August 7, 2012 (11:32 am)
A man one day came to the pastor and said, "Pastor, when I was making $30,000 a year, I'd give generously to the Lord. I'm making $150,000 and I don't have anything to give to the Lord. Would you pray for me?" The pastor said, "Let's pray. Lord, would You please take this brother back to $30,000 a year so that he can start giving."
August 1, 2012 (3:29 pm)
The instructor from a dog training workshop in Salt Lake City noted that a dog's disposition can be tested by the owner. If the owner will fall down and pretend to be hurt, a dog with a bad temper will tend to bite him. But a good dog will show concern and may lick the fallen owner's face.
Susan Matice attended the class and then decided to test her two dogs. While eating pizza in her living room, she stood up, clutched her heart, screamed and fell to the floor. Her two dogs looked at her, looked at each other, then raced to the coffee table and ate her pizza.
Our dispositions are tested every day by the challenges of life. Sometime when someone is down we may want to make their problems even worse. Other times we feel compassionate and want to do what we can to make their life better. But I guess there are also times when we had just rather eat the pizza!
July 31, 2012 (2:13 pm)
The story is told of a little boy who came into his mother's kitchen and announced to her, "That was a good fight." The mother looked at her little boy. His shirt was torn and dirty; his jeans were ripped at the knee; he had a black eye and a big scrape on his elbow. "What was so good about it?" she asked. He replied, "I won."
The Bible tells us that we are to fight the good fight of our faith. What makes is a good fight? We are on the winning side!
Have a blessed day,
July 30, 2012 (4:10 pm)
In recent weeks I have sensed that some are rediscovering a worship they once enjoyed while others are experiencing true worship for the first time in their lives. Worship is all wrapped up in God and our love for God and our desire to express through worship exactly how much we do love Him.
Some people seem to think that praising God energetically is too emotional. We must understand the difference between emotion and emotionalism. Tony Evans says that emotion is when there's a big play on the field, and everybody gets up in excitement about what the players did. Emotionalism is when you get excited and jump up and down and there's nothing happening on the field. There is without question a lot of emotionalism today where folks get excited about nothing. What we need though, is legitimate emotion or praise, because God is something to get excited about. Emotionalism often has to be worked up while true emotions that lead to praise come very naturally the closer we get to God. He is worthy of our praise!
July 29, 2012 (10:18 pm)
The last few weeks have been tremendously exciting times for the HBC family. We have seen seven people to come to faith in Christ and that is always a joy. This weekend we had a great Sunday School Leadership Conference with forty people in attendance. I really can't put into words what my heart is feeling right now. God is at work all around us. He is drawing new people into our services. He is moving in the life of our church family. It is exciting to go to church these days because you never know what might happen.
Have a blessed week - continue to pray for spiritual awakening!
July 12, 2012
Praise the Lord! God is doing a wonderful work in the lives of our youth and their leaders this week at camp. We have had several of our teenagers saved and others who have made some life-changing decisions because of their encounter with God this week. Pray that this might be the start of a great revival in our youth group and in our church family.
July 11, 2012 (4:52 pm)
We heard Sunday morning about the importance of meeting and getting to know our neighbors. A new little boy to a neighborhood did just that. He was seven years old and after moving in he went exploring. He came back home telling his parents that he had made some new friends. He told them that one was a boy and one was a girl. His mother asked him how old they were and his reply was that it would be rude to ask. An hour passed and the little boy came back home and began to yell at his mother through the screen door. He told her he had found out how old his new friends were. He said, 'The girl is 65, and the boy is 70'!
At least he found out something about his neighbors!
June 27, 2012 (3:12 pm)
This past month in Sunday School we have been studying about spiritual apathy. The people of Israel had become apathetic when it came to their service of God. They looked and saw the ungodly being blessed and questioned God as to His faithfulness to them. That is never a good idea by the way to question God concerning His faithfulness to us. God is faithful. God is loving. God is compassionate. We cannot afford to become apathetic in our service of the Lord, it's the wrong thing to do first of all, and secondly we don't have time to do it. The sand in the hour glass of time seems to speed up a little more every day. Let's not become apathetic, let's become energetic!
June 10, 2012 (9:30 am)
I came across an article that you might enjoy reading.
Are You a Threat?
