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Showing posts from November, 2010

Missing things

I have to admit something, and it's hard to say this.  Here it is though:  There are things that I miss.  Skills, stuff, jobs…For example, I miss the ability to sing.  For a couple of reasons.  One, because some people for whom singing comes so easily cannot believe that I can't do it.  Guess what?  I really can't.  Contact Second Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Arkansas and ask the music minister there.  Go ahead.  It bothered him and his professional pride as much that he couldn't teach me as that I couldn't learn.And this time of year, there's so much singing and happiness, that I just miss the opportunity to take part full voice.  But it's not fair.Other skills I'm missing are the ability to fix the power windows in the car and some other repair-type skills.  I can generally fix a computer, but fixing houses and cars is a whole different story.Then there's stuff.  First of all, there's decorating stuff.  I wish I could wrap my entire house a…

A few random thoughts…

I don't have anything long or coherent this morning, but here's some diverse comments:1.  On the Mack's Prairie Wings website (they're the nation's premiere waterfowl outfitter, apparently, and in Stuttgart), they list "Dog Training Dummies" for sale.  I wonder if these are job applicant rejects, or what their actual source of dummies is.  Perhaps reject politicians?2.  Not sure what to say about this: (High school track athlete collides with deer during race!) other than that, if I've got to take up cross-country running to get a deer, you can forget it.3.  Speaking of deer hunting, no, I haven't shot anything yet.  I'm letting them get bigger, yeah, that's it.  Also, I'm wondering, there's catch-and-release fishing, has anyone figured out how to do shoot-and-release hunting?  Like with a long-range tranquilizer dart, so you can have the thrill of the hunt while letting the deer go? …

The Legend of Big John

As a preacher, I read a large variety of illustration books, story books, and joke books looking for stories to help make a point.  I don't know where I first read the Legend of Big John, but I thought I'd share it today:It seems that, way back in the Old West, a traveler came into a little town out past Abilene.  He had been a'ridin' all day, and had developed for himself, well, a powerful thirst.  As he rode into town, he saw some signs up.  Warning signs, really, that the folk of the town should be careful, because Big John was in the area.So, our traveler rode up to the hitchin' rack at the saloon, and went in and ordered himself somethin' to satisfy that powerful thirst he'd developed.  Suddenly, a ruckus broke out, as a man ran in off the street and cried in terror "Big John's a-comin'!" All the patrons of the saloon gulped down one last drink, the pharaoh dealers collected their cards, and bolted out the back door.  Some of them wen…

First deer hunt…

Yesterday, I went deer hunting for the first time.  Well, first I went barrel hunting.  I definitely got the barrel, but it wasn't moving.  We didn't actually see any deer we had a good shot at, and there were only about 2 squirrels in the whole area of the woods we were in.  So, it wasn't very productive in the 'bring home dinner' category, but it was a pretty good time.Since I didn't shoot at any deer, I don't have any thoughts about that.  I'm contemplating the ideas of the quietness necessary, the stillness, and the patience, but those are lessons that I'm cautious about writing about, since I know that I have not achieved any level of accomplishment in those areas and don't really want to be pushed into learning them more than I already deal with!I was actually going to reflect, just momentarily, on target practice.  Here's what happened:We went out, into the middle of the farm, and parked about 50, maybe 75 feet from a barrel.  On this…

Sermon Outline 11-21

Evening service was an open testimony of thankfulness time.  Wish you could have been there!Audio link (right click, save as)Text: John 4 (34-38)Theme: Thankful for the HarvestDate: November 21 AMLocation: FBC AlmyraThe situationCenturies old religious conflictPeople that don't get alongPeople that have, well, different views on moralityThe solutionThe MessiahWorship in Spirit and in TruthUnderstand who God isUnderstand what He really wants---our livesBelieve, and show others, that they may believe themselvesThe spreadThe Lord Jesus Christ identifies that there is a harvestNot of water or of foodRather of souls, of the life eternalThe thanksgiving:Water that is eternalBeing known for what we truly areBeing invited to worship God correctlyFood that truly satisfiesA mission that will be rewarded

A Balancing Act

So, last night, we stayed up and watched the double-overtime game that the Arkansas Razorbacks played against Mississippi State.  We were quite pleased that the Hogs won, but then Ann and I had to wind down and get to bed.It led to a conversation on our part about things like, well, staying up late to watch football.  (By the way, late? 10:00.)  We both know people that would condemn the frivolity and people that will spend all day today talking about yesterday’s Hog win.So, what’s appropriate?  As with many other things, problems develop when you try to attach an absolute rule to something God Himself did not explicitly do so.  Scripture speaks not one word directly on football or baseball or recreational sports in general.  There is, however, a good amount of Scripture that indicates we should focus on things that draw us nearer to God.  (No, praying for a gust of wind to blow left-to-right at the end of the 1st OT doesn’t count as getting closer to God.)There are also many Proverbs…

