Wednesday, November 09, 2016

For My Part, “I’m Glad It’s Over”

Reflecting on the last 18 hours causes me to reflect on the last 18 months and my one feeling is this; “I’m glad it’s over.”  Admittedly, many of the candidates I voted for – won their ‘race.’  That said, it will be refreshing to not have the media (print, video, & technology) pitting one candidate over another by telling us how terrible one is and avoiding simply reporting the truth.  Perhaps the most annoying characteristics of this process has been the revelation of the ‘blatant bias’ of the mainline media.  One of my lifelong, valuable, and dear friends and I had a private conversation about the fact that every story seemed to offer ‘half-truths’ and not attempt to give the facts but rather offered  ‘slanted stories.’  Then, to ‘fact check’ means we must vet the ‘fact checker’. (GRIN) I’m glad it’s over.

Today, the decision has been made, a new president has been announced, a concession speech has been given, the election is behind us, and I’m glad it’s over – BUT NOW the work really begins!!  Some will not appreciate the words which follows, nor will they embrace these concepts, but I feel deeply about this even to the point of being spiritual convicted about them.

America is in deep trouble.  Not because I said so but (to use an old song lyric) because “The Bible tells me so.”  As a country and culture we have embraced one sin after another and one abomination after another.  God owes us no favors, in fact apart from His mercy, He owes us judgment.  As I surveyed the pre-election culture and candidates, I realized that we did not have a candidate that would be my first choice, but as a good and Bible-believing citizen, I should exercise my right, privilege, and obligation, to case my VOTE!! I was also aware additionally and pragmatically, that one of two people would become the next president of the USA.  This is a conclusion which, I wished, some of our religious leaders, media analysts, and others would have embraced and avoided some of the confusion which was generated.  We may need more than two parties, but no third party candidate has a ‘path to election’ as of 2016.  So I had to vote and I had to vote for one of these two.

From my view – both Civically and Biblically – one candidate held views which would send this country, which is teetering over the abyss, into a head-first dive into the abyss.  Her Supreme Court Justice would have opened Pandora's box to completely abandon the Constitution, our freedoms, and our ‘inalienable rights’ which were lifted, by our forefathers, from the principles of scripture.  While many other concerns welled up in me about this candidate, this one drove my ultimate decision because both candidates were highly flawed, yet to me, she would have represented a modern day “Nebuchadnezzar” – being used by God to bring about immediate judgment on the Children of God, the Church, & religious freedom.

On the other hand, he (Mr. Trump) will not fix our problems – even though many think he can.  While we are about to “learn” what he will do and ‘how’ he will govern, he offers us the possibility of time.  If he is as good as his word, nominating a Supreme Court Justice who believes in the principles of the constitution, then he has bought us some time.  Did we catch that truth?  “We have some more time.”  But what will we do with the time that we have?

I’m glad that last 18 months are over – ‘cause now perhaps we have been sufficiently startled to the point that we, as God’s people will take our calling and commission seriously enough to ‘awaken out of our sleep.’  Paul writes, “It is ‘HIGH TIME’ we awaken from our sleep.”  Obviously, people of faith voted by pulling a lever, touching a screen, or punching a chad, but now:

  • It’s time for us to live authentically before a darkening culture. 
  • It’s time for us to have a faith in Christ that we will both die for and live out. 
  • It is time for us to make a difference in America because Christ has made a difference in us. 
  • It is time for God’s church to rise up and offer the ‘light of the gospel’ in a language that our culture will hear, receive, embrace, and accept.
  • It is time of God’s people to be the change agents in this country and ultimately the world.
  • It is time for us to abandon the ‘man-made’ traditions which served us well in days past and have little meaning for today in lieu of offering the truth that changes people, saves a soul,  and live a life totally sold out to our Lord.
  • It is time for us to ‘un-circle the wagons’ which we have circled around our church properties and unleash the power of the Church of Jesus Christ who can and will prevail against the gates of hell.’ 
  • It’s time to pray down a Spirit-Led Revival the likes of which we haven’t seen in our lifetime.

I’m glad it’s over because I’m glad it’s time.  It’s time to flesh out 2 Chronicles 7:14 and live out that which Jehovah God’s promised to King Solomon.  You remember those words, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  We love these words because they offer us hope from on high.  However, you and I have a part in this coming to past or not.  Consider this:

The last phrase says that God will “heal our land” and don’t you love the sound of that?  I do, because our land needs healing.  Over the past 40+ years we have had a holocaust with respect to our unborn, we have a culture where ‘absentee dad’ has become the norm, where divorce is common, where immorality is the applauded, where racial relations are worse than they have been since the 60’s, and even where hope for a better tomorrow is limited.  We need healing.

But the only way that our land will be healed is for our ‘sin to be forgiven.’  First, we will not be forgiven if we don’t ask for it and we won’t ask for it it we don’t admit that we have sin.  This may be our sticking point.  This may be where we miss out.  God sets the standard, we don’t.  God defines sin, not us. 

The only way for our sin to be forgiven is for us to be ‘heard in heaven.’  It absolutely matters who hears you when you call.  The government cannot fix what’s wrong because it can only legislate.  We cannot legislate our way out of this dilemma, we must have help beyond what we can do, think, or know.  We need a supernatural ear to hear our cry and respond. 

In short, the only way that we will ever be heard in heaven (to start this process of healing) is “If my people who are call by my name WILL – REPENT”.  Think about about the 4 requirements outlined by God, add them together, and see if the sum of this process is repentance. 

  • We are called to “humble ourselves”.  This runs countercultural to the ways of this world, yet it is a non-negotiable and the way to gain a hearing from Almighty God. 
  • We are called to “pray”.  Prayers is our way of getting in touch with Jehovah God and experiencing the power and presence of His Holy Spirit.  This should become our default position.
  • We are to ‘seek His face.’  To seek His face is to return to Him to the proper place in our lives.  We don’t seek Him when everything else comes before Him.  Remember the first commandment & the Royal Law.
  • We are to ‘turn from our wicked ways.’  Turning from our wickedness is essential to seeking God’s face.  We can only face one direction at a time.

There is more, but this will have to suffice.  One final note:  I believe we are now on a time-table like never before.  God allowed us to avoid immediate judgment yesterday so it seems to me that we may have (may have) 4 years, but then again we may not.  I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I can see the hand-writing. 

2 Chronicle 7:13 records God saying that “He can shut up the heavens” and “He can come the locust or send the pestilence” and those things He will do in response to the sin in the land. 

I’m glad the election is over because NOW IT IS TIME!!!

