Archive | October, 2009

Hey … THATS NOT FUNNY!!

29 Oct

An artist asked a gallery owner if there had been any interest in his paintings on display …

“I have good news and bad news” the owner replied. “The good news is a man inquired about your work and asked if it would appreciate after your death. I replied ‘yes’ and he bought EVERY PIECE!”

“WOW, that is GREAT NEWS!” replied the artist. “So, what is the bad news?”

“The guy said he was your doctor!”

I had a recheck yesterday with my doctor for my medications. I guess it went well, will hear back from the blood work today or tomorrow. One of the things I hate about going to the doctor is the inevitable blood pressure spike it causes. It ALWAYS reads high in their office. Last week I had some dental work and they always take my BP there. And it ALWAYS reads around 120/80 like it does at home. But NOT YESTERDAY!! However, I keep a check on it at home and it always reads 120ish / 80ish.

In other news, Fall Festival last night, once again, was incredible. God keeps doing great things with this outreach event. Much thanks to the Family Enrichment Team for all the hard work they did, like every year, to coordinate this thing and pull it off. Where would Ebenezer be without faithful people working hard to help stuff happen??

Fall Festival TONIGHT!

28 Oct

One of the most exciting, tiring, awesome, crowded, fun, significant events in the Ebenezer year will happen tonight. Our annual Fall Festival. The history of the EBC festival goes back many years … Before we even had a Family Life Center. But, the level of organized festival we have today, one that we do for the community, goes back at least fifteen years.

Years ago, EBC decided we would do something for the community, giving children a safe alternative. Some criticize such festivals, saying churches that do them are caving to a secular and demonic holiday. I say we are taking an old tradition and using it to build the kingdom for Christ! Using it to reach families! And that we do!! Last year we identified over 60 families that did not have a church home and reached out to EVERY ONE OF THEM!!! THAT is what WE do with Fall Festival! We are careful not to use it to steal families from other churches, but we aggressively go after families that do not have church homes.

And, even beyond that, there is something really cool about have 1000 guests for fun, free games and candy, and a chance for us to show others that Ebenezer folks are just like them!!

It will be a long day … a late night … Feet will hurt … HUNDREDS of Ebenezerites will pitch in and work … And it will be great!!

Hope to see you there!

Too good NOT to post!

26 Oct

Today’s funny from Mikey is just too good not to share … Especially #4!!

TOP EIGHT SIGNS YOU’RE TOO OLD TO BE TRICK OR TREATING:

8. You get winded from knocking on the door.

7. You have to have another kid chew the candy for you.

6. You ask for high fiber candy only.

5. When someone drops a candy bar in your bag, you lose your balance and fall over.

4. People say, “Great Keith Richards mask!” and you’re not wearing a mask.

3. When the door opens you yell, “Trick or…” and can’t remember the rest.

2. You have to carefully choose a costume that won’t dislodge your hairpiece.

1. You’re the only Power Ranger in the neighborhood with a walker.

(Subscribe at www.mikeysfunnies.com)

You can’t make ’em behave!!!

25 Oct

This morning I am headed for a divine appointment. I don’t believe in coincidence, nor do I believe it is by accident that I am preaching Daniel 6 this morning. God put it on my heart and I know it is exactly what He wants us to hear. This morning I am headed into a supernatural situation … And I have proof!!

First of all, I can’t tell you how many times God leads us to something in worship and people say “How did you know?? That is EXACTLY where I am, EXACTLY what I needed to hear??” My answer is that God knows … No, I haven’t been eavesdropping. No, I didn’t look at the Sunday School lesson and coordinate. No, I had no idea that is what was in Guideposts, Open Windows, or any other devotional booklet. God did it!

He does stuff like that every Sunday … All the time, really! And I am comfortable allowing Him to do His job and me just doing mine.

With that said, another fact of ministry, a fact of people is that as their pastor, I CANNOT MAKE THEM BEHAVE!! I can’t even make them pay attention! And I have to adjust to that, to be able to work in that environment. And that is tough. As a young minister, that was very frustrating … It’s like telling someone, over and over again, that their house is on fire as they refuse to leave it. And certainly won’t allow me to pull them out.

