Thursday, February 26, 2009

New "note" on Christian Education on My Facebook Page

Hi yall.. head on over to facebook and check out my latest note.. it's Clayton B. Callaway.. I forgot that I need to write them HERE first and then they will be "exported" to facebook.. still learning.. God Bless Yall!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ministry Team meeting: FIRST CHURCH OF JERUSALEM Part 2

Ok, let's take another trip back in time to the early days of the Church- The city: Jerusalem, the time: shortly after Jesus ascended to Heaven , Let's listen in on the Ministry team meeting of the FIRST CHURCH of Jerusalem( ok.. Now You see the blurry ,wavy lines that make you think you are going back in time..)
ELDER: ok , everyone, I call this meeting to order.. at the last meeting I asked you guys to make SURE that we had the coolest looking GIANT scroll to tack on the wall of the Church so that the congregation can read the words of the hymns.. without having to look at the scrolls in the pews..and I am glad to say that YOU guys did your jobs!!! EVERYONE is talking about how easy it is now to sing the praise songs.. that was too much work using those old , out-dated scrolls.. I know we are really going to get a LOT of positive comments... and YES.. I am proud to say that ALL the Elders are pleased with the way that the PRAISE singers are wearing matching tunics.. it's making the worship"experience" so much more appealing...but please ask the guy playing the drums to ease up a little.. what do yall think this is?? a SATURNALIA FESTIVAL???
DEACON: Uh.. Elder .. sorry to interrupt .. but I wanted to ask.. has anything been done about the children that are being abandoned at the edge of the city?? remember how i told you? the parents are leaving their unwanted children at the edge of the city and the wild dogs are.. well.. you know.. well.. I was just thinking .. maybe we need to get on this.. you know ..send some folks out to rescue these children.. and take them into our homes..I would be glad to get started today.....
ELDER: uh.. yes Deacon, I remember ..and I did tell you that NOT EVERYONE has completed the Spiritual gifts survey yet... How can we know who is really gifted to do this???and another thing.. does this fit in with our CHURCH growth strategy?? you know Deacon Philip is an expert in how to grow a company.. do you remember how that Cana Wine Company turned things around last year???. yep.. Philip was the point man for that... remember the catchy slogan" IT ALL started with 6 Stone water pots.. the miracle continues: Cana Wine And Beverage Company" Philip is working on a "catch phrase" I mean a uh... a.....a Vision statement for us....
DEACON: Allright Elder, I will wait on everyone to complete the survey... we sure do'nt want to ask people to rescue children.. or to do ANYTHING that they are not equipped to do...

" Pure and UNDEFILED religion before GOD and the Father is this: to visit ORPHANS and widows in their TROUBLE, and to keep one-self unspotted from the world". James 1: 27

