Friday, December 21, 2007

5 Amazing Days - The Closing

As we got close to the end of our time together at Disney World, I found myself not wanting to leave. Not because of the service of the resort or the freedom from the daily routines of work or anything else related to Disney World. It was the feeling of being separated from family.

Here is a picture our time together.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

5 Amazing Days, The Anniversary Lunch


The Anniversary couple!










Love those Chef hats from Mama Melrose's

Pictures are worth 1000 words.

video
Video of all of us around the table.

5 Amazing Days Part 2

This is a picture of Betty Clymer, Sylvia Wilson, Bud Clymer, Hal Wilson, Sandra & Ron Carlson and Inez in front of the Wizard's hat in MGM Studios at Walt Disney World. This was day 4 as we started out in the park.





It is amazing how this group of people when the idea of meeting Mike and Donna at Disney world to surprise them on their 35th anniversary all was in favor without question.










This is a picture of Hal, Bud, Ron and me in front of a German tank outside the Indiana Jones show at MGM. What a treat!

More to come!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

5 Amazing Days


We just returned from 5 amazing days of being with our extended family, our small group. It was a time to celebrate Mike and Donna's 35th anniversary and for all 18 of us to share time together and grow in love. We had a chance to hear Mike teach, have communion together and share a time of joy!

More to come!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

WHEN WE LOSE WE WIN ?

It is a hard concept to think about the phrase "When We Lose We Win" and have it make scense in 2007. We live in a work of Win At All Cost, the bottom line is the most important line, make it a win-win-win situation, and all of the other catch phrases we hear in our business world. There are thousands of books, magazines, and all kinds of consultants that teach these "winning" concepts.

The comcept of Jesus was love, relationships and developing that to the point of giving yourself to benefit others. The record of the Widow's mite is a prime example because she obviously had love and compassion and gave all she has without holding back for herself.

The Widow's Offering
Mark 12:41-43 (New International Version)

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.


Jesus gave everything to live as man and to take on all sin, be separated from God by that sin and to die for each one of us.

1 Cor. 13:8-12 (NIV)

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Love is the basis for everything taught in the bible. Without love everything else is just going through the motion.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Tradition

This is a picture of the November 22, 2007 Thanksgiving table at Ora Kay's house on Thursday. As has been our tradition for at least the past 10 years, since Inez and I have lived in Nashville we have gone to Ora Kay's for Thanksgiving Day. Patty, Ora Kay, Inez and I had a wonderful day, ate too much, watch football, played with Cymba and was thankful for all we have been given and the time together.

KENTUCKY vs TENNESSEE Weekend

Inez and Abby are getting ready to watch the KENTUCKY vs TENNESSEE football game (11/24/2007). Boy, what a game it turned out to be, 52-50, in 4 overtimes that now puts UT playing LSU in the SEC Championship game on Saturday, December 1st.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fall in Tennessee

On November 15, 2007 this is what fall colors look like on Oak Creek Drive in Nashville.
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A look from our driveway.
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A look from the side of our house.


Georgia Governor Prays for Rain on Capital Steps

Isn't this wonderful that a Governor would lead the way to publicly asking God for an answer to this problem.
________________________________________________

Governor takes Georgia's drought to a higher power

Updated: ("Nov 13, 2007 4:24 PM EST"); Nov 13, 2007 03:24 PM CST

November 13, 2007
Atlanta -- Governor Sonny Perdue, other state leaders, and ministers gathered at the state capitol to pray for rain, as many Georgia lakes and rivers are at their lowest levels ever recorded.
Short on rain, today Georgia's top officials said a prayer. "You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it." said Perdue.
"The River of God is full." At Byne Memorial Baptist Church, during their daily devotion they echoed the Governor's need for rain. "To call on God when you need anything is a good thing to do and it's a perfectly natural thing to do, and I'm glad we're doing it and I'm glad we can be part of it down here," said Byne's Director of Music, Steve Williams.
In fact, Williams sent Governor Perdue a letter of support. Here in south Georgia, the Flint River is nearly at it's base level, down 75 percent from where the river should normally flow.
"In terms of our rainfall, we're certainly way behind where we should be for a normal year. In southwest Georgia we're anywhere from 18 to 30 inches below our normal rainfall," says Mark Masters of the Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center.
Of course the Flint River remain at record low levels, in fact I managed to make it half way across the river in a suit and dress shoes, and the statistics are even worse. "There have only been 300, 350 days during that 106 year span where we've seen flows lower than what we have right now," said Masters.
What's worse is without rain, not just showers, but substantial rainfall, Georgia stands to enter 2008 drier than the state was in 2001 and come next spring, some Georgia farmers may find themselves without water for their crops.
While ground water levels remain abundant in south Georgia, the Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center encourages everyone to conserve water.

From WALB-TV, Albany, Georgia

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Homecoming

It wasn't but just a few weeks ago that we made a trip to Milan for Main Street's Homecoming. Well, we actually didn't make Homecoming but the night before Mark and Nancy Bradford was gracious enough to host everyone at their house for a party. It was almost like taking a step back in time to the time we would all go to a Milan HS football game and stop at somebody's house eat snacks and watch the scores on the late news. BOY, it was good to see the guys that were there! I wish it had been where I could have stayed for that Sunday and heard Dorain preach and spent a little time with all of the folks at Main Street. I have used several analogies from this visit to Milan and being at Mark and Nancy's house at CareStone. So even in missing that particular Sunday, there have been shared blessings from the quick Saturday trip to see some old friends and have a few hours together. The picture above is Dorian and Cheri Flynn with Inez and me. Dorian forgot to read the red shirt memo.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

THE OLD PHONE

When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it.
Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was "Information Please" and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone's number and the correct time.
My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy.
I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear. "Information, please" I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.

"Information."

"I hurt my finger..." I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.

"Isn't your mother home?" came the question.

"Nobody's home but me," I blubbered.

"Are you bleeding?" the voice asked.

"No," I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts."

"Can you open the icebox?" she asked.

I said I could.

"Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger," said the voice.

After that, I called "Information Please" for everything. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.
Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, "Information Please" and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?"
She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, " Wayne, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in."
Somehow I felt better.

Another day I was on the telephone and called, "Information Please."

"Information," said in the now familiar voice.

"How do I spell fix?" I asked.
All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. "Information Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me.
Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.
A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, "Information Please."
Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well. "Information."

I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, "Could you please tell me how to spell fix?"

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess your finger must have healed by now."

I laughed, "So it's really you," I said. "I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?"

I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your calls meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls."

I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.

"Please do", she said. "Just ask for Sally."

Three months later I was back in Seattle. A different voice answered, "Information." I asked for Sally.

"Are you a friend?" she said.

"Yes, a very old friend," I answered.

"I'm sorry to have to tell you this," she said. "Sally had been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago."

Before I could hang up she said, "Wait a minute, did you say your name was Wayne?"