Monday, November 07, 2016

“Supreme” is the word for Election Day

The question for Tuesday may not be “Can I vote for Donald Trump?”  It may be “Can I endure four years of Hillary Clinton?”  This may be especially true if you claim “Christianity” as your belief system.  However, I’ll save that argument for a little later as ‘enduring’ four years of Mrs. Clinton may well be a ‘double-down’ on the last eight years of the immorality, illegality, and unethical work of our current President. 

Who would have ever thought that a “sitting president” would issue a ‘decree’ or ‘edict’ about anything let alone bathrooms. 

Tomorrow is the day for the “Supreme Choice” which sets the direction for the “Supreme Court” so I pray we make a “Supreme Decision” which allows our country to become “Supreme” for the future.  I pray that we make a decision that at least gives us the possibility of returning to being government by the verbiage of the constitution and being ruled by document. Of all the things I heard I personally like use returning to the government ‘of, by, and for the people’ as opposed to a government ‘of, by, and for the ELITES’, that is, the status quo guys in D.C. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Tattle-tails

I grew up in a small town in South Mississippi.  It was the kind of place where everyone ‘thought’ they knew everyone else.  It was a good town, with good people, which evokes some good memories.  However, there is a dark-side to being raised in such a small place.  I wish I could count the times when, I did something that I didn’t want my parents to ever find out, only to discover that before I got home – THEY KNEW!!  You get the picture.  You get in a fight, have a breakup with a girlfriend, or just do something stupid (I hold a Doctor’s degree in stupid), and before you get home someone has phoned home and told your mom.  If I have a nickel for every time that happened, I’d be a rich man today.

You know what? When someone called mom (God rest her soul), I don’t think she ever asked, “Do you love my son?”, “Do you like our family?”, or with mom she probably never even asked, “How do you know Jerry?”  Actually, (I know my sister will read this and smile) we had an understanding around our house that, as I think about it now was very ‘unconstitutional’.  Our understanding was, “Guilty until PROVEN innocent.”  GRIN.  When someone ‘tattled’ on us, it was truth until we could debunk it.  Now our parents were not abusers, they simply wanted to make sure we KNEW the difference between right and wrong as well as that we understood the consequences for our actions.  My brother and sister will attest to the fact that all three of us learned this ‘very clearly.’  By the way, in my recollection, mom NEVER blamed those ‘tattle-tails’ who called to ‘tell on me.’  In fact of all things, “SHE THANKED THEM.”  (As I write this, I’m feeling a little abuse).  The character or motivation of the ‘tattlers’ was never questioned, just thanked for the information. 

Some of you are wondering ‘why’ I am writing this while others have already ‘caught on’.  One word which will separate the “SHEEP from the GOATS”, it is the word, “WIKILEAKS (WL).”

Now you may not like WL, that’s okay I hated the tattle-tails in my community.  However, just like in my adolescence the information is undeniable and the sad part is that those who called themselves reporters and ‘news outlets’ have, like a conspiracy, refused to use information pertinent to our presidential election. 

Okay, is hacking wrong?  YES, YES, and YES!!  Should we deal with hacking and develop ways to make our information secure?  YES, YES, and YES!!  I know that’s what I wanted to do in my home town – I wanted to shut the mouths of the tattle-tails, but listen, ONCE THE INFORMATION IS OUT THERE, IT MUST BE DEALT WITH NOT IGNORED or CAST ASIDE BECAUSE YOU DON’T LIKE HOW YOU GOT IT!

These emails seem to reveal corruption, pay for play, and even the DNC conspiracy toward Bernie Sanders.  As an aside, I’m wondering why Sanders is not yelling to ‘high-heavens’ about having the Nomination stolen by a crooked primary system.  The only thing I can guess is the $$$$$$ – he was given to buy his silence.

To dismiss this information because of ‘how’ we received it seems counterproductive to our process.  But here’s my personal opinion (for what it’s worth):  I may not like HOW we received this information- and we should deal with that issue in the months and years to come, BUT the NEWS MEDIA is being just as dishonest as the hackers by REFUSING TO COVER what the emails UNCOVERED.  And the public is being ‘duped’ and ‘misled’ by a media who is very biased in their coverage of this election.

Yes, I remember those ‘tattle-tails’ in my home town.  While I didn’t like them back then and less today, the information can be invaluable.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

OKAY!! “I” Am Voting for Donald Trump

 

This election cycle has been weird if nothing else AND it has been plenty other things.  For me, many words describe this past year.  Some of the words which come to mind are unbelievable, astounding, crazy, unspeakable, and certainly EMBARRASING.  The embarrassment for me exists on several levels.  The language, the innuendos, and the stories surrounding both candidates have been and continue to be untenable. 

At the same time it has been embarrassing to have religious (Ok Baptist) leaders attempt to tell us how we should or shouldn’t vote.  Amazingly, many of them do not realize just how much influence they have lost by attempting to guilt people into a course of action.  TO BE CLEAR:  This blog is not an attempt to coerce anyone into do what I am doing, but rather to make my case for why “I” am doing this and believe deeply it is the right thing to do for our country and as a Christ-following citizen.  My desire is to do this in two ways, as a matter of the “Civil” course of action  and “spiritually”.

CIVICIALY – from the standpoint of our nation, our country, & as a civilian.

First, I will vote for Mr. Trump because of the Supreme Court.  Admittedly, many Trump detractors will call me a “Conspiracy Theorist” because it is difficult for me to believe that, at such a strategic time in our nation’s history, the ONE Supreme Court justice who kept the court’s eye on a little document called the Constitution ‘just happened’ to die ‘unexpectedly.’  Having read about all the ‘mysterious deaths’ of people who surrounded the Clintons, I am more than a little suspicious.  Candidly, I haven’t voiced this concern because the FBI looked into Justice Scalia’s death and, at that point, that caused me to have confidence in the decision.  However, after FBI Director James Comey laid out a case against Hillary Clinton that would have sent ANY OTHER AMERICAN to a jury trial and then to hear him say ‘no referral would be made’, I am afraid we actually have reason to be suspect of the work from the FBI on any matter relating to the Clintons.  But I digress.  The next president will immediately appoint the ‘swing’ vote on the court and will likely get to appoint 3 more justices if he/she get to serve the 2 terms.  THIS ONE TRUTH should swing many votes AWAY from Mrs. Clinton because IF SHE IS PRESIDENT, she stated in the last debate that the “Supreme Court should be on the side of the American People” which is nothing shy of amazing!  Most people (legal or otherwise) don’t even know what to make of that statement because it is certainly NOT found in Article 3 of the Constitution.  In point of fact, in the minds of the constitution framers the Supreme Court was intended to be the weakest branch of our government, they were not to be a ‘social experiment’ which resolved ‘social issues’, but had (actually have) a distinct check and balance function in our system of government.  (Much more can and needs to be said, but for the sake of the reader, I’ll move forward)  Mr. Trump has given a list of true “Constitutionalists” which will become HIS appointments to the court and they are diametrically opposed to those ‘social engineers’ and those who will ‘legislate from the bench’ who Mrs. Clinton will appoint.  FOR OUR LEGAL SYSTEM, which is the envy of the world, THIS is the critical issue.

