Saturday, April 20, 2019

It Doesn't Stop

Day 40 Doxology:  Well, another year of praise God moment through the season of Lent.  I can't help but to think of the years of looking for God and that special moment of praise, and all the very special people that commented, were inspired, and strengthened me to continue searching for that special moment!

Today, I share my moments of praise with many the people in my church and community, and my personal family.

I praised God with my church family and community in the celebration of a Seder meal.  The image you see is the gym full of people tell the story of God and God's people over through the years acted out in bitter herbs, scripture, communion, and dancing.  There was a great meal and tons of helping disciples in service.  And, I got to share all of that with my immediate family.

J-3 and her roomy, Charlee, came home from school to spend Easter weekend with us.  It's funny how much a blessing it was to see her room so messy the moment she entered the house!  So, J-3 made the blog!  She came in just under the wire to make this dad say praise God.

So whether we've share praise God moments together this year or last, maybe even that first year a long time ago...thank you!  Just like Easter would be pointless with Jesus; these blogs would be nothing without each of you!  I Praise God for so much and it doesn't stop at Easter!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Holy Ground

Day 39 Doxology: This image was shared with me, and I cannot got it off my mind...not for what you see but what it represents.

This is the entrance to a friend's parent's property.  When his dad got sick, friends rallied around him in support for his lengthy battle with healing.  Some days were better than others.  Some days were unbearable, but he never failed to praise God through it all.  He was witness like I've never seen before.

If you have land in the south, you most likely have had to deal with a "No Trespassing" sign at some point. People have a way of wandering onto your property and often fail to take care of your land like you would.  They might try to hunt not knowing how close they might be to your home or family.  They seem to always leave trash or other evidence of their invasion.  But then there are your friends.

When the sickness was diagnosed, his church family and friends rallied around him and placed the sign "Holy Ground" at the gated entrance.  This sign was to remind everyone that on Holy ground anything can happen.

This weekend is Easter, and many people will come to our church's entrances looking for signs!  What will they see?  Will they see signs that remind them that they need permission to infringe on the space of others, or will they see signs that say this is Holy Ground and here is where anything is possible!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Can I Get An Amen?

Day 35 Doxology:  Some things transcend an image of an extreme high point of one's day.  Things like the smell after the rain that reminded you of a time you were excitedly waiting to go out and play as a child; the memory of old friendship and the high-points of your life that you share together; the way you felt while you stared at your sleeping child and realized that there will never be a more peaceful image.  How about, when your daughter writes a newsletter article about you and God at the church she serves in San Antonio?

Today was full of close to God moments or praises, but none were equal to the "Praise God" moment I received when J-1 forwarded her church's newsletter article to her mom.

As parents age, or at least as I get older, I think back and ponder on the things I could have done better...I ask myself, was I too hard on my children, did I work too much, did I teach them everything they will need in life?  I have a ton of questions none of which are greater than will they remain in relationship with God?  I just didn't want to mess up ministry for them.

Another high priority for me is will they think I was a good dad!  I love my dad, and he did everything I mentioned earlier, and I look back at our relationship, and I am certain that he was a great dad with high ethics and morals, and most importantly...he loved me!

So, it is highly important that my girls know that I love them!  And, in their own way I am proud of who they are, and who they are becoming!  I am the luckiest dad in the world, and if they only remember the good stuff, and forget my failures then I am the luckiest dad alive!  Tonight, I praise God for J-1, for who she is, and who she has become, and the great work God is doing through her!  Can I get an Amen?!?!?

Monday, April 15, 2019

Don't Waste the Beauty!

Day 34 Doxology: I love this time of year.  Everything is coming alive, the colors are vibrant and rich.  However, it seems like the colors of the prettiest foliage does not last.

A few mornings ago, I was met with the Azalea Bushes outside our home coming alive to meet spring. It was like they bloomed over-night, and in my surprise, I think I uttered a quick "Praise God" in respect of their beauty. Then my next thought was how long will their beauty last?  It was almost like I couldn't enjoy the birth of their beauty for the dread of their death. Now we all know the bush doesn't die, but the flowers of the Azalea are short lived.  It's not long before they darken up, dry up, and fall off.  What's left is just a bush.

It made me think about this time of year, more precisely Holy Week. What if we approached our love of Christ with the same attitude that I used to view my Azalea Bushes.  What if the beauty of our relationship with Jesus was shortened by the realization that he was born to die!

