From your Pastor's Heart, March 15th, 2018
How many of you are itching to get outside and work in the yard and/or garden? I planted some trees last year and I’ve walked out to them several time to see if there is any signs of life in them. A few are actually sprouting tiny leaves and that is exciting because growth is the one way I know they are alive.
Thursday, March 15, 2018
From your Pastor's Heart, March 8th, 2018
In the past month I have seen three separate articles or videos stating that Christians shouldn’t eat pork. They were followed by vigorous discussions about whether or not that was true. I read some of the things people wrote and the discussions soon spread to catfish and shrimp. Honestly I felt like I was roaming the desert with Moses or sitting at the table with Pharisees. Listen, I am doing neither; I am striving to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and He said I was “set free” from certain thin
Thursday, March 8, 2018
From your Pastor's Heart, March 1st, 2018
This past week a judge in Ohio removed a teenaged girl from her parents and gave permanent custody to her grandparents. What horrible thing did those parents do that would cause a judge to take such drastic action? Were they starving her or beating her? Had they locked her in a room and held her prisoner? Just what kind of depraved behavior by the parents would warrant that judge’s decision?
Thursday, March 1, 2018
From your Pastor's Heart, Feb 22nd, 2018
I’m going to describe two commercials I saw on television and let you guess what product was being advertised.
Thursday, February 22, 2018
From your Pastor's Heart, Feb 15th, 2018
Last week I was told that, because I’m a Christian, I don’t give a (bad word) about children after they are born; that I don’t care if they have food or medical care. I asked that person why she thought that. She never replied. That’s interesting isn’t it? Where does a person go to get that kind of miss-information about Christians?
Thursday, February 15, 2018
From your Pastor's Heart, Feb 8th, 2018
The absolute last thing I want to do with anyone with whom I interact is to hurt their feelings. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I can’t fathom someone hurting another person’s feelings on purpose and believe that the overwhelming majority of you feel the same way.
Thursday, February 8, 2018
From your Pastor's Heart, Feb 1st, 2018
I’ve heard it said that it is not what happens to you in life that affects you so much as how you handle what happens to you. I believe that to be true. Things are going to happen that are beyond our control; of that we can be sure. So how do we handle a situation that is beyond our control?
Thursday, February 1, 2018
From Your Pastor's Heart, Janurary 25th 2018
Almost every week some celebrity “opens up” about something. Today one opened up about his battle with depression. One opened up about her sickness during pregnancy. Last week one opened up about her divorce. Too often these “opening ups” coincide with the release of a new book/song/movie and are more of a publicity set-up than just an urge to cleanse the soul. But truly “opening up” can be a great thing.
Thursday, January 25, 2018
From Your Pastor's Heart, Janurary 18th 2018
Church on the Bluff. It’s going to take a while for that to become natural to us. We are working through the Long Range Planning Committee and Publicity Committee to transition to that name
Thursday, January 18, 2018
From Your Pastor's Heart, Janurary 11th 2018
The Christian way of life was faced with many challenges in 2017. Too many mindsets opposed to God’s purpose (not to mention plain old common sense) received positive affirmation from so-called “progressives” who have unfortunately worked their way into places of power in our culture. Honestly, I don’t see that changing in 2018.
Thursday, January 11, 2018
From Your Pastor's Heart, Janurary 4th 2018
We have begun a year-long celebration of our 120th year of serving Christ.
Thursday, January 4, 2018
From Your Pastor's Heart, December 21st 2017
It’s here. Christmas. The culmination of four months of decorating, planning, shopping, and excitement. Christmas Day is, I dare say, the most anticipated day of the year. Yes, there is also Hanukkah, Kwanza, and maybe even a Muslim celebration, but December 25th is the day.
Thursday, December 21, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, December 14th 2017
Christmas traditions change over time. When our girls were children we lived within a 30 minute drive of her parents and siblings. Every Christmas morning, after the girls had gotten up to see what Santa had brought them, we’d pack them up and head to her family’s Christmas get-together and celebrate the day. There was food, presents, and laughter; it was great times.
Thursday, December 14, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, December 7th 2017
Saturday, the 9th, is our annual “Lights on the Bluff”. I hope you have been inviting friends and neighbors to attend. The attendance has grown every year and it has truly become a community event. Many folks have told me that they look forward to it every year and even make it a part of their family Christmas tradition. What a wonderful way to show our community that we care for them!
Thursday, December 7, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, November 29th 2017
I guess it is seriously, officially, absolutely Christmas season now. By the time you read this Angie and I will have our Christmas decorations up and our car radio will be on that station that plays nothing but Christmas songs. I know I pretend to be “Scrooge” this time of the year, but I truly like the Christmas season.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, November 16th 2017
There was an incident in Seattle where a homophile owner of a coffee shop made Christians leave his business because they had been outside during the day holding out what was termed “anti-gay” material.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, November 9th 2017
I am an excellent dog-trainer. I have a 75 pound dog named Apollo that I have trained to whimper until I get up to get him a dog biscuit.
Thursday, November 9, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, November 2nd 2017
When Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem for the last time He sent some disciples into a Samaritan village to prepare a place for Him to stay the night. The people of that village turned them away. Here is two of Jesus most loyal disciples response to that: “And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, ‘Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’”- (Luke 9:54)
Thursday, November 2, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, October 26th 2017
One of the things I like about social media is that I get to engage people in discussions about the Bible. So many times I read people trying to discredit it entirely or explain away certain beliefs by describing the faults that it has
Thursday, October 26, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, October 12th 2017
As I am writing this column news reports are still coming in about the horrific shooting in Las Vegas. At least 50 people are dead and over 100 wounded. Over the next few weeks many things will be discussed and fingers pointed.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, October 5th 2017
One of the purposes of writing this column every week is to address current issues and how Christians should act based on our Biblical worldview of the issues. That is usually pretty easy as the Bible certainly speaks to the way we live our lives.
Thursday, October 5, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, Sept 28th 2017
Please don’t forget that our annual “Grace on the Bluff” is Saturday, October 7th. It takes a lot of work to get ready for that day so there is a sign-up sheet by the rear entrance for you to help on the days we receive and sort the donations.
Thursday, September 28, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, Sept 21st 2017
In the last couple of weeks we have seen some things that bring to mind Biblical warnings about the “end of times”. We have seen two hurricanes wreak havoc from Texas to Florida, huge fires burning in the west, earthquakes that took lives, and even rumors of war with North Korea. If you read Matthew 24:4-8 these things will frighten you.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, Sept 14th 2017
We’ve begun a 5-week study on prayer based on the movie “The War Room”. If you missed the first session there is still time to join in. We will have the second session on September 17 at 5:00 PM.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, Sept 7th 2017
The weekend of August 26 hurricane Harvey blasted the coast of Texas and the following rains caused flooding that was un-believable. The devastation on the beaches and the rising waters in major cities has changed the lives of countless thousands of people.
Thursday, September 7, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, August 31st 2017
According to the United States Department of Labor, Labor Day is “a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers
Thursday, August 31, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, August 24th 2017
How do we end racism? Please understand that you can’t legislate racism out of existence. There was a radio program many years ago called “The Shadow”. Each episode was introduced with this phrase: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?”
