Saturday, March 31, 2018


Day 39/40 Doxology:  Hey!  No one noticed I got off count!

So, this season of Lenten doxologies ends as it began...with the help-mate God gave me to traverse life.   We have this joke in our house about Shannon's alter-ego named "Vacation Shannon"!

"Vacation Shannon" can gets some stuff done.  She cleans, cooks, stays up late, organizes, throws stuff away, and is crazy project-oriented.  But, she only visits when real-life Shannon is off work like spring break or during the summer. Regardless when she visits, she is amazing!

This week Shannon has been on spring break, and she has been consumed with J-2's wedding tasks.  However, she showed up just in time to knock out a project that has been on our list -painting the stairwell at our parsonage.

So, I want to stop, and praise God for this moment, and all the moments that we've spent over the years like nailing on siding in the shadows of the humid summer evenings, or blowing insulation on the early Saturday mornings, hanging sheetrock, or even painting anything and everything.

This doxology might not be as clever or impressive as some, but for me it's my greatest.  Praising God for "Vacation Shannon" is second only to the celebration we will all celebrate tomorrow morning!  I promise was worth a rib!  #TeamAdam

The Better Parent

Day 38 Doxology:  What??  If I'm going to get this doxology in, I'd better hurry.

In my defense, I've been mudding sheetrock (don't forget sanding), drilling and tapping Jamie's wood burning thing-a-ma-jiggy (By which, Jamie, you are going to need a new thing-a-ma-jiggy), and I've driven 4-plus hours today alone!

But...that's the way it is with life!  We are almost at the end of my 40 days of doxology moments (point in which I praise God), and I cluttered my day with so much stuff that I am having a hard time to fit God in my day.  Why on earth would God want a relationship with me?  Then I was reminded of the power of love.

Jonesy sent this picture to the world.  She and J-3 have put life on hold to go to the Lion King.  What an investment in the message of love? While she was investing in our children I was obliviously driving home searching for the next open lane so that I can make driving home like a chess match!  The first step to solving your sickness is admitting you have one!  I have a huge disdain for inconsiderate drivers!!!!  But, I'm working on that!

In light of my sin, I look at this picture and realize the absolute important element that makes our family work...she is the better parent!  However, please listen...My doxology is not that I stink at being a parent, but that God has blessed me with a wife for me...and a mother to my children that makes me want to be better!

What better way to close out holy week, and a season of doxologies, than to thank God for my mate...My wife...the mother of my children...the person in my life that has continually makes, and has made, me "want"to be better!   The God I serve is soooooo good!

BAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!  (That's supposed to be the sound the guy makes when he raises Simba to the sky)...

Happy almost Easter!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Abundance of Connection

Day 37 doxology: I think about my dad most ever day, but today I was able to feel a connection with him in a way I haven't felt in a while.

Even during St. Patricks Day, I didn't think of my dad who passed away July 30th, 2007 the way I did today.  Our family was taught that we have ties to The Island of Wales.  In short, we were thought to be Welsh!  Even though the only thing it shared with Ireland was the Irish Sea, I always felt that our family were very much a part of everything Irish!

That is why today's doxology has lasting memories.  When I was kid, I can remember my dad always straddled over a clover patch eagle-eyed for the next 4-leaf clover.  He always found one!  There was a time when I thought, they must be extremely common....Then my thought were corrected after I set out to find my own!  I was discouraged regarding my discovery!  That is why today I felt a huge connection to my roots!

As I aged, and my family grew, I brushed off my dad's gift to the "luck of the Irish!"  When he found his next discovery at his visits to our home, it was more about my faulty ability to spray out the unhealthy foliage in my top-shelf bermuda sod around the pool than my dad consistent ability to search, then find, and pluck the next 4-leaf clover.

So today...this week is all about connection!  I am connected to my earthly dad; which connects me and my daughters to their roots.  In a similar way...I am connected through the sacrifice of Jesus to my spiritual father...and throughout His sacrifice, I am gifted with the assurance of eternal life!   In the end, it's not about's about the connection of love!

Thank you father, and thank you father!  Today, I found a 4-leaf clover that sparked a whole plethora of memories and an abundance of connection!  

Monday, March 26, 2018

Prayers of Hope

Day 35 Doxology:  I bet that if I did a small poll that most of my doxologies were about food, and of those, they were about food with friends.  Today's doxology is no different.

This is spring break for sweet Jones, and it's been a time spent with friends.  We have laughed, and we have cried, but more than anything other than normal...we ate.

On our phone were messages from people crazy-close that reminded us that this time of the year has become a diary of memories of which it has been our blessing to share together.  In our time with friends, that we've done everything together, we spent late nights remembering and sharing over great food.

When I went to bed, my prayer immediately fell to a prayer of hope for my daughters, and your children, that they have friends and relationships as deep as ours!

So, tonights doxology is a picture of hot wings but is really a picture representing years of relationships.  What is your Holy Week doxology, and does it involve others?

Friday, March 23, 2018

Extra Crazy

Day 33 Doxology: Tonight Jonesy has traveled south to spend a health day with J-1.  So, J-3 and I were left alone to do the Friday evening thing.  We elected to do it in style -Italian Style!

She ordered her favorite, and I did the same except my favorite include an adult no-no...Crazy Bread!

As we age, we try to become more healthy by eliminating breads and sugars which is in reference to our greater goal of eliminating "muffin-tops".  We also try to turn back the clock by exercising enough.  So, when Jonesy is out of town, my freedom-facade reminds me of when my parents were gone for the weekend...a time when I might get crazy...up in the hoooouse (Too Much?)!

