Friday, July 31, 2009

Do Not Grow Weary in Doing Good...

It is easy to grow tired in trying to make a positive impact when no visible results are forthcoming. Paul reminds us in Galations 6:9: "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." This important life perspective is illustrated in the film short entitled "Validation." Click to enjoy!

You could also add, as a biblical reminder: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29) With so much sadness in the world, shouldn't we be more intentional about adding as much "good" as we can? Who knows? Maybe you'll give someone a reason to hear from you the best news of all....that of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Some Vacation Pics - B.S.U. Reunion '09

I'll have much to say soon about how wonderful this past weekend was, and what a gift from our Father it was, but for now, just some pics...

From the Reunion:

From my tour of the tiny Hunter Street Baptist Church:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Our Last World Changers Trip of the Year

Our church's college World Changers team left yesterday for a week in the North Charleston area. Here is part of our intrepid group. (Billy Self, Construction Coordinator for the entire project; and Wyman Abstance, crew chief (on his 34th WC project) went on ahead, and Jim Polasky had a delayed departure due to a stomach bug.) Click on picture for link to send group members an "E-couragram" email!
(Left to right) Eddie Creech, Cathy Self, Beth Polasky, Jason Chew, Courtney Smith, Daniel Eubanks, and Taylor Cornforth

40 Years Ago Today - History was Made - ON THE MOON!

That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!

Today is the 40th anniversary of man's landing on the moon and Neil Armstrong's first words as he stepped off the landing pad of the Lunar Module onto the moon!

Show your kids this amazing piece of history!
I don't know what's more amazing: that we actually landed on the moon,
or that the past 40 years have flown by so quickly!

I thought this poster was pretty cool, too!

An Appropriate Psalm...

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
Psalm 8:3,4

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

World Changers in Brunswick, GA

Here's an article from the Brunswick newspaper on the World Changer crew led by Steve Cornforth (with another member, Eddie Creech, as crew encourager). They and the rest of the Denmark FBC World Changers are having a great week...keep praying for them! Oh, click on the arrow above picture to see picture of Eddie!

World Changers back on the housetops of Brunswick's needy homeowners |

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Want Some of These

Okay, Christmas is around the corner and I am notoriously hard to buy for, so here's what I want... some Bucky Balls! Okay, not really...well..maybe...but they look pretty cool, and a spiritual illustration as a bonus! (WARNING: Don't buy these for a child...eating them could literally be fatal!)

The lesson? We can do more together than we can by ourselves. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 12:24-27: "But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it."

And Ecclesiastes 4:9,10 reminds us: "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!"

So stay connected to other believers and be prepared for what our Father can do through the Body of Christ!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tim and Mary Platts' Big Day!

Here is a link to a photo album of Tim and Mary Platts' wedding day! Forgive some of the "red eye," but I wanted to get these up, and the lighting at the reception caused mega-flash red eyes beyond the capabilities of my current photo-editing software. Click picture for more photos!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Newest Breland!

For folks clamoring to see the newest addition to the Breland family,
Charles Herman Breland, 4th (Chaz)...
Here he is! Click on picture for more!

Still Another Chance to Encourage a World Changer!

Our youth left this morning...ooops...technically, "yesterday" morning to journey to Brunswick, GA for a week of loving people for Christ as they scrape, paint and shingle! PLEASE take a moment to send an "E-COURAGRAM" as soon as you can! Our team...

From Left to Right:
Steve Cornforth, Walker Smith, Cory Dantzler, Beth Pruett
Jodi Eubanks, Katie Pruett, Jenna Pruett
Jim Polasky, Eddie Creech, Brent Cook

Here is the link to send an E-COURAGRAM!

Monday, July 06, 2009


Hey everybody....some of my church folks are participating in World Changers in Blackville, SC (though the WC site says it's Barnwell), so drop them an e-couragram if you can. Here is the link, and here are my members:
Note: this link will only be valid through Thursday evening of July 9th, 2009.

Cathy Self - First Aid Coordinator
Billy Self and Steve Cornforth - Crew Chiefs
Wyman Abstance - Crew Chief Supervisor

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Don't Take This Document for Granted!

When was the last time you read the Declaration of Independence? (You can read the text here:

Thomas Jefferson was only 33 when he wrote it. Though expressing the desire of the majority of the colonies, to the rest of the world, it was a radical, dangerous document.

It declared a nation's right to rise up against a government that did not govern with justice...not very popular with kings and queens who rule by what they considered divine right.

Though we celebrate July 4th, 1776 as a glorious, pivotal day in the history of our great nation, that year held little to celebrate for the colonies as England brought its powerful military machine to bear on these primitive colonists. No real victories were won by the colonies.

Still they persevered, and finally, slowly the tide was turned which eventually resulted in our victory. So let us never forget that those who signed the Declaration of Independence were not simply making a statement of belief, but were making a life-altering (for them and for those who would follow) decision to support their declaration with action. Let us never forget the last line of this great document: And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

The freedom won by our forefathers, and given by Our Father in Heaven, was never meant to be used to indulge selfishness, but to give ourselves to purposes far greater than our own desires. Check out 1 Cor. 10:23,24:" Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others."

Pursue Happiness If You Must, But Be Careful!

Happy Fourth of July Everyone! As we celebrate our freedom to "pursue happiness" (personally, I think we need to pursue loving God and loving others first), here's a great article and video on what happiness is. Though not a spiritual article, it does remind us that happiness is not in amassing a bunch of money.

