Thursday, February 26, 2015

All Dressed Up...

The month and a half we have been confined to the house watching reruns of West Wing while precip rains down outside.  I loved West Wing the first time...the second time...let's just say I'm a little tired of the Dem's White Hiuse control during the 1999-2002 seasons.  Maybe, I'm just tired of eating and being confined to the house.

Today, I burst from the house to roll snow in a ball as J-3 shaped the snow into Frosty.  Today's Doxology is the promise of tomorrow.  However, I join so many Alabamain's with cabin fever and the over-pressing feeling that we are "All Dressed Up With No Place To Go" a lot like Frosty, but even Frosty will soon be gone. Good!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Unbridled Joy

Day 7 Doxology:  I'm posting today's Doxology from my phone...So, there should be an error curve!

Today, as can be imagined, precip has a part to play in my Doxology moment.  However, as exciting as 5+ inches of winter-bliss can be for is the joy of a teenager that makes me smile the most!

It has been years since I sang the song based on Nehemiah 8, "The joy of the LORD is my strength."  However, for some spirit-filled moment, I thought of it today.  My daughters made me think of God in a way that I had forgotten.

As the snow came down Jamie and Jessie's excitement grew exponentially...while Jackie was Alabama only receiving rain in disappointment.  It made me we have the same excitement about life and does God receive so much joy witnessing our excitement?  Sometimes, as a parent, my greatest joy is knowing my children are exceedingly happy!  This snow has brought me great joy, but for reasons you can't imagine...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Jalapeño Life

Day 6 Doxology:  This doxology recant really is a moment of my life that happens over and over.  Before I really is an extension of Pam Gilliland's Lenten Devotion if you're keeping score...Accord to Pam and Psalm 105 our mind is to seek God's face always!  This is convenient at times and inconvinent at other times...other than that, it is advised...

The problem of seeing God is recognizing God in the smallest of things.  Sometimes it means a blurring of God verses Us.

I argue that God can be found in the smallest of every action...tonight, I witnessed a transition...just like the transition God saw in me- a chance to spice things up a bit!

Tonigh,t my family witnesses an act that they have witnessed many times...I cut jalapeños for my hummus.  Like me, there was an old unspiced me...then there was life and flavor!  God is our spice of life and we don't need to "stake our happiness on people and things but on the presence of God in our life!"  Thank you Pam for the reminder...

Doxology Delayed

Day 5 Doxology (Delayed): What a day!  Have you had one of those days when you witnessed God at work throughout the day, but you seldom paused to acknowledge the splendor of the moment?  That was yesterday -sadly.

The testimony is simple...we can be doing everything we can to call out the good and perfect will of God at work throughout our day and even miss the opportunity to stop and give praise.  You could write a blog during Lent with the sole purpose of pausing, describing, and sharing God's praise moments and fail.  The testimony of the human condition is that we attempt to do the will of God and our humanism becomes dominant -sad!

I spent my day doing "the next thing".  You know, the day where you feel like your constantly trying to catch up.  A day when you make the most of that a day and part of the human condition spills over into the next.  That was my day.

After a few meetings, phone calls, paperwork and paperwork (not a typo), administrative council prep, administrative council meeting, and drive home before reading 200 pages of a book that was for a morning meeting with the day spilled over into the next.  In fact when it came to a close...I thought it was a true doxology not even thinking about taking the time to write my doxology moment.  So, my doxology from yesterday really happened this morning when I went to bed knowing that God would still love me even if I didn't post my moment of praise.

I recognize that this is not that touchy-feely post that you were hoping for, but it dawned on me that so much of life isn't.  Life happens and consumes more of us than we can give before God can regain our attention.  This is a picture of the moment of praise in question....and not a second too late!  That is one "Sharp" clock!

Saturday, February 21, 2015


Day 4 Doxology: God has really been showing me the growth of His people lately...Maybe not in myself based on yesterday's Doxology post, but certainly in others!

Have you noticed that our youth today jumble their communication with the over-use of like?  It makes my daughters steam when I stop them mid-sentence because of their like abuse!  Today I watched many from The Summit spend their freezing-wet Saturday in service.  As I watched them run around like little worker bees I said to myself...I Like It!  If you'll noticed I used the like correctly in the sentence.

I serve two churches -Julia Street Memorial UMC , Boaz, Alabama and The Summit UMC, Albertville, Alabama separated by only a few miles.  Julia Street has for years operated a Food Pantry on the 3rd Saturday of each month (Today) as a ministry to our communities.  Sometimes we serve up to 300 plus people an average of 130 families.  Today, because of the frozen roads we only served 37 families.  In fact, we almost had more help than we had people that needed help.

The Summit UMC is a relatively new church with young families learning how to be disciples (Not that Julia Street has it figured out), but then again aren't we all?  We have a growing children's ministry with an intentional curriculum that builds on the previous year learning.  We are learning our DNA for small groups and finding how to get more and more of our families involved.   Sometimes it seems like it is harder than it should be.  We are in the process of altering our missions/ outreach team to put more of the personal heartbeat for missions/ outreach within the small groups.  We found this adds to the intimacy and connectivity of the group in service.  One of our Summit Small Groups have partnered with Julia Street and pumped life back into an exhausted ministry.  They are today's doxology as they worked tirelessly, on a frozen Saturday when most people wanted stay home, to serve both another church and people in the community in need!  It's LIKE the Church!

