Archive | March, 2007

March Madness at Moore

30 Mar

I just went to a March Madness basketball tournament at Moore Intermediate, where different classes played each other in what must be considered intramural games. WOW . . . I now understand completely why our basketball league is the way it is. I saw more muggings today than a New Orleans beat cop during Mardi Gras. I thought about encouraging Drew to leave and not play in his second game, but two things stopped me: 1)He was really having fun. 2) I am not his momma. Dads are supposed to laugh at danger.

If #2 is true, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. (I am just catching up after what I saw today)

Hey Mr David!!

30 Mar

I love to hear that! It usually means that a kid I know (through the church or through coaching) sees me and wants to say hello! Or, at kid at church has a significant revelation they want to share with me. Either way, I love it.

This morning I had to go into school with Drew to get his drum that he left yesterday. Coming back out, four Ebenezer girls came walking up the walk and they all yelled it. I responded, “Do I know you guys??” They all replied “YES!!!” They were glad to see me. It is funny, because when they get to Sneed Middle School next year, they will cover their faces and run when they see me. It is not cool to talk to your pastor in middle school. A couple of them hugged me and they went on in. And I thought about Sneed and was thankful that they will still talk to me right now.

I have pastored, youth pastored, and coached a lot of kids in my lifetime, and one thing I will tell you is this: “Hey, Mr David” means as much to me as anything I have ever heard. Church politics and ball park politics can really drive you nuts, but nothing can negate or replace the opportunities YOU have to impact kids. That is what it all really is about: The chance to make a difference.

Are YOU making a difference today???

Be careful of your heroes

28 Mar

The Pat Tillman Friendly Fire case is receiving a lot of airtime on all national networks . . . Did the Army cover it up?? Did they suppress evidence and/or withhold the truth from his family? If you read the account, it is unfortunate and tragic.

Pat Tillman was an NFL star who left it all to enlist after September 11. The press made a tremendous deal about the fact that he left a career of millions to serve his country. It is touching and patriotic. Everything his unit says about him tells us he was the real deal and this was not a publicity stunt.

In April of 2004 he was in a convoy that was attacked. To make a long story short, he took several bullets protecting another soldier in his unit. He literally stepped into the path to save his comrade’s life. It is a touching story with one shortfall: Those closest to him talk repeatedly about his feelings about religion. At his funeral, his younger brother came to the podium and said “Pat is not with God. He is ******** dead.”

Pat Tillman did something heroic, and of that there is no question. But he was a man, just the same as any of us. He struggled with his relationship (or lack of it) with God. He was the victim of a tragedy. May God have mercy on him.

I’m your huckleberry!

27 Mar

Do you remember that famous movie line?? Who said it, and in which movie?

The movie was Tombstone, the actor, Val Kilmer, and the character was Doc Holliday. He said it twice to Johnny Ringo, both times trying to gunfight him. But what does that mean??? I Googled it, and here goes (from the World Wide Words website):

“What it means is easy enough. To be one’s huckleberry — usually as the phrase I’m your huckleberry — is to be just the right person for a given job, or a willing executor of some commission. Where it comes from needs a bit more explaining.
First a bit of botanical history. When European settlers arrived in the New World, they found several plants that provided small, dark-coloured sweet berries. They reminded them of the English bilberry and similar fruits and they gave them one of the dialect terms they knew for them, hurtleberry, whose origin is unknown (though some say it has something to do with hurt, from the bruised colour of the berries; a related British dialect form is whortleberry). Very early on — at the latest 1670 — this was corrupted to huckleberry.
As huckleberries are small, dark and rather insignificant, in the early part of the nineteenth century the word became a synonym for something humble or minor, or a tiny amount. An example from 1832: “He was within a huckleberry of being smothered to death”. Later on it came to mean somebody inconsequential. Mark Twain borrowed some aspects of these ideas to name his famous character, Huckleberry Finn. His idea, as he told an interviewer in 1895, was to establish that he was a boy “of lower extraction or degree” than Tom Sawyer.
Also around the 1830s, we see the same idea of something small being elaborated and bombasted in the way so typical of the period to make the comparison a huckleberry to a persimmon, the persimmon being so much larger that it immediately establishes the image of something tiny against something substantial. There’s also a huckleberry over one’s persimmon, something just a little bit beyond one’s reach or abilities; an example is in David Crockett: His Life and Adventures by John S C Abbott, of 1874: “This was a hard business on me, for I could just barely write my own name. But to do this, and write the warrants too, was at least a huckleberry over my persimmon”.
Quite how I’m your huckleberry came out of all that with the sense of the man for the job isn’t obvious. It seems that the word came to be given as a mark of affection or comradeship to one’s partner or sidekick. There is often an identification of oneself as a willing helper or assistant about it, as here in True to Himself, by Edward Stratemeyer, dated 1900: “ ‘I will pay you for whatever you do for me.’ ‘Then I’m your huckleberry. Who are you and what do you want to know?’ ”. Despite the obvious associations, it doesn’t seem to derive directly from Mark Twain’s books.
Short question, long answer!”

Hope that helps!

Are we the church at Sardis??

26 Mar

Not Sardis, SC, but the church John wrote about in Revelation 3. Sometimes I wonder . . . Are we the church that LOOKS like it has it all together, and yet on the inside we are losing touch with God?? I really do not have an answer to that. I have an answer that I HOPE AND PRAY for, but I am honestly not sure.