Praise God!  Praise God that His love for me was so great that He wants my eternal focus to be on more about life than death, and praise God that He has made that life possible!  Don't waste the beauty for fearing the death!  He has risen, he has risen indeed!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Appreciation -Both Ways

Day 31 Doxology: Tonight was a serious Praise God moment for many reasons.  Tonight Bill and I were honored to be invited to The Gideon's International's annual Pastor's Appreciation Dinner.  The food is always better than good, the speakers are always entertaining and informative, and the fellowship is always supreme!
Shannon even found out that she went to high school with one of the speaker's daughter and taught his grand-daughters.  Small world!

When the Gideon's share all the great work that they do.  For instance, it is amazing that they print their NT Bibles in well over 100 different languages.  Additionally, they are working on their 3rd billion of printed copies.  The seed was planted for the Gideon's ministry in 1898, and have been an extension of the church all over the world.  They have worked incredibly hard to make this a smaller world so that the Kingdom of God can be larger, but tonight the emphasis was the pastors!

Isom's Chapel has a proud history with The Gideon's and tonight it showed.  So, this group is my doxology for today.  They fed Bill, myself and our spouses, then they praised us and prayed over us!  It's a great evening of appreciation -both ways!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Love Regardless!

Day 29 Doxology:  Today's doxology is enough to make the most bold person misty-eyed.

Our very own IMS (Isom's Mission Society) ventured to Birdie Thornton Center for our annual service opportunity.  I cannot tell you what a blessing this brief time with the Birdie residents is for me.  Many of you know that I have cousins that are handicap and over the years I have grown to love what it is they teach me about myself and others!

At the center, our role is simple...have a great time!  That I can do, right!  We feed them a snack, sing to them and with them, all while a puppet show is being hi-lighted! Here is what has grown as a huge attraction over these 2 short years with my appointment with Isom's Chapel and our time with Birdie -Alabama Football!  It's silly to think about how attracted they have become to Alabama football.  In many ways, regardless of their handicap, they are no different than you or me!  Except maybe in one way -unconditional love!

If you don't love Alabama football it's not a deal breaker, if you love Auburn you still yell "Roll Tide" when prompted.  If you are an Alabama Fan, you yell "War Eagle" when prompted!  They seem to just love...regardless!  Like my cousins, they could teach us something about ourselves and others, don't you think?
They remind us that we were given a more simplified plan to the gospel?  I think that is what Jesus presented...the rich young ruler asked, what must I do, and we could all hear Jesus say, hang on!  It's crazy simpler than is what I think you should remember..."Love God, and Love Neighbor!"  For the devout Jew this statement satisfied all the commandments, for both you and me it includes everything thing we need!  Love...regardless!

Every year with Birdie, our final song is Lee Greenwood, God Bless the USA.  It comes with a standing ovation, hand on heart, sung at the top of their voice.  They are proud Americans, could we learn something yet again?

I pray that I can love unconditionally like the residence of Birdie Thornton.  I pray I grow enough to care for my brother or sister and their love of their college's fight song enough to sing it with them.  I pray that at the end of the day, I can be united just like residents singing Lee Greenwood's "God Bless The USA!"  I pray, I can Love Regardless!  Praise Be to God!

Monday, April 8, 2019

God Speaks!

Day 28 doxology:  This blog comes on the heels of a break from my `doxology post and this weekend's worship!  Which is amusing...doxologies shouldn't be something that deserves a break if you do not feel God speak!!

This morning I kissed my wife goodbye for work and then went about my day.  Between you and me. I couldn't delete the smell of our morning, and our kick-start day's kiss.  In light of our mornings, I cannot omit the passion that is smothered by the demand of week-day work.  In the end our of week, our love is stronger than ever!

I realize this could be perceived as a lot of puff to distract from our goal..a 'Praise to God" moment to share with others!

Here it is...I am a pastor.  We are privilege to live in a parsonage provided by the church I serve.  We are blessed!  Hear me say...we are blessed!  Also, hear me say I am blessed!

I am blessed because of the yin and yang of my life -My wife.  She tolerates the duties in my life that I cannot. In return, I happily do the things in our life that she cannot, yet it always works!  Yet, WE always work!

Today's doxology image is an image of Jonesy resolving a need...

Parsonage life can be uncomfortable with a difficult church. However, Isom's Chapel has been anything but, we love our home and our church!  Even if you have a great relationship between church and family...needs arise.

Today image reflects a small example of those needs!  I'll say there is an underestimation of the role of our help-mates! We have replace the door-knobs that we inherited and happy to do so!  My thoughts are...Shannon painted and then changed out the door knobs to match the kitchen cabinets and an over-all deco presentation.  It's a picture that I wouldn't get...unless?

Unless she replaced the scripture given to us from the door-hanger from Jeremiah 33:3, Call to me, and I will answer you!

1)The scripture helps us thru our needs.
2) My wife is so eager to do...

I want to say this...listen and you might hear God speak...then we will sing, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow..."