Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We've Got a Date!

Okay, the doctor has decided the little guy in the photo below will be introduced to the hard, cold reality of this world on Thursday, April 7, 2011.

At this time, both mother and baby are fine. However, mother wouldn't be disappointed if today were April 6. Please pray for her as she waits another nine days.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Worth Reading

David Gunner Gunderson offers some wise and helpful thoughts about how we should respond to the thought that life is short . . . and they might be different than you assume.  Life is short so don't waste it

Pastor Wade Burleson shares his story of leading a fellow prisoner to Christ in a Cozumel, Mexico jail. The story should encourage you in your faith, and it offers some insight into the risk of renting a vehicle in a foreign port of call while on a cruise. Saved from Hell in a jail cell in Cozumel

Friday, March 25, 2011


We ID! That's a logo and a mantra at many convenience stores in our area, which is intended to tell minors they can't buy tobacco or alcohol. Here's a story from Fort Worth about a liquor store that allegedly sold vodka to an underage patron that ended very badly.

In the story, the owner of the store says that he recently made a mistake and didn't ID an underage buyer that had been sent in a sting operation. But, he explains, "I was so tired and exhausted and I wasn't even paying attention" before assuring the readers: "I check IDs, and if they're too young, they aren't getting anything."

I don't know what the protocol for ID-ing an alcohol buyer is supposed to be, but a couple days ago, at the Walmart in Odessa, two men clearly in their 60's got carded before they could purchase two large cases of beer.

They were in line behind me, so I was already walking away when I heard the clerk ask both for identification: "Since you are together, I have to see ID from both of you," she said. I didn't think I heard her right since I was already walking away and they were both obviously old enough to be AARP members. But, I hesitated long enough to see both of them present their driver's licenses. One actually gave me a sly grin as I turned to leave. I wanted to verify their ages at the door, but thought I better mind my own business.

If a manager from the east Odessa Walmart reads this, you can be sure that at least one checker does ID those buying alcohol . . .  even if they obviously aren't minors.

I'm guessing this is part of the zero tolerance movement that sets certain rules that eliminate judgment on the part of those in authority. In this case, the clerk apparently doesn't have to make any determination . . . just ask EVERYBODY for ID. Maybe it's better this way for alcohol purchases, but I'm afraid zero tolerance policies generally dumb down society and end up hurting people along the way. Usually, the stories of zero tolerance lunacy come from elementary schools, but I think I've found one here, too.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pastors and Affairs

Gary Lamb, a self-described (former) rock star pastor who committed adultery offers some interesting thoughts on pastors and affairs.

In his blog post about a year after his rock star life at Revolution Church Atlanta came tumbling down, he listed four things that contribute to marital infidelity among pastors.


Mr. Lamb elaborates on each of the four factors, and I think his thoughts are worthy of consideration.

I appreciate his candor and willingness to make himself vulnerable to further criticism in order to help other pastors avoid the sin of adultery. And I appreciate that he didn't shift the blame for his sin onto others.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Refreshing Testimony

Recently, I heard a refreshing testimony at a men's prayer breakfast. Appropriate for the season, the speaker was the head coach of the local university's NCAA D2 womens basketball program.

A few things that made this testimony refreshing:
1. It's always refreshing to hear a man stand and tell how he came to know Jesus.

2. Although the coach was named conference coach of the year and his team won their conference, he didn't mention those things. In fact, he deferred such accolades to the men's coach from his university who shared the same awards: conference champs and coach of the year. Humility is refreshing.

3. The reason he mentioned the men's coach was that the men's coach was one of the men who had pursued him for the gospel. His testimony was focused on how God used others to bring him to an understanding of the gospel, which was a gentle reminder to the men in attendance that they have a responsibility to talk to others about the gospel.

4. The man giving his testimony had coached at the highest levels of men's NCAA D1 basketball and for some reason is now coaching women's D2. He didn't seem to use the D1 reference as a way of drawing attention to himself, but rather as an illustration of how "dropping" to D2 women's basketball was part of God's plan for him to come to faith. He mentioned hind-sight as being helpful to understand the work of God in our lives. It also struck me how he demonstrated contentment by not seeking the men's job at his university when it came open. 

5. He also gave credit to his best collegiate player who as a player gave the coach at least three Bibles with various verses highlighted and took the coach's son to church regularly. And the coach gave this credit to the player who presumably is or was in the NBA without dropping any names. That's really unusual in our day and age of marketing and building "street-cred" by dropping names of famous or powerful people . . . as if Jesus isn't famous or powerful enough.

Thanks, Coach. You honored the Lord in the way you gave your testimony.