Archive | January, 2011

Visitors

30 Jan

Today, one of the points of the passage we examined in James 2 was not to treat someone who looks wealthy better than someone who looks poor.  Great point for the church to ponder …  But that has NOTHING to do with this blog!!

This morning, in my state of great illness (truth is I probably shouldn’t have preached because I think I am now a flu survivor) a young couple visited from Virginia Beach, VA, with their three small children.  This young couple, Tony and Sally Gerstner, are from Harvey, LA (which is on the Westbank in NOLA).  Sally was one of my youth when she was a kid at Woodmere Baptist Church (and I have every reason to suspect I met Tony when he was a kid, too!!)

They drove down to see us!!  Of course I felt really bad about the fact that I am sick.  We did go out to lunch after church and I kept my distance, but had a great time talking about old times and new stuff, too!!  One of the great rewards of youth ministry is catching up with your kids and seeing what fine adults they’ve become!  And, we got to meet their kids, too, which was awesome!!  Eli (their baby) looks like he is ready to take on the world (and perhaps take it apart!!)  Ian LOOOOOOOVES video games, so he and Drew are now great friends.  And Alexandra (Alex), the princess of the bunch, is PRECIOUS!!!  (If her aunt Erin was writing this, she would comment that Alex takes after her aunt!!)

It was great to spend time with these guys and see where life is taking them and just listen!!  Had circumstances been different, we could’ve spent the entire afternoon together.  But they didn’t want the flu, and I had to come home and pass out, so it is what it is.  But it was GREAT to see them just the same!!

On their way back I told them to stop at South of the Border and let me know what they thought!!  I’m really curious how that went!!!

 

Why must it be this way??

25 Jan

This summer, Justin McAlpin shocked Ebenezer one Sunday while preaching.  He basically talked about how tough my job is and how he couldn’t BELIEVE the junk I put up with as pastor of EBC.  THAT IS EXACTLY HOW I FEEL ABOUT CHURCH LEAGUE BASKETBALL right now!!

I am thankful for Andrew Parker, who has directed our league for several years now (and played in this same league when he was a kid).  I am thankful for Justin, who faithfully serves as our staff liason to the league and helps Andrew make it happen.  I am most thankful because I don’t have to TOUCH it anymore.  Because I cannot believe the junk that happens!!

The sad part is, many of the problems we have with the league trace back to the same churches every year.  Coaches and parents, getting way too angry with referees and taking it out on our league staff.  Players taking this way too seriously and doing stupid things during and after games.  (Central got beat last night and one of their kids peeled out way too hard on the youth house road out of anger … I can only hope he knocked his front end out of line!!)  (Yeah, okay … BAD DAVID … I said it to myself)

There are several things we must remember:

  • MOST of the participants of this league DO NOT act like this.  Only a few bad apples every year make this a rough experience.
  • This league DOES SERVE a great purpose for fellowship and for recreation.  And I know a TON of people who are grateful it happens.
  • Our battle is not with FLESH AND BLOOD, but with Satan who tries to defeat ANYTHING that builds fellowship in the Kingdom of God.  Yes, Satan even attacks a church basketball league!!

Pray for Andrew, Justin, and this league.  Because it DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY.  We need to be praying!!

Updating several things …

24 Jan

I haven’t posted much in January.  Honestly, its been hard to find the motivation to write.  Things haven’t gone so well in some areas, but they are looking up!!

Dad is about the same.  Well, honestly, he is losing ground.  Still recognizes us but every time I see him and notice him losing ground more and more.  It’s really hard to watch, and hard to see Mom facing what she faces.  I wish I could stop it!  Dad did help Drew and me install the new gas burner in the fireplace.  It’s not really a set of logs, but a burner with decorative glass.  REALLY puts out good heat!!  And it looks great, too!  Much thanks to Bryan Howell and Fire it Up in Florence for all of the good help, and to Rick Luhrs for helping me with engineering ideas concerning the chimney!!