Crossing Bridges

Yesterday, I managed to get in over my head on a tree-branch trimming project.  I was trimming some branches with a chainsaw, and after getting the little branches I wanted, I saw some bigger branches to trim.  The bigger ones were starting to brush the shingles on the roof of the house, and I thought they should go.Well, the first branch came down without a problem.  The second branch?  The chain jumped off on the chainsaw.  So, I tried to put the chain back on. I put it on backwards, and it locked up.  I put in on right, and it jumped again.  Therefore, I called for help.One of my deacons came over with a bigger chainsaw and a pole saw.  (He’s also a man I went to college with when neither of us were preachers or deacons.  Or men, for that matter, we were still boys.)  We ended up sawing through what was left of the limb with a pole saw, and then went out on the farm to get a trailer and haul off the tree butchery I had done.  While we were out on the farm, Jonathan asked I wanted t…

Christmas time….AGAIN?!?

We were in Wal-Mart this morning to finally decide what we’re having for Thanksgiving dinner, and I realized that it’s time to talk about Christmas presents.  No, this is not my Christmas wish list or my children’s lists.  Well, not exactly.I want to, rather, tell you a little story.  Sometime ago, I guess about 2001, we were a little tight on cash around Christmas time, and wanted to find some way to still give Christmas gifts to the multitude of folks we needed to give to.  Ann hit on the idea to make customized photo calendars to family members.  It was a bigger hit than it would have been the year before, because Olivia had been born earlier that year.  Well, since then, calendars are now our gift of choice more than a gift of necessity.  In the process, a few years Ann has sold custom calendars to some other folks enough to cover the expenses (at least nearly) of doing our own.  Meanwhile, this led to our doing some consideration of what really matters about gift giving.  When ou…

Audio issues

I’ve just become aware that there may be some audio issues related to the direct links to the sermon audio.  Try to right-click it and choose “Save file as” or subscribe to the podcast and use iTunes or another podcast software for it.These issues exist because my entire budget for web existence goes into the annual domain name registration costs.  Why?It’s not that the registration is expensive.  It’s actually quite cheap.  It’s because the web stuff isn’t exactly revenue-generating, so I don’t expend a lot on it.  I have real work that I have to do keep up with, so the web stays a side-line for now.Anyway, if you have any other trouble, let me know.Doug

Book Review: On this Day in Christian History

Book review: This Day in Christian History by Robert J. MorganMy next book for Booksneeze is On This Day in Christian History by Robert J. Morgan. On This Day in Christian History: 365 Amazing and Inspiring Stories about Saints, Martyrs and HeroesThis book is given in the format of a daily devotional book. There are 365 short stories from the past 2000 years of church history. There are a few historical people, such as Martin Luther, that are mentioned more than once, but for the most part, there is wide diversity in the stories mentioned.Now, certainly, there is no possible way for any of these one-page synopses to cover the full detail of each life presented. For example, Dietrich Bonheoffer's life is summarized and presented on November 9th, the anniversary of infamous Night of Broken Glass in Germany, when Hitler truly uncovered his evil intentions towards the Jews and Germany. I've just finished Eric Metaxas' biography of Bonhoeffer, and can assure you it takes more t…

Reading the Bible for Fact

Hebrews  13:19 –->And I urge all the more to do this so that I may be restored to you the sooner.I finished reading Hebrews this morning, and this verse struck me.  Why?Because it’s a clue to the identity of the author of Hebrews.  You see, when you read chapter 13, you see that Hebrews was written by someone that knew Timothy, and that at the time, Timothy was apparently in prison, so that starts showing when it was written, and then….This is one of the dangers of Bible reading for me.  I tend to read the Bible and get distracted by facts and fact-questions.  I’m not saying the Bible doesn’t contain facts, nor that facts aren’t important, but when we read Scripture, we should be reading for truth more than mere facts.For example:The Exodus:  Which is more important?  That God reached down into history, took the slaves that were the Hebrew people, and delivered them miraculously, and made them into a nation or the name of the Pharaoh, the date, or the exact location of the Red Sea …