Sunday, February 15, 2009


The little girl on the far right , standing next to the old lady was about 10 years old when this photo was taken. Her name was Winnie Davis Cargile-She was my grandmother. Her father, Henry Cargile was descended from the Virginia farmer, John Renault Cargile. Henry's Father left Va. in the 1800s and began operating a Ferry on the Ocmulgee River in Ga. Life was hard , and Henry was ready for a change and moved his family to the Henry / Fayette county area to try to make a living farming. Winnie's earliest memories involved WORK... the ONLY "social" life was attending Church at the Old prospect Methodist Church.. When Winnie was 14 years old, she met a young farmer named Charlie Callaway.. Charlie was 21 ..( he should have been shot!).. well.. Love "slapped em upside the head" and they had a plan- they would run off and get married.. Charlie met Winnie in his"buggy" and she was SO excited to be going with him, he said that she did'nt even use the little step.. to get up into the buggy,,, he said she "hopped" straight off the ground into the buggy...THE next day, Winnie's father drove up into Charlie's yard and shouted to em-" Yall better have a marriage license in there.. and it better BE SIGNED!!" The newlyweds assured him that they were indeed married and they began "setting up housekeeping" in the little house.. In about a year, Winnie would give birth to a little boy who only lived a few days. They buried him on the property.. they did'nt give him a name.. pain prevents us from doing things.. sometimes..The years went by and Charlie and Winnie worked hard, bought their own farm and raised 9 children to be born. EVERY day for most of the 60 years with Charlie, her life was this: waking up early to prepare breakfast for everyone, working in the field, preparing dinner( "lunch' for all you yankees) going back to the field... preparing Supper,, cleaning, washing, taking care of her children.. Her life was about SERVING her family, helping her Husband.. NEVER once did she take a trip to NEW YORK with 'the girls" to go shopping( hey, she didnt even go to Atlanta shopping).. there was no"me time" for Winnie.. No prozac to help numb the pain of reality( although she did dip snuff for about 70 years- it finally killed her)She NEVER was alone with any man.. except her HUSBAND.. no"guy friends"..She went through the Great Depression , spent sleepless nights as sons were in Europe serving our country in WWII, she outlived several of her own children...She was not a "hugger" or a "toucher" but she can touch us today.. she teaches us that our obsession with our personal comfort has weakened us.. She teaches us that LOVING and SERVING our family gives us satisfaction and fulfills us.. SHE NEVER complained about the work that she had to do.. she never sat around with other women and said," Charlie is making me so angry.. he is not thinking about MY NEEDS I need a weekend away with some of the "gals"- I deserve it!!".. no those words would have sounded strange coming from her... Her HUSBAND LOVED her .. He showed it by the way he lived.. He was NEVER alone with another woman .. he was HOME every NIGHT, he took care of her and they WORKED together.. those were different times.. They NEVER had to go to counseling... They never read any of the SELF-help books on how to make your marriage "work"... Dear friends..have you ever stopped to think," what are we LOOKING FOR???' JUST what is it that we want to "FEEL ABOUT OURSELVES"???Sartre' , Camus, and the existentialists begged us to ask ourselves," Have I been authenticated?

The Hippies in their search for meaning said," hey Man, I am just trying to find out where IT'S at.. and what IT'S all about"?? Winnie lived to know a few hippies( some of them were her grandchildren..) when they asked her those questions.. she would tell them...just where "it's at" and "what it's all about".-. it's in the field working side by side with your husband or wife, it's at the dinner table as you sit down together for a meal of peas and cornbread-thankful to God for another morsel! It's all of the Family by the fireside ,warming yourselves on the cold winter nights, it's sitting by the bed of a little one, nursing him back to health and praying that the doctor will come on time.It's at the graveside of one of your sons and you are wishing that YOU had gone before him!!. and the WHAT??? WHAT is it all about?? it's about serving and LOVING the Family that God has blessed you with... that's what 'it's all about... POOR Winnie.. she died in 1979.. before, The View,Oprah,and Dr. Phil came on the scene... too bad.. she might have watched them and figured out just how"unhappy" she really was...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

THE BIBLICAL REASON FOR CHILDREN"S CHURCH( or How I became a kinder and "gentler" Calvinist)

