Archive | September, 2007

Just when you thought it was safe . . .

17 Sep

Okay, is this a sign of the apocalypse??? OJ is arrested AGAIN and there was a planned HIT on K-FED??? I CAN’T STAND IT!!!

I am very concerned . . . (Can you sense the intense concern??)

How does change come about?

12 Sep

In the past several days, I have found myself talking to church members who want to challenge the status quo . . . That is NOT a bad thing. Several of them have expressed a need for change in certain areas, and some have expressed “this is why I am not involved in (fill in the blank).”

There are areas in our church that need change . . . Which means there are HEARTS in our church that need change. We can all get set in our ways at times, and that can be dangerous. Our upcoming marriage enrichment event has met some resistance because of WHO has planned it . . . There have been plenty of snippy remarks about the young ages of the folks who have been promoting and planning it. This event was borne out of a vision to help marriages in our church and community, which are CRUMBLING before our eyes. Should we do anything, or watch it happen?? Shame on whoever is giving this event a bad rap.

I wonder how many couples in our church really have the perfect marriages, and if you are one of them, let me know . . . I would love to make sure YOU are involved in leading this event! NONE OF US are perfect, and the folks coming from the South Carolina Baptist Convention to lead this thing are just trying to help us strengthen our church and our community. I wish every married couple in our church would come . . . And I am thankful for a couple like Ed and Hatsy Young who ARE coming! They have been married for a long, long time and yet they want to strengthen their marriage. AWESOME!

But, back to my topic. If you are one of those recognizing a need for change, I will tell you the secret of how to help it happen: GET INVOLVED!! Don’t let the flaws of how things are stop you from being a part of the solution!

The POWER of Prayer

11 Sep

Kevin Everett . . . A backup tight end for Buffalo, injured on Sunday while making a tackle on special teams. The doctor said this was a severe, almost fatal injury to his spinal cord. He did well in surgery, but the jury is still out on how far his recovery will go.

Interesting, though, is the huddle on the field praying for him. Sportcenter showed a group of guys praying and a few running in to join them. Prayer is a very powerful thing. The fact that God Himself will give an ear to our feelings is a humbling thought.

Prayer can heal . . . Prayer can bring unity . . . Prayer can give us a clear direction. As Willard Dorriety said at our deacon ordination on Sunday evening, “Ebenezer is at a crossroads. A good crossroads, but a crossroads.” We had 485 in Sunday School on Sunday, and very little room for more. (The New Facilities Team is almost ready with a greatly detailed report.) BUT, we need to CONTINUE and INCREASE our prayer about this. All of this could seem daunting, but remember — GOD CAN DO ANYTHING. Without Him, we can do NOTHING.

Pray . . . Pray for our sick and wounded . . . Pray for those who are hurting, and even being persecuted, because of THEIR FAITH . . . Pray for those making great sacrifices in the name of the kingdom of God . . . Pray that we will be open and willing to obey God however He leads us, even if He leads us to be persecuted or make great sacrifice.

PRAY . . . It is a powerful thing!

A Banner Night

10 Sep

Last night was an interesting study in current times . . . We had a deacon ordination and ordained seven deacons. In the twelve years I have been at Ebenezer, we have never ordained that many in one night. When a deacon is first elected in a baptist church, we have an ordination service giving the church a chance to issue a charge to them and pray over them. It is usually a solemn and reverent service. Very prayerful. Last night broke that mold.

There were probably as many visitors as Ebenezer people last night (that is a SHAME in itself). There were current deacons who came to the deacons meeting afterward who did not darken the door of the sanctuary (as some do every month). Again, another shame. With seven new deacons and their extended families, there were a lot of people standing in line to pray with them and speak a blessing to them. And the atmosphere was that of a fellowship. People were talking to each other, talking to the candidates. It was very relaxed.

There is nothing wrong with that, although a couple of more traditional folks were very bothered by this. I really believe it is a sign of the times and signifies the changes of the next generation creeping in. Is that a bad thing?? No. But it will take some getting used to.

Next year, will I remind everyone this is a prayerful time?? ABSOLUTELY. But last night was what it was. And, at the end of the evening, we had ordained seven new deacons into deacon ministry.

And THAT is a banner night, no matter how you look at it.

Is Hollywood phobic of US???

6 Sep

Here is a link to a Baptist Press article that YOU need to read. Really makes you think.

http://www.bpnews.net/BPFirstPerson.asp?ID=26377

In honor of Jess and Rob . . .

6 Sep

The significance of that wedding this weekend is more than you might realize . . . There is something really neat about being part of a wedding like that: Diana and I helped raise Jess, and have always claimed her as one of ours. So, an inspirational word in their honor courtesy of http://www.mikesyfunnies.com/

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During his wedding rehearsal, the groom approached his pastor with an unusual offer. “I’ll give you $100 if you’ll change the wedding vows, and leave out the ‘love, honor, obey, and forsake all others’ part.” He pressed a $100 bill in the pastor’s hand and walked away with a satisfied smile.

On the day of the wedding, the groom was feeling pretty pleased when the pastor got to the part where the vows are exchanged. The pastor looked him in the eye and asked, “Will you promise to bow before her, obey whatever command she gives, fulfill her every wish, serve her breakfast each morning, and swear before God that you’ll not look at another woman as long as you both shall life?”

The groom gulped and looked astonished, but he finally said “Yes” in a tiny voice. He then leaned in toward the pastor and whispered, “I thought we had a deal!”

The pastor pressed the $100 bill back into his hand and whispered in return,
“She made me a much better offer.”

Sweep, part 2

5 Sep

Thanks to my tech support / research team (Dean) for providing this piece of computer magic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_RIbtfWSn8