Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Basket of Sugary Love

Day 39 Doxology:  My final doxology post for this Lenten season may very well be my best. Certainly, it's my favorite.  The amazing Summit family was thoughtful enough to give me and my family an amazing surprise.  Words can't express the love I felt as I heard my daughter scream (she was the first one in the room) "Deddy!"  Then I heard her say, "They don't think you're fat enough?"  I'll get her for the fat thing, but the surprise I received was the most thoughtful thing I've experienced in a long time.  An assortment of candy (really good candy) in our own Easter Basket.  Did you know they make gummy Sweet-Tarts? That is stinking amazing!  And, tonight I get to rest my head on pillows that had a message taped to them, "God Bless the head that sleeps here!"  What better gift could anyone receive? Thanks everyone for accepting The Jones, warts and all!  This Easter is going to be the best yet!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Do Over

Day 38 Doxology:  This picture taken on Hwy 168 headed to the church this morning reminded me of a couple of things: 1) it reminded me of the anticipation of Easter Sunrise at Mabry's Overlook that is celebrated by The Summit every year, and also 2) I am reminded how fresh our "new start" is every morning. We get to start "anew" every morning...basically, a do over!  How many of us have begged for a do over at some point in our life.  As it turns out, God has been giving us a do over every day, and the sunrise is the gift that ushers it in.

Friday, March 22, 2013

God Alive in Our World

Day 32 Doxology:  Well, the count down continues, and while it continues, I am reminded what a blessing this Lenten discipline has been and why.  Let me explain...I good friend sent me a link for a video today, and he wasn't kidding...It was amazing.  It's one of those moments when you are aware that you'll never be the same because of what you've seen and heard. You pause, and you tell yourself you never want to forget what you've just witnessed and how it made you feel.  This video is truly a doxology moment because of the way it explains God's beauty captured on film. I would love to describe the video, but I can't...I feel like if I came up with the words I thought might come close to a description...the words would just dilute it's meaning.

I will, however, post the link, but first the disclaimer!  At the 42sec point of the roughly 10min documentary there is man jumping into the water (a pond or lake, ext., etc.) and there is a bit (Really, 2 sec. worth) of his bare bottom shared.  However, if you can get past that...then the rest of the movie is incredible.  In knowing about the "bare bottom" and you think you would still like to see the's the link.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Joyful Noise

Day 31 Doxology:  Nearing the end of my Lenten devotion discipline, and it's never been more fun listening and recognizing God at work in my life.  Today's doxology is getting in touch with my sensitive's a movie that really moved me in an unusual way. I couldn't quit smiling. I had real joy!  the movie is called "Joyful Noise" and it's about a church in a small town that has little to be joyful about -the town and it's citizens. This church has a choir that competes every year with other choirs with limited success.  The climax of the movie is their coming of age.  It was special.  I've included the link so that you can see the final competition scene.  Although, It might not be as impressive unless you know the story-line.  It really is a joyful noise!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Coveted Tourney of Life

Day 30 Doxology: I don't know why this is my day's doxology.  I think it's because of the excitement of trying to predict the ultimate pyramid scheme.  The funny thing is...I do not even care for basketball during the regular season (Outside Alabama Basketball).  Maybe my interest in March's coveted "Tourney" is the importance of every game...playing every game like it's your last.  Maybe that is the lesson...maybe we should live and love like every day is our last!  What if we had brackets for life?  Ecc. 3:12

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Three Cheers for Edison!