Crazy then is different than crazy now (Can I get a thank ya Laud)?  Since my children read my blogs...crazy then meant long hours of reading novels like War And Peace, or Moby Dick.   It mean that I would spend hours researching stock and bonds, or Studying the latest moves of Bobby Fischer (learn your history, guys!). All of this is simply the life of a crazy teenager!

Today, crazy has a new face!  Usually it means that is comes with a super-size of calories minus the afternoon walk or exercise. Tonight, I got crazy!

I called Little Caesars and ordered their Deep, Deep, Deep Dish Special and a side of "Crazy Bread"!  You are thinking...Oh, I get it!  Nope, you really don't!  When I get adult-like crazy...I order Crazy Bread with extra crazy! (Notice the grammatical emphasis on Extra and Crazy.)

Somehow just ordering crazy bread and telling the teenager taking my order that I want "Extra Crazy"...just feels so good!  If you look closely, it's printed on the label, "extra b & c".  This is a direct reference to the young man's question, "Sir, you want extra butter and extra cheese?" Then I say, "Yes!!!! I want Extra Crazy!!"

That's simply the way we role, here on the adult-edge...Extra Crazy!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Baked Dish of I Love You

Day 32 Doxology:  Today's doxology is a bit of bate and switch.  The point being's really Jones' doxology.

As many of you know, I enjoy cooking for my family, and one of Jones' favorites is my dressing.  The joke is ALWAYS, I cook the dressing, and Shannon cooks the homemade cranberry sauce.  I've included a picture of her "homemade" technique of cranberry favor.  At the end of the day...there is joy all around!

After she fixed her plate, she grabbed my phone and snapped this picture to which she exclaimed...this is today's doxology!

Is this not the way it should be for those that we love?  We should live our day in such a way to honor God by out-loving those that we love.  We are called from the depths of our "Notebook" heart to cut onions and celery, sauté them in butter, mix them with cornbread, chicken broth, sage, salt and pepper to have a baked dish of I love you!

When your done...if your loved one Praise God then you have your day's doxology!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Joy to the Girl

Day 31 Doxology:  I spent most of the week singing Three Dog Night's 1970's hit, "Joy To The World."  So, it must be on the brain...

Tonight, I came home after church to join J-3 playing catch-up on our family's recordings when I caught a glimpse of this image -J-3's socks!

She cracks me up...she has always cracked me up. She has the most pure, simplistic, authentic attitude that makes everyone smile when she walks into the room.  It's been a tough year for a number of reasons, but because of her, and her joy for life, I look forward to the future.

So, whether she wears different socks, regardless if she mumbles to herself then laughs, whether she thinks she has made a bet with you then wants a fist pump because she won...she is a huge joy in my life.  Which means, my life is incomplete without her.

All of these reasons and so much more makes me want to sing, "Joy To The Girl!"

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Seasoning of Your Life

Day 30 Doxology:  Holy cow!  So much has happened in my absence.  At the top of that list is "Life!" Go Figure!  I think today's doxology is something that has been on my heart for a while.

This is what has been on my mind...

My brother-in-law had a large iron skillet that he found in the dirt.  It was rusted and corroded to the point that it couldn't be used for cooking anymore.  He and his wife were going to throw it away when Shannon said, "Tony will fix it!  He can re-season it so that you can use it the way it is intended"

She brought it home, and I started to remove the past and raise up the future!

So, over the past couple of days, I have been thinking about cooking with my iron skillets.  I was telling Shannon, "There is something spiritual about cooking with my iron skillets."  To cook with an iron skillet takes time.   You have to season it then take time to clean it properly and not just throw it in the dishwasher.  There becomes a deep connection.  Our greatest deficiency in cooking with iron skillets like our grandparents is that we don't use them enough.

A really cool part of the iron skillet connection comes from previous generations.  In fact, the best iron skillets come from not your mom, but your grandmother.  Generations of cooking makes your iron skillet cook better than the best of today's new technology - Teflon whatcha-ma-call-it!

This is a great metaphor for life?  God takes what we think is worthless and ready for discarding only to re-season it for His glory!  That makes me think of the song, "He Makes All things New..."  Wow, allergies really prevented me form singing that song!  Let's just go with the scripture that comes to mind, "Therefor, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creations, the old has gone, and the new has come."  (1 Cor. 5:17)

So, what is it that you are rushing through life trying to achieve without thought to what is being unused?  Are you taking the time to have a deeper connection in the simplest of actions?  And, what are you working on that you are willing to hand down to the generations that follow?

I think if you are doing these things then you understand the real "seasoning" of your life!

Friday, March 16, 2018


Day 27 Doxology: If you were raised in the south then you've heard, "Thank you Laud!" Which might offer more praise than you originally thought.  An exhausted search determined it was all about "praise."

Tonight brought to surface a throw-back praise, or doxology.  For years, if you took the time to research, our family and friends spent valuable time on the back deck or near the fire.  It's amazing the healing that takes place next to the fire pit...what happens at the fire stays at the fire!  It's a very sacred place!

I miss those days...

So, tonight's/ today's doxology is a praise throw-back!  It's time to look forward but remember all the great stuff that has happened in the past.

We all have a story..what is your story and what throw-back memory will help you look forward by looking back.

