Tuesday, December 7, 2010

" TREASURE" IN THE LIBRARY( Mrs. Neal shared with us!)

I ca'nt remember the first time I saw her... but as long as I can remember, she wore that beautiful crown of  white hair- My parents who grew up here in our little town knew her, they knew her story. They can tell you where she was born, where she went to college, and where she  met Mr. Neal. I ca'nt tell you those things... but I can tell you about her treasure- YES.. she had LOTS of treasure stored up... but you could'nt see it- or could you?????

She was our librarian when I was in elementary school. I ca'nt remember any specific conversations that I had with her in those days- but I do remember a Friend of hers that was always with her, there in the Library. She introduced Him to many hundreds of students through the years.

I remember the first time she introduced her Friend to us. It was just a couple of days before Christmas Break, and we spent our library time watching a slide show( remember those?). Mrs. Neal made sure that her students heard  the true story of Christmas. The story of Jesus's life was flashed upon that little screen in the school library for all and everyone to see-  we were told of  His death, burial, and resurrection . We were introduced to Him;  the Gospel message was clearly presented , We saw Mrs Neal's  GREATEST Treasure, it was a pearl of great price....

Because she was a daughter of the all loving and generous King, she shared His treasure with everyone. She was always willing and ready to help those in need, she always had a listening ear, and she poured her life into the young people of Fayette County. All of us are blessed because she loved us-

I appreciated Joan Neal because she was not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. " Her" Jesus was ( and IS) the REAL JESUS... She shared a Jesus who came to earth to die for us, to pay for our sins- so that we could be forgiven of our sins.

 - She went to be with her Friend the other day. She is now completely healed, she is at complete and perfect rest, she is MORE ALIVE than she has ever been... and we are blessed because she was with us for a while- She touched so many lives with the Father's Love- Jesus said that when we spend time sharing HIS LOVE with others, we are" storing up treasures in Heaven , where moth and rust can not corrupt- "

Thank you Mrs Neal for showing us what is really important, Thank you for showing us your Treasure... and thank you for Sharing Him

Saturday, November 6, 2010

BLESSED ARE THE SHOEBOXES- for they shall be filled( why are YOU whispering?)

The safety scissors were safely scissoring, the wrapping paper was wrapping , the smiley-face stickers were sticking - Two shoeboxes were getting  extreme makeovers... and the Voice that was heard at the end of the makeover did not require a megaphone ... It was not "shouting "that declared the"job" a success... it was a Whisper- a whisper that was clearly heard above the excited voices of my Sunday School students...They were decorating Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. We talked while we worked..." I wonder just WHERE our boxes will go??? Maybe Haiti?? OH, I hope a kid in Cherokee gets one of our shoeboxes.. That would be cool".. we filled them with toys,toothbrushes, crayons, coloring books, and letters.... .

Dear Friend,
                  I hope you like the toys we sent you. I am praying that you have a Merry Christmas. God Bless You. I Love YOU!

After we finished the letters, we took prayer requests like we do every Sunday.. one of my boys said" Mr. Callaway, lets not only pray that the kids who get our boxes will like the stuff... but that they will come to know Jesus"....

"Blessed are the eyes that see the things that you see, Blessed are the ears that hear the things that you hear"

There's that Whisper......can you hear it???

..... That VOICE is saying it's not about the stuff.. It's about Jesus The children know it.. they know that when we reach out in Love , God will use us  to draw souls into His Kingdom. ??? After 18 years of teaching( or being taught by) children, I am beginning to understand what Jesus meant when He said" Let the little children come unto me, and forbid them not.. for of such is the Kingdom of God"... If children  are "OF" the Kingdom, then we should not be surprised when they  teach us what His Kingdom is like... let the children speak to you... Come on in to our class......join us on the floor.. surrounded by tape,glue-stick, crayons,wrapping paper.. wait a second... can ya hand me the purple marker??? Thank you!!!...

hey... do'nt ya love it here??? It sure beats that OTHER Sunday School class that you usually hang out in... the one with all the adults... why I bet they are trying to figure out supralapsarianism again... we "handled" that one in here last year.." The Secret things belong to the Lord our God but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever".... we LOVE verses with Families and children in'em..:)

