Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"How else but through a broken heart may Lord Christ enter in?" -Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Signs of the Times

Springtime has arrived with warmer weather and sunshine (at present). I am continuing to have stressful days and restless nights, but as my good friend, Hawk, said today, "At least you've got your health."
My work at RIFA continues although I wonder if my efforts are really making a difference. I moved some furniture today and that seemed to help out more than my tutoring. My students have become impatient with the system and are murmuring (if not in open rebellion). I can't say I blame them. As most of them are court-ordered to be in the classes, they have little say in what the rules are. In my outside opinion, many of the rules of their conduct imposed by the courts are tedious, unfairly applied and enforced. RIFA is doing a world of good in feeding, clothing, teaching and ministering, but I understand the students frustrations at attempting to get the GED. If they do eventually pass, their prospects for employment will still be very limited. As the unemployment rate in Tennessee is at near 11% (actually it is higher if those who have quit looking for work are counted), jobs are scarce and more scarce still for those with troubled pasts. I pray that the economy will improve and that employers will be fair in their hiring policies.
Hope you have a great week,

R.I.P. Beezus (cat) and Jack Daniel (dog)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Persistence is a quality I admire in people. The ability to keep on fighting for what one believes in despite all odds is a great and noble gift. I have been contacted this week by volunteers urging me to call my lawmakers about particular issues. Perhaps I am a little jaded, but I don't think my one call is going to make a difference. When I think of these volunteers though, I am impressed. Whether you agree with the political views of activists and volunteers, you can appreciate their persistence. I admit, I have stood outside Congressional offices and protested, but I honestly didn't feel like I was being heard. I have written letters and made phone calls to elected officials, but it seemed like a small drop in a big bucket. My voice is small and my abilities limited. Thousands are calling about an upcoming piece of legislation. Capitol Hill switchboards are flooded by enthusiastic and sometimes angry Americans. I don't know which side will prevail, but I applaud those on both sides who are persistent in expounded their views.

If we were only as interested in insuring souls for heaven as we are insuring bodies for a better physical life, imagine how much we could accomplish?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Teaching by example

I find it often easy to teach by means of words. Whether it is presenting a lesson before a church, in my tutoring GED students or in my newspaper columns, words are my preferred method of teaching. I sometimes find it difficult to teach by example. I have many failings and personal shortcomings that no doubt hinder the influence I could have if I were willing to give up these petty opinions and pet sins. I hope, that through the influence of God and godly men and women, to be a better example in the future than I have been in the past. Many times a godly example will go much further than a sermon, illustration or essay ever could.

God bless,

Monday, March 8, 2010

"Sin and the child of God are incompatible. They may occasionally meet; they cannot live together in harmony."-John R. W. Stott

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sadness in my heart

I am saddened when I see rumors and lies circulating in the community and in the fellowship of Christ. I have to remind myself that most people of faith are trying to do the right thing and live for Christ each day. Whenever I hear of these things, my heart aches. May God forgive our sinful and foolish ways.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Personal sin reflected upon breeds compassion." -John M. Shanahan

Not proud but true

I am a sinner. I mess up everyday. I do things I shouldn't and leave undone things I ought to do. I am striving to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world, but I don't always. So when we are tempted to judge others, let us remember that I too am failed and fallen. It is only by the power of an understanding, loving God that any of us will be made complete and able to stand in the end.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Good days

Lately I have been feeling much better about my life, ministry and health. This has been a welcome change after several years of day-to-day living with health challenges, relationship issues, and a general lack of enthusiasm for life.

It is good to feel good again and I hope a blessing for each one of you today: that you will do your personal best in any and every situation.