Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Lord, teach us to pray..."
  • For humility
  • For unity
  • For mercy
  • For a change in priorities if need
  • To look around as well as up
  • To put You above everything, everyone and every other distraction
  • To remember it is not about what we think, feel or believe, but rather what You desire of us
  • For the knowledge that You are the Essence and Author of Love
  • For grace for this more for that would be selfish and no less for that would be not enough.
Feel free to add what you need to better learn to pray for...Comments you guys!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Thanks to everyone who made the Henderson Arts Commission's "Arts in the Alley" program a success last night.  Special thanks to those who supported Richard and Jenni in their long road to adoption.  You were able to receive a gift for a child in your life, so that they may receive a child to be a gift in their own.  That is what it is all about: caring and sharing the love of God, person to person, stanger to stragner, friend to friend.  I know, most of all, Richard and Jenni desire your prayers in this time of waiting on God's response to their prayer to receive just the right child they have wanted for so long.

See all you Chester County folks again on August 26, 2010, LORD willing, for another great "Arts in the Alley."

In Him,

P.S.  Jenni takes custom orders and SEC football is just around the corner...think about and contact me for more information on how to get that favorite fan a great gift...:)

P.P.S.  Be thinking about returning FHU students...these dolls make great social club gifts, mission trip outreach (lightweight, can be culturally diverse, etc.), can be themed to a particular major (biology, drama, etc.)...possibilities are endless and all monies go to save a child!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

so true...

During a sermon, the young, country preacher said to his congregation,

"Now let the church walk." Deacon Jones said, "Amen, let it walk."

"Let the church run," said the enthused preacher. Yes, let it run," echoed Deacon Jones.

Let it fly," cried the preacher. "Amen, brother, let the church fly," said Deacon Jones.

"Now it's going to take money to let it fly, brothers and sisters," shouted the preacher.
"Let it walk, brother," said Deacon Jones, "Let it walk."

Thanks, Keith Green, for a little perspective...

Keith Green took the words of an Old Testament prophet (Samuel) to a king and spoke them to his generation. We need more Christian artists and ministers doing the same.  Taking a Biblical concept and applying it (correctly) to our times.  Keith has gone on, just has another old soul in Rich Mullins, but their ministry of hymns lives on.  To God be the glory in the church now and forevermore.

"To obey is better than sacrifice
I don't need your money
I want your life
And I hear you say that I'm coming back soon
But you act like I'll never return

Well you speak of grace and my love so sweet
How you thrive on milk, but reject My meat
And I can't help weeping of how it will be
If you keep on ignoring My words
Well you pray to prosper and succeed
But your flesh is something I just can't feed

To obey is better than sacrifice
I want more than Sunday and Wednesday nights
Cause if you can't come to Me every day
Then don't bother coming at all

To obey is better than sacrifice
I want hearts of fire
Not your prayers of ice
And I'm coming quickly
To give back to you
According to what you have done
According to what you have done
According to what you have done"

Monday, July 26, 2010

"The world has lost the power to blush over its vice; the Church has lost her power to weep over it."
-Leonard Ravenhill


Hey friends!  We struck "4000" hits this morning on this blog...not bad for a site with no advertising a no links on any other pages except those of a couple of fellow bloggers.  This blog was started as an effort to provide a pointer to the Source of hope to people without it and a light in the midst of darkness.  Maybe in some small way that is being accomplished.  People all over the word on all six inhabited continents in over 20 countries have visited here in the last few months and, it is my prayer, left encouraged.

If we never meet here, in this o-so-fleeting of lives, may we by our love and obedience to Him meet up there by and by,

blessed to bless,

Friday, July 23, 2010

"God never takes away anything that He doesn’t replace with Himself."
-Jacquelyn K. Heasley

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A little humor for your day...

A local minister was pulled over to the roadside by a traffic cop for speeding.

As the cop was about to write the ticket, the minister whispered to him,

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."

The cop handed the minister the ticket and said,

"Go thou and sin no more."
"The seeker as he passed on the way came by the crippled and the beggar and the beaten and seeing them...he cried,
"Great God, how is it that a loving Creator can see such things and yet do nothing about them?"
God said, "I did do something. I made you."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Bread for myself is a material question. Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one."
-Nicholas Berdyaev
"God has not called us to see through each other, but to see each other through."

Saturday, July 17, 2010

When we are sick...

I have spent a great deal of the last few years dealing with sickness in my life.  I have personally been affected by kidney stones, bipolar disorder, digestive problems and other maladies.  Perhaps more disheartening, I have seen loved ones affected by the horrors of disease.  Four years ago, I lost a dear great-grandmother to Alzheimer's Disease.  My former college roommate is currently locked in a battle with a severe central nervous system disorder that has taken away his ability to drive and walk without assistance.  I have watched another grandparent be confined to a nursing home and face close calls with death.  My dad was in the hospital for surgery just this week.  I have preached ten funerals in the last few years ranging from cancer deaths to suicides.  Sickness is everywhere around us.