Second, I will vote for Mr. Trump because of the Immigration and border  issue.  A country with no secure borders is not a country at all.  Whether Mr. Trump builds a physical wall or a wall built with our immigration force matters little to me, what we must have are “SECURED BORDERS” OR we’ll become a battle ground like Syria, Iraq, etc.  Our wives, kids, grandkids, and other fellow countrymen will become targets for those who want to do us harm.  I understand the perspective of spiritual leaders who argue that we need to ‘minister to the refugees’ and I have no argument with that approach, but I take great issue with the attitude that the ONLY WAY we can do this is to bring them HERE and risk our national security to do it.  We simply must secure our borders, get control of those who come into this country, and even helps those who are true refugees.  I believe Mr. Trump will do this and I KNOW Hillary will OPEN OUR borders and endanger our posterity. 

Third, I will vote for Mr. Trump because of Military Issue.  The past 8 years has been devastating to our military.  Our current president has ‘raped’ our military by making it a ‘social experiment’ and by dismissing dozens of top officers from leadership.  He has also reduced funding to little more than ‘maintenance’ status.  We cannot lead or protect from a position of weakness.  Mr. Trump will rebuild the US Military that the present regime has markedly weakened.  Additionally, those serving will once again know what it is to have a Commander in Chief support them on all front.  Mrs. Clinton proved her ability to protect and support our soldiers and citizens by her lack of action in Benghazi.  One this point, many say that they don’t trust Mr. Trump with the Nuclear codes, guess what, if you study Mrs. Clinton at all you will discover that her temper is just as short as her opponent, the only thing she has which he doesn’t is the ability to conceal.  She has spent a lifetime concealing her temper, her foul language (just as foul as his), and her husband’s behavior (but that’s another subject).  She says that she has experience by her service in the State department and I will agree that the has some experience, but in my opinion, we have endured all of her leadership which we can stand, it’s time for something else.

Fourth, I will vote for Mr. Trump because of our Education Issue (I.E. Our Children)  - Common Core has been a disaster.  Mrs. Clinton will double down on this failed educational plan and continue to drive talented and creative teachers out of the profession where they are so desperately needed.  Mr. Trump, on the other hand, desires to end Common Core, remove education from the Washington DC bureaucrats and return it to the local jurisdiction.  Additionally, according to the ‘Election forum’ website, SHE is NOT friendly to homeschooling while he is supportive of any education approach that strengthens it.  While she parades children on her TV commercials, to check closely her record, demeanor, and personal approach tells another story.  He seems to be the ‘Education President.’  Her and his approach to college tuition is more a part of their economic stance than education.

Fifth, I will vote for Mr. Trump because of the Economic/Jobs Issue – For the last 30 years, Mr. Trump has been a recognized international businessman.   Hillary seems to be ‘up in the air’ about Donald taking a Million Dollar loan from his dad to get started.  Well, a quick search on google suggests that his present net worth is 3.7 BILLION (with a “B”), so I would say he had made good on a $1M loan.   Additionally, I am convinced that in building his wealth he has created many jobs.  It is true that when the Dems created an unfriendly business environment in the states, he did what so many other businesses did, he left the country.  While I don’t  like to hear about businesses leaving the USA, it would seem that Trump would know why businesses need to leave and would change that.  He has spent over 30 years making money & creating jobs.  Conversely, the only jobs Hillary seems to have created is at her foundation which some call the “Clinton Slush Fund”.  The foundation has a dangerous connection to foreign governments which are known for human rights violations.  My question is; how could she with a straight face talk about being for women and children when she is ‘in bed’ with those government.  Her financial plans for ‘FREE COLLEGE’ is frightening.  Here’s why, it is a lesson that I learned from my dad, “THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH.”  Someone has to pay.  For all the ‘financial elites’ who support her, they may be surprised when their income is taxed at a 70%+ rate to pay for free college.  It is no economic policy to propose ‘entitlements’ for all.  Trump knows better.  He will help those who need help and expect those to work who can work.  It is my belief that HE will create a business friendly environment which is good for all.

Sixth, I will vote for Mr. Trump because of the Healthcare Issue (I.E. Obamacare) – The (Un)Affordable Care Act is about to implode on itself because it has broken every rule of health insurance.  While we may ‘want’ health care to be a reality for every American, but as a close friend told me 25 years ago, “Health care is not a right, it’s a privilege”.  But that argument must wait for another day, for today, we have forced insurance companies to provide coverage that people neither want or need, we have forced those companies to provide coverage for people who are ‘uninsurable’ (that industry calls this  ‘buying a claim’), and the results are many.  We have insurance premiums raising as much as 90%, insurance companies withdrawing from States (PERSONAL NOTE: this is happening to us), and deductables that our unbelievable and ‘out of pocket’ enough to drain most savings accounts.  Additionally, our medical professionals are working harder and longer for less because the ‘insurance schedule’ for services rendered is less and less while the ability to manage a patient’s care is hindered greatly by the process required by those companies who are trying to keep their numbers in the black.  While Mr. Trump has talked about ‘state lines’ and ‘savings accounts’ – it’s obvious that he does not have all of this ‘figured out’, but unlike Mrs. Clinton who will double down on “Obamacare”, he will gather the smartest heads and replace this ‘socialistic fiasco’ with a plan that makes sense.

Seventh, I will vote for Mr. Trump because of the ‘Life’ Issue – Today I heard that his words about being ‘pro-life’ in the last debate were that strongest words we have heard from a presidential candidate in over a quarter of a century.  Hillary says she is ‘all about children’ while she continues to be an ardent supporter of killing the unborn.  I guess she supports children if they get out of the womb, but before that time, they are open game.  By the way, when we marry the healthcare issue with her opinion on ‘life’, it will serve us well to recognize that it is a small step to ending the lives of  our unproductive Senior Citizen (of which I am not far from being one) – and doing this either actively (euthanizing) or passively (refusing care). 