I am one of THOSE.. yep a Calvinist! It's a nickname for someone who appreciates the Doctrines of Grace.. and YES.. appreciates the teaching of the Reformer, John Calvin( ok.. NO comments about Servetus and the fire.. that is 5 centuries ago!)Lots of folks think of us as very stoic.. and at the same time- ANGRY.. and AGAINST LOTS of things!! Many times Calvinists are against churches having a Children's Church program.. the train of thought is: Families need to be together in the Worship of God! The parents should teach their children the proper conduct for worship.. and so on.. I AGREE with the anti-children's church crowd about these points.. AND at the same time I believe that Children's Church SHOULD be available for young children.It should be optional .. never mandatory!!!I used to be an ANTI-children's church fellow!! YEP it's true.. and I have been the Children's Church director at My church for at least 10 years.. what happened??? Well, this might be too SIMPLISTIC.. but I started thinking about a BIBLE verse.. this Scripture reminded me that we need to HELP our brothers and sisters in Christ to teach their children the proper conduct for worship. We should feel privileged that we can spend time with the covenant children! We can help prepare for the time when they will sit and listen to the sermon, we need to teach them the elements of Worship AND the Creeds and Catechisms of Our Faith! The anti-C.C. folks need to understand: Yes , families should be together, yes parents should teach the proper conduct.. but stop and think for just one moment.. Should'nt we do EVERYTHING we can to help our brothers and sisters in Christ raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? Should'nt we rejoice that we can fulfill the vows we make at the Sacrament of Baptism? remember ,you said that you would help.. you raised your Hand.. You said amen!! There is nothing like watching a covenant child grow in their Knowledge of God's Word; reciting the creeds, and catechisms.. and later on when they sit through the sermon, they WO'NT be coloring the cover of the HYMNAL( please do'nt let em ...especially the TRINITY HYMNAL).. they will be listening for the Heart changing Truth of the Holy Word.. when the Apostle's Creed is recited, they will know it by heart- they will know WHAT IT means.. and why it is important. When they see another child baptized they will be thinking" I am seeing a visible sign of an invisible grace, a holy seal, a holy Mystery.. I will pray for this little one.. that the "sign" will be a reality in his little heart" and while ALL this is happening.. the parents will be so thankful that they had some help.. some of them were young believers when they came to your church, you LOVED so many ways- you showed your LOVE for them by HELPING them with their children in the instruction of our Faith- Some of those families had NEVER BEEN to a worship service together.. your C.C. program was an answer to prayer.SOMEONE LOVED THEM. as the Lord drew them unto Himself, you were being used by God to teach the Gospel to their children.. YOU WERE LOVING THEM.. because of your committment, They NOW sit together as a family in Worship... How did this happen??? Someone LOVED them... It was JESUS

"Beloved, Let us LOve ONE ANOTHER, for Love is Of God and everyone that LOVES in Born of God and Knows God" I John 4:7

Thursday, February 12, 2009


The other day as I was driving home from work, I was SO TIRED of hearing Sean say, "you're a great American" ten thousand times in a row, that I turned off the radio and did something else.... I started THINKING.. (yeah it happens sometimes.). and I was looking ahead to how I was going to pay everything that was coming up.. you know like I said.I was. just thinking.. looking ahead.. not worrying( ok you caught me.. but I was only doing it in moderation- after all I am a Presbyterian.. we do ALL THINGS in moderation, decently, and in order). So while I was NOT WORRYING, I pulled up to my mailbox and pulled out a plain envelope addressed to Clay and Maria Callaway-block letters-no return address.. the funny thing is the minute I opened it- I knew what was in it.. a smaller envelope that said' Use this for your family's medical expenses-past or future"" Inside was a 100 dollar bill.. I knew it, the minute I saw the envelope, that it was one of those reminders.. you know Our Heavenly Father was tapping me on the shoulder; He was whispering to me,"hey, I AM HERE", I am with you, I WILL PROVIDE" Now SOME PEOPLE might say, wow 100 dollars isn't a lot these days..( NOT US.. IT HELPED US TREMENDOUSLY). well if you think that, you have completely missed the point! It is not the amount of the gift.. it is the miracle that just when I NEEDED a reminder of HIS provision- I received a reminder!You know what I am talkng about- How many times have you felt like you were at the VERY bottom.?. and that CALL came from a friend, the ONE friend that NEVER calls.. God was reminding you: " I am Here, I will never forsake you" Or you hear a SERMON that was meant JUST for YOU.. or an encouraging WORD that spoke to your heart.. those "little things" are really big things because The Heavenly Father is aggressively, deliberately, speaking to US.. that's right.. That's a big thing! The Children of Israel were getting depressed because ALL they saw was the FOUNDATION of the Temple.. God said," don't despise the day of Small things!... The same GOD who builds the foundation will add to it.. HE will PROVIDE the workers, and the materials.. so that the work will be completed! Let's appreciate ALL HIS reminders of HIS love for us!!... OH yeah.. I studied the plain Block-handwriting on the envelope and tried my best to figure out just WHO sent us that money... I figured it out....