Some people look around and blame God for the ills and illnesses of the world.  After all, they surmise, if God is all powerful, could He not prevent such horrible things from happening in our world?  I have no doubt that God could in fact step in and save us from sickness, disease, depression and death.  In fact, dear reader, I know that one day He will.  If we faced not trials here, what would the promises of Revelation 21:1-4 mean to us?  The promise of no sickness, no pain, no death?  If we had not been forged in this crucible of suffering for this briefest of moments in eternity, how could we ever hope to appreciate the lack of pain in the hereafter?  God is faithful and knows why each trial and trouble is brought into our lives.  I may not know, you may not know, but He does.  Ultimately, He will make all things right and good in His time and in accordance with His ultimate will.

Praising Him in the storms of life,

Friday, July 16, 2010

Where would we be if not for storms?

As May dawned this year, Mother Nature collided in tornadoes, violent rains and flooding across West Tennessee and the rest of the Southern United States. Thanks to the efforts of rescue workers and emergency response personnel the storms terrible effects were not as devastating as they would have been without the workers’ tireless efforts.
While physical storms destroy property, landscapes and even sometimes take life, it is often the personal storms we battle that are the most difficult to overcome. One individual may struggle with an unfaithful or abusive spouse. Another may face the struggle of raising children or grandchildren alone. Yet another may struggle against sickness whether it is of a physical, mental, emotional or spiritual nature. These “storms” often sway and bend us to the breaking point: the limit of our endurance. Our personal strength, our inner levee, is no match for the troubles and trials of this life. It is in these moments that we must choose to give our lives and will over to One that is higher than ourselves. God is the same now as He always has been and always will be. Malachi 3:6 puts it in these words, “I am the LORD; I change not.”
Scripture is a great comfort when we feel that all around us is falling
to pieces. Those of us who know the joy of a relationship with Christ know that no matter how difficult our present circumstances we have a hope for a better, brighter future. We are reminded that it is in the midst of our brokenness that Christ is at His best. We are reminded to “cast all our cares upon Him,” because He cares for us and can bear our burden when we often do not even know where to begin. If we never faced adversity we would not know the satisfaction of passing through that difficult and trying time. When we consider the smallness of ourselves against the background of the magnitude of God, we are humbled and can then realize that we have a God more powerful than any storm of life.
Christianity is not just some “pie in the sky” dream of one day spending eternity with the LORD. The faith of the Christian is the knowledge that God is here now in this present moment helping His people to live and thrive. We are put on Earth but for a little while, and yet how we choose to respond to the storms we face in this briefest of times will in fact determine our immortal destiny. If we trust in our own merit, works or strength, we will find ourselves drown in the misery of life. If we, on the other hand, allow Christ to fill our lives with His joy, peace and understanding, we can face this life free from fear.
Blessings as you face the storms of your life and always remember Christ suffered that we might be justified, sanctified, and ultimately, glorified in Him.
"Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell."
— C.T. Studd

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world."
-Mother Teresa

Thank you

Thank you for all the prayers you have offered on behalf of my family during the last several days.  With my sickness and then Dad's sudden illness, I know your prayers have made an invaluable difference in our recoveries.  Again, thank you from all the Hughes/Norrid family for your love and kindness.

"I value all things only by the price they shall gain in eternity."
-John Wesley

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Dad is doing fair after surgery to remove the abscess from his abdomen.  It was basically a balloon of infection pressing against his colon.  Fortunately, it was not a mass in the colon itself which is good.  Some of the infection did seep into his body, so he is on powerful antibiotics for the next few days.  He is in the hospital in Jackson, but if you know my dad, he doesn't really want company or a fuss.  If you want to send a card, send it to Jack Norrid, 617 East Park Street, Alamo, TN 38001, as he should be home by Friday.

My health issues continue as well.  I am still vomiting daily and no one seems to understand why.  This is, of course, affecting my medications and my medications are affecting the vomiting.  Kinda a chicken or the egg thing.

We appreciate your prayers and thank you all for your acts of kindness.

Hoping for a easier next couple of days,

P.S.  Thanks to Roe Nell, Sr. for the ride to Nashville and for cleaning up after I got sick all in the car...

Good morning...update

Hey guys...what a BIG week for my family.  I needed a procedure yesterday to correct some bleeding in my stomach, my dad has gone into the hospital today, Sarah Beth moved to Memphis to start pharmacy school, I am traveling to Nashville today for another doctor's has been a full week.

Despite our setbacks this week, my family knows how blessed we truly are.  I am so blessed to have a loving, close family that helps each other in times of need.  I realize not everyone is blessed in the same way.