Ebenezer is really getting into a good place.  People are starting to listen to God, to seek being filled with His Spirit, and seeking His will and direction for their lives.  Along with that comes attacks from Satan!  And he IS attacking!  We all need to be aware, watch our backs, and know that Satan is the true enemy, NOT EACH OTHER!!  Our struggle is not with flesh and blood!!  I love my church and I’m very concerned for it right now!!!

Something funny

24 Jan

I saw this on the daily Mikey’s Funnies email (you can subscribe at http://www.mikeysfunnies.com).  Had to share it!!!

today’sFUNNY===========================

The father of a family – who is a big-time techie – got his oldest daughter an iPhone for her birthday. 

He also got an iPad for his son. Later an iPod for the youngest daughter.

So when his anniversary rolled around, he got his wife an iRon.

That’s when the fight began.

[forwarded by Don Hochmuth]

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

“The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine.” – Abraham Lincoln

The Passive-Aggressive Shuffle

21 Jan

Not as flamboyant as the SuperBowl Shuffle (performed by the ’85 Chicago Bears), the Passive-Aggressive Shuffle is a dance often-performed at volunteer organizations worldwide.  VERY OFTEN this dance can be seen at churches, especially those which are volunteer-led.  And I see it all the time!!

I’m no Simon Cowell, but … wait a minute … I’m really dipping low with that comparison.  Okay, I’m not a professional talent judge, but I can tell you the PA Shuffle is NEVER a good thing.  I’ve never seen it work well and I’ve never seen it build the kingdom of God or build others up.  It results in quite the opposite.

The passive-aggressive approach is close to our human nature.  When we are angered and feel threatened, our nature will lead us to a defensive posture.  Passive-aggressivism is a way to defend ourselves without actually appearing to take action.  It often includes half-truths, twisted truths, and a dab of misinformation.  And it is very harmful to the church!!

There is a strong biblical approach to conflict resolution.  It’s not easy, but it IS God’s way and results in building His kingdom, His church, and His people.  Here is a great article on that:

http://www.peaceful-conflict-resolution.com/biblicalconflictresolution-2.html

For goodness sake, please do the right thing when it comes to conflict!!  The church NEEDS people who are sold out to God and dedicated to doing the right thing!!

The Value of it all …

17 Jan

One of the greatest resources available to YOU TODAY is free.  And often goes untapped.

When I think about what God is doing at Ebenezer right now, I am humbled.  Thankful to be a part.  Sunday School is STRONG and serves to bind us into close relationships with others for support and accountability.  Worship sets the tone of where we are going as a church:  Our vision, our mission, our marching orders.

When people choose to pursue one but not both facets of Sunday morning, they sell themselves short.  There is something really meaningful happening in morning worship AND in each small group class at Ebenezer.  All excuses aside, there are too many people missing out on one or the other OR BOTH of these!!!

So, here I am this morning praying for Ebenezer.  Praying for my fellow pastors in Florence and their churches.  Praying that we will ALL seek the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and do the right thing in every aspect of our lives!!  Join me!!

Snow Day 2011

10 Jan

I hope I don’t have to revise that title to ICE DAY or DAY OF RECKONING.  So far, this snow day hasn’t been too bad.  I’d like to thank Al Gore for this snow, for global warming, and for inventing the internet ….  (BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!)

Seriously, sometimes I think God invented snow days to force us to slow down with nowhere to go and nothing to do but SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY.  Drew and I have already gone out, thrown a snowball or two, cleared the front walk and the step, and drove around our neighborhood.

Talked to Mom and Dad already this morning.  They are doing okay too.  Mom predicts they got about 8 or 9 inches, judging by where the snow comes to on the van wheels.  Snow used to be a big event for Dad.  He would get up and drive up and down our road multiple times to cut grooves so the rest of our cars could get out!!  (Remember, I grew up in PICKENS County).  That is probably why I always feel compelled to drive around Chadwick.  They are warm and safe and stocked with plenty of milk and bread.

Krissy sent us a picture of the courtyard at her apartment at 2am (GEE, THANKS!).  Then she called when the shoveling of the sidewalks woke her up around 8am.  Of course, she is asleep right now and I am not.  Cost of being a dad.

Hope your snow day is great today and it doesn’t cost you too much down the road!!!