A Sixty-year Story of Love

Love deepens with the years and I’ve got a love story that goes back more than 60 years—cookies!

My love simply deepens each passing day.

My wife makes great cookies. Often she will be in the kitchen whipping up some of these culinary wonders for a church fellowship that night. “Don’t you touch them,” she’ll warn me. “I’ve just got enough for tonight.”

It’s bigger than me though, and I’ve got to swipe one or two just to keep my reputation intact. “Did you take any of those cookies?” she will demand suspiciously.

“Who me?” I’ll respond, hoping the cookie crumbs don’t betray me. Honestly, I think she’d be disappointed if I didn’t snitch a couple of them. It’s a compliment to her cooking abilities.

One night I asked her to make some cookies and I’m sorry to tell you I ate 15 oatmeal cookies in about 45 minutes right before bedtime. Sleep fled as my sugar-charged blood raced through my body. My stomach reproached me,”Why did you eat so many?”

Am I the only person who has a talking stomach? Continue reading

Here Hungry Folks Eat First Life

Healthy SnackLife isn’t always fair. It looks like the hungry ones, the ones who love to eat, would get rewarded by eating first. Alas, it is not always thus.

When I was a kid, we weren’t the stars of the show like youngsters today are. If company came for dinner the children would often have to wait until the adults finished eating before they ate. Can you imagine that?

I don’t imagine it. I lived through it. It was painful to see the pastor devouring all those goodies while I drooled hungrily waiting my turn. Mamaw Deloney would peel and slice a potato and tell us to munch on that until it was our turn. A raw potato!

Lest you think it was only me, this kind of torture was widespread in its time. A “famous” country music singer, Little Jimmy Dickens, even sang a song about it—“Take An Old, Cold Tater and Wait.” Columbia Records produced the song but I’m not sure they are proud of that fact. If you haven’t gotten in your quota of suffering yet you can listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBi_CyJe604 If you can remember this song, I’ll pray for you. Continue reading

What Does the Lord Have In Common With Italian Mamas?

Check out the podcast at the end of this article. It was recorded before this Christmas. We hope to resurrect the podcast regularly very soon.

Mangea, mangea! (Eat! Eat!)

 Lots of people know how to make visitors to their home feel welcome. But, http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-restaurant-image21336990Italian ladies do it as well as anyone in the world.

We travel a good bit in our ministry here and there’s one word I hear a lot when our host’s family originally came from Italy. “Mangez, mangez! Oh, you don’t like it! Mangez!” (Eat, eat!).

So there you are at the table and you’ve eaten delicious pasta, pizza, Italian sausage and whatever for an hour or so. Your belly is a full as a tick which has been latched onto a dog for three weeks. The only empty space you have left is your left-front shirt pocket and it’s tight. Continue reading

Bye, Bye McFlurry

The doctor says I’ve got too many triglycerides floating around in my blood. I found out that comes from eating sweet stuff and fat stuff. That’s unfortunate because one of the things I love the best in the world is ice cream (Think: McFlurry. Think: the Italien Ice Cream Parlor in city of Epernay, France).

At one time I thought I could never get too much of the delicious, sweet, creamy stuff, but I was wrong.

Once when we were kids my brother Charley and I bought half a gallon of ice cream and sneaked it back to our room so we wouldn’t have to share and mama wouldn’t tell us when we’d had enough. Armed only with spoons we dug our way toward the bottom of the box, eagerly at first then slower and slower.

Finally Charley said, “You can have the rest of it.” For some reason I wasn’t grateful. I found out that my hunger for ice cream isn’t limitless.

I wonder if we don’t get that way with God. We get so full of other stuff that we just burp when the good things of God come into view. (Sorry about that ladies).

Our spirit can get bloated just like our taste buds (and our body). A constant diet of television or internet (ouch!), or a hobby that eats up all our time outside of work, or a thousand other good things can be spiritual triglycerides doing backstrokes and high dives, filling and slowing our spiritual life flow.

“ He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.” (Prov. 27:7, NIV) Eugene Peterson says it like this in the Message. “When you’ve stuffed yourself, you refuse dessert; when you’re starved, you could eat a horse.” Message

So how can we get renewed in our desire for God?

Well, if I’ve got to much sugar and fat in my blood physically, the answer to getting rid of it isn’t rocket science. It’s just hard.

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”  (Matt. 16: 24, 25)

“Deny ourselves?” I know that’s not music to the ears of our generation which is passing on our national debt to our grandkids and has maxed out credit cards so that we can have all the latest gadgets. We’re a generation which hasn’t denied ourselves very much, huh?