By Os Hillman
"One day the evil spirit answered them, 'Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?'" - Acts 19:15
Are you a threat to the kingdom of darkness? If satan and his demons had a board meeting and your name came before the board, what would they say? Would they say that you are one of their most feared enemies and they needed to keep many demons harassing and opposing you? Or would they say, "Gentlemen, this person poses no threat to our activities. Leave him alone. He needs no help from us." There are millions of church-going believers sitting in pews Sunday after Sunday who pose little threat to the kingdom of darkness.
If we truly believe that we war against rulers and principalities that cannot be seen, then we must realize that their mandate is to hinder any believer who is seeking to walk in the fullness of God. However, "greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 Jn. 4:4b KJV).
If you are seeking to fully follow the Lord, you can expect harassment from the enemy. God permits temptation because it drives us deeper into the soil of God. These times reveal God's power to keep us and walk us through the temptations. Our message becomes fruitful when it is born out of obedience and suffering for His name. Do not consider it strange if you find yourself fighting major battles the more obedient you become to the Master. God desires each of us to become a feared enemy of hell in order to affect satan's domain. When you begin to feel harassed, chances are you are beginning to affect the kingdom of darkness, and satan doesn't like this. So, how many demons do you think are assigned to you? ful when it is born out of obedience and suffering for His name. Do not consider it strange if you find yourself fighting major battles the more obedient you become to the Master. God desires each of us to become a feared enemy of hell in order to affect satan's domain. When you begin to feel harassed, chances are you are beginning to affect the kingdom of darkness, and satan doesn't like this. So, how many demons do you think are assigned to you?
June 8, 2012 (11:53 am)
I apologize for the long time in between blogs. These last two weeks have been very busy. We just got back from Birmingham last night after spending a couple of days with Paula's mother. We brought her back with us to spend a couple of days with us. Paula's brother-in-law continues to do well, we are thankful for your prayers.
Vacation Bible School starts this coming Monday! The motto for this years school is : AWESOME GOD! AWESOME POWER! Sunday morning I am going to preach on the theme verse for this years school in an attempt to get us "fired up" for next week. Don't forget to plan on eating lunch at the church this Sunday. Our youth are doing a Barbecue Lunch fundraiser. Please support their efforts.
May 23, 2012 (8:26 am)
I was looking at a book this morning written by Jim Cymbala, pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church. The following is from his book, The Life God Blesses.
"In the New Testament we read how Jesus saw through the outward shows of religion and affirmed the importance of a "right" heart when he condemned the hypocrisy of the Pharisees: 'You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts' (Luke 16:15). Jesus always looked into the heart, and there He found the real person. God told Samuel concerning looking for a king, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height....The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart' (I Samuel 16:7).
How's your heart today?
May 21, 2012 (1:44 pm)
I can't seem to get away from a thought from yesterday's message. It was when I shared with you what Henry Ford said about failure. He said that failure gives us the "opportunity to begin again, more intelligently." That is so true. I have always heard that we should learn from our mistakes. The thing that we should learn from a mistake is to not make the same mistake again. When we come to grips with our failure and we develop a desire to please God with our lives, then we can begin again and we can do it more intelligently using the knowledge we gained from the experience.
Go forward - more intelligently!
May 21, 2012 (12:14 am)
I want to ask you a question? Do you ever take light for granted? Once again tonight the power was out in my neighborhood and 26,000 other people's homes. It just came back on a few minutes ago and for that I am thankful. Jesus is the light of the world. He is the one who does away with our darkness and thus we should never take Him for granted. As I am typing this I am so thankful for the power that brings light to my home and for the power that brings light to my life.
Let the light shine!
April 9, 2012 (2:09 pm)
I hope you enjoyed Easter at Hillwood as much as I did! It was a great day all the way around. Breakfast was good, Sunday School was good, morning and evening worship were good. I am telling you folks God is doing something in case you haven't noticed. Continue to pray for His blessings to fall upon His church.
April 8, 2012 (6:55 am)
HE IS RISEN!!!!
April 6, 2012 (11:09 am)
I am not quite sure how we approach this day without some emotions surfacing in our lives when we think about what happened to Jesus on Friday, the day He was crucified.
Early in the morning He was taken to Pilate and accused of many things. Jesus would not respond to Pilate's questions and that amazed Pilate. It was customary at the Feast to release a prisoner whom the people requested. The crowd cried out for Barabbas to be released and Jesus to be crucified. That's what Pilate did, released Barabbas and had Jesus beaten and handed Him over to be crucified.
