An anonymous author tells the story about a father who told his children when they were young that he would tell them the secret of life when they reached 12 years old.
“Dad, what’s the secret of life?” anxiously asked the oldest on the day he turned 12.
The father made the boy promise not to tell his brother and proceeded to reveal the secret. Continue reading
On one of our trips to the Smoky Mountains after preaching for the Cosby Church, we enjoyed a wonderful visit with our good friends, Olie and Mary Williamson.
We when we were ready to leave, with her eyes welling up with tears, Mary gave us a gift and said, “I want you to listen to this as you travel.” It was a CD by the southern gospel Quartet, Greater Vision. The other day I listened again to its powerful and emotional message. And immediately knew I wanted to share its lyrics with our readers. Continue reading
There’s an old story about two men who were fishing one Sunday morning and when the fish weren’t biting they began to feel guilty about skipping church.
One man said, “I guess I should have gone to church rather than gone fishing.”
The other man replied, “Well, I couldn’t have gone to church anyway, because my wife is home sick in bed.” Continue reading
For the past 20+ years, I have read this poem by an unknown author on the first Sunday of each new year.
It was a tradition that was passed on to me by my friend and preaching mentor Paul Andrews. After Paul’s passing, his son Bob continued that tradition. And I have as well, where ever I’ve been preaching.
It’s short and simple. But offers a significant and sanguine message. Continue reading
Today finds Norma Jean and me on Florida’s Space Coast, Cape Canaveral, where I will be preaching for the North Courtenay Church in Merritt Island.
Outer space has always held a special kind of fascination for the human mind. As a kid, I recall the scientific-fiction shows of the 1950s. Commando Cody. Space Patrol. Buck Rogers. Flash Gordon. What was then fantasy, soon became “the new frontier” as promoted by President John F. Kennedy in the 1960s. Space exploration has become reality in our lifetime. Continue reading
“I didn’t get anything out of worship today,” is a remark sometimes offered by disappointed church attendees.
These disgruntled “worshipers” soon find themselves relating to anyone who will listen to how awful the sermon was, how the song leader pitched the songs too high, the distractions by noisy children, and the general lack of inspiration they felt from the service.
Joe McKeever said such remarks are “like dry rot in a congregation…Like a termite infestation in the building…Like an epidemic afflicting the people of the Lord.” Unchecked, they will spread like a deadly virus. Continue reading
“Scars. A sign that you had been hurt. A sign that you had healed,” observed American novelist and poet, Benjamin Alire Sáenz.
On this day when we remember Jesus at our communion services, we often think about the betrayal. The denial. The mocking. The kangaroo court of a trial. And the terrible, excruciating death by crucifixion.
We may focus on His resurrection. His victory over death and the devil. And how His bodily resurrection foreshadows our own resurrection.
We remember also His appearances to the women at the tomb. Peter and John. And the rest of the apostles.
But what about the scars? Continue reading
What a day it must have been! When parents brought their little children to Jesus. It captured the attention of all three synoptic writers. Can’t you see the smiles? And hear the giggles? And feel the excitement?
Unfortunately, the disciples threw “cold water” on their good intentions. The text says they “rebuked those who brought them.” Maybe they thought they were protecting the Master. That He was too busy. Or had more “important” matters. Or just needed a break from the pressures of His ministry.
Whatever the reason, Jesus didn’t like it. Not at all. Mark says, that “he was greatly displeased.” Then Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” Indeed Jesus loved the little children. Many lessons can be learned from this occasion. Continue reading
Leroy Brownlow tells about an elderly brother who often prayed at worship offering this petition.
“Forgetting the things which are behind, give us strength and wisdom to press onward to a brighter future. May we be a progressive, improving people. May our tomorrow–if there be a tomorrow–be a little better than today and a lot better than yesterday.” Continue reading
The Bible teaches and nature tells us that “you reap what you sow.”
This “peace prayer” attributed to the 12th-century monk, Francis of Assisi, offers us a scriptural alternative to our culture’s practice of retaliation and retribution.
Lord, make us instruments of Thy peace. Continue reading