Archive | June, 2009

A Cross-section of People

10 Jun

If you ever wanted to see a great cross-section of people hard at work for something, come to the Crocodile Dock (VBS) at Ebenezer one evening this week. And by cross-section I mean a bunch of people that are different ages and come from different backgrounds and walks of life. There are nurses, engineers, IT people, salesmen, bankers, lawyers, stay-at-home moms, grandparents, great-grandparents, newlyweds, artists, federal employees, chefs, cops, retired cops, a Piggly-Wiggly manager (I had to name that one because everytime I see Marty I tell people he is the Bi-Lo or Food Lion Manager to aggravate him), and the list goes on and on. Including all areas, there are close to 150 WORKERS.

And they work. All of them. HARD. And they don’t complain. And we all know the goal we work towards. There are children in our VBS that have never heard the good news of Jesus Christ. And what if THIS were the only opportunity they might have to hear about Him??

Our work is cut out for us. Our goal is clear. Yes, we are tired . . . But that will have to wait for now.

Maybe the pastor needs to buy everyone a cup of coffee???

When Personal Pride gets in the way

9 Jun

It is quite an obstacle . . . Like that pothole that we NEVER see, and yet it was large enough to DROP the transmission of my car off onto the road. Pride. From our perspective, it is the hardest thing to see. From the perspective of others, it is all too easy to see, smell, and feel.

What does your pride motivate YOU to do? Does it drive you? Own you?? Cuddle up with you in the still of the night and tell you that YOU are the bomb??? If you are listening to it, you are probably headed down a painful road. Painful for those in your life and painful for you.

I could write for days on this one, but here is the real question each of us has to answer TODAY and EVERY DAY: WHAT is my pride PREVENTING ME from doing for the Kingdom of God? IS MY PRIDE AN OBSTACLE FOR THE KINGDOM??

VBS 2009 – First Day

8 Jun

MAN, I need a Cafe Mocha with a double shot of espresso …

Oh, I have to write more?? What more could be said about the beginning of VBS this year. VBS is AWESOME at Ebenezer! HUNDREDS of kids and adults fill the halls and classrooms for a week of fun and meaningful time together. This year we are doing the Crockodile Dock VBS from Group Publishing. It is a bayou theme and looks pretty good. My only objection is that I NEVER wrestled a croc during my time in the bayou … Crocs are not indigenous to Louisiana. But, WHO CARES!! (For the record, I never wrestled a gator, either)

Today I am praying for the workers that will make this thing happen. VBS is quite a huge undertaking, and although the church staff will work hard to help it happen, it COULD NOT happen without the weeks of planning and prep by VOLUNTEERS. It is a great picture of how volunteers SHOULD be organized!!

Good luck, Ebenezerites!!!

In Honor of the last day . . .

4 Jun

(Courtesy of

YOU might be a school employee if you want to slap the next person who says, “Must be nice to work 8 to 3:30 and have summers off.”

YOU might be a school employee if it is difficult to name your own child because there’s no name you can come up with that doesn’t bring high blood pressure as it is uttered.

YOU might be a school employee if you believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says, “Boy, the kids sure are mellow today.”

YOU might be a school employee if you encourage an obnoxious parent to check into charter schools or home schooling and are willing to donate the U-HAUL boxes should they decided to move out of district.

YOU might be a school employee if you think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.

YOU might be a school employee if you believe the playground should be equipped with a Ritalin salt lick.

YOU might be a school employee if you can’t imagine how the ACLU could think that covering your students chair with Velcro and then requiring uniforms made out of the corresponding Velcro could ever be misunderstood by the public.

YOU might be a school employee if meeting a child’s parent instantly answers this question, “Why is this kid like this?”

YOU might be a school employee if you would choose a tooth filling over a parent conference.

YOU might be a school employee if you know how many days, minutes, and seconds are left in the school year.

There’s something wrong if you’re always right.

Then and Now

3 Jun

Why do I care about Baccalaureate? Here is why!

1997 – Ebenezer 5k Graduation & Last Sunday – EBC Bacc. What a difference 12 years makes!

Enough said! Have a good day!

WF Baccalaureate, Part Deux

2 Jun

What did DAVID have to say to the Class of 2009?? Here goes:

Seniors, you’ve made it this far!! Six more days and you walk across a stage. You receive your high school diploma. AND LIFE CONTINUES.

One of the greatest mistakes made by a speaker in my position is to assert today that you are the future. That the balance of the entire world will someday be in your hands. Cliches like those make for great subject matter in a Baccalaureate service, but it is just not true.

Yes, the world is a hard place. You are about to step into something that will take you by surprise if you are not careful. You might think you are prepared. We HOPE you are prepared. But taking this step out of high school and into the next realm of life can be shocking for some.

Yes, the world is not fair. Life is not always fair. To this point in your life, you’ve been in a relatively even and fair environment. That ends when you walk across that stage. Sorry to be the one to tell you that, but it is true.

But, I do have some good news . . . The TRUTH of today is, YOU ARE NOT THE FUTURE. YOU ARE THE PRESENT. The decisions you make, TODAY, have an IMMEDIATE impact on this world. You have already begun to assume the reigns of this world, and all of the responsibilities that come with them.