The soldiers put a purple robe on Him, and twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head. They began to mock Him and hit Him with a staff and spit upon Him. After they had had their fun they led Him away to be crucified. In Mark's account of the crucifixion a man by the name of Simon of Cyrene, a man traveling with two sons, was forced to help Jesus carry the cross to the place of execution. No doubt this was at first a very humiliating experience for this man but no doubt an experience that would change his life.
They crucified Jesus at 9:00 in the morning. As He hung on the cross between two thieves those who passed by hurled insults at Him saying things like, 'come down from the cross and save yourself!' At noon darkness came over the whole land until 3:00 in the afternoon. It was at 3:00 in the afternoon that Jesus cried out,'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' Moments later with a loud cry, Jesus breathed His last.
Suddenly the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. When the centurion heard His cry and saw how He died, he said, 'Surely this man was the Son of God!' The Sabbath was drawing near and Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate and requested the body. Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone across the entrance.
The Son of God had died for the sins of the world and was buried.
April 5, 2012 (1:58 pm)
Well it's Thursday and I think most everyone knows what happened on Thursday of the last week of Jesus' life. This was the day that they would eat the Passover Meal together in a borrowed room. This was also the day that the sacrificial lambs were offered at the temple. Jesus evidently had made advance preparations for the room and told His disciples who to look for once they reached the city.
While they were eating their meal together Jesus made the startling statement that one of them was about to betray him. One after the other asked whether or not they were the one. I think we all know how that turned out.
It was while they were eating that Jesus used the bread and the wine to teach them about the sacrifice He was about to make so that mankind could be saved. When they finished the meal they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives. For some reason I think that it was a very quiet walk as the disciples tried to understand what had just happened and what they had just heard.
Also, on this night Jesus told of Peter's denial that was to come and of course Peter's adamant response was that there was no way that could happen. They went to the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus spent some agonizing moments with His Father knowing what was just ahead of Him. This is where Jesus said 'Yet not what I will, but what you will.' I am convinced that in every believers life there must come a Gethsemane. We are told to take up our cross daily but I don't think that will happen outside of a total surrender of our will to His.
Jesus is arrested and tried before the Sanhedrin. Many falsely testified against Him, but the Bible says that their statements did not agree. He was deemed worthy of death and some began to spit on Him, they blindfolded Him and struck Him with their fists and then the guards took Him and beat Him. And while all of this was going on Peter is in the courtyard below denying his relationship with Jesus. And when Peter heard the rooster crow he broke down and wept.
April 4, 2012 (2:45 pm)
According to scripture, Wednesday was not as busy a day as Tuesday, at least by that we have recorded for us. We have the chief priests and teachers looking for some "sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him." They were smart enough to know that they might have a problem on their hands if they tried to do it during the feast.
Jesus was in Bethany on this day at the home of man known as Simon the leper. While He was there a woman came with an alabaster jar filled with very expensive perfume. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on His head. That got the attention of those who thought what she did was a waste of money. They suddenly grew very concerned about the poor when they saw this take place. But Jesus rebuked them and told them that they would have the poor with them always, but He would not always be with them on earth. As a matter of fact He was so pleased with the woman's actions that He said her act of love would be remembered throughout history.
It was also on this day that Judas went to the chief priests to betray Jesus. It was a good day but it was also the day that the great betrayal was put into motion.
April 3, 2012 (3:45 pm)
What happened on Tuesday? Alot! There is no way I can explain to you everything that took place on Tuesday. I am going to list the headings to the different sections in my Bible that give us insight in the events of Tuesday:
The Withered Fig Tree
The Authority Of Jesus Questioned
The Parable Of The Tenants
Paying Taxes To Caesar
Marriage At The Resurrection
The Greatest Commandment
Whose Son Is The Christ?
The Widow's Offering
Signs Of The End Of The Age
The Day And Hour Unknown
Tuesday was a busy teaching day for Jesus as He dealt with a number of different subjects being tossed at Him by the religious leaders of the day. Jesus of course dealt with each and every question in a way that pleased God and glorified His Father. Also, this day is the day that He spoke the words that make up our HBC Mission Statement in Mark 12:29-31.
Perhaps the most challenging thing for our HBC Family today is what He said toward the end of chapter 13:32-37. Jesus says to all us the day is coming, you need to be ready at all times because even He does not know the exact time, only the Father.
April 2, 2012 (7:41 pm)
This is the week leading up to the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins. There was a lot of things that took place between the time Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to the cheers of the people until the night He was arrested in the garden.
