I remember when the Moral Majority helped boot out many "liberals" from Washington. Then the Christian Coalition worked to put more "conservatives" in office years later. I am about as conservative as you can get. But, I have concerns that "conservatives" in politics is being mixed up with being a conservative Christian.
Years ago I was one of the rude people at Samford that heckled Senator Edward Kennedy when he spoke. I am ashamed to admit it now. I don't like his politics but he deserved my respect because he is a Senator.
I read this story "Religious conservatives worry about losing political control." Isn't that the problem--"Control." I worry that believers are more worried about changing our world politically rather than through the power of the Holy Spirit living in us! Jesus refused to change the world politically. Shouldn't His example be good enough for us. I do believe we should be active in government because we are citizens. But we can place the 10 Commandments in every courthouse and school in the nation and it won't change the hearts of criminals and those who don't know Christ.
Romans 8:6-8 says : The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
See, people who don't know God can't please God because they don't have the Holy Spirit! Politics will never win our world to Christ--only His people who are controlled by the Holy Spirit changing the world by sharing Him with the world.
Can how you treat a waiter can predict a lot about character?
Can how you treat a waiter can predict a lot about character? Many CEO's say yes. Read about the story here. I was taught to treat everyone with respect. I would think that "followers of Christ" would be the most respectful people in the world. Unfortunately, my experiences prove this is not always the case.
Bill Swanson, CEO of Raytheon, offers this list about character here. Several stuck out to me.
Learn to say, "I don't know." If used when appropriate, it will be often.
If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
Don't be timid; speak up. Express yourself, and promote your ideas.
Strive for brevity and clarity in oral and written reports.
When dealing with outsiders, remember that you represent the company. Be careful of your commitments.
Don't ever lose your sense of humor.
Have fun at what you do. It will reflect in your work. No one likes a grump except another grump.
What about the unwritten rules of being a "Christ Follower?"
Here are some of mine: (no specific order)
1. Obey the great commandment.
2. Spend time with God
3. Have fun-life is short
4. Look for opportunities to share Jesus with others
5. Make your family a priority
7. Use "God-honoring" language
8. Don't be a stumbling block
9. Learn how to say, "I was wrong!"
10. Learn how to ask for forgiveness-don't just say I'm sorry!
11. Remember that you represent all "believers!"
12. Show humility
13. It's easier to say no up-front then to play spin control later
14. Use words sparingly
15. Learn to say "I don't know" but I'll find out
What about you? What would you add?
I have always had God figured out. At least the God I believed in. The God I believed in was like me! After all, I was my god. I worshiped in a way that I was "comfortable" with. I was brought up in a "conservative" SBC church in Tuscaloosa, AL. We were taught to watch out for "liberals" and "charismatics." When I shared with my church that I was going to Samford University you would have thought I was going to to Sodom and Gomorrah.
I hate it when God stretches me. I am comfortable with "my God." But the more I study the Bible, read books, attend conferences and hang out with people "different" than me I am convinced that I have God "BOXED IN!"
I'll never forget the first time I saw someone raise their hand (it wasn't even two hands) in church--it made me uncomfortable. I was self-righteous and thought why don't they go to the Assembly of God, don't do that in "my church." What a hypocrite I am!
I'll never forget when I went to a potential church member's house in Georgia and they took me in their "media" room and they had enough alcohol to stock a bar. My pharisical personality thought, get me out of this place of "sin." Then, at supper their 11 year old daughter brought in a neighbor she had just led to Christ! What a hypocrite I am!
I'll admit I read comments on blogs or listen to sermons by various pastors and I think they are wrong. Then God slaps me through His word or through circumstances and I see what a hypocrite I am!
Actually I'm glad God is not finished with me. Because I have so much to learn. So bear with me, I'm a work in progress. I learn every day. I am not finished. I am grateful that God thinks enough of me to change me. I learn from those of you who read my blog. I learn from your blogs too. Thanks for being part of what God is doing in me!
Most unusual excuses offered for tardiness to work....
A study by CareerBuilder.com found that as many as 13 percent of American workers show up late at least once a week and that 25 percent are tardy at least once a month. Read story here.
Here are the top ten:
1. "I dreamed that I was fired, so I didn't bother to get out of bed."
2. "I had to take my cat to the dentist."
3. "I went all the way to the office and realized I was still in my pajamas and had to go home to change."
4. "I saw that you weren't in the office, so I went out looking for you."
5. "I couldn't find the right tie, so I had to wait for the stores to open so I could buy one."
6. "My son tried to flush our ferret down the toilet and I needed to tend to the ferret."
7. "I ran over a goat."
8. "I stopped for a bagel sandwich, the store was robbed and the police required everyone to stay for questioning."
9. "A bee flew in my car and attacked me and I had to pull over."
10. "I wet my pants and went home to change."
What are some good ones that you have heard or used yourself? :)
Tom Hanks says The Da Vinci Code could help church leaders to draw in bigger crowds. Read the story here. I haven't read the book because I don't read Novels. I enjoy leadership and self-help books. Maybe Tom is right. What do you think?
