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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Do You Remember 9/11/01?

In Family, Politics, The Pastor's Blog on September 11, 2009 at 10:14 PM

There are so many stories about this special day, and I almost didn’t write my thoughts down because of it. With all the news across our world today, it is still fitting to take time to remember the tragic events which suddenly shook the civilized world eight years ago today. We should never forget what happened on that day, how our lives were changed and how the insidious design of radical Muslims was carried out on so many innocent people.

It wasn’t just the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington and Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The attacks affected our country and much of the world down to the very core of our existence. It affected us in the United States so much until we forgot about party lines or who was red, yellow, black or white. We all had a common purpose and a common thread ran through our lives after that day.

For a brief period of time there was a sense of unity in America; it was genuine and people both sides of the political aisle worked together to tackle the enormous task of rebuilding our nation. The whole nation? Yes, because those attacks touched every part or our great nation. Outrage and fear were felt from Florida to Alaska and in every other province associated with America. Many nations of the world were also shaken to the core because of the horror on that day.

Whether you liked the younger President Bush or not, we should be able to at least give him some credit for acting on our country’s behalf in attempting to bring those responsible for the atrocities of 9/11 to justice. I believe he began taking justice to those people who, according to many in the intelligence communities, posed a great threat to the security of this country and our allies in other parts of the world. President Bush took action, and, for the most part, both houses of congress approved of the action. Isn’t it convenient how many on the left side of the aisle forget those decisions?

As my wife and I reflected on that infamous day eight years ago today, we began recalling just where we were and what we were doing. New York, Washington and Pennsylvania were quite a distance from us then and are still today. Regardless of that fact, there was still a sense of hurting, wonder and disbelief. The major news outlets presented non-stop coverage of the events surrounding this national tragedy, but it was Fox News that caught our attention; their coverage seemed to be better on so many levels. It was during this time we switched almost completely to Fox, and we haven’t looked back.

Do you remember where you were on that fateful day in 2001? What were some of your thoughts and feelings? Do you still feel the same about those who would harm our great nation?

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Climate, Climate – This is Madness

In Family, Politics on July 9, 2009 at 10:32 AM

I don’t know what you think, but I’m tired of hearing about several hot topics and climate change is near the top of the list. Climate change, Al Gore’s baby much of the world has latched onto for various reasons, continues to garner more and more press. Scare tactics aside, the infatuation with “global warming” has reached preposterous levels and threatens to deeply affect all our lives.

Something struck me today for the first time while reading news items on the net this morning. Leaders at the G8 conference seem to act like lemmings * when it comes to the global warming hoax. They get together and follow along with junk science and then offer solutions to what is perceived as a threat to the world. IMHO, they would be better off looking at real problems instead of the earth’s natural warming-cooling cycles.

I am reminded of a story in the book of Genesis regarding people’s ambitious behavior. They thought they could effect a change by working together to build a tower to where God sits on his throne. Haven’t heard that story? The end results were not favorable to those involved.

Genesis 11:1-9 (ESV) 1 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2 And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” 5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. 6 And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused [1] the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

Did you notice what the people in Genesis said about making a name for themselves? To a great extent, I believe this is partially what all the hype and fear is about. People from Al Gore and his collective band of scientists to the president and much of our government appear to be just like those who want to make themselves a name. They speak of global warming as though it’s a proven fact and that they can do something to change the course of God’s laws. This is pathetic!

Let’s look to God’s word to see what the Lord has to say on the subject:

  1. (Ecclesiastes 1:4, ESV) A generation goes, and a generation comes,but the earth remains forever.
  2. (Psalms 104:5, ESV) He set the earth on its foundations,so that it should never be moved.
  3. (Psalms 119:90, ESV) Your faithfulness endures to all generations;you have established the earth, and it stands fast.

What President Obama and others are proposing regarding energy is just going to put more financial strain on an already perilous situation. It is disgusting to see so many people talk about man-made climate change as thought it’s a fact. Equally disgusting are those who have hopped on the band wagon believing we can do something to reverse global warming. People, haven’t you heard – temperatures have actually decreased lately? An older article from NewsBusters is enlightening on the subject at hand.

