Friends

I love that we can be friends.  We all know there are friends on different levels but it special when we get to spend time with one another all the same.  Let’s talk about that…

Last night was one of the most fun times I have had in years.  The Gold City Gadsden Homecoming  put on by Heritage of Gold Concerts was a smashing success in so many ways.  When I got a call from Jonathon Wilburn almost three months ago about this night I started getting excited.  Sure enough, all my expectations were met and more.  I have not played that many songs for that many hours in years.  We got to introduce our girls to people who used to feed me and keep clothes on my back 20+ years ago.  My family was there and all of my Gold City brothers minus just a few and one in particular.  I miss Doug. Always will.  Jordan LeFevre was the perfect stand-in.  Killed it!  At the end of the night we sat around my Folks kitchen table till the wee hours of the morning.  What a night.  What great friends.

What it re-affirmed in me was how important friendship is.  Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”  Over the years we have gone through so much together.  You name it, we have faced it.  So, to be able to stand together and help give a crowd of people a reason to smile, rejoice, laugh, worship and reconnect was absolutely wonderful.  The music was just like longtime friendship.  Once we remembered the right key and got the first words out, all the harmony and rhythm came back just like we never stopped.

In a little on stage conversation, Jay and I agreed that those years together were a good season, but, seasons come and go.  I have to admit, I took my Bible on-stage and set it on my amp, just in case.  In every song I anticipated an opportunity to preach.  I was dying to jump in when we sang He Said! and tell them what THIS old time preacher would say.  I tell you it was just like a fire shut up in my bones!   I am forever thankful for that the Lord allowed me those years and blessed me with those friends but playing bass for me is now just something that I enjoy from time to time.  See, my best friend, whom I do talk to every day, He has asked me to do something far more important.  Today I am not a bass player who preaches, I am a Preacher who occasionally plays bass and I love it that way.

I know this is not a fire ball sermon but allow me the opportunity to be a bit sappy, my friends.  That’s what real friends do, right?  We allow each other to be ourselves.  Our hope and prayer for you is that God would give you a great assembly of friendly acquaintances, a room full of really good friends, and handful of close friends you might consider brothers and sisters.  But, most of all our prayer is that we would all appreciate our friend that sticketh closer than a brother (Prov 18:24 KJV), our best friend, Jesus Christ.  Take some time to reach out to your friends (not your fakebook followers) and tell them how much you appreciate your friendship.  Pick up a phone and call them, don’t text or put it on your timeline.  Be personal, be real, be there for each other.  Be a friend, for Christ has been a friend to us.

God Bless You, my friend!

BroAdamB

What Father’s Do

It’s Father’s Day and many of you, like myself, are away from your Dad.  Those of us who are just a phone call away understand how fortunate we are in that regard.  As we get older we slowly realize how right many of our Father’s were about life and living.  Though no earthly Daddy is perfect in every way they just do What Father’s Do.  Let’s talk about that…

In John 5 Jesus told the crowds, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.  For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth; and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.”  Jesus gave us the example of following God the Father’s words, deeds and will.  In chapter 6 Jesus went on to say, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”   He knew the value of The Father.  These truths also lay a heavy burden on the next generation to get it right for our children.

Fathers teach things like work.  Jesus was about the work of His Father (John 6:28-29).  Dads also help us understand the importance of obedience (5:30).  Did you ever hear your Daddy say, “Cause I said so!”  Well, without question, Jesus did what the Father said because He said so!  Fathers give things to their children like provision (Mt 7:9-11), food (Jn 5:32) physical & (v35) spiritual, strength (Ps 29:11), The Word (Ps 68:11), treasure (Mt 6:19-21), and things that no one can take away (Jn 6:39).

The greatest thing a Father can ever do is to instill faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in the life of their children (Jn 6:30).  The greatest thing that an earthly father can give his children is a heritage of faith.  I am overwhelmingly blessed in this regard.  I do, however, have close friends who are the first Father in their family tree to do so.  I think about my preacher friend, Dr. Brad Bailey in Brandon, FL who had a very disjointed relationship with his dad (Ps 68:5) but God put men in his life to point him toward Christ and today his children are being raised by one of the godliest men I know.  I think about some great dads who are waiting over on the other side.  Men like brother Curtis Hutson, brother Bobby Butler, Jackie Wilburn, and Rex Nelon, my Pawpaw Hugh New, and my Papa Neal Borden.  Toughest most loving men in history.

I’ll share one story that has been passed down to us about papa Borden. When my dad was a boy, Papa worked in a brass foundry in Piedmont, Alabama.  Somehow he broke his back and had to wear a full torso back brace.  In the midst of that he plowed their garden with a mule because it was the only way his family would have food to eat.  That is the kind of stock I am from, and I am thankful for it.  Pawpaw worked 42 years at Goodyear in Gadsden.  He would come in from 3rd shift and work their farm like a man of iron.  You cannot find men like that holding video games 3 hours a day or posting selfies. They were selfless. Both of those men help mold my Daddy into who he is; a dedicated Christian, an incredible husband and selfless father who always did without so we could have the best he could possibly provide.  On this Father’s Day, I wish to say in front of the whole world, I love you and I thank you for showing me what it means to be the right kind of Father.  Happy Father’s Day!