"Yes." I answered.

"Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called.

Let me read it to you." The note said, "Tell him there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean."

I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.

Never underestimate the impression you may make on others.

Whose life have you touched today?

Why not pass this on? I just did....

Lifting you on eagle's wings. May you find the joy and peace you long for.

Life is a journey ... NOT a guided tour.

I loved this story and just had to pass it on. I hope you enjoy it and get a blessing from it just as I did.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Blood

One night in a church service a young woman felt the tug of God at her heart.
She responded to God's call and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. The young woman had a very rough past, involving alcohol, drugs, and prostitution. But, the change in her was evident. As time went on she became a faithful member of the church. She eventually became involved in the ministry, teaching young children.

It was not very long until this faithful young woman had caught the eye and heart of the pastor's son. The relationship grew and they began to make wedding plans. This is when the problems began. You see, about one half of the church did not think that a woman with a past such as hers was suitable for a pastor's son. The church began to argue and fight about the matter.
So they decided to have a meeting. As the people made their arguments and tensions increased, the meeting was getting completely out of hand. The young woman became very upset about all the things being brought up about her past. As she began to cry the pastor's son stood to speak.

He could not bear the pain it was causing his wife to be. He began to speak and his statement was this:"My fiancée's past is not what is on trial here. What you are questioning is the ability of the blood of Jesus to wash away sin. Today you have put the blood of Jesus on trial. So, does it wash away sin or not?" The whole church began to weep as they realized that they had been slandering the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Too often, even as Christians, we bring up the past and use it as a weapon against our brothers and sisters. Forgiveness is a very foundational part of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If the blood of Jesus does not cleanse the other person completely then it cannot cleanse us completely. If that is the case, then we are all in a lot of trouble.
What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! End of case!!!!

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." Psalm 55:23

This prayer is powerful and prayer is one of the best gifts we receive.
There is no cost but a lot of rewards, let's continue to pray for one another.

Here is the prayer:
"Father, I ask you to bless my friends, relatives and email buddies reading this right now.
Show them a new revelation of your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask you to minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is pain, give them your peace and mercy. Where there is self doubt, release a renewed confidence through your grace.
In Jesus' precious name.
Amen "

Shared by Inez Stubblefield

THE SCARS OF LIFE

Some years ago, on a hot summer day in south Florida , a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went.

He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.

His father working in the yard saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, he ran toward the water, yelling to his son as loudly as he could.

Hearing his voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his father. It was too late. Just as he reached his father, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the father grabbed his little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the father, but the father was much too passionate to let go. A farmer happened to drive by, heard his screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator.

Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And, on his arms, were deep scratches where his father's fingernails dug into his flesh in his effort to hang on to the son he loved.

The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, "But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my Dad wouldn't let go."

You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go. In the midst of your struggle, He's been there holding on to you.

The Scripture teaches that God loves you. You are a child of God He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way. But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations, not knowing what lies ahead. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril - and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That's when the tug-of-war begins - and if you have the scars of His love on your arms, be very, very grateful. He did not and will not ever let you go.

God has blessed you, so that you can be a blessing to others. You just never know where a person is in his/her life and what they are going through.

Never judge another persons scars, because you don't know how they got them.

Shared by Jimmie Sue Mathis

Monday, October 15, 2007

The 23rd Psalm in Single Words

Here is the 23rd Psalm in one word descriptions.

Relationship. Supply. Rest. Refreshment. Healing. Guidance. Purpose. Testing. Protection. Faithfulness. Discipline. Hope. Consecration. Abundance. Blessing. Security. Eternity.

Not let's expand this a little so we can all understand these descriptions.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, [RELATIONSHIP] I shall not be in want. [SUPPLY]
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, [REST] he leads me beside quiet waters, [REFRESHMENT] 3 he restores my soul. [HEALING] He guides me in paths of righteousness [GUIDANCE] for his name's sake. [PURPOSE] 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, [TESTING] I will fear no evil, [PROTECTION] for you are with me; [FAITHFULNESS] your rod and your staff, they comfort me. [DISCIPLINE] 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. [HOPE] You anoint my head with oil; [CONSECRATION] my cup overflows. [ABUNDANCE] 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, [BLESSING] and I will dwell in the house of the LORD [SECURITY] forever. [ETERNITY]

Shared by Windel Burton

Happy Fall


Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin. God lifts you up, takes you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. He opens you up, touches you deep inside and scoops out all the yucky stuff-- including the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside you to shine for all the world to see. This was passed on to me from another pumpkin. Now, it is your turn to pass it to a pumpkin. I liked this enough to send it to all the pumpkins in my patch. Happy Fall!

Shared by Windel Burton

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tidbits

Did you know:

Women who have close friends live longer and are generally in better health. Yes, health officials have discovered that women who have close friends have happier, healthier lives. Yes, a new revelation for health officials. Even the TODAY show had a segment on this fact on Monday, September 17, 2007 professing the need for women to have and develop those lasting friendships.

This is not a new revelation. John 15:10-13 says,

10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Another recent published revelation from some health care officials is that laughter adds approximately 8 years to a man's life. I go back to John 15:11 "... and that your joy might be full."

So make close friends and laugh, a lot!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Everyone Has a Story

Over the past couple of weeks several events have happened that caused me to think that “Everyone Has A Story”. Mrs. Burns at Carestone told me one Sunday morning a few weeks ago that she didn’t know why she was still here. At the Men’s retreat in Tim Partlow’s session about “Men After God’s Own Heart”, Tim talked about men in the Bible that was referred to as being after God’s own heart. Of course you think of David, Moses, Abraham, Paul and so on. A couple of Sundays ago at the 10:30 service Mark Steele told part of his story from his dark days during the pit of his addiction.

Yesterday at Carestone I spoke about Everybody’s story. God didn’t pick men (or Women) that were without problems. Let’s look at Paul (Saul). In Acts chapter 9 Saul got orders from the High Priest to go search Damascus and find Christians and arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem for punishment, even putting them to death. He was a murder. And, David was a man after God’s own heart put his mistress’s husband at the front of the battle to be sure he would be killed. So, David was an adulterer and murder.

The point I was trying to make is that God takes people in whatever state they were in and they changed because of God. Mike Root use to say that the gospel can be summed up in one word, Love. I think that is true and that God intended us to love each other and know each other’s story and be thankful that He sent the gift of Jesus to save us from the blackness of sin.

Just like our own families that we know the good and the not good stuff and we love them because of it and in spite of it. We need those circles of people that we know them just like we know our own families, the circles of people that we can lean on in the rough times, we can celebrate with in the good times and that we can praise God with all the time. I was sitting here and just saw a T-Mobil cell phone commercial that implied this same idea, asking who was in your “fav–5”. Well, we all need those Fav-5’s we can call anytime for any reason!

