Archive | March, 2009

Where is OUR FAITHFULNESS??

31 Mar

Maybe I am too easily baffled by this, but I am amazed at the lack of faithfulness and loyalty among people today. Of course, I remember the days when a professional team drafted a player and that player stayed there for the rest of his career. I remember the days when a company hired someone out of college and they could count on a job, and being treated well, for the rest of their career.

THOSE DAYS ARE GONE!!! I still remember the day Dale Murphy left the Atlanta Braves and became a Phillie. A PHILLIE!!! That is just like leaving the Confederate army and becoming a YANKEE (for those Southerners out there). Murphy’s move was controversial . . . and about money.

NOW DAYS, that kind of move seems as pure as the milk Dale Murphy drank on tv commercials!! Corporations have no faithfulness and loyalty to their workers, and in turn, we are becoming a society just like that. We have no loyalty either. And it is filtering its way down.

It has already hit the church, and will continue to do so. And that is a sad day. Are we becoming a consumer exchange?? We are supposed to be a FAMILY. And, you don’t just walk out on family. And that is where it is all headed . . . As loyalties die out down the line, this mindset will eventually attack the family.

Hmmm . . . I wonder WHERE this mindset comes from???

Going where God leads

30 Mar

A frequent topic of sermons at Ebenezer, going WHERE God leads is one of the most important things a Christian can do. We believe it at EBC, we preach it at EBC, and I pray that we live it at EBC.

In keeping with the consistency of all of that, did you know that most pastors PREACH what God leads?? Different processes are used, but most pastors I know REALLY listen to God and preach what they feel He wants them to preach. Some plan for months in advance. Some choose from week to week. But most pastors I know allow God to take the lead when it comes to their pulpits.

And I am no different. I pray, I keep my eyes open, and I seek His inspiration. And if I am REALLY SEEKING Him, He never lets me down!!! I love His consistency . . . Although we will never fully understand Him in this life, there are things we can count on to be far more consistent that we even imagine!!!

And if I didn’t do it this way . . . and if those other pastors I know didn’t do it this way . . . How could we preach trust if we don’t practice it ourselves???

Allowing our children to EARN THEIR SPOT

27 Mar

I’ve played sports all of my life (contrary to my appearance). One thing I learned, playing four varsity sports in high school, is that you have to earn your spot. YOU HAVE TO WORK HARD if you want to play.

I could wax philosophic on this for hours, but here is the bottom line: DON’T THINK YOU ARE DOING YOUR KID A FAVOR IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE TO CUSS THE COACH OUT TO GET THEM A SPOT ON THE FIELD!!! Hear me?? If your kid has a bad game, is it possible that it could actually be YOUR KID’S FAULT instead of the coach??

One thing I have learned in the last decade of youth ministry and pastoral ministry: We are quickly becoming a generation that blames EVERYONE ELSE for our own shortcomings. Do yourself, and your child a favor: Let them earn their own spot.

For everything there is a season

25 Mar

A time to laugh, a time to cry. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to blog and a time to refrain from blogging.

Yep, I wrote it. And I’ve been there for the past few days. One of the difficulties of being a pastor is that there are things that happen in life that I cannot blog about. I have often thought about publishing an anonymous blog where I could write anything, but then I ask, WHO could I tell?? Maybe I should start writing a book??

Rest assured that God is still on His throne and He sees and knows all. And His justice is far more complete than we can comprehend. And I am glad I know Him!!

Where did all of the trees go???

20 Mar

A question often asked of me, as pastor at Ebenezer. A few weeks ago the SC Dept. of Transportation came through (in the name of progress) and cut down several 100+ year old trees. And FLORENCE IS MAD!!

Several folks asked me “Why did you guys do that??” My answer is always the same: “We didn’t do it, and we are not happy about it.” Two of the trees were live oak trees and were almost icons of Ebenezer. Many, many people told me about when they were children playing near them. (I am also amazed at the number of people I’ve met over the years that were once members at EBC)

As Ed Self and I often discuss, all of the woods in Florence County are slowly disappearing. No wonder three does were in the grassy area in front of the church at 7am a couple of weeks ago.

I just hope my children are never in the position of hearing one of their kids say, “What are trees?”

I have never considered myself to be a tree-hugger, but WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!

A Time to Dance

19 Mar

(A note about yesterday’s blog: IF your comment did not discuss the curse, I did not post it. A couple of comments were just insulting to non-Gamecocks, had nothing to do with the curse, and they didn’t make the cut)

Yes, Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a time to dance . . . And the band is warming up!! Actually, the tourney started on Tuesday with the play-in game. I don’t even know who won it, and rest assured they did not move forward on my bracket. My overall winner . . . YOU KNOW IT IS THE TARHEELS!!! I am not a happy camper about Ty Lawson missing the first game, but there is nothing I can do about it.

And so, LET THE DANCE BEGIN!!!

The Chicken Curse at it again???

18 Mar

Here is one for all of you Sandlappers . . . Is there such a thing as the Chicken Curse?? If you want the background on the alledged curse, google it . . . It is quite a story. And, alledgedly, it will prevent the USC Gamecocks from ever really being successful on a national level in sports. My question for you, today, is this: IS IT REAL??? As a pastor, you know I would say there is no such thing . . . But as a former athlete who would not wash his socks during a winning streak in high school (yep, guys, that was ME stinking it up), you gotta wonder . . .

What do YOU think?? Reply and let everyone know! And, although I want him to reply, I will go ahead and tell you that Joel Fowler thinks so. And after last night, I KNOW he went to bed thinking about the chicken curse . . . AND LAUGHING.

What do YOU think?