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King George: Master of All He Surveys

Here’s the most recent post from another blog I use every now and then to publish pictures. George makes for great object lessons 😉

i4 Daily

It is amazing how tiny dogs think they are so big. Of course, being king over the back yard might not be on George’s mind, but he knows his territory, from back porch to back fence. 

He’s so cute.

But in reality, we humans do look out over our kingdoms and think of ourselves as masters of all we survey. We look at this and that and claim it as ours, when in actuality it is only loaned to us for a short time – our lifetime. 

The true King is the one who never dies, who’s deed to the universe will never expire, and the one for and by all things were created.

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and…

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Why I Believe: C.S. Lewis and Me – Part One

I was about to look for something I’d written to re-post for today, that is, until I could write some new stuff having to do with “leftovers.” That’s when I decided to go read some other blogs, first. Lo and behold, Mitch Teemley’s blog was the first to come up, and I immediately felt impressed to share it.

Please read Mitch’s story of how he came to faith in Christ. Even if you are already a believer, it will be an encouragement.

Mitch Teemley

the-moon-through-north-window-arches-national-park-utah-united-states

The truth that compelled me to journey from atheism to faith also had a profound impact on my spiritual mentor C. S. Lewis.  Here, in three parts, is my story–written five years ago when my blog was new.

Few have brought so much baggage along on their journey of faith as I had when I got down on my knees in the dark and declared my dependence upon God in the bicentennial year 1976.  I simply had no choice; the Hound of Heaven had tracked me down and cornered me in my little cinderblock study. I had no idea that nearly fifty years earlier a reticent Oxford don named C. S. Lewis, known to his friends as “Jack,” had made the same begrudging journey from atheism to deism to Christ:

“You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted…

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Christian Blogging: Just Sowing Seed

We plant and water seeds of hope, love, joy, and grace.

We sow these seeds all over the world!

Rarely will we see a harvest, but the Holy Spirit knows how to take that divinely inspired “click” and turn it into new life, or at least encourage one.

It will be interesting and wonderful to one day see what God was able to do with the crazy medium of Christian blogging.

To HIM be the glory!

flowers

Photo credit: Katie Marie Baker

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What’s Cooking On Your Blog?

I think the reason he is called The Devotional Guy is because people are afraid of pronouncing his name 😉 Regardless, in this piece Rainer Bantau shares some pretty good advice on how to increase traffic to your blog – or at least make your kitchen smell nice.

The Devotional Guy™

Are your posts boiling over with traffic and tons of engagement or is your blog resting at a slow simmer? Low and slow is a perfect method for cooking a brisket. But, truthfully, not so much for growing your blog. Perhaps your blog is on ice or maybe it’s stashed away with those leftovers you intended to eat but forgot you had in the fridge.

No worries.

Hopefully, through this post, I can provide you a cup of encouragement and help you spice up your blogging adventures.

Before focusing on ministry, I spent over half my life working in the food business in a variety of roles. Which is a good thing because I love food and enjoy the hustle-and-bustle a restaurant provides. And even now, I still find myself thinking in restaurant and food terms. Who knows…maybe there’s another restaurant gig in my future?

The thing I love…

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To Be With Him…

I went to my “reader” with the intention to look for something to reblog on my site. Well, the first one I clicked on was this one by my friend IB. There was an immediate connection with my spirit.

You see, I’m trying to do a lot of things, maybe too much (according to a couple of deacons who want me to be careful and not burn myself out), and all of it NEEDS to be done. Yet, just this morning I was having coffee with a fellow preacher and I shared my self-diagnosed need to spend more time with the Lord in prayer…not in a legalistic way, but in a quality way.

In other words, I need to spend time with the One who has sent me, otherwise whatever I’m doing for Him will be nothing more than wood, hay, and stubble.

Thanks, IB, for the reminder – and confirmation.

See, there's this thing called biology...

I love this saying, “Jesus calls us to be with Him, not to work for Him.”

That bothers me, I have a bazillion objections already. Like, “faith without works is dead!” But there is stuff that needs to get done!  Nobody else is going to do it! What am I supposed to do, just sit here and do nothing?

Jesus calls us to be with Him. We people tend to be all about fixing stuff, doing stuff, producing stuff, as if we now get to show how much good work we do for the Lord, how invaluable we are. Chuckling here, and I shall spare you all the links, but those busy trying to prove how virtuous and good they are, are all over twitter and FB, and they’re downright ugly. Ugly, I tell ya!  U-g-l-y.

That’s because our own works are always based on scarcity and fear. I do…

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The Inconvenient Jesus

You may hear me preach something very kin to this post some day. I could almost hear a whack on the pulpit and feel the spit flying through the air as I caught a glimpse of a waving handkerchief. Preach it, brother!

Kingdom Pastor

Being “in the country” means sometimes you have to go the distance to find what you are looking for. Now, understand that I model the example of buying locally as much as possible. But sometimes . . . you have to go the distance. We frequently have to go north of here to see some of our doctors, and most importantly, to go see Dad. In one of these paths I inevitably have to stop at this particular convenience store; “have to” being the operative word.