Thursday, August 24, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, August 17th 2017
There was a special election on August 15 for the senate seat formerly held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Did you noticed on their commercials that they all spoke of their Christian values?
Thursday, August 17, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, August 10th 2017
In my heart I know that intelligent, rational people innately know that same sex attraction and transgender desires are unhealthy mental issues. So I wonder why otherwise bright and educated folks continuously chant their mantra of “acceptance” for the obvious sicknesses of gender dysphoria and homosexual tendencies.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, August 3rd 2017
One of the reasons I have a Facebook account is that I can interact with people all around our nation (and a couple of foreign countries). On most subjects I can see how people of other mindsets and lifestyles think and their rationale for their thinking.
Thursday, August 3, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, July 27th 2017
I mentioned from the pulpit one Sunday that people, when looking for scripture to back up their preconceived beliefs, can find about anything they want to find, no matter how ridiculous. Then I talked with a person who told me she found proof in the Bible that there were more than two genders
Thursday, July 27, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, July 20th 2017
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34 NIV). Those are powerful words, especially when we realize that Jesus was speaking of the soldiers who had just literally pounded spikes through his hands and feet as they hung him to the cross. Let me be honest with you: I have a tough time having that attitude when someone personally attacks me for my Christian beliefs.
Sunday, July 23, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, July 13th 2017
I was challenged last week to quote where Jesus specifically said that homosexuality was wrong. I pointed him to Mark 10:6-8 (NIV) where Jesus said “But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female
Thursday, July 13, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, June 29th 2017
So let me make this as clear as possible. Of course the Southern Baptists condemn racism. Anyone who believes that one race is superior to another and/or mistreats anyone because of the color of their skin is not behaving in a Christian manner; that is not the heart of God.
Thursday, June 29, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, June 22nd 2017
A man named Russell Vought has been nominated for deputy director of the White House Office of Budget and Management. During his confirmation hearing Senator Bernie Sanders asked Mr. Vought if he believed that non-Christians would be “condemned” (what Christians would call “lost”, the end result being an eternity in hell). Mr. Vought’s answer was that he sincerely believed in the centrality of Jesus in any relationship with God. His answer was yes.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, June 15th 2017
Over the last two weeks I have been reminded in several ways that the “world” just doesn’t understand Christians (and, thus, Christianity). It has always amazed me that non-Christians judge our belief based on their definition of Christianity. According to so many things I'm seeing and reading if Christians don’t support unbridled immigration and open borders, we are xenophobes and aren’t very Christian.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, June 8th 2017
Vacation Bible School begins Sunday, June 11. I hope you have been in prayer for that week of intense effort. Many of you are involved and I know that you have been planning and working already. It is a tough week for workers but one of the most rewarding ministries of the local church. VBS presents a once-a-year opportunity for us to meet people in our community.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, June 1st 2017
President Trump made a trip to the Middle East this past week and spoke both with Muslim nations and with Israel. It was a “good will” tour and taken to work on the diplomatic relations between the US and these countries. Of course the subject arose in news reports about brokering peace between Israel and her neighbors.
Thursday, June 1, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, May 25th 2017
We are just a couple of weeks away from Vacation Bible School. I want everyone to be praying for a successful VBS. But, what would we consider successful? I know that we look at certain “markers” to judge success. We always want a big number of children. We want to see new faces among those who attend and we want to meet new families. We also want some of those families to choose Bluff Park Baptist as their home church.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, May 18th 2017
I recently called a service center to see about getting my lawn mower repaired. I was placed on “hold” and remained there, listening to music for over 14 minutes. I’m a patient man but after a while I began to grow a bit impatient. In fact, I was a little frustrated.
Thursday, May 18, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, May 11th 2017
This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day. It can be difficult to write a column about mothers because not all women become mothers and not all mothers are good mothers. But I think that, in this day and age, we tend to forget the importance of a strong family unit and the indispensable role that mothers play.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, May 4th 2017
Saturday, April 22, was Earth Day. This day is celebrated each year to call us to ecological awareness; to the wonderful intricacies of the world around us. This year, however, the day was hijacked by planned “marches for science” nation-wide that received a lot on media attention. The marches all had a common theme: They were pro “climate change doomsday” and anti “people of faith”. How, and why, did Earth Day become an attack on religion?
Thursday, May 4, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, April 27th 2017
I’m writing this the day after Easter and I want to share a few thoughts about that day. First, it was a great day of worship here at Bluff Park Baptist Church.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, April 20th 2017
Will it ever end? This “gender is a choice” thing; will it ever end?
Thursday, April 20, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, April 13th 2017
Have you ever wondered why we celebrate Easter at different times of the year?
Thursday, April 13, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, April 5th 2017
In a sermon two weeks ago I spoke about how Christian should live a life of “do’s” and not worry so much about all the “don’t’s” of Christian living. As we focus on the positive things of a Christian lifestyle we will find ourselves not doing a lot of things as the by-product doing good things.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, March 30th 2017
Our last two sermons came from Acts chapter two and addressed the two most important questions a person will ever ask: How can I be saved? and after we are saved, How should I live? An interesting phrase occurred twice in that chapter. It is stated that they “added to their number”. It seems that the phenomenon we now call the “church” grew at a very rapid rate. That is amazing for several reasons.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, March 23rd 2017
Easter falls on April 16th this year and that isn’t far away. I want to remind everyone about our special service times that day.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, March 16th 2017
When we look around at some of the things that are going on in our nation I am reminded of Proverbs 29:18 (NIV) where God tells us “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint”. Let me paraphrase that: When people don’t listen to God, anything goes.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, March 9th 2017
Our church is a very benevolent church. We have assisted countless people with their needs and we have done it without regard to race or ethnicity. If someone is in need we will do what we can to give them a hand. But we don’t do it blindly.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, March 2nd 2017
Our good friend Matthew took the oath of American citizenship this past Tuesday. He was so excited to finally be a citizen of the United States of America; it has been his dream for a very long time. I have to confess that I take my citizenship for granted far too often.
Thursday, March 2, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, Feb 23rd 2017
Thanks to a wonderful, loving, and generous church family the material things we lost when our home was robbed have been replaced. Angie and I are humbled by your unbelievable display of love and care for us. It’s almost as if it never happened. Almost.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, Feb 15th 2017
Does God ever forget anything? Thankfully, the answer to that is yes, He does forget stuff. He forgets our forgiven sins.
Saturday, February 18, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, Feb 9th 2017
Racial Reconciliation Sunday is February 12. If you look up world races you will find that there is some disagreement on how many “races” exist. Anthropologists say there are from 3 to 5. Some say there is only Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid (European, Asian, and African). Many others add Australoid (Australian), and some add Capoid (another division of African). There are, though, so many ethnic groups branching out from those races.
Thursday, February 9, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, Feb 2nd 2017
If I were to ask you how often you have had the opportunity to “witness” to someone you would probably say that is it extremely rare if, indeed, you have ever had that opportunity. I believe we have all had, and will have, many opportunities to be a witness for what Christ has done in your life.