Eighth, I will vote for Mr. Trump because of the OBVIOUS Issue – What is the obvious issue you ask?  It is this; at the end of this election, either “Him” or “Her” will be the next President – there is NO OTHER POSSIBILITY.  To write in a candidate, while certainly a citizen’s right, during this election assures our next President will be Hillary Clinton and  that all of the issues which I have listed (and more) that this nation faces will be addressed by extreme left wing philosophy which will ultimately kill this great nation.  Having spent months investigating and reading about Mrs. Clinton, I have discovered that she began with a left-wing lean that has now turned into a left-wing marathon which will lead this great democratic nation directly into Socialism.

This article is already too long, so I’ll be brief.

SPIRITUALLY

So many religious (Ok Baptist) leaders have refused to say they would vote for Trump for “SPIRITUAL” reasons, my question is, “What part of this do we not get?”  The USA’s next president will either be Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton, period, this is our choice.  Neither of these two will rise to the standard which we desire.  Face it and deal with it. 

Mr. Trump’s temper is volatile, that is evident – but so is Hillary’s and, I believe, it is worse.  Mr. Trump’s language is vile – but so is Hillary’s and, I believe, it is worse.  Mr. Trump’s morals have been documented to be horrible, but if you actually do the reading which I’ve done, you discover Hillary has been as bad if not worse. 

While we don’t have any idea (outside of her regular counselors) who gives her ‘spiritual counsel, we know that (at least) he has assembled a group of spiritual leaders to speak into his heart Biblical counsel.  As long as he hears, I believe, there is a possibility that God could empower those words of counsel and bring some balance to our country.  Additionally, at least Trump ‘likes’ us as evangelicals.  Conversely, our current president and Mrs. Clinton have made it their mission to halt Christianity in this nation.  One executive order after another has hampered our religious heritage and freedom.

The bottom line for me is this; She is the one unfit for more reasons than I can mention.  While HE is not my first choice, with him, I believe there is an opportunity for my grand-children to live in a nation which resembles the USA as created by the constitution and has been blessed by Jehovah God for many years.  God has used many pagans over the years.  I pray that Mr. Trump is a different person than he was even 10 years ago and that he seeks Biblical Spiritual counsel for each and every decision, with Mrs. Clinton I hold out no hope for that to happen.

Again, this blog is not to tell anyone who they should vote for, but I do hope that MY REASONS for MY VOTE may influence someone to fully investigate the candidates.  My investigation has taken months of reading and digging.  You have less than 3 weeks.  May God bless us all.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

“Never Trump” = “EVER Clinton”

This Presidential election cycle has been pretty sad.  I find myself frequently saying, “300+ million people and these are the best we have?” 
That said, I do not remember a time when so many ‘so-called’ leaders have made it their personal job to ‘tell everyone’ who they ‘Shouldn’t’ vote for.  It’s uncanny.
One of the other ‘modern-day’ traditions is to actually ask people ‘how’ they will vote or ‘who’ will they vote for.  Yes, I’m old enough to remember when a person’s vote was their own business and it was considered rude to ask someone the how or who. 
So now we basically have these two – the donkey and the elephant – to choose from.  (I know Gary is trying to make a Libertarian run, but he faces two major problems; 1) The third party is in its infant stages and probably needs at least 4 more years of hard work to compete, and 2) his last stumble on a national stage probably ended any possibility of getting enough traction to garner the needed support to compete.) Candidly, we may need to sit up and pay attention to results of this election.  Some will say, “I am and I have decided NOT to vote.”  This is what 30 million evangelicals did in 2012 and as a result, we have witnessed the greatest attack on God, Jesus, the Bible, and Christianity, to ever be launched in the history of this nation.  It seems to me that we have experienced the ‘law of sowing and reaping’ first hand.  For the many who may believe that I am overstating the attack from this administration, I urge you to get and read the book by Todd Starnes entitled, “God Less America”.  With his usual literary talent married to his southern sense of humor, he exposes case after case after case of the Obama Administration trying to fundamentally change the culture of this nation – and it’s somewhat disconcerting.
So we have the two candidates, Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton, from whom we make our choice. Let’s see how they compare;
Issue Donald Trump Hillary Clinton
Abortion We really don’t know!  For years he was ‘pro-choice’ and now he says that he’s ‘pro-life’.+ We really do know!  She has been and is ‘pro-choice’.  The little babies do not register in her conscious!
Education We really don’t know!  He speaks of choice for school, seems to support giving public education to the states, and is against the common core.  He seems to support local education which includes homeschooling. We really do know!  She has supported common core, governmental control, & has a plan to get children into government controlled public education as early as possible.  She is on record against home-schooling because, in her words, “Education is not for families.”
Economic We really DO KNOW!  This is his wheel-house.  We may not care for how he’s achieved his fortune, but he has the knowledge about how the government has thwarted business in America. We really do know! (and we know more than we want to!)  She loves the ‘tax and spend’ mentality.  She plays up to the younger generation who actually believe “Education can be FREE!”  She believes that Government control is the answer to all of our problems. 
Supreme Court We really don’t know!  THIS IS THE CRITICAL ISSUE FOR THE USA, from a “Civic” standpoint.  The list of candidates he’s put forth is impressive, we pray that he chooses from this list.  THE NEXT PRESIDENT WILL NOMINATE AT LEAST 3 JUSTICES!!  CRITICAL ISSUE. We really do know!  She will continue the same path as her hero, President Obama, naming left wing extremist judges who will continue to fundamentally change and rewrite the constitution.  They will continue to ‘legislate from the bench.’
Immigration We really don’t know!  This is the public issue because he wants to build a wall to protect the American way of life.  He said he’d build a wall & THEY would pay for it (we’ll see). He said he would deport all illegals (we’ll see – I wonder where the money will come from.) He does seem serious about immigration reform.  We really do know!  She has no interest in building a wall of protection because she wants to build a bridge that will bring in thousands who do not care to ‘assimilate into this culture’ but rather ‘change the American culture’ into THEIR culture.  Under this plan, we can expect an ‘event’ on our soil which will make 9/11 pale.
Freedom of Religion We really don’t know!  While he professes to be a Christian, one of the complaints among evangelical leaders is that his life does not read like a Christ follower.  This said, he has given every indication that he believes in freedom for religions (including Christianity). We really do know!  She was a part of the Obama Administration who continually made policy which supported Islam and restricted Christianity.  She will seek to overturn the 1st amendment.
Gun Rights We really do know!  He has been supportive of the 2nd amendment right as he recognizes that to disarm law abiding citizens is to mean the only ones who will have guns is the criminal element and the military.  Like it or not, the 2nd amendment was written so citizens could protect themselves from an out of control government. We really do know!  Simply stated, she believes the 2nd amendment is a mistake because guns kill people.  She desires to get the guns.
National Security We really do know!  He is committed to making our military a strong, updated, & effective fighting machine to protect the citizens of this nation.  He also recognizes that we can deal better from strength than from weakness.  He will probably not have an apology tour. We really do know!  It appears that she will continue to weaken our military by decreasing the defense budget.  Additionally, she will probably continue to make the military a social experiment rather than a fighting force.
SUMMARY There are many unknowns about Donald Trump, but for me, the possibilities are many.  While, he is not a first choice for people of faith, he seems to be a better choice than his opponent. There are few unknowns about MS Clinton & what is known is not good for those who believe in the foundations that made America great.  Her stance on the issues are radical left-leaning.

