Posted in Culture, Productivity, Theology

God Will Not Do Your Part

God has set things up in a certain way and He has decreed that something’s are His responsibility and some things are our responsibility. The trouble is we tend to get those things mixed up. Based on our understanding of God (Theology) we either try to do things that are God’s responsibility or we want him to do things that are our responsibility.

In many ways it would be great if all we had to do was ask someone to pray for us and our issue would instantly be fixed. However, confession (admitting our wrong) repentance (changing our actions) and believing the truth have always been the answer and no one else can do those for us.

Most defeated Christians are hoping that God will change His ways to accommodate them. They want God to assume their responsibility, but he won’t. If we want to move on as a Christian; no one else can do it for us. God has already promised to be with us (Hebrews 13.5) and provide all that we need (2 Peter 1:3), but we must stop blaming and do our part.


Adapted from Freedom In Christ Discipleship Course p.227

Posted in Culture, History

I Will Be In The Stairwell of Your Final Moments

I was listening to the Galo radio show a few days after the events on September 11th, 2001 when I heard this read over the air. It sent chills up my spine and to this day brings me encouragement and hope about God, and his sovereignty.

You say you will never forget where you were when you heard the news on September 11, 2001. Neither will I.

I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room with a man who called his wife to say “Good-Bye.” I held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the peace to say, “Honey, I am not going to make it, but it is OK…I am ready to go.” I was with his wife when he called as she fed breakfast to their children. I held her up as she tried to understand his words and as she realized he wasn’t coming home that night.

I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a woman cried out to me for help. “I have been knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!” I said. “Of course I will show you the way home – only believe on Me now.”

I was at the base of the building with the Priest ministering to the injured and devastated souls. I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He heard my voice and answered.

I was on all four of those planes, in every seat, with every prayer. I was with the crew as they were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the believers there, comforting and assuring them that their faith has saved them.

I was in Texas, Kansas, London. I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news. Did you sense Me? I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew every name – though not all know Me.

Some met Me for the first time on the 86th floor. Some sought Me with their last breath .Some couldn’t hear Me calling to them through the smoke and flames; “Come to Me… this way… take my hand.”

Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me. But, I was there.

If you were there in that explosive moment in time, would you have reached for Me?

September 11, 2001 was not the end of the journey for you. But someday your journey will end. And I will be there for you as well. Seek Me now while I may be found. Then, at any moment, you know you are “ready

to go.”

I will be in the stairwell of your final moments.


~ author unknown ~

Posted in America, Culture, Friends & Family, Leadership

The Inner Ring- Our Desire to Belong

It starts out when we are young; our desire to fit in, to belong, to be accepted. I see it in my kids, or should I say I recognize it in my kids, for I have first seen it in myself. The truth is that even as we grow into adulthood, we still desire it. Maybe the inner ring is being in management at work. Maybe it’s a desire to fit in with a certain crowd at a social club or church. God created us with a desire to belong; primarily this is realized through connecting and belonging to “Our Father in Heaven.” And it is also legitimate to want to belong to the “Inner Circle”. It’s not the inner circle that inherently evil, it’s our wiliness not fully be ourselves in order to belong. Years ago C.S. Lewis delivered a lecture entitled, “The Inner Ring“, which he gave at King’s College, at the University of London, in 1944. In it he warns of the dangers of desiring to fit it. I encourage you to read the entire speech at the link above, but I have posted below the parts of the Inner Circle that really spoke to me.

That is my first reason. Of all the passions, the passion for the Inner Ring is most skillful in making a man who is not yet a very bad man do very bad things.

My second reason is this. The torture allotted to the Danaids in the classical underworld, that of attempting to fill sieves with water, is the symbol not of one vice, but of all vices. It is the very mark of a perverse desire that it seeks what is not to be had. The desire to be inside the invisible line illustrates this rule. As long as you are governed by that desire you will never get what you want. You are trying to peel an onion: if you succeed there will be nothing left. Until you conquer the fear of being an outsider, an outsider you will remain.

