Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Our Father the Great Botanical Artist!

I recently took a stroll through the Orangeburg Memorial Gardens to take in some of our Father's creative handiwork. The pictures gave me another opportunity to play with my new Mac's slideshow capabilities. The song is from an old musical the Baptist Student Union Choir performed while I was studying at Clemson. (The pops in the audio is from the VINYL record where I lifted the recording. How old is that?!!) Enjoy the beauty and the message!

Oh, and use this as an opportunity to worry less! Remember what Christ says in Matthew 6:27-34: Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Little Sins Add Up

Recently, I saw this segment on Discovery Channel's "The Deadliest Catch," about the danger of ice collecting on the ship's gear. If it is not removed quickly, disaster can happen. Click on video to see why this is such a problem.

Tiny droplets of water, combined with freezing temperatures and wind can destroy a crab boat and its crew. But it's just drops of water, against a ship of many tons of steel, how could that be? Ignoring those tiny particles of ice means certain death.

How often do we ignore the accumulation of little sins in our lives, rationalizing them at first because everyone is doing it, or it's so small, or no one knows anyway. Still, seeds will eventually grow. You've heard or read the saying:

We sow a thought and reap an act;
We sow an act and reap a habit;
We sow a habit and reap a character;
We sow a character and reap a destiny.

Christ saved us to be transformed into the "new self" which reflects His love and light to a world so desperately in need of it. Ephesians 4:22-24 puts it this way: You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

We are to pay attention to our own sin (instead of being preoccupied with the sin of others), if we are to grow in Christ. Don't let the small sins accumulate in your life; eventually, they will do their damage!

Here is one final Biblical reminder from Hebrews 12:1-3: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

If you are growing weary and losing heart, you may want to "get out on deck" and check your "gear" to see if something dangerous is accumulating!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Vacation Bible School 2011

Another Vacation Bible School at First Baptist is history. Everyone seemed to enjoy being "Backstage with the Bible." Here is a slide show with just a few of the 1,522 pictures I edited. NO, I didn't take all of them. I had three additional photographers roaming backstage to get those special VBS moments. Among my favorites...toddlers' first VBS experiences.

Thanks go out to all the workers who made "Backstage" happen! This also marks the first VBS for me that was 100% Mac. I did this using iPhoto on my Macbook Pro. Click on the video to go "backstage" at Denmark First Baptist's Vacation Bible School!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day...Abba Father!

I wonder how many believers will celebrate Father's Day tomorrow and forget to thank the greatest of all dads, our ABBA FATHER! Maybe this will remind you to do just that! Oh, and never forget, 1 John 3:1, "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"

Another Powerful Reminder for Anyone Who Loves Kids!

We live in a culture that is trying to convince all of us (and especially our children) that true happiness is a product of selfishness; of getting what you want, as quickly and as easily as possible. Left alone, children will usually favor recess over math, or candy over vegetables, or sleeping late over catching a school bus. They need adults to showing them that what they want is not always what they need, and what the need may not be the easiest thing to get, but that it will be worth it. May all of us help our children who NEED us to show them what they truly NEED, too!

Praying for Our Fathers and for the Rest of Us!

Happy Father's Day! If you have or had a great father, you have every reason to look forward to tomorrow. Not everyone, however, will see tomorrow as a day to rejoice.
  • Some will not have ever had the experience of a good father, but perhaps an abusive one.
  • Others may have never had a father.
  • Others will be having the first Father's Day without their dad, either through death or the breakup of a marriage.
  • Others will be dads, but maybe they realize they haven't done a great job; some will be right, and some will be wrong.
Let us be sensitive to everyone we see tomorrow. Rejoicing with those who can rejoice, and mourning with those who mourn. We can also help the dads we know by being good influences on their children, too.

I saw this video tonight, and it made me think of just how powerful a person a dad is (for good or evil). It also reminded me of how we should pray for the dads we know (whether our own or not) often, for the power they exert over their children's lives can have eternal implications.

If you are an adult, but not a parent, children you know are watching you, too! Let's help our dads by being positive influences on their kids. This video will help us all realize how important it is that we realize our place in the lives of our children. Our dads, no matter how good they are, would probably appreciate all the help they can get in raising their kids!