Friday, February 20, 2015


Day 3 Doxology:  Sometimes the things we think, do, and say are backwards.  This morning, I was 5 minutes late meeting my friend at the Gym for our elliptical workout (at 5:25am what's five minutes, right?).  We usually set up our machine for 45mins with a 5 minute cool-down.  Since I was running late, Tracy told me to set up for a 43 minute workout and "try to catch up!"

The background is simple...I always beat her on calories burned (Because, I'm fatter than she is), and she manages to beat me on distance.  To bang out 4 miles is good for her, and I typically reach 3.8 or 3.9 never making the much coveted "4 miles"...until today!

Tracy went 50 minutes for 4.2 miles -not her best, but good even by her standards.  I went 48 minutes for 4.56 mile...that was 4.56!  She was completely broken hearted not knowing how I could have beat her on distance and in less time...that was in less time!  I simply told her "God is good!"  I didn't hear her say, "All the time!"

It's funny I know, now that I have reach premier-athlete status, that I can now point to heaven and say, "To God be the Glory!"  I never remember looking over at Tracy's screen for her mileage and say, "Thank you Jesus for letting this mother of 3 boys beat my brains in on this elliptical!"  It just seems that I'm backwards in my thinking or thanking!

You might be asking, "So, where is the doxology?"

After lunch I stopped by Walmart (This is not an advertisement) before heading home.  After getting out of my car, I noticed Tracy's Ford something or other with the dust covered rear window!  Here comes the doxology moment...I stood at the back of her car/SUV and raised both hands to GOD and sang "God is so good, God is so good!"  I caught a full stare by more than one person.  You see, I correctly gave God thanks "before" the blessing was received...I had learned my lesson from this morning!  With the tip of my pointer finger covered in road film I continued to whistle with joy!  This is the image of why I sang praises to God and why this moment became my 3rd Lenten doxology of 2015.

I won't share with you the text she sent after heading home!  Even our smallest of blessings can be backwards!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Show Us The Way

Day 2 Doxology: Today's doxology moment is a no-brainer.  This little girl is Christ to me.  She always makes me feel like I am so special.  Isn't that what Christ does?  Maybe not when we first meet Him.  Not at first...when we see that we are not who we can be (should be), but after we are in His presence for a while.  We learn that we can do anything.

We can overcome addictions, we can mend broken relationships, we can repair most anything that we've worked so hard to destroy.  Christ is more than a carpenter...He is the reminder of all things that are important -to love like a child!

I think I want to be more like this little angel that smiles at me when she sees me from her class, laughs at my jokes, and doesn't see my imperfections.  Because she reminds me that David Wilcox wrote a song that said, "Though in this darkness love can show the way."  If life was a would be the main has to be the main character in the play of life!  Wouldn't you agree?  It's time to be the church to the world -love like a child!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Heebie Jeebies

Day 1 Doxology:  Another year of doxology discipline....and I can't think of another way to begin my 40 days of doxologies than with Ash Wednesday -a doxology within a doxology.  I worry if I can fully share my thoughts to relay how humble I feel to be a part of this growing Summit tradition.  However, I have to try.

After the Greeting, Scripture, Homily, Invitation To The Observation Of Lenten Discipline, Thanksgiving Over The Ashes, then Imposition of Ashes (Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return!) I returned next to my wife for a closing hymn. Looking at our Praise Team lead us in the final hymn, I couldn't help but notice the mark of Ash Wednesday on their foreheads.  I just felt so thankful that we would always be linked because of what we share and have shared together.  The same Christ that saves brought me to The Summit to love all over my Summit brothers and sisters.  How could I have experienced the last 5 years any other way?  I will never forget that picture, and so many others, that shares the essence of life within the church -Doxology Day 1a!

Day 1b Doxology:  As I stopped singing and soaked up every minute of what I was seeing...I looked down at my hands.  I was overwhelmed with compassion for my church family and God.  God, because He would trust me enough to represent Him to His people.  My church family, because they trusted me enough to share in this moment.

After our Ash Wednesday Service I spent some time talking with good friends.  We laughed together as "Sweet K" issued a Public Service Announcement: it was incredibly hard for her to let someone put anything on her face, let alone Ashes!  I laughed slightly and told her how impressed I was that she trusted me enough to receive her cross.  What I didn't share was I know exactly how she feels.

It is so hard for me, for a lack of better words, to have my hands dirty.  Before you point and yell "Pretty Boy," hear me out!  It's hard for me to imagine digging in dirt with just my hands...all I can think of is fingernails clawing in dirt.  Weird, I know but very real nevertheless!  So, to the doxology point...the common denominator is Jesus!

"Sweet K" was willing to fight through her heebie jeebies for some Jesus, and I was willing to fight through my heebie jeebies to share some Jesus!  So, I guess the doxology bottom line is boundaries can be overcome with some Jesus -a great lesson for the world if only they will listen!