Tag Archives: God

Out On The Grill

First grill of the summer!

This photo kind of represents two different things. First I love to grill on Weber grills and this is the first time I’ve used mine since last fall, so it felt good to be out and have something on the grill again. Second those steaks were good and the vegetables were pretty good too. First time that I’d made vegetables on the grill. I had always meant to do that but for some reason just never had.

I think the best thing that this picture represents to me is that God has blessed me once again. I came down with the covid-19 virus on Thanksgiving Day.  I went to the hospital and they admitted me and I stayed there for seven days. I was in a covid-19 isolation unit which was not a lot of fun.  No visitors could come to see me or anything like that and everybody that came in had to be suited up so that they didn’t catch the covid-19 virus. After I was able to come home I was still on oxygen 24/7. I had to constantly be fed oxygen because the O2 levels in my blood were low. Being at home and stuck on oxygen was really lonely. Everybody would leave and go to work or whatever they had to do and that would leave me here with my oxygen  concentrator, and it wasn’t much company.

Eventually my 02 levels began to hold and I was able to come off of the oxygen 24/7. I still have to use it at night when I sleep but I’m not on it during the day. Thank God for that! The photo above is the first time I’ve used the grill this year and it’s a testament to the faithfulness of God. He lets us do things and he lets us enjoy things that lot of times we take for granted. Like being able to enjoy grilling food. Seems like such a simple thing but I couldn’t do it for almost 3 months on account of the oxygen that I had to have. But now I can go back and grill again and I thank God for giving me back that little piece of my life.

Covid-19 was not fun but I’m glad that for now, it’s behind me. I don’t know what’s in my future, no one does. Except God. But I do know that whatever my future holds God is going to be there to help me to deal with it and to help me to move on. And I hope he has a couple of steaks with some veggies on the grill too. I hope everyone reading this has stayed away from all the virus stuff and I hope everybody’s been healthy.  Y’all have a good day and may God bless.

Be Perfect……..

WOW, what a thought. Be perfect. A while back,  my Sunday School class studied the Sermon on the Mount that Jesus preached and Matthew recorded in chapter 5 of his book. For sure Jesus laid down some pretty hard directions for us to follow. He took outward actions and placed them in our hearts. For instance it’s not enough just to follow the do not murder rule, Jesus said to not even entertain anger. Don’t commit adultery became don’t even look and lust about it. He was changing the way we understood what God wanted us to do and how he wanted us to act. His point was to go beyond outward obedience and change our hearts inside. When you think about it, all actions are a reflection of the condition of our hearts.

But then Jesus ended the sermon with these words. Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

I thought about that for a while. There was no way I could be perfect. But Jesus said for me to be just that. I believe that my heavenly Father is perfect in every way you can list. He has never made a mistake, never been wrong, never falsely accused anyone of anything, never missed an opportunity to help someone, never failed to love anyone. He is perfect. And I am not.

But here’s what Jesus wants us to know. Remember that he said early in the sermon that unless our righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, we would never enter the kingdom of heaven. The scribes and Pharisees had the actions down pat. But they only applied them to outward expressions. He was telling us that we need to train our hearts and minds to be better than our actions.  And in doing so, our actions could move up to the next level and would become closer to what God wanted for us. He wanted us to understand that our hearts (mind) controls our actions. He wanted us to be intentional in our actions. Not reacting to what happens around us but reacting in a manner that would show God’s power and love to those around us. He wants us to be salt and light so that we can make a difference in this world.

I can’t explain God’s love for us. But I do know one thing for sure. God’s love towards me and you is intentional. He chose to love us. As much as I wish that I could point to something good inside of me and say “That’s why God loves ME!” I can’t.  I was un-loveable. Sinful. Selfish. Yet, God CHOSE to love me. And you.

And He wants us to be perfect. This isn’t possible for us in this world the way most would think of perfect.

But what if perfect meant to be mature and intentional in making our thoughts Godly?

Most of the time, without even thinking about it, we reflect our earthly parents. My granddaughter is her mother made over. She has her actions, her expressions, her attitude. She also has some of her father’s actions, expressions and attitudes. Some people claim they can see me when my granddaughter looks a certain way or does something in a particular way. And she’s only 5 years old so I am sure that she isn’t aware of all this. But she reflects her parents.

Jesus wanted us to learn to reflect our heavenly Father in the same way. When we are intentional in following Jesus’s teaching in the way we treat others, and we love as God commanded us to, I believe that we are approaching what Jesus meant when He said to be perfect. We reflect the love of our heavenly Father. We reflect the grace given to us. We let the world see Jesus through our actions and our intentions. This should be a Christian’s goal:  To accurately reflect the grace and love of our heavenly Father. Strive to be perfect in doing that and I believe we will be doing what Jesus said to do.

