UK or U of L?

One day I was in a barbershop getting a haircut.  As you try avoiding the thoughts of a hair joke next time you see me, let me share my “spiritual” experience.

While my bushy flocks were being trimmed and thinned a gentleman walked in the shop wearing telling apparel.  He was wearing a UK hat, a UK coat, a UK sweatshirt, and possibly some unseen UK clothing as well.  I looked up and said, “Looks like we have another one of those Cardinal fans coming for a haircut.”  Everyone laughed because it was obvious that this man was on the side of the University of Kentucky!

Moses once asked the question, “Who is on the Lord’s side?”  I believe it should be obvious whose side we are on!  Our words, our dress, our drink, and most importantly, our life should scream that we are on God’s team.  Everywhere the barbershop UK fan went throughout the day folks would clearly know that he was for UK.  It’s likely that UK basketball would sometimes be part of his conversation, but even when it wasn’t he was sharing his allegiance.

“Lord, help us to be obvious Christians.  Show us ways to provide both a silent and verbal witness of our allegiance to you!  Lead us to be far more excited about the eternal things of God than the temporary things of this world.”

Learning from a Pig

PigThe Hatfield and McCoy feud started over ownership of one lone pig. In the late 1800’s it was common for Eastern Kentuckians to turn their swine loose to forage freely until time to round them up for slaughter. Each porker sported a distinctive family “brand” that identified him as a “Jones, McCoy, Hatfield, Rice, etc.” The long-lasting feud began because one family believed the other family had killed and eaten one of their pigs.

For an entire decade I had the privilege of pastoring smack-dab in the middle of the feud area with several Hatfields and McCoys as active members of my church. The thing that many do not understand about “The Feud” is that it lasted for many years. The hatred and bitterness brewed with killings happening after long periods of dormant feud activity.

The Bible instructs us not to let little things brew and fester. Matthew 18:15 says, “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you.” Don’t let things build up over time or you might find yourself “feudin’ over pig’s feet” (Interpretation: fighting over insignificant matters.)

Real Bull’s-eyes

BullseyeA little boy got a real bow and arrow for his 10th birthday and immediately went outside to practice in his yard. A few minutes later his father stepped outside to check how he was doing and was amazed to see a dozen arrows dead in the center of a dozen different bull’s-eyes that were painted on the trees in the backyard.

“That’s astounding, Son! You just got that bow a few minutes ago. How do you manage to hit a bullseye every time?” “Easy, Dad. First I shoot the arrow. Then wherever it lands, I paint circles around it!”

That’s a cute story, but a deeper lesson is easy to find. I have found that many live theirs lives exactly that way. Instead of aiming for the targets of life set forth by the Bible, they draw circles around their own lifestyles and call it a bullseye. As a preacher, I must strive to preach the truth of the Bible without compromise. When this is done, we know where to aim in life.

As Christians, we should stand for what’s right! We should stand for the truths in the Bible. I believe if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything! With that in mind, let’s stand for what we know is right even when others don’t understand. I like the way the Apostle Paul said it in Philippians 3….

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:14

Paul did not say, “I’m not pressing toward anything in particular . . . I’m just drawing a bullseye around my lifestyle.” Paul didn’t say, “I press toward what this cultural deems acceptable.” Paul didn’t say, “I press toward what would make me appear to be a really super nice guy!” No! Paul said, “I press toward the mark!”

This mark had been set forth for Paul by the Lord. Our marks are given to us in God’s Word. Take a solid stand on God’s Word, but be nice about it!

Smarter Than A 5th Grader?

5th-grader4Like American Idol, the recent television program, Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader, has been quite a hit for Fox and host, Jeff Foxworthy. Let’s face it, some kids are very smart, and often, they say the wisest things!  Listen to some of the remarkable wisdom of children from around the country.

  • “When your dad is mad and asks you, ‘Do I look stupid?’ don’t answer.”  Hannah, 9
  • “Stay far away from prunes.”  Randy, 9
  • “Don’t squat with your spurs on.”  Noronha, 13
  • “Puppies still have bad breath after you brush their teeth with dad’s toothbrush.”  Charlie, 9
  • “Never hold a Shop Vac and a cat at the same time.”  John, 9
  • “Don’t wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.”  Kellie, 11
  • “If you want a kitten, start out by asking for a horse.”  Naomi, 15
  • “Felt markers are not really good to use as lipstick.”  Lauren, 9
  • “When you get a bad grade at school, show it to your mom when she’s on the phone.”  Alyesha, 13

Two of the saddest things in this world is a child who can’t learn and an adult who won’t.  Every day you and I can learn something that will make us a better person and a more devout follower of Jesus. Every week our church can learn ways to be more effective at assimilating newcomers and helping our members to become fully-devoted followers of Jesus.

Prayer: “Lord, help us to stay curious. Help us have a hunger for You and a thirst for knowledge. Help us to be content in our salvation, but discontent in our level of spiritual maturity. Help us to do whatever it takes to be more like you in our thoughts, in our ways, and in our heart! Amen.”

Thanks Linus – Lest We Forget

What Do You Want For Christmas?

christmasher1This morning as I was driving to the church, I was listening to WJIE 88.5, one of my favorite Christian radio stations. One of the radio announcers was asking listeners to call and let her know if she should tell her husband what she would like him to get her for Christmas. She found something she really loves, but she hates to actually tell him what it is and remove the “surprise factor” surrounding her gift.

My theory is that she should tell him because most of us guys are clueless! She should do both of them a tremendous favor and show him an actual picture of the item, take him to the store and point to it like Vanna White, or better yet–just purchase it and tell him that’s what he got for her this year! Then, of course, tell him that she loves it and that he has made her so happy! That’s a win-win-situation!

What do you think? Should a wife or girlfriend tell the guy in her life what she would like to receive for Christmas?

Dog Drives Van Into Coffee House


All those who have teenage drivers in their home as we do, will understand why this Associated Press story from St. James, New York, caught my attention. I thought it was funny enough to pass along.

A dog left inside a running van put the vehicle in drive, causing it to crash into a Long Island coffee house. Suffolk County police said no one was injured in the incident, which damaged the glass window and some patio furniture at Cool Beanz coffee shop in St. James. Police said a 60-year-old Port Jefferson resident left the van running while he went into the shop. His dog, Bentley, somehow knocked the controls.

Do you have any funny driving stories you can tell? My daughter once drove her grandmother’s convertible into the side of the house. How about you?