Day 29 Doxology:  Well, there wasn't a 28th doxology thanks to straight-line winds or something.  We just recently got our power back on and not a moment too soon.  I'm old enough that I remember a time when the power wasn't as dependable...however, my girls have never known of a time without...well, anything.  I could share many doxology moments but this one is special.  This one is a hint of why my children make me laugh even when they don't remember a time when life was simpler...a time when the family seemed stronger.  The picture I'm sharing with you is a note written by J-2 regarding an evening without TV, computer, cellphone, even lights, and her fear of simplicity.  I thank God for my entire family and their individual characteristics. Proverbs 27:10

Saturday, March 16, 2013

In the Past

Day 27 Doxology:  Yes, Day 27.  if you're counting I've skipped Day 26-not by design.  I could've posted Day 26.  I woke up early, spent an hour, or so, on a conference call, read, journaled, read, went to the hot tub, read, did something for my daughter, hot tub, read, watched Alabama beat Tenn, hot tub, spent time with family, ate late, and went to bed on a full stomach vowing to lose weight.  I awoke this morning replaying yesterday in my head finding many holes in my day that I could have praised God...but, I didn't.  So, today's "doxology" is a reminder that God is not a God of the past but in the now.  Let the dead bury the dead, I'm done with worrying about what I could have done and past failures, and Today I'm making the most of what God has given me today. Matthew 6:26

Thursday, March 14, 2013

It's the Buddy System

Day 25 Doxology:  Wow! What an almost week?  I've had an amazing day (Still on cold medicine, but great still)!  My daughter (J-1) was inducted into the National Honor Society with 52 others from her grade. That's out of a class of 130..that's 40.7% inductees.  Great job class of 2014! I've had the pleasure of watching several classes over the years, and it never ceases to amaze me that if a class is excelling academically then the grade is usually excelling "as a grade."  J-1's grade is one of the smartest classes that I can remember in years.  It's true "iron sharpens iron..." Proverbs 27:17

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ok Ready, No Wait?

Day 24 Doxology: Thank you Jesus!  Ok, I'm out of words. Wonder why? Act 19:32, I guess?

"Do Better?"

Day 23.5 Doxology:  Ok, so I failed!  Yesterday was spent over medicated on Musinex.  So, when I woke up at 1:47am this morning and realized that I had blew God off for a day, I was not too proud of my Lenten Discipline.   An apology is extended to my faith community and to God and a promise to do better..."do better?"...It reminds me of Psalm 89:28

Monday, March 11, 2013

Life-Giving Gifts

Day 22 Doxology: Today, I had to think about life giving gifts.  We all can expect a pastor to start reeling off a list of "Life Giving Gifts."  However, my day was spent recognizing God's gifts of science and technology while I hurried-up and waited at UAB Hospital.  The occasion-my ninth grade English teacher, and life-long family friend, received a much needed kidney-a life giving gift.  Today, I celebrate the hospital, and those that dedicate their life to their God-given calling of service to others...I celebrate those that unselfishly give the gift of life.  Thanks be to God!  Romans 12:1

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sharing God's Praise

Day 21 Doxology: I will admit that until I received a video text from the traveling Lady Summiteers, I had a lock on today's doxology.  I'll still include my previous choice because it's great advertisement for tomorrow's Summit Luncheon.  However, after receiving the video text, I had to smile because God is faithful. The video text is from our Smokey Mountain correspondences. They have discerned that God is alive and well in nature...I have discerned that recognizing and looking for God is contagious.  Thank you ladies for the gift!  It makes me think about 2 Corinthians 9:13

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sushi, Chicken Wings, and Fried Shrimp

Day 20 Doxology: I ate lunch today at a local Chinese Buffet and had my usual-Too Much!  When I noticed my plate, I had to laugh.  I thought, at that time, how great is it to be so cultured in the south that I could have Sushi, chicken wings, and fried Shrimp on the same plate.  The picture that I've included is minus the fried Shrimp-somethings just do not stick around long.  With all that said the day wore on, and tonight Shannon and I watched a movie that included the horrific conditions of being a Polish Jew in WWII.  During the movie this picture sickened me a bit.  I wonder if my generation could be surveyors of anything but "our needs."  I would be wise to remember Philippians. 4:11