SYSK_Lookout_Mountain-Lloyd_Borden_CMYK

Thank you Lord for good Godly Father’s!

BroAdamB

Open Wide

Our hope and prayer is that today that you have enjoyed the Lord this week and have allowed Him to fill you up with everything that He desires you to have.  Let’s talk about that…

The Psalmist in chapter 81 relates a bit of historical perspective on the children of Israel and their deliverance from the bondage of their Egyptian taskmasters.  Tucked away in verse 10 is an absolutely incredible statement from God Almighty.  They had been empty of hope for hundreds of years.  Dreams were futile because all they had prospects of doing were making bricks and feeling the despair of slavery.  BUT GOD brought them out by His powerful hand and the demonstration of His might.  So, in verse 10 He says, “I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.”  How does that statement align with our view of the Father?

Now, let us put that statement in perspective with our Americanized version of Christianity.  He is NOT telling us to pray for selfish stuff.  In the whole context of scripture, a person who is seeking God, serving God, seeing (recognizing and acknowledging) God move and work, and searching the scripture for daily instruction is a person who gets from God what God knows what that person needs and they recognize it as such.  When we want what God wants we appreciate what He gives.

It is like the person who finally makes the decision to become healthy in their physical being.  Wow, I cannot believe how bad I felt when I ate all that junk and laid around sedentary.  Now I love foods I would have never eaten (i.e. humus) and I am filled and satisfied.  I have more energy than ever and I sleep so much better, etc.  God tells us, if you allow me to guide your appetite I will fill you.  If you love what I love and hate what I hate I will fill you.  If you will believe what I have said I will fill you.  If you will trust my guidance when you do not understand I will fill your way.  If you will take the medicine I give to heal you inside out I will fill you with spiritual health.  If you will empty yourself of self I will fill you.  If you ask for what my Spirit urges you to ask for I will fill you.  OPEN WIDE!  Sounds perfect, unless we tighten our lips and turn our head…  OR, if we only open our mouths wide enough for God to give us a baby dropper of provision or blessing.

Let us not have a baby guppy mouth when it comes to what God wants us to have.  Lets have a lunker bass open mouth.  It is about asking in His will, expecting He will, and appreciating when He fills.  Open Wide.

God Bless You!

BroAdamB

 

Losing

It is driven into our American DNA to push and pursue gain of all sorts.  To lose is unacceptable.  Let’s talk about that…

Cut to the chase…  When Christ calls us unto Himself, that invitation requires that we understand that there are some things that we must cease from in order to serve Him with a clean heart.  Sinful things, fleshly or carnal things we can understand repenting of, but ceasing from successful pursuits are uncommon to our thinking.  In Matthew 10:38-39 Jesus tells us that if we relinquish our ‘rights’ to follow His pathway we will find that the rewards in the end will be far greater and eternal rather than temporary.  Again in chapter 16 verses 24-27 Jesus reiterates this point.

My question today is, what are we afraid to lose?  I do believe that what we fear to lose has an impact on our degree of dedication to the Lord.  What prevents us from living this life fully saturated in the purpose of the Lord.  Chapter 10 points to our pursuit of profit.  What will it cost us?  Family relationships, friendships, finances, or popularity, profit, or pursuit of a dream?

I would encourage you to find the story of William Borden (no relation), who was heir to the Borden milk empire.  He was a millionaire who walked away from taking over the family business to follow the calling of God to be a missionary to the Muslim Kansu people of China.  Over the course of his journey to go to the missionary fields he faced the ridicule of friends which led him to write these words in his Bible, “No Reserves”.  In William’s journal he wrote, “Say ‘no’ to self and ‘yes’ to Jesus every time.”  At graduation time he turned down numerous lucrative job offers, all of which he turned down, writing in his Bible, “No Retreats”.  After graduating from Yale and Princeton, William headed to Egypt to study Arabic, but in the process of that journey he contracted spinal meningitis and died at the age of 25 before ever reaching his mission field.  When his personal items reached home they found two more words written in his Bible, “No Regrets”.

Some would say, what a waste.  But I say, what eternal gain.  After all, we are all recounting just a part of his powerful testimony today.  If he had just taken over the family business and piled up more money we would have never heard of William Borden but because he lost his life for the cause of Christ, we have gained an inspiring testimony that mirrors the heart of Christ.

What, or who, are you afraid to lose?  What might you miss out on gaining in eternity to hold onto for a little while down here (Mt 6:24-33).

God Bless You!

BroAdamB