Thank you Laud!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Attitude Check

Day 26 Doxology:  Sorry about yesterday...I needed to check my attitude?

Tonight we had the closing celebration for our Upward Basketball season. The special guest speaker was Kevin (something-or-other), and he combined the special message of God's free gift and the attraction of magic for all the Upward teams.  There were 41 teams that participated in this year's season -Praise the Lord!  How many seeds were planted?  We may never know, but, there is something I do know...yesterday's absence of a doxology post and today's doxology was synonymous with something he said throughout his program!

Kevin started with lite simple magic, then he tried a little advance trickery to keep the different age groups engaged.  Next he had volunteers.

The pictures I included are of a princess picking her husband which was the best part of the program for the adults, because of the reactions of the kids to the thought of having a husband of a wife.  Clearly, a fun-loving time!  However, still not the doxology for tonight.

Kevin started early in the program by saying, "What do we do when we need an attitude adjustment?" He prompted us with the answer, "We Praise the Lord!"

Yes!  That's it, I thought!

That is the whole point of this Lenten Blog...Praising the Lord should be at the heart of everything we do.  Kevin would say, "Attitude Check?" And, we respond with, "Praise the Lord!"

In short, praising the Lord is the perfect antidote to anything that ails us in life.  If we are sad, "Attitude Check! Praise the Lord!"  If we are happy, "Attitude Check! Praise the Lord!"  If we are mad, "Attitude Check! Praise the Lord!"  I think you get it!

It reminds me of the Psalmist, "I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live." And, "I will always extol the lord at all times, His praise will always be on my lips."

How can we realign our life in such a way that whatever we face, our praise the Lord will rest comfortably on our lips?  I believe we start by checking our attitude!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Still Doing Things Together!

Day 24 Doxology: This time of year J-1 and I would fill out our NCAA College Basketball Brackets.  We never submitted was just something we would do together.

Today's doxology is a simple phone call.  J-1 called to say she had post-college plans...she was accepted into the CYMT program.  Which means, she will be working in youth ministry at a church large enough to pay both her salary and educational cost while she obtains a masters in youth ministry.

J-1 is going into ministry!  It will be her heaviest burden and most wonderful joy!

A really cool part of this doxology is the unending blessing that God rains down.  She was recommended by one of my past youth who was her youth minister,  and now a husband, father, and the youth minister at the church I served when he was a youth.  So, God impacted me; I had a small impact on him; he influenced my daughter!   She will soon make possible the kingdom of God by impact someone God puts in her path (maybe his son?).  A beautiful circle of God's grace offered to change the world one youth at a time!

As it turns out J-1 and I are still doing things together!

Monday, March 12, 2018


Day 23 Doxology:  Well, if you're doing the math then you know that I took Saturday off.  I'm sure by now you realize that God is still in the business of praise, I just was too tired to have eyes to see all around me!  But, I'm back!

Today, I travelled to Hartselle to visit with a church member that had moved in with her family when I ran across this extravagant gate entrance.  I thought to myself, probably the same thing everyone else thought...What is on the inside of that gate?

It made me think of the word facade.

What pretense did the enormity of this gate entrance communicate in the middle of nowhere-Alabama?   When I got home the exuberance of the gate was still on my mind, and then it dawned on me..."Google it!"  I went online and clicked on the satellite image, and to my surprise there was nothing down the road.  There was no large business district to match the luxurious gate entrance that had attracted each passerby.

So, what's the point?

Today's family is more taxed than ever to hold the family together.  There is more wealth, more technology, less time, and less communication to break down the characteristics of family health!   Moms and dads are forced to work more and more to maintain a lifestyle that doesn't contribute anything to family health!  We purchase facades of cars, houses, clothing, phones, and just stuff that impresses absolutely no one!  Other families are so self-consumed that they don't even care when you buy a truck that cost more than my first home because a 97 month vehicle loan is now the new norm!  If you can afford it then get it, but if you cannot don't stretch yourself.  Proverbs 22:7 warns us "...the borrower is a slave to the lender."

Where does it end?

1 Cor. 10:13 reminds us, "No temptation has overcome you that is not common to man.  God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptations he will provide the way of escape, that you will be able to endure it."

It ends where it started..."I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."

It's time the family overcomes the facades of life...but with God's help!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Closing Time!

Day 21 Doxology: Wow!  Just over the half-way point on our tract toward Easter.  Today's doxology comes at a different realization...

I was cutting grass today after our Face to Face Encounter at church, and I began thinking about a certain song!  The Semisonic's are credited with a song called "Closing Time"!  Before you turn your nose or click "back space" hear me out...

I was mowing grass today after a very important and amazing ministry ended geared tower the elderly (for a lack of better terms).  I couldn't help but to have this consistent theme of thought..."Every new beginning comes from some other's beginnings end!"

Wow!  Poetic!  Does that come from the Bible...Psalms, Proverbs, maybe Romans?   No!  Not at all!  It comes from Minnesota in 1995, from a band called the Semisonic!  Regardless of the words, they are completely true whether in Minnesota or Athens, Alabama!

As a pastor, I cannot help but to think about what must die for something new to be born!  I was reminded of that today while listening to the song "Closing Time"!  I mowed grass for hours, and as I looked at the countless rows of crab-grass, thinking I need to spray this out, I remembered that the heat of summer will burn it out and make way for the new growth of healthy grass!

The cycle never ends...something must die to make room for something new!  It's true whether in the church or your executive suite!  It's that way within us all!  We have to die to self, before we can take on the righteousness of Christ!