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Living in a Bubble

Day 19 Doxology: Today was different.  I'm not going to say that is was joyless, but what was present was the hurt from so many around me.  Within 2 days 4 deaths have touched those that I care for deeply.  You can image that the desire to take a doxology picture was difficult.  So, to deviate from the plan a bit I am sharing a picture from a couple of days ago. It is a picture of my daughter creating a huge bubble with soap suds.  It proved to be a great distraction.  Of all my days experiences...this made me smile.  Shouldn't that enough?  Psalm 126:5

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

"I'll Be There For You"

Day 18 Doxology: We forget how our friends move us. Tonight I preached for a colleague at a different church, and like mice my friends covertly made their way in the sanctuary. Facing embarrassment they unapologetically took their seat in support. These loyal two make me a better person, and because of their sincerity they are Christ to me. I apologize in advance for my picture, but I didn't ask their permission for their personal picture and the horse is just plain cool! Their friendship reminds me of John 15:13

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Little Things

Day 17 Doxology:  I promise...God is never more clear than in the simplest of things.  Let me explain, my wife loves our hot tub time each night just before bed.  Lately, I've had the thing apart with multiple problems it would seem.  I can just about build a new by now, and almost did.  Tonight the "man in brown" delivered the part I needed.  So, I crimped on a couple of female fittings, hooked them up, reset a few mistakes, and walla! It seems to be heating.  It may be in the 70's now, but it's on its way to 103.  I'm going to be Shannon's hero tonight!  It reminds me of Zec. 4:10a, ""Who dares despise the day of small things..."

Monday, March 4, 2013

True Doxology

Day 16 Doxology: This morning I awoke to the news that a child was cured of HIV.  Then I was pressed to hurry my own children up for school, step over their dirty clothes, and turn off all the lights that they left on after leaving later than they should've.  But, none of that dampened my joy.  I smiled right thru the morning thinking that this child didn't have to go thru life with the weight of HIV, and now I smile that other children will know real healing joy as well.  Accident?  I think not?  It's a true, real-to-life doxology day, and not just for me!  Psalms 100:1

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Past and Present

Day 15 Doxology: Well if you remember "Day 13 Doxology" was my reminiscing about past youth and their present achievements. Well, today they won!  I can't tell you how excited I was for them as the seconds counted down to a State Championship.  This is something they will share together forever. While thinking back, I remembered a time when they were lanky and shared goofy-like coordination.  It just makes me smile!  But, you know what else makes me smile? The hope of the "new!"  Today's doxology is as simple as a pan of cooked hotdogs with my Summit family.  It's cool how God can work magic when you mix grilled wieners, a bun, mustard, onions and sauerkraut.  Sitting around reliving the past will keep you in the past.  If we never accepted change, we would never win a State Championship...we would just remain lanky and goofy-like coordinated teenagers.  I can't wait to see what God has planned for us at The! And Congratulation OHS Lady-Skins! Isaiah 43:18-19

Friday, March 1, 2013

Our Portrait in Life

Day 14 Doxology:  The following picture hangs in the Mountain Lakes District office.  It was painted in 2008 and has many youth's names and their favorite scripture from our district.  I looked at the painting and I was able to pinpoint the names of my three daughters and also the names of several members of my youth program.  All of this would make me a bit misty-eyed on a normal day, but what I haven't shared 2nd daughter (J-2) painted the picture for the a district-wide meeting.  The "Cross and Flames" could be considered a portrait of the UMC. It is pretty awesome to look at the portrait of our life and see if it different than the portrait we think we present.  What, and who, do people see when they look at you?  Genesis 1:27

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Semi-finals of Life

Day 13 Doxology:  I can't believe it has been 13 days of this Lenten doxology, and this is the first time I've posted anything about my old youth.  Let me explain...many of the girls in my old youth group have made it to the final four at the BJCC.  It just makes me feel so happy for them.  It makes me think that this is a culmination of their hard work together.  It reminds me what we can do when we become one heartbeat working for the same thing.  Basically, it just makes me proud.  You know, like I had something to do with it...funny, I know!  They are incredible girls, but as important as this doesn't define them!  Win, or lose, they are so much more. 1 Corinthians 9:25