This is surely very clear when you come to think of it. If you want to be made free of a certain circle for some wholesome reason—if, say, you want to join a musical society because you really like music—then there is a possibility of satisfaction. You may find yourself playing in a quartet and you may enjoy it. But if all you want is to be in the know, your pleasure will be short lived. The circle cannot have from within the charm it had from outside. By the very act of admitting you it has lost its magic.

Once the first novelty is worn off, the members of this circle will be no more interesting than your old friends. Why should they be? You were not looking for virtue or kindness or loyalty or humor or learning or wit or any of the things that can really be enjoyed. You merely wanted to be “in.” And that is a pleasure that cannot last. As soon as your new associates have been staled to you by custom, you will be looking for another Ring. The rainbow’s end will still be ahead of you. The old ring will now be only the drab background for your endeavor to enter the new one.

And you will always find them hard to enter, for a reason you very well know. You yourself, once you are in, want to make it hard for the next entrant, just as those who are already in made it hard for you. Naturally. In any wholesome group of people which holds together for a good purpose, the exclusions are in a sense accidental. Three or four people who are together for the sake of some piece of work exclude others because there is work only for so many or because the others can’t in fact do it. Your little musical group limits its numbers because the rooms they meet in are only so big. But your genuine Inner Ring exists for exclusion. There’d be no fun if there were no outsiders. The invisible line would have no meaning unless most people were on the wrong side of it. Exclusion is no accident; it is the essence.

The quest of the Inner Ring will break your hearts unless you break it. But if you break it, a surprising result will follow. If in your working hours you make the work your end, you will presently find yourself all unawares inside the only circle in your profession that really matters. You will be one of the sound craftsmen, and other sound craftsmen will know it. This group of craftsmen will by no means coincide with the Inner Ring or the Important People or the People in the Know. It will not shape that professional policy or work up that professional influence which fights for the profession as a whole against the public: nor will it lead to those periodic scandals and crises which the Inner Ring produces. But it will do those things which that profession exists to do and will in the long run be responsible for all the respect which that profession in fact enjoys and which the speeches and advertisements cannot maintain.

And if in your spare time you consort simply with the people you like, you will again find that you have come unawares to a real inside: that you are indeed snug and safe at the centre of something which, seen from without, would look exactly like an Inner Ring. But the difference is that the secrecy is accidental, and its exclusiveness a by-product, and no one was led thither by the lure of the esoteric: for it is only four or five people who like one another meeting to do things that they like. This is friendship. Aristotle placed it among the virtues. It causes perhaps half of all the happiness in the world, and no Inner Ring can ever have it.


Posted in Bloggers, Books, Culture, Education, Homeschooling, Kids, Leadership, Parenting, Technology, Theology

Navigating New Technology and Spirituality (Tim Elmore)

Last week I was able to hear Dr. Tim Elmore give a talk entitled, “Marching Off the Map: A Compass to Help the Next Generation Navigate New Technology and Spirituality”. Last year, after reading his book, “Artificial Maturity” I started following him at his website

Below are the notes I took during his talk. If you have or work with young adults (teens through 30 year olds) I suggest you start reading the blog , books, and resources from Growing Leaders.


This is the first generation that

  • Doesn’t need adults to get information (They need us for interpretation)
    • They don’t need us to access it but to process
    • Helping our kids learn how to think not what to think
  • Can broadcast their every thought or emotion
  • Enjoys external stimuli at their fingertips 24/7
  • In social contact at all times yet often in isolation 
    • Extremely social but not relational
    • Most sleep with phones
    • Showering with a cell phone
    • Low Emotional Intelligence for kids and Adults
  • Will learn more form a portable device than a class
  • Adults have actually been enabled to be narcissistic
    • Every year Narcissism is going up in Students
    • People are into themselves – Selfy Pics
    • However, The real world is not about them
  • Uses a phone instead of a wristwatch, camera, wall calendar or board game.