My sister-in-law and her husband just moved from Baltimore, Maryland to Richland Hills, GA (near Savanah). I wish they could have met and attended Adam Feldman's church before they moved. Adam is a former Bama boy who is planting a church in Baltimore. He shared today about being "Gospel Bombed." That's when a Christian tries to evangelize someone by yelling out something like "your going to hell" or "repent" or something else that they will not understand.
My sister-in-law did not grow up in church. My wife was blessed to have friends that got her involved in their church in Scottsboro, AL but Carmen never had that support system. She married a young man from Baltimore a while back who came from a Lutheran background but has since become an "athiest." They visited our church start in Georgia a few years back and he actually enjoyed it. But they couldn't find--or didn't want to find a church like that in the Baltimore suburb they lived in.
Three weeks ago they moved near Savanah, Georgia. Their neighbor brought over some cookies and welcomed them to the neighborhood. Carmen went to work the next evening and 3 people from a local Baptist church came to visit Pete unannounced. They had no relationship with him. They told Pete they got his name from the neighbor who brought over the cookies. Pete felt ambushed!
I know some of you who read this will say they are fulfilling the Great Commission. I disagree. They did more harm than good. Pete thinks all believers but Cassandra and me are wacko's. If the neighbor had taken time to get to know Carmen and Pete--she could have shared with them as a friend. Instead Pete felt like he was a conquest. We have to start examining our methods and our motives to reach the Judges 2:10 Generation!
The Wood Methodist Church was informed in March by the town council in Dudley, England, that it owed an ''advertising fee'' of the equivalent of about $130 to put up a cross. (Town regulations specify that a ''cross'' is an ad for Christianity.) Check out the story here. This is scary!!!
This got me to thinking. We already have advertising in every other aspect of life. Look at NASCAR-ads are all over cars and the drivers suits. You watch a sporting event and everything is sponsored. Watch out or our government officials will charge us for everything we do and we will have to start seeking sponsors.
Here is a potential church bulletin:
Prelude (sponsored by The Hammond Corporation-the best organs money can buy)
Welcome (sponsored by E-Harmony.com)
Children's Sermon (sponsored by Toys R Us)
Music (sponsored by Lifeway Christian Stores)
Prayer (sponsored by USPS "We deliver for you.")
Offering (sponsored by Bank of America--"Higher Standards")
Message (sponsored by UPS-"What can Brown do for you?)
Invitation (sponsored by Hallmark)
Benediction (sponsored by FedEx)
Postlude (sponsored by Allied Moving Company)
(SBP) Greensboro, NC
In a move to reach out to younger Southern Baptists, The Southern Baptist Convention has decided to use Starbucks Cards loaded with $20 as voting cards for each of it's messengers. The news spiked reservations for this years convention to be held in Greensboro this June.
Tonight a young man at our church made my week. His name is Blake and he is only 8 years old. He ran up and had some great news to tell me. He shared with me that he led a friend to Christ this week. I wish you could have seen the excitement on his face. He has no college degree. He has not been trained in FAITH or The NET or The Roman Road. He is just a young boy who had compassion for another person and shared with him what God has done in his life. He said the boy he led to Christ said that he would be quiet about it. But Blake said this is something you should tell everyone about. The boy said, "you are right. I will tell my family the good news."
Sometimes it takes the younger ones to shame us into doing what God has called us to do!
I have posted about my disgust of Fred Phelps and his hate group. I believe God loves everyone. Hate is wrong. But the as a believer in Christ I know the Bible is clear that God hates sin. Truth has to be proclaimed.
I read this story and it made me sick. The teacher at Joseph Estabrook Elementary School in Lexington, Mass., read to her class "King & King" --a colorful 29-page children's book in which a prince searches for a wife, only in the end to choose another prince. The story ends with the two princes "marrying" and living "happily ever after."On the last page, the princes -- now kings -- even share a kiss.
What people do in the privacy of their own house is their business. I don't want a book on two "un-married" people having sex ethier. Let's face it we don't have adulterer's lobbying Congress to have special rights. This is just plain sick. What's next a book to 1st graders on Beastiality? What about a how to book on torture? How about how to start your own porn business.
This is wrong. Everytime my wife and I struggle with to continue to Homeschool our children, stories like this give us peace to keep going. My daughter is in 2nd grade. She could have been in this class. Don't think it isn't coming to our schools here. Is there any more evidence that we need new churches in the NE US? I don't hate the author of this book or anyone who is in the homosexual lifestyle. But, I don't want them exposing this lie to our children. God help us.
Delta Airlines is bankruptcy. They asked their employees to take a pay cut and they reluctantly agreed. Now Delta is asking their employees to volunteer to clean their jets for free! Read about it here. Now in defense of Delta, they are offering "free" t-shirts to all employees who volunteer to clean the jets. Man is Delta generous!
Side note: Do you feel safe flying on a airline that is bankrupt? When they start asking mechanics to volunteer I will take the bus!
I say yes! According to Marty Duren @ SBC Outpost this may be the case. Read about it here. Wade Burlesonhas withdrawn as a speaker @ the Younger Leader Summit scheduled at the SBC Convention in Greensboro this June. The reason is he is prayerfully considering allowing his name to be nominated for an office in the SBC. Wade is the Senior Pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, OK. He has been the pastor at Emmanuel since 1992. Not that my endorsement will make a huge difference, but I think this is a great idea! So here it is:
WADE! PLEASE ALLOW YOUR NAME TO BE NOMINATED FOR PRESISDENT OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION!
