Will Revival Come? Are We Condemned To Spiritual Medocrity?

I never cared much for coffee–until I was 38 years old. I don’t know why it took me so long to like it. I guess maturity finally struck. It still hasn’t struck my wife who says she doesn’t like the taste. I tell her, “You don’t drink coffee because it tastes good. You drink coffee because it IS good.”

Many tout the health benefits of coffee. According to Wikipedia: “The consensus in the medical community is that moderate regular coffee drinking in healthy individuals is either essentially benign or mildly beneficial.”

Famous Coffee Drinker–Garfield

Famous coffee drinkers like Garfield the cat laud its benefits. In one Garfield cartoon the fat cat begins to slurp his morning coffee. His master John asks him, “How’s the coffee?” And we see Garfield, eyes wide, wide open, a crazy smile on his face, his whiskers sticking out as he answers, “It gets the job done.”

My excuse for drinking coffee (among others) is that it helps my spiritual life. I used to find myself dozing off as I read my Bible in the morning. Now, I’m “boing, boing, boing.” (That’s the sound of someone jumping on springs, in case you wondered, not “boring, boring, boring” which is a word sometimes associated with preachers).

Is the Church Short On Coffee? Continue reading

Little Old Lady With An AK-47

People who have the right of way must help those who don’t.

Have you ever noticed that some people undergo personality changes when they get behind the wheel of a car?

Imagine a sweet little old lady who receives a two-hour pass from the nursing home. She sweetly hobbles on her cane to her 1988 Plymouth, which waits patiently for her in the parking lot. She gets in and starts the motor.

“Va-roooom, varoom!” She revs the motor and squeals out of there.

Let’s follow her in our drone.

Look, there she is shaking her fist at someone in another car. What’s that on the seat beside her? An AK-47! And what’s that she yelling at the man in the other car? Ooh! I didn’t know little old ladies knew words like that.

Anytime she even thinks someone infringes on her rights she goes ballistic.

Finally after two eventful hours of close calls, screams, yells and wild gesticulations she pulls back into the parking lot of the old folk’s home, gets out and gently shuffles back inside. She leaves her AK-47 on the seat. Fortunately it was unused, though a couple of times I was worried.

A Little Help From My Friends

I’ve spent a lot of time in my car during my life and I’ve discovered that if everyone treated driving as if it were a contact sport, there would be more misery in the world. The ones who make traffic flow are the polite ones, who actually cede the right of way occasionally. Continue reading

Does Forced Thanksgiving Count?

I’ve set out on a quest to become a thankful man.

Now, that sounds spiritual, but I have to admit that it’s a bit selfish. I’ve noticed that I do better in life when I’m thankful. When I’m mad at someone or feel like they owe me something I’m entitled to, I don’t do well.

So, how do I get to be a man marked by a thankful attitude? I’m not 100% sure how to do it. But I know what will not work.

You remember how it was when you were six and your grandmother would give you a pair of socks for Christmas? You’d be standing there asking yourself, “What was that woman thinking? Socks! I wanted a model airplane.”

Your mama might say, “Tell Grandma thank you.”

And you would just stand there with your bottom lip stuck out. “Thank you? For a pair of socks? C’mon. Get real!”

Mamas are very persuasive, though, and suddenly you might feel a “whap!” landing on the back of your head.

“I said, ‘say thank you,’” your sweet mama might encourage you.

Your face would screw itself into a scowl as you tried to rub the pain out of the spot where Mad Mama had struck you. But between clinched teeth you managed to mutter, “Thank you for the socks.”

You did that because you were thankful, didn’t you? No, you did it because you imagined her hand poised behind your head, itching to deliver another blow.

That’s not thankfulness, that’s self-preservation. Continue reading

The Sad Story of Hungry “Red”

Blondes get a lot of bad press. I think people are a bit jealous because blonde ladies are often pretty, so they tell jokes to try to even up the playing field. That’s kind of mean isn’t it?

Of course, you would never imagine me telling a blond joke. Would you?
So, today I leave aside the blonde jokes and I’ll tell you a story about a dumb redhead.

This fellow’s name was Esau. He was a redhead. “And when the time came to give birth, Rebekah discovered that she did indeed have twins! The first one was very red at birth and covered with thick hair like a fur coat.” (Genesis 25:25, 26, NLT)

He seemed to feel good about himself and became a dashing hunter. He was the firstborn to old man Isaac, beating his twin brother Jacob into the world by a few heartbeats. But, there were lightyears of difference in the two men.

“Red” lived for today, while Jacob lived for the long haul.

Once Red came back from hunting. It was one of those days where you either saw nothing to shoot, it was too far away, or you missed your shot. Red had tried hard and long with no results, now he was HUNGRY. And Red hated to desire something very long. He wanted something to eat now, not later.

He walked by his brother Jacob who was cooking red beans, rice and cornbread (I’m not sure about the rice and cornbread part). And when he smelled that, his insides did a double-back flip and he WANTED some…NOW! Continue reading

Riding In My Musical Time Machine

One of these days some inventor is going to figure out how to travel back in time, and people will think, “Wow ! What a brain.”

I won’t be impressed, though. I’ve got my own time machine and I go back in time often. If I’m listening to the radio and I hear Simon and Garfunkel singing, “Sounds of Silence,” suddenly I’m sucked back to the 1960’s. I’m in my dad’s station wagon going to Mamaw Deloney’s house and suddenly that song comes on the radio and I’m there listening to it again, just like when I heard it that night so many years ago.

There used to be a song we sang in church, “Just a Little Talk With Jesus.” I flown back to the 1950’s a few times when that song worked its magic. Our church was small and the song leader often said, “Why don’t those of you who want to, come on up here and we’ll have a choir.”

Normally, there were about as many people in the choir loft as those who stayed in their pews.

But you’d find that nine-year old version of me up there, singing away.

“A Little Talk With Jesus,” had a strong bass part, so Bro. Billy and Bro. Adoph would show out–“Now let’s us …” and the women and the sissies would answer, “have a little talk with Jesus.” “

“Let us,” the basses bellowed. “Tell Him all about our troubles,” the high voices responded. On and on.

You’d think nine-year olds would be singing with the ladies, wouldn’t you? You’d think wrong. When my time machine lands I see me there squeaking out the bass voice with Bro. Billy and Bro. Adoph. I was impressive. Continue reading