In the final analysis, Hillary Clinton is so entrenched in the Washington Establishment that her election will signal a continuation of the same politics that have almost dismantled this country while in the name of tolerance, have done much to dismantle the ethics and principles that have made this country great.  This is to say nothing of her obvious health issues.  (I pray that her doctors get her condition under control.  It seems to be getting worse and I pray for her health.) She was the ‘presumptive Democratic nominee’ for the last 4 years and faced no real opponent in the primary.  Quite likely, if the DNC had remained neutral, she may not have received the nomination.  (I have refrained from mentioning her legal problems, national security failures as Sec of State, or the history of shady events which only the Clintons would survive.)
In the final analysis, Donald Trump is an unknown factor.  It has been much publicized that “Putin” speaks well of Trump.  But what is NEVER said is that the Russian leader knows Mr. Trump as a Businessman and not a Political Leader.  We don’t know him as a political leader because he is an outsider to the political scene.  That said, he overcame 17 challengers who were and are quality men with a background of political leadership.  What will he actually do?  We really do not know, but with him there is a ‘chance’ that the country can be righted.
With a smirk on their face, someone asked me, “Will you vote for Donald Trump?” I responded with a question, “Will you vote for Hillary Clinton?” They said, “Probably not, but I am a NEVER TRUMPER.” Never to be one to be quiet, as gentle as I could I said, “Well, to not vote for Trump is a vote (Sean Hannity says a ‘half-vote’) for Clinton. So there you have it, I am not really a Trump supporter, but I am definitely in the camp  of “NEVER HILLARY.”
As a person of faith, I am not comfortable with either candidate. But I believe that God can use Donald Trump (unaware though he may be – like Nebuchadnezzar) to protect the things which need to be protected giving God’s people opportunity to respond to God’s call to spiritual renewal and revival. If this nation turns anymore to the left ethically and morally, the next divine intervention may well be judgment which rivals God’s judgment on ancient Israel. On the other hand, if we can slow the drift into secularism perhaps God’s people will evoke a renewal of the manifest presence of God and spiritual revival in the land.
I have a deep conviction that the “Never Trump” attitude will give us an “EVER Hillary” direction which will thrust us into a valley from which we will never recover.









Wednesday, August 03, 2016

THIS IS THE STRAW!!

When I was young, admittedly my temper could get the best of me.  It was on a ‘hair-pin’ trigger, did much damage to my Christian witness,  and it caused me much grief.  Thankfully, through the years, the Lord has moderated that emotion a great deal (no, I have not arrived but am just still growing and on the journey).   Candidly, after a  I am probably still a bit steamed.  This posting began on Memorial Day.  Knowing much of what I felt needed to be said, I had to walk away from this subject to gain some civility in these words.

On May 27, 2016, our sitting President spoke in Japan at Hiroshima.  His words, like so many other of HIS WORDS, are an offense to any American, young or old, who values this nation, this way of life, and the cost of the freedom we enjoy.  I cannot imagine the pain which these words caused families who lost family & friend  at Omaha, the Battle of Berlin, the Battle of the Bulge, or at Pearl Harbor.

In a day when so many are pointing fingers and using words like tolerance and insensitivity, I must say, the apologizing for America over the last 8 years has now reached its zenith.  I’m sure you heard these words, but let me put President O’bama’s words  in print as a reminder:

“Seventy one years ago on a bright and cloudless morning death fell from the sky and the world was changed.  A flash of light and a wall of fire destroyed a city and demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself. Why do we come to this place, to Hiroshima?  We come to ponder the terrible force unleashed in the not so distant past.

While nothing in these opening words would I disagree with, I am stunned that there was little recognition of why the ‘flash of light’ and ‘wall of fire’ was necessary.  When I hear him speak about our matters of war, I get the distinct impression that he believes all that America has ever done is ‘mess up.’ 

To bring reality to the words of the POTUS, let’s attempt a different setting with a slightly different emphasis.  While we should never be ‘happy’ or ‘empowered’ by the remembrance of war and should always be sympathetic toward those who experience loss as a result of war, let us NEVER FORGET, that the USA has never been the aggressor.  We respond (at least we have in the past).  Our brave men and women risk life and limb to protect the freedom, liberties, and rights of this nation.  Without these heroes, we would not have a president to apologize for winning the war. 

Imagine with me that the day is December 7, 2016.  The location is Pearl Harbor.  The speaker is ‘a’ POTUS who speaks THESE WORDS:

“Seventy-six years ago on a beautiful Sunday morning, death fell from the sky and the world was forever changed.  A host of Japanese bombers, torpedo bombers and midget submarines used bombs and bullets to create a wall of fire and a flash of light which destroyed an United States Military installation, equipment, with over 1100 deaths, and over 2500 casualties. Why do we come to this place, to Pearl Harbor?  We come to ponder and to remember.  We ponder what makes a regime commit such an unprovoked attack on a country on the other side of the world and an unsuspecting people who did not consider themselves at war.  We remember these gallant men and women who gave their lives in the defense of  freedom and of this nation, along with their families .  America IS the land of the free, but she will remain the land of the free only as long as she is the home of the brave.  Today, we honor those who have fallen in service, those who have given their lives for this nation, and those who are  left behind.  Thank you for your sacrifice and service.”

For me, I pray daily that our next Commander in Chief values our service men and women, honors our veterans, and commits himself to the security of this nation.  This would be an outstanding change.  For me, January 20, 2017, cannot come soon enough.  “May his days be short and may another take his place.”

