Archive | October, 2010

One of the flip-sides to Facebook

13 Oct

I love Facebook and use it as a ministry tool.  It helps me keep up with what’s going on in the lives of my peeps, and that is a good thing.  But there is a fascinating flip-side, which is a perfect example of an internet danger we overlook:  Bending the truth.

Of course, people can bend the truth and slant it any way they wish with their posts and statuses.  But that isn’t what I’m writing about … Today I stumbled onto a group (which anyone can create at anytime about anything).  The particular group was dedicated, NOT to a political candidate or party, but SPECIFICALLY to NOT re-elect a friend of mine in his next local election.  As far as I know, there isn’t even anyone running against him.  But that is not why these folks joined and wrote in this area:  They just don’t like this man.

I know this man pretty well.  I’ve known him for over 15 years now.  I read the things they wrote, and quite frankly, they are NOT true.  But that doesn’t matter to Joe Facebook … Most people who read that stuff might possibly believe it.

I guess what I’m writing today is this:  Don’t EVER believe everything you read just because it’s in print, or on the internet!!  GET TO KNOW THE TRUTH!!  And, as Aunt Esther (and God’s word) says, “THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE!!”

One of those things they never told me in seminary

11 Oct

In my theological education, I’ve attended two fine institutions: The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Erskine Theological Seminary.  I will always appreciate those institutions, their faculties, and the students with which I attended.  They prepared me for many of the challenges I would face in ministry.  But there are a few things for which they didn’t prepare me … I chalk these up to the “human element” of church membership.  But there is ONE thing I wish they’d been able to better communicate:  The principle of “The Excuse.”

The principle of “The Excuse” is there are some people in this world, no matter what happens in their lives, that will blame their minister / pastor for their own problems.  That will openly state they are sitting back and waiting for him to fall, fail, or to just leave.  These are the folks that sit back and say “How dare he stand in the pulpit every Sunday and preach when he is so ________________  (you can fill in the blank with your favorite complaint or shortcoming)”.

I wish this principle didn’t get under my skin … but it does.  Maybe it is pride, or maybe just the middle child coming out in me, but I want everyone to be at peace.  And I know I make mistakes.  And I know I am imperfect.  And my family is imperfect.

I guess I never really understood the lengths that some people will go to excuse away their relationship with God and His church.  And now, many years later, I am amazed.  And greatly saddened.

Who do YOU think YOU are?????

9 Oct

Ever had someone ask that of you?  “Who do you think you are?”  All of us have heard that at some point in our lives …

As for me, I thought through that this morning.  And here is EXACTLY who David Wike thinks HE IS:

  • A sinner, saved by grace
  • A man with a second chance
  • Fortunate to have a wife that loves me
  • Blessed with two incredible children
  • Imperfect
  • Quick-fused (at times)
  • Unique
  • Not the best pastor in the world, and not the worst
  • Hard-pressed (at times)
  • Wants everyone to be happy
  • Hates it when the above doesn’t happen
  • Quick-witted
  • Too heavy
  • Needs to be more forgiving
  • A good friend
  • A fierce competitor (at times)

This list could go on and on, but I think you get the idea …

So who do YOU think YOU are??????

Reflections from a day off …

8 Oct

Things have been BUSY and ROUGH lately.  That happens to any pastor, so I know I’m not alone.  Tomorrow will be my first Saturday without something specific to do since the weekend after Labor Day.  When times get this busy, I feel very much like I’m being ground down to dust.  To top it all off, this was a particularly dicey week that I will probably NEVER blog about (but it will definitely make the book).  After some reflection today, I’ve come to realize a few things …

1.  Sometimes when you stick your neck out for people who need help, you get burned.  Sometimes even by people you love.

2.  Getting burned feels bad and makes you consider never sticking your neck out like that again.

3.  God never guaranteed that I wouldn’t get burned, and in fact as the Great Physician, there is no burn invented that He cannot heal.

4.  I WILL stick my neck out again.

5.  I might get burned again.

6.  God is in control.

7.  It’s amazing how just a little time to step away from things helps to reset perspective.

The Blame Game

8 Oct

I know I’ve blogged about this before, but it continues to be a problem in this world … one with which I get to deal on a regular basis.  The BLAME GAME.  You know how it is played … NOTHING IS EVER MY FAULT.  By extension, I must be perfect, because I never make a mistake.  EVERYTHING that seems to be my fault is actually someone else’s fault.  I (or my child) could NEVER do anything wrong.

I’d never experienced it quite like I have in the 15 years we’ve been in Florence, but I don’t think it’s a Florence-thing.  Its more a sign of the times.  Sadly, it’s grown into a worldwide epidemic.  Yesterday’s youth have become today’s adults who NEVER DO ANYTHING WRONG, and EVERYTHING that happens to them must be someone else’s fault.  I could state some examples, but all of you probably know someone who is there.