So, what do you thing about global warming? Can we change the world by following along with recommendations from people like Al Gore and even our own president? Do you believe the G8 needs to spend their valuable time on this matter?

* I know lemmings really don’t commit mass suicide as many suggest. It’s a metaphor about people who seemingly follow someone mindlessly. It seems many in this world are doing just that.

Florida Campmeeting 2009 – 100 Years of Holy Ghost Power

In A Christian Life, Family, The Pastor's Blog on June 11, 2009 at 2:45 PM

The Florida Campmeeting is in full swing, and God’s power and presence has permeated the place from the outset. As the title declares, we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the grandfather of all Church of God campmeetings. The first such meeting was in 1909, and has blossomed into a large gathering of people from all over the world who come to be a part of this great event.

If you’ve never attended a Church of God campmeeting, you really need to. Let me encourage you to find one in your area and make plans to go. When you get there, participate in worship, fellowship and meet new friends. I promise, you won’t regret the effort you put into your experience. There is Spirit anointed singing, teaching, preaching and lives changed by God’s great power.

Campmeeting flyer

Campmeeting flyer

Too Funny! – Shankapotomus

In Family, The Pastor's Blog on June 4, 2009 at 7:55 PM

Okay, I have to tell you, the E*Trade commercials with the baby are funny. This one aired during the Super Bowl and happens to be one of many featuring a baby stock trader. It looks like he has more sense than some who are currently leading our country!

One Of My Favorite Commercials

In Family, The Pastor's Blog on May 29, 2009 at 9:08 PM

This is hilarious and one my wife and I both enjoy. There are several FiberOne commercials to browse through. We also like to watch the little baby who trades stocks. Enjoy!

Do Liberals Really Love Our Country?

In Family, Politics, The Pastor's Blog on May 28, 2009 at 12:16 AM

While driving along in our car last week, my wife and I struck up a conversation about politics and our country. If memory serves correctly, we were listening to Glenn Beck at the time, so that might be what got us stirred up about the subject. Whatever got us started did not cause us to come to any particular fact-based conclusions, just observations that are probably true, nonetheless.

I call to mind a time when former Senator Hillary Clinton protested loudly about the fact she was tired of people who disagreed with the Bush administration being characterized as somehow not patriotic. Disagree, yes, but in a civil manner and with respect!

I Am Sick And Tired – Hillary Clinton

When I was in the military, I was taught to show respect to my superiors. We may not always agree with them, but we must show respect. Have you ever noticed those on the left by the score are so disrespectful of people who do not share their opinions? Have you ever noticed how our current president goes on incessantly about the former administration causing all the problems we now face?

A conclusion my wife and I came to is simply this: the liberals really don’t love our country; they just love the freedoms they have been afforded by the blood and sacrifices of others. They love the freedom to take advantage of the weak and powerless. They love government handouts. They love power. Many love the freedom to live their lives apart from a godly moral code while mocking and degrading those who live their lives in order to honor and respect God.

Many liberals want the government to invade every area of our lives and offer us everything we need to sustain life. “From the cradle to the grave” is the motto of many on the left. I say let the government stay out of the affairs of Americans to a much greater extent.

What do you think? What is your opinion on the matter?

Nothing But Greed – Gas Prices Rise

In Family, The Pastor's Blog on May 18, 2009 at 10:43 AM

As I’ve said on numerous occasions, one of the most horrible parts of this society is its open display of a five-letter word called greed. It is on display everywhere you look, and it affects everyone. The ones who perpetuate this inglorious behavior seem to want more while those who suffer greed’s clutches want to do away with it.

Case in point is the current rise of gasoline prices. There is no end to the number of stories on the net and other media outlets covering the ever rising and inflated price of gasoline. The South Florida Business Journal writes about how, since May 1, gas prices have risen in Florida by twenty-five cents since the 1st of May. I don’t care what anyone says, that is just plain ridiculous.

The price of crude oil dropped 4% last week, so we should see prices going down instead of climbing, but that is not the case. If gas is going to go up, at least the oil companies and analysts should come up with better excuses than the ones they trot out to the public: summer grade, economic recovery is driving the price up or supply and demand.

