Archive for May, 2010

It is days like today.  They have mixed emotions.  In a few minutes I will leave and go to the church and help retired Marine Sargent Major Carlton Pridgen gather ice for the Memorial Day services at our Veterans Memorial in Florence, SC.  He would never forget.  He served with my father in the Marine Corp and was near Iwo Jima as well.  It is his greatest delight to be a part of this day’s activities.  I wish I had heard more stories from my father’s experience.  I remember my own uncle as he served in Vietnam.  He served.  He was scarred by that experience as many were.  He remembers today as well.


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For Deb

Why do I do the things I do, why do I say the things I say

Sing the songs I sing, pray the prayers I pray

Why do I push myself so hard to go the second mile

Knowing my reward may only be a smile

Chorus Well there’s a picture in my mind that time can’t erase

There’s a memory of days gone by that helps me keep my place

It’s in the front of my mind, in the back of my mind

To the left and to the right there’s an image of man on a cross

Vs. 2 Why should I care what others think

What do I care what others say

When He has won my heart

And I have found my way

What do I care what it may cost

Though it may cost my all

To walk the narrow path

And hear His silent call

Bridge I’m constrained by the love of Christ

I’m compelled to express His light

Cause in the front of my mind, in the back of my mind

To the left and to the right there’s an image of a man on a cross

In the front of my mind, in the back of my mind

To the left and to the right there’s an image of a man on a cross

To the left and to the right there’s an image of a man on a cross

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1After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting:
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
2for true and just are his judgments.
He has condemned the great prostitute
who corrupted the earth by her adulteries.
He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” 3And again they shouted:
The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.”

4The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried:
“Amen, Hallelujah!”

5Then a voice came from the throne, saying:
“Praise our God,
all you his servants,
you who fear him,
both small and great!”

6Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
7Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
8Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.”

9Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

10At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

The morning has been consumed with the song…

Worthy is the, Lamb who was slain
Holy, Holy, is He
Sing a new song, to him who sits on
Heaven’s mercy seat

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything
And I will adore You

Clothed in rainbows, of living color
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and glory and power be
to You the only wise King

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything
And I will adore You

Filled with wonder, awestruck wonder
At the mention of your name
Jesus your name is power
Breath, and living water
Such a marvelous mystery

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come, yeah
With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything
And I will adore You

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Several Quotes…

“Missionary work is church work. It is not asteady stream of glamorous and exciting events, but a slow and steady perseverance in preaching, teaching, evangelizing, and shepherding.”-Brad White

This morning Tommy Bolger put this quote on Facebook.  Brad White is a missionary with HeartCry Missionary Society, South American Director.  Tommy said that he didn’t know him. A friend of his posted this earlier and Tommy copied it.  I was reminded again that the work to which God has called me is like being a husband, parent or pastor.  This work to which I am called is not a steady stream of exhilarating glamorous exciting events.  It really is a slow work that finds its reward after one is stead in pursuing the necessary daily items.  Being a husband requires daily sacrifice, the willingness to step up to the everyday responsibilities of being married.  Being a father has the same kind of focus.  It is not in the one big event that the battle is won, but in the repetitive work of everyday tasks.  I am reminded again that the goal in life for me not to necessarily “win”.  How can you win when you have already won the race in Christ?  It is in running to win (the steady step by step)…steady perseverance in the task of preaching, teaching, evangelizing and shepherding the flock over whom the Lord has placed me.

The other quote came from James Robinson’s program “LifeToday”.  He was interviewing a woman named Jennifer Beckham.  I will copy a section or two from her website http://getoveryourselfnow.com

At seven years old, Jennifer Beckham declared, “Mommy, I’m going to be a princess when I grow up!” Eleven years later, she was chosen out of thousands of girls to be a face character for Tokyo Disneyland, portraying the roles of Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, and even Mary Poppins. There, in the setting of a magical wonderland, playing the parts of those beautiful princesses, Jennifer’s endless search for fulfillment culminated in a secret life of depression and destructive behaviors. Jennifer experienced first-hand what it was like to strive for perfection and still never measure up … to search for love in all the wrong places … to run into the arms of a loving God—only to later have Him tell her to “Get over yourself!”

When confronted by a question regarding part of her journey in her walk with the Lord she said (and it blew me away) I had feelings for Jesus…but had no FAITH in Jesus. Hasn’t that been the story of folk who have sought a feeling but never developed a relationship with Christ.  It is one thing to have feelings for HIM.  However, it takes total commitment of your life to surrender your life to him by faith and depend on him for everything in your life.  I have known hundreds of folk who have feelings for the Savior but lack the joy of total surrender to him in faith.  I wish I could say I was not in that number.  I have been there myself.  Her vulnerability to be willing to share that with a television audience was one of those moments where God grasped my attention.  I don’t know if I will buy the book but I can definitely connect with Mrs. Beckham’s struggle.

FYI – jenniferbeckham.wordpress.com

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2The priests could not enter the temple of the LORD because the glory of the LORD filled it.

