Friday, September 30, 2005

Random thoughts at the close of September

Been on the road again this week...sheesh. Maybe I will get to posting some real thoughts next week. My brother and I went to see the Cardinals lose to the Astros.
Last year when I saw the Cards lose (to the Pirates) they went on a tear afterwards and won like 15 out of's to hoping it happens again with the play-offs around the corner. Still can't believe that they are tearing down Busch.


It is worth commenting on folk's blogs JUST to see the crazy word they make you spell! :) It's like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. Don't you wish his books were still coming out? Speaking of books, yesterday I got the latest Donald Miller book and I plan on inhaling it next week. If it is half as good as his others, it will be a blessing to read.


My ex-neighbor, school-mate, team-mate, club brother, and Tide follower Frank Mills is leaving me for God's country! :) But, I understand and wish he and Summer the best at Darby Drive in Florence. I know he will be a TREMENDOUS blessing to those folks. I will miss you, my PREACHER!


Kudos to Howard Norton, Andrew Baker and anybody else that had anything to do with the HU Lectureship this year. The key-notes were AWESOME! I was blessed each time I heard one of the speakers. The best line from the my opinion.....was when Buddy Bell asked why we continue to insist on calling dead churches "sound".......just call them what they are, DEAD! It was refreshing to even hear some "AMENS" when he expressed those thoughts.


Gotta say TIDE is looking good so far! Hope I don't jinx em! I hope they eat some Gator tomorrow. ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!


I never get tired of reading the about you? I can't get enough of Jesus. What a savior!!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

An Encouragement to Live a Faith Led Life

I'm sorry that I have not had the time, nor felt the urge to blog much lately. I think it must come in song-writers talk about. I am still reading all the good posts on other blogs, but I have for the most part been empty of anything to share.

Two women have witnessed to me in the last 2 weeks. Week before last I got to sit at the feet of Teena Tucker, who lost her daughter a few weeks back. She is still grieving, but WOW......what an AMAZING attitude! I went there to try and bless and comfort HER, and I left being the one who was very much blessed! I would hope in the face of adversity and great trials I would have ONE-TENTH the faith that she has. Please remember her and Steve in your prayers.

This past week I got to hear one of the most powerful lessons I have EVER none. It came from the mouth of Gracia Burnham, and she blessed a thousand people or so with her story of faith in the worst circumstances. She and her husband, Martin, were captured by rebels in the Philippines in 2001, and were kept in captivity for more than a year. In the end, Martin was shot to death as she escaped. Instead of being bitter towards God, Gracia's faith INCREASED! If you can get your hands on one, be sure to get her book that recounts her experiences as a hostage. The title of the book is "In the Presence of My Enemies". Gracia quoted scripture right and left, probably to the point that some may have felt uncomfortable. It wasn't on a Sunday, and it wasn't in a "church building"......but it still was one of the most powerful lessons I have ever heard.
EVER! And no, there wasn't an invitation song at the end. It would have been interesting to see the number of people responding if there had been one. My guess is that it would have been more than just a few folks responding to her message and call to live faith centered lives.

Like the song says....."I can only imagine"! :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Reunion in Dallas

For those who may be wondering, the reunion was FANTASTIC! We had 19 of us there in Dallas, and we hope for even more in 2007. As soon as I get a picture of the group saved on my hard-drive, I will get Keith Brenton or James Wiser to help this ignorant soul post it on this blog. This is not your mom's high school reunion crowd, in that we have folks from all over the world represented. We have folks from the Philippines, Haiti, India, Cuba and France. I believe everyone is an American citizen, but we represent one of the unique qualities of our nation.....our diversity. You will be sitting there hearing a conversation in English between two folks, and the next minute you realize they are now speaking French to each other! :)
They were probably talking about me and didn't want me to hear what they were saying.
Anyway, it was a wonderful couple of days with people that I love dearly. As I was driving the 6 hours back to Searcy by myself, I reflected on what makes this group of people so special to me. There are a LOT of things that make them special, but two things jumped out at me on the way home. First is their transparency. These people don't hide behind any kind of mask........they are just who they are for the whole group to see. I think they feel loved unconditionally, therefore there is no need for hiding anything. Do you know how refreshing that is? I think I might have been the LEAST transparent person there. Yes, that is sad, seeing that several of these people are NOT even believers. So why would a believer be one of the least transparent people there? I think you know the answer to that. When you are not accepted unless you are perfect..... in your doctrine and your learn to fake it. The only other choice is to not be accepted, and we all run from rejection. So fake it till you make it rules the day in our "organized religion" world. A far cry from Jesus, huh? Ok, the second thing that jumped out at me was that these friends of mine are SO UNJUDGEMENTAL! That too was very refreshing!
As I had said in my post before I went down there, they will very passionately argue a point or position with each other, and when the discussion is over they will just hug each other like they might not ever see each other again....remember, not a fake hug, but a REAL hug. 2 minutes later they may be laughing with each other about something. They offer freedom to each other to differ.....on small things and big things. They know their love for each other is not based on what they agree on! Can you see how that would be refreshing? Duh! And no, these old friends and classmates of mine are NOT perfect. They carry a lot of baggage and garbage that I wish they didn't have. Some of them have probably rejected the Lord at some point in their life. But I am still praying for them and I am still loving each and every one of them! Because they are my people, my family, my friends from Monrovia, Liberia...West Africa from 1970 till 1972. And I wouldn't trade them or give them up for the world.