Thursday, February 2, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, Jan 26th 2017
I’ve spoken before about religion being more than a list of what we do or don’t do. A healthy religion is about focusing on our relationship with God.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, Jan 19th 2017
Viewing our culture from the lens of a Biblical worldview I’ll have to admit that things aren’t going well for the religious community. Christian beliefs, once held as virtuous and moral, are now commonly called biased and thus hateful. Are Christians biased and hateful? Let me address the biased part first. The word bias means to be prejudiced in favor of or against someone or something. Prejudice means a preconceived opinion not based on fact or reason. So if you are for or against something
Thursday, January 19, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, Jan 12th 2017
I just hit another one of those age “markers”: I turned 65. In a person’s life there are many of those age markers. At 13 you are a teenager. At 18 you can vote. At 21 you are an adult. Then come the decade markers, those 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, etc. All of those markers are supposed to be significant in our life and we have come to rely on those markers as indicators of ability. We really shouldn’t.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, Jan 5th 2017
Do you remember when the above was the norm for every Baptist church; indeed, almost every Protestant church? The order of worship was practically the same, too: Opening Hymn, Welcome and Announcements, two hymns, offering, special music, sermon, and then invitation
Thursday, January 5, 2017
From Your Pastor's Heart, Dec 22nd 2016
I saw a photograph of a billboard commissioned by an atheist group. The sign read: “Celebrate Christmas…don’t go to church”. I was surprised, really, that a group of non-believers would pay money to encourage people to celebrate Christmas by not going to church. Why would they be concerned about whether or not people go to church to celebrate Christmas?
Thursday, December 22, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, Dec 15th 2016
Paul: How’s the church going, Peter? Attendance seems to be slipping. Peter: We’re doing pretty good with the Older folks but that Generation XIII is hard to reach. Infant Boomers seem to be drifting away and I’m having a tough time reaching the Milleniums. John Mark: Yeah, that temple of Diana is drawing them away. They have festivals and feasts every weekend. The music is so loud you can’t hear yourself pray
Thursday, December 15, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, Dec 8th 2016
I confess: I like watching Christmas movies. Some of them are the mushy, fall-in-love movies that have no Christmas message but are just love stories that are set at Christmas time. Some are of the “magical” variety where Santa or an elf is interjected into the story to help love happen between two people.
Thursday, December 8, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, Dec 1st 2016
We have a new president elect. Things are going to change, right? I'm sure many things will change; at least I hope they do. As a citizen of the United States of America I have a desire for the direction I want our great country to go. I await, hopefully, for some changes to take place.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, Nov 24th 2016
In Pigeon Forge, Tennessee there is a hotel called The Inn at Christmas Place. Every room is decorated for Christmas every day of the year. It is located across the street from a store that sells nothing but Christmas items year round and it stays busy. It seems that no matter when the “Christmas season” (Which evidently begins in mid-October now) Christmas is always on our minds.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, Nov 17th 2016
This begins a very busy time for us, both at church as a fellowship of believers and personally with family and friends. That makes it tough, doesn’t it? So much to do. I want you to know, church family, that I do not take you for granted. I know how hard you work and I know how tired you get….and you amaze me!
Thursday, November 17, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, Nov 3rd 2016
Daylight Savings Time ends on November 6th so don’t forget to set your clocks back the night before. Have you planned on what you’re going to do with that “extra” hour you gain? Of course, we don’t really gain any time; we simply agree to move all of our events around to align our activities to better use the sunlit part of the day.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, Oct 27th 2016
A week to go before the election and the rhetoric is getting worse than ever. I have listened to news stories and have yet to hear a story about national issues. All I've heard is ranting about what a candidate said or did 10 or 20 years ago. Each accuses the other of lying, cheating, and general sleaziness. And both are absolutely right! I think that I have never seen two such characters running for any office, let alone the presidency of the United States of America. What a sad commentary on w
Thursday, October 27, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, Oct 20th 2016
I owe you an apology.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, Oct 13th 2016
The election is a month away. We have, in my humble opinion, two of the worst candidates I can remember. Both are abrasive and cold. Both will take liberty with the truth. Both have a past that makes me wonder about the future.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, Oct 6th 2016
Growing up I watched many cartoons starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and others. In those cartoons anytime one of the characters was shown to be “mentally unstable”, usually from a hit on the head or the like, they thought they were Napoleon; that is, they we shown temporarily dressed as the famous French leader, posed in the iconic portrait of him in the huge black hat with his hand inside his red tunic.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, Sept 29th 2016
Our annual “Grace on the Bluff” is Saturday and I hope you have been telling folks about it. It’s not too late. We also need workers to staff the hours the church will be open to receive and sort donations. If you have some free time, even if you aren’t able to work that day, pleased drop by and say hello. We like for our community folks to meet as many church members as possible while they are here.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, September 22nd 2016
Sunday School 9:45 AM Morning Worship 11:00 AM Training Union 5:00 PM Evening Worship 6:00 PM Wednesday Service 7:00 PM
Thursday, September 22, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, September 15th 2016
Angie and I want to thank everyone for the tremendous celebration of our 10th anniversary here at Bluff Park. Your love, generosity, and cooking skills were quite evident! As I've told you many times, we are blessed to be serving you. We look forward to what the Lord has in store here.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, September 8th 2016
I've said before that our nation has begun marginalizing Christianity and thus discriminating against Christians. I believe we are treated unfairly in both the government sphere and the workplace. Should I refuse to stand for the National Anthem or refrain from the Pledge of Allegiance? Of course not. Let me tell you why I stand for the “Star Spangled Banner”.
Thursday, September 8, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, September 1st 2016
I became your pastor on September 1, 2006. That was 10 years ago. I still remember the first night in the parsonage, sleeping upstairs as we prepared for the movers to bring all our stuff the next day. It was an exciting time for us, yet it was a scary time, too.
Thursday, September 1, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, August 25th 2016
There is nothing quite like a weekend in the south when school starts back: Friday night high school football, Saturday college football, Sunday Church services. Right? Well, Sunday church services aren’t quite as exciting are they?
Thursday, August 25, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, August 18th 2016
I watched several events of the Olympics in Rio; what tremendous athletes! One thing I thought about as I watched the opening ceremonies was that every athlete there had one goal: The gold medal. That was the ultimate prize. Can you imagine the training that took place because the athletes wanted that prize?
Thursday, August 18, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, August 11th 2016
The politics of fear. Both presidential candidates claim the other is playing to the fear of the voters.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, July 28th 2016
It was a very informative discussion and he brought out something regarding the the so called “separation of church and state”. Most people, myself included, have been taught from the viewpoint that the “separation” is meant to protect the government from a church take over; thus we have to remove all vestiges of God from anything that the government is involved in, such as school, civic displays, etc. Not so!
Thursday, July 28, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, July 21st 2016
At long last Angie and I have all of our “stuff” at our new home…our forever home. There is still a lot of work to get things placed and stored, but we are officially in!
Thursday, July 21, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, July 14th 2016
A small town in New Jersey turned down a request from a group of Muslims to build a mosque in the city. Muslims have sued the city claiming religious discrimination
Thursday, July 14, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, June 30th 2016
It is amazing how Satan works, sometimes. He can take the smallest of unimportant things and suddenly make them seem huge, diverting our attention from our work.