1. Wade has demonstrated that he can work with everyone. Look at the whole IMB Gate mess. He was asked to be removed from the IMB Board of Trustees then restored. No apology was given, yet Wade continued to support IMB and work within the system. He can work with "Calvanists" or Arminians. He can work with the "old guard" or the "younger" generation. Wade has argued for a "big-tent."
2. Wade has demonstrated Grace. His name has been dragged through the mud by people who should know better. He has been called a "gossip" and "slanderer" yet he has kept a postive attitude. We need a example like Wade leading our convention.
3. Wade has a heart for missions. Wade has said all along, that IMB Gate is not about him. It is about our missionaries. We need a man as our president who understands that what unites Southern Baptists is missions! (Wade, your slogan should be:"It's Missions Stupid!")4. Wade loves the Southern Baptist Convention. Wade bleeds SBC. We need a man whose agenda is to lead the SBC into the next century. I believe he is that man.
5. Wade loves God above the SBC. Wade has demonstrated that his passion is for Christ to be known in our world whether it is from the SBC or not. We need a man who will cooperate with other like-minded believers so we can partner with other denominations and organizations to win our world for Christ.
None of my reasons are a "slam" against anyone else who may be nominated. We have had fine men in the office for many years. They served their purpose and God's well. I just believe it is time to move in a new direction. Wade, we need you!
WHEREAS the Southern Baptist Conventioncommonly hold the Starbucks; refreshing, bold and inspired; having affirmed that it has brings joy to our lives as expressed in the Coffee Drink and Message adopted in the year 2006; and
WHEREAS John 2:8-10 describe Jesus turning water into wine, since we are Southern Baptists and are marked as different than worldly leaders we will make Starbucks Coffee the official coffee of the SBC; and
WHEREAS our culture has shown a marked inclination to drink Starbucks and the leadership of all religious entities, often citing self serving motives we ask that Starbucks Coffee be offered for free to all messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention; and
WHEREAS the greatest testimony to our culture of God's nature, goodness and mercy is to mirror the self sacrifice of Christ's submission to the Cross, we will begin the Starbucks Strategic Coffee Initiative which will place Starbucks Coffee in the hands of every SBC church member; and
WHEREAS those Southern Baptists that bear responsibility of any nature, including but not limited to, local church Sunday School teachers, Volunteer Nursery Workers, Trustees, Committee Members, Deacons, Ministers; Associational Directors of Missions, Officers, Entity Trustees, Committee Members and employees; State Convention Officers, Entity Trustees, Committee Members and employees; Southern Baptist Convention Officers, Entity Trustees, Committee Members and employees; are all considered to be leaders in the Kingdom of God; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED that the Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, June 13-14, 2006, do affirm the Starbucks Culture of leadership in the Southern Baptist Convention; and be it further
RESOLVED that the Southern Baptist leaders at every level and of every calling are now urged to exemplify the greatest servant nature seen in Christ's example of self sacrifice by providing Starbucks Coffee to every gender, age, culture, tribe, tongue and nation who attends the Southern Baptist Convention in Greensboro.
[Update] I must give Art Rogers credit for the outline. U da man Art!
Another public service those driving through Charlotte. Today I ate BBQ @ South 21 Drive-In. They are located @ 3101 E. Independence Blvd, Charlotte, NC. Here is the Map.
I ordered a Pork BBQ plate that comes with chopped BBQ, slaw, a bun on the side, pickles and french fries. I also had an ice water. The total was $5.97 with tax.
I drove up and pushed the button to make my order. My food came out within 2 min. I left a $1 tip. The food was warm. I don't like slaw so I can't comment on it. It was stringy not chopped. The fries were OK. The BBQ was average at best. It needed some sauce. I think I should have had a hamburger. I learned a lesson. Don't eat at a restaurant that doesn't have a pig on the sign. I should have listened to Den Mother.
I give South 21 Drive-In 2 1/2 pigs (out of 5)
My ideas for a perfect North American Mission Board....
Marty Duren asked on his site, You are the new President of NAMB. What are your goals? That is a great question. I made a comment and one of the North American Mission Board (NAMB) Trustees e-mailed me to tell me that they want our imput! Cool! That is so refreshing! He/she may be the only one who wants my ideas but since he/she was so kind to ask I will give my ideas for the perfect NAMB. I was a NAMB Missionary for 2 years so I do have some insight to how NAMB works. Plus, I have many friends who work at NAMB in Alpharetta and I have great respect for them.
1. Start Fewer but better funded Church Plants.
When we started our church I was grateful to Dr. Reccord and Dr. Harris for their moral and financial support. But we started our church with just our family. That was hard and lonely.
I think it would be better for NAMB to start Well funded church starts with a minimum of 3 full-time staff members @ the beginning.
Fund the church starts for at least 5 years! (I can't tell you how hard it is to see your bank account at zero and you only have 6 months left of funding.)
Building Church Planting in the New Start's DNA. Have them start a daughter churches.