Whats That?? what are we doing here?? well.. yes we are filling shoeboxes for needy children.. we are decorating the boxes, we are using up ALL that dollar store wrapping paper... YES.. WE ARE!!! but let me tell ya what we are REALLY DOING... we are building the Kingdom.... thats right...you see, our Sovereign Lord has His hand upon every act of kindness ... He will use these shoeboxes ..- and the people who pass them out- to bring many people into His Kingdom... His kingdom is not made of stones... it IS made up of LIVING stones... as we share HIS love, those living stones are being added to the kingdom... SO... it may look a little messy.. it might be a little LOUD.. HEY we are excited when we are working on HIS building...its not about the Stuff... it's about Jesus....

Can you hear something...???

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CROOKED,KNOTTY,AND A LITTLE TWISTED( How's the branches on your Family Tree?)

I AM one of THOSE.... I confess... Lots of people laugh at us, they look at us with that smirk on their face and say," How in the world do you have time to do that?"; " I have better things to do with my time"; " Why do you wanna know about them folks that lived so long ago?"( Aunt Liza asked me that one... she did'nt wait for an answer- she quickly expectorated her gravy colored spittle of snuff ,slammed the door and walked away) I am proud to be ONE.. yep, you guessed it- I am a genealogy "nut".. thats really the best way to describe us. We are not "certified" genealogists... but we are certified crazy.. crazy about climbing our family trees.. and once we start climbin' , it's hard to come down out of that tree! We explore every branch and vine, and when we find a crooked, knotty, twisted branch.. we stop climbing... we sit THERE for a while.. and we listen...

we hear about the young boy who came to this continent as an indentured servant. He worked in the fields to pay for his passage to America... the details of his life are few and far between... but Court Records tell us that he fathered a child out of wedlock, He and the child's mother were charged with "Bastardry" and They were ordered to pay a fine of several pounds of Tobacco... their story made the branch crooked, knotty, and a little twisted... it caught our eye... and our imagination. In our mind's eye, we see them... maybe late at night, meeting in secret, plotting and planning their future??Fear of the unknown consumes them.. and yet they go on to marry, raise a family, and die at a ripe old age. I am so glad that I rested on their branch... and listened to their tale. It comforts me, it reminds me that my struggles are not mysterious and esoteric, "struggle" runs in the family....It's in my blood... it's in my DNA

Sometimes we look around while we are sitting on that crooked, knotty, twisted branch.. and we see that others have joined us. Like us, they were climbing around on the family tree, completely content exploring birth years, names, states, and surname spellings... then they heard a whisper... something deep inside told them to venture "over there" ... yes... to the branch that was shaped by fear, struggle, hardship,adventure, heartache.. and survival... all the emotions and obstacles that make up the human condition. Like us, they rejoice that our ancestors left us a record of their journey.. so we sit there together and listen...after all we are "kin"- we are kindred spirits

I met one of those kindred spirits the other day. She and I "found" each other as we were climbing - we discovered that we were both looking for that certain branch-, the one that was given a unique shape and feel -by a man who was a Lawyer, a preacher, a theologian, a philosopher, and a million other things all at the same time. When my new friend told me that she was indeed related to the eccentric and colorful character that I had been searching for, my words were," I finally found YOU, I have been searching for so long"! what a joy it was to know that she and I and the Lawyer/Preacher/Theologian all came from that same twig that grew into a fine strong tree.. Some of the branches are straight and true... some are crooked, knotty, and a little twisted... but they are all strong....

we experience so much joy and wonder as we sit together on that branch.. it's delightful when we discover that we share common traits and "quirks" in our respective families... it's exciting to share family stories- it reminds us that we are really all alike.. in so many ways... the Greeks had a word for FELLOWSHIP," KOINONIA"... the best way to describe it is "sharing with and sharing together" Thats what my newly discovered kindred spirit cousin and I are experiencing... the branches are not perfect... but they are strong....

