Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Power of Words

You may remember the old childhood idiom, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." Well, it wasn't true then and it is not true now. Words are a powerful force in our private lives and in the world community. Most organizations, especially those that are political have "Spin Doctors" who each day crank out voluminous amounts of verbiage to reinforce their agenda. One of the things that they have found is that if you push your point long enough and hard enough it will be believed, whether it is true or not.

Words are powerful tools and knowledge it power. Down through the ages, God's Word has been a powerful tool, and still is. People like Wycliffe and Tyndale believed so strongly in the truth of God's Word that they payed the ultimate price to see that God's Word was placed into the hands of everyone, and not just those who were in power. Tyndale, speaking to someone in power once said, "If God spares my life, I will see to it that the boy who drives the plowshare knows more of the scripture than you, Sir."

I recently read two phrases, contrasting words, and they have stuck with me. I don't know the source of either but they are powerful words of truth.

"You might not be what you think you are, But what you think - you are."

"Know God, Know Peace - No God, No Peace."

In a world that is struggling between Chaos and Peace, and seems to be heading more toward Chaos than Peace, there is a great need for "The Word" that can bring a Peace that is beyond our understanding.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dealing With The Symptoms

The events of yesterday in Boston illustrate a point on the gun control issue that is not being discussed. In the U.S., we are treating the symptoms and not the problem. Israel security has  said this for sometime. When a crazed gunman kills a group of people we propose gun control. When the shoe bomber tried to blow up a plane, airport security started making us take off our shoes. When liquid explosives were found, we started limiting size of containers. On and on we go, treating the symptoms and not dealing with the problem. We are not profiling because it is politically incorrect, not dealing with mental health issues, not dealing with violence on TV, movies, and video games, not securing our borders, and not ensuring surety of punishment for crimes. We don't have a shoe problem, a liquid explosive problem, a bomb problem a gun problem, or pressure cooker problem, we have a VIOLENCE problem. We need to take a look at the problem, not the symptoms. You can take away everything a man has that might be used for a weapon and if there is violence in a man's heart he will use his bare hands to do violence. It reminds me of one of Murphy's Laws. It is hard to make anything fool proof because fools are such ingenious people. They will find someway to do violence. Pray for our nation, pray that God will reach the hearts of mankind

Monday, April 08, 2013

Christianty Under Attack

In recent days there have been several comments in the media about groups who are challenging traditional Christian values and ethics. Challenging the values on sex, marriage, and life that have shaped our the rules and guidelines our culture has used since it's inception.

Recently a pastor visited a church in Cuba and told the pastor of the church that "I am praying that the Lord will take  away the persecution of the church." To which the pastor replied, "Don't do that, it is through the persecution that the church has grown and prospered. I am praying that the Lord will bring persecution to the church in the United States."  It brought to mind a quote from Billy Graham, "Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity." The church throughout history has made it's greatest strides during difficult days. 

A positive look at the situation is that, in a day when difficulties seem to be coming to the church, persecution can be a good thing- the awakening of the church. 

Friday, January 08, 2010

ELVIS' 75th Birthday

It is hard to believe that today is Elvis' 75th Birthday. It brings back many memories of growing up in Memphis when Cotton was still king and Elvis was still in the building. My first memory of Elvis was when a girl down the street had a black and white picture of Elvis and I asked, "who is that?" She said "Elvis" and my reply was "Elvis who?" I prefer to remember the Elvis of those days, when he was young and thin, and so was I, and could still be seen around town. When I was in Junior High school, my English teacher told about him running into the shoe store she was in to get away from the girls who were chasing him and how he apologized to everyone in the store for the inconvenience and "what a fine young man he was." I remember going up to Graceland a few days after he bought the house long before the stone fence was built. Also, saw him on Bellevue Blvd. (now Elvis Presley Blvd) riding on his Harley. I remember three rock and roll stations in Memphis during those days, WHBQ, WMPS, & WHHM and listening to Elvis songs. Remember the full page Christmas Card each year in the Commercial Appeal. "Merry Christmas from Elvis and the Colonel." Elvis still holds a special place in the hearts of the people of Memphis and they don't like to hear any bad comments about the King. Those are great memories and like life things have changed, but the memories are sweet, maybe sweeter than they really were, but they were great. Happy Birthday Elvis! Thank You, Thank You Very Much!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I have been reading from the writings of C.S. Lewis on "The Problem of Pain." Kind of a downer of a subject but one that is a reality in all of our lives, and if you have not experienced it as yet hang on it is coming. The first thing we think of is physical pain, like the time I fell backward in the boat and landing on my left arm. That was a painful experience that stayed with me a long time and just moving my arm brought back the pain. But, physical pain is not the only pain that comes to us in life, even more crippling is emotional pain.

