Tag Archives: History

These Are the Glory Days: We Were Made for This!

The King James Version puts it this way:

Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this. – Ecclesiastes 7:10 

The New Living Translation is a little more succinct:

Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise. – Ecclesiastes 7:10 NLT

Either way, the point is the same: There are dangers inherent to longing for what was instead of dealing with today.

Below is a link to the sermon I preached last Sunday morning. I hope it encourages you.


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Filed under Christian Living, Church, current events, Faith, ministry, Preaching

Those Were the Days

It was 1989, I believe.

It was back in the day when I worked in nuclear field services with Combustion Engineering, and then later with ABB.

It was back in the day when I flew to different nuclear plants to work for weeks at a time, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.

It was a day when I could go up to any cockpit of any jet and ask to take a picture…and never get any grief.

It was a day when one pilot said, “Here, son, why don’t you just sit in my seat and put on my hat and let me take your picture.”

The engines were still spooling and my hand was on the throttles!

It was a day long before 9/11.

Man, those were the days!

I miss them.


Were those glasses huge, or was my head smaller?

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Filed under America, Uncategorized

Visiting Charleston (Part 3)


One thing is for sure, Charleston is full of history. The harbor is full of stories dating back long before the Civil War, even before the Revolution. Battery Point (White Point Garden) has beautiful, massive homes still in use that were built before this country was even a nation! Pictures don’t do this place justice.

Then, of course, there are places like Fort Sumter (where the Civil War began), Patriots Point (home of the USS Yorktown), the Charleston City Market, the H. L. Hunley Museum (the world’s first successful combat submarine), and even The Confederate Museum.

Confederate Controversy

Speaking of the Confederacy, my youngest and I took a few minutes and toured the small Confederate Museum in Market Hall. Originally a place where business was conducted, in 1899 this building was turned into a museum by those who actually fought for Charleston during the Civil War, thereby making the museum historic in its own right.

photo (57)Some of you reading this may have felt uneasy going into the Confederate Museum, and that is unfortunate. So much has been done since the shooting at Emanuel A.M.E Church to sponge away any remnant or reminder of Confederate history, yet what happened back in the 1860’s is part of the fabric of our nation. Much honor is to be found in the stories of the brave young men who fought for their homeland.

Back when there were no cell phones, television, or internet, the average young man’s world was a small one, limited to just a few miles in any direction from the very place he was born. All he would have known; all the people he would have known; everything pertinent to his universe would have been right there in his community, or, at most, his state. How could he be compelled to take up arms against his home?

The Flag Letter

Among the many stunning artifacts from when the Civil War enveloped Charleston was a signal flag – not your stereotypical Confederate battle flag –  a single, simple, signal flag used during the evacuation of Fort Sumter. Attached to this flag was a small letter from the original owner. I will paraphrase part of what it said:

“You may not consider this flag much more than a trinket, but it means much more than that to me. It represents the best years of a patriotic young boy’s life, from age 16 to 20.”

I stood there with my daughter and read aloud the full letter describing the history of the flag written by the one who raised it in victory, then lowered it in defeat. This young man didn’t sound like a slave owner, or a bigot, or a murderer. These were just the words of a patriotic young man who did what he was called to do when his home was threatened.

I’m not ashamed of the South. What I am ashamed of are those who, for political expediency or “white guilt,” want to erase the heritage of a strong, dignified, loyal people without even setting foot on our soil. I am ashamed of those who forget that it was the soldiers who fought each other that came together after the war to heal their wounds and erect monuments to each other’s bravery. I am ashamed of Americans who choose make all Southerners out to be something we are not.

Forgiven His-Story

The folks in the news media only want ratings; they don’t care about truth. Sure, there are bad people, bigoted people out there, but there are also good people – and a lot more of them than the other.