Sometimes we have to tell our stories to encourage people that they can make it through their rough times. To let them know that God will take you in whatever state you’re in and can change you. Sometimes we need to tell our stories to develop that circle of people that we can trust with anything and who know us just like our own family! So, tell your story!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Happy Birthday Sam!




We spent Labor Day weekend in Paris with Sam. Sunday, September 2nd was his birthday. I think we surprised him. Inez ordered hm a birthday cake and it was a small party, just the 3 of us, but we enjoyed it! Happy 73rd birthday Sam!






HOSPITAL TOP 10



After spending 3 days in the hospital recently and feeling really bad, here are some things to expect or not expect about hospitals.

10. Don’t try to sleep in a hospital.
9. Don’t expect to be able to rest in a hospital.
8. Don’t expect a rush to answer call lights.
7. Don’t expect bathroom calls to be easy when attached to an IV pole.
6. Don’t expect hospital food to have flavor.
5. Don’t expect hours to pass in normal time, they seem much longer.
4. Expect to be embarrassed by all the poking, prodding and bystanders during examinations.
3. Expect to find out about more body areas than you ever really wanted to know.
2. Expect to find out how many body orifices can be examined.
1. Expect to be left with the dilemma of which is worse the illness or the treatment?

I do need to add a disclaimer by saying that without the hospital I would not have improved and be able to be back in my normal routine. But this was only my second time as a patient in a hospital. I have been the visitor or employee all these years. It was so awkward being the patient. My other time as a patient was a single overnight stay after a quick surgery.

I hope all your hospital stays are short and that you improve quickly so that you can get back to your normal routines.

It was reinforced how much you appreciate the people who come to visit and how glad you are to get those call and cards to let you know how much people care. Each one was loved and appreciated.

And to all of our extended family in our Small Group, you just don"t know how much you mean to Inez and me. God has blessed us with all of you and we love you guys!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Gotta Love the South

If you live in the South you will understand all of these. If you don't ... find someone you can call, quick!

1. Only a Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit, and that you don't "HAVE" them, you "PITCH" them
2.Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc., make up "a mess."
3. Only a Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of "yonder."
4. Only a Southerner knows exactly how long "directly" is, ... as in: "Going to town, be back directly"
5. Even Southern babies know that "Gimme some sugar" is not a request for the white, granular sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in the middle of the table.
6. All Southerners know exactly when "by and by" is. They might not use the term, but they know the concept well.
7. Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin!
8. Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between "right near" and "a right far piece." They also know that "just down the road" can be 1 mile or 20.
9. Only a Southerner, both knows and understands, the difference between a redneck, a good ol' boy, and po' white trash.
10. No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.
11. A Southerner knows that "fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.
11. Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines, ... and when we're "in line," ... we talk to everybody!
13. Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they're related, even if only by marriage.
14. In the South, y'all is singular, ... all y'all is plural.
15. Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them.
16. Every Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.
17. When you hear someone say, "Well, I caught myself lookin'," you know you are in the presence of a genuine Southerner!
18. Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk." Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it -- we do not like our tea unsweetened. "Sweet milk" means you don't want buttermilk.
19. And a true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just say,"Bless her heart" ... and go your own way.
20. To those of you who are still a little embarrassed by your Southerness: Take two tent revivals and a dose of sausage gravy and call me in the morning. Bless your heart!
21. And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff, ... bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin' to have classes on Southernness as a second language!
22. And for those that are not from the South but have lived here for a long time, all y'all need a sign to hang on y'alls front porch that reads "I ain't from the South, but I got here as fast as I could."

Shared by Jackie Matthews

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

CHRISTIAN WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS

An Angel says, "Never borrow from the future. If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn't happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice."

1. Pray
2. Go to bed on time.
3. Get up on time so you can start the day un-rushed.
4. Say NO to projects that won't fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.
5. Delegate tasks to capable others.
6. Simplify and un-clutter your life.
7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)
8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.
9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects overtime; don't lump the hard things all together.
10. Take one day at a time.
11. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety. If you can't do anything about a situation, forget it.
12. Live within your budget; don't use credit cards for ordinary purchases.
13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.
14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.
15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.
16. Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.
17. Get enough rest.
18. Eat right.
19. Get organized so everything has its place.
20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.
21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.
22. Every day, find time to be alone.
23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don't wait until it's time to go to bed to try and pray.
24. Make friends with Godly people.
25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.
26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good "Thank you Jesus."
27. Laugh. (SOUND like someone you know?)
28. Laugh some more! (SOUND like someone else you know?)
29. Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.
30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).
31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).
32. Sit on your ego.
33. Talk less; listen more.
34. Slow down.
35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.
36 . Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before.

GOD HAS A WAY OF TURNING THINGS AROUND FOR YOU. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)

Shared with me by Jackie Matthews

Monday, July 30, 2007

Suppressing Joy?

In our Small Group last night we were looking at 2 Corinthians 3 where Paul unveils some personal insight. Of course, our conversations took on some personal insights of their own.

A comment was made about the spontaneous clapping that started during one particular part of the 10:30 assembly at Antioch and a question was asked about how could anyone object to that, but there was a couple of people that did by their actions. That took off with some additional comments about people and children that were spontaneous and that it just seemed so natural and appropriate. There was some that was displeased with the clapping and its timing. Although, we clap a lot, we clap with many of our frequently sung songs. But yesterday was different for some reason and I guess it was because the clapping occurred during the communion portion of assembly. There were people who sat down, or was heard saying, "if this is going to happen, I'm not coming back."

God gives us so many gifts and talents. But it seems to me that we suppress those gifts and talents because of Puritan traditions that we have accepted as part of religious history. But it hit me - How would God look at us (at me) for suppressing someones talents, joy and the Spirit? The Spirit is a gift as a child of God and part of the joy of being a child of God and a talent that God has given us. Why would we ever consider suppressing that? Wouldn't that be like someone giving you a car and you telling them thank you, I'll take the car but I don't want the engine, or a wheel or two, or maybe the steering wheel. Whoa ....... You wouldn't ever do anything like that, so why do we do that with God? If God was the person giving you a car, none of us would say that we didn't want the whole thing. Yet, in a generalized way, are we doing that?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Where the Heart is Determines What the Eyes See


I was reading Mike's blog and his latest top ten. It occurred to me that where the heart is has a lot to do with what you see (or want to see). Most of us have family situation where we see the same situation differently, or jobs where we see the same situations differently. I know you have had those job situations and asked what in the world is the boss doing? Don't he/she know that will never work? I have. I was looking at it from where I was and what I know and they were looking at it from where they were and what they knew. Or, have you have had those situations where you made decisions based on your experience and things that may have happened to you in the past? Sure you have, we all do it every day. We base what we see, the understanding we have and the decisions we make about them on our viewpoints and past experiences.