In the Sermon on the Mount, (Matt 7:13) Jesus said: Many people are on the path that leads to DESTRUCTION. Only a few are on the path that leads to LIFE. WHICH WILL YOU CHOOSE??

Here is the thing: PEOPLE ARE CHOOSING THIS WIDE PATH. Many are building their lives on a lie . . . Many are choosing to build upon a foundation that LOOKS solid, but gives no sound support at all.

Jesus follows up His plea to chose the narrow path by reminding us that there will be many false prophets, who are ferocious wolves in sheep’s clothing. They will offer “TRUTH” but it will really be a LIE.

In I Timothy 4, Paul presents this challenge to Timothy:

Some will JUMP SHIP (1-5)
Some WILL abandon their faith
Let it go
Too binding
Some WILL make up their own faith
God will have a place, but only within the limits they allow

In other words, they will attempt to redefine God so He will operate the way THEY want Him to operate
Some WILL mislead people IN THE NAME OF GOD
They will take advantage of a lack of knowledge in some people
Not FACTUAL knowledge
They will pose many things in the name of KNOWLEDGE that are not TRUE
They will present God in a package that is
50% less fattening, Takes 50% less time, And, much less money
And people will buy into it because it makes SENSE
God is NOT a Ronco commercial . . . And I am NOT the SHAMWOW guy

These who jump ship are doing it because THEY WANT THEIR OWN WILL INSTEAD OF GOD’S WILL for their lives
And, there are people who claim Christ who are ALL ABOUT THIS. DON’T BE ONE.

The TRUTH will set you free . . .
If you love someone, tell them the truth
Be TRUE to God . . . True to His word
Share the TRUTH you know about Jesus Christ
Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales
Don’t buy in to the lies about God
Many people will tell you many different things about God
Know the truth by KNOWING HIM, ASKING HIM
Train yourself to be godly
Physical / Spiritual Health
Don’t just assume your relationship with God
Put your hope in Him and Him alone
Draw your strength from HIM

YOUTH is NO EXCUSE (11-16)
Everyone in this room believes he/she is YOUNG
YOUTH IS NO EXCUSE to side-step our responsibility
We have a responsibility to each other in this church, in this WORLD
We have a responsibility to read and interact with God’s word
We have a responsibility to be diligent about living for HIM

True, Paul wrote this to Timothy, who was preaching and teaching in the church
It has been said you preach your funeral sermon every day of your life
How you live is how you will be remembered

I say, you tell the story about Jesus Christ and His salvation and peace in HOW YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE
Preaching is telling the story
Your life tells a story to the world EVERY DAY
WHAT is IT saying??
Youth is NO EXCUSE . . .

Everyday, you make a choice . . . Live for God?? Live for myself??
There WILL be a day when we all will face final judgment

Many people are on the path that leads to DESTRUCTION
Only a few are on the path that leads to LIFE

It is before you TODAY and EVERY DAY for the rest of your life
Which will YOU do?? Which will YOU choose??

The wise man will build his house upon the ROCK. The ROCK is JESUS CHRIST.
The foolish man will build his house upon the SAND. Comfortable . . . Easy to work with . . . DESTRUCTIVE when the storms come. Upon WHICH will you build your life?

Yes, here we are. Baccalaureate Sunday. Two Thousand and Nine. Some of you thought this day would NEVER come. Some of us cannot believe how quickly it did.
As you move through the stages of life, you have questions. At age three, you ask MANY, MANY questions: The ultimate of which is WHY?? Sometimes the only answer that will suffice is BECAUSE. At age 8, you ask some questions, but have realized that there are some answers in life you can obtain on your own. THAT is why you took mom’s hairdryer apart.
At age 12, you don’t really ask too many questions. Not because you don’t have questions, but you are afraid to be criticized or laughed-at for asking. At age 15, you don’t care about much of anything but having fun. At age 18, you don’t ask many questions because YOU HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. You have the world by the tail. You have your entire life in front of you. And you have it all figured out.
At age 25, you again don’t ask too many questions because you are too busy enjoying life. At age 36, you start to understand that you really DON’T know everything there is to know about life. As the years come faster and faster, you realize the answers you THOUGHT you knew are not really true. Everything is not as it seemed.
And the years fly by. And you raise your own children, and some of the realities of life actually start making sense. And you grow older and older. And, towards the end, you ask “Why?” And sometimes the only answer that will suffice is “Because.”

And life is a WONDERFUL journey.

Courtesty of the R&D Department . . .

2 Jun

Yeah, okay, half of R&D. R&D = Robbie & Dean. Dean sent me this. The top 100 movie lines of all time in 200 seconds. . . Be warned: There are like 3 not so great words in there, but we are adults, right??

Click on the link IF YOU DARE . . .

2009 West Florence High Baccalaureate

1 Jun

Okay, I asked you to help me with a top 10 list and you gave me far more than 10. So these are the nuggets of knowledge you shared, EXACTLY in the format I delivered yesterday. Thanks, and enjoy!!


