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2 Feb

A lifetime and a half ago, I was working as a systems/software developer for an up-and-coming company in Duncan, SC.  Our mainstay?  Analyzing manual work systems and enabling our clients to collect data and use it to make things better.  This was in the day and age when there was no iPhone app for that.  There was NO IPHONE!!  We barely had electricity and did our math homework on the back of a flat shovel with a piece of coal because we had no pencils ….

ANYWHO …. One of the industry buzzwords that one of my bosses latched onto was “pseudo-code.”  He would come in and want me to develop this elaborate software FIRST in pseudo-code, basically in English as a sort of logical walkthrough.  I always resisted and didn’t see the point in doing the work TWICE.  Why not just code it??  We all understood the actual code, so why would we create a false code, other than to fulfill the popular buzzword???  Never saw the point in that …

This week I was talking to some friends who asked an interesting question:  “Why don’t you preach a sermon about how judgemental people become when they start following Christ?”  Why do people find Christ and then, all of the sudden, become super-judgemental?

I attribute that to the pseudo-code of the day.  Pseudo means “false… Pretend…  Unreal.”  We, as the church, are sometimes guilty of developing a false culture.  A culture in which everyone must DO the same things, like the same movies and books, listen to the same music, dress the same way.  And when someone doesn’t do these things, we judge them.  Sometimes we even cast them out.

HOW TERRIBLY FRIGHTENING AND DANGEROUS!!!!!!!  It is one thing to hold each other, as the church, to a biblical standard.  We are DEFINITELY called to do that.  IN LOVE.  But it is an entirely different thing to hold each other to a standard we have developed.  Because RIGHT and WRONG all becomes subjective.  At the whim of the PERSON who dictates the culture.  The IMPERFECT PERSON who will also make mistakes.  It becomes a Pseudo-Culture.

We talked about this on Wednesday evening at EBC.  It does seem far easier to attempt to TELL everyone how to live, what to wear, and what to do in life.  When we do this, we are bordering on telling the world “YOU MUST BE LIKE US BEFORE YOU CAN BE SAVED!” We are selling short the process of Sanctification, which is not our job but the job of the HOLY SPIRIT.

As the church, we are called to deal with the HEART CONDITION.  To Go Make Disciples.  To Baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  And to Teach them THE WORD OF GOD.  And to love them as much as we love ourselves.

Why do we judge so harshly??  Jesus reminded us in the Sermon on the Mount to be careful of how we judge, because the same measure we use might just be used to judge US someday………

It all boils down to this

26 Jun

I was reading a political commentary this weekend that hit the nail on the head!! I would say this is primarily a first-world problem, but it is everywhere. I might ponder this a modern problem, but this is a problem as old as time. We can blame social media, the immediate publication of news (thanks to the World Wide Web), and modern technology, but this issue existed long before any of those were even dreams in the hearts of men and women.

One HUGE problem with our world today is OUR desire to WORSHIP US. That we each have a desire to do our own thing, go our own way, and the state of our world today makes that all too easy. We pick and choose the issues for which we are willing to die and allow equally important issues to fall by the wayside in the name of political affiliation.

Honestly, we in the United States live in a multi-party system. Each of us who are involved try to find the candidates and parties that most align with our value systems and we follow. If we are smart, we realize the candidate is more important than the party (but we will save that for our civics lesson later this year)…

Each party is developed and driven by men and women. Imperfect beings. Many in these parties will claim their party more closely models the life of Christ, which is the ultimate goal of every follower of Christ. But they all fall short. Why else would some fight for the rights of women and yet the rights of unborn women fall away? Why else would some fight for the rights of all unborn in the name of the Image of God and be so comfortable with war and capital punishment? We pick and choose that which makes us feel most comfortable …

We are swept into a worldwide community that values self-worship above all else. We, in the Body of Christ, are called to operate in this world. To tell the Good News!! To be Beacons of Light and Truth!! And this does make our job more difficult. Makes it a God-sized task.

When it comes to politics, the greatest plea I have for everyone who follows Christ is to PRAY.  And PRAY.  And PRAY more!!  No one is perfect!!  No candidate or party is perfect!!  And yet this is our way as Americans.  We will all make mistakes.  Exercise a little grace and pray for each other!!!!