Thursday, June 30, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, June 23rd 2016
Blame: assign responsibility for a fault or wrong. Who or what is responsible for the shooting in Orlando? Let me say that finding the fault here is prudent; how can we fix a problem if we don’t fix what caused the problem? But before we begin pointing fingers and shouting at one another, there is something more important for the Christian. We are called to compassion; to prayer and ministry.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, June 16th 2016
I'm writing this column five days before VBS begins. As you read this, Vacation Bible School is drawing to a close for this year. I can write about your tremendous effort and the success of the event a week early because I know of your effort; I've seen it over the years. I’ve also seen VBS over the years and know that everyone of them touches the lives of the children that attend.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, June 9th 2016
I made the remark on a Wednesday night that I looked forward to the church facing some persecution. I want to explain that remark. Throughout history the church has prospered during time of persecution. When I say “prospered” I’m not necessarily talking about numerical growth. I'm talking about spiritual growth.
Thursday, June 9, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, June 2nd 2016
Last week I said that the “transgender bathroom” issue wasn’t about the comfort or equality of transgendered people. It isn’t. People who have gender disphoria have always used the restrooms available. Have you ever been in a public place and see someone running out of a restroom screaming that there was a person of the opposite sex using the facilities? Me either. It was, in reality, a non-problem.
Thursday, June 2, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, May 26th 2016
My heart goes out to those who are confused about their gender. They need physiological help and a lot of compassion and understanding. I do not “fear” them or think they are a danger to children simply because of their sickness. But I wonder why, now, there is a push to make restrooms accessible to anyone who would like to be the opposite sex.
Thursday, May 26, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, May 19th 2016
Vacation Bible School begins in just a few weeks. I hope you’ve been praying for every worker, as it is a strenuous and difficult task. Its not just the one week of labor, but weeks of preparation, too. Also be praying for each child that attends. Statistics show us that a huge number of children make their decision about their salvation either during that week or are impacted by that week so that the seed to understanding Gods plan for them is planted. It is truly an important time.
Thursday, May 19, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, May 12th 2016
Every year, to celebrate the harvest of a major crop, Dothan, Alabama celebrates the National Peanut festival. It is a wonderful fun-filled two weeks. They have a lot of agricultural events that are….unique. Among those is the “Greased Pig” contest.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, May 5th 2016
Is this the one? Is this the issue where people finally stand up and say enough is enough? I'm talking, of course, about being forced to let genetic males use restrooms designated for genetic females (and visa versa). People who say they “identify” with the opposite sex can now, legally, enter into any restroom they desire.
Thursday, May 5, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, April 28th 2016
The National Day of Prayer is Thursday, May 5th. We will have the church doors open from 7:00 AM until 7:oo PM so that people can come and pray.. It is a “come and go” event so that you can come at your convenience for a time of prayer for our nation.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, April 21st 2016
Who Does Bruce Springsteen think he is? I spoke last of God’s design being tossed aside in the “trans-gender” argument and Bob Terry had an excellent editorial pointing out the absurdity of allowing a mental disorder; “gender dysphoria”, to be legitimized as normal. But things got even a little crazier since then.
Thursday, April 21, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, April 14th 2016
It used to be so simple, didn’t it? Boys went in the boy’s restroom and girls went in the girl’s restroom. What could possible turn that into a point of contention? The short answer is foolish people. What amazes me the most is that these foolish people are not poorly educated and ignorant people. It is the ones that Paul referred to in Romans 1:22 when he said: “Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools”.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, April 7th 2016
When I was younger I used to collect postage stamps. I learned that the most valuable stamp in the world was one called the “British Guiana 1-Cent Magenta”. It recently sold for over $9,500,000.00! Why, you might ask, would someone pay over nine and a half million dollars for a tiny piece of paper? The reason is quite simple: It is unique. There is not another like it. That makes it so very special.
Thursday, April 7, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, March 31st 2016
A few days ago we celebrated Easter; Christ’s resurrection. Our thoughts, song’s and sermons all focused on the overwhelming significance of that singular event. Our hearts were lifted up in praise and our resolve was strengthened at the realization of Christ walking from that tomb, alive for evermore. It was an inspiring and encouraging time. But what now?
Thursday, March 31, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, March 24th 2016
I listened in sadness as one major political candidate answered the question about abortion rights with the standard line “I do not believe the government has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body”. You see, on the surface I agree wholeheartedly. If a woman wants to tattoo her body, the government shouldn’t interfere. If she wants to put huge holes in her earlobes, dye her hair rainbow colors, eat a 2,000 calorie McHeart-attack burger, or play with alligators, the government has
Thursday, March 24, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, March 17th 2016
A couple of weeks ago a very prominent and well-respected pastor of a very large church made the statement from the pulpit during a sermon that if you didn’t take your family to a “mega church” you were being a selfish parent. In his opinion, I guess, small churches are useless and a waste of time. We who pastor such churches are evidently doing the people a great disservice by inviting then to become a part of our church families. Could he be right? Absolutely not. Far from it.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, March 10th 2016
Both Psalm 19:1-6 and Romans 1:20 tell us that by looking at the world we can know that there is a God who created it. I always thought about looking at the beauty of nature we would know that God created it. But it means much more than that. It actually says that by looking at the science of the world we should know He created it. Those who say that science proves creationism wrong are blinding themselves to the truth.
Thursday, March 10, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, March 3rd 2016
I have been asked many times how to determine God’s will. It is an important question. My first response is this: Obedience. Obey the word of God and you will find yourself walking straight into God’s will for your life.
Thursday, March 3, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, Feb 25th 2016
What is the role of the church in politics? I saw a news story about both Democratic candidates speaking at the same church on a Sunday. I wondered what passage of scripture they spoke from; what theological insight they shared. The fact of the matter is that from the pulpit of a church on the Lord’s Day there was politics, not preaching. The speakers were trying to gather votes not harvest souls. Individuals lifted up themselves, not Christ. Is that pleasing to God?
Thursday, February 25, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, Feb 18th 2016
At the end of the half-time show for this year’s Super Bowl a large portion of the crowd in the stands held up colored cards that, when read from across the stadium read “Believe in Love”. Nice, huh? What a wonderful sentiment. We can all just believe in love and its all unicorns and rainbows. People get along together, there are no more wars, no more racial divisions, and no more children hurting. So let’s just all believe in love
Thursday, February 18, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, Feb 11th 2016
We had a great turn-out for January Bible Study and the “Sing For Your Supper” event was very well received. Even though January is traditionally a month of lower attendance in churches due to weather and sicknesses, ours has held up very well. Thank you for your faithfulness and determination.
Thursday, February 11, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, February 4th 2016
Another election year is upon us and the candidates for the presidency of our nation have begun to intensify their campaigns. It is, of course, the subject of much debate and many news stories. The president of the United States is a big deal. Looking at all the candidates this year, I’m somewhat alarmed at the possible directions we could be headed as a nation.