Old Fashioned Revival

Here’s a post about an old fashioned revival at Higher Ground Baptist in Kingsport, Tennessee. In addition to the prayers that God would send revival, there was a huge amount of work that went into the preparations for this revival. First was setting up the tent, a stage had to be made, chairs placed, a generator set up to provide electricity for sound and lights and many other things. I guess that’s one thing that made it old fashioned. Several people were involved in the preparations and not just showing up to hear a preacher. It seems that today we are so rushed that we barely have time to go to church. But here is an event that has God’s people working together asking God to work in their lives and the life of our church family. Pastor Ronnie brought sermons that challenged our faith from the beginning point of salvation all the way through to living Godly lives. The weather was great and God truly blessed us with His presence. Some folks were saved, some were challenged and wanted to draw closer to God as they walk through life with Him. One answered a call to the ministry during this revival. All these are elements of what most remember as old fashioned revivals. God working and calling people into a relationship with Him. All in all, there’s a lot to be said for God’s people working together and seeking God’s presence in our lives.

Here’s a link to all the photos that I have of the revival. God Bless.

So much has happened and yet nothing happened. That makes sense to me but probably not to you. So here goes. Back in late January we started talking to Gary, a real estate guy that attends our church, about the possibility of selling our home and moving closer to church and family. All told, this move would be around 30 mile closer to Kingsport, Tn. which would accomplish the goal of being closer to church and family. We had discussed this move for years and decided that the time was right to try this. So we put the house on the market and in just two weeks we had a contract.  Not just an offer, but a contract.

We rented a storage building and started to move out. Then we got the phone call that our sale was off. The  buyers couldn’t get their loan. Still ain’t sure how they came to us pre-approved and then changed to un-approved, but it happened. So that’s what I mean when I say so much has happened but yet nothing happened.

Now we don’t know whether to move our stuff back in and then have to move out again when/if our house sells, or just move it back in and forget the whole thing. Really weird but it seems par for the course for me.

There’s another point in time when the phrase “so much has happened and yet nothing happened” could have been uttered by people concerning the life and death of Jesus. The crowds seen Him heal the sick, bring sight to the blind and restore walking to the lame, yet when the time came, they all turned their back on Him and cried “Crucify Him'”. Even his disciples who had followed his every move lost sight of who He truly was and is today. I wonder if maybe one of them, possibly Thomas, could have looked at the cross that day and uttered those words “so much has happened and yet nothing happened” as he thought back over the weeks and months of following Jesus, seeing all the miracles and then watching as Jesus was beaten, and then crucified. I wonder if Thomas was left trying to figure out how Jesus seemed to have so much power, yet was subject to death. No doubt he walked away from the cross that day with his life having been changed by what he had seen both of the miracles and the death of Jesus. He had to have been trying to piece it all together. So much power, and yet they crucified Him on a cross.

For Thomas the wondering ended when Jesus appeared to them after His resurrection. According to John chapter 20, the disciples were inside with the doors locked when Jesus appeared to them and said “Peace to you” and He showed them his hands and the wound in his side. But Thomas wasn’t with them. They told him about this but he said he would not believe unless he seen it him self. So the next day Jesus appeared to them again. Same way because they were inside, doors locked and Jesus appeared to them. But this time Thomas was there. And Jesus invited Him to “put your finger here and observe my hands, put your hand in my side.”  Thomas knew then that he was the one that was wrong. So much had happened, including the greatest victory that the world had ever seen. Jesus had defeated death. HE alone had wiped out the strong hold that sin had placed on this world.

Many people today do and think the same thing. They don’t know how to balance the power of God with the death of  Jesus on the cross. If only they would look into the purpose and the power of Jesus’ death. They know that Jesus was crucified. They’ve heard all about that. It’s not that big a deal. But can you imagine how Thomas felt when he got the invitation to put his finger here and to place his hand inside Jesus’ side and he experienced the sudden realization that Jesus had defeated death? The invitation is still there today. Seek Him and ask Him and experience Him. It’s your choice.

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:9-10

Answered Prayer

Last week was race week at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is always a pleasure to go visit and meet the race fans and if possible share Jesus with them. It wears me out physically but at the same time, I get to see God at work and be a part of His work.

Then Sunday evening I got to help lead our youngest grandchild to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She is now excited and can’t wait until she is “bap-ti-tized” as she says it. Yesterday I had the pleasure of talking with a man whom I had never met, about rededicating his life to Jesus. He had suffered a heart attack Friday and is now recovering. My son in law gave my number to his friend after they mentioned that he would like to talk to a preacher about his life and how to “get right with God” as they put it. I called and spoke with him and prayed with him over the phone. Hope to get to meet him sometime soon.

For a while I have been praying for a problem that my family has been going through and at times I have asked God to just let me see him at work so that I know He is there. My faith knows that He is always present, but my human limits try to tell me that it’s all in vain. I believe God answered my prayer this week in the people he set before me to share His word with them. And I count it the highest honor that one could ever receive to be asked by God himself to minister to another.

All praise honor and glory go to Jesus, my Savior and Lord.