The only way to stop this epidemic is to MAKE OUR CHILDREN TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for their own shortcomings.  Here is the thing:  EVERYONE MAKES MISTAKES.  I do.  You do.  Our children do.  Why not allow them to face that reality and deal with it, rather than running interference for them until they are in their 30s and 40s and still living that way, and still running to mom and dad with stories about how EVERYTHING that happens to them is someone else’s fault??

God calls us to prepare them for life.  How do you think He wants us to handle the Blame Game?

Lies Lies Lies YEAH!!!

7 Oct

Not that I am in favor of lies … in fact, quite the opposite.  That is just the catchy title from a Thompson Twins song from a lifetime ago …  But the topic is very relevant, and has been rolling around in my head for a while.

Like many of you, I really don’t like it when someone chooses to lie to me.  When we lie, we are usually doing it to “protect” ourselves in some way:  Maybe to make us look better in the eyes of others; maybe to cover up other lies or inappropriate things we’ve said or done;  sometimes we just do it to do it.  A lifetime ago I knew a guy who was about 5’3″ when he would tell us “I could dunk a basketball if I had my jumping shoes on.”  Hmmmmmm ……..

God said in the Ten Commandments that it is WRONG FOR US TO LIE.  Period.  Last night in a couple of Psalms we read in Bible study, David used the illustration of those who dig holes eventually seeing the holes cave in on themselves.  That the EXACT result of lies.

Self-Centered

6 Oct

Are YOU self-centered??  Does the world revolve around you (or, at least, do you expect it to)???  Is life all about your happiness and fulfillment, regardless of what it does to those around you??

If so, there are several facts of which you need to be aware:

1.  Your friends have picked up on this.  And, whether or not they are brave enough to say it, they don’t like it.

2.  You are probably hurting far more people than you know.

3.  If you are worshiping yourself, you probably are violating that commandment God gave that said “Have no other gods before Me.”  (That is in the first recorded top-ten list in Exodus 20)

4.  If you are following yourself, let’s face it, that really does mean you worship at the altar of an imperfect “god.”

5.  Since you are imperfect, you cannot possibly have a plan for your life as perfect as the one God has for you.

6.  Rest assured that one day you WILL stand before the judgment seat of Christ, just as all of us will, and answer for how you’ve lived your life.

The good news is there IS a solution to this and it’s NOT too late!!!  YOU can live for GOD starting RIGHT NOW!!!  YOU can make this choice EVERYDAY!  YOU can shift your “center,” your focus, to GOD!!!

Make the right choice!

Finding the Sweet Spot

5 Oct

There is NO FEELING like hitting a ball with the sweet spot of the bat.  It just seems to jump right off the bat, fly farther, and you barely even feel it!!  IT’S AWESOME!!

What if we lived our lives for Christ the same way?  What if we sought to find the sweet spot in our giftset and USE THEM for Him??  THE SAME FEELING OCCURS!!!  AND IT IS GREAT!!!

That is one of our goals in deacon ministry this year … finding the sweet spot in our gift set AND USING IT!!  Finding the areas where God gifted us and using them to the fullest!!  What if the entire church decided to serve that way??

It takes discipline … it takes LISTENING to the Holy Spirit … it takes FOLLOWING THROUGH … FINISHING … RUNNING THE RACE WELL.  You know, all of the things Paul wrote about often.  Paul believed in the sweet spot …  He found his and look what God did with him!!!

Focus on the positive today and find your sweet spot!!

Choices

4 Oct

We all make them … Everyday.  And we are EACH RESPONSIBLE for our own choices.

Sometimes I really get tired of folks who don’t want to take responsibility for their choices.  They blame everyone else all over the world for their mistakes and bad moves.  Even parents believe their children could never go wrong … WOW!  There must be something in the water!!!  I don’t know about you, but I do know my children are as imperfect as I am.  (GASP!!!  NEITHER THE PASTOR NOR HIS CHILDREN ARE PERFECT?????)

Truth is, we will ALL stand before God one day and each of us will be judged.  EVERY ONE OF US will be held accountable for the things we’ve said and done on this earth.  That, my friends, is where our choices will come back to roost.

Why not seek God and ask HIM for help with our choices everyday??

You KNOW you watch too much TV when …

3 Oct

~ you’ve removed the power button from the remote.

~ you know the names of the top 10 lawn bowlers.

– you recite the lines word for word with the actors on TV Land.

~ you start recording soap operas so you don’t miss any of the plot.

~ your kids grow up thinking the only thing you can say is “shh, be quiet!”

~ you don’t think Bart Simpson is bad, just misunderstood.

~ commercials become more important than going to the bathroom.

~ you start recognizing extras in movies.

~ you continue to watch TV when the cable goes out.

~ you enjoy other climates by watching the snow on TV.

~ you send fan mail to cartoon characters.

~ your monthly cable/satellite bill is larger than your house payment.

~ you send fan mail to infomercial stars.

today’sTHOT============================

Anyone who says “Easy as taking candy from a baby” has never tried it.

 

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