There in the City Market I talked with a black lady about all that had been going on after the shooting at the church. It was at her church that the last of the funerals were to be held that afternoon. It was from her that I bought a New Testament written in the Gullah language (the language of the low country). We talked for a long time about the contrasts between people who chose to forgive and those who chose to burn down their cities. We talked about race, about how the media only wants to further divide us, and how that God loves us all. We talked about Jesus, about loving each other, and then hugged as we parted.

Two strangers in a market…a market in a town that could have gone the way of Baltimore and Ferguson, but didn’t…because people chose to show forgiveness…because good people didn’t resort to painting everyone else with a broad brush.

Honestly, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that real Southerners are ones who’ve learned how to grow up, admit our mistakes, and move on. We don’t need the modern PC police trying to score political points by opening up old wounds. We can’t change what happened 150 years ago, but we can forgive…as Christ forgives us…and be better people than the history revisionist want us to be.

Now that South Carolina has voted in the house and senate to remove the Confederate flag and “move it to a museum,” I hope they don’t forget to go visit it once in a while. Those who once flew that flag in war were the very same ones who came back together to heal this nation.

I’m just glad my little girl got to see how history can become His-story before all the history is history.

photo (58)

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Filed under America, Parenting, politics, Vacation

Favorites of the 500

Favorite Posts

post-milestone-500-1xI first started blogging back in 2009. Since then I have written over 500 posts, but many have all but been forgotten – out of sight, out of mind.

Therefore, I have gone back and picked several of my favorites from the first couple of years and listed them below. I hope you will have the time to look at a few, especially the ones specifically dealing with legalism (my pet subject).

  1. The Doctrine of Separation Examined (Where most of my Independent Baptist friends and I – I’m Baptist, too – disagree the most)
  2. Why Be a Legalist?
  3. Prostitots? (One of my most in-your-face, no-punches-pulled posts)
  4. Does Divorce Disqualify? (Very controversial post)
  5. What to Wear to Church? (Many people should read this, then send a copy to everyone in their church!)
  6. Study to Show Thyself Approved On a Survey
  7. Smoking: The Legalists Are Alive and Well
  8. Let God Be True, and Luther a Liar
  9. The Recovering Legalist Meets Building 429 (My first mega-hit piece, thanks to the band putting this on their website 😉 )
  10. The REAL Problem With the Problem of Evil (Pretty much a personal essay on the problem of evil)
  11. “You might be a legalist if…” (Did Jeff Foxworthy write this?)
  12. Anthony’s Appetite #6 (Marinated Herring) (I used to be an amateur food critic)
  13. You Call THAT a Church?
  14. Don’t Be Skeerd (my own list) (A funny list at what Christians should NOT be afraid of)
  15. Monday Monkey Meets Benny Berry (I still get teary-eyed when I watch this!)


Filed under blogging, General Observations, Independent Baptist, legalism

Happy Birthday to Me!

Horn, be thou tooted!

Yes, it is my birthday. Gifts of all denominations (that means money, not Methodists) will be accepted. You can also send watches, old books, Martin guitars, Jaguars, Mustangs, autographed pictures of Ronald Reagan and Zoey Deschanel, and/or iPads.

Really, I am happy to be 46 years old, which is four years shy of half a century. Some people are older than me, but a lot are younger – many of which are stupid. Did I just say that? Yes, I did. It’s because I’m getting older and old people can say what they want.

Facing Mortality

In all seriousness, today is a day which I have been fearing for the last 22 years. When I was 24 my father died (coincidentally, he was 24 when his dad died). He was 46 years old. Now, on this momentous day, I am as old as he was when he went home to be with the Lord. Sobering, isn’t it?

My dad.

My dad.

Even though it is sobering, if not a little depressing, the though of being as old as my dad was when he died has caused me to reflect on my life. It has also caused me to think more about my wife and children who, if they had been like me 22 years ago, would only have me around six months longer.

If I die this year – and I hope I don’t, believe me! – at least my wife and kids will have insurance money, a collection of recordings of me preaching and singing, and a lot of written words. However, they won’t have ME.