We’ve got plenty of oil in this country, enough to last many, many years. The Democratic party has fought for years against building new refineries and digging in areas where oil is plentiful. When will the American people wake up and fire those who oppose cheaper oil and gasoline prices? Can you imagine the audacity of some in the government who wish to add even more taxes to the already overpriced cost of a gallon of gas?

In my humble opinion, gas should not be more than $1.00 – $1.50 per gallon. That’s plenty. Gasoline prices rise because those who control it are greedy and have little or no regard for consumers. Greed is a blight on this country and has ruined the lives of many people. Some people can’t seem to be satisfied with what they’ve got and have to constantly push for more. Their appetites simply cannot be controlled.

Two scriptures come to mind, and I would like to share them with you:

Proverbs 1:19 (ESV)
Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain;
it takes away the life of its possessors.

Proverbs 15:27 (ESV)
Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household,
but he who hates bribes will live.


Great-Great Grandfather’s Headstone Dedication

In Family, The Pastor's Blog on May 11, 2009 at 8:20 PM

My wife and I were honored to attend the headstone dedication of my great-great grandfather, Private Robert Henry Parish, 1st Florida Calvary, Co. “A”, on Saturday, May 9, 2009. This event was presented by the Granville Beville Chapter No. 2234 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
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It was quite an interesting service which included personnel from various camps and organizations around the state of Florida. There were members of the General Jubal A. Early Camp #556, SCV, Colonel John Marshall Martin Camp #730, SCV, and Tampa Bay Pipes and Drums represented at the dedication.

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Rifle Salute
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Piper: Elijah Balser, Tampa Bay Pipes & Drums
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“Dixie” played on a banjo
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Me with some of the men in uniform.
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My Aunt Peggy and me. She is the Granville Beville Chapter #2234 president.
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Mrs. Eloise Pitts in the bonnet.

I hope you enjoy the photos from the dedication. You would need to have been there to grasp the feeling of the moment. The 21-gun salute, taps, banjo playing, poetry reading and bagpipes all made for a dramatic morning. Special thanks, too, for the food and fellowship at Aunt Jewel Stancell’s house after the ceremony.

My First Girls Fastpitch Softball Game – Mount Dora Bible

In A Christian Life, Family, Sports, The Pastor's Blog on April 28, 2009 at 11:25 PM

Okay, so I’m way behind the times and should have had scores of games under my belt by this time in life. Baseball and softball have never been my favorite sports to me and I’ve avoided watching them for many years. I would rather watch paint dry than watch either of those sports.

One of the members of the coffee club I’m part of happens to be the coach of the Mount Dora Bible Bulldogs girls softball team. In a conversation yesterday several of were talking about us supporting each other in what we do, and I thought it was time for me to show support for the coach. After getting details sorted out, I went on my daily routine.

I paid for the ticket and found the concession stand – aren’t you supposed to get something to eat at a softball game? I found a good seat and took care of the hot dogs, settling in for my very first fastpitch game. There were quite a few people in the stands, and there was a cool breeze blowing. This seemed to be the perfect setting for the evening’s festivities.

It’s a wonder to me the girls even had voices at the end of the game. I’ve never heard so much yelling and screaming! It was fun to watch those girls having so much fun. The team whose players were batting got to scream, yell and act like their voices needed to be heard in the next county. I was amused just watching them. Actually, that was just as much fun as watching the pitcher.

Thankfully, the game ended in 7 innings and coach’s team won. I believe the score was 6 to nothing. All the girls greeted each other in center field when the game was over. It was nice to see the sportsmanship exhibited by both teams.

Now, for some thought that came to me as I was sitting on the couch and watching some TV. First, the fans, coaches and players did not seem to be affected in the least by the affairs of the world which engulfs so many people. For a moment of time, the people at the game weren’t concerned about the state of the economy, swine flu or the war on terror. They were just happy to live in a country where freed still exists and we are allowed to watch a game in a public place.

In a crowd that size, you know there had to be people who hold different political and religious views. For a moment in time fans representing both schools could forget about trials and troubles which surely affect them. For a moment in time there was a sense of togetherness and friendship no matter what the score was at the end of the game.

Perhaps everyone in congress and the senate should take time out and go watch a girls fast pitch softball game. If they would do that, maybe they could quit bickering about petty differences and get to the business of taking care of our country.