To help prepare you for this journey, I hope to share a few things this afternoon to help. When I began working on this I quickly realized this is an important task, a mammoth task. So I did something you will learn as life goes on . . . I turned to my friends on Facebook, Twitter, and my blog.

The things I will share with you today come from Florence . . . Greenville, SC . . . Memphis, TN . . . Tampa, FL . . . Belo Horizonte, Brazil . . . And many other places. These are thoughts of some of my peers around the world and what they wish they knew when they sat where you are today. Listen to them and enjoy!!

CHRIS wrote:
I wish I knew that the world did not revolve around me.
I wish I knew that 25 years later I’d be as fat as the fat kids I made fun of in high school.

SCOTT shared something he heard and was not sure of the source:
“People know you for what you’ve done, not for what you plan to do.”

MERRITT, a WF grad from years ago, wrote:
I wish that I knew how fast time would pass….I think that I would have savored every moment a little more. It’s hard to believe that in 15 years, I’ve graduated from college and graduate school, found a job that I love, married my soulmate, and had a child! Life goes so fast, enjoy every second! Life’s too short to argue with your parents or friends, life’s too short to be envious or jealous, life’s too short to be unhappy about inconsequential things.

MARY wrote: Life’s full of disappointments—you better get use to them ’cause life’s not all about you! You can do everything right & still get the shaft.

ELAINE wrote: I wish I had known then that gravity was going to turn against me. Also, pictures follow you around for a LONG, LONG time (see Facebook if you don’t believe me). I wish I would have been more comfortable just being myself instead of always trying to make everyone else happy.

DONNA wrote: The future that you thought you were in control of is nonexistent. God has already decided that and if we don’t give Him that control there will be a lot of hard times ahead. I have learned that no matter what the day brings, that when I go to bed that night, I am content with where I have been and I am happy with where I am going. AND, our parents really were a lot smarter than we thought they were. You will find that out when your kids are 18 and about to go out into the world.

CATHY wrote When I walked across that stage, I wish I’d known how many other jobs were out there and how big the world is. My husband and I both wish we would have had more initiative or knowledge to explore other opportunities for our future. EXPLORE ALL of the possibilities for your lives. Don’t think too small- Think big. I now know that I didn’t think I was capable of doing anything greater, so I didn’t apply myself. After all, I’m just a country girl who grew up in a little place called Effingham… what could I ever be?

ANDI wrote “One of the important things that I tell my sons (one in college, one just graduated college) is that they need to stay connected to their friends. You be the one to call – don’t sit around and say “I haven’t heard from so and so in a long time. I can check them off my friend list. Life is a two- way street. To keep friends, you must be a friend – and that means communication!

FLOSSIP shared: I wish I had known that I put too much importance on trivial matters. That who was wearing what and majoring in what and joining what sorority were just white noise in the soundtrack of life. That making true friends, picking a major that satisfied my heart as well as propelling towards a career, studying, and remembering to come home to hang out with my parents were the important things. I also wish I had known that credit cards were evil.

CHRIS wrote I wish I had listened to Mr. T and stayed in school for a little more college…being a doctor or lawyer is a tad more lucrative than being a musician!

ANITA said Money was scarce for future education. I’ve always been drawn to children and youth and was encouraged to get an education degree. I knew I could manage tuition at business school so I chose the “safe” route. I should have followed my heart, but have always been grateful that God has provided a way for me to channel that love.

MICHAEL wishes he’d known then that yellow socks were not cool.

BETTY said “I wish I’d known then that love changes, it does not stay the same no matter how much we want it to. As people grow and experience life, their responses change, their insights change, their feelings change…their love changes. It may grow deeper, stronger, richer, it may diminish and fade, but inevitably, it changes. That is a good thing.”

KRISTY said I wish I had known is that the world is much bigger and varied than I ever could have imagined, yet each person can make a worldwide impact by seeing needs and seeking to meet them. And credit card debt is like digging your own grave. And I was going to say something funny, but I couldn’t think of anything. I wish I could. I’m just not funny. So maybe my last one would be “don’t be afraid to own up to your weaknesses.”

ANDREW wrote “I wish I knew just how much fun I had in high school and how much fun I was going to have in college. I was wanting the time to rush by so quickly so I could move on, and sadly, it did. Life is wonderful now too, but I do often look back and wish that I had taken more time to realize how blessed I really was. So basically, my point is to not try to rush life on.

JESSICA said “I wish I would have know how much I would miss my parents and family when I went away to school. I would not have taken them for granted all those years that I thought I was TOO cool to hang out with them in high school.”

TOM said Work is more than a 4 letter word. And, sleep late and you’ve missed the best part of the day.

PAM’s suggestion: You’ve got a lot of friends out there you haven’t met yet.

BRYAN wrote “You will never understand why something happened to you until you help someone understand why its happening to them.”

OMEREA said “I wish I had known the fine line between “He who hesitates loses” and “Wait and it will come to you”.

RICHARD wrote “I wish I knew I was supposed to wear clothes under the cap and gown when I walked!!!”

What did DAVID share?? Maybe I will blog about that later this week!!