We base religious understand and religious decisions on those same foundations. But, in growing in Christ, in studying, listening to God speak through the word, we have the opportunity to grow beyond the limitations of basing decisions only on an earthly viewpoint. By developing our relationship with God and changing our viewpoint to one of love, grace and mercy we change and begin to see things through our heart. So, where the heart is now determines what our eyes see.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sam’s Good News

Sam had his follow up with Dr. Kest yesterday (7/24) and to get the pathology report from his laser surgery.

It was Stage I throat cancer. The pathology report showed that all margins were free of cancer cells and that all of the cancer was removed by the surgery. It was Squamous Cell cancer which grew outward and allowed the doctor to remove all of the cells. The treatment is close surveillance with follow up to begin every 2 months for a while and then stretch out to every 3 months and them to every 6 months.

Thank you God for answering all of the prayers and healing Sam.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Wonderful Surprise

I had such a wonderful surprise Sunday. Kathy Rose got a birthday cake for Sylvia Wilson and me. We share the same birthday. I had committed to help with the Charles Davis Foundation dinners Sunday through Tuesday and wasn't able to be at our Small Group meeting. Well to shorten the story, when we got home from the first CDF dinner, Kathy and Don had brought the birthday cake home and left it for me with birthday cards and everything! WOW! A wonderful surprise and how thoughtful is that Kathy .... I can't say enough about how we love and appreciate Kathy and that whole group of people that have truly become FAMILY!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Happy 50th birthday, Curt!

Today the love of my life turned 50 years old! He doesn't look 50, he doesn't think 50, and he certainly doesn't act 50! We treated him to a nice dinner at Outback with a beautiful birthday cake. Ora Kay and Patty helped us celebrate. It really is nice being close to family at times like this. I hope I get to see Curt celebrate his next 50 years! Inez

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Turning 50

Fifty years ago today was Friday, July 19, 1957. For most people, a day of no particular consequence, for Essie Lynn Stubblefield it was the day she gave birth to a baby boy … me. There are times when I wish I new more about what that day was like for Mom. I know that Sam drove her to the hospital and left for basic training the next day.

For me it doesn’t seem like 50 years. I still think of myself as being younger and able to do all the things that I could when I was 21, 174 pounds, tan and muscular from working on scale jobs doing the pit construction and assembling the lever systems for the truck scales we installed all over West Tennessee and Western Kentucky.


From 1957 to 2007 there have been a lot of changes that have occurred in this country. We have gone from Sputnik and the ‘57 Corvette to what we know and take as common today.




Not as much change as what our parents and grandparents saw in their lifetimes, but still a huge amount of progress. I can actually remember things that happened when I was 3 or 4 and living on Evergreen Street in Dresden. I can remember a few things about the Taylor’s that lived next door and Mr. John Carey’s garden with all the watermelons and his (Reelfoot) Lake Boat. It was one of the most amazing things. If you have never seen one, picture a canoe with the point in the rear of the boat gone and replaced with a small transom. The canoe is lined on the outside with metal, especially on the front of the boat about a third of the way down the forward portion. I also had a Briggs & Stratton engine with a shaft and a propeller at the end of the shaft just outside the transom. If you have ever been to and know the history behind Reelfoot Lake, you know it was formed in 1812 when there was an earthquake along the New Madrid fault and formed the lake which was lowland in Northwest Tennessee near the Mississippi River. The land was covered in Cypress trees and still today has Cypress knees (stumps) that stick out of the water. Well this boat was built to travel on the lake and glance off of the Cypress stumps. Mr. Carey’s was the first Reelfoot boat I saw up close.

I remember some things about that house on Evergreen Street, the living room with what seemed like a big picture window that looked toward the Taylor’s and down the street toward Parker’s store. I remember my John Deer tractor (tricycle) and a picture I saw for years of Earnestine pushing me on it on the sidewalk.

Fifty years is one of those personal milestones that we cross as we age. There have been times when I have thought I wish I could go back and do things differently, but then it hits me. If I were able to change that history and experience, I wouldn’t be who I am now and where I am now. The choices I made and the experiences I have lived have molded me into the person I have become. Without them, who knows how different I would be?

I thank God has given me these 50 years, Inez, the family I have and all of the things He has blessed me with and that He has protected me even in my ignorance and stupidity. His power and wisdom was and is greater than me or anything I could try. His grace and mercy is greater than imaginable. Amen.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Thank you God for dusty shoes

Shoes in church ...
I showered and shaved...... ....... I adjusted my tie.
I got there and sat......... ..... In a pew just in time.
Bowing my head in prayer...... ... As I closed my eyes.
I saw the shoe of the man next to me..... Touching my own.
I sighed.With plenty of room on either side...... I thought, "Why must our soles touch?
"It bothered me, his shoe touching mine... But it didn't bother him much.
A prayer began: "Our Father"..... ........ I thought, "This man with the shoes.. has no pride.
They're dusty, worn, and scratched. Even worse, there are holes on the side!"
"Thank You for blessings," the prayer went on.
The shoe man said........ ....... a quiet "Amen."
I tried to focus on the prayer...... . But my thoughts were on his shoes again.
Aren't we supposed to look our best ... When walking through that door?"
Well, this certainly isn't it," I thought, Glancing toward the floor.
Then the prayer was ended....... ..... And the songs of praise began.
The shoe man was certainly loud...... Sounding proud as he sang.
His voice lifted the rafters..... .... His hands were raised high.
The Lord could surely hear.. The shoe man's voice from the sky.
It was time for the offering.... ... And what I threw in was steep.
I watched as the shoe man reached.... Into his pockets so deep.
I saw what was pulled out......... . What the shoe man put in.
Then I heard a soft "clink" . as when silver hits tin.
The sermon really bored me.......... To tears, and that's no lie.
It was the same for the shoe ma n... For tears fell from his eyes.
At the end of the service..... . As is the custom here.
We must greet new visitors.. And show them all good cheer.
But I felt moved somehow..... ........ And wanted to meet the shoe man.
So after the closing prayer...... .. I reached over and shook his hand.
He was old and his skin was dark..... And his hair was truly a mess.
But I thanked him for coming..... . ... For being our guest.
He said, "My names' Charlie..... ..... I'm glad to meet you, my friend."
There were tears in his eyes....... But he had a large, wide grin."
Let me explain," he said........ . Wiping tears from his eyes."
I've been coming here for months.... And you're the first to say 'Hi.'"
"I know that my appearance.. ......."Is not like all the rest."
But I really do try......... ........" To always look my best."
"I always clean and polish my shoes.."Before my very long walk."
But by the time I get here........ ."They're dirty and dusty, like chalk."
My heart filled with pain........ .... and I swallowed to hide my tears.
As he continued to apologize... ...... For daring to sit so near.
He said, "When I get here........ ..."I know I must look a sight.
"But I thought if I could touch you.."Then maybe our souls might unite."
I was silent for a moment...... ...... Knowing whatever was said
Would pale in comparison.. . I spoke from my heart, not my head.
"Oh, you've touched me," I said......"And taught me, in part;
"That the best of any man......... ..."Is what is found in his heart."
The rest, I thought,.... .......... ... This shoe man will never know.
Like just how thankful I really am... That his dirty old shoe touched my soul.