2. NAMB needs to be the Evangelism Guru's of the SBC.
I have several friends who work in the Evangelism @ NAMB. I have never been around people with such a passion for souls as them. It is frustrating and dishearting to develop an Evangelism Strategy for the SBC (THE NET) yet have Lifeway push FAITH. Nothing against FAITH but Lifeway's mission is to sell books not create evangelism strategies.
3. Provide Free Top-notch Multi-Media for small to medium sized churches.
Let's face it, usually only the mega-churches can afford top-notch media. I would welcome top-notch free video clips, powerpoints, and direct mail that would help us reach our community.
4. Continue to Dream Big.
Don't allow number crunchers to scare NAMB from trying daring ventures! I would rather fail and try then to do the same old boring things that don't win people to Jesus!
I don't have all of the ideas in the world, but I am encouraged to know at least one trustee is listening to us! I hope this is helpful.
I told my 7 1/2 year old daughter Hope that she had to go to bed in 15 min. She told me that "15 minutes or less I could save money on my car insurance by switching to Geico!"
[Update 4-17-06] Today, Hope is saying it is her job to "Help Spread the worrrrd....."
My friend Stuart Delony wrote about this on his blog. Episcopal Churches are trying to attract people to come to their churches by playing U2 songs during their Eucharist (for all of you Baptist's that is Lord Supper). Read about it here.
I agree with Stuart here. Isn't the Lord's Supper suppose to be built around--say "JESUS." I'm all about innovation, but this is going over the edge don't you think?
I love U2, but at communion? What's next? Lynyrd Skynyrd during the invitation? How about Garth Brooks during the Prelude? Eminem during the Offering? Sister Sledge during the prayers. Why not Poison at a funeral? How about Winger at a wedding (16?). We could do Amy Grant's Baby-Baby at a child dedication.
What do you think? What other groups could be played and when?
Today we began our contemporary service called "Dwelling Place 843." We had over 150! Praise God! I forgot how emotionally draining it is to speak at two services. I am trying to recover before I speak at our 11:00 service. I pray for all of you to have wonderful Easter Services. I thank God Jesus is Risen!
[update] We made it through. We had 225 in the traditional service! God is good all the time!
As I was preparing for our services tomorrow, I was amazed at how far people go to find ways to disprove the resurrection of Jesus. What is interesting to me is the explanations take more faith than just believing Jesus did rise from the dead. A few weeks ago a wacko professor from FSU said that Jesus walked on ice. Many of the readers on my blog pointed out the flaws for that.
Look at some of the explanations people have to disprove the resurrection of Jesus:
1. THE "SWOON THEORY"-Jesus did not die on the cross, but due to tremendous physical suffering had passed out and only appeared dead. Subsequently, he was buried alive in the tomb where he revived and escaped. This theory attempts to explain the post-resurrection appearances and the empty tomb.
2. Hallucination Theory: The post-resurrection appearances could be explained as hallucinations experienced by the followers of Jesus which were possibly triggered by their anguished longing for his presence. This theory, of course, simply ignores the evidence of the empty tomb.
3. Mistaken Identity Theory: The appearance of the resurrected Jesus are considered cases of mistaken identity on the part of the distraught disciples. Mary Magdalene who mistakes Jesus for the gardener in John 20:11-18 is an example.
4. Wrong Tomb Theory: Sometimes coupled with the mistaken identity theory, suggests that the disciples and the women went to the wrong tomb which happened to be empty.
5. Stolen Body Theory: This is the oldest theory, dating back to the New Testament (Matt 28:11- 15). The disciples simply stole the body and fabricated the accounts of the appearances of resurrected Jesus.
6. The Telegram/Telegraph Theory-This theory claims that the spiritually ascended Jesus telegraphed images of himself from heaven to the minds of his followers on earth. These images were so graphic that his followers mistakenly thought that they had physically seen the resurrected Jesus in their midst. But what about the empty tomb (the telegram theory also asserts that Jesus’ body remained in the tomb)?
7. The Seance Theory- This theory asserts that Jesus was "raised" in the same manner that a spirit is "raised" in a seance through ectoplasmic manifestation. It claims this despite the fact that it makes Jesus' followers participants in a seance, a practice their own Scriptures sternly prohibits (cf., e.g., Deut. 18:9-12). It also makes them out to be either liars or deluded for believing that something as ephemeral as an ectoplasmic manifestation was the same thing as a literal, physical resurrection appearance.
I know there are other crazy theories. But it takes more faith to believe these crazy theories than to believe that Jesus is who He said He was. I'm grateful for what He did for me and you. I pray you have great services tomorrow. We are starting a new Contemporary Service called, DWELLING PLACE 843. Happy Easter! He is alive!
"On the condition of anonymity." I hate those words! Have some guts people!
I am torn. Dr. Bob Reccord the President of the North American Mission Board has had a big impact on my ministry. I responded to a message he delivered when I was on staff at a church in Metro Atlanta. He helped us get our church start off the ground. If it had not been for him we would have struggled.