See ya in 07, Liberian family! :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

African Reunion

To say I am excited is not enough. I am way way past being excited. And here is why: I get to be with friends again......friends that I love dearly, like family. Some of them I have not seen since 1972. Several of them I have seen, in that we have had this reunion every other year starting in 2001. That year we had 5 students and 1 teacher show up. In 2003 we had 16 or so show up. This year we are looking at closer to 30. We hope the numbers just keep growing. This group of people has a special bond......we were all in Monrovia, Liberia together in High School. We were from different countries, our parents were in many vastly different professions, and we had many different religious backgrounds and beliefs. We had kids from Christian, Muslim, Hindu and probably Atheistic backgrounds. When you are in High School in West Africa, you don't let minor hurdles like those mentioned above get in your way of forming deep, lasting relationships. We had something GREATER than that in common....we loved each other and our unity more than we loved our differences. How refreshing that was to a 16 year old who came from a background where you didn't have anything to do with somebody that held a different point of view than you did about any number of things.....some big, some were so small they now seem absurd. Because we put our love for each other above our differences, these friends have been very special to me for over 30 years now. Yeah, we argue and fuss and get mad at each other like families do. But when the dust has settled, we smile and hug each other and keep walking down the road of life..........together. That's what families do.

So I am taking 2 days vacation to be with part of my African family. Others can't make it because of conflicts and other commitments. A large part of my African family is still in Africa, and I look forward to a reunion with them someday too! On this side or the other one. Hopefully both.

Please pray that some of these family members who don't know the Lord will see something in me that makes them want to know more. Please pray that I will be the kind of light and salt that will be bright enough or salty enough for them to see.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Jeffery and Cali

I just wanted to let you know that I got a call from Tawna Pounders and she said they found out Jeffery is safe. A little beat up from Katrina, but safe and ALIVE!
Praise God!


I am on the road in the beautiful Bay area of California. While I had some time today, I toured the campus of the University of Stanford in Palo Alto. WOW! So MUCH history in one place! Mrs. Stanford was a deeply religious person, and there is a beautiful church in the middle of the campus.


Some day I want to travel the coast of California and stop at every Jesuit mission along the way. I have visited one, in Lompoc, but I want to visit all of them. Anybody else want to come along for that trip? Maybe some of you have already done it. I promise we will stop and have some "In and Out" burgers along the way! :) You haven't been to Cali until you eat an I and O burger.


This will be a special weekend for me.....Friday night I get to go watch Matt coach in Memphis, and then Saturday I get to go watch Bama play on TV with my ailing Dad. Nothing beats time with family!

Have a great week, everybody!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Mickey and Deism

Some of you out there know Mickey Pounders who was in school at Harding in the mid-70's. Mickey and Tawna lived in Searcy many years after they graduated, and now live in Baton Rouge. Their son John is a freshman this year at HU. I called them last night to see how they were making it, and Tawna said the only effect the hurricane had on them was some over-turned trees and such. She said the BIGGEST effect the hurricane has had on Baton Rouge is the human factor..........thousands of refugees. Getting around in the city is next to impossible, according to her. But here is the news I felt I needed to share with all of you who know them. Mickey has a younger brother named Jeffery who lived just east of New Orleans in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. His house was only a few blocks from the coast. They have not heard from Jeffery since the hurricane hit. Please be prayerful for Jeffery, and all of Mickey's family.


In times like these we are currently in, where we have tsunamis, hurricanes, wars, famine, and people flying airplanes into tall buildings.........I think it is only natural for Christians to ask where God is and what is He doing! If you read in your Old Testament, you quickly see those people sure did. The OT is FULL of people crying out to the Lord, for any number of reasons.......deliverance, explanations, wisdom, courage, and questions. Really tough questions, and sometimes in anger. So here is my question......why don't we cry out as a people in community? When is the last time we were called together to send up petitions for hours, let alone days and weeks? I remember getting together for an hour or so after Sept. 11th. And that is about the extent of it. Besides all the evident answers (excuses) like, "well, we are just too busy" and "it's just hard to get everybody together" ......let me throw out what I think is at the core of WHY we don't. If I offend somebody, just know that was not my intention. I think we have more Deist in our pews than you can shake a stick at. Many of us don't think God is REALLY REALLY active in the events of this world anymore! Why would you tear your clothes and fast and cry to the Lord for hours, days, and weeks if He really CAN'T or WON'T intervene in the events of our life and our world? DUH! So you ask what makes me conclude we have so many Deist? And I answer: What else is there to conclude? These aren't atheist we are talking about. They are people who believe in a God....or a Deity. Wikipedia said this about Deism: "The classical view is that the universe was created by a God who then makes no further intervention in its affairs." So you tell me, am I just way off base here? Do we mirror the people you read page after page after page about in the Old Testament, or do we mirror people who are deist? My impression is that we are a LOT more concerned with a God who wants things done "decent and in order" than a God who hears the cries of His people!

God forgive us.