Sunday, November 1, 2009

Parents teach your children well...........

Tonight we had a night of worship at youth. The focus was on prayer and taking time to be silent to pray and listen to God. Parents, we have some amazing youth! Youth that trust us enough to allow us to pray for them. How humbling is it to have youth allow you to know some of their very real concerns and to talk to God about them..... We gave our youth an opportunity to submit a piece of paper with prayer request on them, in which the adults would split evenly and pray over them this week....then we will all come together next week and pray for them together (adults).
The real awakening part is, Your young person has legitimate concerns that need prayer. I was touched when I prayed through my handful the first time tonight. These youth have real world concerns that you pray they never have to feel, but we know that the pain and heartache builds their character. They pray for their friends and classmates. They even pray for their parents......because they really do love them! When the young person in your house has a burden on them, maybe it really is time to teach them a little bit about Faith. Maybe we should encourage them to pray. Let them know that ya just can't do it alone, and to open up to God......and listen for His whisper....
Parents, I'm not telling you the exact requests I pulled out tonight due to a confidence they have shown me by allowing me to pray for them. I'll assure you that if the situations were dangerous to them, your phone would be be concerned about them because you love them but also be assured you have youth leaders that love them too.....
If you're not comfortable enough to share your Faith with them please contact me or one of the other adults that help with the youth.... We are not know it alls or super Christians that are Holy'er than thou....we're people that love Jesus and will do what we can to help you find a way that you can show you love for Him too..... We are in this teaching process together........And don't forget to pray for you kids, They are probably praying for you!
Peace Y'all,

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Whore on the Corner

I was driving down a street in Charlotte today, going to get some lunch... From the corner of my eye I spied a hooker walking up out of some tall grass. It was raining just a little. She was or could have been fairly attractive....meaning she wasn't completely cracked out. I think she was my age give or take a few years. Watching her actions as I sat in the Cook Out drive thru, she was jittery and seemed to be looking for a "fix" as she walked toward a cheap motel. What would the world have thought if I would have pulled up and handed her lunch? Ya know the first thought I had was disgust that turned to heart ache. I realized that no matter how bad she was in need, not only would she be judged by the public, but anyone who helped her would be judged as well. If someone pulled up to just let her get out of the rain and have a safe place to sit just for a while, they would be looked at in a bad light regardless of their intent. You know the police would jump all over the chance to catch anyone that stopped near her. In the police's defense, not many folks would stop just because they were wanting to help. I just couldn't help but think,"If no one can stop and help her then how can she ever get out of that enslavement"? Well, I finally got my food and pulled back out then down the ramp onto I-85 and I guess she had made it to the motel she was walking toward.......Now I know she isn't living right and I know she's probably not even making an attempt to live right.....And I know what she is doing is frowned upon by most, and doesn't make Jesus very happy......But He still Loves her. Despite the despicable, low down, dirty, life she lives..... Jesus absolutely loves her and hung on the cross just to save her.....and she may not even realize just what He did...for her. So folks, here's my question for you..... With it possibly being perceived as an attempt to pick up a prostitute, how do you evangelize? This question is on my mind and I can't come up with many good answers. We know we need to share the Gospel, even with the Prostitute on the Corner...but how? The only way I have thought of so far is to do it in pairs, as Jesus sent out the Disciples. But other than that, how? I need your ideas on this, and maybe your thinking about this will lead you or someone else into an Outreach for these people in need. Either post comments here or send me a message on facebook, or even email me. I just want to pick your brains for a bit.
Peace y'all and God bless you!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Where do you get fed? I bet you're Hungry too!