According to the Associated Baptist Press, Dr. Reccord's job is in the balance. Read the story here. I don't know all of the details. I want to think the best but I'm not there. The part that disturbs me is how the Board of Trustees are speaking "on the condition of anonymity." Why? He deserves better. If they believe he needs to be removed, then do it. I hate anonymity. That is being a coward! Dr. Reccord deserves better than that. Dr. Reccord thanks for your service to the SBC and your help to me!
Is it better to be right or save people from hell?
I have been reading this story for weeks on various blogs. Marty Duren first brought to our attention. But Micah Fries wrote last week A Doctrine that could lead to hell. Now the Associated Baptist Press is picking up the story here.
What is the story? Two IMB Missionaries are going to be fired for "cooperating" with missionaries from another denomination to start a church that is "Baptist" in doctrine but not "Baptist" in name. So, we would rather make sure we are "RIGHT" rather than save people from hell? I really don't get it.
I watched the message from Ergun Caner at Thomas Road Baptist Church this past Sunday. He said
"In March, in our beloved Southern Baptist Convention, a bunch of young guys got together and formed the young leaders network, now God help me this is my generation, but what they meant to do was to find some way to wrench leadership of our convention away from the men who got us there."
Thanks Dorcas. Then he said his sermon for the PM was to preach against "Calvanism." Now, I'm not a Calvanist (at least all 5 points) but some of the greatest soul-winners in the past centry have been 5 pointers like Bill Bright of Campus Crusade and D. James Kennedy of Evangelism Explosion.
Why is so important to be right on "NON-ESSENTIALS?" Why in the words of Rodney King, "Can't we all get along?" This isn't a laughing matter. It seems to me that we have 2 conventions in the SBC now and it is not Conservative vs. Liberal. Those who are left are conservative. It is cooperatives vs. legalists. God help us. I would rather side on the side of cooperation and love than to be "right" and send people to hell.
With all of the sniping and accusations that have occured on various blogs, I think we need to read a story that puts things in perspective. Clay Dyer has a dream job. He believes without a doubt God called him to become a professional fisherman -- and not just the "fisher of men" variety. Dyer makes his living with a rod, reel and tricked-out bass boat -- complete with a fancy paint job paid for by a sponsor -- Dyer's life is the kind many men would envy, except for one detail. He was born with no legs and no left arm. His right arm stops above the elbow. Read his story here.
That hasn't stopped Dyer from competing in fishing tournaments. But his biggest thrill is to tell people about Jesus Christ. Now he is a pro fisherman except the biggest catches he gets are people. He said:
"It's not about the national exposure for Clay Dyer but a means of drawing people to Christ," he said. "People ask me why I fish, and I tell them, 'It's my witnessing field, my platform for testifying about what God has done in my life and what he can do in other people's lives.'"
Wow! When you are down in the dumps and worried about trivial stuff, think about Clay Dyer and his passion for reaching people for Jesus.
I never been a fan of his politics, but former President Jimmy Carter is making some great points. President Jimmy Carter, a lifelong Baptist lay leader and Sunday school teacher, sponsored the gathering at the Carter Center. Bill Underwood, president-elect of Mercer University in Macon, GA, helped recruit the participants. You can read about it here.
Read some of President Carter's quotes. They sound similar to what many of the younger SBC leaders have been saying: [emphais mine]
"The most common opinion about Baptists is we cannot get along together.... I have been grieved by the divisions of my own [Southern Baptist] Convention."
Wow! What more can I add.
"there are some things on which we can have unanimity," he added, mentioning the involvement of all participants' in the Baptist World Alliance and the shared belief that people are "saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ."
Interesting, if we heard that from Billy Graham or Bobby Welch most conservative leaders would say "AMEN." But when it comes from a "liberal" or "moderate" we dismiss their statements. Could it be that we could learn some humility and servanthood from the likes of President Carter?
With the SBC Annual Meeting coming in Greensboro this summer I thought how I could be of service. There are many bloggers that have expertise in certain areas. Marty Duren- well he is just information central. Wade Burleson has a passion for our missionaries. Art Rogers is an expert on Roberts Rules of order and how to handle ourselves at the SBC convention. Dorcas Hawker is analysing the makeup of the various committees. Villa Rica is our resident SBC historian. Wes Kenny is our "devils advocate" (but a great guy).
I thought, what can I offer to as a service to all of our "messangers" coming to my great state this June. Everyone has their expertise and this is mine. I am providing a list of Starbucks for those coming to Greensboro so you can make your hotel reservations and your route to the convention center. I would hate for someone not to have the caffine needed to vote accordingly.
For those driving north through Charlotte, here are the locations:
Concord, Hwy 29
1490 US Highway 29
Concord NC, 28027
8111 Concord Mills Blvd
Concord NC, 28027 - This one is inside the mall. Bass Pro Shop is here too!The Arbors
2121 East Arbors Drive
Charlotte NC, 28262
9211 North Tryon Street
Charlotte NC, 28223
1961 East 7th Street
Charlotte NC, 28204- this is the one I witnessed to "Bill Murray"Providence Road
545 Providence Rd.
Charlotte NC, 28207 - for those taking I-485
There are others in Charlotte, but they are out of your way as you travel to Greensboro.