You are special to me and you have made a difference in my life. I respect you, and truly cherish you. Send this to your f riends, No matter how often you talk, Or how close you are, And send it to the person who sent it to you. Let old friends know you haven't forgotten them, and tell new friends you never will. Remember, everyone needs a friend. Someday you might feel like you have no friends at all. Just remember this message and take comfort in knowing that someone out there cares about you..... and always will.

God doesn't give us what we can handle,
God helps us handle what we are given.
Jimmie Sue Mathis

Thursday, July 12, 2007

ALL YOU CAN

Do all the good you can.
By all the means you can.
In all the ways you can.
In all the places you can.
At all the times you can.
To all he people you can.
As long as ever you can.

______________________

Nature forms us.
Sin deforms us;
School informs us;
But only Christ transforms us.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

July 11 - Thought of The Day

Said the Robin to the Sparrow, "I should really like to know why these anxious human beings rush about and worry so."
Said the the Sparrow to the Robin, "Friend, I think that it must be that they have no Heavenly Father such as cares for you and me."

Thank God for good news!

July 10, 2007
It is 9:00PM - Sherry (Burton) is now awake and not in pain except for her shoulders. ( result of the gases they pump in to expand the abdominal cavity, which rises to your shoulders) Not able to eat yet, and moving v e r y slow and only when absolutely necessary. Her surgery went well. The cyst was so large that they had to take the ovary also. Doc said she would feel MUCH better now. He also assured us that everything else looked good and there was no cause for concern. I ask what caused these things and he said "Bad Luck". Actually we feel blessed.. it could have been so much worse...
Thank you for your prayers.. past - present - and future.
Windel

Monday, July 9, 2007

Holiday Pneumonia

I just finished a round of antibiotics for pneumonia. Boy it was rough. I came down with what I thought was the flu or a really bad cold on Thursday, June 28. By Friday at noon I could tell it was something else. Inez listened to me and said when I can hear you wheezing across the room and your lungs sound "gunky" it isn't just a cold.

Well I listened to Inez's advise and she called and got me in to see Dr. Johnson. His evaluation after listening to me was that I "sounded pretty gunky in there." Highly educated medical terminology "gunky" means it wasn't good. After a couple of x-rays that showed I had the beginning of pneumonia in the upper lobe of my left lung, Dr. Johnson gave me a gram of rochephin and a script for a broad based antibiotic for 10 days.

Being sick over a holiday wasn't the best of scheduling, like it could have been scheduled. Well we are now in day 11 and I feel like I am pretty much mended. I still have a little scratchy cough occasionally and a sneeze here and there, but I feel like I am 90 to 95% back to my normal self.

I have had a lot of calls and e-mails with well wishes that was so nice. I appreciate all of them so very much. Most of all, it is good to be back to feeling so much better.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Worship Questions

Here we are again with another set of daily questions. I was reading Mike Root's blog and saw his latest Top Ten list. I flipped over and was watching the "Sin Video" on Holly's blog and the questions come back. Well here goes at my own attempt at a Top Ten Questions list.

10. If "WORSHIP" is a lifestyle and not just a few hours inside a building, why is there a "Closing Prayer? Why wouldn't it be a "Continuing Prayer?"

9. If worship is a lifestyle and not just a few hours, why is it OK to have a group sing, perform a skit, have a choral performance, etc. only after the "Closing Prayer?" A real delema for all of you lifetime c of c'ers.

8. What gifts, talents, ways of encouragement and means to share Jesus have we and do we miss out on because we have accepted traditions over truth and buried our head in the sand?

7. If women are to be silent in the church, why are the songs we sing for worship written in 4-part harmony?

6. Why is gathering around a piano or guitar and singing Christian songs, "church songs" less instrumental worship - at home - than in a "church building?"

5. We say there is nothing sacred about the CHURCH BUILDING, but why do we think CHURCH only meets at the building?

4. We say there is nothing sacred about the CHURCH BUILDING, but why do we actually act like worship only takes place in the church building?

3. If women are not to be a part of the public assembly, why do we let them pass the communion trays and offering baskets down the pews? (A little simplistic, but I was asked this question not too long ago.)

2. If we look back to the cross for forgiveness and redemption, we look forward to the cross for salvation, then why do pictures of the cross on screen or a cross on stage seem out of place and apparently scare some people so much?

1. If there is truth in the 9 previous questions, are we not putting limits on ourselves and on God?

I have some answers but there are always more question. Sometimes the answers turn into questions. Here is another question, don't we need to be asking these types of questions and being like the Bereans? Acts 17:11 "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Musical


We just finished the Antioch Summer Outreach Musical this past Sunday night. About three and a half months of work, three nights of the performances and about 800 people total who came to those performances to see us perform the Randy Gill - Jeff Walling version of Noah and the Ark. In all, there were about 70 people who work on or acted in this production. It was a lot of work and there were those who did so much more than I did to make it happen. It is always a happy closing night because you can let lose and have fun with the characters and adlib some stuff along the way. But, it is sad too. Sad in the fact that just about the time you have confidence in getting the lines down, where you are supposed to stand and those dance steps (something hard for us life long c of c people who can't dance and just don't have that body rythm) and getting it all put together in front of an audience, it ends.

This was my fourth of five musicals at Antioch. It is always hard to compare from year to year. There are really no comparisons because all of them are different and all of them have different people, different characters, different everything! One thing that was different this year was the "ROOT-Em On" award. Marcus Miller came up with the ideas in honor of Mike Root who started the Summer Musicals. It was two plastic goblets decorated with ribbon and ginger root. It was passed from person to person each night for work, effort and enhancing the performance for someone in the cast and crew. I thought this was a wonderful tribute to Mike for getting the Musicals started and the standard he set for the musicals.

I'm not sure how many more musicals I will be in if any. This year was a predominantly female cast and during the rehersals and the performances I realized that I was an in-between-er. It came to me that I was somewhere in between some of the groups of people in the cast and crew. Unfortunately there wasn't any of my close friends or hanging buddies in this play. It occurred to me that I wasn't connected to Antioch like I once was. We are involved in the CareStone ministry and have gotten committed to doing that each Sunday. We have gotten close and developed such a connection with our Small Group that overlaps the Sunday evening service we don't see people at Antioch as often and it has widened the connect I had with people at Antioch.

I guess the musical made me think about some of the questions I had set aside. Questions about truth over traditions, questions about double standards, about why things are accepted in certain situations and not in others? That made me realize I was an in-between-er because I didn't see anything wrong with it back then, just like I don't see anything wrong with it now. So, I am in between those people who do and did have that prejudice about an instrumental track. It made me realize that I still have those questions about what are we missing out on that God gives us because of our anchors on traditions?