Here's a question that needs to be answered..... Where do you get fed? I'm not talking McD's or Bojangles or KFC.... I guess I should be more specific.... where do you go to feed yourself spiritually? Many people attend church every week on Sundays but never attend any of the other functions thru the church. There are all kinds of Small Group Bible studys out there. They range from financial to faith building and pretty much any topic in between. When I was working out several years ago I learned that if I wanted to get stronger, I had to eat more meals. For the workout to be most effective it's been recommended that the one in training eat about 5 small meals a day. This lets the food digest better, allows the body to absorb the nutrients better, and boosts metabolism, thus making the body more efficent. The same school of thought works for faith building. We all eat more than one meal per week right? Most of us only make it to church once a week..... are we getting the spiritual nutrients we need to grow in our faith? We all know that the church has many meals planned eat week but how many do we consume? Okay there is Sunday School to go with Worship.....Monday night? How about Tuesday? I know for a fact that atleast one Tuesday a month there is a Womens group at my church ( I mention this because it's an awesome opportunity)......Then on Wed...I think EVERY church has something on Wed....... I guess that's enough examples..... most of my readers are smarter than I am and have already gotten the point....... There are more "meals" than just on sunday. I realize too that sometimes it feels like you have to break thru a barrier to join a small group. If you aren't comfortable with the groups that are offered, invite 5-10 friends over for a very casual Bible study.....and I know you have that many folks around you that would be there. One thing we've done in the past that is very easy to start is a small prayer group. We started meeting at a restuarant on saturday mornings, having breakfast and just lifting up concerns and praises. We've met as a small group in a coffee shop.....sipping a mocha latte and reading thru The Purpose Driven Life....We've met for a spiritual gifts study at church, a financial study, just good old fashioned fellowships, and witnessing studys.......
I hope this has given you a few "meals" you'd like to explore.... If you realize that you have not been getting fed like you need, and can't find what you are looking for Get in Touch with me.... we can work through some thoughts and pray about it and maybe find a study that you can attend or even facilitate ( I like the word often means you don't have to know much to lead the study....that's what I look for personally).
Peace out ya

Monday, May 25, 2009

With Further thought Obama IS Right!

Before I start I want to Preface this by saying I did not vote for Obama! And before all my republican friends start to think this Democrat voted for McCain (although I did like Palin), I didnt vote for him either..... My vote went to an unknown in the Constitution Party.....I even had to write it in.
"America is NOT a Christian Nation" as Obama declared in a speech he made in a Muslim region. I've thought about this one statement over and over and over. Infact I kind of got a little bit peeved about it. The more I thought about it the more I realized Obama was correct! He could have been even more correct by saying that America is a Nation of people that Think they are Christian. So now lets look at that! Granted I have no one person in mind as I write this, but rather our nation as a whole.
We fly the Christian flag, but do we really walk the walk? I think if we really tried to walk the walk we'd have better choices come election time......not because the candidate was better but because we'd have higher standards and specific truths we'd All expect from the candidate....and we'd hold them to it! I was really deep in thought and prayer this past week because of how the State of NC wants to cut more money from the EDUCATION budget. The more I thought about this (it also prompted me to think about the original statement that moved me to blog about it) the more I realize ALL of our political venues are corrupt! And it's because Obama was Right!
Our town board is made up of mostly Real Estate agents....... guess where development is still running rampant!? You got it! The town board is looking out solely for their own agendas and not what is really good for this town I love. If the United States of America were truly a Christian Nation, we'd see the "Hope" within our leaders........but mostly all I see is Greed(few exceptions, very few).
I hope you're offended by the statement "America is not a Christian Nation"! I hope it burns so deep in your soul that you are moved to change it. I hope you do a self evaluation of your spiritual temperature. Are you cold? luke warm? or on fire? Just because you are burning with passion over the statement, are you as passionate about your faith?
Here is some scripture that keeps coming up in my reading and I think it's a solution to Obama's statement.
It's found in Ephesians 6: 10-23 (The Message)

10And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. 11So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. 12This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

13Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. 14Truth, righteousness, 15peace, 16faith, 17and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. 18In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

19And don’t forget to pray for me. Pray that I’ll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message that I, 20jailbird preacher that I am, am responsible for getting out.

21Tychicus, my good friend here, will tell you what I’m doing and how things are going with me. He is certainly a dependable servant of the Master! 22I’ve sent him not only to tell you about us but to cheer you on in your faith.