This one is on I-85 in Salisbury.Towne Creek Commons
916 East Innes Street
Salisbury NC, 28145 -I had coffee there yesterday- they gave it to me free because they didn't have coffee ready.For those driving West on I-85/40:
Harris Teeter-Chapel Hill #117
2110 Estes Dr Chapel Hill NC, 27514
Burlington Mall-- I've been here a few times. It is an old bank. You can sit in the vault-cool!
451 Huffman Mill Road Burlington NC, 27215
Harris Teeter-Burlington # 345
2727 Church St. Burlington NC, 27215
Target Burlington T-2037
1475 University Drive Burlington NC, 27215
For those driving East on I-40:Embassy Suites Winston-Salem
460 N Cherry St
Winston-Salem NC, 27101
110 Oakwood Drive
Winston-Salem NC, 27103
Hanes Mall Blvd.---I've been here. Great mall.
2085 Frontis Plaza Blvd.
Winston-Salem NC, 27103
Harper Hill Common
4912 Country Club Road
Winston-Salem NC, 27104
Mt. Tabor Place
3331 Robinhood Road
Winston-Salem NC, 27106
Greensboro/High Point area Starbucks:Shops on Battleground
1603 Battleground Avenue
Greensboro NC, 27408
Golden Gate (Store/Training Center)-
2204 Golden Drive
Greensboro NC, 27405
Friendly - HT- Been here too. Great location
3310 W. Friendly Ave.
Greensboro NC, 27408
BI LO - Greensboro #131
2639 Lawndale Rd.
Greensboro NC, 27408
Four Seasons Towne Centre-I've been here too. Next to Four Season's Hotel. Great mall for ladies!
400 Four Seasons Town Centre
Greensboro NC, 27407
2969 Battleground Avenue
Greensboro NC, 27408
516 Pisgah Church Road
Greensboro NC, 27455
5607 W Friendly Ave
Greensboro NC, 27410
Harris Teeter Greensboro #33--I've been to this one too!
701 Frances King St
Greensboro NC, 27407
Shoppes at Deep River
3875 John Gordon Lane
High Point NC, 27265
I drove through Greensboro, NC today on my way to and back from Burlington, NC. I attend the Innovative Church Community every month in Burlington.
As I was driving through Greensboro I couldn't help but think about the Southern Baptist Convention to be held in Greensboro this June. I'm sure there have been conventions in the past that have had more controversy. I have heard stories from disenfranchised SBC pastors and their family members. All I can say is I'm sorry for your pain. I can't take back your pain. I can't turn back the clock.
It is time for the SBC to move forward. I think Greensboro is going to be a turning point for the SBC. The controversy with the International Mission Board has ingnited a fire among many of the younger leaders in the convention. I look forward to meeting many new friends that I have met through blogs. I look forward to see what God is going to do with the SBC. I cherish our past, I respect our present, but I look foward to our future!
Today I talked about "revival." I'm not talking about a revival meeting but real revival. I taught from II Chronicles 7:11-16 and Joel 2:12-13. What I found intersting is that God wants to show himself in His Temple. But the Temple is not a building, it is our bodies. In I Corinthians 3:16-17 Paul stated that our bodies are God's Temple.
What I thought was cool is that if we want revival to start it has to start in us. It was reported that Gypsy Smith, the noted evangelist, would lock himself in a private room, mark a circle around himself with a piece of chalk, and pray
"Lord, send a revival ....and let it begin inside this circle."
I remember reading about the Asbury Revival of the 1970's. I was at Southwestern in 1995 when a revival broke out during one of the chapel services. I want to see revival in my church, but I realize it begins in me!
It's one thing to lose the keys to your car, but to a Nuclear plant? Well check out this story here. I thought this was crazy but apparently this is not unusual. Check out this story about keys missing at Nuke plants in the US here.
That's right! Hundreds of keys have been missing from US Nuclear plants. Who is running these places. Maybe they should go to Brookstone and order these.
What would be some excuses we might hear from the Nuclear plant employees?
The New Testament says that Jesus walked on water, but Professor Doron Nof theorized in the early 1990s that Moses's parting of the Red Sea had solid science behind it. Nof, a professor of oceanography at Florida State University believes there could be a less miraculous explanation --he walked on a floating piece of ice.
Thanks to my friend Stuart Delony for this article here.
Some people just don't get it! This is the cover of Charlotte's Creative Loafing this week. I know there are a lot of stange beliefs out there. I realize a lot of Fundamentalist pastors and churches have blasted the "emerging" church. But I expected a more balanced approach from a secular publication. Read their story about "Postmodern" churches in Charlotte here.
Two of the churches that they mentioned are part of two of the most conservative denominations--the PCA and SBC. Both churches are conservative theologically but are reaching a very eclectic group of people. I for one am grateful for what God is doing in their churches. Most of the people they are reaching are not going to step foot in a traditional church.
When I saw the cover of the magazine I was angered by the cover. I would have thought the Sword of the Lord would potrait the "emerging" church this way but not CL. I guess I was wrong. Why is it that that when a group of believers try to reach our present culture they get blasted from the church and from the secular media. There is a new Mosaic church that started up near us. They are reaching a lot of the "emergent" group. I for one praise God for what these churches are doing to reach people for Christ. Paul said in Philippians 1:17-18 :
The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Church police: It is time for you to retire. It is not our responsibility to find out a church's motives. Lets leave that to God. If Christ is preached we should rejoice!