Grocery Shopping

Yesterday, I went to Wal-mart to buy milk.  I have some friends who are blessed to have a local dairy farm from which they buy milk, but we go to the Wal-mart.  I have a few observations from the trip to share with you:1.  Motion-sensing baby dolls have got to be this year’s most annoying toys.  Seriously, there should be a warning label on that aisle, especially since it’s not even right with toys.  And how are those going to work with a kid rolling over at night? That’s going to set off a whole new set of problems.2.  I have some serious questions about a poultry section that features ground turkey, turkey breasts, whole turkeys, and turkey necks.  No turkey legs, wings, or other parts of the turkey, but the neck?  Seriously?3.  If sausage is made from the remains of pigs that can’t go into anything else, why is it as expensive as bacon?4.  All-in-one kits seem to never actually contain all that you need for something.  For example, as the new holder of a fishing license, I need stu…

Hebrews 12:4

"In struggling against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood." Hebrews 12:4 (bold emphasis added)Thoughts on this?First response:  The elimination of sin's power does not require the shedding of my blood, rather it was accomplished at Calvary through the shedding of Christ's blood.  When He died on the cross, the power of sin to destoy forever was, itself, destroyed.  Sin can still wreck an individual life, but sin has no power over us for eternity anymore.  So, I shouldn't be resisting to the point of shedding my blood, and I can see this verse as reminding me to be thankful for that.  It's the glory of God's grace that, in resisting sin, I need not shed my blood but rather acknowledge the power of His blood.  However....Second response: Jesus commanded his followers that if their right eye causes sin, pluck it out.  While we have softened that to believe He was speaking metaphorically, I see Hebrews speaking to our weakness …

Sermon Outlines 11-14

Here are today's sermon outlines.  Audio links are here:Morning Sermon: John 3:15-21Evening Sermon: Exodus 4Text: John 3:15-21Theme: JudgmentDate: November 14 2010 AMLocation: FBC AlmyraTextJudgment is comingv. 18-19We tend to think of judgment as something that is 'coming'However, we see here that it is not that judgment is presented as accomplishedIt is not that God has put off judging the worldRather it is that judgment has happenedAnd all people are guiltyThat they love darkness rather than lightThat their deeds are evilJudgment is not optionalv. 17Without the coming of Christ, judgment would be the only thing possibleOur loves and deeds have been offensive to the Holy God of the universeThis is the sin that sends to eternal judgment: v. 18: not believing in the Son of GodNo other sin condemns youNo other sin cannot be forgivenJudgment is escapablev. 16-17God sent His son that the world might be savedGod gave His son that the world might not perishGod gave His son that…

Hebrews 11:29

Hebrews 11:29:The faith of the Israelites contrasts with the faith in false gods of the Egyptians, and we see that the waters overwhelmed the Egyptians.  Can you imagine?  The Egyptians must have been sincere in their belief, at least in their belief that they must obey Pharoah, whether or not they also believed in any other god before them.  He was the leader, the commander of the army, and a descend of the gods.  And truly, if this God of Slaves could split water, then their gods could hold it back, right?Or perhaps the Egyptians looked and beheld a natural process that they had no doubt would endure?  Recent years have seen a resurgence in explaining the miracle events of Scripture (and other religions) with a natural event.  It's an attempt to address that the historicity of the events is likely, but to retain an anti-supernatural belief system.  The Egyptians come to the Red Sea, (Reed Sea is also what the port of Solomon at Ezion-Geber was on, and it's on the Red Sea nea…

This morning…

A few thoughts about Veteran's Day....I let Veteran's Day go by without any comment this week. A few years ago I did a special post about being grateful on Veteran's Day, and just last week I commented on being grateful for the Veterans that allowed us to be able to go to the polls and vote in peace.I didn't post anything about veterans because I just don't know what else to say. That I walked to work in peace this morning is because of the sacrifice of veterans. That I communicate in English is because of veterans. That I freely get to lead a church, openly, only locking the doors at night to protect the stuff, rather than locking the doors during meetings for protection from an oppressive government, comes from the sacrifice of veterans. Now, I gladly acknowledge that our rights come from God. Even Jefferson acknowledged that, and he barely believed in God. However, the freedom we have to openly exercise those rights has come from the sacrifice of hundreds of tho…