Mark 8:35 reminds us of our greatest doxology, "For whoever will save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel will gain it!"

As I mow, the winter rash must die and be removed to make way for the Fescue and Bermuda that comes with the spring. And, if we are totally honest..the neatly mowed lines created is a sense of order that we've been missing as we wait!

Come Lord Come!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Life of Lemon Pies

Day 20 Doxology:  Do you and wife (or husband) have a special fast-food place?

If anyone knows Shannon, they would know that she loves Milo's.  She likes the special sauce, the toasted bun, 3 maybe 4 french fries, and loves, loves, loves the lemon pie!  We laugh every time she opens the little lemon pie container and say in unison..."closure!"

Since we moved to Athens, the nearest Milo's Hamburgers is in Cullman, we thought!  I was in Decatur for a funeral last month when I ran across a new Milo's Hamburger location-only 25mins from home.

I knew that I would have to surprise Shannon.

A couple of days ago I made plans.  I told her that I was going to take her to dinner, but it was going to be a surprise.  She tried to guess.  She asked so many questions.  However, before some of you think this is the cheesiest entry this year, and you might be right, I do have a point!

I praise God today for this reminder...I think it's the small things that make our relationship great!  Who said that a surprise dinner had to be some huge, expensive, or extravagant ordeal?  The small things that we do over and over when no one is looking or without some Mariachi band playing in the background are the gentle reminders for those that we love that we are still IN love.  Anyone can do the big stuff, but the people that can do the little things day-in and day-out win the mate race.

Do this...try to out-do your wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, or maybe even mom or dad.  Make life a series of Lemon Pies for those that you love.  Who knows, it may come back to you 10 fold. Today's lemon pie might be tomorrow's morning coffee.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Right Side-Up!

Day 19 Doxology:  How much do you love the messages that people put on the back of their vehicle?  

When I was growing up it was bumper stickers that share some clever message of one's belief or passion. As got older, the method of sharing one's message expanded.  Soon there were magnets that said Roll Tide; window stickers that adhered on the inside to last longer, and still the old school bumper sticker.  I saw a window sticker on a Jeep recently that became my favorite...maybe because I was a father of 3 girls!  It stated clearly:

I am a teenage girl,
parked on a hill, 
in a jeep with a stick-shift.
Should you be close enough to read this?

The advance method now is to have tire covers on Jeeps that act like the bumper stickers of old...which is today's doxology :

The message is clear -If you can clearly read the "problem" message then the Jeep is in trouble and likely to be upside-down!

How many of us find ourselves "upside-down" in life?  I promise if you are there, you don't need a tire cover to name the moment for you! And, to carry the thought further, I bet each of us have felt upside-down at some point in our life.

The message that sparks hope is clear...and it's not so much found in very familiar John 3:16 like most think (even as important as that message is for us!).  However, I think the message that can initiate hope for those that find themselves upside-down in life can be found in the next verse...John 3:17.

John 3:17 says, "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn world, but to save it through him."

If you find yourself "upside down" in life or in any know you are in a problem.  I bet what you need to know is a way to start a process of becoming "right side-up?" Then maybe you'll be open to the idea of a church that can share what Jesus did for us all.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Bar Codes

Day 18 Doxology:   Do you know how important it is to get some sun these days?  This time of year it's almost like we stretch our necks to find any hint of sunlight to warm our post-winter bodies.

It's reported that sunlight exposure helps the body synthesize Vitamin D which helps aid in the function and development of our muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems.  As a pastor I see that light works similarly in our spiritual life.

In's the light that makes us the best us!

Today's doxology made me think about the wide use of "barcodes" in our lives.  I was on an afternoon bike ride (6.5 miles, can I get a witness?) when I saw on the trail the rays of sunlight broken by the shadow of trees.  I thought this looks like barcodes if you rotated the picture below?

Did you know that the way barcodes work is different than one might think?  When we look at the vertical lines of the code all we see is the dark vertical lines that run parallel with one another.  When in actuality, what we need is gathered from the white spaces in between the black vertical lines -the spaces of light!

We have so many examples in this world that point toward the importance of our need for light.  In scripture, light is synonymous with God and the hope for a broken world.  In John 8:12 we are told by Jesus, "I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have light for life."

Spring reminds us that we need the light!  Not just for our body's health, not just because it's Easter, not just so we can scan an object, but more than anything we need "the light" for our broken world!

Monday, March 5, 2018

"Wuv....Twue Wuv!"

Day 17 Doxology:  It's been a really long day, and even though it was a 16 hour work-day, I can't keep from smiling.  The reason is simple and is today's doxology!

One of the hardest and greatest joys of my life is being a parent!  The times that I have failed have far outweighed the times I have done it right.  I look back and think of all of the things I would do differently if given the chance, but as it is I am laying in the bed that I've made. Through it all, my greatest hope, other than they're having an unwavering faith, is for my daughters to be happy.

So, although I'm out of energy for my day, I am distracted!  All my daughter's life I've told them to "stay away from boys because they are distractions!"  So tonight, I am the one that is distracted...because my middle J is getting married.

The reason I keep smiling is...because she is happy!  I keep thinking maybe I'm not as bad a parent as I thought?  And in my mind all I keep hearing is the priest in Princess Bride say, "Wuv....Twue Wuv!"

