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Showing posts from May, 2021

Reflection over 1,000 sermons, or 10 years at FBC Tishomingo

It was sometime in the spring of 2011 that I received a phone call from the search committee at FBC Tishomingo, wondering if I would be able to come down and speak with them. I replied that I would be glad to, right as soon as I figured out where Tishomingo was.  Even after spending most of my life in Oklahoma, I don't think I had ever been here before. I found that Tishomingo was not on the way to anywhere, and that you had to be going here to get here. I guess that's why once I came I just decided to stay.   I came in view of call and my first official Sunday was Easter, April 24, 2011.   God has been good to me and my family and blessed our time here immensely.  I didn't know how hard it would be to stay here this long, and I didn't know how much of a blessing it would be either.  It's only by God's grace that I have been able to stay here and continue to minister.  As I reflected over the last 10 years I also put together a few statistics about my time here.

Only the impeded river sings

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  “Just listen.” That was some of the wise advice I got from an older pastor about talking to someone who was suffering.  No matter if it is sickness, tragedy, trials, or worse, no one really feels like listening when they are facing tough times. That’s what makes the words from Peter stand out at the end of 1 Peter 4 as he begins to close his letter.  He tells his readers, and by extension us, to “not be surprised” when suffering comes. We spend most of our lives trying to avoid suffering, even though the pages of the Bible clearly teach that suffering will come to all of us. As a pastor, I can’t imagine sitting with someone in the hospital and telling them as they face a tragedy “well don’t be surprised.”  It feels callous at best, but the words of Peter stand as a stark reminder to us that no one will escape suffering. Right now as you read this you are probably facing difficulties of some kind.  Thankfully the Bible also teaches that the suffering we face on earth produces good in

Holy Mornings

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Sunday morning is one of the most sacred moments of the week for me. Not just when we gather to worship. Although I love that of course. But I’ve also come to love so much the quiet moments when Sunday first starts. I walk through an empty church, turn the lights on, adjust the thermostat. I look at the pews and anticipate who will be here. I look at the empty spots of the people who have already passed on and are worshipping in glory today. The click of the lock, silent footsteps in the sanctuary, the hum of the lights as they warm up. Looking at the old pictures we put up of people who worship here decades ago. All of that has become so special to me. Each Sunday I wait in eager anticipation to see what God is going to do that week. I pray for people I hope to see here this morning. I pray that God would bring salvation, that God would restore marriages, bring wayward children back home, that God would bring life where it seems there is none. The past year has really taught me not

How Long Will Your Steps Last?

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  Yesterday morning in the early hours at church I walked through some grass and left my foot prints in the dew. For a while someone could tell I had been there, but before long the sun came up and erased all evidence of me being there. As my footprints faded I realized that for most of us the legacies will leave behind us fade quickly like the dew. In a few generations most of the memories of us will fade except in a few family members. Like dew evaporates so does our memory of other people. But there is one way to make sure something we does lasts. By spending our lives on eternal things, Godly things, then we can be sure our work won’t fade. It’s an old saying but full of truth. “Only one life, will soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

The Gifts of God

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  Almost every Sunday morning I start the day by driving through our local refuge. There’s some thing about the stillness and beauty of God’s nature that helps get my heart and mind in the right place to be with God’s people. Today several of the roads around the refuge were closed because of flooding from heavy rain the last week. The rains always remind me that we cannot predict God‘s goodness to us. We might have a pretty good idea, especially now with our advanced technology, of when the rain will come. But there’s still so much uncertainty about exactly where and how much rain will fall. In the same way we might generally think that if we live in active certain way that God will be good to us. But there are times in our life that God‘s rain falls on us, in times in ways we never saw coming. His goodness and mercy comes to us, even when we don’t deserve it. The Bible promises that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. God continually gives us gifts that we do not deserve, g