I can tell them, I can show them, I can beg them, I can plead with them, I can do everything within my power to pull them to God … But ultimately THEY MUST MAKE THE CHOICE. I cannot live their lives for them. I cannot make them live the way I want them to live.

That is between them and God. And He wants their hearts. He wants to be THEIR CHOICE. And I HAVE to allow Him to do His job.

I love the church!!

22 Oct

Recent events and discussions prompt me to write this today. There are some that would throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to the organized church today. I am not one of those. I love the church!

YES, we have our faults. Problems. Yes, we are far from perfect. Yes, there are hypocrites and those who have false motives. There is even pain and hurt to be found for those in ministry. And with all of that, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Personally, I know the pain. I’ve had people express their displeasure with me as their pastor to my face. I’ve had people tell everyone in the world BUT me when they are mad. Whether we like it or not, this is the nature of some. When 1300 find their church home at the same place, there will be disagreements. There will be problems.

But there are a lot of great people following God and doing His will for their lives, too! I can’t begin to name them, because I know I would leave someone out. But there are men and women to make great sacrifices to carry on the work God’s calls them to, both at Ebenezer and at other churches all over Florence (and all over the world). People who give of their time, talents, energy, as well as income to help ministry continue. People who put aside their own agendas and pride because they know God has a better plan for them, and sometimes it takes them around the world! People I feel drawn toward, because I see them all the time and I know their handiwork!!! And I love them!! People who invest themselves into others because they are obedient to the Great Commission. People who TRULY follow Christ, both in word and action.

And I am proud to be a part of such a church!!!

Bob Hope Classics

21 Oct

Several weeks ago, this was posted on by Mikey from www.mikeysfunnies.com:

ON TURNING 70
“You still chase women, but only downhill.”

ON TURNING 80
“That’s the time of your life when even your birthday suit needs pressing.”

ON TURNING 90
“You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.”

ON TURNING 100
“I don’t feel old. In fact I don’t feel anything until noon. Then it’s time for my nap.”

ON GIVING UP HIS EARLY CAREER, BOXING
“I ruined my hands in the ring … the referee kept stepping on them.”

ON SAILORS
“They spend the first six days of each week sowing their wild oats, then they go to church on Sunday and pray for crop failure.”

ON NEVER WINNING AN OSCAR
“Welcome to the Academy Awards or, as it’s called at my home, ‘Passover.'”

ON GOLF
“Golf is my profession. Show business is just to pay the green fees.”

ON PRESIDENTS
“I have performed for 12 presidents and entertained only six.”

ON WHY HE CHOSE SHOW BIZ FOR HIS CAREER
“When I was born, the doctor said to my mother, ‘Congratulations. You have an eight-pound ham’.”

ON RECEIVING THE CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL
“I feel very humble, but I think I have the strength of character to fight it.”

ON HIS FAMILY’S EARLY POVERTY
“Four of us slept in the one bed. When it got cold, mother threw on another brother.”

ON HIS SIX BROTHERS
“That’s how I learned to dance. Waiting for the bathroom.”

ON HIS EARLY FAILURES
“I would not have had anything to eat if it wasn’t for the stuff the audience threw at me.”

Diff’rent Strokes

19 Oct

As I sit here with my ankle propped up, some of the events of the past few weeks are catching up to me. I’ve been sitting here thinking about my interactions with different people this past month and how different some of the interactions have been.

Most who know me know that I am basically a gentle person (at least, I HOPE that is what they know). I try to lead with encouragement and kindness. Yes, there are many of you who’ve seen me at my best and at my worst, and some of you might not agree with me. But that is the approach I take from the inside.

I know I am getting older (this ANKLE thing is enough proof of that). But I am constantly reminded that different people seek and require different modes of leadership. Some of those are kind of against my nature. But, in leadership, sometimes you have to force yourself out of your comfort zone to get things done.

What I am talking about is a basic awareness that there are some, no matter how kind or gentle I try to be, that WILL NOT RESPOND to that kind of leadership. There actually are some who desire a firm hand, a firm tone. And I find it strange how quickly I can fall into that role. Because that really is NOT ME.

I consider myself a student of people … that is part of my job. And, I DO NOT like it when people take the drill instructor approach with me. So it really blows my mind when others WANT me to take that approach with them. That puzzles me!!