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Last year I attended a lot of funerals/memorial services .. Sometimes I am asked to sing - sometimes I participate by leading a Prayer or reading a Scripture passage. I have been encouraged by many messages that I have heard at funeral services! My Pastor friends ALWAYS make it a priority to preach the Gospel during that time.. what a great time to share the Good News! You have lots of people gathered together AND they are being reminded of their mortality.. The Lord can use that time of sadness to open the eyes of a mourner- and draw a soul into the Kingdom!SOMETIMES the "messages" are not so encouraging.. you know.. I am talking about the services where the Pastor, speaker,or loved one is "preaching the departed into Heaven" ! It goes something like this: "we Know that Uncle John is in Heaven because he loved people,gave to the poor, he was a good person, he helped the downtrodden..." This goes on and on- AND the people in the congregation are "amen-ing" all these statements( at least silently)! Sometimes, there are several speakers who get up one after another, and the cycle continues: it's all about the "GOOD WORKS" that made the departed fit for heaven!!The BiBle says that "ALL our righteousness is like Filthy rags"The ONLY WAY that anyone goes to heaven is because they trusted in Jesus and what He did on the cross for them!!It's is a free gift! BUT WE DO'NT want to hear that!We want to use those "filthy rags" of righteousness to comfort ourselves! We pass those rags around to each other. as we talk about our departed friend -"hey here's one: he gave some money to the Church when things were really tough!" .. "hey- how bout this one.. He loved his friends and family" DEAR READER: Those rags of righteousness can NOT help us to dry our tears.. They can not help us OR anyone get to heaven... when it comes to using them to gain ETERNAL LIFE: they are useless.. they are Rubbish! Jesus Kept the WHOLE law and suffered the punishment for us so that we could be forgiven! He offers us, NOT dirty rags .. but a ROBE. a robe of righteousness that He BOUGHT with his blood! He offers us HIS righteousness!! We need to remind ourselves of the Good News and stop trying to clean up our hearts with those rags... Passing around filthy rags can be messy.. and the consequences are eternal...

This is a "re-write of a previous post on Facebook"

Friday, February 6, 2009


I have the great privilege of teaching k-2nd graders at my church! I have learned so MUCH, I have heard words that caused my eyes to well up with tears,"Hey, Mr. Callaway, you got something in your eye??..(well, My wife thinks sometimes I have a beam(log) in there- I say it's only a speck- ). I have looked away from their eyes when I started to laugh at something they said- and there are times when we laugh together! Those are fun times! I have been blessed with lots of young friends over the past 12 years! I am thankful for ALL of them-Last year , one of my young friends taught me something I will never forget! It was a little boy who looked up at me and said," Mr. Callaway, If you ever come over to my house, you can come in my room, AND I will show you ALL MY STUFF," He wanted me to know that He and I were REAL friends- this little boy taught me a great lesson... NOW, it's true that My young friend was talking about airplanes, and trucks, and army men and such.. but the point is: I was going to see ALL of it! Thats Friendship!!He wanted me to know WHO HE REALLY IS!! , what he is all about!!Some of us have real friends like that. We can show them our stuff and even if it's not very "nice stuff", they still love us.. because they are our REAL FRIENDS! They love us.. and when we are needing some help cleaning up things.. they are willing to help.. they are just glad that we feel comfortable enough to let our guard down! I have a Friend who wants to come into my room and see my stuff! He is such real Friend - He already KNOWS about everything that's there! Most of the time I let Him sit in the front room where everything is nice and neat.."hey, how bout that Pine paneling?? You like the retro look??"Stay here and I will get you a glass of sweet tea.. no I do'nt need any help.. I can manage!!- but He wants to go through my closets, and those bottom drawers, He wants to look under my Bed- HE thinks that there is some cleaning that needs to happen.. in those secret places- you know.. the places where we try to hide our stuff- Sometimes He makes me SO UNCOMFORTABLE.. but then I remember! He knows whats there already - and he knows it's not very "nice".. but He STILL loves me! It's OK to show HIM what I AM ALL ABOUT.. WHO I REALLY AM.. to SHARE MY HEART WITH HIM!!! WHY..., well because that's what HE showed me: what HE is ALL about- WHO HE REALLY IS- HE held NOTHING BACK,....

".. But I have called you FRIENDS, for ALL THINGS I have heard from my Father, I have made known to you"..