Growing up I used to watch "Happy Days." One of the lead characters was THE FONZ! He had 2 flaws, one was he could not eat "Liver" and the other was he could not admit he was wrong. He would say "I was wrroooongg" as he gritted his teeth.
In January, the Board of Trustees of the International Mission Board voted to remove Wade Burleson as a Trustee for Gossip and Slander. They never proved their case in fact last month the voted unanimously to rescind the motion to remove him. My question is: WHERE IS THE APOLOGY? I was brought up to admit you were wrong and not just say I'm sorry but will you forgive me? Either Wade is guilty of gossip and slander or he is owed an apology for dragging his name and his family's name thru the mud! Read the minutes from the IMB meeting here for yourself. Read page 27 for yourself.
Why has the BOT's not issued an apology to Wade? I think that is a fair question. I believe Wade did nothing wrong or they would not have rescinded the vote to remove him. Then where is the apology? The leaders of the BOT's remind me of this woman and have just said "NEVERMIND"
I have had the gift of Evangelism for as long as I can remember. It is a gift. I did nothing to deserve it-God gave it to me. I can remember leading people to Christ in middle school. It followed me all through out my vocational ministry.
I often wondered if you could lose a gift. For the last few years, our ministry was dry. I saw the fewest decisions for Christ I had ever seen. I saw a church that was falling apart. I was the last of 7 full-time pastors on a staff hired and the last one remaining as of last June. I began to wonder had God removed my gift.
But, I think God left us in Mobile to transition for the new pastor. He is a good man and I believe he is good for the church. He gets to establish his team. After my leaving my assistant Brad Campbell (Soupie) was named interim. Soupie is a great guy and was my biggest supporter. He and I built a youth center called the "attik" and it is cool. Check out the website here. We scheduled a D-Now for Jan. Of course I resigned before the D-Now occured but it went on because of Soupie! Soupie sent me the following message after the D-Now.
Youth Service when great!! ... 6 Salvations, and 4 re-dedications presented to the church last nite. And the youth flooded the altar at invitation for prayer. It was a good ending to a great weekend....everyone of them mentioned you in their testimony!! Just thought I'd let you know.
Then Neil Elmore one of my interns has been leading people to Christ on a weekly basis! I get excited about seeing young people I trained leading people to Christ.
I wondered why God allowed us to plant a church that eventually folded. Then I received this note from Gary Lamb who is meeting in the same movie theater that we met at in Canton, GA. Gary's church is doing awesome and I praise God for that. Gary said:
...if it were not for the Bridge laying groundwork here in what a modern churchcould look like, we would not be here. You guys fought a lot of battles especially with the association that made it where I didn't have too. I have never shared that with you before but I should have.
Personally, God has restored the gift he gave me-not that it ever went away. I never stopped sharing my faith, it is just now he bringing people to Himself again. The dryness I felt for the last 3+ years has gone. It makes me appreciate God's Grace. I am grateful He never left me. I am more excited than ever to reach Charlotte, NC for Christ. I know I will go through more valleys--Maybe this will encourage others to continue serving Him eventhough you feel His hand has left you.
Remember the movie Caddyshack? Bill Murray played the part of Carl Spackler. He was the greens-keeper at the golf course the movie was based on.
Today I was @ Starbucks on 7th Ave in "Uptown" Charlotte. I love "UPTOWN" Charlotte because there are so many eclectic people! I was in-between hospital visits so I went to study for my message on Sunday. I was journaling my prayer for the morning as I do everyday when a man named Thad asked if he could sit in the comfy chair next to me. I said yes and continued praying. I asked God to send me another "Person of Peace" (read A Passionate Life) my way today. God did!
Thad started talking to me. Thad looks like, sounds like and acts like "Carl Spackler" (Bill Murray). I had to keep from laughing everytime he talked. I kept thinking "The Cinderella story here at Augusta about to become the Master's Champion." He was your typical "post-modern" person. He talked about Scientology, Creationism, Catholisim, etc....
I realized this was my "Person of Peace." I talked with him for over an hour about every religion in the world. Finally he realized he needed Jesus. He is in real estate/construction/fixer ups. So, the best analogy I could come up with for him to accept Christ was to make Jesus the "Head Foreman" of his life. He sat there in Starbucks and asked Jesus to become his "Head Foreman!" Praise God. He was headed back to Hilton Head today, but is moving to Uptown in a few weeks. He is going to call me when he gets back. What an awesome day!
I wanted to shout: "It's in the hole!"
Update: I forgot to mention that I used the Starbucks Card that Dorcas Hawker sent me a few weeks ago! Thanks Dorcas!
I couldn't resist checking out my lastest BBQ joint. In honor of my friend Art Rogers I ate today at Art's Barbecue & Deli.I ordered the small BBQ plate which came with chopped BBQ pork and 2 side items. I had mashed potatoes and hush puppies and an ice water. The total was $5.87. The BBQ was good but I didn't care for the sauce. The hush puppies were good and hot. The mashed potatoes must have come from a box. It was OK and I give Art's 3 out of 5 pigs.
cooperate :To work or act together toward a common end or purpose.