Sometimes I stop, look, and listen, and it makes me wonder what God sees in us. The bottom line, according to John, is that God loves us so much that He gave us another chance to repent. But the window will not be opened forever. It all goes back to us, the church, getting our lives right with God on an INDIVIDUAL level.

I wonder what it will take for us to do that???

A Tale of Two Tourneys

26 Mar
It was the best of times . . . It was the worst of times. First, the worst: UNC gave one away today . . . Not to belittle the effort of Georgetown, it appears they played very well. We just had a few opportunities we blew. Therefore, the best team won, and we do not deserve to be there. (That is very insightful for someone who did not even see it! I was at church!!)

Now, the best: This weekend, West Florence JV Lady Knights were invited to play in the East Clarendon High School invitational tournament in the big city of Turbeville, SC. I will spare you the blow-by-blow and just post this picture. It is worth a THOUSAND words:

What else do I need to write?? That tall blue thing in the middle is the championship trophy.
After FOUR games and a hot, hot day, our girls walked away with the championship!
SO, when I think about tournament games this weekend, this one is one I will remember!!!

The importance of Theology

23 Mar

Theology . . . Literally a “word about God.” What do YOU believe about God? Do you really know what you believe and WHY you believe it? Will you ever have to DEFEND it? We all should know what we believe and why . . .

We were talking about this in CLC yesterday. Got some interesting “definitions” of theology, too. These kids are sharp and came up with some logical answers to a word they had barely (if ever) heard.

But, if YOU were put in a place where you had to defend your faith, COULD YOU?? Would you cave to questions and pressure, or would you be able to stand tall?? How can you prepare for such a time (and they DO come at the most unexpected times)??

KNOW WHAT YOU BELIEVE AND WHY . . . Think about it, talk about it, maybe even take a moment and write it down. But, let your beliefs flow from your heart and mind . . . Don’t just quote what you have heard at church. Know why you believe it and you can easily defend it.

Because, you WILL have to defend it eventually.

One of the tough sides of being the Church

22 Mar

Is Ebenezer Baptist Church a business or a ministry?? The perpetual question for every church. Some would valiantly argue that we are a MINISTRY. Everything we do had better glorify God and build His kingdom. Otherwise, we are little better than a club. Others would argue that we are a business. Where there are some that just see things for ministry value, others just see money. And the bottom line of Ebenezer is in the church checkbook balance and on the financial report.

Well, which is it??

Have I kept you in suspense long enough?? There IS an answer, and it makes sense . . .

It is BOTH. There is a business aspect of Ebenezer . . . We have to pay our bills. It does take capital resources to operate. We do need to be good stewards of what God has given us, both as a church AND as individuals.

How do we deal with these two aspects, that seem to oppose each other?? We must keep BOTH in mind when looking at what God is doing at EBC. We must be faithful to God in our obedience and in our stewardship. Our willingness to obey Him will directly impact what He does with US!! We cannot approach giving our tithes and offerings with the same mindset of purchasing stocks or investing . . . Our minds cannot comprehend what God is doing on the ministry end. We need to trust Him a little more and stop looking at ourselves so much.

Pray for our church, that we will have true faith and follow Him the way we should.

You learn something new everyday . . .

21 Mar

Today I learned that M.R. “Buck” Buxton, long time member of Ebenezer, was born and partially raised in Plymouth, England. Buck was telling me today about the ship his father served on with the Royal Navy in WWII. His dad died on that ship. He told me about how the Nazis bombed their town like clockwork, recounting how they would have to go to a bomb shelter day and night. How he used to play on the anti-aircraft guns as a kid (and the soldiers would LET THEM!!) At age ten, he moved from Plymouth to Florence and has been here ever since. I had a fun visit.

Buck has been my friend since I moved here. He used to work at Lowes, and when he was on duty I knew I would get good help (I wish it were like that now). Health helped him make the decision to retire, and now his lungs are giving him fits. But he can still laugh. That is his trademark. I would know he was in Lowes when I heard that big ole’ laugh. I heard it again today, and it was good to hear.

God is FULL of miracles

21 Mar

Today, Ed and I visited with Opal Williams. Opal is a saint of all saints and a tremendous prayer warrior at our church. However, three weeks ago, Opal had a massive brain hemmorage. Life has significantly changed for her. She has gone from having hours to live, to a few days, to ten days, to only God knows for sure! She was not responsive, but has slowly become more responsive. She has moments where she recognizes and even talks to folks. The bright eyes and gentle grin I saw today was truly a miracle! Doctors still do not hold out much hope for long-term recovery, but I know her family would never trade the bonus days they have had with her.

Tonight my phone rang. Another miracle. My friend, Marty Hilburn was on the line (many Ebenezer folks know him from his running the church softball league at Ebenezer Park). A few weeks ago, Marty asked me and a number of other representatives from churches in our league to pray for him. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and was going to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. He got a phone call late today from his doctor up there, telling him that his surgery is CANCELED!!! He does NOT HAVE CANCER! Their pathology showed NO CANCER WHATSOEVER! Marty told me he turned it over to God, and cannot explain this other than a MIRACLE!

God is awesome, and He is at work doing MIRACLES every day!!!