That’s probably why fasting some can benefit us. There is a connection between the body and the spirit. A sick body seems to affect our spirit and vice-versa. Sometimes a hungry body has a similar effect on the soul. (If you’re not used to fasting a few meals, you might want to talk to your doctor).

We could also regularly take our Bible into the other room (the one which doesn’t have a computer) and read and think about what we’re reading.

We can read books about God. Ask your friends which ones helped them because some of them will just bore you silly. We can do something different in our prayer time if it seems stale. Find a prayer partner. If you have trouble concentrating, pray out loud or even write your prayer to God.

Hang around people who are hungry for God (not just hungry for the latest experience which is in vogue but hungry for God himself).

When you get right down to it, if we really want to get back to closeness with God (or maybe start a close relationship, we can.

“When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” God’s Decree. I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you—God’s Decree—”bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it. ” (Jer. 29:12-14, The Message)

Got too many triglycerides floating around in your heart? Hey, you better do something. Those things can clog up the whole works.

Today would be a good time to start.

Hmmm …

“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”  Anon.

Stopped Up Ears

Check out the interview with David Wilkerson from October 2007 in which he speaks directly to the financial crisis that he felt was coming. Look to the right on this page at click on Victoire magazine-English

Two new members of the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) were talking about how vain women are. “Our wives are so vain. They don’t want to admit they are getting old,” one noted.

“I found a way to prove to them that they are getting old,”
said the second. “You stand behind them a certain distance when they don’t know you are there, and say something, but they can’t hear you. That proves to them that they are getting hard of hearing.”

So the first fellow goes home and finds his wife in the kitchen washing dishes with her back toward him. “What are we having for lunch?” he said in a loud voice. Nothing. So he moves closer, “What are we having for lunch?” Still no response. So finally he moves right behind her and shouts, “What are we having for lunch!”

His wife turns to him with an exasperated look and says, “For the third time I tell you, fried chicken!”

Life is funny. It seems that each new birthday increases my wife’s sense of hearing. With her husband, though, it’s another story. When we watch television together one of my favorite phrases is, “Turn it up, please.” When I listen to music, it hurts her ears. When she’s ninety, she’ll be able to hear a twig snap one kilometer away, if this keeps up.

I don’t even want to know what her husband will be like if he makes it to ninety. “Huh? What? How’s that?” (“Turn your hearing aid on, goofball!”)

God addresses a whole flock of hard of hearing people.

“Concerning this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull in your [spiritual] hearing and sluggish [even slothful in achieving spiritual insight]. For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God’s Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food.” (Heb. 5:11, 12, Amplified)

Though it’s frustrating to lose one’s physical hearing capacity, it’s deadly when you lose your spiritual hearing capacity. The people who received this letter (Hebrews) were evidently thinking of turning their back on Christ and going back to their old way of life and worship. Less persecution, you see.

Spiritually, they had shrunk. They couldn’t understand spiritual truths that seemed evident to them in the past. Godly things didn’t interest them nearly as much as before. “Yeah, Church is important, but you know, I’m not as gung-ho as I once was. There are other things in life you see.

“It’s okay if they want to be zealous for the Lord Jesus and you know, I’m not leaving the Lord. I just want to do other things.”

They’ve traded their heavenly marriage certificate for a simple fire-insurance policy. “Just do the minimum. You don’t need to be all-out for the Lord,” they think. Something else has captured the best part of their heart.

And it’s getting harder and harder to hear God’s voice, harder and harder to want to obey Him. People who should be in a spiritual Master’s degree program have regressed and are trying to fit their long legs under kindergarten tables.

What a shame.

The flip side of that is good news, though. You can grow. You can mature IF YOU WANT TO! (Excuse me for shouting but it’s exciting).

“By this time you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet here I find you need someone to sit down with you and go over the basics on God again, starting from square one—baby’s milk, when you should have been on solid food long ago! Milk is for beginners, inexperienced in God’s ways; solid food is for the mature, who have some practice in telling right from wrong.” (From Hebrews 5, The Message)

“Teachers yourselves,” “solid food,” “mature.” Hey, there’s hope if you’ll re-center your heart and dig the wax out of your ears. And cut some of that earhair!

Hey! How’s your hearing?



“The prayers and supplications that Christ offered up were joined with strong cries and tears, herein setting us an example not only to pray, but to be fervent and importunate in prayer. How many dry prayers, how few wet ones, do we offer up to God!” (Matthew Henry commenting on Heb. 5:6.)