23Good-bye, friends. Love mixed with faith be yours from God the Father and from the Master, Jesus Christ. 24Pure grace and nothing but grace be with all who love our Master, Jesus Christ.

I just really like the discription in this translation/paraphrase of the Bible. Most other translations tell us to "Put on the FULL ARMOR OF GOD" and tells us to PRAY!!! If we do follow these instructions and really study what they mean, we will be making Huge step in the direction of turning America back into a Christian Nation once again.

Think about it y'all!

And before I close out I'd like to thank all of our Men and Women that have served Our Nation faithfully! Thank you and have a wonderful Memorial Day!

Peace and Chik'n Grease


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Divorce? The Hell You Say!!

This whole topic of Divorce has got me pissed off! I have had a handful of my Brothers and Sisters forget who they are serving. I just found out a little bit ago about a couple that I dearly love that are in motion of breaking The Covenant they made with Our Lord. My heart absolutely ached this morning when I got the news.... People what the Hell are you thinking? This was not a promise, a pinky swear, a cross my heart and hope to die..... This is a COVENANT!!! Here is and example of a Covenant.... Jesus Hanging on a Cross to save your sorry butt from your sin!!! He Gave His Life as a Sacrifice and That Created the "NEW Covenant"....sound familiar? A Covenant is Stronger than a Contract.... A Covenant requires BLOOD...I wont go into that but that is part of the marriage Covenant as well....(ask me and I'll tell you directly).
My next though is how can we be so SELFISH to break this Covenant? You know We really arent as important as we think!
That opens up another question..... Are we really having this problem with the relationship with our spouse? Or Is it really a problem we have with our relationship with Jesus?
Yeah that's right I just asked that question! How is your relationship with Jesus? If HE is not the center of your life, then you are going to have problems...Big Problems! In turn that makes the whole problem between you and Jesus....maybe that's where you should start the process of healing your marriage?! If we are truly trying to live in a way that is pleasing to Jesus, are we going to do things to spite our spouses? Even if we do, are we not going to seek forgiveness and try even harder the next time that opportunity arrises?
If you have broken the faith of your spouse by Adulterous behavior, you need to beg and plead for their forgiveness. If you have intentionally done this to make it hard on your spouse, beg for forgiveness. If Jesus is not the Center and Main Focus of your relationship, fall prostrate , admit it, beg for His forgiveness, and Absolutely SEEK HIM! If you are the one standing in the way of reconciling this relationship then WHY? Is your reason really that important? Is your pride that important that you cant swallow it?
I have some quotes and scripture I want to share. While you read them really ask yourself if you are your actions pleasing to God.
Mark 10:2-12 NKJV

2The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him.

3And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?”

4They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.

5And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’£ 7‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8and the two shall become one flesh’;£ so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

10In the house His disciples also asked Him again about the same matter. 11So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

Matthew 19:1-12

1Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these sayings, that He departed from Galilee and came to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there.

3The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”

4And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who £made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’£ 5and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?£ 6So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

7They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?”

8He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for £sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

10His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”

11But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: 12For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.”

1Corinthians 7:10-16 (From the Apostle Paul)

10Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.

12But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. 16For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

As you can see there are Biblically Sound reasons for divorce, but you also see that there are unexceptable reasons as well. If any of you are going through this seek God First and then seek the help of others (Christians trained in this subject). I'll pray for you any way that I can.
If what I said may have ruffled your feathers, confront me! I'm feeling a little confrontational right now!
I'm really praying that if it did stir you, that maybe it will open your eyes to see where the real problems are in the relationship. I really hope this blog has made your hearts burn and maybe even made you a little angry! Angry enough to step up and say, "That's enough! I'm even more committed to making it work!"

