Monday, July 30, 2007
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
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
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
Friday, July 20, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
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
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
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
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."
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.
Monday, July 9, 2007
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
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."