Monday, June 29, 2009

God's Love is Crazy - What About Yours?

Given how much we ignore Him; how much we misunderstand Him, how much we disobey Him, how much we dishonor Him, how much we mistreat His children, our brothers and sisters, how much we substitute mere ritual for a quality relationship with Him, how much we give our passions to lesser, often destructive things instead of embracing His spite of all this... "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom 5:8) From an earthly point of view, there's one word for this...CRAZY. Still, I thank my Father that His love for me is crazy! As Francis Chan reminds us, "shouldn't our love for Him be CRAZY, too!? Here is a great intro. to his book, "Crazy Love" (and there is a small group study that goes with it, too.) Click on video...

Here is the link for the book and DVD study. (FBC folks...I've already ordered it!)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Send an E-Couragram to Wyman

Wyman Abstance, one of my church members, and the FIRST World Changer from our church (he's the one who really got us involved!), is involved with three WC projects this summer.

He left today for a week as Crew Chief in Savannah, GA. He is the only one from our church on this trip (our two groups leave later in July), so even if you don't know him, freak him out with an "E-Couragram" email. On the form the church group is Denmark FBC, Denmark, SC Thanks for encouraging our solo World Changer! Andy the Parson

Here is the link...(good through 07/02/09)

Savannah, GA E-Couragram!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Who Would Spend That Much on So Little?

I went out this afternoon to get some doggy stuff for our newest family member, Luke, who, by the way is doing very well! Anyway, this car pulled up behind me. I've never seen a Bentley convertible before, and I doubt many of you have either. It lists for $200,000.

I know, I thought I was probably envious. Are you kidding? I'm glad it was them and not me...the price of oil changes, the fear of parking it where is could get stolen, or scratched.; dealing with how church members would talk! It would be torture!

Nope, I'm happy with my car that cost less than 1/10th of that car! Still, it's not every day you see a 200,000 car that will one day be in a landfill like everyone else's car!

We all need to remember the biblical truth: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21 No matter how expensive a car is...eventually rust will win!

If You Must Get a Tattoo, Don't Fall Asleep While They Are Doing It!

Being an old fogy, I still don't get tattoos. No matter how much a person wants a certain image or sentiment etched forever in his or her skin, it seems that with the volatility of the human psyche, that future regret is a real possibility, not to mention the effects of aging skin and blurring of a tattoo. Still, I defend anyone's right to do it. A word of caution to the young, however...stay away during any procedure in which you've given someone permission to draw forever pictures on your body! Don't believe me? Ask Belgian Kimberley Vlaeminck, 18, pictured here. A tattoo artist allegedly inked 56 stars on the side of her face.....she says she asked for 3.

This reminds me of how easy it is to sleep through the important parts of life, not paying attention to the things that really matter; like an overly committed business person who fails to pay attention to his or her children as they grow up without their mom or dad's much-needed love and attention. Life flies by...stay awake!

1 Thess 5:6-11 indicates that Paul would agree: So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Life comes at you fast...STAY AWAKE for the important parts!!!

Note: If you want to see a video report of the star faced teen, go to
Caution: If you get queasy easily, look away when they interview the tattoo artists! Ouch!

UPDATE: I just found guessed it...she lied! Read about it here:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pray for Fathers and Kids Separated This Father's Day

Don't forget all our military dads and their kids who are separated on this special day. It's not just our military who pay the price to serve our country, it's their families, too! Say a special prayer for them, and if you know a military dad whose kids won't get to hug him today, see if you can't find something kind to do for their family while they are away. Just a reminder...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Father's Day

I thank my heavenly Father for the great father he gave me in my dad, and for the assurance that I'll see them both one day when I'm home. And to all my friends who are dads, and especially to those guys in my life who have been like a fatherly influence in my life, I say, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! By the way, our RA's are camping this week including several "sets" of dads and sons, but what is also remarkable are the adult leaders who went who either aren't dads themselves, or whose kids have grown up, yet they are exerting wonderful "fatherly" influence on these kids! Happy Father's Day to them, too!

Now, in honor of our dads....okay, okay, the first one is humorous...the second, however, reminds us also of our need (whether we are fathers or not) to: a.) be thankful for those people who have influenced us the most for the good (the best being those who influenced us in our walk with Christ), and b.) make sure we're influencing others in a way that when we're gone, they'll have reasons to thank God for what we gave them, showed them, or pointed them toward!

First the funny...just click on it!

And then the serious...

Finally, thank God that He has given all who He has adopted the joy of being able to call Him, "Abba Father!" Romans 8:15, 16 is a great reason to thank Him for this!!! It says: "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Barnwell High School Graduation '09

I'm very proud of my church's three graduates.

