Sunday, December 26, 2010

No Matter How Low...

This Christmas I was touched by a special significance from one word in the Christmas story as told in Luke 2 In the Holy Bible. (Luke 2: 2 - 22)

There was NO room in the Inn. How about the barn? That will have to do. We'll have to make due and improvise with what we have. Are you beginning to catch a theme here? God could have chosen to bring His only Son into this world anywhere! But he chose the lowly manger. Think about what that truly represents... IF the Savior came into this world ( and HE did!) in the lowliest of places during that time in history, do you have ANY doubt whatsoever that there is NO place TOO low that he would not meet you to Save your Life? He is there waiting - no matter where, no matter how low, no matter how far gone, no matter whether you believe you're worth it or not. All you have to do is accept Jesus as your Savior, repent of your sins, and commit your life to Him.

The manger? Have you thought about it lately? What it actually is? How is a manger defined? - a feeding trough for farm animals.

Today we urbanites can relate that to a Cat Bowl or a Dog Dish. Seriously... Really? Think about it! Do you think he will not meet you no matter where you are?

Where are you? Right this moment? No matter where you are, this is evidence he will meet you!

So the only question is - will you ask him to meet YOU? Even when we are believers, we can find ourselves in dark valleys of doubt. True...or not?

What are your thoughts about the manger? Do you believe God can come to you no matter how far away you are?

Luke 2:12 (New International Version, ©2010)

12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Luke 5:32 (New International Version, ©2010)
32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Time to Reel It Back In?

Carlos Whittaker at "The Sticks Conference" - 11/10/2010
 This is a short post, much because I didn't post at all last month, and I really can't say why - except, oh what's the word I'm looking for? Oh yeh, LAZINESS!

Last month I had the pleasure of attending "The Sticks Conference" down in Orangeburg, SC hosted by Cornerstone Community Church. To say that it was an awesome, spirt-filled, learning experience would be a huge understatement. One of the break-outs I had the opportunity to participate in was a session on Social Media with Carlos Whittaker of Ragamuffin Soul (@loswhit on Twitter). Los, I hope you don't mind me sharing a couple of the great tips you gave us:

1. Tweet/Post frequently and consistently
2. Have some posts in the "kitty" ready to go (so when you're on the run you have something ready)
3. Be real and engage with people - be yourself, don't try to be anyone else
4. Share your life with others - You're more interesting than you might believe (again, be real)

Los is probably laughing about now because the above is my interpretation (very loose interpretation) of what he actually said during the breakout!  =)

My point is, I read a great deal of posts from "Social Media Experts - Tips and Tricks" AND "Social Media Gurus" - like someone really knows how to work this game? Knows the "proper way to tweet"! And trust me, I know enough to know that there are plenty of spammers, bots, and tweeps with alterior motives. I don't know about you but I do this to share and connect with a world of people I may never otherwise come in contact with, much more actually get to know! (and to meet in person as I did last month at "The Sticks Conference").

So that being said: Thanks Carlos (although a little late) for sharing your life with me. You are an amazing dude, with amazing talent, amazing stories to share and the icing on the cake - a very inspirational brother in Christ. Love ya bro!

Just FYI - I'm going to try to do a series of posts writing about many of these people I have run across through Social Media, some of whom I have had the pleasure to meet F2F and others who inspire me (and I'd still like to meet). Maybe I'll even get to interview a few of them - a lofty goal (but wouldn't that be crazy fun)!

Any suggestions on who I might share about next? Who would you like to hear my take on? Give me some thoughts in the comments.

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Judgement House

Judgement House at PGBC 2010
What's it All About? -An Overview of This Years Event

For the last four years, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, has put on a walk-through drama called Judgement House. Please don't confuse "Judgement House" with "Hell House©" They are not at all the same. The only thing they share in common is that they are both walk-through dramas. The mission of "Judgement House", as stated on their website is as follows:

Our Mission:

At Judgement House our mission is to provide as many people as possible with an opportunity to choose a saving, and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We believe the basis for this mission can be found in Matthew 28:19-20. "Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: "Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (New Living Translation)

Our goal in the presentation of the Judgement House drama is to provide as many people as possible with an opportunity to choose a saving, and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We perform the drama over the course of two weekends (Thursday through Saturday). Each night we have 16 to 20 groups of approximately 30 people. The groups begin the journey through the scenes at 15 minute intervals, lead from scene to scene by a guide who narrates the entire story. So we see on average about 3,000 guests during the course of this ministry.