Sunday, August 8, 2010


My friend Pastor Mike is a strong man of God. He's a Christian First, a Husband and Dad, a soldier , a chaplain, and a Pastor.. and Oh yeah, He happens to be African American. He Pastors a Presbyterian Church that is made up of mostly African -american congregants... whenever I am not busy in ministry on Sunday mornings, Maria and I go and worship with our brothers and sisters at Redemption Fellowship. One of the blessings of being part of the body of Christ is that we are the ones who can TRULY celebrate our diversity... we can be UNIFIED and still maintain our differences... you know what I'm talking about.. do'nt pretend you do'nt... we ALL know that for the most part, the African American worship time is a whole lot more expressive( ok... I'll go ahead and say it: "JOYOUS") than the worship at mostly white churches... I mean when was the last time you saw a PRESBYTERIAN raising his Hands in worship, or clapping, or swaying to the music( sorry... I am a presbyterian Elder, I am not allowed to type the word," DANC_NG)??? Like I said, we do'nt all have to Worship with the SAME level of emotion in the Body of Christ, but we CAN learn something from each other... and I have been thinking about the ONE THING that The "caucasian" church can learn from our African American brethren that will help us to grow as followers of Christ... and thats BRAVERY IN THE SACRAMENTS... OK, I can hear yall hollerin' at the same time," WHAT???? what in the name of Zacharias Urinius is bravery in the Sacraments??" I am so glad you asked.... I will tell you

A few Sundays ago, Maria and I were worshipping at Pastor Mike's church . It was a glorious time of worship - some children were being presented for Baptism. The assistant Pastor talked a little about Baptism.. and then Pastor Mike came up to baptise the children... but before He poured the water on the children's heads... the Holy Spirit poured down upon Pastor Mike, he turned to the congregation, gave them THEIR charge, and said plainly and unashamedly," Some of Yall here are Christians and your children have not been baptized- Yall need to bring them for Baptism, so do it"... What boldness! What refreshing "bluntness" from the mouth of the man of God. You see, the African - american church encourages, and fosters boldness and bravery when it comes to the sacraments. They still RESPECT THEIR PASTORS... they understand that HE deserves to be honored . He is in a place of authority over them.. we do'nt get that in the "white" church... we are so caught up in our egalitarianism... Our Pastor is just another "GUY" at the church... and he better not be trying to tell us what to do... How dare he???IN FACT, we want to tell HIM what to do.. we have women's ministry leaders reading books about Church Leadership -telling our Pastors how to "lead the church".. we 'do'nt respect the man of God... we try to tell him how to do his job . We criticize him and judge him. " Who is HE to tell us what to do??"Thats how WE think....but in the African american church, the Pastor is respected and honored in such a way that bravery in the sacraments is a GIVEN... The Pastor SHEPERDS the flock, He is EXPECTED to tell it like it is... especially with Baptism and the Lord's Supper... the means of Grace that the Lord Jesus has given to the church... There's no half hearted plea for those who feel "lead of the Lord " to submit to these Holy Mysteries, there's no "APOLOGY" to the Immersionist- anti- paedo baptist visitors ( who deep down in their heart of hearts KNOW that their children are NOT LIKE the children of UNBELIEVERS- thats why they came up with that thing they call "Baby dedication"... sorry- thats for another blog post)

My Prayer is that ALL the Churches of Jesus Christ will respect and honor their Pastors- that they will encourage sacramental boldness and bravery in the Pulpit. This is the need of the Church.. it's not a super hip worship leader, it's not a new power-point presentation, it's not a well designed" catch phrase" oops.. sorry ..uh.I mean." Vision statement".. We need a sacramental view of the Church... and oh yes... it will be ok if ya raise your hands.. but wait till the benediction... while everyone's eyes are closed.. NO-one will see you.. and thats another thing.. your eyes are supposed to be open during benediction... uh oh.. lets save THAT for another blog-

Have Fun this summer and keep in touch,


Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Cruel Laughter from The Right( Al and Tipper, John and Elizabeth)