We seem to get along dealing with difficulty as long as we are in control but when we are out of control is when pain comes. When we have everything we need, we don't think much about the Lord and when our hands are full there is no room for the Lord. As Lewis points out, our relationship with the Lord is like a pilot with a parachute. It is good to have but we hope we don't ever need to use it.

Is the Lord the first thing on our list of "stuff" or just something we pack in case we need Him? If He is the first thing on our list then the other things will not be as important or as painful if they are lost.

"Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness..."

Friday, May 15, 2009


I have some observations based on many years of growing and mowing grass. It all started as a kid when I had the job of mowing grass with a reel type mower (no motor) in the summertime in Memphis, TN with 90 degrees and 90+ percent humidity. It was a pain and my dad told me to have the yard cut when he got home from work. Well I moaned and groaned all day long and ran and cut the yard just minutes before he got home. Trimming and edging was also fun, no power tools just hand power. Mowing with the reel type mower, which is good for ecology, but that left the Bahia grass shoots uncut and it had to be done with a hand blade. When anything related to the yard comes with power I get it, and if you can ride on it that is even better.

I have planted grass, plugged the yard, sprayed, fertilized, put in a sprinkler system myself and done all you can do to get rid of chickweed, dollar weed, crabgrass, sand spurs, dandelions, johnson grass, mole crickets, chinch bugs, and sod web worms, on and on, and yet when you let down your guard for a few days they are back with a vengeance. Add to that the pressure of neighbors who manicure their yard and that I have done this for over 50 years and you will have some idea of the pressure I am under.

Sometimes it is overwhelming especially when I see my OCD neighbor looking at my yard and shaking his head. Then the guilt builds up and I am back at it again. Thankfully in my study of scripture I see no indication that there will be grass mowing in heaven. There, I got that off my chest, now I have to go mow the yard.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I recently read a blog about the subject Lifelong Learning and it brought a number of things to mind. I was reminded of many years ago when I began college and met with the chairman of the Sociology department about my major. He was an older man who was getting ready to retire and obviously had not kept up with what was going on in his field. I right then and there vowed not to let that happen to me. Now I have retired and believe that I have honored that commitment.

There are two perks of retirement that I have availed myself of. In the state of Tennessee when you reach 65 you can get a permanent fishing license and you can audit college courses at state schools free. I quickly took advantage of both. I am now taking all the history courses that the community college in our area offers. The first course I took was world history. The young people in the class could not figure out what I was doing there, and not long after the semester began the young lady next to me said, "Why are you here?" I told her I was retired and had always had an interest in history, to which she replied, "When I get out of here I am not coming back." She then said, "Why don't you play golf or something?" I told her that I did some of that. She then suggested that I get a puzzle. To which I replied, "I am not ready for that, yet." I then told her that I hated to break it to her but, learning is a lifelong process.

Learning is a lifelong process and here are some suggestions about the process. Keep up with the field of work that you chose for a career. Read what is happening in that field, even when you retire. Don't just sit down when you retire, develop new interests and try new things. Read, Read, Read, use the computer to keep up with the world around you and the technology that is available. Take advantage of educational opportunities and seminars in the community. Travel, see parts of the world that you have never seen before and study up on the places you go. One of the real joys that I have found is genealogy and have traced my family all the way back to Europe in the 1300's. Contribute to the community that you are a part of. Since I retired I have become involved in Chaplaincy at the hospital and with Hospice and find that it is very fulfilling. Get out there and do something.

That is the way I see it from my side of the road.