Friday, June 1, 2007

LOVE ALWAYS

One day a woman's husband died, and on that clear, cold morning, in the warmth of their bedroom, the wife was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't anymore. No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more "just one minute." Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes away, never to return before we can say good-bye, say "I love you." So while we have it, it's best we love it, care for it, fix it when it's broken and heal it when it's sick. This is true for marriage ... And old cars .. And children with bad report cards, and dogs with bad hips, and aging parents and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it. Some things we keep -- like a best friend who moved away or a classmate we grew up with. There are just some things that make us happy, no matter what. Life is important, like people we know who are special, and so, We keep them close! I received this from someone who thought I was a 'keeper'! Then I sent it to the people I think of in the same way. Now it's your turn to send this to all those people who are "keepers" in your life, including the person who sent it if you feel that way. Suppose one morning you never wake up, do all your friends know you love them? I was thinking...I could die today, tomorrow or next week, and I wondered if I had any wounds needing to be healed, friendships that needed rekindling, or three words needing to be said. Let every one of your friends know you love them. Even if you think they don't love you back, you would be amazed at what those three little words and a smile can do. And just in case GOD calls me home .....

[submitted by Jimmie Sue Mathis]

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Wisdom of Larry The Cable Guy

The wisdom of Larry the cable guy.......
1. A day without sunshine is like night.
2. On the other hand, you have different fingers.
3. 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
4. 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
5. Remember, half the people you know are below average.
6. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.
7. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
8. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.
9. Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.
10. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
11. Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.
12. If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.
13. How many of you believe in psycho-kinesis? Raise my hand.
14. OK, so what's the speed of dark?
15. When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
16. Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.
17. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?
18. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
19. What happens if you get scared half to death, twice?
20. Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
21. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering, "What the heck happened?"
22. Just remember -- if the world didn't suck, we would all fall off.
23. Light travels faster than sound.

Submitted by a friend in an e-mail, funny or true take your pick.

5 Years Ago Today


It was 5 years ago today that Aunt Mary passed away. I remember that day and the day before well. I remember that we had talked about several things those last few days and that she was glad she was here, close to Patty, Ora Kay, Inez and me.

Since the passing of Mama Ruth, Aunt Mary had taken on the role of Matriarch for our family. She became the central person for most of the Stubblefield family to contact. She was the one to call, mail, etc. When she died, we lost that center point to our family and didn't have anyone to fill that family spot.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day 2007

Our Mother’s Day began with several things happening. I got a call from Whit and their son Eric had apparently sent him a video clip that we had talked about using in the presentation for Sunday services. We also were using clips from the children’s classes wishing moms Happy Mother’s Day and a clip from Tony Newbern in Iraq. I went to the building and got Eric’s video clip inserted in the slides and ready. Inez came a little later in time for the 8 AM service. After the assembly time we left for Carestone to help with the service there. Since Windel had been out of town, he had called and asked me to speak. I had first thought about Mary and put that aside. Then I thought about Ruth for a Mother’s Day topic, then about Timothy and his mother. I had planned on starting with Ruth and then ending with Timothy’s mother and focusing on loyalty, example and guidance. But, on the way to the 8 AM assembly and then on to Carestone the feeling of Mary for a topic was weighing on me and I changed. I thought about Mary as an unknown, poor girl who was engaged to Joseph and hand picked by God to be the earthly mother of Jesus. How she had encouraged him to perform His first miracle by changing water to wine at the wedding feast in spite of His resistance, He did as she asked. How when He was on the cross, the person he pick out to mention and show concern that she was care for was His mother Mary, John 19:26 & 27. Then to tie that together with the residents at Carestone for their care, guidance and example they had given to their children and for us to honor them for the teaching and guidance they have given through the years. Mrs. Burns always says something to the effect that she doesn’t know what she would do if she couldn’t go to church and always thanks us for coming to do the service at Carestone. I hope she knows that it does me more good than I can give to her.

We continued our family tradition by going to Gaylord Springs Golf Club for their holiday brunch. It is always good and we all have a good time talking and eating and watching all of the guest while we are there. Instead of writing a lot about it, here are some pictures of this year.

Patty, Ora Kay, Inez, Al Griner & Curtis


Patty & Ora Kay

Happy Mother's Day

Curt & Inez

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Day They Took God Out Of Schools

A friend sent me this link from a You Tube posting. It really sums up so many things that should make us think.

http://www.afr.net/newafr/wekickedgodout.asp

I hope you will view this and see if you agree with me on what my generation has accomplished in the name of Free Will and Free Speech. Have we lost control and are now reaping what we have sown?

How do we get the pendulum to swing back toward center?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

MARY WINKLER TRIAL


The past week and a half the trial of Mary Winkler for the death of Matthew Winkler has been going on in Selmer, Tennessee. Matthew was a 5th generation Church of Christ minister. His family is very well known in the circles of the Church of Christ --- the old statement that you can draw a line between Nashville and Dallas and the majority of the population of the Church of Christ is 100 miles either side of that line. This family is known especially across Tennessee.

This trial is being viewed live on a local TV station’s cable access channel, replayed nightly from 7PM to 11PM on this same cable channel. It is also seen live over the TV station’s web site in streaming video, by streaming video on the internet from the Nashville Tennessean newspaper web site and from the Jackson, TN. Jackson Sun web site.

Watching the replay of the Mary Winkler trial tonight makes me so sad. Regardless of the outcome of this trial, no one wins, most of all the three surviving children of Matthew and Mary.

The trial has also put the Church of Christ on trial as well. It started early on with the statements of "strictness of the church, the teaching and beliefs of the church and the attitude of the church." Many of the “opinion” callers and people who e-mail into the TV station have expressed some very harsh comments about the church and their conceived beliefs of what the Church of Christ is about.

The TV commentators, Nick Bares and Attorney Nick Bailey have repeatedly said that the Church of Christ is not on trial, Mary Winkler is the one on trial. That is true from their viewpoint. But, shouldn’t the church be on trial too?

If the church, (its prominent preachers, teachers, authors, universities, etc.) have created such an environment that contributed to this tragedy, isn’t there some responsibility on the part of the church? Not to change Christ, not to change the scriptures, but to question the environment we as believers have taken that has created an environment of secrets, by presenting the front of happy, healthy, productive lives and marriages. Then, finding out through court testimony that this marriage may not have been the same as what was presented for the public. There are questions of mental abuse, possibly some physical abuse and even testimony about questionable behavior with the children. Regardless of what is believed from the testimony or to what degree you may believe the testimony, there was obviously problems between these two people. Obviously, neither of them sought out help from family, close friends or their church family, or especially their church family. Have the teachings we have in the Church of Christ created such situations of secrecy and hiding, putting on fronts, creating two faces.