Congratulations to J-2 and that boy...because of you both and your love for each other, I praise God!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Pork = "Upward" Love

Day 16 Doxology: Today's 15 hours of Upward Basketball provide countless times of doxology moments as we close out our Upward Basketball season.-thank you Charles Deiter!

Today's doxology could have been the joy of serving alongside fellow Christians.  More often than not, it was present as the children heard encouragement from their coaches and parents as they were less than perfect!  A semi-mountain top experience of praise was when everyone in the room cheered for that child that scored their first goal of the season on their last game of the year regardless of which team you pulled for!  It was clearly present when our church matriarch stayed for the last two games of the day to give a devotional for all the young parents at halftime regardless whether they were connected to Isom's.

I can share images from a game where girls dribble underneath the goal and pass to a friend so they can make their first bucket.  I can include pictures of pork and remind you that at the table amazing things happen.  Pork = Love!  And finally, I can include a group of young women that are not confined by age but connected by the single act of service! It made today's doxology a true praise God moment!

So, there is this mosaic of mental images of how God was visible throughout my day that I cannot share!  However, I bet if you could have eyes to see you could remember how vivid God was a part of you day!  What I have done is included just a few real images that brought me great joy in many different ways of my Isom's peeps and a wonderful season of Upward Praising God!

God's Grace is good!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Private Words of Grace!

Day 15 Doxology:  I realize there is a lot of day left for other "Praise God" moments, but I am certain nothing can beat what I've already experienced.  Nothing trumps words from a friend!

Some things simply transcend any words I could add to describe the way I feel from hearing from a loving friend even if you question their taste in cards!  Is that a belly-ring, and what is MSV?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

It's Good To Be Me!

Day 14 Doxology: What is the day to you?

Did you know that today is National Peanut-butter Day?  That's a good way unless you enjoy it too much!

At the end of my day, I was surprised to find out that today was MY Day-a day after my own heart!  I was also a surprise to find out that this evening I would be treated with everything peanut butter!

So, this doxology is more about National Peanut Butter Day than it is about me (or, Jones, or J-3), but at the end of the day I can't lose!  A simple example  of my joy is when J-3 got home and decided that NPD is a day worth celebrating.  She decided to cook me the Ultimate Skillet Peanut-butter Cookie!  If you top this gift with Hershey's chocolate, ice cream, and crunchy peanut butter then you become a poster-child for diabetic insulin.

In short, you mix two passions: a day set aside for your love (Peanut butter), and your loves that set aside a day for you (Jessie cooking the Ultimate Skillet Peanut Butter cookie)...then it's your day, and it's good to be me!

With these two additions to my day, It becomes is a moment to praise God!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Open The Door!

Day 13 Doxology:  What are signs for?  The most obvious need for a sign is to communicate something.  And, what if that sign is illuminated?   Then there should be a greater opportunity to communicate because the light of the sign will get someone's attention.

Today, I had the pleasure of not removing a rat...(Sorry, wrong blog)!  Today, I had the pleasure of replacing/ installing a new exit sign over two full-length glass doors in our Fellowship Hall.  It's funny the things I thought about as I was nearing the end of my job... Now, people will know how to leave; Now, someone will know this full-length glass door is the way out; or Hey, where does that full-length glass door go?

The code states that it has to be illuminated just above the exit door and guessed it, "Exit"!  This will let people know that this door is a door that leads outside.  I have to say it's just in can't believe how many times I find people wondering around looking for the double full-length glass doors that will take them outside...Never!

However, that's all changed now!  We have an exit sign-Praise God.  But, wait!  Don't I need a sign that will tell people to "Open the Door" first!

Have you ever thought that we have become so open-minded that our brain is exposed?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


Day 12 Doxology: I was not a part of today's doxology, but someone I love was.  That's the way it is...when someone you love is happy then you're happy!  I think that idea started the often-used quote, "When momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"  Either way, in this case momma and the person I love are one in the same!

Shannon taught for 25 years with the same group of women before she left to take a job as an assistant principle here in North Alabama.  This group of women have become extensions of our family.  These women were also the same group that participated in their Wednesday morning prayer group.  They got up early every Wednesday putting family and their normal routine on hold to pray for their school, family, and friends when no one else would.  They lost family members together, they dealt with sickness and disappointment, praise and anger...all together!  The test of their friendship came when I moved Jones to Athens...they came to visit and take her out to eat.

It gets better!  Todays doxology (my praise to God) is bestowed upon these 5 ladies that once again set their family aside to remind my wife that she is a part of something bigger by meeting her for dinner.  Accountability groups do just that...hold each other accountable whether you are 3 miles or 77 miles apart.

Thank you for making my wife's day/night...I think the term is "Framily" -it's when friends become closer than close and know you more than family! And, because this framily was here for Shannon it makes it an even better doxology for my day!  Thank you ladies for taking the time!

Monday, February 26, 2018

"Yoooou Dirty Raaaat"

Day 11 Doxology: Today presented itself with several doxologies.  However, one stood alone, but probably not for the reason you would think!

Ministries within the church present many characteristics.  Not all of them are neat and clean as we would have the world to think, but most are necessary!  Things have to be done, even if they don't fit our schedule or if they are not the jobs we want to do.  In many ways the person that cleans the toilet becomes your director of first impressions...every job is important and to be done with excellence!

Today we had our first day of Face To Face Encounter at our church. As each speaker spoke on the front lines of ministry raising awareness of what it means to be a disciple, I couldn't help but to smell a distinct odor.  It was clear!  We have a rat!  Which brings me to another point of the ministries of the church!

