Monday, March 27, 2006


Sometimes new understanding creeps up on you and one day you find yourself believing something a bit differently than you used to and you wonder when it happened. Other times it hits you in the face and you go "Duh!".

Yesterday, as I we were waiting for services to start I was looking through the bulletin and I just happened to re-read the note that is in there every week that explains our Lord's Supper, and the line hit me. It invited "believers" to participate in the Lord's Supper..not..."BAPTIZED believers".

In the Sunday morning bulletin that we passed out at the Church I used to go to I am quite sure we made that distinction (I should know, I worded it).

My instantaneous, instinctual reaction was that of disbelief. "Is that what it really says?" I read it again...nope, same mention of being baptized first. See, in my time as a Church of Christ "lifer" it was just something you understood from a small age. Once you were baptized, you could eat the bread and drink the cup, until then you kept your hands out of the plates and you passed them to the next person.

IN FACT, one way you could tell if a "newcomer" was a Christian (a baptized believer) was to watch when the Lord's Supper came to them. If they partook without hesitation and in reverence, then you where 98% sure they were baptized believers. If they passed it without hesitation, you were 98% they were not, and if they hesitated at either (as if they didn't know what to do) you were 100% sure that they were not baptized believers. In any case, it was the sign on their foreheads that marked them.

In my mind, coming from years of training and observing, partaking of the Lord's Supper was one of the outward "rewards" for being baptized.
When I say that out loud now it sounds...stupid. Duh!
Where on earth did I get that idea?! I started to think through the Bible and I looked...there is nothing in there that says that in order to partake of the Lord's Supper you must be baptized. Now, I believe that it implies that those that did participate in the Lord's Supper were baptized believers, but there is no commandment either way and any argument for or against would be fraught with conjecture.

True, I have never seen anyone stopped from taking the Lord's Supper because they were not baptized. But, I have also never known of anyone that has made a practice of it without being baptized.

The statement in our bulletin was (is) the first I had ever seen that encouraged anyone that wanted to participate in the Lord's Supper to do so...irregardless of their station in life and the current state of their journey to the Lord. It suggests that participating in the Lord's Supper could have meaning for someone that is not baptized. Part of me says that is putting the cart before the horse, but another part of me says...why not? Who am I to judge someone else's heart?

I do believe that participating in the Lord's Supper has deeper meaning to those of us that have been saved by God's mercy through the sacrifice of his son and our obedience to that love and sacrifice. However, now, because I am reading without the shaded glasses and listening withouth the ear filters things look and sound differently.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Rooster Cogburn

I'm not a BIG fan of westerns, but my grandparents were...BIG TIME. They specifically liked John Wayne. Since I spent most of my childhood years in their home I have seen a lot of John Wayne movies. The Cowboys, Hellfighters...True Grit.

I was flipping channels the other day and I came across True Grit and I was suddenly mesmerized...the surfing stopped on a dime. That movie is like a warm blanket that takes me a back years to when I lived with my grandparents.

By today's standards it's a lightweight, even though John Wayne won an academy award for it. To's pure gold. I look at Rooster Cogburn and think of my grandaddy. Hard and weathered on the outside and soft as down pillow on the inside. Funny, confident, smart, a friend to everyone he met...unforgettable.

I really miss him, but "Rooster" helps me to remember him.

Lately, when I am frustrated with people around me that give me grief about the decisions I have made in my spiritual life I think of grandaddy. I can only imagine him in heaven watching what is going on and knowing my heart and urging me to press on and smiling... He wants to come down here and kick those that are frustrating me in the teeth and at the same time he wants to just sit with me and comfort me and make me laugh. That's grandaddy.

Grandaddy, I really miss you and I can't wait to see you again.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Momentum - "The tendency of something to continue movement in a single direction."

In real, physical terms, momentum is not a source of energy, but it can sure seem that way. It can be an awesome force able to overcome great odds... or diminish hope. It is the "weight" behind a movement (actually, it is the combination of mass and velocity), it is the direction you are going right now. A lack of momentum is also known as stagnation.

Momentum can be a bad thing...tell that to the man that just lost his job and then the transmission goes in the car and the rent is due and...

I've never really given much though to momentum because it has seemed elusive to me... unorganized and unreliable.


It's amazing how a consistently growing personal relationship with God can cause momentum in your life. It's funny how it affects how you look at others, how you talk to them, how you treat them. Your positive energy is reflected from you to them and back to you magnifying it's effect on both of you.

In my life in the past, I have been able to feel good while I am at Church around people of like mind, however that feeling dissipated quickly after walking out the doors of the building.

Maybe it's because I didn't take God with me?...

It's a momentum that has the most powerful source of power available in the universe, able to overcome any hill, obstacle, mountain, broken car, bill, failing heart, inability or distraction. It's a huge moving object that cannot be stopped by the things of the world because it's source is not of this world.

Thank you God for giving me momentum in the form of my wife, my kids and my Church.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Don't Look Away

I am convinced that the Devil is real and at work in this world.

So many people think that all this talk about God and Angels and the Holy Spirit and Demons and Satan and Heaven and Hell are just metaphors. We toss around funny images and jokes about Heaven and Hell and about a guy in a red suit with a pointy tail and a pitch fork that lives where it's hot all the time.

We compare earthly things to Heaven and Hell all the time. "She looks like an Angel", or "He is 'Hell on wheels'". We make jokes about how someone we don't like may end up buring in Hell or about talking to "the Devil", hey the Devil even "went down to Georgia". Of course, we don't say that "Satan went down to Georgia", that just wouldn't be funny.

I have to remind myself of something very important as often as possible...

Satan is a real person, he is NOT a funny little guy in a red suit. He is not a "devil", he is NOT funny, he is not someone to joke about and...

he is very, very, very smart.

Satan is tenacious, patient, stubborn, cunning, wily, crafty, determined...enduring. He will wait and wait and wait, and he will pounce when the pouncing is good, he will sneak when the sneaking is good and he will do whatever it takes to win. He is the ultimate foe, he is the snake in the grass, he is the fly in the ointment, he is the monkey-wrench, he is the 2000 pound elephant and the microscopic virus, he is your worst enemy...and...your best friend. He eats Arnold, The Hulk, Rambo, Predator and Gandalf for breakfast and keeps going.

For me, he attacks when I am weakest...when I am distracted, when I am comfortable, when I think I have it figured out. Then he nails me in the teeth and knocks me back and what do I do?

I blame...God.

"God, why did you LET this happen to me?", "God, why is this happening again?"

When the ugly truth of the matter is that I took my gaze off of Him and that's when it happened...that's WHY it happened. When I look away from God, just for a moment, I am vulnerable to Satan's attack, and he takes advantage of every opportunity.

Put away perversity from your mouth;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze directly before you.
Make level paths for your feet
and take only ways that are firm.
Proverbs 4:24-26

However, the thing that keeps me going, that defeats despair, comes from the words of Paul in Romans 16:20, "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet". Jesus has already fought and beaten Satan and all I have to do is...keep my gaze on Him.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


I'm tired of being ordinary. I don't want to be ordinary, I don't think God wants me to be ordinary either.

I want to do something great, but it's really hard because I'm just an ordinary guy.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Last night before choir practice I was talking to the guy next to me and it hit me. For the first time in 3 years or so...

I REALLY want to be at Church.

I can remember going many times because it was what I was supposed to do. I can easily remember just not going because I just didn't want to be there. When that happened, it scared me a bit...what if I don't snap out of this? What if I turn into someone that just fills a pew every once in a while?

Well, thanks to God... I really want to be with other Christians again. It feels good.

The tingling is gone and now the strength is being renewed.
"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18