We live in a world that values SELF-WORSHIP. God Almighty said we are to have NO OTHER GODS BEFORE HIM. And there is the rub …

Tips on using Smart devices in worship at EBC

8 Jun

Yes, I WANT YOU to use your iPhones, iPads, and Droid devices in worship.  At least, to PARTICIPATE in worship.  And YouVersion (a FREE Bible app) has made an engine available that allows us to provide some enhanced content for the sermon.  So, here are a few tips:

1.  If you do not already have it, add the YouVersion app to your device.  You might also consider a donation to this awesome ministry, but it is not necessary.  YouVersion DOES require an internet connection to access all content, but we have FREE WiFi at the church.  On our church campus, log in to ANY of the “Guest” hotspots with this password:  8436691802

(Does that password look familiar??  It is the church phone number)

2.  If you’d like, create a free YouVersion account and join the Ebenezer Baptist Church group.  Not necessary, but would make the content easier to access within the app.  You can also open the app and it will list geographically any new events that are happening.

3.  If you do not want to do any of that but still want to access the enhanced content, just pull up our church Facebook page and click on the published link.  It will take you to the event.

The enhanced content might ask additional questions, will publish the used scripture, and give you windows where you can take notes.  Hopefully it might take your consideration of God’s word to a deeper place.

If you have any questions. let me know.  This is a developing project and will change (and hopefully get better) as time goes on!!

WHY are people playing on their smartphones?

3 Jun

DURING WORSHIP???  I mean, REALLY … THE NERVE!!  People all around me are playing on their phones.  And, the preacher even has the nerve to USE HIS iPAD WHILE HE PREACHES!!!  We never did it that way before!!!

Well, then a confession is in order … I have been preaching with an iPad for over THREE years now.  Quite frankly, it is so much easier to manage my notes with it than with regular paper.  And, if there is any question about whether or not that iPad is the REAL Bible, then I’ve got to tell you I have access to about 11 Bibles on my iPad.  And a few commentaries.  It is a great study tool.

A couple of weeks ago, we jumped into a different pool with technology.  YouVersion (a FREE smartphone Bible app) provides community tools for worship.  FREE tools that enhance worship and allow feedback DURING worship.  And, all you have to do is bring your smartphone or device, hit the link on the church Facebook wall, and VOILA!  You are transported to the event that was created to accompany the sermon.

IF you go to and create a free profile, you can join the Ebenezer community and find the event within your app.  But you don’t have to do that…  All you need to do is click on the posted link on Facebook and it will take you there.

WHY DO THIS??  Is this just another way of trying to be hip or cool??  NO.  I have already had feedback from visual learners who say “THIS HELPS SO MUCH!!”  It’s another avenue through which the truth of God’s word might be communicated in our worship.  So, WHY NOT???

I could get used to this…

10 Apr

Yes, I could!! I’m sitting in a grassy area at the Perry’s Beach Resort in sunny Daytona watching my charges from beneath an umbrella. My first youth trip in at least four years.

So far, I’ve answered several emails, conducted some business, updated the church sign, and tried to get Krissy’s car back on the road (that one will be an ouch!). And it’s not even lunch time!!

Really thankful for technology, our EBC tech team, and my iPhone right …. about… NOW.

What I REALLY would’ve said

23 Mar

Isn’t it kind of dangerous for a pastor to write and think something like this???  Unfortunately, I am not always in a place where I can really speak my mind.  Sometimes God says no … sometimes Diana does.  If I could REALLY say what I think, it might be dangerous.

After THAT dramaculous intro, here is what I REALLY would’ve said to my ACS peeps today if I’d had a little more time:

  • I remember the first time I ever saw ACS.  It was MS-DOS based and COMPLETELY customizable.  I was a young IT professional who happened to be on the newly-formed technology committee at the church where I grew up (Washington Avenue Baptist Church in Greenville, SC).  I LOVED the demo.  Everyone else on the committee (who were all over 50 while I was 23) hated it.  One of those took that opportunity to remind me that she was working with computers at the bank while I was in diapers.  I was outvoted.
  • I remember my stint at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, teaching the undergraduate computer course.  ACS was on my menu then.  Someone had given us demo disks.  In a very limited fashion, I instructed my pupils in the need for data organization.  They looked at me with eyes glazed.
  • Almost 17 years ago, when I came to Ebenezer, I discovered that ACS was based in Florence.  I had not known that.  We were on ACS for DOS, and we LOVED IT.  I remember the day we decided to transition to ACS for Windows and how Ed Self and I had to pull our ministry assistants into it kicking and screaming.
  • Over the years, I’ve had some really good friends at ACS.  Still do.  In fact, there are a few employees at ACS that are some of mine and Diana’s closest friends.  Helps me love my ACS peeps even more (because I KNOW some of the people with whom you have to work!!)
  • I love the fact that we are close enough and brave enough to let you guys run experiments and use our installation as a proving ground at times.  I remember as a software developer (before surrendering to ministry) how important beta testing is.  THAT is why I have such a heart for you guys!!
  • I would’ve wrapped up by telling you that there are TWO products that I use so much it would boggle your minds:  I LOVE ACS OnDemand and I LOVE Church Life.  Those two applications enable me to do my jobs (all of them at EBC … I have a few) on the go and on the run.  Church Life is the BOMB-DIGGITY.  Just sayin!!!