Palm Sunday as it is referred to in the Christian community. Jesus rides into town and is welcomed with shouts of Hosanna! "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest." Upon entering the city He went to the temple but the Bible says that because it was late He went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
If you will recall on Monday Jesus spoke to a fruitless fig tree the words that it would never bear fruit. It had leaves, it looked like it ought to bear fruit but it had none. This is what happens to so many believers, we become fruitless even though on the outside we look like we should be full of fruit.
Then they arrive at the temple and Jesus began to clean house. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. He reminded them in no uncertain terms that His Father's House was to be a house of prayer and not a den of robbers!
This did not set well with the chief priests and the teachers of the law and they began looking for a way to kill Him, because they were afraid of Him, because all the people were amazed at His teaching.
Then they left the city.
Come back tomorrow for what happened on Tuesday!
February 25, 2012 (3:14 pm)
It's Saturday but Sunday's coming! I can hardly wait to worship with you tomorrow. The Lord has really been doing some neat things in our midst in recent weeks. I want to encourage you to pray for those who are on the verge of a life-changing decision for Jesus Christ. Pray that the Holy Spirit of God might break Satan's hold on their life and set them free!
Sunday morning we will be talking about "The Antichrist Factor" that is in our world right now. Sunday night we will be talking about "The Corrupt Church That Married The World." Don't miss either of these two important messages. Why not call someone and invite them to meet you at church tomorrow.
See you soon,
February 15, 2012 (2:33 pm)
Please continue to pray for Jordan Iwamoto who had brain surgery this morning at the UAB Children's Hospital in Birmingham. Also pray for those who have gone out to Texas to help Bro. David move. They should be back in town late Friday afternoon. Pray for safety in travel and that God would meet every need they have in preparing to move.
February 6, 2012 (3:09 pm)
I came across this story today.
I heard about a couple of men who had crashed and were
marooned on an island. The first man just went to
pieces. He said, "Oh, we are lost, we are lost. There
is no hope. It's all over. We are not going to
The second man laid down and very calmly went right
off to sleep. When he woke up the other man was still
in a state of panic. He said, "My gracious alive, how
can you go to sleep and be so calm? We are never going
to get out of this thing alive."
The man said, "Oh, don't worry about it. I make
$10,000 a week." The other man said, "What in the
world does that have to do with it? Ten thousand
dollars a week won't rescue us from this island. How
can you be so calm just because you make a lot of
He said, "You don't understand. I make $10,000 a week.
I'm a member of a Baptist church and I am a tither. I
can assure you that my pastor will find me."
Our offerings have been off a little bit as we have begun 2012. That doesn't mean that I am coming looking for you, but I do want you to make it a matter of prayer as we go forward.
January 31, 2012 (9:14 am)
Hope you are having a great day! I am still excited over this past weekend. It is great to welcome the Wingate's to HBC as our new Youth Minister. Someone sent me the following picture, I thought you might enjoy it.
January 16, 2012 (10:54 am)
I found this article today that I hope will be a blessing to you.
It's Time for a Funeral
TGIF Today God Is First, by Os Hillman
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me (Gal 2:20).
"There's nothing wrong with you that a good funeral won't solve," I said to the woman. "I'll even send you flowers!" She smiled in response. I was speaking figuratively to the woman who was stressing out about an issue in her life.
Her problem was the same problem most of us have - too much of "us" and not enough of Jesus and the cross. Many of the daily problems in life can be solved by coming to an end of ourselves so Jesus can take over. I believe this is what the psalmist meant when he said: "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints" (Ps 116:15).
The apostle Paul recognized the need for a funeral too when he penned these words: "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" (Rom 6:1-4).
Whenever we stress over a matter, get angry over a daily circumstance, or seek to have our own way - it is a sign there is still life in the grave. We need to fill it with dirt and smother the life of our flesh so that Christ may live freely, unhindered by the "old" man. Send yourself some flowers today. Have a good funeral.
January 1, 2012 (8:39 am)
Happy New Year HBC Family of Faith! As I am writing this it is raining outside but if you read this before church please do not let a little rain interfere with your worship of God. According to the forecast I read a few minutes ago it is supposed to stop raining by 9:30 am anyway. I am very excited about 2012 and believe that it is going to be a year of victory and blessings. Let's get it started out right this morning. Hope to see you in a few minutes.