Dr. Elmore refers to the Millennial generation as, Generation iY, because life is pretty much about “i” (Self Centered)


Generation iY S.C.E.N.E

  • Accustom to S- Speed: They Assume Slow is Bad
  • Accustom to C- Convenience: They Assume Hard is Bad
  • Accustom to E-Entertainment: They Assume Boring is Bad
  • Accustom to N-Nurture: They Assume Risk is Bad
  • Accustom to E-Entitlement: They Assume Labor is Bad


So, How should we lead them?


1.  Don’t think Control, think Connect (Be authentic, Real)

        We must build bridges of relationships that can bear the weight of truth.

        Balance Screen time with face time. Every minute on device is a minute in person.

2.  Don’t think Inform, think Interpret (How think, not just what)

3.  Don’t think Entertain, think Equip. (Share why they need what we teach, before what)

        Churches are good at preaching, but not equipping.

4. Don’t think “Do It for Them”, think “Help Them Do It.”

        Let them fail (They took the monkey bars off playgrounds becuase we didn’t want them to get hurt now in their 20s they won’t take risk.)

5.  Don’t think Impose, think Expose. (Expose beats Impose every time)

6.  Don’t think Protect, think Prepare.

       Unbelievable, some school district no longer use Fs , the lowest is D is “Delayed Success”! Graces does not take away truth.

7. Don’t think Tell, Think Ask (Learn to ask good questions)

8.  Don’t think Cool, think Real. (To these kids the only thing that is worse than being uncool, is being unreal)

9.  Don’t thin Prescriptive, think Descriptive

10. Don’t Lecture, think Lab. (Missional experience: Serving Others)


Over the next several weeks I’ll be posting other notes from this conference (Catalyst 2013) I recently attended.

Posted in Culture, Family, Kids, Money, Parenting, The Word

Who Are We?

Think about your children, what are all the needs they will have in their lifetime? Physical, Social, Emotional. In “The Sensation of Being Somebody”, Maurice Wagner suggests that all these needs could be grouped into three categories.

  • Acceptance
  • Security
  • Significance

How do people go about trying to gain acceptance, security, significance?

  • Work
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Jobs
  • Money
  • Kids
  • Church

All of these are really good things; things we consider blessings. But can we really depend on these to meet our primary needs?

What happens if a relationship fails? Or what if we lose our job or our savings? What if our children don’t turn out the way we hoped? What if the new pastor changes the church we love?

Only, in and through a personal relationship with Jesus can these greatest needs be permanently satisfied. Our faith relationship with Christ is brought into reality through His promises in the Scripture. 2 Peter 3:3-4 reads,

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Below are just a few of these promises. Memorize these and remind yourself and your children that Christ is the truth, not our feelings, and in him all of our needs have been and will be meet.


  • 1 John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”


  • Romans 8:35-39 ” Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written:
    “For your sake we face death all day long;
         we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

     No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ”


  • 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Posted in Books, Culture, Football, Humorous, Theology

GOD and Football: Book Review +

Earlier this summer my wife and I took a quick trip to Fairhope, Alabama. While perusing through a local store I ran across this book by Chad Gibbs. I was hesitant to buy it, after all I only have about 25 other books on my “to be read shelf.” However, I was persuaded to buy it after two complete strangers observed me looking at it, and spoke up to say, “That’s a good book.” Do you know what, they were right!


Throughout the book Chad openly struggles with his god-like obsession with SEC football. As a Christian he wants to be defined by his faith in Jesus, but often finds his self-worth coming from his Auburn Tigers. . The book documents Chad’s 2009 adventure in which he visited every SEC town for a football game on Saturday and a local Church service on Sunday. I cried when I read this book. Not because it’s sad, but because Chad is my kind of funny. I really appreciated his humor toward each SEC School and each Christian denomination he visited. I’ve posted some of my favorite excerpts below:

  • I was born again, again, and my second honeymoon with God lasted all of about four weeks.
  • Then came the 2008 season. Auburn’s Book of Job.
  • Why do I spend all my money to go watch something that only makes me angry? And why do I waste so much of the precious time I’ve been given eating, sleeping, and drinking a game played by college kids I’ve never met? And as a Christian I have to ask, why do I worship something that I know will let me down when I could be worship a God that I know never will?
  • Being a lifelong Vanderbilt fan helps you to accept the cross.
  • (After a several hour rain delay at Auburn) “The players just ran out of the tunnel and we started the game. Very minimalist. Like letting Primitive Baptist run your pregame.
  • Thursday night football in a word is, unnatural…. It’s like Billy Graham at Hooters.
  • (At South Carolina) BBQ chicken was on the menu, which seemed a little cannibalistic for USC fans.
  • Michael’s cable did not pick up the Auburn game, which was apparently on ESPN-AL Jazeera.
  • Plus Many More

I highly recommend this book as the college football season approaches.

Posted in Culture, Entertainment, Food, Marriage, Music

Cotton Blues Restaurant Review

Monday night, my wife and I decided to drop by the recently opened Cotton Blues Restaurant in Hattiesburg. Not having any expectations we walked in and were greeted by three hostesses. The restaurant was moderately busy, but not crowed like you might see on a weekend. One hostess asked if we had made reservations and urged us to make them the next time we planned to come.

We were seated and the took in the ambiance of the restaurant which was….. different. It was upscale rustic, with definite delta cotton feel. All the food on the menu is produced from local farms; with the exception of the fish which is flow in from Hawaii? As you would expect from locally grown organic food, it is rather expensive. My plate; fried organic chicken (2 pieces), mashed potatoes, and green beans was priced at $16. My wife had the vegetable plate with greens, fried zucchini, mac & cheese, butterbeans, and sweet potato au gratin for $12. (These plates were two of the lease expensive items on the menu.)

The food itself was delicious and we both ate and were very satisfied. The chicken and the mashed potatoes were “fine”! They were just like I remember Mr. Billy Rawls “fixin” at the Round-Table in Columbia. After one bite I told my wife that we should go check in the kitchen and make sure Mr. Billy wasn’t back there. I know a few friends that would have a problem with portion sizes being a bit small, but ours were just right and the service was excellent. You could tell those working there were well trained.

All-in-all we had a great experience and will be back. I did feel Mississippi while at Cotton Blues and as William Falkner once said, “To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi.”

Posted in Culture, Education, Homeschooling, Kids, Parenting

Is Homeschooling Legal?

I’ve heard this before coming from well-meaning people, but a closer look at this question reveals an understanding about life and government that is very disturbing. If you think about it, for someone to even ask this question they are under the impression that the education of children is something that can ONLY be done by the government. That only “they” know what a child should be taught and that a person’s children are best educated by “The Government.”

So let’s ask another question, why do many parents feel inadequate to education their own children? Could it be, because they were “taught” in the same educational system that they are now told they should send their kids into? Thankfully, we live in a country that grants us the right and freedom to teach our own children!

The great news is that even though America has move toward a more socialist society; children, at this point, still legally belong to their parents, not the government. I once heard Pastor Voddie Baucham tell an audience that when asked this question, about the legality of homeschooling, he would simply reply, “My children are not the property of the State of Texas.” (The State where he lives.)

BUT THERE ARE LAWS! Yes, thankfully we can home educate our children, but there are laws in each state that allow for this. This right is being challenged daily in our country by those who believe the government knows best. You can/should visit the Home School Legal Defense Association’s website and learn about the laws of your particular state if you are considering homeschooling your children. We joined HSLDA earlier this year to help fund the fight to keep homeschooling legal and to provide for some legal protection in this area if we ever need it.

I’ll end by saying that I don’t think ALL public education is bad. We live in an area where that has great schools and great teachers in the system. However, I do believe that if a family wants to teach their children, instead of sending this into the system, they should legally have that right.

What are your thoughts on the legality of homeschooling?