It gives me great comfort that even if my physical family should crumble or pass away, I am a member of an immortal family of God-fearing saints stretching back to the beginning (Hebrews 11).  God's family isn't perfect, but the Father of it is.  That gives me great hope and courage.

I know you all will pray for me as I pray for you,
God bless,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wait or Weight?

For the last several years, due largely to the medications I take, I have gained weight.  A LOT of weight.  I was, just four years ago, a clean-cut (if not gaunt) 165 lbs.  Today, I have added almost 100 lbs. to that skinny frame.  My mind is more clear than it was then, but my body is a bit of a wasteland.  It is not only the weight gain that bothers me; it is the constant commenting on it by others.  Most of it is meant in fun, of course, but I am actually quite self-conscious about it.  Most people don't know the medical side of it; they just see the physical result.  I do realize that I could do many things to improve my situation.  Diet, exercise and a more active lifestyle would all do a great deal of good.  The only downside to those solutions is that each day is still a struggle to have the energy to simply get up, shower, dress and do the required business of the day.  I may seem better (I am not in the hospital, I am not having hallucinations, I am not self-harming, etc.), but I am still not well.  I am improving, but I am cautious about any dramatic changes in lifestyle.  I would love to lose weight, but I much prefer having a stable mind and if that packs on the pounds due to the medications, I'll take it.


Recovering at home

Hey guys!  Thanks for all the prayers during my procedure this morning.  Got a fairly good report.  In fact, we really didn't learn anything new except that I am still having ulcers and a hard time swallowing/keeping food down.  I appreciate your kindness in praying for me and my family during this health challenge.

I am about to do some serious napping as the anesthesia doesn't wear off completely for about 24 hours and it is dangerous to TUI (Type Under the Influence).   :)

Hope you have a blessed day,
"Best of all: God is with us." 
-Last words of John Wesley

Monday, July 12, 2010


Tomorrow, I am undergoing an endoscopy of my upper digestive regions.  These are not fun, but hopefully the M.D.s will find out what has caused all my recent health issues with this test.  I'll post in post-op and let you all know how things are going.

thanks for your prayers about this,

P.S.  Due to this procedure, I will not be teaching my midweek Bible study at Alamo this week.  We will resume our study at the Alamo church of Christ following next week's summer series with Bro. Ken Bradford.  My next time to teach at Alamo will be July 28, 2010.


My dad has been sick for almost a week and the professionals seemed stumped as what is exactly wrong with him.  He has been dehydrated and had a wide variety of other health problems in the last week or so.  He is at the doctor's office currently and may have to seek further treatment via hospital or specialist.  So, as you pray today, pray for Jack.

Thanks and blessings,

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Upcoming Singing at Alamo church

On Friday, August 6, 2010, the Alamo church of Christ will host its annual singing.  More information to follow and feel free to check out Alamo's website at

Long day...

Today was full of opportunities to minister: two Bible classes, worship service, visiting the sick, giving gifts to departing missionaries and spending time with family.

What are you doing for Jesus in your life?  Many people talk about getting involved in Christian service, but they never step out in faith and commit full service to Him.

I'd love to know what Christ is doing for you and, in turn, what you are doing in service for Him...

Have a blessed start to the week,

Join us today!

If you are in the Weakley County area this morning, join us for worship at the Lebanon church of Christ.  The adult class will be covering the middle chapters of Joshua and today's sermon will be on the importance of taking the Gospel to the lost. 

Tonight at 5:00 PM, we will continue our study through the life of Jesus based on the geography of first century Palestine.

Hope you can join us!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Friends to leave for Honduras on Wednesday

I have long had friends who felt the need to go to the poorest parts of the world to spread the love of Christ.  I have made four such trips in years past to visit and minister to the physical and spiritual needs of people living in abject poverty in the Third World.  Most people who take these type trips are medical professionals, preachers or groups of college students.  But not always...

Next week, LORD willing, two ladies from the Lebanon church will be traveling to La Cienga, Honduras to minister to the needs of the people there.  They are going with a larger group made up of folks from many congregations across our area.  Melinda Goode and Betsy Robinson are perhaps not what you imagine when you think of a missionaries.  They are women in mid-life with careers and grown children, husbands and, in Betsy's case, a beautiful granddaughter.  What makes people like Betsy and Melinda go on expensive and potentially dangerous trips such as this?  It is certainly not for recognition or a vacation: these trips are hard work from before dawn to well into the night.

Paul perhaps said it best when he wrote, "But the love of Christ compels us..."  Because we know what God in Christ has done for us, we feel a need to share that with everyone we meet.  Let's be a sharing people...not just on special mission efforts but also in grocery store lines, at drive-thru windows and in a thousand other places God may take us.