You see, I have an enormous love for coffee, and I have to take a little “fluid pill” prescribed by my doctor to help with my blood pressure. Well, if you love coffee and have to take one of those demon pills–then you understand why I “have to” stop there. And out of respect for that business owner, I do purchase something for the…

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Reprove the Reprovable

Just a thought from Proverbs. Tonight we are studying chapter 9 at church (Wednesday night). My prayer is that I will always be teachable, but also able to distinguish between those who are and those who aren’t. Time is too valuable to waste it on the foolish who don’t even care.

Proverbial Thought

Proverbs 9:8 

“Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.”

A Little Irony

In one way it seems counter-intuitive to be told not to reprove someone, but that is exactly what Solomon is saying. Some people refuse to be corrected.

It not only seems counter-intuitive, but ironic. Why would the “wise man” need to be rebuked? Shouldn’t we be rebuking the fool? It’s almost crazy, isn’t it? Don’t correct the fool, but do correct the wise: maybe we should dig into this a little further.

The Scorner

Let’s think about the scorner for a moment. Gesenius described the scorner as one who derides and mocks, maybe even by “imitating [the reprover’s] voice in sport.” In other words, the scorner could be thought of as someone who, when corrected, comes back with a “nah nah nah nah boo boo, I can’t…

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Knowledge Looks Good On You

The first entry for Proverbial Thought was published on April 1st, 2012. It took 2 years, writing every day, to go through the whole book of Proverbs. However, due to various reasons, a few posts were missed. Even worse, several have been lost in the black hole of the digital universe. But today – yes, today! – I wrote a brand new commentary to fill in the space left by an entry that went missing.

I hope you find it to be a blessing.

Proverbial Thought

Proverbs 14:18

“The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.”

Making a Deal

When I was young, there was a very popular game show on television called Let’s Make a Deal. One of the most popular aspects of that show was the opportunity given to contestants to choose their prize. They could choose between what they were initially given, or take a risk and exchange it for something else…usually behind “curtain number 1.”

More often than not, the contestants would choose to take the risk – and it was a risk – and surrender what was in hand (even though they may have not know what that was, either) for whatever was hidden behind one of several curtains.

And, more often than not, as far as I can remember, the contestants usually ended up with something pretty silly, like a lifetime supply of toothpicks. On the…

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Wherever the Good News is spoken …

Learning From God's Word

“Wherever the Good News is spoken in the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her” (Mark 14:9).
The Good News tells us about Christ’s love for us. It tells us about what Christ has done for us. It also calls for our response to His love, our response to what he has done for us.

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Observations from a Middle-Georgia Pastorate: the Gnat Line

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Gnats

I had never heard of such things growing up in Tennessee. And when living in Kentucky, there was nothing like it in the blue grass. But down here in middle Georgia there are these critters called eye gnats, or simply “gnats.”

You see, where we are is where the soil is just right for a particular kind of pest that will quite near make a non-native preacher cuss. These things will fly (no disrespect intended) into your eyes, your nose, your ears, and even your mouth. They’re dreadfully-annoying flying flecks of near demonic frustration.

But however annoying these little critters can be (and one just flew by my computer screen), at least they are not flies. Annoying is one thing, but at lest they’re not disgusting and deadly.

Believe it or not, the average fly is much worse than a hundred of these ear-buzzing hellions.

Flies

I don’t want to gross you out with all the stuff that flies do, but I could.

The worst part is that in order to eat they have to regurgitate stomach acid onto their food source (your food), dissolve it, then suck it back up. In the process, whatever was left in the gut of the fly from its last meal (road-kill or doggie poop) just got puked onto your burger or ice cream.

Now THAT is DISGUSTING!

Because flies are so nasty, annoying, and ever-present, the writer of Ecclesiastes chose to use them (not gnats) in an illustration. He said,

Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor: [so doth] a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom [and] honor (Ecclesiastes 10:1).

What does that mean?

Well, an apothecary was someone who made perfume, or a medicinal ointment. Some of these ointments could take a long time to create, not to mention use a lot of costly ingredients in the making. If left uncovered, the sweet smell would attract flies. Only one fly landing in the ointment could cause it to spoil and create a foul odor.

Losing its beautiful smell, the ointment was no longer capable of doing what it was designed to do.

Like the ointment of the perfume maker, our reputations (testimonies) are hard to come by, but easy to ruin. All it takes is just one little mistake, misstep, or sin to cause a big stink. So, watch out for the little sins that can ruin your hard-earned reputation.

Keep the lids on and the screens closed.

“The Fly Song” (Dead Flies)

A few years ago, in a moment of creativity, I stayed up late one night putting a song together on my 8-track Tascam. A while later, my friend (Roy Cavender) came and laid down the lead guitar track.

I’m going to let you listen to it, but you need an open mind and a sense of humor. Maybe one day I will have the time and money to take it to the studio and do it up right, along with some other works recorded late at night when I should have been asleep.

Click the link below to listen! Then, by all means, be thankful if all you have buzzing around are middle-Georgia gnats 🙂

Dead Flies

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