Cold Weather!

Was it cold to you this morning?  I got a chill that I could not seem to get rid of!  I need to go outside and work on setting up for Sweet Treat, but I am not sure that I want to go out there again – at least not until it warms up a little!  Feeling the cold and feeling it in such a major way got me to thinking about how much we don’t feel.  When life is working as usual and everything is going the way that we like for it to go – we tend to feel very little.  But let something change, even just a little bit and watch out – there are all kinds of feeling and our thoughts are shared freely.

I have not felt the cold in a while and so I have gotton used to the warmth and it has become comfortable to me.  Now the cold comes and attempts to mess with and take away my comfort!  My first thought is:  “I can’t stand this cold!”  My second thought is:  “I am going to do all that I can to avoid it!”  But wait just a minute – I like the cold weather!  It puts a spring in my step, I seem to breath easier and I get to wear cloths that have been hanging in my closet looking lonely all summer long!

My problem is not what I feel!  My problem is that I have not felt what I am feeling for a while and so I am not used to it and I am tempted to avoid and miss it, when I need to embrace and enjoy it!  Our spiritual life is very much the same!  We have an expereince that is not what we are used to and we are tempted to go to pieces, but when we stop for just a momnet and think about it, things are not near as bad as we might think!  In fact, they might be better than we realize!

So – whatever is going on in your life today = embrace it and look forward to the journey that God has you on!

Memory Lane

I am back after an amazing weekend journey back down memory lane.  This past week I finally took a Sunday off from the Northwood pulpit to return to my first church pastorate – Shamrock Bapitst Church in Bethune, South Carolina.  Shamrock was celebrating their 100th Anniversary and invited me back to deliver the “Homecoming” message.  Joy and I had a blast showing the girls were we used to live and remembering some of the funny stories of our beginning days of ministry and marriage.  It was really great to see everyone and I was amazed at how so many of the folks had not really changed a bit.

It is amazing to be gone from a place for over twelve years and get the opportunity to go back and feel as if you never really left.  The love, lessons and life that Joy and I were blessed with in our ministry to that first church family is something that words cannot even come close to explaining.  The most exciting part for me is seeing that a church that I had the joy of serving is continuing to grow and be effective for God’s glory!  I thank God for that congregation of Believers and for all that they have meant to so many, especially to me!  Every where I go, I will always take some of Shamrock with me!

It is great to be back at Northwood!  It is nice to get away and enjoy memory lane, but I sure do miss the family of Believers and community of challenge that God has given me to pastor in Greer.  I love living, teaching, sharing, growing and becoming together.  God has some amazing things in store for us and I can’t wait to see Him accomplish some of the things that He has put in my heart and head.  So with that said – I’ve got lots of work to do, so I’ll get busy and talk with you folks later!  May continue to bless, as we keep it real!

Bitter Sweet!

Yesterday was a great day of worship!  It is always amazing to me to watch and see how God puts together a worship service.  The way He uses each of us to accomplish getting His message across.  The Communion, songs, special music, prayers and message all came together with the incredible spirit of a group of very loving and caring people to give us an amazing opportunity to proclaim to God how great and awesome He is in our lives!  I really believe that we brought a smile to His face!  I am excited about the things that He is teaching us and I am enjoying the personal spiritual growth that I am experiencing in my own life!

Yesterday was also bitter/sweet in that a very good friend and spiritual brother went to be with our Lord.  Arlen Coggins was a very special person to every person that knew him and to many that had never met him.  He continually reached out of his life and into the lives of others to be a help and a blessing.  I don’t think that his influence can be measured, only appreciated.  I thank God for allowing me to be his Pastor and for giving us all the opportunity to minister to and with Arlen and for the blessing of receiving ministry from Him!  My hope, comfort and healing come from the promise that because of Arlen’s relationship with Christ, He has experienced perfect and complete healing and is living in the presence of the One that he loved to serve! 

I am so thankful for each of you and I am so glad that God has brought us together to minister and make a difference for His Kingdom!  I hope you are living a blessed day!