God as we celebrate new life in You this Easter weekend
Allow us to see how we can apply the love You've given us All of our relationships
And Father as we Humble ourselves before You
Allow us to freely admit that we are sinners
That we havent followed your Word
We havent loved You as wholey as we should
We havent loved one another as we love ourselves
that many time we get in our own way.
Father give us the direction we need and the courage to follow
that direction
Open our eyes completely to the ways You want us to love each other
And all the ways You want us to forgive each other, As You have forgiven us
Father lastly I'd like to thank you for the Sacrifice that You made
that has given us the reason for our Easter Celebrations
Thank you God and may all the Glory be Yours

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Can Secular Music Present a Christian Message? AKA The Gospel as told by Sister Hazel

This past week I found myself praising God through song... Secular song. The genre is considered Adult Contemporary and is written and performed by the group Sister Hazel. These two songs that pulled at me, I've copied the lyrics below. I will break them down a little but I want you to break them down even further when you have more time. The first song is "All for you". The Title starts out strong, then the first verse builds. This first verse reminds me a little bit of my Christian walk. The part I really like is when it says, "...all my roads, Well they lead to you. I just can't turn and walk away". I just relate this whole song to someone coming into The Faith and reflecting where they are now and where they've come from. Another key part of the verse for me was, "words without a sound, coming from your eyes".... truly a look that Jesus does best. I've seen this look from people God has intentionally put in my path. It's the look that burns deep into your soul and moves you to action.
The second song is "This Kind of Love", and I could see myself singing this to God (infact I was this past least all the words I could remember). The song mentions Faith, Hope, and Love....doesnt continue with the greatest of these is Love, but you can see a pattern. I caught myself on Friday just Wailing this song. I was absolutely singing it to my God!
I hope you'll look into at least these two songs of Sister Hazel. Maybe you are the one that is at the point of, "It's hard to say what it is I see in you...." but you know that you have that relationship with God. Maybe you know where you've been, and now you have fallen in Love so deeply with our Jesus and it's just hard to explain?. The next step is to find someone and talk to them about it. I suggest talking to a pastor, youth pastor, campus minister, a friend that you know has already made that Faith choice.....and if they dont work out....there is always me! I'd love to help you in your journey....just let me know! And I'll try not to be too blunt, 'cause I've been there too.
With that said, y'all go listen to some Sister Hazel and read these lyrics......And sing LOUD to our God!!!!
Peace y'all Have a Great Easter!

All For You~Sister Hazel

Finally I figured out
But it took a long long time
And now there's a turnabout
Maybe cause I'm trying
There's been times, I'm so confused
All my roads
Well they lead to you?
I just can't turn
And walk away

It's hard to say what it is I see in you
Wonder if I'll always be with you
Words can't say, I can't do
Enough to prove it's all for you

And I thought I'd seen it all
Cause it's been a long long time
Oh but then we'll trip and fall
Wondering if I'm blind
There's been times
I'm so confused
All my roads
Well they lead me to you?
I just can't turn
And walk away

It's hard to say what it is I see in you
Wonder if I'll always be with you
But words can't say, I can't do
Enough to prove it's all for you

Rain comes pouring down
(Pouring down)
Falling from blue skies
(Falling from blue skies)
Words without a sound
Coming from your eyes

finally I figured out
But it took a long long time
And now there's a turnabout
Maybe cause I'm trying
There's been times
I'm so confused
All my roads
Well they lead to you?
I just can't turn
And walk away

It's hard to say what it is I see in you
Wonder if I'll always be with you
But words can't say, I can't do
Enough to prove it's all for you

It's hard to say what it is I see in you
Wonder if I'll always be with you
But words can't say, I can't do
Enough to prove it's all for you

It's hard to say,
Yea it's hard to say,
It's all for you

This Kind of Love~Sister Hazel

This kind of love makes me feel ten feet tall
It makes all my problems fall
This kind of trust helps me to hold the line
I'll be there every time

This kind of love is what I dreamed about
Yeah, it fills me up
It leaves no doubt
This kind of love it's why I'm standing here
It's something that we can share
I can't get enough of this kind of love

This kind of hope is what I try to find
And now I can't deny I believe
This kind of faith is so unshakeable
It's unmistakeable
It's bigger than me


Your love can move a mountain
It makes my world go round
Its always there to guide me
I'm so lucky that I found

This kind of love it's what I dreamed about
Yeah it fills me up
Well baby it leaves no doubt
This kind of love it's why I'm standing here
It's something we can share
I can't get enough of this kind of love
This kind of love

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Biblical Relevance and What God did for me Yesterday!

