Tag Archives: Adventure

The Great Adventure

Friends, I would like to ask you simply to keep me in your prayers the next couple of weeks. I’m going on a great adventure and even though I’m not fearful, I am nervous.

Some of you may know where I am going. However, because of the sensitive nature of the adventure, I would appreciate you not publicly spilling the beans as I try to remain under the radar. It doesn’t help matters that Putin has started his nonsense and put the world on alert.

Despite what is happening in the geopolitical world, there is a fundamental truth that will never change: People need Jesus! Beyond that, churches still need pastors and pastors need encouragement, along with all the help they can get to combat against doctrinal and theological error.

Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

1 Timothy 4:16

Therefore, I am going alone – physically – to a place I’ve never been to before. I’m going alone, quite frankly, because nobody else dares go with me. That’s OK, and I don’t blame them, especially those who feel confident that God is not leading them to accompany me. Yet, I know I won’t be totally alone, and I am not even referring to the armed security that will be accompanying me the whole time.

The Holy Spirit will be with me!

And I know many, many brothers and sisters will be praying for me, too.

And speaking of prayer, may I ask that you pray for the following?

  • That all the COVID-19 rapid tests will come back negative for COVID.
  • That I will be able to bring all that I need in the luggage I am taking.
  • For safety to and from the airport Monday morning, and that includes the safety of my dear wife who will be taking me.
  • For my family to rest in the peace of Christ while I’m gone.
  • That my dog George will not be depressed and stop eating while I am gone – seriously.
  • For safe travels to and from the destination. I hate flying these days.
  • For safe commuting while abroad, for where I am going traffic rules barely exist.
  • For a clear understanding of what God wants me to preach and teach while there.
  • For me not to get sick from any contaminated water or food.
  • For the safety of the pastors who will be attending meetings.
  • That funding will be more than adequate for the needs.
  • That lasting relationships will be fostered.
  • That the sermons and lectures (i.e., during the pastors’ conferences) will be seamlessly translated and understood.
  • That all involved will experience spiritual revival (including YOU).
  • That God will bless all those who have generously contributed to the needs of this Great Adventure.

Now, to sum this up for today, back in the 1990’s Steven Curtis Chapman released a great song along with a great music video. It was called “The Great Adventure.” This will be my theme.

This is the Great Adventure!

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Filed under ministry, Revival, worship

Observations from a Middle-Georgia Pastorate: Adventures In History, or “Break’n the Law”

Learning the History

One of the activities that occupies my time is learning the history of the area where I pastor. Believe me, there’s more than enough to keep one learning for a long, long time.

But learning local history is vitally important for getting to know the people one’s called to shepherd. And being that I’m not a local, not even close, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to go on some adventures in order to get a “lay of the land.”

That is why, after learning of the existence of an abandoned mental hospital, I had to learn more, and if possible, in person.

The Unofficial History

The place that I’m talking about is Central State Hospital, founded in 1842 as the  Georgia State Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum. At one time this was the largest mental hospital/asylum in the world, “serving” up to 13,000 people.

Central State has a long and sorted history with a mixed reputation for healing and horror. From what I have been told by locals (you know, the kind that sit around in the barber shop even when it’s not time for a trim), strange and unexplained things have happened since the “residents” of that place were “let loose.” And when you read the stories that hit the news in the years leading up to the hospital’s closing, you’ll understand.

This hospital was HUGE. We’re talking a self-supporting town! There were a couple of hundred buildings, including a power plant and a cemetery with 25,000 graves! And really, what more needs to be said?

Sadly, even though the hospital was founded as a place to help people, the help they offered for generations was nothing short of horrific. At one point there were 100 patients to every 1 doctor – and NO psychiatrists or psychologists! Common treatments of the confined, those who suffered from anything from depression to schizophrenia, were things like electro-shock, surgeries, and straight jackets.

What’s worse, parent’s in Georgia used to use this place as a threat to make their children behave. They would threaten their unruly children with, “I’ll send you to Milledgeville!” Horrifically, it was a threat with weight, for it’s been said that Central State Hospital was a place “where you sent people away to be forgotten.”

The Unofficial Tour

If you look up Central State Hospital on YouTube, you will inevitably find videos of people exploring the abandoned ruins of this facility. And what’s more, many of those are focused on the creepy and “haunted” aspects of the property. As a matter of fact, Central State is considered one of the most haunted places in America.

However, if you go to MY YouTube channel, what you will find is the video I’ve attached to this post. It is a video of what an unnamed friend and I saw when he offered to give me an unofficial tour.

The only thing is that what started off as a drive around the place ended up with me deciding to get out of the car for a closer look. And once we did that, and once I saw that there were no locks and no signs saying “KEEP OUT!”, I went in.

WARNING: Don’t do this!

“Break’n the Law”

After about an hour of walking around in an abandoned prison essentially meant to house handicapped and elderly prisoners until they died … and after several times of mimicking TV ghost hunters by calling to the unseen down black, unlit hallways, “Is anybody there?” … we retraced our steps and found our way out into the sunlight.

Before we made it to the car, a female security officer in a van came down a weedy, overgrown single-lane drive and rolled up beside us. “You are not allowed to be here…you need to leave now,” she said with all the seriousness of somebody being paid to guard Area 51. “Oh, OK. We were just looking around and about to leave,” we replied.

“Just so you know, we’re not giving warnings anymore – we’re just calling the police and they’re taking people like you to jail,” the security officer then informed us. But then she let us go with a warning.

Back in the car, my friend, also a preacher, asked, “Would your church had fired you if you’d gotten arrested?”

“Probably not,” I said. At least I hoped.

“We literally could have gone to jail,” my friend said. “Yeah, I guess you’re right,” I replied. “But it feels a little adventurous knowing we broke the law and got away with it.” I couldn’t help but remember MTV’s Beavis and Butthead from back in my younger, stupid years: they’d do something moronic, then act like would-be renegades while singing, “Break’n the law! Break’n the law!

This, however, was pastoral research.

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Filed under General Observations, ministry, places

Monday Monkey “Jumping On the Bed” (Episode 25)

Check it out! Our 25th Monday Monkey!

This is a very special episode of Monday (yes, I know it’s Tuesday) Monkey. Mr. Monkey (a.k.a. Buddy) had an accident while jumping on the bed. He fell off and bumped his head.

Actually, I had to take my wife to the emergency room this morning (for real). Being a good steward of God’s money (what He let’s me have of it), I figured I would take advantage of having thousands of dollars of medical equipment at my disposal, at least when the doctors weren’t looking.

Do you have any idea how much it would have cost to do this video if I had wanted to use an actual hospital? Oh, wait…it is costing a lot.

Here are three life lessons to learn from this episode of Monday Monkey…

  1. When your momma tells you to stop jumping on the bed, do it. If you don’t, you might fall off and bump your head.
  2. Doctors can think of thousands of reasons for conducting tests that have nothing to do with your actual complaint.
  3. Always carry a monkey with you wherever you go. Life can be the best movie set.

“Jumping On the Bed”

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Filed under Humor, Monday Monkey