James 5:16 (NIV) says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

As a child growing up in the church, this verse meant to go forward during an assembly and make a confession and have a prayer said for forgiveness. It was a major thing to walk the aisle. It was a major thing to go forward and write out your statement and have the preacher say a prayer. I don’t recall anything beyond this event.

Have we created such an environment of strictness that we forgot about love? Have we created such an environment or law, that we forgot about grace and mercy? Have we created such an environment that we have forgotten about Matthew 19:19, Matthew 22:36-39? Have we created the environment that is quick to judge and slow to help? Have we created the environment that has forgotten how to treat a brother or sister in Christ with an open heart who needs help?

In watching this trial and seeing both families sitting across the court room aisle from each other, I can not help but ask myself questions like, does this testimony make Matthew’s parents question if they really knew their son, if Mary’s family had any idea of her possible abusive situation? If any of the friends or people they may have associated with in the churches they attended have gone back and thought of situations that now trigger something that says, if I had paid attention to that then, could I have diverted this tragedy? Or, do we put this in our denial box and say this is not what it seemed, the only problem was with Mary, money and that is the only reason why Matthew is dead? Could not all of these alleged problems be intertwined and have contributed to this horrible situation? If any of these people that personally knew them, are thinking what did I miss, what did I not pay attention to and what could I have done to have made a difference?

What does this do for what we refer to as the un-churched? What view does this leave with people looking for God? What does this do and how does this alienate people who are making a decision about the Church of Christ or believers in general? Matthew Winkler was a 31 year old man who came from a long line of Church of Christ preachers, had a career of being a youth minister and now a pulpit minister for the Fourth Street Church of Christ in Selmer, Tennessee. Because of the publicity of this trial and the ties to the Church of Christ and the stereotyping of the Church of Christ, the church has been on trial over beliefs of the man’s role in the home and in church, the woman’s role in the home and in the church and how it was portrayed as an item in this trial. Fairly or unfairly, the church has been and is judged on the perceptions generated by the viewers of this trial.

This home had obvious problems. These problems were obviously hidden and kept secret from people who were close to them. Shouldn’t this make us as believers and part of the Church of Christ open our eyes? Shouldn’t this cause us to question how we portray and teach the scriptures? Not to change Christ or the scriptures, but to change the environment we can create by the things in the scriptures we stress in teaching. By the attitudes we have or by the stereotypes we give credence for others to believe, the stereotypes we ourselves make more believable.

Of this particular trial and situation, everyone comes out with a huge loss. Matthew Winkler lost his life; Mary Winkler lost her husband, her freedom, her children, her in-laws and many friends and acquaintances. Dan and Diane Winkler lost a son, a daughter-in-law and probably friends who have picked a side in this trial. The Freeman family lost a son-in-law, years of contact with a daughter, and possibly three grandchildren. The Church of Christ has seemed to have lost some credibility over questions of the “interpreted and perceived beliefs” of the church over a man’s supremacy in the church, supremacy over women and control in the home. All have lost.

I don’t have answers, only more questions. I see the need for the church to not sit in a corner with hands over their eyes and ears, and take a role in changing the environment to openness, love, help and addressing problems like these.

Our Racial America

After the recent events with the Don Imus incident regarding the descriptions he used regarding the women basketball players. It occurred to me that we have created our own problems. We have created our own racial problems.

Just in my lifetime, 1957 to present, we have gone from segregation to inclusion to inclusion with qualifications. What I mean by inclusion with qualifications is that we have identified Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Gay Americans, Straight Americans and so forth. We have fragmented America. Instead of just being AMERICANS, we are now “Specific Community or Group” Americans. Then we have the further fragmentation of each group or community because it is looking for its own special treatment. Its own special rules, its own special authority, its own special power.

“One Nation under God, indivisible” in the National Anthem has been diluted to the point it seems not to have the same meaning it did when it was scribed almost 200 years ago. Pride in self and country has been lost. And my generation appears to be the guilty party. During the same time we were going through the Civil Rights Movement, we (my generation) was also starting free love, the ME generation, the power generation, the start of the latch key kids, don’t punish children by spanking, Dr. Spock, Mr. Spock, Sun Myung Moon, Moonies, Moon rocks, Mood ring, love beads, free love, Woodstock, pure logic, zero population growth, flower child. expand your mind - expand your conscience, doing my own thing, don’t get involved, looking out for number 1, discrimination, Affirmative Action, Reverse Discrimination, Age Discrimination, Gender Discrimination, Sexual Orientation Discrimination, regulation, deregulation, Medicare, Medicaid, and I am sure that you can add so many more of these. We have apparently forgotten and we quit teaching ourselves and the generations that have followed that it’s not just about me. It is about we! It is about being involved, caring for my neighbor; it is about being a friend.

The result is that each person is out for their own benefits. Each person does not want to be bothered, just let me do “my own thing.” The result is many fragmented communities in this country all looking for special treatment. We have lowered standards to be inclusive, rather than raise standards to achieve the best. We have settled for less so we don’t have hurt feelings. We have settled for less so to satisfy our own conscience. We have settled for less so that we don’t have losers, everybody wins. We have enabled a generation or several generations at mediocrity. We have enabled a generation or generations that believe clothes, style and fashion is worth more than self pride and self value. We have created and enabled double standards. What have we really won?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

MY EYES

There was a blind girl who hated herself just because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She said that if she could only see the world, she would marry her boyfriend.. One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her and then she could see everything, including her boyfriend. Her boyfriend asked her,"Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?" The girl was shocked when she saw that her boyfriend was blind too, and refused to marry him. Her boyfriend walked away in tears, and later wrote a letter to her saying, "Just take care of my eyes dear." (He had donated his eyes to her.) This is how the human brain changes when our status changes. Only few remember what life was before, and who's always been there even in the most painful situations. " Life Is A Gift " Today before you say an unkind word, Think of someone who can't speak. Before you complain about the taste of your food, Think of someone who has nothing to eat. Before you complain about your husband or wife, Think of someone who's crying out for a companion. Today before you complain about life, Think of someone who went too early to heaven. Before you complain about your children, Think of someone who desires children but they're barren. Before you complain about cleaning your house, Think of the people who are living in the streets. Before whining about the distance you drive, Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet. And when you are tired and complain about your job, Think of the unemployed,and those who wish they had your job. And before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another, Remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to one maker. And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down, Put a smile on your face and thank God you're alive and well. Life is a gift, Live it, Enjoy it, Celebrate it, And Fulfill it.

Sent to me by Alice Miller, a co-worker at Windsor Medicare Extra.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Easter 2007

Windel Burton speaking at Carestone Assisted Living.


Seated: Patty Thedford, Al Griner (guest of Patty), Inez Stubblefield, Standing: Curt Stubblefield and Ora Kay Thedford.