14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

Oh me!  What would it have been like to have been standing there when the Glory fell on the place and consumed the sacrifices.  What if?  What if that happened this morning in our worship experiences and the glory of God would come down and consume stuff.  I am fully aware the Holy Spirit dwells or tabernacles.  I wonder how prepared the church I pastor is for the glory to fall.  This was one that was prepared for years in advance.  They had one single purpose and that was to create a place where the Lord could reside.  We build them so that the people can enjoy them…be comfortable in them…not to be offended in them…to make sure that all the people inside are well provided for…and did we give it one thought that this would be the place where the glory resided, that prayers would be lifted from this place, that repentance would find voice and forgiveness experienced, where the sacrifice of praise would be lifted before the all hearing ears of our Father in heaven.

How far we’ve moved from the main theme of the story.  It is not about us.  It is about HIM and His Glory.  That big building would have meant nothing more than the Taj Mahal or some other wonder building of the world had the Glory of God not filled it.  Don’t get me wrong, it was a beautiful place and a place that would be fitting for God’s presence.  Even Solomon knew that One who filled the heavens could have been cramped in a building like that…the thought hit me that he filled the womb of a young woman…so hey, the temple is a slam dunk.  But it was the glory that made the difference in the place.  It was the glory that made the building shine.  It  was the glory of God’s presence in a place that made it captivating and in this case unapproachable.


14 if  Jim Crooks, who is called by my name, will humble himself and pray and seek my face and turn from his wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive his sin and will heal his land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

He lives in me.  His ears being opened to my prayers…and being attentive to my prayers is conditional particularly the condition of my heart toward Him.  The glory of God fills my temple.  Can people tell or am I blocking the expression of it?  No one had to manufacture the glory, nor work on Hollywood stunts and special effects to make a person feel like it was real…no 3D glasses needed here.  When the real thing happened people noticed and you can’t fake it.  Have I gotten so used to being in a place where the expectation of the expression of the glory of God is so limited that we experience a religious experience with no glory present.

Oh that God’s glory would fall in this place.  Start right here at this desk God!

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Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang:
“He is good;
his love endures forever.”
Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud,

Watching the building of the temple in Jerusalem, one would wonder if it would ever get done.  It was a beautiful spectacle.  David, own comment declared that if the heaven cannot hold your presence, then how can a temple in Jerusalem do so.  To top that he chooses to live in us…now there!  The furniture was carried in by the Levites and placed in the appropriate place.  The ark arrived and the glory filled the place.  The glory of God was so consuming that they could not draw near to the place.  Bulls and sheep were offered to God by thousands.  God was honored.  His glory was displayed.

He is good.  He keeps his promises.  His love does endure forever.  If building the temple was a powerful moment in the life of Israel, can you imagine the day the glory of God fell on His Son as John the Baptist baptized Him.  God said, “This is my Son.  I am well pleased.”  The glory of God filled that moment.  Now the glory of God departed from Christ’s life as he experienced the judgment of God for the sin of mankind.  The glory of God resurrected the Son of God from the dead.  However, the most amazing thing for me this morning is to remember that the glory of God lives inside of me in the person and presence of the Holy Spirit.

If I had a trumpet I would blow it.  If I had some cymbals I am certain I could make enough noise to wake the dead.  I could play a bit on the piano, saxophone, and the guitar.  However, I will raise my voice this morning and sing.

He is Good and his Love endures forever!

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16May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

Walked around with Solomon today.  Asked f0r wisdom and discernment to lead a nation.  God granted that and more…made him the richest man to ever live.  He wasn’t the biggest and baddest on the block but he Knew the Biggest and Baddest on the Block – and when your God is big – you can do mighty things.  I wonder if I will take some time today and think about what I would have asked God for, should he ask.  He was married to a “passel” of women-folk, one from Egypt – brought her gods with her and they worshiped them as well… oops!  Not good practice for a king…he could…so he did…and his marriage impacted and influenced his worship life… he ultimately paid for it.

Then I had the chance to walk around with Paul as he writes to the Thessalonians.  Maybe it is me getting old, however, I am finding myself affirming more of God’s grace and love like never before.  Paul prayed for those dear people that Jesus himself and God our Father would encourage and strengthen these believers.  All of this encouragement comes from the character of God who loved me.  I know me better than others and I am learning just how lovable I am by God.  He chooses as an act of His free will to love me deeply – as deep as He has loved all the rest of the world – ever!  That takes my breath away.  I get so caught up in that love and in that GRACE for goodness sake.  I don’t have to earn my right into the presence of a ticked off deity who some how is never appeased by the weak efforts of worshipers to earn their right to be in the presence of this deity.  God forbid – No.  I discovered again for the very first time as I have the chance to breath in the Grace of God that it is not what I do but what God Did that settles the issue for me.  Jesus Christ paid the price for all of my sin – past, present, and future and that encourages me and gives me a good hope.

I was blown away by Zac and the Good Hope that is his!

Listen to the Lord speak through His testimony…he speaks even though he is in heaven…his testimony lives!


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