Good morning Y'all (now that's a nice southern greeting if I've ever heard one)! I've been a part of a Mens Bible study on Sunday mornings at church. Well we started off in the Book of John and now we are Finishing up the Book of James. If you've ever made a comment about the Bible being okay for back then, but it's not relevant now then You NEED to read James! I've read through James before and it didnt have the same "slap in the face" quality as it has the past few weeks. When we went into the book and really started to read, study and discuss each chapter, I realize how relevant James really is. I've seen things in The Church (mine and many others) that James talks about. I've seen how the world now is also mirrored in what James talks about. Just read James 5: 1-6 and tell me that you dont immediately think of Big Business and the American Economy. I know you're probably thinking that I'm not really going into my complete thoughts and getting fired up like normal. That's because I really want you to read this Very Short book of the Bible. Yes, I think it's that important! If you read James and really think about what it says, and you compare it to your life and the whole world around you....... You'll be moved! One of my favorite moves many of us to action for the Homeless, and that's in James 2.....and no I'm not going to tell you, you have to find it on your own.
But that does lead in to what God did for me yesterday....... As most of you know we help the overflow winter shelters every year from December to the end of March. This is a program known as Room In The Inn. Basically we go to a location in Charlotte where they screen the folks with a breatalizer and send them out to area churches. Well as I dropped everyone off the following morning yesterday one man thanked me for dropping them off at the time I did..... He said it would keep them from having to sit around and wait for a bus, they could just go get on..... That made me feel good. I had been getting a little anxious because it was going to put me about 15 minutes late for work, but with what he said I figured what was 15 minutes when it was used as a service to Gods children? As I drove through Charlotte I was feeling pretty good about my deeds and sacrifice when I looked over and saw a man that was in a condition so much worse than that of anyone we have EVER had stay with us through RITI....... And I was Humbled.

Peace out y'all...and go read the Book of James!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Cancer

Cancer has been on the front burner in my mind for the past couple of weeks. One of my co-workers is suffering through learning that his wife has stage 4 lung cancer. That's about as bad as it gets. She also has a spot of cancer in her eye and spots in her liver and some in her bones as well. She home schooled their two children who are both elementary school aged. Believe it or not, that family has been talked about quite often when I talk to God. I know they have their Faith in Jesus Christ, but this is and will be a very hard time for all of them.
I've had relatives die from cancer, and I've had relatives battle it off too. I've had I dont know how many friends/church family fight those same battles......some have won, most havent. This disease seems to attempt to rip the hope right out of people! It's like a tool of the Devil! It makes you lower than low and there is really no cure.
One of my brothers in Christ, who has gone on to be with Jesus, lost his battle with cancer several years ago. I tell our youth about him every chance I get. His name is Wilbur Sherrill, most of you probably know his son Scott Sherrill that used to work at North Meck and now works at Lake Norman High School (If you don't that's okay). Wilbur was somewhat of a missionary. He traveled to places near the equator to minister and help build churches. He went into the Appalachian Mountains to work on ASP teams. Wilbur picked apples from trees in the community and took pies to the poor and needy. Those are just a few of the things he did.
Well, Wilbur developed cancer at some point and he faught it. It just leads us to ask how a man like Wilbur can get cancer!?! I know most of the folks I know with cancer are really good folks, but Wilbur? He was like the Good of the Good.......But wait we cant forget about a friend that Wilbur knew...... Wilbur was a friend and firm believer in Jesus Christ!
One of the most moving stories I've heard and it still pulls on my heart is a story about Wilbur and a surgery he had to fight his cancer.
Wibur had this cancer surgery and was told from the start that it was very possible he may not make it through the surgery. There was a rather good chance that he would die during this pretty serious proceedure. At some point before the surgery, someone asked Wilbur if he was scared. This is the best part!!! Wilbur went on to clarify his disposition...... He told the person, No. Wilbur then proceeded to tell them about how he wasnt scared and how he was actually in a great position. That if he died during the surgery he get to go be with Jesus, but if he made it out of the surgery he gets to keep sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ and that it was a Win-Win situation.
Usually at that point I'm a blubbering mess because I remember how Wilbur served our Lord. I don't know or care to know his short comings.... I just know and remember the example of how HE served GOD!
Ya know, we just dont know why some people get cancer and others dont. We dont know why some people beat cancer and others dont........Heck we dont even know how the folks that do get cancer got it! I pray that know one you know ever gets this demon!
But here's the deal, if we go to the doctor next week and find out that we have just entered a fight for our lives..... how do we react? How will we be remembered if we loose that battle?
I hope it's how I remember Wilbur! As I leave it with you, I'm gonna leave a quote known a the John Wesley rule...... the rule of a man that was just trying to follow Jesus......
"Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.