To acquiesce willingly; be compliant
Dictionary.com give me a great definition for Cooperation. Those of us who have grown up in the Southern Baptist Convention have heard the word Cooperate since we can remember. Cooperation was always the key to being a Southern Baptist. Each church is independent, yet for "MISSIONS" we cooperate by pooling our money to share love of Jesus around the world.
I see a disturbing trend in the SBC. There is a Landmark movement in the SBC. These leaders have infiltrated our mission board trustees and even the seminaries.
Landmark Baptists hold that the NT model for the church is only the local and visible congregation and that it violates NT principles to speak of a universal, spiritual church. They also believe that Communion should be restricted to members of the local assembly and that baptism is valid only when administered in a properly constituted local Baptist congregation. They also believe that a historic "Baptist succession" may be traced from John the Baptist to modern Baptist churches in which believer's baptism and Landmark principles have prevailed.
What about the other denominations? Does this mean they are not believers? What about those of us who have family members in other denominations or heaven forbid a "non-denominational" church? I come from a "Para-church" background. My father a YFC/Campus Life director for 30+ years. Now he and my mom are missionaries for Campus Crusade's Military Ministry. Here is the link to my parents site.
My parents teach a recruit basic training Sunday School class every Sunday @ Ft. Jackson in Columbia, SC. They have led 100's if not 1000's of young men and women to Christ with their ministry!!!! How many SBC churches can say that? They work with military chaplains and teach parenting and marriage seminars all over the world. They are not members of an SBC church. They go to a PCA church when they can attend because of teaching their class at the base. My father was the guest preacher at my installation service here in Charlotte. Does this mean my installation service does not count?
This stuff is getting out of hand! Cooperation is essential to winning the world for CHRIST! We are not trying to start a BAPTIST WORLD. I am Follower of Christ first, and a Baptist 2nd. I am a Baptist because I believe in the basic tenets of our theology. Our SBC missionaries have a tough job. They are working in situations that we can't imagine. Now we have power brokers who are dismissing missionaries because they "COOPERATE" with other M's who are not SBC. Read about it here.
Who of us wouldn't welcome a CMA, AoG, PCA, PCUS, Anglican, UMC or non-denomination church leading our family members to Christ if the SBC can't? Of course we would. There are millions of people's souls at stake here. Landmarkism has got to go! Cooperation is the key to the survival of the SBC!
I have an important announcement to make. I have decided on my endorsment and nomination for SBC President.
I nominate "NONE OF THE ABOVE!"
You may ask why? Well, it seems that in recent years there have been a small group of people who decide ahead of time who should be the next President. Only Jim Henry had the nerve to run against these hand picked men. We need another Jim Henry. We need someone who will speak for those of us who want to actually "COOPERATE."
So unless we have a candidated step forward that is a visionary leader who can unite those of us who feel left out, then I see no better candidate than "NONE OF THE ABOVE."
A study of more than 1,800 patients who underwent heart bypass surgery has failed to show that prayers specially organized for their recovery had any impact. You can read the story here.
Can you really scientifically measure prayer? I don't think so. This kind of takes the "will of God" out of the equation. I have seen the power of prayer work in my life in a mighty way. But God is not Santa who just gives us what we want--even if it means healing a loved one. The problem with research on prayer is do we know the spiritual condition of those who were praying? Do we know if the people who were being prayed for even believed that God would help?
God answers prayer--it just may not be the way we want him to answer it! What do you think?
I know I posted this morning that some wacko's are claiming BBQ causes cancer, but I like to live dangerously.
Today I went to Bubba's BBQ I- 77@ exit 16 B in Charlotte, NC. Bubba's is a sit down rest so I walked in @ 12:02 PM for lunch. The staff was extremely friendly and I was seated immediately. They asked me if I wanted Sweet Tea but I had water to save on the dinero. They had a lunch special that consisted of Eastern NC style BBQ slaw, fries and hushpuppies for $8.67.
The service was great. My food was out in less than 5 minutes and the fries and hushpuppies were very hot. The pork was good. They have a bottle of Texas Pete, Ketchup and Eastern Carolina BBQ sauce (vinegar, peppers and spices). The sauce was great. The BBQ was good but not as good as BBQ King from last week. The customer service was very good. I rate Bubba's 4 pigs out of 5.
Barbecue meats linked with prostate cancer. According to a new study by Association for Cancer Research. Read about it here. What else? Is water going to be found deadly. Life causes us to die. BBQ? O say it ain't so!
What makes you tick? What is the passion that drives you? We all live for something. Everyone has a passion. People may not realize it, but everyone is driven by something. For some it is money, others sex, some chocolate, some music, some power, etc...
What drives you? When you are doing the thing you drives you, how does it make you feel? I know when I am leading in a creative way my adrenline gets pumping. I love brainstorming and finding ways to reach people for Christ. When I have an opportunity to share my story with others it excites me. When I see people I have trained leading others to Christ- I get goose bumps.
What is your passion?
The young man who prayed to receive Christ on Monday came to our service this morning. I pray we can get him plugged in. He got a job and our church members really reached out to him this morning. That was cool!