December 26, 2011 (10:07 am)
Praise the Lord for the great day in the House of God we enjoyed! Our time of worship was filled with celebration as we worshipped our Savior on Christmas morning. The music was tremendous and the Lord added to His family as we saw someone come to Christ!
Last night we had everyone over for dinner and to open presents. By the time it was over we were surrounded by seemingly a mountain of toys and little ones going from one thing to the next. It was an exciting evening to say the least.
I hope you will have a blessed day today. Let the gift returns begin!
December 24, 2011 (12:13 pm)
I'm done! Hope to see you tonight for the Lord's Supper and tomorrow for worship!
December 23, 2011
One more trip - maybe!
December 22, 2011
December 15, 2011 (11:40 pm)
Praise the Lord! Our Sharing The Light Christmas ministry was a wonderful success. We had 34 people mark that they had prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior! Thanks to everyone who helped make this years ministry possible.
November 23, 2011 (2:42 pm)
Happy day before Thanksgiving! I hope that all is well with you and that we will have a great Thanksgiving Day. It is very important to give God thanks for all that He does for us. If we fail to do that then we are robbing ourselves and others of a blessing. I came across this quote I thought you might enjoy. "Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." (W.A. Ward)
Give thanks with a grateful heart,
October 18, 2011 (8:54 pm)
I feel like a proud new father tonight as I watched HBC at it's best in hosting the annual meeting! The music was outstanding and the power of the Holy Spirit fell in both sessions. Thank you soloists, thank you choir and orchestra for going the second mile today. And what can I say about the kitchen staff. Everyone raved about the meal! You folks have to be tired, but I pray its a good tired if you know what I mean. From the bottom of my heart thank you for all that you did to make today such a great success!
October 5, 2011 (4:46 pm)
As you can tell I haven't been very faithful about writing on my blog this past month. We went to Destin, Florida for a few days last week and really had a great time with Keri, DA and Lexi. Vacations are fun but they just don't seem to last long enough. I know that we have many of our people who are out and about due to Fall Break. However, if you are in town please make a special effort to be present when our times of worship come around. I look forward to seeing you tonight at church and pray God's blessings on all who read this blog.
September 5, 2011 (10:33 pm)
I have asked our leadership to join me in forty days of prayer for our beloved church. I would like to ask you to join us as well. That was my plan this past Sunday evening but we didn't meet because of expected bad weather. This Wednesday evening I will be sharing the message I had prepared to preach last Sunday evening. I had entitled the message - PRAY! I want to encourage you to join me this Wednesday evening for this important message. Encourage other of our members who may not normally come on Wednesday nights to join with us for this special time.
See you Wednesday,
August 19, 2011 (9:20 am)
Please pray for Dennis McKay this morning as he will be having surgery around 11:30 am.
August 13, 2011 (8:26 pm)
Well I am 60 years old plus a day! 60's not so bad (more senior discounts now). What I am really looking forward to is our times of Bible study and worship tomorrow. With school being back in session I am expecting our attendance to be up. Pray with me for a great day.
August 11, 2011 (9:30 pm)
It hit me a little earlier today that this is my last day in my 50's! Tomorrow I turn 60 years old! It's kind of funny moving from one decade to the next and it calls for some soul searching as well I guess. It seems like just yesterday that I celebrated my 50th birthday. Where does time go? It just reminds us I guess of how rapidly life moves and how it waits for no one. It moves on whether we are ready or not. Oh well, tomorrow is another day and it will mark 60 years that I have been on the face of this earth! Instead of getting older, and 60 was ancient when I was a child, I am going to go with the new wave of thinking that 60 is the new 50. That way I will have 10 more years before I actually turn 60!
August 2, 2011 (2:16 pm)
Vance Havner wrote: "We need a heart warming...The early Christians did not need a shot in the arm every Sunday to keep them going. They knew Jesus and they upset the world and worried the devil and gave wicked rulers insomnia and started something the jails couldn't lock up, fire couldn't burn, water couldn't drown, swords couldn't kill......You may belittle experience and speak of the dangers of emotion, but we are suffering today from a species of Christianity as dry as dust, as cold as ice, as pale as a corpse, and as dead as King Tut. We are suffering, not from a lack of correct heads but of consumed hearts."
Something to think about!
July 28, 2011 (2:00 pm)
Thanks to everyone who prayed for Paula's mother yesterday. She came through the procedure in good shape!