Watch CBS Videos Online

For important reminders see Matt. 6:33; Ecclesiastes 5:8-20;1 Tim. 6:6; Philippians 4:11-13 plus many others! So pursue happiness if you will, but pursue God first and the happiness will take care of itself. The video cuts off about a minute before it's supposed to, but the article has the full text! Here's the link:

So enjoy your freedom, thank God for your freedom, and for those who gave their lives to secure it, and then use your freedom wisely, as our Father through Paul reminds us: " 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. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Galatians 5:13,14

Friday, July 03, 2009


Dalton Sherman wowed a crowd of 20,000 public school educators at a conference last August as the conference's keynote speaker. He was 10 at the time! Anyone working with children, or who has children, or is related to children, or wants to be there for children needs to watch this!

PLEASE pay attention to the children in your sphere of influence...God does!

"Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea." Matthew 18:4-6

Thursday, July 02, 2009

You Gotta Have Friends -- Really Great Friends!

Me in 1975 on choir tour with the youth choir from FBC, North Augusta!
Yep, that's me in the front with the shorts that would not be allowed on a
World Changers mission trip!

This past Tuesday, as I was driving home from a nursing home visit, I made some phone calls to some long time friends...actually, three different couples who I have known between 28 to 30 years each. These are among my great "core" friendships that are so deep and abiding and comfortable that I can't imagine life without them. I hope everyone has at least somebody like that in your life. Anyway, the amazing thing to me was that two of the three friends couldn't talk because they were hosting Bible studies in their homes when I would have been okay, but then to have two at the same time! Pretty cool.

My third friend wasn't in a Bible study, but he, his wife (who is the picture above!) and daughter are leaving tomorrow to go to Guatemala on a mission trip. So my thought was, "Man, I've got great friends!" And that is true of my really "core" friendships...the main thing we have in common is Jesus Christ, and that's not a bad foundation for a lasting, important, substantial, encouraging, loving friendship. I hope you all have those kinds of friendships, and that you're teaching your kids to have those kinds of friendships too! You know...the long term, gonna-love-you-no-matter-how-weird-you-are, encouraging-you-in-your-relationship-with-Christ kind of friendships! And to all my friends who fall into this category: THANK YOU!!!!!! Hmmm...Ecclesiastes 4:9,10 must be true:

"Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!"

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Pretty Amazing Patriotic Tribute!

What looks like a mess becomes something really, really cool! Talk about an unusual presentation of the national anthem!

What? No spiritual lesson!? Are you kidding! Of course there is a spiritual lesson. With all that spinning and running around, the painting looked like a random mess at first, but all the time, the artist knew what he was working on, and what the final pictures would be...sort of like our Father and us. We get so down with all the spinning, and messes in our lives, but we need to remember... our Father is painting something special with our lives that will point people toward Him! Just be patient and be full of faith in the One who loves you too much to stop painting His wonderful picture in and with your life!

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:3-6

Joy From Circumstances? I Don't Think So!

Just stumbled across two great clips from Sister Act 2. Both this clip and the one before (see previous post below) begin with soloist stumbling due to circumstances, (i.e. fear of what others this clip the soloist fears her mom's reaction is was against her singing, but shows up at the concert).

Again, the joy is evident, and it reminds me of the powerful message in this hymn...yep, that's what this is, a hymn, written by Henry J. van Dyke in 1907. The lyrics follow the video and remind us that our joy should be centered on our Father, our Savior, and our Comforter the Holy Spirit, not on what happens in circumstances.

Observations on the lyrics:

  • God is the "Giver of immortal gladness!" You don't find much (make that ANY) IMMORTAL gladness in the things of this world apart from a relationship with our Father through Christ.
  • All our circumstance should move us to "rejoice in Thee!"
  • He gives, blesses, forgives and gives some more! Rejoice!
  • He is our "wellspring of the joy of living!" Rejoice!
  • He will teach us " how to love one another!" Rejoice!
  • We are invited to join "the happy chorus!" Rejoice, don't go it alone!
  • As we rejoice in Him, we move FORWARD in GROWTH and TRANSFORMATION! Rejoice!
  • He gives us the ability to be "victors in the midst of strife!" Rejoice

Circumstances got you down? They will....but every day we can be joyful if we're looking in the right direction! UP! To our Father! Rejoice, because you have a lot of reasons Him!


Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,

Stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed,
Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, all who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus, which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us, brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward in the triumph song of life.

What's Your Fervor Quotient?

Want to use your freedom to the max? Then share Christ with others, but before you do, check your "fervor quotient." This clip from Sister Act 2 reminds me of how important it is that we pay attention to what excites us, and how we communicate with others about the wonders of knowing Christ. I like this clip on a number of levels:

1. The soloist starts out shaky (don't we all), but doesn't quit.

2. His "community" is behind him, encouraging him. Don't isolate yourself from the Body of Christ, and don't wound the wounded by being critical, gossipy, or mean-spirited. How tragic this scene would have been if the choir had started mocking his initial performance instead of singing backup!

3. The soloist and the choir took direction from the choir leader, just as we need to take our direction from the Head of the Body of Christ which is Christ. No choir could sing if everyone sang what he or she wanted. Everyone has to submit to the direction of the director if there is to be harmony. How it must pain our Father to see His children destroy fellowship within the church out of downright selfishness and pride.

4. The soloist overcame fear (with help), and moved from the stage to the audience with his message, which ultimately becomes more important than his fear.

NOW you can click on the video...

Paul reminds us in Romans 12:10-12: "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Now that sounds like a great use of freedom to me!

Pray for our World Changer mission teams who will be working in Brunswick, GA, and Charleston, SC in July, and our visiting WC teams next week (July 4th - 11th) in Barnwell and Bamberg counties. Pray that all our World Changers may have the confidence and fervor and joy in Christ to leave the stage (or the roof or the front porch of where they are working) to go into the world with the excitement of someone who is truly "happy" about knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

May we all sing for Him with the same joy and FERVOR!