Our Conversation

One of the joys of living is enjoying great conversations. Let’s talk about that…

I had a very interesting short conversation this week at work. One of my co-workers who has been there about 6 months came and stood beside me as I was clocking out on Wednesday. This young man is very nice but he does look as though he fell into a tackle box and some tried to knock the lures off with a bat. He has several piercings and tattoos all over his visible body and he cannot go more than a few words without using foul language.  He and I have had several small conversations in passing mostly about work but occasionally we will see each other in town and recount our visit. But he said something to me that was at first disheartening, but then reaffirming. As he stood beside me awkwardly and stared at me I turned to see what he wanted. He says “Somebody told me you are a Pastor.” I told him that I was not a pastor but I am a preacher. His next words struck me.  “I never would have guessed that.” Balloon deflating, ego deflating, spirit deflating. But then he said, “But it does make sense to me. I never hear you cuss. I’ve never seen you get real mad. And you always treat people very nice.”

As it turns out all he had to go on was the small conversations that we had. In those brief encounters he had seen and heard enough to get the idea that I could be a preacher. That was reassuring and immediately my thoughts went to this verse. Philippians 1:27 says in part, “Only let your conversation be as becometh the gospel of Christ:” Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven.” Let’s think about how many people that we have short encounters with every day; gas station attendants, check out workers at Walmart, folks beside us in traffic, drive-through workers. In those brief conversations what do they come away with in light of our conversation. Would they have any suspicion that we are a child of God. Or would those brief encounters of only a few seconds or minutes show a conversation that in no way would lead them to believe we are a Christian much less a minister of the Gospel. That’s a pretty sobering thought, isn’t it?

We are not always dressed up in our Sunday best indicating that we are going to or coming from a church service so we should as Paul said, “adorn the doctrine of Christ” with our words and with our kindness (Titus 2:10). We never know what a few choice words can do in the life of a lost person.



Give Place

This is the day the Lord has made.  Let’s make up our mind to give Him the proper place of preeminence in our lives.  Let’s talk about the Place that we give to the Lord in our lives…

In Matthew 9 Jesus was called to the home of a certain ruler who explained that his daughter was dead.  But, the man believed that if Jesus would lay His hand upon her she would live again.  In verse 18 this man Made a Place of Worship.  He invited Jesus to his place (I Sam 7:3).  All through scripture Jesus was moved by great faith.  When He heard this ruler’s request Jesus immediately arose and in verse 19 Jesus Came to the Rulers (Jarius) Place.

The funeral music was already in full swing when they arrived with very vocal grief, music, emotion and activity, but, the parents of the girl were silent.  Jesus declared that they were too quick to judge the situation (I Thes 4:13).  In verse 23 Jesus demanded they Make a Quiet Place (Is 32:17).  As the shallow, negative, hopeless crowds laughed Jesus Gave Place for Hope (Ps 71:14).

In verse 25 Jesus Gave Place for a Miracle.  What was dead is now alive.  What an encouragement of faith that can give us.  What is lost can be found.  What is hurt can be healed.  What is broken can be fixed,  What is ignorant can be educated.  What is sin-stained can be cleansed.  What is indebted can be paid… IF we will Give Place for the presence of Jesus, for the touch of Jesus in our lives, and as we read in the Luke 8:54 account the word of the Lord.   Let us Give Place for the Lord today.

God Bless You All,


The Tale of Two Sons

Happy Resurrection Morning!  Our hope and prayer is that you are surrounded with family and friends, in awe of the power of the resurrection of Christ.  By the way, He is the only perfect, only praise-worthy, only coming again, only Risen Son of God.  Let’s talk about another son…

In the gospel of Luke chapter 15 we find the stories of three lost items that were found; the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son.  We know him as the Prodigal Son who demanded his inheritance and left his loving father to go his own way.  It did not take long for the money to run out, the friends to walk out, and all the grand plans to peter out.  So, he went home to a forgiving father.

Did you know there was another father and son with some similar circumstances but very different outcomes.  This is the tale of two sons.

2 Sons; The Prodigal & the Propitiation

One son left home mad at dad.  The other Son left home with Father’s blessing.  One son told his dad, “I wish you were dead.”  The other Son  told his father, “I will go to die.”  One son went to sow wild oats.  The other Son came to sow seeds of the Gospel.  One son left to do his own thing. The other Son  came to do will of the Father.  One son went to live a riotous life, The other Son  came to live a holy, sinless, perfect life. One son went on to spend all his riches. The other Son  left all his riches in heaven.  One son wanted to be a big man. The other Son  humbled himself as a servant.  One son had lots of good time friends that left him. The other Son  had 12 disciples; among them 1 devil and only 1 at His cross.  One son starved for a piece of bread, The other Son  was the bread of life.  One son realized how wrong he had been. The other Son was the personification of complete righteousness.  One son went ended up in the pits of the world. The other Son  descended to the pits of Hell to get the keys to death, hell, and the grave.  One son went home with scars, The other Son  went home with scars.  One son went back home with nothing. The other Son  went back home with the blood.  One son became most famous prodigal. The other Son  came to redeem all prodigals.   One son had a father waiting at home for his son to return. The other Son  had the Father waiting in heaven for His son to return.  One son heard his father say all is forgiven.  The other Son told his Father all of humanity is forgiven.  Both sons were glad to be home.  Both Father’s were glad their sons were home.