July 27, 2011 (10:02 am)
We are in Birmingham today with Paula's mother. She is going to be having a procedure this morning at 11:00 am so I would appreciate your prayers for her this morning.
July 25, 2011 (9:28 pm)
I was just reflecting back on our Sunday morning time of worship. There was a special electricity in the air from beginning to end. The music was just wonderful and God's Word is always an encouraging time in our lives. As we come to the close of the summer it is hard to imagine that school will be starting back in early August. Please begin to pray now for our school administrators, faculty and students as a new school year is right around the corner.
I want to thank all of those who worked on the house in Harvest last week. I am confident that you were as blessed as those you blessed by your efforts. Please pray for Paula's mother on Wednesday as she has another procedure done in Birmingham.
Have a great week,
July 11, 2011 (10:51 am)
A writer tells about being on a flight in which two children were argumentative and quarrelsome. The flight attendant, however, knew how to handle them. "What is all this squawking up here?" she asked, coming to their seats and smiling. The children grew quiet. Leaning over them she said in a serious tone, "I must remind you, this is a nonsquawking flight." The children remained quiet the rest of the way. It really does make for a long flight through life if you have to sit in the squawking section!
July 9, 2011 (9:24 am)
I am coming to you on location this morning (my mother-in-laws backyard). We will be headed back home in a little while so I would appreciate your prayers for travelers mercies if you read this in time. Tomorrow is the Lord's Day. Our summer attendance has been all over the board from good to not so good. If you are in town I want to encourage you to be in Sunday School and worship tomorrow.
Please pray for me tomorrow as I will be preaching twice for the first time since May. This will probably help determine how much physical progress I have made vocally. Sunday night I am going to be finishing up a series I began back in late May - THE LAMB OF GOD. You might want to go the sermon section of our site and refresh your memory before Sunday night. I look forward to seeing you Sunday!
July 4, 2011 (1:32 pm)
Happy Birthday America! I hope you are having a wonderful 4th of July. I thought our Sunday morning service was a very uplifting and encouraging one. Thank you for the many comments concerning the message. Encouragement is something that we all need from time to time. Max Lucado tells a great story about the cure for disappointment.
"When God doesn't do what we want, it's not easy. Never has been. Never will be. But faith is the conviction that God knows more than we do about this life and He will get us through it. Remember, disappointment is cured by revamped expectations. I like the story about the fellow who went to the pet store in search of a singing parakeet. Seems he was a bachelor and his house was too quiet. The store owner had just the bird for him, so the man bought it. The next day the bachelor came home from work to a house full of music. He went to the cage to feed the bird and noticed for the first time that the parakeet had only one leg. He felt cheated that he'd been sold a one-legged bird, so he called and complained. 'What do you want,' the store owner responded, 'a bird who can sing or a bird who can dance?" Good question for times of disappointment." What do we want?
See you Wednesday,
June 29, 2011 (3:29 pm)
When George Whitfield was getting people of Edinburgh out of their beds at five o'clock in the morning to hear his preaching, a man on his way to the tabernacle met David Hume, the Scottish philosopher and skeptic. Surprised at seeing him on his way to hear Whitfield, the man said, "I thought you did not believe in the gospel." Hume replied, "I don't, but he does!"
That is a great lesson for all of us - people are impacted by what we believe even if they don't believe it themselves!
June 27, 2011 (11:56 pm)
A father and his son were walking on the beach and the boy happened to notice all the starfish lying there. There were hundreds of them that had washed up onshore. Of course, they were dying, not being in the water. So they began throwing them back into the water. Soon the boy realized that there were just too many. The boy then said, "Daddy, there are so many starfish up on the beach. It doesn't matter that we are throwing back a few here and a few there. It doesn't matter, because there's too many of them." His father said, "It matters to the ones we throw back."
That is a great challenge to all of us in the midst of a society that seems to big to help. Help those you can, it might just make a difference for them in eternity!
June 14, 2011 (8:42 pm)
Thank you for the prayer support! My doctor told me that things looked great. The nodule on my vocal cord has resolved itself. My sinuses looked much better. He stll told me that basically he wanted me on vocal jog and not vocal sprint for the next six weeks. So I am going to have to pace myself in the pulpit a little bit, but that's okay. I don't have to go back unless there is a need so all in all I feel great about my visit today.
June 14, 2011 (8:35 am)
VBS Day Two! We got off to a great start yesterday. Continue to pray for God's blessings upon this week.