Thursday, February 4, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, Jan 28th 2016
The weather has been getting colder. It should; its winter. Many people look at winter and see it as desolate, colorless, and forsaken. I think we forget that winter is part of God’s plan and God looked on his plan and said it was good.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, Jan 21st 2016
Having just had yet another birthday I get a little nostalgic. I look back over the events of my life and the things that went on around me and realize how much things have changed. From rotary phones with “party lines” to cell phones that allow you to see the person to whom you are talking. From manual typewriters to computer word processors that can print color photos within the document. From no communication at times to instant communication anytime and anywhere. And it shows no signs of
Thursday, January 21, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, Jan 14th 2016
There is a reoccurring character on a very popular TV comedy who is un-ashamedly a Christian; her Christian beliefs are a vital part of who her character is. Naturally, she is presented as bigoted, ignorant, uncaring, and self-righteous. She is also a hypocrite in several ways. Whether a comedy or drama, Christians are always represented like that. We are stereotyped that way. Why? Is it because the writers truly believe that, or are they just themselves being judgmental and bigoted? Why not
Thursday, January 14, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, Jan 7th 2016
A new year brings changes and challenges. Bluff Park Baptist Church lost several wonderful, faithful members of our church family in 2015. We all will miss the smiling faces and willing hands that have gone to their reward. And we are seeing new faces. We’ve welcomed new members that have added to our close-knit fellowship. Frankly, in several ways, we aren’t the same church that we were in 2015. Changes; they are inevitable.
Thursday, January 7, 2016
From Your Pastor's Heart, Dec 24th 2015
I've watched several Christmas movies and at some point, usually more than once per movie, someone tries to change another person’s behavior or action by pleading like this: “But it’s Christmas!”. It is implied that people should behave differently during the weeks preceding Christmas. Isn’t that kind of ridiculous? So let me pose a few questions. First, if Christmas is time of giving, why do we not give all year long? If it is a time for family, why don’t we go out of our way to be with f
Thursday, December 24, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, Dec 17th 2015
As a nation that historically welcomes people of all races, cultures, and religions why are we suddenly confronted with dialogue about Muslim immigration? One presidential candidate even goes so far as to call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration. Let me deal with that issue in two ways, religious and patriotic. But before I do that I want you to understand one thing about the Muslim religion: Their growth in any and every nation is not through religious conversion. Rather it is through
Thursday, December 17, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, Dec 10th 2015
Sunday is “Bring a Friend” day in Sunday School. I hope that you have already invited someone to come with you. I have read that a very large segment of people do not attend a local church simply because no one has personally invited them. And statistics tell us that people are more likely to attend a church for the first time if they know someone there. Plus…and this is important…if people know you are enthusiastic about your church they are more interested in it, too. So, speak well of you
Thursday, December 10, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, Dec 3rd 2015
Refugee: a person who flees for refuge or safety, especially to a foreign country, as in time of political upheaval, war, etc
Thursday, December 3, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, Nov 26th 2015
There has already been much controversy over the greeting “Merry Christmas”, as there is every year. Why such a fuss over a phrase that has been in use for such a very long time? It is, after all, expressing a desire that the person to whom you are speaking will enjoy a holiday that has been celebrated around the world for hundreds of years. That person will undoubtedly take that day off from work and perhaps even have family get-together.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, Nov 19th 2015
We are taking the opportunity to declare December as “Sunday School Emphasis Month”. I know that many churches have changed the name and even times of Sunday morning Bible study. Some refer to it as “small groups” and maybe even stopped meeting on Sunday mornings; rather meeting at homes at night during the week. Is that a bad thing? Of course not. Anytime you open yourself up to God’s word good things can happen. But we do have to be careful not to lose sight of the importance of foundati
Thursday, November 19, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, Nov 12th 2015
As some of you have heard, Angie and I have purchased a house. I guess I need to explain that so as to ease any fears you may have. First let me say emphatically that we are not planning on leaving this church and retirement is nowhere in sight. We just feel that this is best for us on several levels.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, Nov 5th 2015
November is the month of “Thanksgiving”. I look forward to that particular day as our family gathers and enjoys time together and some really good food. I hope you do, too. But I also want you to think back…further back than this day and right now. I want you to think back on all the things you have to be thankful for.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, Oct 29th 2015
A few weeks ago the church observed “Pastor and Staff Appreciation Day”. I haven’t had the opportunity in this column to say thank you. So….thank you! I know I speak for the whole staff when I say that it is a joy to serve this wonderful church. Each of you adds to the things that make Bluff Park Baptist Church so special and unique. And Bluff Park Baptist is indeed a unique church.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, Oct 22nd 2015
Scientists say they have discovered water on Mars. They are really excited. The presence of water, they say, is an indicator of life. So many people are desperate to discover ” life” on Mars. This, they believe, will be proof that life can evolve. Many would then say that Mars is in the same state that the earth was “14 billion years” ago; that Mars can eventually be like earth.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, Oct 15th 2015
What would happen if every Christians in the US just said “no”? If a television program reflected and endorsed un-Biblical lifestyles and choices and every Christian in America refused to watch it, would it stay on the air? If Christians didn’t shop at stores that mocked their beliefs and promoted cultural ideas that they believe were wrong would those stores still turn a profit? If every Christian voted for pro-life candidates would abortion still be legal? If Christians stopped going to mov
Thursday, October 15, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, Oct 8th 2015
The Pope made a huge splash with his visit to the United States. His every step was documented and if possible, televised. Hundreds of thousands gathered to hear him speak or just to catch a glimpse of him. Why?
Thursday, October 8, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, Oct 1st 2015
Dr. Ben Carson said recently that he didn’t think a Muslim should be elected president of the United States. He quickly received a lot of negative press and calls from the liberal left to step down as a candidate for the presidency. Many of the other candidates for the Republican nomination took the opportunity to dismiss him as a legitimate contender. I haven’t decided who I'm going to vote for yet and I will not decide based on this one issue. But….think about what he said.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, Sept 24th 2015
Vacation in the Smoky Mountains is so refreshing. Yes we stay busy as we walk the streets of Gatlinburg and visit the shops in Pigeon Forge. But we turn our phones off and we get away from any stressful parts of our lives. For me, the most healing and inspirational time is when I hike up in the mountains. I do it alone…just me and my thoughts. It’s physically demanding yet spiritually rewarding. The beauty and majesty of God’s creation is evident with nearly every step. There are several le
Thursday, September 24, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, Sept 17th 2015
“Hate speech”. Do you and I use hate speech? If so, are we breaking the law? On an American Bar Association website hate speech is defined as “speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or other traits.”
Thursday, September 17, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, Sept 10th 2015
Remember when I said that the “dominoes” will continue to fall after the legalization of same-sex marriage and the glorification of Bruce Jenner? Well…here goes. Washington State University has classes where certain “offensive” language is banned. Among the “offensive” words are “male” and “female”. They want to be inclusive of those who identify as a sex different from their biological sex. Grades will be affected by the use of such language with a point removed for each occasion of the off
Thursday, September 10, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, Sept 3rd 2015
We were exceptionally busy this summer: Vacation Bible School, a wonderful church-wide picnic, the Graham Franklin Festival of Hope and then the Splash Bash. It was tiring yet satisfying. Thanks to all who worked so hard! Now School has started back and we have begun to settle into a new routine.
