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!!

Building the Kingdom of God

16 Oct

Yesterday I did something most all of us must do: Bought tires. Now that Nu Tire is closed, I found myself searching for a new tire place. Thought about Sams, which I’ve done before. But at the prompting of a friend I went to Creel Tire in Florence. A local business, and service IS something they specialize in.

I called these guys and their quote was just a little higher than Sams, but the service they offer was worth the difference. So we took Diana’s van there and dropped it off at lunch. When she got off work, we went back to pick it up.

After paying the bill and gettin the keys, we walked outside and, low and behold, we ran into Chris Reeder! Chris is one of my Twitter and Facebook friends. We had only met once or twice before and never had a chance to talk, but I took some time yesterday. Chris and I have several things in common: I used to work in IT, Chris still does, and we both pastor! Chris is the Lead Pastor of a new church start in Florence called Revolution Church.

We took some time and talked a little about what’s going on in each of our churches. Chris has a good problem, and one unique to an upstart church that is doing the RIGHT thing: Their goal is to reach the unchurched in Florence, and he and his wife are finding themselves in the position of needing to disciple a bunch of young Christians. Lots of work, but WHAT A CALLING!! They recently asked churches in the Florence area to commit to pray for them. There are (and will be more) people at EBC praying for them. What they are doing is awesome, and I am proud to call them our sister church!!!

That’s what building the Kingdom of God is all about. I’ve seen church starts that are more interested in building a church (by targeting members of other churches to bolster their numbers) and I am thrilled to support a church that really is trying to reach the lost!!

Pray for them!! Revolution Church of Florence and Chris & Susanne Reeder!!!

Why I love South Carolina!

13 Oct

To make a long story short, yesterday I heard my state insulted. Won’t go into details. But it got me thinking about WHY I love SC. Would you like to hear it??? Here it goes:

Is it the rolling hills and mountainn views of my beloved hometown, Greenville?? Diana, Krissy, and I were all born there. (Drew is our ragin Cajun, born in New Orleans) I will never forget how sad I was the first time Krissy saw the Blue Ridge Mountains over the horizon. She was 18 months old when we moved to New Orleans. She was probably three when we were riding up to my mother-in-law’s house when Krissy, from the backseat of our Bronco II, proclaimed “Look at the pretty clouds!” It was a cold, clear December day. The sky was as blue as the UNC away jerseys (I had to) and there was NOTHING in them. Diana asked her “What clouds, sweetie? The sky is clear!” She kept insisting, and finally pointed to the clouds on the horizon … The Blue Ridge Mountains. We had to explain the concept of a mountain to her (you know there is only ONE hill in New Orleans, and it is man-made in a park). That day, I was sad. I love Greenville.

Why do I love SC? Is it the tradition and history of Charleston. I love to visit Charleston, because you can just feel it. If you ever have the urge to visit the French Quarter in Nawlins, just imagine the downtown area of Charleston, but much less well-kept. And it is not only a city of history, it is a city of tomorrow. I love that place.

Why do I love SC? Is it the beaches of the Grand Strand, Charleston area, and Hilton Head?? I’ve been to beaches all over the U.S.: Both coasts of Florida and the panhandle, Mississippi, and Southern California. And there are no beaches like our beaches in the whole US! (I haven’t been to Hawaii, but if anyone wants to fund such a venture, I THINK I could clear the calendar!)

Why do I love SC? Could it be my HOME, Florence?? Yes, I used to call Greenville my home. But after almost 15 years of living here, Florence IS HOME. And we love it! I think it has the best of everything: Close to the beach, not too far from Greenville, steeped in history, and filled with potential and a future. And home to some of the greatest people I’ve ever known.

Why do I love SC? It’s all of that and more. I cannot actually put a finger on it, but I know I love it. I know I don’t appreciate it when it is insulted. I know it is the greatest state in the nation!! And I am proud to call it home!

Where Sportsmanship Begins …

8 Oct

Anyone who has known me for the past ten years knows that coaching baseball at Maple Park here in Florence was once a great part of my life. I loved the opportunities I had to minister to kids and to families as a coach out there, and was able to do this for six seasons. At one time, people used to joke about me being the “Pastor of Maple Park.”

Then some dark things happened. I was never a fan of the politics of MP, and the older Drew got, the more aware of them I became. And, quite abruptly, it all ended for me. On the evening before draft day at the beginning of what would’ve been my seventh season, one of the board members called and explained to me they no longer needed my services as a volunteer coach. I’d been to the meetings. I’d been certified. And suddenly I was no longer needed.

Not to dwell, but I took it pretty well until I was told by several of plans to remove me. One guy came to me and told me how he was drafted at the last minute to take a new team because they did not have enough coaches. Another told me how he was asked weeks ago if he would be willing to take my team if they could get rid of me. Then a church member told me why I was removed: A board member told her I was removed because I was too nice and not cut-throat enough.

That really hurt me. When I looked at some of the men who were still coaching out there, and how some of them were ANYTHING but positive role models, I was offended. (I will never forget the day I heard one of those coaches offer to buy his team of 9 – 10 year olds a beer if they would beat their opponent.)

Even worse, guys I thought were my friends orchestrated it. I was angry and lost all confidence in a lot of folks in Florence, especially around the realms of organized recreation. And the bitterness grew to the park … Even though Drew was still playing (and he played for three seasons after this), I hated going out there. The pit of my stomach would churn when I saw those board members, former friends of mine who would not speak for the most part. I carried a grudge. And what good did it do??

Years later, something hit me. Something good and positive. I will be honest about the fact that there are a couple of men from that incident I still DO NOT TRUST. And, thank God, we don’t really walk in the same circles anymore. But this morning I reached for an old shirt and it was an OLLLLLLD Maple Park shirt. I love old t-shirts, but Diana will not permit me to wear them away from home. This particular shirt had an old logo from MP on it that reads “Where Sportsmanship Begins.” And it hit me: Those guys could trash me, could take coaching away from me, but they can NEVER TAKE the Godly influence I invested into the lives of those kids away. They could never take the ministry to families I had away.

God continues to use that everyday. He used it last year as I walked into McLeod Hospital and was stopped on the sidewalk by a young man who asked “Aren’t you Coach David?” I answered and discovered his father was upstairs and not doing well. I prayed with him on the sidewalk and went up to see his dad. Sadly, his dad passed away not long after that. But I got the chance to minister to that kid and his family. This year I am driving a morning carpool to WFHS of guys that I coached at Maple Park. And I have a relationship with them that I wouldn’t have if not for being their coach.

So, this morning what hit me was this: I had six years to make a difference at that place. And God allowed me to do that. And maybe I helped sportsmanship begin for twelve kids every year for six years. And, after many years, that made me proud to wear that shirt again.

But Diana STILL won’t let me wear it out of the house.