I would love to see those same members of congress and senate meet somewhere in the middle of a room and form two lines; they would then do like athletes do after a game: walk by each other, shake hands and look forward to the next game. No one gets ridiculed for losing, and the winners don’t gloat over their victory.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

My Wife and I Celebrate 31 Years

In A Christian Life, Family, The Pastor's Blog on April 10, 2009 at 9:57 PM

My wife and I celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary a couple of days ago on the 8th of April. There have been plenty of bumps and bruises along the way, but we can honestly say it has been exciting; I can’t recall very many dull moments. Has it been a perfect marriage? No, but who has been so blessed as to have a perfect one? I don’t know anyone, but maybe you do.

You know, we use a lot of salt and pepper in our lives as we eat words many of us have spoken. For instance, here’s some of the words I’ve had to season so they would go down easier. These are in no particular order:

  • I’ll never get married.
  • I’ll never join the military.
  • I’ll never have children.
  • I’ll never have anything to do with religion.

What’s that you say? What do I hear coming from your lips? Don’t tell me you’ve said some of the very same things. I think we have all said things we regret later; it’s part of being alive. I don’t say we should make a habit of saying things and not keeping our word, though.

I met my wife at church on December 17, 1977 at 7:05 PM in a little country church above Panama City, Florida. I was in the Air Force and she was working in town. After moving to Tyndall AFB, I had gotten involved with this same country church and was narrating the Christmas play that year.

There was a plot going on in the background; the pastor’s sister was plotting a meeting between my future wife and me. The young lady didn’t want to have anything to do with meeting a single Air Force airman who just happened to be attending that little country church in the woods. Obviously, she finally consented and a date was set.

After the Christmas play the people were just mingling outside in the parking lot. My future wife was talking with some of her friends, then some of the men pulled me around to the side of the building. They told me the man she came to the play with was her cousin and that I should introduce myself. After some persuasion, I did, and asked to take her home. “It’s too far out of the way,” she replied. “No, it’s not,” I answered. Off we went.

I can still remember stopping for coffee and a donut before taking her home that night. We began seeing more of each other and a relationehip began blossoming. Remember, I’m not about to get married!

Something began changing in my life as my prayers began to take on a different tone. I actually began asking God for just the right wife, and knew he would provide her for me. People, God knows exactly what we need and will grant our desires if we put our trust in him.

For me, I knew I had fallen madly in love with my future wife when I was walking across the parking lot at the Air Force base and a song appeared out of nowhere. Now, don’t laugh and throw rocks at me, but the song was “I think I love her.” Corny? Perhaps. Sometimes you just know something and you go with what you know. I had fallen in love with the woman I was going to spend the rest of my life with.

We only dated for a few months before tying the knot at that little country church above Panama City, Florida. Some people say a marriage won’t last if the people date for only a little while. That has definitely not been the case with us. I believe people have to be intentional in their relationship with each other. Marriage is not easy, but it is rewarding and can be full of life.

Our favorite places happened to be either at church or at our friends house in Panama City. This couple was so full of life, and we would hang out with them and their children for hours at a time. It was funny, though. He and I would stay up all hours of the night talking about God and the bible; my future wife was always right there. The lady of the house would often say “I’m leaving it with you guys, I’m going to bed.” We’d take off for another round or two of bible debate and learning. That couple was a major influence on our lives.

My wife and I went to a nearby town the night before our anniversary to eat at one of our favorite restaurants – Logan’s Roadhouse Restaurant. It’s not the fanciest place in the world, but we like it. The food is good and you get to throw peanut shells on the floor. That alone is worth the trip! We couldn’t go Wednesday because we had to pick up our grandchildren from school. Wednesday is our midweek service, and that would be out of the question to go that night, so we spent our anniversary night teaching at our local church.

How long have you been married? Where did you meet your spouse? If you’re not married, are you planning on getting married?

I know there will be some reading this post whose wife or husband has already died. If that is you, I am sorry for your loss. During the course of many years in the ministry, I have had the privilege of preaching a number of funerals. One of the things I like to remind people of is this: death is part of life. One day Christ will conquer death ultimately, and there will be no more death. One day.

If the Lord tarries for another 31 years, I hope to still be married to my sweetheart, my bride. Thanks for letting me share a little of my joy with you today.