Friday, July 29, 2016

A Historical Time (No Matter How You View It)

(This is the first in a series of several blogs concerning the upcoming Presidential Election)
Someone said to me, “This is the most unusual, if not unbelievable, Presidential election that I can remember.”  Immediately I agreed because, it matters not who you support (and I have friends as well as acquaintances who passionately support each candidate) THIS PRIMARY PROCESS and the upcoming election is a weird event, an unusual environment, and even a defining moment in this nation.
Generally, the ‘first political’ office a candidate runs for is not the top office in the land – this year we have that. We have never had a female candidate for the Presidency – this year we have that.  (Admittedly, a female candidate is not a big deal at this point. It was going to happen because it should happen. However, just like the person who was elected the first African-American President was the wrong person for the health & progress of this nation (another blog), I am wondering if we are about to make the same type of mistake again).  Generally, a person with so much and so many ‘shady events’ (Whitewater-gate, Commodity-gate, Foundation-gate, Server-gate, Benghazi-gate, and etc) in their background disqualifies that person for the top office in the land, this year it doesn’t. 
It is also interesting that one candidate is a self-made multi-billionaire while the other is a governments funded (and not necessarily the US government) multi-millionaire.  The ‘drive by media’ (to use a Limbaugh term) reports that the billionaire has no money for his campaign while the government funded multi-millionaire is loaded with cash.  Billions and Millions – and here I am wondering how I’ll make the next doctor and/or dentist bill under the “UN-Affordable Care Act”, but I digress. 
In this campaign we have a situation, that could be the first time, NEITHER candidate has an over 50% favorability rating by the citizens.  Did hear what that says?  In other words (as I read this statistic), over 50% of people in the mainstream “DO NO TRUST” either candidate.  This is remarkable!  And THIS is the best we can do????  In all of America, this is the ‘cream of the crop?’  But make no mistake, these two are our choices.  Some are saying “write-in” while others says, “Vote 3rd party”, well for me, neither of those options work because both of those options is a vote to send us toward a Socialist society.  You don’t have to agree with this, but this is how I see it.
The Primary system is always hard and has been made more so by the 24 hour-news editorial spin cycle which crucifies ANYONE who dares to toss their name in the political arena.   Quite likely, this is why many quality  leaders, spouses, & families, choose NOT to serve.  Two comments about the “News” (I use this words very loosely):  FIRST, rarely do I trust anything called “News” these days because, in my opinion, we rarely get “News” rather we get the “Editorial on the News.”  In fact, it might be a little more honest to rename the 6pm ‘newscasts’  the “Broadcast OF the Nightly Editorial” (we could call it ‘B.O.N.E.’).  SECONDLY, I would be surprised if our Founding Fathers, you know who I’m talking aboutthose who pledged their wealth, loyalty, & LIVES, to see this nation born - desired for the “Freedom of the Press” to become ‘political machines’ which seeks to destroy the lives and families of those who desire ‘public service.’  (Public Service?? – Hmm…here is another truth or question found in this election cycle which brings up so many reminders of things we seem to have forgotten - -  that it’s like chasing cats or opening up a can of worms)
The Primary system is indeed  hard but at the end of the day, as a general rule (which means not all the time & not everyone, but generally) we lay aside the contest past to unite on principle and set our sights on America.  In the words of the last American President to be assassinated, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ASK what YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY.”
In this way, the 2016 Presidential Election seems to come down to ‘What Kind of America We Will Have Going Forward?’  One candidate claims he will return us to the conservative values (I.E. Courts, Legislation, Trade, Religious Freedom, Security, etc) while the other candidate believes these last 8 years have been our best years and will expand the governmental policies.  Candidly, one candidate says, “I’m moving us back to the right” while the other says, “We’re headed left in our thinking & governing and you haven’t seen nothing yet.”  One is a for sure “Capitalist” while the other is a, well, she likes the term ‘progressive’ but from her rhetoric, life, and career, I term her a “Socialist.”  (HISTORICAL NOTE:  Socialism has failed at every attempt and has most always produced the next logical step downward for societies who have tried it – that next step is “Communism”).  The Socialist view, in simplistic terms,  is “Governmental Control.”  Young people today likes the rhetoric of lower (or free) College tuitions.  While it sounds good, one of the basic tenets of society is this:  THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH!  Someone has to pay the tab.  I’m wondering who this might be, oh yeah, it will be who it has always been, ME and YOU – the little guys.  (The younger people would have a great surprise kind of like my daughter did when she received her first check as a teacher.  She knew how ‘much’ she supposed to make & was startled at how much the government kept.  Can you imagine how much this amount will increase when we toss in College Ed, Healthcare for everyone, and more?  I don’t care to even entertain t
hat scenario.)
This is a ‘historic election’ to be sure.  In times past I have had to ‘hold my nose and pull the lever’, but this time for me (I am not speaking for anyone else) it’s worse.  With respect to the “Office of the President of the USA”, I believe in these past 8 years we have seen the abuse of powers which borders on the criminal.  Many times I have asked, “Exactly HOW does one define ‘High Crimes and Misdemeanors’?”   (Not long ago I asked Christ-following Judge this question and discovered that no one ‘wants’ to define this or take action on it.  This explains a great deal.)
Because our current president is lauded to be a “Constitutional Attorney”, I have to conclude that he ‘knows’ what the Constitution allows and has made it his mission to change the parameters of that office so that he could fundamentally change America.  One of our presidential candidates will make it her task to continue this change which, I deeply believe, will kill this great nation.  The other candidate might continue to compromise the office of the president out of ignorance because he doesn’t know the constitution but rather leads like a CEO. 
This next three months will make history, we will cast our votes,  and then history will write itself because of the decision make the first week of November.  Honestly, the choice for me, while unpleasing, is simple.  To ‘write in’, ‘refuse to vote’, or some other protest is a vote cast for socialism.  While writing down this previous thought will anger some, that doesn’t make it any less accurate.  Gosh, I wish we had a better choice.  Whichever candidate prevails, as a minister, I wonder if in this election we are about to receive the ‘due penalty for our errors” as Paul told the Romans. 
Whatever happens, this will be historic.