Friday, February 13, 2009

ABC News: How to Help the 'Children of the Mountains'

Did you all see the 20/20 special on TV about the Poor and Needy of Appalachia? I've read some of the post on the ABC website. Some were quite moving and other comments were simply ignorant. Yes I realize there are poor people everywhere, and yes addiction is everywhere. But what exactly are we doing to help? Many people acted like they were appalled at Diane and ABC for airing the story. The truth is We All Need the exposure!!! Maybe we should confront those that were so insulted by this show and just flat out ask, "What are you doing to make this situation better"? Several people made the point that they Hoped the President was watching....well that could be good and bad.... they could use the help, but just like everything else the government touches They will Screw it Up!!!! So what should we do? Well Kiddo's I'm glad you asked!!! There are several agencies that reach out to those of Appalachia (not just Kentucky, it's a problem all over the place) and give assistance. One such group is Appalachian Service Project (ASP) and they make Homes Warmer, Safer and Dryer. Hundreds of youth, college students, and adults assend upon the mountains of Central Appalachia to work on homes for the people living there. I've seen people go from hopeless to having hope within a week, just because a group of people from outside their community comes in and Loves on them and does a little bit of construction work. But wait that's not the only organization, there is also Carolina Cross Connection who features the hills of North Carolina. But Wait!!! Maybe you cant make it on one of those trips, Habitat for Humanity is EVERYWHERE!!!! But Wait There's more!!! So you aren't handy with a hammer? Have you ever served in a soup kitchen or led a Bible study at the Homeless Shelter? Of course you havent!!!! You'd rather sit on your Butt and complain that Diane Sawyer is exploiting the poor people of Kentucky..........
Now to those people that were moved by the show, I was moved too! I know that if the show put a burden on your hearts, you will act! So I say to all of my brothers and sisters that did have a burden placed on there heart by this ABC Special.....
Let's go out and Change THIS World!!!!


Appalachia Service Project

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Old Friends, Old Bridges, and the Fire that Refines