The Judgement House Organization has various scripts to choose from. This year our script was "Words: A Prescription for Tragedy". The story line deals with the plight of a young man, Russ, whose parents have made many bad decisions and end up in prison for drug related charges. With nowhere else to go, Russ ends up living with his Grandmother who is a Christian trying to share the love of Jesus with her Grandson. Russ, who is very bitter, wants nothing to do with it and rejects the call of Jesus at every opportunity. To further complicate this situation, the youth group at Grandmother's church is less than welcoming and very harshly belittles and berates Russ as a "loser who is probably on drugs just like his Mom and Dad". While Russ is at Youth Camp with the church youth group, he is informed by the Youth Pastor that his Grandmother has died. Stricken with grief and despair, Russ chooses to end his own life in hopes to finally end the pain.

The rest of the scenes portray Judgement, Hell and finally a beautiful glimpse of what we that HAVE accepted Jesus can look forward to in the Heaven scene. At the completion of the drama the groups are then taken into a counsleing room where an overview is presented and an invitation is given to those who wish to choose to accept salvation. Encouragers are available for individual prayer and counseling.

Many lives are touched and blessed through this ministry. Many visitors receive salvation, many lives are re-dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ, and many seeds are sown that we pray will bloom into the salvation of a lost soul one day. Not only are the visitors blessed, but we as participants - whether acting, directing, sound, scheduling, parking or any of the many other tasks that it takes to put on a ministry of this magnitude are blessed beyond measure. We are blessed in the fellowship, the delight in seeing the gospel presented in a powerful way and often amazing miracles in seeing lives transformed never again to be the same.

As we prepared for this ministry, I promoted the event on Twitter, Facebook and other web services. Many responded and enquired, wanting to know if I knew of a JH Event near their locality. If your ministry has never heard or done this type of presentation I would encourage you to pray about it and look into it. You can find the information you need at

What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know how effective you think ministries like this can be.

Hebrews 9:27 (King James Version)
27And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Memories - The UGLY Ones

This weekend has been such a flurry of emotions. The memory of the tragedy that happened 9 years ago yesterday. Although I remember vividly where I was, how I found out, the emotions of finding out what was happening (and I will never forget); The fervor of committment has lessened as time goes by. For instance, I saw a disturbing tweet today saying "Wishing all of our Muslim friends a happy Eid ul-Fitr. Let's all forgive and forget." (via @123RF). Now first of all, I'm not bashing on 123RF (although I do consider the tweet completely inappropriate - IMHO). Jesus tells us in the bible "...we are to love our enemies." (Matthew 5: 43-44 ESV) So the forgiveness part I can completely get and accept as a Christian. But we are never to forget what happened on that infamous day. A terrible, pre-meditated crime of hate was carried out against innocent people in the name of a false religion who believes in a false God. I do forgive, I pray that all people of the Muslim faith will hear the Gospel and accept Jesus as their Lord and personal Savior. "He is the WAY and the TRUTH and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father accept thru him." (John 14:6 ESV).

The other thing that sruck me fairly hard (square on the chin), was talking with my children about that tragic day in 2001. You see my kids were 11, 5, 3 and 1 at the time. They don't really remember - not even the 11 year old (he's a Junior at NGU now). Much as I don't really remember when JFK was shot (I was almost 2 yrs. old at the time). So we spent a great deal of time discussing what they "knew" about the events of 9/11/2001. I found out that some of what they knew and much of what they understood was incorrect. Scary thought - needless to say we spent a great deal of time discussing the truth of what happened and how those events have lead to where we find ourselves today.

So in closing, I would like to encourage you to not take for granted that your children fully understand what went on and what is going on. Talk with them and make sure they know the truth - not what this new age of "tolerance" would like everyone to believe. What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear them.