Friday, May 06, 2016

National Day of Prayer

Yesterday was the 'National Day of Prayer'.  Pauline Goff, the local director for this effort, graciously asked me to speak at this noon-day event.  It was an honor and was the first time in my life that I had been asked to do speak at such an event.  As I prayed about the message, I became struck about the nature and depth of the struggles in America.  It is sad but extremely true that we are in a battle for faith as the culture in the USA (like so many before) have now seemingly decided that 'we know better than God'.  But with the national mood like it is, we also have a 'civil' battle for these United States of America.  Hopefully, I will follow up this blog with one about the ongoing Presidential 'free-for-all' which we are enduring.  Sadly, unless something drastic happens in the next 6 months, casting a vote for a person of faith will not be possible.  But I'll save this discussion for an ensuing post.  Suffice to say, that the National Day of Prayer must become our "Wake-up Call."
What follows is the script from which my remarks at the NDOP were formed.  My heart-cry, my hope, and my prayer is that God will "HEAL OUR LAND" because HIS PEOPLE respond in the way which God has told us.
For those who don't know...the time slot for this message was 6-8 minutes and (for those who won't believe it) I stayed within the time frame. 😀 Grace.

Don’t Miss the Alarm
(National Day of Prayer address, Lucedale 2016)
Jerry Watts
2 Chronicles 7:13-14
·       I begin with a question, “How many of you have ever slept through an alarm or alarm clock?”  When you do this, it messes up your day, your schedule, & may impact the lives of others.
·       Today, the “National Day of Prayer” is indeed an alarm.  It is a “Wake-up” call.  In fact, the chosen scripture for this year, Isaiah 58:1, identifies this day as such (“Cry (or shout) aloud; do not hold back, lift up (or raise) your voice like a trumpet.”  In other words, sound an alarm and ‘wake up’. 
·       Our country, culture, communities, and churches are all on a downward spiral and the issues are too many to name.  From the Presidential race (who would have thought?) to laws, courts, morals, and more, we find ourselves in a moral freefall from which we don’t seem to be able to recover.  We simply will not legislate our way out of this dilemma.  We stand here today because we recognize that our best is simply not good enough, we need reinforcements, we need help.
·       One of the most familiar verses of the Bible for times such as this is 2 Chronicles 7:14. (Quote) Folks, this last statement is why we are here today, we want our land healed!!  Don’t miss this: the only way for our land to be healed is for our sin to be forgiven, and the only way for our sin to be forgiven is for us to be heard from heaven, and the only way for us to be heard from heaven is to turn from OUR wicked ways, seek God’s face, and pray from a humble, broken, & contrite heart.
·       Many who know this verse from God’s Holy word do not know the setting in which these words were spoken nor do they know what came just before or just after these words.  God spoke these words to King Solomon in response to the King’s prayer for God’ blessing.
·       While many know verse 14, few know verse 13.  God is still speaking and He said, “When I shut up the heavens so that there is NO RAIN, or command the locust to devour the land, send pestilence among my people.”  This startles many people as they cannot imagine a reason why God would to these horrible things to HIS PEOPLE.  Yet a study of the history of God’s people & a look at Solomon’s prayer reminds us that God will respond when His people are disobedient.
·       It seems to this country boy that the very reason our country is on the decline stems from our disobedience to God.  We have cast Him out of almost every place imaginable and just perhaps, He has shut up the heavens and not allow the raining down of His blessings on us like we once enjoyed, perhaps He has sent the locust of immorality, and the pestilence of affluence on us.  Just perhaps we are living in verse 13.
·       If so, this is bad news but it is also good news.  The bad news is that perhaps we have run from God, built a barrier of our own arrogance between Him and us (God resists the proud), and in large measure rejected His truth as absolute to the point that He has shut up the doors of blessing and sent the locust and pestilence in the land. 

·       The good news is this:  We are in the perfect place to hear the alarm and move from verse 13 to verse 14.  It begins with “God’s People” – with the right attitude (humble), the right approach (pray), the right aim (God’s face), and the right action (turn from our ways that God calls wicked).  If we approach God in this way, He will hear (don’t you like to be heard when you speak), He will forgive (while most people don’t care to admit it, being forgiven is a deep desire), and HE WILL HEAL OUR LAND.  This is my dream, my hope, & my prayer.  Our land is so scarred and marred with the effects of sin.  God goes on in verse 15 to say in effect, “If you guys will pray like this, my eyes and ears are open in this place for you.”  As I sit, my heart prayer is that we will not sleep through this alarm.  Please take this pray with you to your car, your job, your house, and your people.  May we wake up and call on God to show up.  Amen.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

WWJD VS WDJD

Charles Sheldon’s book “In His Steps”, published first in 1896, has sold more than 30 million copies and has been read, quoted, and highlighted as many times as any other book in history. 

From the story of this classic book, we have used the acrostic WWJD as a challenge for living and lifestyle for many years.  One of my favorite golfers, the late Payne Stewart, is well known for wearing the wristband with WWJD inscribed.  Certainly, these letters which, we all know,  stands for “What would Jesus do” can serve as a guiding light – ONLY if we know the historical and Biblical Jesus.  But, it seems to me, there is the ‘rub.’ 

The modern day concept of Jesus seems to be markedly different from the Jesus found in the gospels.  According to modern culture, Jesus ‘kind of ‘ lives and let live and offers ‘suggestions’ for life instead of guidelines for time and eternity.  I have often said that the modern culture seems to see our Lord as a cross between our kind grand-pa and the Easter bunny and Santa Claus.  To apply the  “what would Jesus do” when this is your concept of Jesus is problematic at best and disastrous at worst.

The alternative could be to change our concept from “WWJD – What would Jesus Do” to “WDJD – What DID Jesus do.”   We have four inspired accounts for the life of Jesus bound up in the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) to gain a clear understanding of “WHAT” He did.  Take a look at a couple of truths.

When people say Jesus “was never judgmental and just loved people whoever they were, whatever they did, and never really took issue with behavior like those who claim to be Christians today do” they could not be further from the truth.   It is true that Jesus loved ALL people.  In fact, He loved all people so much that HE took the nails, the cross, the beating, and the abuse ultimately dying the death of a sinner, taking the place of those people (us) that He loved. 

However in His life, Jesus never overlooked sin but rather dealt with both firmly and in His love.  Jesus loves people too much to leave them like He finds them because He knows, left to our own, we are friends with the world and, as the scriptures say, ‘enemies with God.’  To the woman at the well He, lovingly but firmly, confronted He with her sin.  To the woman caught in adultery, lovingly but firmly, He told her to “sin no more.” 

It was only to the Sanhedrin, those religious people who were self-righteous, that He seemed to lose His cool in confronting their hypocrisy.  Jesus has little patience for those who ‘look down their religious noses at those who are not like ‘me’.’  Jesus’ compassion for the multitude and love for each individual challenges the best in us.