Thursday, September 3, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, August 27th 2015
The Franklin Graham Festival of Hope has come and gone….as an event. As an effect, however, it will last a very long time. To those who were saved, it will last an eternity because they gave their lives to Christ and are sealed in Him forever. What a humbling experience to be a part of that. Thank you, Lord, for letting Bluff Park Baptist Church be a part of that awesome time.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, August 20th 2015
“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” The first time I heard that phrase I was at a conference and because of the type of conference I was attending, the meaning was pretty clear. The fact is, though, any church can say that and be comfortable their efforts. Every church, by its actions, defines what the “main thing” is for that church.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, August 13th 2015
The Franklin Graham Festival of Hope begins Friday night, August 14. I hope that you are planning on attending. What a blessing it will be to heard one the world’s greatest preachers share the word of God. I look forward to hearing ever word. But please remember that this event is primarily focused on winning the lost to Christ; this is an evangelistic effort.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, August 6th 2015
It’s difficult to love some people, isn’t it? It seems that some people just don’t want to be loved or don’t care whether anyone loves them or not. Some people are stubborn, bull-headed, and opinionated. Yet the Bible tells us to “love or neighbor”. How is that possible? Does the Bible truly mean that or is just some pious platitude we spit out in public while we secretly harbor hatred?
Thursday, August 6, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, July 30th 2015
I saw a new advertising campaign on television for a certain product. It began with these words: “It doesn’t matter who you love. It matters how you love”. Then there was this: #howwefamily”. The motto underneath the product name was “For What Matters Most”. The video show many “families” including homosexual couples.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, July 16th 2015
Where does “Freedom of religion” and “discrimination” clash in the marketplace? We’ve seen businesses forced to close because they refused to provide a service for an event that they claimed violated their Christian beliefs. Do they have the right to refuse? It’s a very sticky question because of the danger of truly bigoted people hiding behind religion. Where is the line drawn?
Thursday, July 16, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, July 9th 2015
Someone asked me recently, in light of our fierce opposition to homosexuality, why we kept some Old Testament laws and disregarded others. It’s a fair question. First, we see the entire Bible as the inspired Word of God and we must interpret the entirety of the Bible as we study doctrine and beliefs; that is, we must view the Old Testament in light of the New Testament and visa versa.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, July 2nd 2015
Does following Christ make any difference in the way things are handled? Is there a difference in the way Christians react to mistreatment and hatred? The popular thought bandied about in the media is that Christians, because they oppose certain lifestyles and ideologies, are “haters”. I believe the recent events in Charleston demonstrate the utter ridiculousness of that line of thought.
Thursday, July 2, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, June 25th 2015
The president of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP has been revealed to be a white woman. She has been masquerading as a black person for a long time. Although she has resigned from her position, she has said she “identifies” as a black person. This is not about race; God created us all and He created us equal. This is about common sense and the mindset of a depraved people.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, June 18th 2015
As you read this VBS has wound down. There has been weeks of planning and preparing culminating in one intense week of Bible teaching. The Vacation Bible School effort is one of the most physically draining times for our church. But…it is one of the most spiritually rewarding times, too. What a joy to see the children every night; to interact with them. It does the heart good to see a child responding to teaching and relating to the lessons. There is an indescribable joy in knowing that you hav
Thursday, June 18, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, June 11th 2015
Vacation Bible School begins Sunday, the 14th. The theme this year is “Journey Off The Map” and the scripture emphasis is Isaiah 1:20: “Whether you turn t the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’.”
Thursday, June 11, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, June 4th 2015
Vacation Bible School begins in about 10 days, on June 14th. Please be in prayer as we being the final preparations for this important event. The workers have been getting ready for some time now, but these last two weeks are hectic. Lift them up as they ready themselves for a tough week.
Thursday, June 4, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, May 28th 2015
Have you noticed how fast we went from “gay marriage” to “transgendered”? I've said many times as we urged people to oppose the gay marriage agenda that it was just the tip of the iceberg; the first domino to fall. And so it was.
Thursday, May 28, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, May 21st 2015
I mentioned in our “Round Table” discussion that we need to start a few “Home Bible Studies” as soon as the Franklin Graham festival concludes. This is important if we find some folks who need a church family after making a decision at the festival. But it is also just a good way to begin a relationship with friends and neighbors, bring the un-churched ones to our church, as well as lead some lost ones to Jesus.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, May 14th 2015
We are fortunate to have 5 graduating High school seniors this year and we will celebrate them this coming Sunday. I want you to pay special attention to them; look closely and remember their faces. Why? Because statistics tell us that they are more likely than not to lose contact with the church over the next few years. College, jobs, and other distractions will slowly draw them away from church.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, May 7th 2015
May 7 is the National Day of Prayer. In 1775 the Continental Congress allocated a time for prayer in forming a new nation. Over the years, there have been calls for a day of prayer, including from President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. On April 17, 1952, President Harry Truman signed a bill proclaiming the National Day of Prayer into law in the United States. President Reagan amended the law in 1988, designating the first Thursday of May each year as the National Day of Prayer.
Thursday, May 7, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, April 30th 2015
There was a story in the Birmingham News about UAB making transgender hormone therapy available as a treatment for student patients at its Student Health and Wellness Center. They interviewed a young man who says he hopes to be the first person to receive the cross-sex hormone therapy at the school.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, April 23rd 2015
I heard about a man and his son entering a building and a woman was just behind them. The man opened the door and stepped back to let the woman enter first. She stopped and looked at him and said, in a hateful tone, “I can open my own doors. I don’t need a man to do that for me.” He smiled as she stepped ahead of him and ushered his son into the building.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, April 16th 2015
Yesterday was the deadline for filing taxes. There is a saying that goes like this: “There is nothing certain except death and taxes”. While that is a true statement let me add one thing. “There is nothing certain except death and taxes. But we only have to fear taxes!” I have seen so many wonderful Christians face the prospect of death with such calmness, peace, and acceptance. Why? Because they didn’t fear death. They knew it wasn’t the end of anything, but the beginning of all they had hoped
Thursday, April 16, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, April 9th 2015
I never thought I’d see the day when we felt as if we needed to pass a law that says that churches/pastors cannot be forced to participate in same-sex marriages. Yet that is what some states are actually doing. Why? The reason is simple: Those who push the homosexual agenda do not just want win their battle; they want us to lose. Let me explain.
Thursday, April 9, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, April 2nd 2015
Sunday is Easter! It is exciting to think about the event we celebrate on that day. Think about what happened that day. A man is brutally tortured and murdered but comes back to life. The thing that people dread and fear the most has been conquered. Death is not the end of anything; it is, indeed, a change but it is also the continuation of our relationship with God. Death has no hold on the Christian. The death of loved one becomes bearable with the promise that we will see them again.