Book Review: The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask

The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask: (With Answers)This book is the first I've had the opportunity to review for Tyndale House Publishers, and I'm glad for the opportunity. This was a good read.The book addresses some of the moral and spiritual issues of our days in America right now. It summarizes these issues by presenting common questions and then developing both the questions and some suggested answers.I found this to be a good read. Mark Mittleburg takes the approach that we as Christians do not need to be apologetic for our beliefs, nor that we need to hide or seclude them, but rather that we should be prepared to explain and defend them. The basic format of the book consists of an introduction chapter, then chapters based on each of the questions presented. There is a concluding chapter that provides a basic summary. The questions presented range from moral issues such as abortion to issues of the trustworthiness of Scripture.One of the key strengths in this b…

Hebrews 11

By Faith11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) I'm reading through Hebrews, and I've come to Hebrews 11 in my morning Bible study.  Many Christians know this verse especially, but also are familiar with this whole chapter.  I wanted to just comment for a moment here:1.  Assurance: this is trust that bears the fruit of action.  Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, and we act as if the hoped for is realized.  I believe it was C.S. Lewis who commented that the Christians that have been the most useful in this world were firmly planted in the next world.  This assurance leads to action, not to pondering.  2.  Things hoped for: not just 'stuff' things, but rather the ideas and concepts of eternity, the 'things' God has promised.  It's a generic word in Greek that translates roughly to 'things' without the connotation of 'stuff' from America.3.  Conviction: again, this is a w…

Sermon Outline from Nov 7

Text: John 3:1-7
Theme: Knowledge isn't enough
Date: November 7 2010 AM
Location: FBC Almyra
I. Nicodemus
1. Religious
2. Educated
3. Confused
4. Lost
II. Many of us have been these things before!
1. Raised in church?
2. Smart---at least in what matters to us.
3. Confused---what will save us?
4. Lost—without Christ
III. What did Nicodemus need?
1. The truth:
2. He needed to understand that:
1. Nothing about us guarantees heaven
2. It will take the work of the Spirit of God
IV. What do we need?
1. The Truth
2. We need to understand that:
1. Nothing about us guarantees heaven
2. It takes the work of the Spirit of God
V. What else?
1. Nicodemus expected that God would work only within Israel
2. The Lord Jesus Christ pointed him to a better reality:
VI. Verse 8: The wind blows....the Spirit moves
1. We as believers are the work underneath the movement of the Spirit
2. We …

Hibbard Standard Time

“The times change we change with the times”---Sir Humphrey ApplebyIt’s the time of year where, here in America, we mess with everyone’s heads and change the clocks again.  Back in the Spring, we moved the time setting so that we were an hour ahead of the sun, and now we’re going back to being in sync with the daylight.  We supposedly saved some daylight in the process, but it doesn’t work enough to power solar stuff at night….anyway.Officially, we change the time at 0200 Sunday, but I doubt anyone stays up to change their clocks at that point.  Most of us are so computerized these days that it will happen while we sleep.  However, manual changes are usually done right before bed.  At least by most folks.  This, however, can cause some chaos with your Sunday.  For many people, it’s not that big of a deal.A few years ago, though, our family was involved in a commuting pastorate---we lived in Mississippi (in a house we would love for you to buy right now!) but I pastored in Northeast Ark…

Re-arranging things

As we were out taking care of some errands Thursday, my phone buzzed with a little warning.  It was the weather app I have for my Blackberry, and it was telling me that we had a “Freeze Warning” for the next couple of nights.  Now, I have the weather app on my phone to wake me up in case of a tornado outbreak, but to the phone, a “warning” is a “warning” so it dutifully started making noise and blinking at me.So, after considering the implications of a freeze, we came home, and finally tackled shuffling things in the garage so that both cars can fit in there.  It’s been on my list for, well, the whole time we’ve lived here, but it just hasn’t been that critical.  However, when you’ve got two vehicles with more than 150,000 miles on them, weather protection is a good idea.Meanwhile, in the process of rearranging, I found my hedge clippers, a missing battery charger, and a few other miscellaneous items that I couldn’t find, and had begun to suspect Almyra had some thieves with a bizarre…

Thoughts on Voting

Well, we voted today.  It was completely peaceful, there were no protesters or threats of violence for voting.  In fact, we got a piece of divinity made by Mrs. Martha Ann and some of Mrs. Susan's chocolate cake just for voting. (Actually, I think we got those because of being the pastor and family, but we got them at the polling place.)It was smooth, easy, and relaxed.So, to the 1.5 Million Americans who died in uniform for our freedom, to the 2 Million more who wear the uniform today, and to the countless millions that served proudly, honorably, and have moved on to other things, from the Hibbard Family, we say Thank You.From the bottom of our hearts.Doug, Ann, Olivia, Angela, and Steven.