Archive | October, 2015

Yeah, I’m not perfect, either

26 Oct

Life can be a struggle sometimes …  Things don’t go exactly the way we planned.  Or desired.  Mother Nature deals us a blow that changes the paths of lives and completely rearranges what we thought to be true.  People … friends … disappoint you with their hypocrisy, with their talking a good game about being a friend, about being different, about rising above the standards of the world.  Then they go and say or do something that completely betrays their words and intentions.  A struggle, I tell you.  And the struggle is real.

Sometimes life disappoints.  People disappoint.  Situations disappoint.  And then I realize that, as perfect as I would like to believe I am, I AM NOT.  Period.  I disappoint others.  At times (and mostly unintentionally), I confound situations.  As much as I would like for life to go smoothly, I am the cause of some of the turbulence, too.

There has only been ONE who lived a perfect life.  And we crucified Him!!!  So, we move on.  We remember that love overlooks a multitude of sins.  Even if those around us refuse to love with Jesus’ kind of love and refuse to spur each other on towards good things in the Kingdom of God, we continue to do OUR BEST.  And leave the judging to God.

Praying for you today.  Pray for me too!!!


10 Oct

I love my family.  I’ve got cousins all over South Carolina, and across the nation.  We are a pretty close-knit group.  But they are not my only family.  Facebook has reconnected me to a bunch of my friends from high school, and they are my family, too.  I am a lucky man.

And there is another group … People with whom I’ve been connected in ministry over the years.  From places like Washington Avenue, Enoree, Fairview, Woodmere, and now Ebenezer.  And they are STRONG family.  They live across the nation.  While most of them I worked with in Youth Ministry, they now have families of their own.  Serve in churches and ministries.  Work as doctors, lawyers, ministers, and a variety of other occupations.  They chase their dreams and live their lives, and it blesses me to see it all unfold.  They are family.

It’s funny:  Yesterday, I was thinking about how close this family is and how (many years ago) Seth Buckley modeled this idea of FAMILY in ministry.  I was thinking about some of those people and how we all pull together in times like SC has been through in the last few weeks.  And about 30 minutes after all of that processed through my mind, my phone rang.  It was Chris Meaders … The Iceman himself.  Once upon a time, I was Chris’ 7th grade Sunday School teacher.  I was his JV basketball coach.  He has grown up a little since then, and is now the Missions and Discipleship Pastor at Mt Airy Baptist Church in Easley.

He wanted to check on us and said he had a burden … He and his pastor were looking for a church that would need help after all of this flooding and mess.  We discussed it and I tried to do my part to connect him with a target.  And God only knows what HE will do with the faithfulness of Chris, his pastor and his folks from Mt Airy.

Family … Wow!!  I am blessed.

A Dangerous Place

8 Oct

There is a trend.  It actually pre-dates the Great SC Flood of 2015.  In fact, you can identify this trend going back in the history of humanity for THOUSANDS of years.  The trend is this:  We are starting to believe that WE are greater than God.  And this, my friends, is a dangerous place in which to be.

The Children of Israel were constantly fighting this.  They were caught in a cycle:  They would realize their great need for God, TRUST HIM, and then they would see the prosperity and peace of trusting Him.  Then things would be good for a few years.  And those thoughts would creep in:  They would slowly begin to believe they were the masters of their own destinies, that THEY were the source of their prosperity and peace.  And the more they minimized God, the more danger they walked into.  Then God would leave them to the desires of their hearts, and they would find themselves broken, desperate, and realizing just how much they needed God.  They would trust Him, and the cycle would start all over again.

We are guilty of doing the same thing in 2015.  And the circumstances are ripe for the perfect storm:  We could easily FAIL to recognize that God is the Source of our strength, our provision, our protection, and every good thing that have and are.  The modern church is trending in some dangerous areas:  We do not GIVE our time to build His kingdom…  We fail to recognize and admit that God has called EACH OF US to fulfill a role.  Many times, this role will be found in a local church like Ebenezer.  We do not GIVE our money in obedience to Him.  Not only do we not TITHE, as we are Biblically instructed to do, but we don’t give to help the poor or give with the Holy Spirit prompts us to do so.

Now … After the flood, these temptations will be even greater because WE ARE AFRAID.  Because, deep down, we still believe we are the masters of our destinies. We forget or just fail to admit that God is still in control, and He has STILL called us to be obedient to HIM.

Yes, we are in a dangerous place.  But there is ONE THING you can do that will make all of the difference in the world:  And that is OBEY GOD.  And, that is my prayer for YOU today.  If I can help you with this, please contact me!!!

The Great Flood of 2015

5 Oct

October 4, 2015.  Another day that will live in infamy for the great state of South Carolina.  This was the day the Great Flood of 2015 hit us so hard, especially Columbia, Sumter, Charleston, the Grand Strand and many areas in the center of our state.  Florence didn’t escape unscathed:  I have many friends in and around our city who had flooding in houses and buildings.  As the storm slowly moves away from us, the task ahead to rebuild is daunting.  But we’ve been here before.  And sadly will probably be here again.

Yesterday, this storm wasn’t so impressive.  After living in New Orleans for three years, I had honestly seen worse flooding.  Hey, I have walked to class in worse.  But New Orleans is a different beast …  A city, built below sea level, with infrastructure to pump out massive amounts of water.  And believe me, New Orleans HAS to have that capability or it would be underwater after about two normal weeks in the summer.

Not so for cities in the center of our state.  Cities well above sea level.  Cities that haven’t seen flooding like this in 1,000 years (and I wonder who was here 1,000 years ago to record such, but that is another story for another day).  But again, soon the sun will shine, the winds will blow, and it will be time to disembark from this ark and rebuild.

And my thoughts are drawn to THE CHURCH.  To MY CHURCH.  To YOUR CHURCH.  Because, as sad and devastating as this event is, we now have an opportunity to impact the world around us.  And, Ebenezer, we won’t have to go far at all to find folks who need our help.  In fact, I have already been blessed to see Facebook posts from men and women in our church offering to help whomever has need.  THAT IS THE CHURCH BEING THE CHURCH.  God is happy about that!!  I am, too!!

I am praying for my state.  And I am praying for OUR CHURCH, the BODY OF CHRIST, that we will unite and seize this opportunity to make a difference in our world.  Join me???