So, there is the reason behind my appreciation and love for my ACS peeps.  You really make more of a difference than you can even imagine, both for your neighbors at EBC AND for 50,000 churches across the nation.  YOU GUYS ROCK!!!

2010 in review

2 Jan

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2010. That’s about 29 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 199 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 1011 posts. There were 4 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 292kb.

The busiest day of the year was April 21st with 183 views. The most popular post that day was Who is this David R. Wike?.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for david wike, post christmas quotes, random thinker,, and

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Who is this David R. Wike? April 2010


The Y August 2010


Signs you are drinking too much coffee November 2010


Did something I don’t like to do today August 2010


Weekend June 2010

A Deep Thought

5 Nov

Better save this one … I don’t often have deep thoughts.

This week, I’ve done EVERYTHING on my iPad. All of my communication and social media (with the exception of a few tweets from my phone), wrote my sermon, kept in touch with the election and local news. The ONLY things I cannot do with this device are access Flash sites: Unfortunately, several of the video sites I use still use Flash. Hope that changes.

Because, if it did, I really could do EVERYTHING I DO from my iPad!! When I bought this iPad, I also bought a bluetooth Mac keyboard, which has made all of this much easier.

That boggles my mind. In its current configuration, there are a few things that make it necessary for me to have a desktop at work. But the day will come when something like this will be my primary computer.

Coming from a old-timer that got into this stuff in the mid ’80s, that is REALLY COOL. If I could go back to myself in college and show this, I wouldn’t believe me. (But, that is partially because I know me and, well, probably shouldn’t get into that).

And I glance over at my iPhone and wonder how long it will be before I am blogging this same type of thought about that???

From a different perspective …

26 Oct

This morning I rode to Raleigh with Dean and Robbie.  The target??  The Church Information Technology Round Table for North and South Carolina.  Very interesting to hear what different churches are doing to enable kingdom growth.  Never overlook the role IT plays in this today!!

Through all of the details, nuts, bolts, ICs and LEDs, this is a MINISTRY and a crucial part of modern ministry in the year 2010.  And it will only grow to play more and more of a role in the church of tomorrow!!  I’m thankful for these guys and what they do to make a difference!!  It’s another of those unseen and seldom-known roles that keeps things clicking!!

If you really slowed down enough to notice, there is so much that goes on behind the scenes to help a church like Ebenezer (and, really, EVERY OTHER CHURCH) do the things we do.  Ed and I are very visible in the pulpit on Sundays … Andi is visible in Children’s Church … Justin is very visible in Youth Ministry … and PAM is highly visible in this unseen world of infrastructure!!  Mary, Lisa, Dusty, Bill, Edwin, Jerry, and Kitty are the hands and feet from the staff that make it happen!!  From the congregational side, MANY OF YOU are the ones that make this happen as well!!

And when I look at all of this from this different perspective, it makes me even more thankful!!!

A Crazy Summer

14 Aug

By far, this has been the craziest summer of my Ebenezer years.  It all began with the great lightening strike of 2010.  Since then, Drew has worked (VOLUNTEER BASIS) at the church a couple of days every week!!  We are almost out of the hole as far as getting everything back to normal (still a couple of issues with the fire alarms, but other than that we are back).  And just in time, because school starts back on Monday.

Looking back,  I cannot believe the summer went this fast.  There are also several things I cannot believe happened, but I can’t blog about those … saving them for my book!!

As the school year begins for colleges, high schools, and on down the line, I hope you and yours have a great year!!  I pray the same for mine!!!