Pray for me this afternoon as I go back to the ENT, prayerfully for the last time, at 2:00 pm.
June 10, 2011 (11:29 am)
Hope everyone is doing well and looking forward to a great Sunday! I don't know how many of you are parents with young children in our HBC family. I just wanted to encourage you about something during these summer months. During the school year we have missions on Sunday nights but during the summer we don't. Does that mean that there is nothing here for children on Sunday pm? I hope that you don't see it that way. This would be a great tme to bring your child into "big church" and let them experience that. With our children's worship on Sunday mornings our children are very rarely in church unless it is for something special. I don't want our children to grow up just loving to come to church because of missions and choirs. They need to learn the importance of "big church" as well. I don't want them to get the idea that when school is out, they don't have to come to church on Sunday night. We are in a situation now where many churches do not even have Sunday evening worship anymore. We are only one generation away from that in our day and time. Teach your children to love church! It's the greatest thing you can do for the future of the church.
June 1, 2011 (11:14 am)
Just an update on my doctor's visit on Tuesday. First of all, I have to go back in two weeks for another cat scan and another test, but he did say that from what he could see that I had made improvement. We made a deal that if I could preach on Sunday mornings for the next two weeks I would rest my voice in between. Sometimes you take what you can get! So I am looking forward to being back in the pulpit this Sunday morning. Thanks for your continued prayer support for me during this time.
May 25, 2011
I have been so blessed to have Dennis Hagood teach for me on Wednesday nights. Dennis is a veteran pastor whom God sent our way. Most of you know that Dennis has some health issues that are keeping him out of a full time pastorate. But God knew that we needed Dennis to preach and teach from time to time and for that I am extremely grateful. God knows the future and prepares His church to be blessed even in the midst of uncertain times. Jeff has done a great job on Sunday mornings as well. Ever since I have been at HBC, 24 years today, we have always been blessed to have a staff that could step up and do what ever was necessary and that has been a great blessing through the years. I have leaned on Bro. Dana heavily over these past several years and he has always been there and always does a great job. I also want to thank our Administrative Assistants who do such a great job in the office. I feel blessed to be apart of this great church and continue to stand amazed at how God meets every need we have.
May 24, 2011 (4:27 pm)
Do you ever have trouble praying? Probably most of us find it hard to pray at times. Sometimes when you believe things are going to work out and they don't it causes a crises of belief to raise it's ugly head in our lives. Prayer is something that you find yourself having to work at most of time. The following statement that I am going to share with you took me back a little bit when I first read it but then it sunk in and made sense.
A campus minister and author named Ben Patterson wrote:
"I'm not 'into' prayer. I seemed to have missed the religious gene or whatever it is that makes people enjoy the act of praying. It's not my nature to pray. I'm not into prayer, I'm into God! I thirst and hunger for God, I ache for God. Without His everlasting arms holding me up, I will fall. So I must pray."
Are you 'into God' or 'into prayer'? Makes you stop and think doesn't it. Do I pray because it's the right thing to do, or do I pray because I want to talk to the One who can help me do the right thing? Just something to think about.
May 23, 2011 (4:43 pm)
Our thanks to those of you who prayed for Paula's mother today. She came through the test in good shape. She has been asleep most of the day but is now beginning to wake up and be more like herself. We are thankful for God's faithfulness each and every day.
May 22, 2011 (8:44 am)
Good Sunday morning to you! I want to ask you a question this morning, since I am not preaching right now I guess this is the best outlet I have. The question is this: Do you ever just give God a nod? You know when someone is talking to you about something important in your life you often listen and then nod. But nods can mean a couple of things. A nod can mean agreement, you're right, that's what I will do. Or a nod can mean, no way, not in a million years, you have no idea what you are talking about. We've all done it and we've all had it done to us. We'll just call it the 'mystery of the nod'.
There is a verse of scripture in Proverbs that you've probably heard so many times you know it by heart. It says:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6
You probably just nodded and said to yourself that you have heard that verse, you agree with it, so what's your point. Well it's the acknowledgement part. You see in the original Hebrew, "in all your ways acknowledge him" is more literally "all your your ways know him." This fundamental statement of how to relate to God implies more than mere reverence. Nodding in God's direction is not enough: you must know him by living closely with him, relating to him personally in every aspect of your life. Nodding at God is an acknowledgement of his presence but it doesn't necessarily mean you are going to do the right thing. Most all of us acknowledge God in one way or another - we acknowledge his presence, his words, his teachings, but sometimes upon reading or listening we seem to just nod and do what we want to do. But don't miss the last part of the verse. If you accept God's teaching and leadership in your life he will make your paths straight. Do you ever just give God a nod?