That is why I don’t drive as recklessly.

That is why I am thinking more about my diet.

That is why I am beginning to work out.

That is why my journal entries are becoming more pensive, thankful, and less gripey.

That is why I am trying to make sure I live the way I want to be remembered.

More than ever, I want to finish well.


Filed under Christian Living, Christian Maturity, Life Lessons, Parenting, Relationships and Family

Monkey Survived

He Survived!

I was so worried, but Mr. Monkey came through the wash without falling apart. Washing a family heirloom is not something I do very often, especially 30 year-old puppets.

You see, I took Mr. Monkey with us to the beach in South Carolina. There he experienced getting buffeted by the salty waves crashing onto the shore. Fortunately, he didn’t need sunscreen.

The only problem is that Mr. Monkey came out of the wash fine, but ended up looking like he got a “perm” after only a few minutes in the dryer. He’s still a little damp, so he’s just hanging around, for now.

Well, signing off again from the WordPress iPhone app. Have a great Thursday!




Filed under animals, blogging, Monday Monkey

“What do these stones mean?”

While driving my school bus just the other day, I happened to ask a couple of teenagers about their knowledge of the battle of Lookout Mountain during the Civil War. They had no knowledge that there ever WAS a battle on that mountain! I was completely dumbfounded. Every day we drive across the foot of Lookout Mt., right past monuments and markers, right beneath the cannon placements above, and yet they never even knew there was a battle there! Unbelievable!As I see it, somewhere there was a breakdown in the education these children were given. How is it even possible that teenagers could graduate from schools in Chattanooga and never know that one of the key battles of the Civil War, the very war that liberated their ancestors from slavery (they were African-American), was fought in their own back yard?

Was this information not considered important enough to teach in public school?

The Battle of Lookout Mountain

When I took just a few minutes to share some facts about what happened in and around Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga, making them look out the windows up to the low-hanging clouds that covered the bluffs, they began to understand some things. When I related how desperate the Union troops were, the seemingly invincible fortress that was Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, and then used the clouds right in front of them to explain the “miracle” that took place, history came alive. I asked them to imagine how scary it was to a guy that may have walked all the way down from New York, just to look straight up that mountain and know that he was going to have to go up it with just a rifle and a bayonet.

Most American young people do not care about history because they have never been led to make a connection with the past. When it becomes personal, either by making it relevant or intriguing, they take ownership. We can’t just sit around and blame our children, or other’s, for not knowing what we do not teach them.  The very same thing can be said about our faith and what we believe. Consider the following Scripture:

Joshua 4:4-7 Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man: and Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of Jehovah your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel; that this may be a sign among you, that, when your children ask in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? then ye shall say unto them, Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of Jehovah; when it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.

What can we learn from these verses?  What principles can we see that could help our youth better understand our Faith, not to mention our history?  Here are just a few observations.

  1. When your children ask in time to come…”  If our children are not asking questions, they need to be.  We need to lead them to places and discussions that would cause them to ask the right questions that lead them to discover truth.
  2. These stones…”  There needs to be stones of remembrance, monuments, memorials in each Christian’s life that cause others to ask “the reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).
  3. Then ye shall say unto them…”   Do we know what to say when they do ask?  We had better!  What a loss and a missed opportunity when a child, even an adult, asks “what does this mean,” and we have nothing to say.
  4. Your children…”   It is our responsibility to teach our children, not the state, nor a stranger.  Ultimately, we will be held accountable for what they learn, and from whom.

I can’t be held responsible for all the children of America, but I will be held responsible for mine (that’s one BIG reason we homeschool).  You will have to answer for yours.  And when it comes to the others that ride our buses, or mow our lawns, or stand in line, or or sit in our Sunday School classes, or whatever, don’t waste an opportunity to explain the reason for the “stones,” even if it’s a big mountain.

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Filed under Christian Living, General Observations, Homeschool, Relationships and Family, Uncategorized, World View