Easter 2007 was full of events. We began our morning at 8 AM services at Antioch. We left the building to head over to Carestone Assisted Living to help with the service for the residents there. That is always a big blessing to see how strong and faithful they are to come to the lobby for our time together. After the Carestone service we headed to Gaylord Springs (Springhouse) Gold Club for their Easter Brunch. We had a great day to celebrate Easter and spend time with family.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Carestone Assisted Living

Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak at the church service Windel & Sherry Burton, Don & Kathy Rose and Inez & I do for the residents at that facility. I chose Matthew 5:13-16 as a starting point. It says:

Matthew 5:13-16 (New International Version)
13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.


I took a small solar spotlight from our yard. I used the analogy that some scientist developed this solar powered device after reading Matthew 5. In these verses we are taught that we are the light of the world because of Jesus. Just as the solar light collects light and energy, then utilizes it when there is no light, so are we. Jesus told us to collect the light, the goodness of God and reflect that light to everyone around us. We are to "collect light, so we can reflect light."

After the service one of the residents, Mrs. Burns stopped me and said that the lesson really hit her today. I asked her what she meant when she said really hit her? She said that she needed to do better. I told her that she probably had no idea of how much good she had done, how much of an example she had been and how many people she had influenced over her life. And I said that our imperfections were covered by grace. She said, "she hoped so." I told her that the bible said so and I believed it. In Mrs. Burns long life, she is still wanting to do more. I understand her heart and see the need for more Mrs. Burns' in the world.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

March in Tennessee



Can you believe March in TENNESSEE? This picture is of the blooms on one of our trees beside our home in Antioch. Today was another record setting weather day with a high in the mid 80"s. Many people come to Tennessee in the fall to head to the mountains to see the changing of the colors in October. But, if you want to see color and things come alive, come to TENNESSEE in the spring.

Luke 12:26-28 "26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!"

Wonderful Tribute

The Mother of a dear friend and former co-worker and employee past away this past week. Mrs. Maxine Mathis was a wonderful Godly woman of strong faith and will. I had not seen Mrs. Maxine in quite some years after leaving that area of the country. She was a woman of strong values and morals and held to Matthew 22:36-40

"36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37 Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Mrs. Maxine loved God and she loved her neighbors! This is a tribute that her Niece Tracie wrote for the funeral service and it is a glimpse into the heart of Mrs. Maxine.

March 22, 2007

Last night as I lay in bed trying to sleep my thoughts kept going back several years to the time when my Aunt Maxine’s knees wore completely out and she could no longer walk. It sounds kinda strange me thinking of her knees lying there but it was her knees I thought of.
I believe her knees started wearing out when she had to chase after her two children: Jimmie Sue & Johnny Max as they were growing up. I also remember her chasing after me which was no easy task. I thought of a time when she wore her knees out taking care of numerous foster children after she and Uncle Jim lovingly opened their home to needy children. She wore her knees out working at Vacation Bible School every year even after Stephen, Jammie and Katie were born.
I remember wearing her knees out walking many, many miles knocking on doors while on church campaigns. Those knees really got a work out trying to bring others to the Lord. She also gave those knees a severe work out at Western Ky Youth Camp every summer. Keeping her cabin 2 girls in line while at the same time earning the title of Shaving Cream Queen!
Aunt Maxine wore her knees out driving the old Blue Goose church bus, picking up kids from one end of the county to the other. Her knees really took a beating each year at Christmas when she so lovingly played Santa to any needy child that wanted a little love and kindness. She wore her knees out when she worked tirelessly with the Prison Ministry trying to reach out to any lost soul. She wore her knees out bringing others the good news.
In her later years she wore her knees out taking care of Granny . She stayed by her side even when her knees were almost gone. Staying by her side until God was ready for Granny.
My Aunt Maxine never complained. No one knew that her knees had worn out until she just couldn’t walk any more.

But now she is on her knees before the throne of God with knees that are no longer worn out. Her knees are brand new!
I have been so very blessed to have had My Aunt Maxine in my life. We have all been blessed I just pray that some day my knees will wear out for the Lord too!


We have all been blessed for knowing Maxine Mathis.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Nathan Stubblefield


NATHAN STUBBLEFIELD
Nathan Stubblefield, born in 1860, was an eccentric melon farmer from Murray, KY. He was a voracious reader and styled himself as a self-taught scientist and inventor. As early as 1885, he had invented several different wireless telephone devices. And wireless telephony is, of course, for all intents and purposes, radio. This was years before Marconi got official credit for inventing radio.
(Even without Stubblefield, Marconi still wouldn't be the true inventor of radio - Nikola Tesla invented it before Marconi. Marconi, in fact, used Tesla's own patents as research materials. Tesla, in turn, was among the curious onlookers in attendance at Stubblefield's 1902 wireless demonstration in Philadelphia.)
In 1892 Stubblefield performed the world's first wireless broadcast in Murray, broadcasting speech and music. Later he gave a very successful demonstration on the Potomac in Washington, D.C., yet still success eluded him without proper marketing.
Stubblefield was very secretive and mysterious about his inventions, and only became more and more so as years progressed. He entered into a business partnership with a company that promised to market his wireless telephone but instead let it languish, suppressed his patent, and paid him only $800 and a trunk full of worthless stock certificates.
Stubblefield died a crazed hermit in his shack in the wilderness. He destroyed all his prototypes, fearful of his inventions being stolen again by big-city slickers. He was buried in Stubblefield Cemetery in Murray, KY.
In the years since, many important voices have given Stubblefield the credit he is due, but the history books still have yet to include him. To this day there are debunkers who try to side-step Stubblefield's pioneering work by claiming that his inventions only utilized induction transmission, not radio transmission. This is not true, and even if it were, the term "radio" had a vaguer definition in those days, effectively referring to any form of wireless transmission, regardless of the means. Any idiot with common sense, then or now, can tell you that if it broadcasts wirelessly, it is radio. The word radio was originally a contrived term meant to supplant the slightly more mystical term "ether" that had been in vogue.

Beautiful Tennessee Places


Tennessee has some beautiful places. I tell my wife that some of the prettiest places are on golf courses. It just happened to be that we were in Paris, Tennessee visiting and I went with my Uncle Sam, yes my real Uncle Sam and we played golf at Paris Landing State Park Golf Course over the weekend. The leaves were changing, the colors of spring were starting to come open and the grass was turning from the winter brown to the light green of spring. It just happened that I was on the cart path beside the 15th fairway and over in the trees and scrub grass were four (4) turkeys wandering and grazing. The turkeys noticed us, but made no rush to run off and hide. We were probably just another cart of so many they had already seen before we came along. Most of the State Park golf courses in Tennessee that I have visited will offer something similar in the way of wildlife entering the courses and letting us see them walking free and not afraid of people. We are fortunate to live in an area blessed by such places and sites.