Prodigals may not always be in a far country but it could be that their “heart is far from me[God]…” (Mt 15:8).  There is still a Father waiting for them to come walking down the road toward home where all is forgiven and a new beginning awaits.

Praise the SON OF GOD this Sunday morning for His resurrection power!


The Bottom of the Barrel

Our hope and prayer is that the Lord is amazing you with how He provides.  Let’s talk about that…

We were blessed to be able to attend the Middle Tennessee Baptist Church Teen Camp Meeting from Thursday night through Saturday morning this week and then we travelled to Pontotoc, MS to sing with the Old Time Preachers Quartet.  What great preaching and singing we heard and wonderful fellowship we enjoyed.  So many memorable messages were preached but I want to share the theme of the one that sticks out in my mind.  Brother Rudy Smith from Mt. Sinai Baptist in Pickens, SC (mtsinaibaptistch.net) preached out of I Kings 18:8-12 on the subject, When you get to the bottom of your barrel, you come to the top of His!  My soul what a thought.

Brother Rudy retraced the steps of the children of Israel through scripture who had done all they could do in their own strength and had reached the bottom of the barrel but then God allowed them to reach down and scoop out a handful from His (Ex 14, 15, 16, II Kings 4, 19, Luke 5, John 6, Acts 16, II Cor 12).  Oh, how many times I have tried to work things out and plan and plot out a path only to come up short with my ability, my tenacity, my ingenuity, and my influence.  But God said, “Just reach down one more time and see what I can do,” and my hand was filled with provision.  Hallelujah!

My friend, I have scraped my hand around the bottom of the barrel plenty of times in my life; the bottom emotionally, financially, spiritually, and in company.  As brother Rudy preached the paint off the walls my mind went back to all those times that I could not go on and The God of Heaven would pull up the boards from the bottom of my barrel and reveal that it was sitting on top of His full barrel.  He proved it to me many times this week.

If you are scrounging around for provision, encouragement, the joy of your salvation, fellowship, or funds, God can provide if we will seek Him and follow His commands.  His barrel will waste not, and His oil will not fail (I Kings 18:16).

God Bless You, and may Long Live Old Time Religion



The Difference Between In & On

Our hope and prayer is that your faith and trust in Jesus has been the reason you have made it to another Sunday morning without being overcome.  Way back when we believed On the Lord Jesus Christ he gave us a reason to believe in His promises.  Let’s talk about that…

I have had a message burning a hole in my pocket all week long that I want to share with you in part.  Our Sunday school lesson last Sunday morning was in Acts 16.  When brother Jody Whitmire read through verse 31 a key word jumped off the page.  Paul and Silas were locked up in the belly of the prison after they had been beaten for refusing to stop preaching the gospel of Christ.  What better to do in a situation like than to sing.  Can you hear it?  “Silas, let’s do this one…I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided…”  The Father in heaven got to tapping his foot and egging them on in such a manner that broke apart the prison they were in and caused the shackles to fall from their feet.  The poor guard assumed all the prisoners had escaped and began to pull his sword to end his life until Paul called out with a loud voice to stop him.  That shaken guard fell at their feet and begged the question, “What must I do to be saved.  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved.

I want you to know there is a difference between believing In and believing On.  (John 6:28-29, Romans 10:9-11).  For example, I can believe In a chair.  I can believe it exists, has a purpose and a design, that it has legs, a back, a seat and that it can to what it is supposed to.  I can believe in all that information but until I sit down I have not believed On that chair.  When I believe On the chair I trust it’s purpose and design, I trust it is strong enough to hold me up, to do what it is supposed to do.  The longer I sit in it I understand that I can rest On that chair.

When we believe On the Lord He puts something In, the person of the Holy Ghost (John 14:16-17, I John 3:23-24, 4:13-15).  Then when what is In us begins to reveal the glory of God, the truth of scripture, the blessings, the peace, the direction, the comfort of His presence In us then what is In us might just get On us (I Pet 1:21, I Cor 2:3-5, Eph 3:16-19, Lu 4:18-19).  Then others see what is On us and want to know what is In us. How can we sing when we are bound and locked in the prison of circumstances with every reason to complain, gripe and give up?  Then they just might ask, “What must I do to be saved?”  and we can say, “Believe On the Lord Jesus Christ.

Remain Calm & Believe On.  I ought to put that on a t-shirt.