it’s probably not going to change any time soon. Therefore, it is more important than ever for an informed voter to cast his vote for a candidate who will support the selection and nomination of judges who will not seek to write law but enforce it. It is also important that the candidate support the selection and nomination of judges who do not try to imagine what the Founders were thinking, but what they wrote. It is not the responsibility of the judge to change law based on his or her opinion of it; it’s the job of the branch that writes the law in the first place – Congress.

5. Freedom. Believe it or not, most people are clueless as to what a genuine “right” is. That is why we have seen laws like the Affordable Care Act passed. Because many claimed healthcare to be a natural human right, Americans were forced to give up actual rights in order to keep from being fined. Any “right” that imposes a “duty” on another is not a true human right because it cannot be enjoyed simultaneously by both individuals. For a great explanation of what is a legitimate human “right,” I would encourage you to read the following piece by Professor Charles W. Baird: “#10 – ‘I Have a Right!'”

So there you have it. These are the issues that help guide how I will vote in each election. I hope they help.

Now, go vote!

2 Comments

Filed under Abortion, America, community, current events, politics, voting

Praying for the President

Why can’t more Christians be like Pastor Brunson and pray for the President?

How many times do folks like myself have to remind fellow believers that even if you dislike the man, Donald Trump is the President of the United States, and we are therefore instructed to petition God on his behalf, to pray for him when he might not even recognize his needs, and to thank God for him.

Don’t believe me?

First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. – 1 Timothy 2:1-4 CSB

Notice the “why’s” attached to the above commands:

  • So that we may lead a peaceful and quite life.
    Tell me, how in the world is throwing civility out the window helping things? Is our nation peaceful and tranquil? Heck, no! And why not? Could it be that many Christians are guilty of allowing Satan to use them as tools to stir up strife?
  • So that we lead a quite life of godliness and dignity.
    Oh, tell me, how much godliness is there in forcing people out of restaurants and threatening constant incivility? Where is the dignity in screaming at the sky and clawing at the doors of the Supreme Court?
  • It pleases the Lord.
    Newsflash: Rioting in the streets and burning police cars does not please the Lord. Sending hate mail does not please the Lord. Creating an atmosphere of chaos and incivility – even anarchy – does NOT please the Lord.
  • For the sake of the gospel!
    Yes, we are to pray for our leaders so that we might live peaceable, godly, and dignified lives in order that the good news of Christ might be shared with those for whom Jesus died, and that those for whom He died might be saved.

If that’s not enough, and you can’t think of anything good to say about President Trump, Jesus Himself leaves you with no excuse for the hatred and violence.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. – Matthew 5:44-45 KJV

Some of you can’t believe that any Christian would support Donald Trump. Frankly, I couldn’t believe that any Christian could support Barack Obama, the man more hostile to the Church than any other president in history.

But I can tell you this without blinking an eye: I prayed for President Obama.

We should be praying for President Trump, too.

30 Comments

Filed under America, Christian Living, Christian Unity, community, current events, ministry, Prayer