I have been Blessed to be able to relive certain parts of my life. Even though at times these re-living moments are a struggle, I'm appreciative. I'm fortunate enough to get to struggle through college classes that I totally and completely bombed when I was younger. With some of this re-living comes old memories as well. I think of old friends and some good times we had. I also think of some folks I hung out with that are probably dead or serving very long sentences at the Gray Bar Hotel. Out of all of those old memories there are many folks I dont talk to anymore. Not because I dont like the folks, but more because of the seperation that time has given us. I know some of the friends and I parted on less than ideal terms. I've even made contact with some of the old friends through sites like Facebook, and you know what ever ill feeling we had in the past is forgotten and I find myself completely rejoicing in their beautiful families and wonderful accomplishments. I'm sure I didnt feel that way when went our seperate ways. Some of the reasons I remember and most I have forgotten. I dont know if that's because of my faith, the period of a wild lifestyle I lived, or if all in all the reason just really wasnt probably could be a little bit of all of those!
Now I often tell some of the young people I'm around, that sometimes you have to seperate yourself from certain people. I always stress that if they can "pull" them up, out of where they may be stumbling or have stumbled then that's okay.... but if they seem to Drag them down, it might be time to let go and allow some distance from that person. If we look at Jesus, who did he Hang out with?..... No He didnt!!! He hung out with His disciples! He ministered to and served the prostitute, the lepers, the blind, and all of those other folks, but He didnt hang out with least not until after they allowed Jesus to "Pull" them up. Yeah the disciples were a rough crowd too.... But they allowed Jesus to pull them up as well. Now look at the Pharisees they started off being amazed at the Authority Jesus taught with (which is not that amazing considering He ultimately wrote the Book!!!!!). Then they wanted to kill Jesus..... and Jesus didnt "Hang out" with those guys, although he continued to be in corresponding places with them. At one point in the Bible, Jesus even told His disciples that if they were not helped or accepted in these towns they visited to shake the dust off of their sandels as they left. That's Bold! and that's one of those bridges I mentioned in the title.....and yes that is also the fire.......That bridge is TOAST!!!!
You know I've been on both sides of that bridge. I've burnt those bridges and I have had them burned ( some I was still standing on at the time). I can truly say that God is good, because some of those bridges needed to Burn to help me and the others involved change direction and to teach us life lessons. So it's okay to burn some bridges..........
Now here is another reason I wrote this.... A friend of mine that I met last summer, Passed Away last weekend. He was 62 years old and he Blessed me and some of the Youth Group by allowing us to serve him through ASP. Roger was a good hearted man dispite his troubles and vices. You see the Bridge between Roger and his Son had Burned. His son found my phone number in a letter and pictures I had sent Roger. So upon his death the son called me. We talked for quite a while on the phone and the Son told me that he had not seen his Dad in years, because of his Dad's vices. As we talked, the Son relived my experiences with me and remembered how his Dad did have a good heart. He told me how he had been with his Dad the whole time he was in the hospital and I reassured him that he was the one Roger wanted there with him......and I knew this from just some of the conversations Roger and I had last summer. I dont remember them exactly, but I remember him talking about his son, and I could tell he missed him. But you see, a bridge that had been burned earlier in their lives was repaired when they both needed it to be. The two spent 3 full days together before Rogers passing, and I know it's not the best memories to have with your Dad....but Brian knows now that his Dad did love him...... Pray for Brian..... I told him we'd be praying for him.
Okay so I just went off on too many directions......... but if you have a bridge that has been burned, and you know you things have changed, repair it or just build a completely new one.
Peace y'all.... before I start talking politics or something!!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Gospel of Billy Madison....or something like that!