They sometimes overlap and becomes even more complicated!  Not too long ago there was evidence that a mouse had tried to get into some of the supplies of our Upward Basketball Ministry.  A very competent and astute servant placed poison in a very out-of-the-way place.  You know, the kind that they eat then leave to find water and not return...I think they missed the step where they were supposed to leave.

So after carefully honed senses determined an approximate location, I waited for everyone to leave.  And ministry overlapped another and created an opportunity!  I became ordained as the Senior Rat Removal Minister-we all have our gifts!

My doxology is simple!  The moment I placed the dead rat in the dumpster I said...Praise God! And, that moment leaped ahead of all the other "praise God" moments of the day!

Today's picture is the scene of the crime, or opportunity?  How you perceive the ministries in church depends on you, and your heart! Remember, It's all for Jesus!

Can you remember the quote, "Yoooou dirty raaaat!" I think I said that a time or two today...

Saturday, February 24, 2018

God is Still Good!

Day 10 Doxology: I opened my computer this morning, and I had a preset alert to remind me of my mom's birthday!  If you are unaware, my mom just past away Jan 23rd of this year.  She had come to our parsonage home on Hospice and was here until her death.  It may sound weird to the ear, but our time was a blessing.

We had a great time together.  My daughters would come home and climb in bed with her until either mom or my daughters would doze off asleep.  We watched football and laughed about stories we haven't talked about in years.  We spent a lot of time commenting on the snow.  And, we also shed a few tears!  Through it all, it was The Congressional Medal of Honor of doxology moments for this year!

So, instead of talking about the days leading up to her passing, I wanted to raise the highest of Praise God Moments to our time together, my family, my church family, our friends, and everyone associated with Alacare Hospice that made sure we never felt alone!

So if your math is good, my mom passed away almost a month before her birthday, but through our conversations, and our time together, it's hard to be sad what she traded this life for!  One of the last things she asked was "Where is your daddy?" My answer, "Waiting on you!"

So, instead of Happy Birthday Momma, I'll say Happy Homecoming! Because, in good times and sad...God is still Good!

Friday, February 23, 2018


Day 9 Doxology: I was watching the Olympics this evening, and I had to laugh at today's doxology!  For you to join me with your own snicker, I'd need to give you some background!

My father-n-law, Bill Shelnutt...a.k.a. "The Great One" loved the Olympics!   The summer Olympics were his favorite by far!  Although he has passed away, his legacy continues.  He could watch hours of Olympic coverage as if watching the Olympics were its own medal event.  And, he typically watched event after event in only his underwear, or at best coaching shorts, with the top button undone!  It's so funny the things you remember-or maybe not?

My most vivid memory is "The Great One" shirtless and unbutton coaching shorts (folded down) watching the summer Olympics raising and dropping the T.V. remote on to his bare protruding belly...making this "smack" sound that filled the room!  He was so proud of the sound that he would look at you like he was expecting you to clap or at least cheer!  He always did it 3 times in a row before he said something outlandish -OCD anyone?

Tonight, I found myself channeling ol' Shelly.  I was sitting in my chair, watching the Olympics, and before I knew it I had raised and dropped the remote.  Although, it didn't make the same sound, and my belly wasn't as large (A doxology of its own)...I did feel really close to someone that I love and miss!

Maybe the largest reason it didn't "smack" had nothing to do with the size of my girth, but because I had on clothes...but after all, it is the winter Olympics!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Thank You Lord!

Day 8 Doxology:  I would love to say that I have had a flood of God moments throughout my day that would give me ample of doxology moments to provide competition for today's doxology!  Yet, today's doxology comes before the day was very old!

Against my better judgment, I stayed up and watched  the USA Ladies Hockey Team pull together to fulfill their dreams as Olympic Champions, and I was not disappointed!!

My many of us fulfill our dreams?

We plan, and dream, our way through life without little inclining of God, but I believe this morning...God was rearing God's head!

To be doxology is not that I thought that God wanted the USA women to gain Gold, but that I paused and gave thanks for what I thought was amazing!  My doxology was more about a friend- Paul Irons and less about the Olympics!

The consistent theme in my relationship with my brother P.I. is that he gives thanks to God for all things -All things!  So when I stayed up way beyond my norm...and those that I've prayed for achieved "Gold"...I said what Paul taught me to say..."Thank you Lord!"

God doesn't care if our goal is Gold...except that God's love is beyond our greatest earthly element -Gold!

So, in closing!  I have become increasing close to the Iron's and above everything that we have experience....Paul -the credit to God!  Regardless of his experiences, he says "Thank you Lord!" As do I..."Thank You Lord!"

For Paul, and us, it is common sense! In Paul's words...he has a P.I. in C. S.  which translates to A Paul Irons in Common Sense!  In a world that craves more common sense how can we argue with Paul!

GO Team USA! And, congratulations!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

One More Back Flip

Day 7 Doxology: As in previous years, I hit a stride in my Lenten Devotionals where my heart bends to the family.  Yesterday's doxology made me continue the thought of realizing just how blessed we are as a family.

There is a picture on the top shelf in my office that when I look at it I immediately become transported to a special time in my life.  Everyone has heard me say, "Those are my favorite ages for my girls!"

As you can see, Jackie loves her deddy!  Also, she was this little ball of muscle and had so much trust in her father that she would try anything.  I taught her to do back-flips off the diving-board of our pool so well that I knew she was headed to the Olympics. One Sunday evening at her cousin's pool she hit her back, and her backward flips and Olympic career ended.  She had the diving-board rash. I told her, "You don't have to do another back-flip the rest of your life, but you do have to do one more before the sun goes down."