Taylor Cornforth (Salutatorian, no less!)
Kedia Jennings
Jamie Kizer

Click on the picture for full album!

My New Step Brother...Uh, Dog....Uh, LUKE!

Thanks to a very loving family, my mom now has a new guardian, companion, child, and playmate named Luke! He's five, but has lots of puppy left in him, and he's enjoying exploring his new domain and meeting new folks. Here are four pictures of my first meeting with him several weeks ago, but most were taken four days after his "cool" summer cut. Though he looks like a yellow lab, he's a golden retriever! Just click on the picture for the complete album!

Vacation Bible School 09

Here's my first attempt at linking my Facebook photo albums to my blog! Just click on the pictures!(Note for all Facebook uses...please don't tag the names of the children!)

VBS '09 Vol. 01
VBS '09 Vol. 02
VBS '09 Vol. 3 Picnic

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sowing Generously to Remember to Be Grateful

I just saw Rob Bell's latest "Nooma" video called "Corner." One of my favorite quotes: If we each don’t find some suffering and do something about it...we may become miserable...our achievement, our education, our wealth, our time,and our money...they will turn on us if we don’t spread them helping save someone else from suffering we may in the process find ourselves being saved from indifference, from the inertia of inaction, from taking what we have for granted...

I think Paul would like this video, after all, he wrote: Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 2 Corinthians 9:6

If you aren't sowing generously as a Christ-follower, something is wrong. Maybe you've forgotten just how much you've been given, or, at least, forgotten how grateful you should be!

Here is a preview of the video "Corner!"

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Today, June 6th, Should Be Remembered!

I went to a local graduation last night. Though our current economic conditions might dampen the Class of '09's immediate optimism, I'm sure those graduates who want to work hard will still be able to "harness the power of their dreams." I'm sure something like that was said in many a graduation speech over the last few weeks. Oh, I have nothing against dreams, but as a guiding principle of one's life, one needs to make sure his or her dream is a good one and a worthy one.

Still, our graduates are FREE to dream and to pursue dreams, only because other graduates 65 years ago today (D-Day) were willing to invade France at Normandy to turn the tide of the second world war. Many of the allied invading force were in their late teens or early twenties, including 160,000 troops, and 195,700 allied naval personnel in over 5,000 ships.

Graduation is a time when many graduates get letters of affirmation from family and friends. Such letters are filled with expressions of love, affirmation and pride. Imagine, however, if they were to receive a letter like the one given in 1944 to the 1000's of young allied soldiers set to invade Normandy by Gen. Dwight Eisenhower:

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened, he will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory! Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

-- Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

May we all pause to thank all those brave Americans (and our allies) who gave their lives at a decisive moment in history when the tide was turned against the German war machine, resulting in our ultimate victory over tyranny. May we all spend our freedom to dream dreams worthy of the sacrifices made by so many just so we could dream them!

You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Was listening to an audiobook today about handling past regret and looking forward to a better future entitled, Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda by Les Parrott. Here is a great illustration of how we should handle our past.

Either your past is serving as a springboard to a better tomorrow, or it is the proverbial albatross keeping you from moving forward today. Years ago a thunderstorm came through southern Kentucky and wreaked havoc on the old Claypool farm. A pear tree, which had stood for six generations, had blown over. Mr. Claypool deeply grieved the loss of this tree where he had climbed as a boy and whose fruit he had eaten all his life. “I’m so sorry to see your pear tree blown down,” a neighbor tried to console. “I’m sorry too,” Mr. Claypool responded. “It was a real part of my past.” The neighbor asked, “What are you going to do?” Mr. Claypool paused for a long moment before answering, “I’m going to pick the fruit and burn what’s left.”

His response may have been literal, but I can’t help thinking the astute farmer meant it figuratively as well. We all need to pick the fruit from our past and burn what’s left. We need to learn whatever lessons the past has to teach us and move forward with more wisdom under our belts and more optimism in our spirits.

Otherwise, we would be like another farmer in Mr. Claypool’s situation who drags the fallen tree into his barn or house, in a vain attempt to hold onto the glory years of his beloved tree. Over time, of course, the tree’s fruit would spoil and turn rancid and the timber would draw insects of all kinds. It would become a terrible obstacle in his daily life on the farm. Yet the farmer would refuse to change the absurd decision because he is holding onto the “good old days” with a vise grip.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Don't Overlook the Power of CHOICE!

Found a new website today that has PowerPoint presentations (sort of like the youtube of PowerPoint), and found this one:

Reminds me of Deuteronomy 30:19,20 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.