I guess you know now that I enjoy a good Adam Sandler movie on occassion. Well I was thinking a little while ago about the story they read in Billy Madison. The story of the lost dog...... where Billy basically lost it and got loud saying, "You dont give up! You go out there and find that %*&#*^@ DOG!!!!!" Well sometimes that's how I feel about some of my friends that are "lost". I just want to go out and find them or help them find the "Truth". I want to take an aggressive stance in leading them back to "The Good Shepard", but that's not how things necesarily work out. If I go out and hit them with everything that is on my heart with out being tactful, or flex what little bit of Biblical knowledge I have to shine a light on their sin, I've failed! My objective is not to show how I'm better than them or to pick a fight with them.... heck they are my friends!!! Why would I want to do that? On the other hand how long has it really been since anyone reading this has really heard a fire and brimstone message? Probably longer than you originally thought until you really start trying to remember. I would imagine the last Fire and Brimstone message I heard was probably sometime in the late 70's early 80's and that was when there was a revival at the church and we had a guest preacher! Maybe we all need to think about that message for a moment. As a Christian this message of the possiblity of Hell should have an immediate answer. If I am truly what I say I am, I know that this Earth will be the ONLY Hell I will ever experience. It also should awaken some that have pushed God away, either exploring other options or just getting comfortable with the world. I admit, it's scarey thinking about an eternal seperation from God. And no I dont even consider the joke about, "I'm going to Hell and party with my friends" to be the least bit funny..... you see that's just a lack of understanding. There are no parties in Hell or atleast not by anyone other than Satan.
Now I may have friends that have known Christ and pushed Him away or even just flat out denied Him, and feel that they can not be forgiven for that. Well boys and girls I've got good news!!!! Do y'all remember that Boy named Peter from the Bible? Yeah, the guy that cut off one of the ears of a guard when he arrested Jesus in the garden. Yeah, that same guy that was the only one to walk on the water with Jesus. I'd say Peter knew Jesus pretty well and had accepted who Jesus was, wouldnt you? Well if you remember Peter also denied Jesus THREE times just before the Crucifxion. After the resurection, Jesus met up with Peter again. Jesus asked Peter, "Do you Love me"? And He asked this three times (see a pattern?) Jesus decreased the amount of love each time, while Peter increased the amount each time. Peter answered on the third time "I Agape You". With each time of repentance, Jesus gave Peter more responsibility. First Jesus said feed my lambs, then Feed my Sheep, then Tend My Flock.......Three times, Three repentances, and Three increases in Responsibility. Oh yeah, didnt Peter have over 3000 converts shortly after that at just one of his sermons? I know it seems just too easy..... In a world that is Dawg eat Dawg, how can something SO important be so easy? Because it's NOT of this WORLD! It's of GOD! We all know that we've ALL messed up, and that includes Sweet lil Lee!!! But ya know just by taking it all back to Jesus, and admitting that we have messed up ( or we are Sinners), that we can't make it on our own, that we need Jesus to enter our hearts and cleanse us of our many sins, and that We Believe Jesus Is Our Lord and Saviour....... We will all be together again in Heaven. The real question doesnt deal with is there life after death. Life is eternal, you just have to pick where you want to spend eternity!
I'm always available to discuss this and to pray for or with anyone that needs it. Just let me know!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Yes, The Panthers let us down!!!!!!

Right now people all over the Carolinas are talking about how the Big Loss in the NFC playoffs. I'm sure we'll be hearing about how this person needs to be fired, and that person needs to be fired.....In fact I'll probably joining in just because I have a few names I dont really like so much right now. In the big picture the whole game really doesnt matter, It's just a game! Right now in the Gaza strip Isreal is fighting back against a bunch of Scum Bags called Hamas who have been attacking Isreal for a while now. The people over there are worried about a rocket landing in their living room, and I'm all pissy about a stupid football game! I guess I need to get my priorities in check.
Ya know maybe instead of complaining I think I need to pray for those with REAL problems! Ya know, I know of people right now that are sleeping in a church building somewhere because they dont have a home and have to rely on the goodness of others. I even dreamt about that last night.... If we were really living like Jesus has taught us, we'd be trying to fill every open room in our churches, empty bedrooms in our houses, and open office locations.....but we dont. Jesus said, Love your neighbor as you love yourself...would you allow yourself to sleep in the cold and rain? NO!!! Well, who is our "neighbor"? Everyone around us is our neighbor. Not just the person next door, but the people down the street, the people in the neighborhood around the corner, the next city over, State, and Country...they are all our neighbors. We need to absolutely Love each other and lift each other up in Prayer...... In just a week we will be celebrating the life of a man named King. He preached Jesus' message and just as Jesus warned His disciples, King was killed because of it! So when I look at all of these angles, the Ball game just doesnt really matter....but hey Thank God I am soooo Blessed to have the opportunity to be angry at a Ball team! Thanks Be to God!!!

Peace ya'll have a good night, and there is always Yankees Baseball just right around the corner!