While there are those who could ‘call me out’ for saying Jesus lost His cool, when I read the words of Jesus to those religious leaders, it speaks to me of one who was a bit tired of their ‘religiosity’!!  To their faces He call them, “Blind fools, Blind guides, Hypocrites, White Washed tombs, and more.”  A person, even the earthly Jesus, has to be pretty frustrated to speak like this.  Yet I believe, there was enough of His grace available to reach out to these religious leaders, to all lost people, and even to Judas.

In other words, Jesus spoke the truth in love.  Today we seem to an abundance of two types of people.  There are those who love to “Speak the Truth” and let the axe fall where it may AND we have those who like to “Speak with Love” in which they affirm whatever someone desires to do, kind of a ‘live and let live’ philosophy.  By the way, it seems to me that either of these philosophies border on abuse. 

To speak the truth without love or to offer love without truth can both be mean and certainly not like Jesus.  What Jesus did and does is always balance ‘truth (never compromised) and love (never short-changed).  This is our call, it is our challenge, and it is our mandate. 

Let’s make it our goal, to follow WDJD because we have studied the life of Jesus and clearly understand WWJD.  Amen.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Let’s Not Lose Our “Jerusalem”

“The Old saying (well at least since “God for Us”) is “God is good all the time and all the time God is good.”  While this is a timeless truth, the “Praise and Worship’' revival made the saying a part of every Church and Christian’s life.  He is ‘good’ and He is ‘good all the time.’ AMEN.
These are the words which I carry in my heart today.  At the beginning of 2016 God goodness called and brought me to a new ministry position, an Associational Missions Director.  Having worked in and around Southern Baptist Associations for 40 years in almost every position and on every committee imaginable, already I feel at home in this vocational work.  Although God is good is all He does, He has especially been good to me in that, He has resisted every opportunity I’ve given Him (over my lifetime) to “Through me under the bus” AND He continues to give me health, strength, and the heart to join Him in His Kingdom’s work of purveying His word.  Coming to this position as an Associational Missions Director and now giving the task of a “Missionary” gives me a great pause because not just the WORLD, but the American Culture is in desperate need of a renewing, refreshing, reawakening, and reviving touch from God through His manifest Holy Spirit.  I long to be a catalyst in this process.
Let’s face it, TODAY, the big thing we hear is to “GO”.  This is good because ‘going’  was always Jesus’ beginning point.  In Matthew 4 after His temptation, Jesus called the new disciples to Himself and then we are told ‘going on from there.’  Jesus began by ‘leading them to “GO.”  After concluding the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus came down off of the mountain, healed the leper, and told Him to “Go”.  By the end of Matthew 8, He had also told the Centurion to “GO.”  In Matthew 10 He sent the disciples out by saying, “As you GO.”  This theme continued TO and THROUGH the experience of the cross finding its pinnacle in Matthew 28 and by extension Acts 2.  The call is and always will be to “GO.” 
So many people, specifically preachers, are so fixed on ‘their definition’ of the word “GO” that they seem (maybe they haven’t, but it sure seems like they have) missed the priority of Jesus’ commission.  It is true that we need to “Go” to the foreign land in a strategic and effective way to win the lost to faith and make disciples of those who trust in Jesus.  It is equally true that we need to “Go” to the “Pioneer” areas of this great land, to those who have not had the opportunity to hear and respond to Christ by faith.  This must be a part of ‘who we are’ because of ‘whose we are.’ 
Having said that, this is where many people are today.  We are going places, starting Bible Studies, creating preaching points, and planting new churches.  This is the spiritual movement of today.  From this movement, many good and great things are happening and I pray continue to happen.
My heart-cry is this:  Let us not lose our Jerusalem trying to reach the utter most part of the world.  Our Judea, our Samaria, and the rest of the world are vitally important, but if we lose our Jerusalem, then we have no base from which to launch our mission.  Besides that, if we lose our Jerusalem, then we lose our earthly families, our loved ones, & our friends.  One of the saddest attitudes that I hear these days is; “They had their chance, they have plenty of churches in their area, it’s time to move on’ or “We need to spend our money elsewhere.” 
Additionally, people (actually many ministers) seem to desire to abandon the ministry of the State Conventions and Associations in lieu of supporting pioneer for what we call International Missions.  Certainly these missions should be a part of our mission strategy, but let’s not abandon our JERUSALEM as this was Jesus’ first priority of Acts 1:8.
Statistics tell me that the two counties I have responsibility for have a lost rate of 60% and today I was told by a pastor friend of a different denomination that his statistics indicate that every county in Mississippi has no more than 40% in the faith and connected to a church.  While we do not need to abandon our mission beyond the state borders, WE MUST, WE MUST, WE MUST, invest time, effort, energy, and yes, money to reach our Jerusalem for Jesus.  Jerusalem represents the heart, soul, and center of our faith
What will it gain a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul – “Jesus”
Let’s not lose our soul. 

Sunday, February 07, 2016

A New Beginning

When most of my friends & many colleagues are announcing their retirements, I am grateful that God has seen fit to give me a new assignment AND I am THANKFUL for that new assignment.  For the last 41 years Deboria and I have moved around the southeast doing our best to serve the Lord wherever we were.  This has been a great 'turn of the page' and a 'new chapter' in life and ministry.

For over 15 years, I served as a "Music Minister" (today called a "Worship Minister") and then, after getting my relationship with God in order, God called me to preach - which I have attempted to do since 1992.  God is good as in my weakness HE has always been strong.  Through the good & the not so good, God has been a constant companion, encourager, and leader ever by applying discipline as I've needed it.  As I have said many times in the pulpit, "I am thankful God has never taken the many opportunities I have given Him to 'throw me under the bus', but rather has always been patient with me and my loving Father.  Today His faithfulness, goodness and mercy, continues to follow me.

On January 1, 2016, God opened a very special door of ministry which is indeed a new direction for me.  Becoming the Associational Missions Director for the George Greene Baptist Association has already proven to be such a blessing that any words seem to fall short.  After only one month with this responsibility, I feel both honored and humbled.  So many great people in this area are followers of Christ, so much comradery, and still so much work to be done, - and I honestly believe we can "Reach the World From South Mississippi." 

This transition has felt a little like I imagine Joshua feeling when, in Joshua 1, God told Joshua, "Get up and GO".  To the wonderful churches, the great churches, and the outstanding pastors, I say 'thanks' for your prayers, support, and willingness to allow the Lord to lead.  God's best is yet to come.  GRACE.

BY THE WAY, if you read this, please OFFER A PRAYER that God will intervene and help us sell our house very quickly.  MY WIFE NEEDS ME.  GRIN.

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