Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"I CAN . . ."

Thus begins one of my favorite Bible verses, Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
As we begin this journey with Rachael's dad, added to all that is already going on in our lives, we stand on this promise. God is great. God loves us, we know that NOTHING can separate us from His love -- Romans 8. We rejoice in the Lord, not in circumstances or pain, but in Him knowing that He is perfect, and that His will is perfect and good. My prayer is that through all of this, Christ will be glorified and magnified in all of our lives.
I am reminded of the story of when the disciples asked Jesus about the man born blind (John 9) -- "Whose at fault here? Did this man's parent's sin cause this or this man's sin?" Jesus said "Oh no, but that God would be glorified -- that what He can do would be made known." My prayer is that the glory of God will be displayed.
This great and Godly family needs prayer -- for healing, for strength, for wisdom, for courage.

I also pray that all of the fine and dear folks working SO HARD at VBS will stand on Phil. 4:13. Last night we had a great turnout, and my prayer is that all of these precious children will go away knowing that God loves them so much that He sent His only begotten Son to save them from their sin. VBS is a hard week for workers, but may it be rewarding. May our attitudes be positive, and may we encourage one another. May we keep our eyes on the MAIN THING, and do all things to the Glory of God!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

"My grace is sufficient . . ."

Yesterday we travelled to the hospital as Rachael's grandmother was to be having surgery for a blockage in her colon. This was a real setback, as Nannie has always been one of the most active, healthy people you would want to know. As a friend said, "She's probably seen only 15 minutes of TV her entire life." She didn't waste time.
As we pulled into the parking lot, my cell phone rang. It was Rachael's mom, she said that Rachael's dad was in the ER there at the hospital. We had seen him Thursday night at a nephew's birthday party and he was hoarse and said his throat hurt. Friday morning he was saying he could not swallow and was having trouble breathing.
In the ER, Rachael's mom informed us that about a week or so ago he had been complaining about some pain in his neck, throat, and had felt a knot. It was determined yesterday that it was cancerous.
Today, they did a fuller biopsy and the cancer was definitely there -- thyroid cancer. Not just thyroid cancer, anaplastic thyroid cancer -- very rare, very aggressive. He will be transferred to UNC tomorrow to see and be treated by an oncology surgeon that is supposed to be top-notch.
Needless to say all this is a tremendous blow and shock to Rachael and her sister, and most especially to her mom. Now, both Rachael's dad and her grandmother are in rooms side-by-side. Nannie came through her surgery good, however the mass was the size of a "volleyball" according to the surgeon. In the days ahead, treatment, etc will be discussed, but she has a LONG roe to hoe for a woman her age and in her condition.
We know and stand on the tremendous promises of our mighty and all-powerful God. We know that He can perform a miracle and heal. We know that His grace is sufficient. We know that NOTHING can seperate us from His love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Whoever ever might read this, please pray with us.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Prayer Concerns

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." -- Philippians 4:6

We are praying for Rachael's grandmother. This fine, straight-forward, God-fearing, hardworking, loving woman is battling recently found cancer in her colon. Surgery is imminent, and she is very weak at this point. We know that Christ is greater than cancer. We know that He is the Healer. We know that He can do all things. We know that He is our peace and tells us to "Fear not, for lo I am with you always." May we claim these promises and stand on them.

It was reported this week that cartoonist and writer, Doug Marlette, had died in a car crash. Marlette was certainly thought-provoking. His claim to fame was that both Hillary Clinton AND Jesse Helms hated him. That is pretty good for an editorial cartoonist I think. His daily funny strip, Kudzu, with the Rev. Will B. Dunn, was great too -- even if he poked fun (truth) that seemed to go a little too far sometimes. But one could tell that Marlette knew the faith. I cannot say and will not say if he believed it, but he did know it. He was also an acclaimed novelist, who was beginning to take off. A gifted artist, a North Carolinian, that will be missed. I pray for his wife and family.

There are many, many prayer needs in our lives and in our church. We rejoice that we have a great God Who is able to meet those needs. We are grateful today that He never fails, He never makes a mistake, and that He alone is sovereign Lord over all. To Him alone be the glory!

Friday, July 06, 2007

A Phone Call

Imagine you are sitting at home one evening, minding your own business. Perhaps you are finishing up supper, reading a book, or watching TV.
And the phone rings.
Sometimes I dread the phone ringing. Oftentimes it is someone on the other end that does not know me, but is calling me (perhaps directed by a computer) to sell me something or harass me about something, like taking a survey.
With the advent of caller ID, we often look at the name and number on the ID and decide "Do I really want to take this call right now?" Usually if it shows up on mine as a Toll Free #, or Unavailable, I will choose not to answer -- especially if it is during a meal.
Also, many of us have answering machines or voice mail and simply ask folks to leave a message -- if we cannot get to the phone.
But back to the scenario . . .

You're sitting there, it rings. You look down at the ID and see "Fairview Baptist Church" -- what do you do? What if you have never heard of Fairview Baptist Church? You have never been to Fairview Baptist Church, do not know anyone who goes there, and wonder why exactly someone from there is calling you on a Thursday evening.
Out of curiosity you decide to answer. "Hello."
The other end says, "Hi. I am so&so from Fairview Baptist Church here in Reidsville, and as part of our CARE ministry we are calling our neighbors and asking if there are any prayer requests or concerns you might have this evening."

Uhmmmm . . . when was the last time someone called and asked you that?

Last night at CARE I had the opportunity to do just that. I took a page from the phone book and went down the page and called folks and asked just that. Can you believe that not a single person cussed me out? No one slammed the phone down in my ear. No one said "Why do you bother me like this?"
Instead I spoke with my neighbors, and they all said "As a matter of fact . . ." and then proceeded to share with me a burden or a praise.
Folks all around us, everywhere we go need to know someone cares about them. We have the privilege of knowing that Christ Jesus loves and cares for us, why not share that with others? Freely we have received, freely may we give.
May we everyday consider our neighbors. May we share the love of Christ -- with a kind word, with a warm smile, with an act of mercy and kindness. May we earnestly do good.
"Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven." -- Jesus, Matthew 5:16

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Sunday I attented the funeral of Mrs. Bowes refrenced in the last entry. One of her pastors, Dave Huggins, who had known her for a long time spoke of her just as she was, and just as I would have imagined. I have actually had the privilege of knowing several people like her . . . i call them honest-livers. They are honest with themselves, with their fellowman, and honest before God. May their tribe increase.
Sunday night at FBC we had a "visioning" time. We took time to dream and look ahead. We looked at what we need to focus on, and began to listen to one another instead of listening about one another. It was a great time. We must earnestly seek the Lord and His guidance for this His church.
Yesterday I was called upon by my big sister to go see and help my Dad in his recovery from surgery that he had on Friday. I took the family with me and we had a good day. I think the boys being there helped Dad (and Mom), at least I hope. The boys give them a sense of future and hope, and I know they do not want to ever give up so they can see them grow up. Children are truly a blessing from God, and sons a heritage.
Tonight we had a great family time. We went to see the Grasshoppers and then watched fireworks after the game. It was really a great time. I thought, "How blessed!" To be sitting on a beautiful July night, watching a baseball game in a beautiful stadium, in the greatest country on earth, with my beautiful wife and two fine sons. As the fireworlks were going off, I couldn't help but think of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and all over the globe, protecting this great way of life. I am thankful for the troops who have died to protect that and to carry it to their fellowman, all throughout our great history -- from 1776 till right now. Man, am I proud to be an American "where at least I know I'm free, and I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me, and I'll gladly stand-up, next to you, and defend her still today; for there ain't no doubt I love this land! God bless the USA!"