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Song and Scripture

Day 12 Doxology:  It seems like I have happened up on a children's theme for my thanks and praise to God lately.  Between Raigin's song of "rain" and "Jesus" and Andrew's scripture video, our children are making us look good.  Gandhi said to the parents of a village at war, "Learn from your children..."  Maybe Gandhi's right...we could stand to learn a few things.  Songs and scripture...this should be fun.  Matthew 18:3

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Heirs of God...

Day 11 Doxology:  I really do not have a picture for today's praise to God.  To be truthful it came to me in a text.  Raigin Franks allowed his mom to record a song that he had been singing.  The lyrics were "Rain came down, the Rain came down on the Lord, on the Lord..."  And it sounded great!  The funny thing is this isn't the first time that Raigin has made reference to God.  He has drawn me pictures, and written me notes about the God we worship on Sunday mornings.  As wonderful as each of these gifts were, maybe the greatest gift is the confirmation that Raigin is listening and learning.  What better gift could there be?  It reminds me of Romans 8:17

Monday, February 25, 2013

Piggly Post Office!

Day 10 Doxology: Today's Doxology moment came through a phone call. Interestingly enough, this person shared a great story with great enthusiasm.

The story goes like this...a Summit representative shopped at the Boaz Piggly Wiggly to find the best deal when an employee of P.W. approached this "Summit Rep" with a helpful heart.  A connection was instantly made, and hopefully this person will be forever likely linked to The Summit...Bravo everyone involved!

The connection of today's Doxology moment was as simple as this...I went into the Post Office in Oneonta and an attendant said, "I know you." I said immediately, "I'm sorry!"  She giggled (Sadly, out of respect and kindness) and then said, "you are the pastor at The Summit."

Now, I'm use to that in Albertville, but seldom do I get that kind of response in Oneonta, Al.  They usually say, You are the pastor at Lester (Short for Lester Memorial UMC- a previous appointment)?  I then reply with a longer than expected story of my appointment relocation (it's sad when you recognize it)!

This person shared that she had visited The Summit a couple of weeks ago and loved it. Way to go J. G.!  As she walked away she shared, "You know, the people were so nice there..."

These two stories made the most amazing God moments for my day...

Also, these two events happened within a couple of hours of each other...It reminded me how far God's reach can be if we choose to help...It reminded me of Dan. 4:11.  If we can remain connected to God... then we can be a conduit of love for our community.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

In Repair

Day 9 Doxology: This image greeted me this morning as I arrived shortly before 6:30am at the Sacred Heart Monastery in Cullman.  I could immediately hear John Mayer sing "In Repair" in my head as I saw the sign that reminded visitors that parts of the building/ grounds were under construction.  Mayer sings, "I'm in repair, I'm not together but I'm getting there." Isn't that a metaphor for our life?  The statue of Christ's open arms behind the sign is just a bonus. Eph. 4:24

Friday, February 22, 2013

God is With Us, Forever!

Day 8 Doxology:  Because of my adherence to this weekends Emmaus Walk at Sacred Heart Monastery, I have an almost continuance of yesterday's God moment.  It's probably because I am so in awe of elements of the monastic life idea.  In the foyer of this gothic architecture rest a 4x6 ft picture of this site around the late 40's, early 50's.  It reminds me of the ideology many feel regarding God. Whether we admit it we live our life as if God rest high on a throne ruling like some distant deity.  However, we have an advocate.  It reminds me of a Chris Tomlin song, "Forever God is faithful. Forever God is strong. Forever God is with us Forever, Forever."  Try reading Romans 5:5

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lasting Architecture, Timeless Words