May 19, 2011 (1:01 pm)
Who said silence is golden! Both Paula and I are getting writers cramp during this unbelievable ordeal. Sometimes when I go into a store I have a hand written note explaining my situation and what I want to buy. I have always felt a little funny about that because usually when someone walks up to a counter and hands someone a note they want the money! So far no one has called the police and for that I am grateful.
I remembered an old sermon illustration about a monk who had taken a vow of silence. I want to share it with you, maybe it will make you smile!
A monk joined a monastery and took a vow of silence. After the first 10 years his superior called him in and asked, "Do you have anything to say?" The monk replied, "Food bad." After another 10 years the monk again had opportunity to voice his thoughts. He said, "Bed hard." Another 10 years went by and again he was called in before his superior. When asked if he had anything to say, he responded, "I quit." "It doesn't surprise me a bit. You've done nothing but complain ever since you got here."
Have a blessed day!
May 17, 2011 (10:27 pm)
I came across some interesting thoughts from a Max Lucado book that all of us should stop and think about.
"We learn God's will by spending time in His presence. The key to knowing God's heart is having a relationship with Him. A personal relationship. God will speak to you differently than He will speak to others. Just because God spoke to Moses through a burning bush, that doesn't mean we should all sit next to a bush waiting for God to speak. God used a fish to convict Jonah. Does that mean we should have worship services at Sea World? No. God reveals His heart personally to each person.
For that reason, your walk with God is essential. His heart is not seen in an occasional chat or weekly visit. We learn His will as we take up residence in His house every single day. Walk with Him long enough and you will come to know His heart."
A great word!
May 14, 2011( pm)
I pray that this finds you doing well and getting excited about coming to worship our Lord and Savior tomorrow. These have been some strange days for me and Paula (she too is on vocal rest now!). I have always been taught that communication is one of the keys to a great marriage. We have a great marriage, but fortunately it is not based on our charade skills! We are wearing out our dry erase board but are not doing to bad.
Have you ever wondered why certain things happen to you, especially at the time they do. I don't guess there is ever any good time for something challenging to happen in your life but I am trying to learn the lesson God is seeking to teach me. I had a good day yesterday as I went about my business as if I were preparing to preach tomorrow. God is giving me an opportunity to spend some quality time with Him and I certainly don't want to miss out on what He wants to teach me.
Tomorrow is the Sunday we honor our graduating high school seniors. I know that you will want to be present to support them as they enter a new and exciting phase of their lives. Tomorrow evening we will rejoice with our mission organizations and their leaders as we recognize all that they have accomplished this church year.
See you tomorrow,
May 9, 2011 (11:33 am)
A sculptor once fashioned a magnificent lion out of solid stone. When asked how he accomplished such a wonderful masterpiece, he replied, "It was easy. All I did was to chip away everything that didn't look like a lion." That's really what God is in the process of doing in our lives, chipping away everything in our lives that doesn't look like Christ! Our prayer should be, "Chip away Lord, chip away!"
May 7, 2011 (12:44 pm)
I suppose that this will be the first Mother's Day in my 30+ years of ministry that I have not been able to preach a Mother's Day sermon. However, I am looking forward to hearing Bro. Jeff tomorrow as he shares from his heart about the need for Godly women. I came across the following story and wanted to share it with all the mothers who might read my blog today or in days to come. It is quite a challenge to all mothers and fathers as far as that goes to live a life that makes an impact on their children. I hope you have a great day tomorrow!
When Robert Ingersoll, the notorious skeptic, was in his heyday, two college students went to hear him lecture. As they walked down the street after the lecture, one said to the other, “Well, I guess he knocked the props out from under Christianity, didn’t he?” The other said, “No, I don’t think he did. Ingersoll did not explain my mother’s life, and until he can explain my mother’s life I will stand by my mother’s God.”
May 6, 2011 (10:56 pm)
Have you taken a good look at the verse God gave for our H.O.P.E. For The city ministry this year. Prayerfully take a good look at it and ask God what you can do to make a difference in our city. It should give you spiritual goosebumps!
Isaiah 58:12b "You will be called the Rebuilder of Broken Walls