Connecting the Dots in an Unconnected World

Friday, December 30, 2011


The week from December 25 to January 20 is a time of many celebrations for me. Including Christmas and New years here is a list:

December 27 - My birthday (1954) and our wedding anniversary (1977)
January 1 - Anniversary of my beginning to serve on a church staff (1977)
January 15 - Anniversary of my ordination to the Ministry (1978)
January 20 - Ruthi's birthday (? I'm not stupid)

This time of year is always a time of reflection for me. Sunday will be the 35th anniversary of my serving the Lord in a vocational position. Much has changed in 35 years.

Life has changed. 35 years ago. Marriage, 4 children, and 2 grand children, I used a rotary dial phone, we had 4 TV channels to choose from and  gasoline was 34 cents a gallon, etc ...

Church life has changed. 35 years ago there were no video screens for worship, sound systems were placed in separate rooms and preachers (almost all preachers) wore suits when preaching, etc ...

Southern Baptists were just beginning the "Battle for the Bible" and many traditional practices were being set aside as out of date

I could go on but you get the idea. However, there are some things that have not changed.

Sin is still man's greatest challenge and Jesus is still the only answer. The Bible is still God's inspired, inerrant Word. Preaching is still God's chosen method impact the culture. Soul Winning is still the finest investment of the believer and God's ordained method of bringing the lost to Christ. Also, Southern Baptists are still battling and many traditional practices are still being set aside as out of date.

Change is not a bad thing. In fact, change is inevitable in any living organism. However, change should be tested before it is embraced. Remember, one of the most significant changes in human history was the fall of Adam and Eve from their Edenic perfection.

I look forward to many more years of celebration and believe God to guide me through the treacherous waters of change.

Attempting to Connect the Dots....


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas

As we come to the home stretch of Christmas celebrations that include musicals, parties, eating (lots of eating), preaching, missions events, shopping, family and more... allow me to take a moment of reflection.

Christmas is first and foremost about a baby in the manger - Jesus! In the midst of all of the busy-ness we celebrate God's Son who came born of a virgin to one day die for our sins. Jesus is not just the reason for the season, He is the season, for there is no season without Him.

There is much I am thankful for as I celebrate Jesus' birth.

Family. Emotion floods my soul as I reflect upon the 32 previous Christmas celebrations that Ruthi and I have shared. Cutting down a Christmas tree that was 12 feet tall and attempting to get it into our 1 bedroom apartment with an 8 foot ceiling. Traditions like rice pudding that no one eats on December 23rd. The child like excitement that renews itself each year in our home as Christmas Day approaches. The first Christmas for Ralph, Marci and Steven. All night drives through snow storms to spend a few days with Ruthi's Mom and Dad. Thank you Ruthi for making Christmas at home such a wonderful time. God has given me a wonderful family.

Friends. Space does not allow for me to identify the legion of people who have blessed me across the years. Suffice it to say that God has allowed and continues to allow me to work and share ministry with the finest people in His kingdom's service. No man is more blessed by friends than I have been blessed.

Church. This is the 21st time I have celebrated the birth of Jesus with the people of Southside. I am humbled by and honored with the privilege of being called "preacher" by these dear people. They allow me to follow God's direction and pursue His high calling in my life. They pray for and encourage both me and my family. I am grateful not only for God's call on my life but  also for His choosing of a place of service for my labor.

Thank you Father for the gift of your Son and the ongoing gift of your mercies that are renewed every day.

Attempting to Connect the Dots...


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