Blessings ladies and we will see you when you get home!

P.S. Pray for the safety of this mission effort and also for the loved ones waiting at home.

P.P.S. You can follow the week's activities at (Apple_ID)

or at for PC/Windows users.

Homeward Bound

I met Sam just a few weeks ago.  He and his then-girlfriend were hungry, tired and looking for help.  I helped meet a physical need for Sam and then he helped me meet a spiritual need in my life.  Sam said he had no one to talk to about all the problems he was facing and his troubling past.  So, one night, in the parking lot of a housing complex, we talk about everything.  God, relationships, mental illness, abuse, drug name it.

Sam decided he needed to go home and stay with his brother while he got his life together.  I offered to take same home to Arkansas.  Thanks to the help of a couple of Christian friends, we filled the gas tank and started out for Hamburg, AR.  Taking the long, flat, straight Hwy. 61 through the Mississippi Delta in July is always an experience in heat and boredom.  Sam and I had a good time on our journey.  We laughed.  We cried.  We sang.  And something happened: Sam began to smile.  I can say in the short time I had known him, I had never seen Sam smile.  As we approached his familiar surroundings, he began to tell me stories about each creek, each bridge, each house and store.  When we left the paved road (really), we knew we were getting close.  As we pulled up at the place where Sam's brother lives, his brother, Larry, ran out to the car to meet us.  Sam broke down, hugging his brother and his brother began to reassure him, "Family is family.  You will always have a place here..."  Sounds a lot like Luke 15 doesn't it?  God runs to embrace us, despite our appearance, our sin or how far we have wandered.

God, help us to be an embracing people who always let others know it is never too late to come home.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Re-Route...of course

Well, I ended up in Jackson...then Bells then Alamo at last and tomorrow (well, actually today) I am planning a little road trip to help a friend find his way home.  May God give us traveling mercies...all of us.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Moving on...

Today it was hot.  REAL HOT.  I woke in Alamo, ran errands, paid some bills and then I went to Jackson to teach my GED classes and then hung out with my grandparents while their car was repaired.  Then, I got the call from the beloved sister...she forgot something in Alamo and so I got to return to Alamo to pick up her stuff and then travel to Martin to deliver said item...then I am headed back to Alamo...unless of course someone calls in route and re-routes me...   

"I'm movin' on..."

Four Generations of Love and Life

These four women have taught me so much about life and love.  I learned hard work from my great-grandmother, Virginia.  I learned unconditional love from my grandmother, Gretta.  I learned the gift of compassion from my mom, Vickie.  I learned the value of dedicated study from my sister, Sarah Beth.  I am so blessed to have had these women in my life and I know that no matter where life may lead they will always be my biggest fans.

Twitter reactivated!

For all my former Twitter followers, I have reactivated the account and will be posting updates from time to time.  My Twitter name is:


Original, I know...

God bless,

"Please Don't See"

"Please Don't See"
-by Michael Towers

The headlights blinding, the noise so clear,
Clinging to the blades, grass scratches my face,
Hiding from the shame, of being myself,
Sink into the ground, please don’t see.

The lights now blind, sounds move past,
A heartbeat races, danger so immediate,
Another car comes, Illuminating failure,
Sink into the ground, please don’t see.

Sleep not an option, fear too close,
Beneath the branches, harbouring a child,
People scream, they walk the street,
Sink into the ground, please don’t see.

Heart skips beats, tears abandon ducts,
Trickling down, clinging to the blades,
Laughter is sounded, masses rush by,
Sink into the ground, please don’t see.

Morning coming through, safety so near,
Never believing, the other side of night,
They will come, and surely judge,
Sink into the ground, please don’t see.

Walking on, as if I’m non-existent,
Never acknowledged, truly abandoned,
Trapped in my shell, to be ignored,
Sink into the ground, please don’t see.

I cry today, for a different moment,
Praying for a life, more than this,
Knowing there’s something, elsewhere to be,
Reasons I’m here, questions not asked.

This feels like forever, an endless dream,
But all dreams end, a chance again,
One day I promise, there’ll be a way,
I’ll rise off the ground, for people to see.

"You gave me back my faith..."

A young man said this to me last night as I stood with him in a parking lot in Jackson, TN. I had helped he and his girlfriend with some physical needs a few weeks ago and last night during Bible class, I received a frantic text from him. The couple was without food and had no ability to get any at the present time.

Don't we live in America? Why is it that a great portion of our population go to bed hungry each night? It is certainly not because we lack resources or supplies. It is, perhaps, because people have lost faith. People have lost faith in the generosity of others. People have lost faith in the ability to trust others. People are living, day to day, without hope.

Remember to always take advantage of every opportunity to restore faith. Not just in the LORD, but in the goodness of His people.