All posts by David Porter

About David Porter

When he was in college, David Porter wanted to be a journalist. Today he is a preacher. In Coffee Stains, the preacher and journalist meet to bless everyone who likes a funny East Texas story with a spiritual kicker at the end!

“Hey God, I’m Doing You a Favor!” 

Phyllis and I became the pastors of a small country church in Arkansas the week I turned 22. I still had a semester of college left and we made the 180-mile round trip each weekend. Then we served as assistant pastor at my home church in Nashville, Arkansas.

By the time I was 25 we were pastoring in Texas and I was ready for ordination, which is the third and final step for pastoral recognition in our movement.

I’ll never forget the night of the ordination service. At the end, one of my leaders placed his hands on my head as I knelt praying. I hadn’t expected anything special, but I got it anyway.

You see, I showed up for that meeting pretty beat up. Pastoring a church looks easy to those who have never done it. I’ll agree. It’s as easy as piloting a Boeing 767 in a thunderstorm. I like people to like me and be happy with me, and even in small churches there are always a few people who wouldn’t be happy, even if the Lord Jesus was the pastor of their church.

I’ve remarked to my wife more than once, “I’m glad I only have to deal with that person at church. Their spouse has to deal with them all the time, and I don’t imagine that’s a picnic.” And there are some husbands who are mad at their wives, but they are afraid to take it out on them so they take it out on the pastor.

Please don’t misunderstand me. Some of the best people I ever met were in those churches. If you’re reading this, you were one of them. The Texas church is still one of the highlights of our ministry. Continue reading

Are You One of the Walking Dead?  Or Maybe the Limping Living? 

When I was in Creteil, France I decided to talk about zombies in a sermon. I don’t remember the spiritual application, all I remember is zombies. So, in order to be really cool I searched for a funny clip on You Tube about zombies.

Zombies aren’t very funny, did you know that? I found out. They are macabre, scary and weird. I decided that if I showed one of those film clips some of the ladies might me into a zombie.

You know what, though? I found something in the Bible that’s kind of zombie-like.

Do you remember when Jesus raised Lazyrus from the dead and the former cadaver shuffled out of the tomb? Graveclothes still bound him.

If I had been there I would have been torn between praising the Lord Jesus and streaking away faster than a jackrabbit on steroids.

Lazyrus wasn’t a zombie, though. He was very much alive again. He just needed to get rid of those grave clothes. Once he got back into his blue jeans and tee-shirt, he was just a normal guy who had been dead.

Christian Zombies Continue reading

Is God Lost? Should We Look For Him?

Monday morning a wave of agony washed across the United States as Daylight Savings Time officially slapped its 320 million residents. You can subtract the happy residents of Arizona and Hawaii plus various American territories which have had the good sense to leave their clocks alone.

For the rest of us, though, can you imagine the collective pain that wafted into earth’s atmosphere from 300 million tortured people? If you could have put all the groans together that escaped suffering throats when the alarm clock bonged, the sound would have been heard a light year away.

Little Martians would have looked up from the dust of the Red Planet and asked, “Mama, what was that?”

Actually, I had a strange question that floated through the fog that had invaded my head after the annual torture-fest. “How would King David have reacted to an ancient Daylight savings time in the Middle East?” After all, he usually hit the floor early to seek God. Continue reading

Finding Your Destiny, My Destiny, Our Destiny, the World’s Destiny

Have you ever felt you were destined for greatness? How did that go? Have you won “America’s Got Talent,” and gone on to fame?

I’ve noticed something. If you want people to read what you write put something about “destiny” in the title. That’s why I put it in my title four times… and here you are. Works doesn’t it?

Excuse my frankness, but we like to think they we’re more than just the product of our parents’ passion, that we’re on earth for a reason. Otherwise, what’s the point?

I agree a thousand percent with that, but I have a bit of a problem with starry-eyed people floating through life trying to find that marvelous destiny that is certainly their lot. There’s no way God could have destined them to be ordinary. We’re all speeding towards greatness. Right?

Hmmm … if everyone is great, no one is great. If everyone is destined to be great, then great becomes ordinary.

Here’s one definition of “destiny.” “The events that will necessarily happen to a person or thing in the future; the hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate.”

Kind of like the philosopher, Doris Day sang, “Que sera, sera. Whatever will be will be.”
Isaiah talks about people in his time who worshipped the gods of Fortune and Destiny. He doesn’t hold out much hope for those who sell out to them.

“But as for you who forsake the Lord and forget my holy mountain,
who spread a table for Fortune and fill bowls of mixed wine for Destiny,
I will destine you for the sword, and all of you will fall in the slaughter…”
Isa. 65 :11, 12, NIV

I get a funny feeling when Christians talk about “fulfilling my destiny,” when the emphasis is on “MY”… We’re not happy with the present, but we’re sure that greatness looms just ahead. Continue reading

Do You Look Like You Are Married?

Do You Act Like It?

Is That Good?

 

 

 

 

One day I was watching couples at the mall. There are all kinds of couples, did you know? Now we’re going to play a game. Tell me what you think.

Here’s a couple engrossed with each other, absent from their surroundings, laughing, teasing, smiling, and enjoying each other more than they enjoy the mall.

Now, watch closely. Couple number two heads our way … walking, shopping, slightly bored. Griping. Looking in windows. Frowning. Going into shops and browsing. Splitting up to meet back somewhere.

Which one of these couples is married?

Is this good? Why or why not? Is part of it normal? Is marriage the antidote for romance?

It’s not completely normal because if there’s not that romance part, one or the other will be tempted. But it goes beyond romance. One man says that being friends is a vital part of staying together. According to him:

“To be friends with your mate means:

     * You respect her.

* You treat her like your equal when your upbringing and your own selfish ways try to convince you otherwise.

* You talk about how you feel and think about the good and bad of your life together. Continue reading