Thursday, April 2, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, March 19th 2015
The nation of Israel was defeated in battle several times but more importantly the entire nation was captured, enslaved and exiled more than once. It’s a somber thought that God’s own, chosen people were humiliated and destroyed. When we ask ourselves why, and closely study the answer, it is frightening: God simply took his hand off of them; He turned them loose. The result was devastating.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, March 12th 2015
I am so very encouraged by what is going on in our church right now. I've not seen such an attitude of concern, desire for ministry, and willingness to sacrifice in a long time…in any church. Many of you have come to me and voiced a desire for this church to become everything God wants us to be
Thursday, March 12, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, March 5th 2015
I want to encourage everyone to be present for our “Round Table Discussion” here at the church on March 15, at 4:00 PM. Many of our members have said they are looking forward to a time of sharing and discussion about our church. Some, though, have expressed some concern about what we intend to do.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, February 26th 2015
In an article in the Birmingham News someone said that during the conflict over the acceptance of same sex “marriages” that Alabama had taken a giant step backwards. It’s not the first time I’ve heard someone offer that opinion when talking about resisting the homosexual agenda. It is a good illustration that if you tell a lie often enough it becomes accepted as the truth. But let’s look at that statement.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, February 19th 2015
I watched television interviews with several ministers who were either performing same-sex marriages or welcoming the decision that Alabama must recognize the unions as legitimate marriages. None of these ministers used any scripture to justify their mindset (other than “God says we are to love everybody” which most wouldn’t apply to other sins as an excuse to embrace them). One minister used the very un-educated and non-Biblical reasoning that “Jesus never spoke against homosexuality”.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, February 12th 2015
Its Valentine’s Day again and all thoughts turn to “love”. Love seems to be the yardstick by which almost all relationships and activities are measured; and rightfully so. But how is love defined? That’s where we run into problems. The word “love” is defined so differently by various people and in different situations.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, February 5th 2015
I’ve told you that I would like for every church member to read the book “I Am A Church Member” by Tom S. Rainer. There is a copy in the library but there are also copies on the Communion table
Thursday, February 5, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, January 29th 2015
I was getting onto the elevator at the VA hospital the other day and there was a lady with the housekeeping department. She had a large, rolling vacuum canister that was orange with a black top. My first thought was “that looks like C3PO in the Start Wars movies”. Not it color, but in shape, it reminded me of that character. I've seen people that reminded me of other people by their looks and/or mannerisms.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, January 22nd 2015
We just finished our January Bible Study on the book of Deuteronomy. It was a great time of study and fellowship and I know those who were able to participate grew in their relationship to God and in their understanding of His purpose and character. The companion textbook was well-written and insightful. If you were not able to attend and would like to read the book I encourage you to check a copy out of the library.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, January 15th 2015
We put special emphasis on “missions” give during Christmas for our Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions and at Easter with the Annie Armstrong Offering for North American Missions. And well we should because those two special offerings are essential to the work of our missionaries at home and around the world.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, January 8 2015
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day”. 2 Peter 3:8 (NIV) God ordained a “day” at creation thus initiating the concept of time. As 2 Peter tells us, time is meaningless to God who has existed always. But time means a lot to us, doesn’t it? We turned days into weeks, weeks into months and months into years. All to measure time. We then took a day and broken it down to 24 hours. We translated that into 1,
Thursday, January 8, 2015
From Your Pastor's Heart, December 18, 2014
A week until Christmas. Is there any day more anticipated than Christmas day? The gifts. The food. Family time. And because it is such a special day we happily plan and prepare for it. The Advent season is about that. We are looking forward to His second coming. But as we do, I want you to think about something.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
From your Pastor's heart, December 11, 2014
Is there a “war on Christmas”? Certainly the secular and non-Christian forces have been successful in getting certain religious aspects removed from government-related displays. Schools get out for “Winter Break” instead of getting two weeks off for Christmas. Some stores are instructed to greet customers with a generic holiday sentiment rather than wishing them a “merry Christmas”.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
From Your Pastor's Heart December 4, 2014
I would say that the Christmas season is upon us, but honestly, I heard Christmas songs on the radio the first week on November and saw the first home decorated for Christmas on November 12th. So, I guess the “Christmas season” has been going on for a while. Who would have guessed that Christmas would be about saving the economy instead of saving mankind? With apologies to Mark Lowery, I changed a few words in his wonderful song, “Mary Did You Know”:
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
From Your Pastor's Heart. November 27, 2014
Following is the official proclamation for how our nation is to observe Thanksgiving: A Proclamation. The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart October 16th, 2014
Don’t forget that we still have lots of “church cards” available for you to hand out to friends, neighbors, or family or just to leave in strategic locations. They are on the tables at the front and read entrances. One card has the “plan of salvation” on the back and the other has the website “truelife.org” on the back. The website is an excellent resource for answers to some of life’s and religion’s toughest questions. Take a few of each and spread them around. You may even want to utilize True
Friday, October 17, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, October 2nd, 2014
Please don’t forget our study on prayer begins this Sunday at 6:00 PM. I hope you are planning on coming. While we will look at prayer in general, this study will also touch on the needs of our church and God’s will for our future. Hopefully, we will learn how to pray specifically for Bluff Park Baptist Church and Bluff Park community. Perhaps we will all catch the same vision and then pray particularly for that vision. Unity will increase the effectiveness of our prayers. If you need a ride bec
Thursday, September 25, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, September 5th, 2014
The Long Range Planning Committee has been discussing many things as we look toward the future. There are many things to be done and many ways to do them. But we have come to the conclusion that the first step to discernment is prayer.
Monday, August 11, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, August 28th, 2014
“Man retires early to spend more time with his family”. That’s not a very explosive headline, is it? Try this: “Male CEO steps down to raise family”. Or, “CEO steps down to be a better dad.” While the first is very true, the second two, while also true, were written to elicit a certain response and make a point. Words can help us do that.
Monday, August 11, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, August 21st, 2014
Almost every morning when the news comes on the lead story is “severe weather”. It seems that there are more tornadoes, more hailstorms, more rain and flooding, and more drought than ever before. Several people have likened it to the Biblical prophecy of such things as an indicator of Christ’s return. But is it?
Monday, August 11, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, August 14th, 2014
An atheist group recently won a lawsuit against the IRS that will result in the IRS monitoring churches for “political” speech. Religious organizations are not, by law, supposed to endorse one candidate over another. I’ve always refrained from that anyway as on occasion it has been known to slit churches over matters that weren’t even religious in nature. But let me ask you a question. Suppose one candidate is running on a platform of endorsing same-sex marriage while another candidate is opposi
Thursday, August 7, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, August 7th, 2014
School begins in Hoover on August 7th. The Summer vacation just seemed to fly by, didn’t it? So here we are preparing for another “Back-to-School Splash Bash”. As always we will need all the help we can get. It will be Saturday afternoon, August 23, from 5:00 until 7:00. We will need folks help set up, to man the snow-cone and popcorn machines, help in the kitchen, and we will need people to keep an eye on each activity so that we can maintain order and keep the kids safe. Remember that we will
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, July 31st, 2014
There are many things about which the Bible doesn't speak so we are left to give the government power to determine how to handle them. For instance, the Bible doesn't speak about safe driving so we rely on the government to establish speed limits and our responsibility is to obey those limits. The Bible doesn't set any standard for what constitutes a healthy meal. We rely on the expertise of doctors and nutritionists. In fact there are numerous things that the Bible doesn't address and we then d
Saturday, July 26, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, July 24th, 2014
How about some good news? It seems like I’m always groaning and complaining about something but I don’t want us to get pessimistic about things. First, God is still on His throne. By that, I mean that He is in control and there is nothing going on that He doesn’t know about. Secondly, God has a plan. That is, He is going to work His will regardless of the best that Satan (this world) can do. These victories that Satan wins are nothing more than bumps in the road in the great plan.