Matthew 5:43-44 (New International Version)
Love for Enemies

43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies[b] and pray for those who persecute you,..."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Am I Too Busy Being Busy?

I read a really interesting post the other day. It was written back in March but I just caught it in my twitter stream recently and it caught my eye. It was titled "Busy-ness", written by jscottsmith (aka @sarcasticxtian). You can read it for your self here.

Anyway, I found it's perspective quite unique and a bit of a "toe-stomper" as we say in the South. I way too often consider myself too busy to take on much more than what is already on my plate. After all I work 50 - 60 hours a week, I have a wife and four children, I am actively involved in my church, blah, blah, blah. What I am trying to say, actually re-iterating the point made in Mr. Smith's post, is that I am busy; busy defined as busy making time for exactly those things I want to make time for.  After all, even with all the "busy-ness" listed above I still find time to tweet, read, write, watch TV, ride my 4-wheeler, etc. I am busy choosing what I want to do - and consequently what I don't want to do.

I guess it really hit home today because it was one of THOSE days at work. I was busy - all day long! I got so much accompished. Really, more than I thought possible. But then again, it was a have-to situation. Project deadlines. Fourth and long! Bases Loaded!

But it got me to thinking. Why do I not participate in life at that full, game-on level all the time? Do I give 100% at work every day? Do I engage my family with that same spirit? Do I live for Jesus with that same vigor? Do I serve Jesus with that same level of energy? I'd like to answer 100% yes - but I can't.

What do you think? Are you too busy? I'd really like some insight on this one.....please comment.

Ecclesiastes 3:17 (NIV)

I thought in my heart, "God will bring to judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed."

Saturday, August 21, 2010

So Where Have I Been?

It's been two weeks now since I posted and I'm wondering where the time has gone. It's certainly not that I haven't had plenty to say. So what then? Well, we came back from vacation and life just seemed to hit fast forward. Catch up on work, kids back to school - all the normal stuff that goes on anyway. So it's just me again. I haven't made the time to sit down and write. Guess there is no point in beating myself up over it. I'll just keep on trying.

So, we had a bit of a scare a few weeks ago -  the week before my oldest son was to return to University, we found out there was a problem with his Grants, Scholarships and Student Loans (due of course to the changes in legislation by our illustrious government). So we all got a little frantic. My son was sure that it was a sign from God that he wasn't supposed to return to school - just a bit dramatic, that boy. Me, well I'm busy calculating in my head how I am going to hustle up the extra money needed to "bridge the gap". Of course, level-headed Mama, got on the phone the next day and evidently called I don't know who and how many offices and agencies and got it all straightened out.

It's a little ironic though. Our first reaction was really not that God would take care of this need (although He definitely did). Too often my first reaction is what am I going to do to fix this, to handle this, To "get 'er done". Can't help it, it's part of the "hunter-gatherer" thing and that's how god created man. Don't get me wrong, I have to take care of my responsibilities but sometimes I just need to let go and let God!In the end it all worked out.  Fortunately I had the lesson the following Wednesday at Choir Bible Study and it made for a great illustration on pride. I love it when God uses a road-block to wake me up!

Proverbs 11:2 (NIV)

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Is Anybody Out There?

It's a little bit funny! I am fairly well connected on LinkedIn and Twitter (no Facebook as of yet but I am consistently "pressured" by freinds and family members). So as I have contemplated over the last several months to begin writing I somehow semi-expected my followers and network connections to flock to my new blog (even though I KNOW it does not work that way).

I suppose yesterday I was a bit discouraged but today I feel good about it. I'm doing what I set out to do - write. My thoughts, my feelings, and who knows - maybe something quite extraordinary or at least somewhat interesting eventually. But it's OK. I feel that it is God's will that I share. My life, my stories, my experience, my testimony and perhaps, just perhaps, so much more.

So now, right now, I commit to just write. I'll take advice from my inspirational "blogging gurus" and hopefully improve each and every time I make a post.

Well, is Anbody Out There? I know you are. So many people, unique and individual in every way imaginable. That's how God created us. It is so cool. Really it is.

Much love and peace to you all!

James 1: 2-3 (NIV)
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.