For many days since the tragic death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, people have been writing and talking. CNN even has spent entire shows talking about white privilege. The race issue is a hot topic. Maybe we have not come as far as we would like to think. When a white police officer shoots and kills a black teenager it is not a good day in any community. The Brown family mourns. We should be praying for them. Any parent who loses a child suffers a broken heart. This family is no different. When all the cameras are gone, another story dominates the news, and the flowers have faded, this family will still be grieving. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter and the Brown family needs the church at this hour to be a comforting family. Also hurting today, is the family of a police officer. He is standing on a line that will either land him in jail or end his career. If he is at fault, then jail time is coming. And it should, if he shot a surrendering unarmed man. This is a time when we must have patience and allow the justice system to work. This is ...
August 26, 2014 in Make A Comment
Last night I was preaching in Eufaula, Alabama. My coach from my freshman year in college showed up for the meeting. It was a joy to reunite with Dr. Bill Elder. We had a great visit reminiscing about the year 1973. Old players and coaches love to tell stories! The encounter made me think. As a new school year begins, coaches through various sports across America will impact our young people. Here are some ideas that come to mind for all of us to consider... 1. Be grateful for the coaches that have influence in your life. 2. Pray for coaches as they impact young people. 3. Be supportive of these coaches. 4. Write a positive note to one of them. 5. Go to the games and be positive. Display Christ-likeness! 6. Encourage the spouse of a coach. 7. Remember half of them lose in every game. 8. Volunteer to coach a kids team. You will have a new appreciation for the people who do this full time.
August 22, 2014 in Make A Comment
Seems like last week I was making an appointment to speak with Adrian Rogers to learn about church. He was gracious and gave me several hours one weekend in Memphis. Now I find young men wanting to talk with me. I honestly do not understand this but I do know encouragement from an older (ouch!) preacher is often helpful. And I am encouraged by much of what I see from this next generation of leadership. Recently Ben Schettler joined our family at Olive. He has preached for me on a couple of occasions. He is what we would call an evangelist in days gone by. And he is a good one. He and his wife McKenzie do a fabulous job with young people in conferences and evangelistic meetings. I write today to recommend him. He has preached for me and I hope he will be invited to speak by many of my peers. He is a winner! Check out askorthink.com to find out more about this rising young leader.
August 20, 2014 in Make A Comment
On Wednesdays I meet with a group of men to talk and pray. Currently we are reading Eric Mason’s book Manhood Restored. Watching men mature and lead in the home and church is a vital task. I see an ever increasing need for this. This is why Olive hosts the Kingdom Men events. The next one is this Friday night. Dinner is at 5:30pm in the ROC and the gathering begins at 6:30pm in Passmore Hall. Tickets are on sale for $15 at the main office. You may also purchase tonight at Wednesday night supper and on Friday at the door. Two outstanding leaders will speak to us on Friday. Travis Fryman is one of our own. This former Major League third baseman will challenge and equip us in our daily walk with Christ. Robbie Gallaty, pastor of Brainard Baptist Church and founder of Replicate Ministries in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His book Growing Up was a refreshing wind in my soul. He is a disciple maker. Do not miss hearing him. It is going to be great - hope you join us!
August 15, 2014 in Make A Comment
A couple of my dear friends buried a parent this week. Randy Knepper lost his dad and Rick Stone lost his mother. After talking with them it caused me to reflect on my own parents. Dad will be 89 in a few days, while Mom is 83. Looking back with my friends made me grateful for a few things this only child has received in the past 60 years from two great parents. There were two of them. They have been married sixty-four years. Stability. It takes more than being in the same house. It takes unity. My parents are disciplined. They have always loved to work. Running a grocery store six days a week from early to late taught me much. They never sent me to church services. They took me themselves. Dad often took me fishing. I learned a lot about him in those early morning hours wading the Tennessee River while bream fishing. Every game, every sport I played, my parents always attended. Rarely heard, but always there. Best advice I ever received from Mom: Do not be a boring preacher because we have enough of those. Best advice I ever received from Dad: You better marry Liz before she changes her mind! I love ...