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Burn Long, not just bright

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In 2015 in Livermore, CA there was a party like no other as the Livermore-Pleasonton Fire Department celebrated the “Million Hours Party.” This was in celebration of a single light bulb that had been burning for over 100 years.  Visitors come from all over the world to see this oddity and take pictures of it. You can even go online and view a dedicated webcam that will let you see the miracle bulb for itself.  People are amazed that something made to be temporary has lasted now for over 117 years. The handblown, carbon fiber filament bulb was probably manufactured in the 1890’s, was recognized by Guinness as the longest lasting bulb known in existence in 1972, and has been burning for over 100 years now.    What makes it so remarkable is that the bulb wasn’t made to last that long.  For whatever reason it simply has managed to hang on.  It doesn’t burn as bright as it used to, but it still serves it’s purpose by putting out light.  Since 1901 this bulb has been steadily giving light wi

Listening to the Experts

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  Bob was a pretty unassuming guy.  The first time I met him he was getting over cancer and I sat with him on his back porch as we talked and I prayed for him. He soon became a favorite person to visit as he had good stories and was always willing to help in anything I needed.   I soon found out Bob was a car expert.  More than an expert, he sold them, ran a mechanics shop, and built race cars that held national records.  If you were in the drag racing circle, then you knew of Bob and his cars.  One day while visiting he casually mentioned to me that Honda had called him to build a dragster.  I replied “Doesn’t Honda build cars themselves?”  With a big smile and laugh he simply replied “Not like mine. “ All of that to say, Bob was an expert when it came to anything mechanical.  Often I would go to him with maintenance issues with our old church buildings I’d been thinking about for months or even years.  He would sit and listen, and before long he’d show me a drawing on the back of nap

Faithful

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  This past Sunday we had baptisms at church as part of the worship service. That's always a special time, but this was extra special as one of them was my youngest daughter.  I've been blessed to baptize all three of my children at FBC Tishomingo.  Each time has been moving and special for me, but this one felt a little bit different.   By no means is our work raising children done, or is ever really done, but I felt a sense of closure at her profession of faith.  I have prayed regularly for their salvation, and to see the Lord work in their lives over the years has been beyond words.  I sleep easier knowing that each of my children has professed faith in God, and the words of I John become more true to me every day. "I have no greater joy than to hear my children are walking in the truth."  What also makes it special is that I have been able to baptize all three of my daughters in this church. When we came here we had only two, ages 4 and 1. Now we have three, ages

On the Mission Field in Rural America

  ON THE MISSION FIELD IN RURAL AMERICA WHEREAS, Scripture declares that Christ commands his church to make disciples of all nations and that we are called to be witnesses to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8); and WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have endeavored since 1845 to spread the gospel across North America and around the globe; and WHEREAS, Jesus regularly identified himself with rural and small places like Nazareth (Matthew 2:23); and WHEREAS, Over 75 percent of all towns and cities in the United States are small nonurban communities of no more than 25,000 people; and WHEREAS, Approximately 19 percent (or 60 million people) of the population in the United States resides in rural areas; and WHEREAS, Rural church pastors often suffer from isolation and loneliness, lacking ministry partnerships and resources; and WHEREAS, Every person in a rural community is made in the image of God and needs to hear the gospel; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the messengers to th

What makes your church move?

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  " It can’t be done." That’s what they told John Ericsson when he first began working on a new way to propel boats over the water in 1835. Boats had moved on wind for centuries, and lately steam powered paddle boats had taken over.  Not many saw the need for Ericsson’s invention, a screw turned propeller.  And even fewer than that believed that it would work on large boats.   By 1839 Ericsson had come a long way with his new invention, and soon gained fame as the designer of the US Navy’s first screw propelled warship, the USS Princeton. It defied belief that the Princeton could beat other ships in a race.  At over 160 feet long it seemed incredible that such a small propeller could move that fast.  Now almost every boat from little fishing dinghies with trolling motors, big fancy bass boats, Cruise ships, and battleships all are propelled the same way. The internal engine turns the rods which in turn moves the propeller, and that motion moves the boat almost effortlessly ac

Stop living for the moment

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  “A date that will live in infamy forever. “ That’s how President Roosevelt described the horrific attack on Pearl Harbor to the US Congress and to millions more on the radio one day after the attack. Today, long after almost all those involved have passed on, the words of FDR have proven to be true. That moment shaped countries, economies, and the lives of millions of people. The events of that date didn’t just change life for those on the base, but for people all over the world.  Much of our study of history is made up of these events, these dates and places that impact world history.  They have names like “the shot heard around the world” or “Custer’s Last Stand,” or the simple “9/11”. Going back to World War II, events like V-Day or D-Day are still remembered and celebrated long after most of the participants have passed. For centuries students have had to memorize names, places, and dates of the most famous events in history.  There’s something about these types of events that dr

Farming in tainted soil

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  Recently the EPA announced a plan to find and counteract what they called PFAS, or “forever chemicals. “ These are often by products of industrial processes, and so far scientists have found them everywhere they have looked.  These synthetic chemicals “ glide through air and water with ease, evade all natural processes of decay, and inflict debilitating injuries even at exceedingly low levels of exposure. “ These chemicals can be traced back to big companies and even governments, but for decades most of them turned a blind eye to the problem.  Finally the EPA has a plan to address the problem, but at this stage it feels impossible to overcome.   Almost everything in our world is tainted with these chemicals, and we won’t know the final results for a long time.   These spills can happen or by accident, like a an oil spill or nuclear accident.  Everything that is touched by those chemicals is changed forever.  There are few things that have the power to change everything they touch.  B

Waiting for things to get back to normal

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“Maybe you just have a good baby.” Those were the words the doctor said to us as we took our first child back for her month checkup. I asked him what was wrong with her, because I anticipated having a baby in the house to be harder than it was.   All we had heard about was babies with colic, or sleep problems, or having trouble feeding.   Our first born slept through the night the first night at hospital, didn’t cry that much, and was a delight to be around. It was still a lot of work of course. But honestly I anticipated it being harder than this.   So he told me that perhaps we just had a good baby.   I remember leaving the hospital thinking “I must just be really good at this.” I assumed I was simply crushing this first time father thing, and that’s why the baby was so good. Then after our second child was born I found out that wasn’t the truth. This time I anticipated things differently than the first time around.   I thought they would be like they were before, but this child crie

Why do we need rest?

The last two weeks have been crazy at our house. And the next two weeks look like they will be too. But today is Sunday. The day that we stop and rest as God has commanded us. Why do we have to rest? So much of God’s creation continues in motion without a rest. The sun rises every day and never gets a break. The flowing river never stops to catch it’s breath.The waves beat on the shore without ceasing. God did not command the flowers to sleep, or the animals to lay down and rest. But he did for man. Why is that? The rest that God prescribes us is not just a physical rest, but a spiritual and emotional rest. You might be able to physically keep going today, to accomplish whatever you need to do. But God has designed us in such a way that we need rest. Not just rest for our bodies, but rest for our hearts and minds. We were refresh our bodies by ceasing from work. And we refresh our minds and hearts by worshiping God. This is the way God has made us. And we are to do this worship