Before you call DHR...there is a strong lesson to be learned.  I watched her for about 30 mins wrestle with her fears.  She had to confront what scared her the most and determine if she was going to let her fears own her.  I soon watched her walk to the end of the board and attempt the final back-flip of her life.

How many of us are willing to internally push ourselves to figure out what we are made of?  We talk often about the greatest generation.  If you sit down and think about what they went through just to have food on the table, or to live one more day...I believe it would embarrass us when we get so upset because there is no wifi, or someone wouldn't return our call, or my email won't work.

My favorite family picture is this black and white picture of my girls favorite age...Our nation's best generation is only captured by black and white pictures.  What if we could pause the super-advances for a bit...just to let our families catch up with each other? let us bring back the thing that made our greatest generation great!  It would be worth one more back-flip!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

My Greatest Doxology Ever

Day 6 Doxology:  Most days my loudest doxology moment comes from the moment my eyes focus on my amazing wife.  It just dawned on me how often I forget to tell her.  If I have the blessing of getting home before she does my heart leaps the moment she walks through the door!

Did you know that every great thing that has happened in my life has her attached to it.  When I fell in love, it was with her.  When I felt true love offered by God, she was there.  When I felt the blessing of marriage (shocker) it was with her! When I experienced the miracle of childbirth 3 times, she was a huge part of that miracle. When I experienced a tangible feeling of forgiveness, that was not just talk, it was from her.

Early in our marriage, I realized she had a way of making me want to be a better person!  So, I have spent my life trying to give her something to be proud of.  She has never done anything but build me up and made me think I was alone on that pedestal.  And, all of this was just the first part of our life together!

Now we are moving toward a new phase of our life.  In fact, in our hot-tube time (usually later at night than either of us would hope) we plan and dream about the next part of our life together, but the truth is it doesn't matter.  God's promise is this, "For I know the plans I have for you..."!

At the end of the day I believe, God has greater plans for me than I could ever make for myself, and because of Jones..."the proof is in the puddin'!"  And, she will always be my greatest doxology moment of every day!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Great Garden Seed

Day 5 Doxology: "Great Garden Seed!" Those are the words of Coach Wimp Sanderson, the Alabama Basketball Coach at the University of Alabama from 1981 to 1992.  Believe it, or not, he was born in Florence, Alabama which lends him ties to North Alabama and the area of today's doxology!

In truth, today's doxology transcends geography!
Today was the first team meeting for Face to Face Encounter #2 held at Isom's Chapel-the church I have the pleasure of serving as pastor.  A Face to Face Encounter is specifically crafted to meet the needs of older adults-60 plus. This event is based on, or a spin-off of, the Walk To Emmaus.  I just shared a lot of info that doesn't add to my doxology except that this experience is important to a statistically proven aging denomination, and I've been wanting to learn more about how I can be a part of Face to Face Encounters for years!

More truth, I'm selfishly proud that my church is hosting this event!

My doxology is simple...I was asked to serve Holy Communion without the formality of The Great Thanksgiving close to the end of our team meeting's first day!  In the haste of the last minute prep, my FIRST thoughts were of those that have contributed to my life's commitment of service to God and God's Church.  

My thoughts were on those that stood in the gap to help shape me as a husband, father, Christian, and pastor.  My thoughts were on those that gave me praise over some of my first sermons that, in their words, "were enjoyable, but didn't really make sense." My thoughts were on musicians that played the songs that I asked even when they didn't fit.  My heart bends to the youth that read scripture in studies and sermons, that delve into deeper conversation, and gave me the gift of their union!  Additionally,  thoughts are often for a group of women that fettered their voices together to become the litmus test, or standard, for every song I hear and the gift they gave me of watching my wife become absorbed/consumed in worship to God because of their ability to transcend!  

In more truth...the Men's club!

Here's the back story...My home church is approximately 800-900 members, and of those 800-900 members is a group of men that have watched over, prayed for, invested in, and coached through my calling in ministry!  I could tell you stories of their love and affection for me and my family, but it might distract of their love for God!  These men made sure that my family didn't feel the brunt of my decision to enter into ministry-a husband/father's greatest fear!

So, today I served Holy Communion (Not Physically Pictured) with my Peeps!  That means, I served Communion with a "cloud of witnesses" that have loved me, tutored me, disciplined me, sung to me at every appointment and at every opportunity only to honor God with their love!  

Standing with me, there are so many I cannot dare name...all I can say is Great Garden Seed!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

If Only For An Evening

Day 4 Doxology:  Welcome to a Saturday evening in the Pacific Northwest...Just kidding!  However, you can't tell from today's weather -which sets up today's doxology!

It has been a busy week.  String together several late nights or several periods of wide-eyes, and you get a pretty fatigued pastor.  In fact, last night, I only logged in about 3.5 hours of sleep after cooking 2 Boston Butts for our Upward Basketball ministry at church-we've sold out every Saturday. Who's your Pork Daddy?

So, after several games including half-time devo's, and hanging out with "mini-me" doing some fat-face selfies, I was pretty spent!  Seattle weather or San Destin sunshine...I was crashing when I got home!