Friday, July 18, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, July 17th, 2014
“Have a blessed day”. Have you ever wished that to someone? A lady in Walton, Kentucky claims she was fired from her job at a bank for using that phrase after a customer complained that it had a Christian connotation to it. The lady had been employed there for over 25 years. Time after time people are told to leave their religious beliefs at home
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, July 3rd, 2014
I’ve spoken often of my concern for America. I fear that many Christians believe that God made the same covenant with us as He did with the nation of Israel. He didn’t. His only covenant with the United States is the covenant he would make with any nation: “Obey me and I will bless you”. The corresponding opposite of that is frightening. When we take God out of our national and political affairs He will simply move on. We’ve seen it in the past. The great revivals of history took place in Europe
Friday, July 4, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, June 12th, 2014
VBS is about more than statistics. There are things that are accomplished that we cannot measure because the results may not be immediate. I heard a grown man who made a profession of faith as a teenager talk about how attending VBS through the years built up desire in him to know Jesus. I know of families who, when they did decide to begin attending church, going to the church where their kids attended VBS for a period of time. The fact is that we cannot measure the full impact of what VBS does
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, June 5th, 2014
The most telling sign of falling away from God is often not the lack of church attendance, it’s the lack of a prayer life. If the only time and way we communicate with God is on Sunday through the worship service then we are not as close to God as we should be. I’ll agree that being physically present at the church building when “services” are being held is of utmost importance in any Christian’s life. And certainly a Christian who is not affiliated and active with a local church will not be as
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, April 10th, 2014
I viewed the movie “Noah” last week and it was even a little worse than I expected. The writer/director took so many liberties with the story and treated it like it was only that….a story. Noah’s tale is the account of what happened when mankind turned away from God. It wasn’t what the people did to the earth because they were wicked that caused Him to wipe them off the face of the earth… it was what they did to their relationship with God. The movie never approached that important theme. I gues
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, March 20th, 2014
While watching a news program on Tuesday I saw a story that “crawled” along the bottom of the screen that touted the millions of dollars a certain state had earned on taxing the legal sale of marijuana. I'm sure many people rejoiced at the money and many more were excited about how much money their state could earn if the sale of marijuana was legalized and taxed.
Friday, March 28, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, March 13th, 2014
When I worked at a television station in Dothan, Alabama, we had an agricultural show that was viewed far and wide. A few weeks after Daylight Savings Time was instituted in the early 70’s a man called in to the show and complained that the extra hour of sunlight was killing his tomatoes. Of course there is no “extra hour of sunlight”, we simply began getting up an hour earlier every morning. The sun didn't change; we did.
Friday, March 28, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, March 6th, 2014
I’m going to make a strange request: I want you to be disappointed. Yes….disappointed. We had 80 people in Sunday School on the last Sunday of February and that brought joy to my heart, and I hope to yours. We even had a few “regulars” out that day due to sickness and joyous family events. So from now on, every time you hear the Sunday School report and the number in attendance is under 80…I want you to be disappointed. Why? Because if you feel disappointment it is because you know and expect mo
Friday, March 28, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, February 27th, 2014
In a movie about a Jamaican bobsled team of a few years ago an athlete asked his coach, who had won gold medals in previous Olympics and had cheated in trying to win another, why he cheated. He couldn’t understand why a man who “had it all” wasn’t satisfied with what he had. The coach responded something like this: “If you aren’t happy with yourself before you win the medal. You won’t be happy with yourself after you win the medal”.
Friday, March 28, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, February 20th, 2014
I saw a video the other day where a 5-year-old boy was shoveling snow. He suddenly stopped and looked up. “Jesus, make it warm!” he shouted. First let me say that I like a family where a young child is taught that Jesus is the one to turn to in times of want and troubles. But I also wonder if that little scene isn't also a picture of most Christian’s prayer life!
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, February 13th, 2014
Was it worth it? I read that the average ad for the 2014 Super Bowl was about $4,000,000.00. That amount seemed ridiculous. Why pay such an insane amount of money for 30 seconds of time? Then I read how many people were watching those ads: Over 111,000,000. That works out to less than 39 cents per viewer; less than the cost of a postage stamp!
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, February 6th, 2014
The snow and freezing weather last week caught everyone by surprise. I was able to drive around some on that first night and the roadways looked like a scene from one of those zombie apocalypse movies: Stalled and wrecked cars with people walking slowly on the sides and even in the middle of the roads.
Friday, January 31, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, January 30th, 2014
I spoke one Wednesday night about the spiritual gifts that God gives each believer. While I cannot know what each person’s gifts are, I am confident that every Christian has at least one supernatural gift from God. The overall, general purpose of the gift(s) is to be utilized through the local church to spread the kingdom of God.
Friday, January 31, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart, January 24th, 2014
My first real job was working for a landscaping company in the summer of 1968. I hated that job. I went to bed every night dreading to get up the next morning. To this day the smell of fresh dirt or grass brings back unpleasant memories. I was usually sullen and withdrawn, doing everything I was told and to the best of my ability, but I did only what I was told and nothing extra. I’m sure the owners knew I wasn’t in love with what I was doing. The owner’s son, however, was always happy and smili
Sunday, January 19, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart January 2nd, 2014
This is the first column of the year 2014. In last Sunday’s sermon I spoke of a year of faith. If I could give you any gift I wanted…but only one gift…I would give you the gift of “faith”’ for faith will dramatically change your life. Faith inspires determination. Faith brings joy and happiness even in times of doubt and darkness. Faith claims wonderful promises even before they materialize. Faith brings peace in troubling times. Faith accomplishes a lot. While I cannot “give” you faith… my desi
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
From Your Pastor's Heart January 1st, 2015
Another “New Year” is here: AD 2015. Why 2015? Time is marked by the most wonderful event in the history of creation: The Birth of Jesus. AD is an abbreviation for the Latin words Anno Domini which means “the year of our Lord”.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
From your Pastor's Heart December 19th, 2013
A week away from Christmas….it seems to get here quickly, doesn’t it? I hope that you have all your shopping done and can relax and enjoy the festive times ahead. As a preacher, I try to remind people to “Keep Christ in Christmas” but I do still like many of the festivities that surround Christmas. I like many of the songs, the decorations, the cheerful attitude of people (who aren’t shopping.) Christmas is a great time. For most people.
Monday, December 16, 2013
From your Pastor's Heart December 12th, 2013
“Lights on the Bluff” is this weekend. I hope you are planning on being here. This even has grown every year and I see no reason that this year will be any different. We need workers…and there will be something for everyone to do. But even if you cannot come and work, come join the fun for a little while: Watch the live nativity presentation at 5:00, go on one of the hayrides, have some hot chocolate and/or a hot dog. It will be fun.
Friday, December 6, 2013
From Your Pastor's Heart November 28th, 2013
I read this the other day: “Only in America will people get up early in the morning to stampede each other trying to get bargains just a day after giving thanks for what we already have”.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
From your Pastor's Heart October 17th, 2013
Did you know that this season was not called autumn until the 1600’s? It wasn’t even called fall until the 1800’s. It was referred to simply as “harvest”. The reason isn’t too difficult to figure out; it is the season of harvesting crops.
Monday, October 7, 2013
From your Pastor's Heart October 3rd, 2013
On September 22 a suicide attack on a Christian church in Pakistan killed at least 75 people, including men, women, and children.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
From your Pastor's Heart September 26th, 2013
Did you know that in the state of New Jersey it is now illegal for a mental health professional to counsel a minor in regard to his/her sexual or gender identity?
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
From your Pastor's heart September 19, 2013
I want to thank everyone for participating in the new pictorial directory for the church.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
True heart of Christianity
Tuesday, August 20, 2013