Friday, November 22, 2013

There's Something About Getting Old .....

I've discovered something about getting old. And it kind of has to do with being young.

I am speaking to Christians here ... I really can't think of getting old without Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in my life, so I wouldn't have anything to say of interest to someone who was unsaved and getting old.

(Except "GET SAVED!")

Anyway, this stems from a conversation with an older person, about my age, who was down in the dumps about Thanksgiving. When you're older, and dependent on others, you cannot do all the things you used to do, and enjoy, particularly around Holidays.

Incidentally, Happy Holidays! (See .. I didn't take Jesus out of Christmas; I simply said I hope your holiday season is joyful. That's supposed to be bad, or something?)

I can understand why Holidays would be "downers" for old cusses like us. Lots of terrific memories about things we did, and we know we can't do a lot of them any more. And just like "you don't know what you have, until you lose it", inability to act like, and do the things, we used to, can take our eyes off what we still have.

One of the thoughts I really focus on is that I used to be able to do 100,000 different things, but not any more ... I can only do about 98,000. So I'm supposed to be upset about only having 98,000 things to do?

No thanks. That's not for me.

All that is what brought up the thought that prompted this post. If I were not involved in the active Christian life, if I had never taught, been in Bible studies, not been an active part of Sunday School, not ever talked to servers in restaurants (or the lady who took our groceries to the car at Publix yesterday ... she spoke 3 languages, by the way, and her other job was a professional interpreter ...), if those things hadn't been part of my life for as long a time as they have, then I might indeed find myself in a Pity Party over what I can't do any more, too.

So, listen up, young-uns. GET INVOLVED! Discover and use your Spiritual gifts. Look up what the word "worship" really means in the New Testament, and get busy doing that. Get into a Bible study where you really wrestle with some verses. Lead one, maybe. Do stuff. Get involved.

The old age you save may be your own.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Since They Seem To Be Making a Big Deal of It........

I thought I'd address all the conspiracy theories that are flying around, about his assassination.

First, I was an adult, a homeowner, and a family man, at the time of his murder. I recall when and where, even to the coat I was wearing and who I was talking to, when I heard.

I was glued to the TV during those days when not much else was on TV, and watched all the reports and investigations. One of the organizations that investigated even set up a geometrically and spatially correct mockup of the 6th floor window, and the street below, to test a marksman of the same rank as Oswald and his ability to make the shots claimed.

He did, by the way. Easily.

I watched and read all I could about the Warren Commission's investigation.

I personally was watching TV at the moment Jack Ruby stepped out of the crowd and shot Lee Harvey Oswald. And my conclusion was at that time, and still is, that it happened just the way they said.

I think two factors of human nature come into play in the conspiracy theories. One is that we don't want to believe that such a grand tragedy can be so simple. There just HAS TO BE more to it, you know. I mean, how could a handful of terrorists with nothing more than box-cutter knives, bring down the twin towers and do massive damage to the Pentagon. And kill thousands of people in an hour's time?

But there is one more factor, I think, that comes into play over time. And this one has two heads:

First, hard evidence fades. Eyewitnesses die out, living witnesses' memories fade, less and less hard media in within our eyesight .. pictures, reports, etc.

Second, we like to speculate. And who would ever speculate "Gee .. what if it happened just like they said?" Nope ... what folks do is to think of ways in which it DIDN'T happen like they said.

Couple 50-year-old evidence, which is fading, with a renewed round of speculation that there was really some other dark plot, and voila! ....here we are!

Don't waste any time or lose any sleep over it. I mean, even the fact that over a half a century, nobody has ever admitted anything is enough for me.....

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Peg and I drove back from Huntsville ... the Alabama variety of Huntsville, not the Texas one ... yesterday afternoon. We'd driven up Monday morning to attend the Annual Meeting of the Alabama State Baptist Convention.

We had a good time. John Killian did an excellent job leading the meeting, as the State Convention President, and all the business was conducted in an orderly manner.

Everything went smoothly, without objections from the floor, with only one exception. There was also one motion from the floor, suggesting that the Annual Meeting be moved from the usual Tuesday-Wednesday timing, to Friday-Saturday; the objective was to make the meeting more easily accessible to bi-vocational pastors who must work through the week.

That motion was referred to the Time and Place Committee for their handling, as the By-Laws require that they be the ones who set the time and place for the meeting.

The exception to no objections from the floor was yours truly. One of the resolutions concerned pedophilia and child abuse; it stated that the local church should report incidents of same to the authorities in accordance with the law. I moved the same amendment I did in Houston, that they change the wording to urge all churches to report any accusations to the authorities. The church is not the appropriate body to determine whether actual abuse took place ... that's up the authorities. The Police, DHR, or a Grand Jury as the case may be.

I pointed out that, in the State of Alabama, we're required to report even the suspicion of abuse.

The Committee on Resolutions viewed that as a friendly amendment, and it passed.

The preaching was good, from State President John Killian, Executive Committee CEO Frank Page, and several others, primarily Alabama pastors, as well as Rick Lance, State Exec.

Music and worship were as good as I recall, anywhere, and Charles Billingsley plus the combined choirs of Alabama Singing Men, Alabama Singing Women, and Whitesburg Baptist Church absolutely brought the house down Tuesday evening.

One part of the meeting, though, disturbed me. It was the theme, as the picture above shows. The problem with that, is that we're not Life Changers. Only God Himself can do that.

While I can understand the thought that someone can make a difference in the lives of others, it takes the focus off what really happens. And there are some verses that support that, too.


  • From 1 Corinthians 3: "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.  So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth."


  • And from Luke 17: “Which one of you having a slave tending sheep or plowing will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? Instead, will he not tell him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, get ready, and serve me while I eat and drink; later you can eat and drink’?  Does he thank that slave because he did what was commanded?  In the same way, when you have done all that you were commanded, you should say, ‘We are good-for-nothing slaves; we've only done our duty.’”


I understand that people can need encouragement at times. But that should not come from the results of our efforts. Those all belong to God, just as He told us they did. Our satisfaction should come from the knowledge that we had the privilege of being obedient to our Savior, and the fact that the God of the universe chose to let us in on His actions. And those are true, regardless of outcome.