Before you say get to the point, and I say why use 10 words when 100 will work, my doxology is about Sabbath!  Why are we so reluctant to take the time to recharge or reset?  When God gave the 10 Commandments it included instructions to observe the Sabbath. By sharing, God's message was clear...If creation didn't crash when I rested, then it won't crash when you do it!  So, today's doxology is praising God for Seattle outside and Sabbath inside...if only for an evening!

Talk to you Monday...

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Hard Act of Love

Day 3 Doxology: I'm sorry but my greatest "doxology" moment today leaves me both picture-less and speechless.  In fact, 'm not sure I can put to words the way my heart was moved this evening after an intense Upward basketball game at the church I serve.  I'll try to explain my many thoughts!

It seems lately that everywhere you turn bad news is pounding the homes of the American family.  We have little or no unified leadership from public officials, our schools are bombarded with the constant threat of who's next, and every group wants to protest about every little thing with little consideration of anyone else.  We have become increasingly self-centered!

I read today that Washington is willing to do anything to eliminate the threat to our children through gun violence...and they should.  My thought is "will they, really?"  Will they bring prayer back to the schools?  Will they bring discipline back?  Will they encourage the family to be the family and not ask the our teachers to play mom or dad?  I digress...

Tonight, I was encourage and uplifted over a single moment in time that could possibly have the greatest impact in a young man's life than anything he learns in school.  A young man received a technical foul during the game-not the lesson.  I was told that he said something he shouldn't have.  Regardless, a technical was called and free-throws were attempted.  But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

You see..during Upward Basketball, the halftimes offer the opportunity for a small devotional.  I gave the devo for tonight's game. My devo was based on Titus 2:6-8.  It reads,  Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousnessand soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

My point was simple..we are always teaching our children something...are we teaching them that we are only to be Christ-like on Sunday mornings between 9am-12noon; that winning is everything; or that when we are mad or hurt we retaliate with so much violence that lives are changed forever?  Like Titus instructs...In everything be an example to our kids.

My long and over-due doxology for today comes is a simple hard act of love!  After the game the mom of the young man accompanied him to offer an apology to the referee that called the technical.  I didn't dilute the moment by taking a picture.  So, I included an older picture of our Upward ministry that includes adults and children bowed in prayer...led by one of the young ladies!

Upward Ministry, making a difference at the heart of the family...a mom to son!

Praise be to God!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Prepared As A Boy Scout!

Day 2 Doxology:  Hmmm!  God has really been speaking to me today through my awareness of this year's Lenten devotional!  I'm scared that my voice might be louder than God's...or at least, I am only in-tuned to my voice more than God's thunder...hence, Lent is super important!

I was contacted the other day by our "Scout Liaison."  A position that our church deems important to communicate the needs of the church to and from our "Scouts Ministry!"   A ministry that is booming!  Let me take the opportunity here to say that we have the best Scouting Ministry ever!   They are always doing everything that I wished I had done when I was their age!

Here is my "doxology"!

Our liaison was quick to contact me to notify that one of our "Scout Leader" had difficulty hooking up the trailer for their next scout-outing event.  Which translated as "they got stuck!"

We are a suburb of Huntsville...the land of engineers!  Anyone that has ever planned anything knows that "stuff" happens!  You can plan until the cows come home, but when it rains enough that it becomes a toad-strangler...the eco-system becomes out-of-whack!  That's right you get stuck!  And, in Limestone clay is the worse!

Here's the deal -somewhat delayed!

You can be as prepared as a "Boy Scout" and still "things" don't go as planned!

We have the blessing of storing the "Scout" tailer on our campus waiting to make a difference in someone's life!  When it came time to have a Scouting over-night...the rain dictated the plans.  Well prepared "Scout Leaders" did what they always do and realized there was a problem -no fault of their own!

The reality can prepare for everything in your life!  However, the greatest gift you might have is to adapt!   Life is proven to be crazy-difficult...can you deal with cancer, death, life, or not getting your way?

The second message of this doxology is that ministry is messy!

In my image, there are tracks left by those that tried to free the trailer, but as you can tell..they were unsuccessful!   At the end of the day....ministry is messy!  There will often be tracks of our work, however it they might be incomplete! There is going to be red mud that you cannot get rid of!  It cannot hide the fact that you didn't complete your goal, but... it will allow you to see just how far you've come!

My prayer for this coming Lenten Season is that we stop looking back...And, that we quit looking at the tracks, but give thanks for the rain as we look ahead toward the future and make sure that the tracts we leave behind align with God's future for our church!

At the end of the can be prepared as a Boy-Scout, but life still happens!  However, you deal with change makes all the difference in the world!

God is good...."all the time"!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Be My Lenten Valentines

Day 1 Doxology:  Well, it's been a long time, and a lot has changed since our last Lenten season together.  We moved to another city, I serve a new church family, my mom has passed away, my daughters have wrecked and gotten new cars, and my insurance has increased -a lot has changed!  New must be in the air...did you know that this is the first time Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday have been on the same day since 1945?  Go down the laundry list of things that have changed in the world since 1945!

The more things change it seems the more they stay the same -I am loved unconditionally by my Lord; the world tries to come between our relationship; Lent helps refocus that relationship; and Shannon is still my Valentine!  Yep!  For 26 years Shannon, and since the beginning of time God, have been faithful in their unconditional love for me.

So, tonight is a small start to 40 days of intense re-focus on the important things in my life -God, spouse, that order!  Let's don't wait another 72 years before we remind both God and spouse that we are thankful for their never-ending, unconditional love for us.

Oh yeah, Go Team USA!