Day 7 Doxology: Today I've stepped away from the usual, but don't blame me...blame God.  I'm working an Emmaus Walk with a new community at Sacred Heart Monastery-a beautiful architecture. This Emmaus Walk is filled with members of the protestant church, and yet, I was made to feel very welcome at this monastery of Benedictine Sisters.  Now, everything I'm sharing may seem negative or prejudice, on the contrary.  Every inch of my experience says...welcome.  This begs the question that I sat and pondered...Would our local best, and not so best, protestant churches provide as warm as the welcome that I received tonight?  In Sermon 39, John Wesley said, "Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may. Herein all the children of God may unite, notwithstanding these smaller differences." How far have we come? Wesley's scripture for this 1750 sermon was 2 Kings 10:15. What will last longer, Wesley's words or this 100+ year old structure?  One thing is for certain...both will take constant maintenance.  If left unattended they will both crumble and fall.  It looks like these Benedictine Sisters are doing pretty good.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lollipop Guild

Day 6 Doxology: Today's image is a little unorthodox. That's the disclaimer.  Here's what I want to long has it been since you laughed?  I mean really laughed? I'm lay down on the floor, laugh; to worry about your next breath, laugh; a face hurting laugh? A beautiful friend reminded me how important it is to laugh tonight.  And, not just to laugh, but to laugh at one's self.  According to many websites laughter has several health benefits.  Succinctly, as great as the health benefits are for the body...they could never compare to what laughter does for the soul.  I could never fully explain this picture within the context of our evening, but let's just say that I'm more healthy now than before.  Proverbs 16:24.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Tower of Babel...

Day 5 Doxology: We've only been on the Lenten path for 5 days, and I've already uploaded 2 videos.  My technological skills are amazing.  I guess, at whatever the level, my techno' skills would be considered a gift.  Today's video was my being in awe at the gifts of man.  This bridge opened Valentine's day after construction seemed to never end.  But, it did.  And, when it was amazing.  Mankind's ability to build is incredible!  For those that can build something out of nothing...I hope you give God thanks for your ability?  The fear is that what we build whether a bridge, a doughnut, a dress, even dressing becomes the recipient of our worship thereby diverting our real calling in life.  It reminds me of another story...Gen. 11:1-9

Monday, February 18, 2013

1st and 3rd In a Daughter Contest

Day 4 Doxology:  I had witnessed God throughout the day, but none of the images I prepared touched my heart like this image of J-1 and J-3.  I like to think of it as 1st and 3rd in a daughter contest.  It reminds me just how unique we are. It reminds me of Jeremiah 1:5

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Love of the "AB"normal

Day 3 Doxology: I went thru the day, and I noticed God everywhere. I sorted thru mental images like the one of the worn coloring book stashed behind a Hymnal at Skyler's grandmother's funeral, or the largest sunset I've felt in months, maybe years. But, I always kept coming back to the first selfish image of the day...J-1 and her friends eating breakfast that I cooked, after pulling an all night movie marathon. I pray that I get to cook many more breakfast that fill the room with the sound of laughter and the smell of bacon. Laughter is contagious and the bacon...well, it's just good. Then I found myself at Luke 1:17.


Birds of a Feather...

Day 2 Doxology: I pulled off the road in Gadsden and took a picture of this tree. It seems like such a contrast between life and death. I immediately thought about God and how God is at work even if we are not paying attention. How many vehicles passed by this same image of creation and never gave it a second thought? It reminded me of Matthew 6:26!

The Rhythm of Life

Day 1 Doxology: As's Doxology moment. This video is of the girls in my life in harmonious could a father want anything more? (John 11:52)

Lent 2013

I want this year’s Lent to really open my eyes to God.  I want to become more aware of God at work in and through me.  So, my plan is to find God throughout the day, take a picture and share my observation and conversation-my observation of God at work usually going unnoticed, and my conversation with God and the way my attention was gained.  My hope is that it will get easier and easier to find God's daily presence and notice less of myself.  Wish me luck!