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


You see them every day.. you pass them on the sidewalk.. you work with them.. yep. you guessed it "MEN" .. and chances are, that at least one of the men that you know is walking around with a HUGE burden on his back- it is so monstrous that it has paralyzed him- and he can't love his wife, bless his children, relate to older men... or REALLY do anything- without this"thing" getting in the way! .. This Burden?? well, it's really a "wound" but it has turned into a HUGE cut that bleeds his soul... and sometimes it's easier to let the wound stay just like it is.. the HEALING process takes a little work,. no need to hurry...You can pretend that the wound is really NOT that bad..(Doc, it's only a scratch)
Most men (especially, those of us who were born in the 50s and 60s) feel like we were never given the blessing from our fathers!!We feel like we have NEVER measured up in our dad's eyes!We were'nt good enough! You know.. the meaningful conversation when our Dad said" Son, I am proud of you! I love you, and I am thankful for you!!" well, If you are a MAN and your Dad did that for you... You need to be thankful.. most of us didnt get that blessing.. !! AND IF YOU DID"NT GET IT- thats ok too!! because you have the BLESSING of being the initiator.. YEP guys .. it's up to you!! You see.. lots of times.. your Dad couldn't help it.. he did the BEST he could.. He was raised to believe that If he worked A LOT, and provided for you and your family, he was SHOWING you that he loved you.. He was taught it by His Dad who was taught it by.. ok you got the idea, right? it's a cycle and it's time for it to's true , you need that blessing from your Dad, you need to be honest about the things you have struggled with.. but GUESS WHAT? YOUR DAD NEEDS IT !!!So here's what you do: Go to your Dad. Tell him EXACTLY how you feel.. He might get defensive( might?? ok he WILL get furious.. maybe!), but after he calms down.. you do something that will make you stronger than you have ever been in your life.. You tell HIM that YOU LOVE HIM.. Thank him for working hard.. providing for you ..( do'nt mention your ball games he did'nt attend.. remember- he did'nt know.. ) and HUG him! At that moment something miraculous will happen... That weakness that always frustrated you.. that wound will be healed by forgiveness and Love! The weakness will be replaced by a strength that will enable you to LOVE your wife, you will be able to tell your children that you are thankful for them, you are proud of them.. you love them! You say I ca'nt do this!! I do'nt want to make my Dad feel bad.. I dont want to confront HIM..!!!but Dear REader, you MUST DO THIS.. GOD WILL GIVE YOU HIS can do it.. and after you talk to your Dad- after you walk away, your dad will be thinking.. " I wonder why HE waited so long ..... GUYS- IT'S TIME..he's waiting...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Children are NOT the future of the Church?.( or why I stopped hanging out with Adults)

When my son (who is now 18 years old ) was in the second grade,our Church was praying for a REGULAR Sunday School teacher for his class! Our Children's Ministry Director was filling in and doing a GREAT job- but she had plenty of work to do besides teaching a class! We prayed for a teacher who would commit to teaching full-time! Maria and I were involved in Children's Ministry -as Children's Church teachers. We were part of a small group Bible Study, and I was teaching Adult classes on the Westminster Confession and the distinctives of our Reformed Faith..I was enjoying teaching Adults.. but the Lord began dealing with me about the need for children's teachers! I began to wonder if spending time in an ADULT class was God's BEST for me( and for lots of others??)Here we were discussing things that we had discussed hundreds of times before! Ok, I KNOW that we are studying the WORD AND that we ALWAYS learn something from it.. thats NOT what I'm saying.. what I am saying is this: IN ADULT CLASSES, there are lots of people who HAVE SO MUCH that they can pour into the souls of our little ones- they are mature Christians, they have the gift of teaching, they have a firm grasp of the Scriptures... They have been feasting at the "buffet ".they are stuffed.. they need to share that blessing with the covenant children.. but no... we would rather sit around and try to convince some Baptist visitor that infants should be baptised.. If a Methodist relative is in town,, we bombard them with the Five points!! Dear reader.. please understand, I know that Fellowship with other adults is important.. The Holy Word is taught .. people develop deep relationships with other believers... but I submit to you that we should have SO MANY people wanting to teach children, that we have to turn them away! They should be excited about the opportunity to bless the little ones...There is nothing more rewarding than watching the Lord Jesus draw the children unto Himself as you teach them His Word.. The Children are NOT the future of the Church..... THEY ARE THE CHURCH..... right now