Hello friends, romans, country folks, and neo-platonists! It's that time again... yep.. time for some more thoughts from your buddy the old mud-daubber... sorry its me.. again! It's starting to get hot down here in the southland and the news on my color tv screen is even hotter these days.. down at the general store , theres talk about the oil spewing out of the ocean floor... (ai'nt it funny that we can put a car in a rocket, shoot it up to Mars, operate it remote control from MILLIONS of miles a way... but we can't stop an oil leak in the ocean floor)but lately I been thinkin and studyin on the stuff thats spewing out of the mouths ( and hearts) of the folks on the " Right".. you know who I'm talking about.. after all, yours truly is proud to be numbered among that group-.. lots of "us" refer to ourselves as Conservative republicans, we proudly wave the banner of "traditional" values. We are pro-family, pro-gun, pro-life... we get upset about the "liberals "when they start talking about gay marriage... because The Bible says that marriage is between ONE woman and ONE man... it's a Holy Institution ordained by God. We get on our soap box, shake our fingers, pound the podium, and Holler( sorry yankee friends- that means "SHOUT") ...and we SHOULD... we should NEVER shrink back from speaking the TRUTH about marriage, and relationships that are spelled out in the Scripture....

Thats why it hurt me so to see how that many on the "right" reacted to the news of Al and Tipper Gore's separation... and John and Elizabeth Edward"s divorce.. In other posts, I have commented on how that our old friend , the TELEVISION has taught us to laugh at the problems and struggles of others. so called "conservative " internet groups stumble all over each other in cyber space, trying to be the first to make a joke about Al and Tipper's 40 year marriage falling apart..and that John Edwards affair?? wow... such hilarious stuff... the wife with cancer, the baby born out of wedlock... can I get a rim-shot please??? our culture encourages us to find humor in adultery, unfaithfulness, broken vows, the tears of children and grandchildren, loneliness, sadness- think about it... ... thats REALLY what you are laughing at... families being torn apart by selfishness... our Flag of Traditional Family Values is being trampled on.. and WE wear the cruel boots that do the most damage...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Works Salvation Taught By Campus Ministries(I think i'll just join a Fraternity)

Hello again Kids! It's me again.. yep the old Cotton chopper is back with some crumbs from the poor man's table.. sorry it ai'nt much.. but such as I have, I will give you... ! The fields are all plowed, Papa has got all the fields plowed up and things are already growing... the old summertime is not too far off... Lots of the college students are home for the summer. Some of 'em are blessed to have jobs.. some are still lookin, so pray for them- I ran into some college students the other day down at the general store.. It was good to see the young people back in town... they are learning lots of important stuff at them there institutions of higher learning, they are doing good, serving in ministries on campus.. doing service projects... now THATS GOOD STUFF... I was proud to hear about it.. but it also seems some NOT so good things are happening in some of them student ministries.. it was kinda shocking... kinda sad..

It seems that some of those OutREACH Ministries to College students have developed what they call a " Clique" mentality... Yep- you got it... I said it( well, actually I typed it) the leaders of one of these ministries make the other believers feel like they are LESS if they are'nt part of the "leadership" group- the WORST part is that these leaders are telling the members of the ministry what to do in EVERY area of their life, how to schedule their time, where to live, etc etc. where to go to church.. yep... its happening and this is sad... because some of the young believers who want to minister are coming away from meetings broken- thinking that they are not GOOD Christians if they do'nt "tow the Line".. they are not really serving God with all their heart if they don't do it the way the Campus Ministry Leader says to do it... this is sad... can you say "PERFORMANCE- Based affirmation..." Yes.. I thought you could....

Now before ya start accusing the old Agrarian Agitator of being agitated because some hyper-sensitive college students are whining about their insecurities.. let me say this.. that ai'nt the case- The students who told me this were not at the recieving end of this crazy attitude from minstry leaders....it was some other students on campus.. who were and are devastated.. My rant here is to let yall know whats going on... the leaders of the ministry leaders need to look into what is being communicated , the mental manipulation that is going on...this cult-like mentality has crippled other once - vibrant, effective ministries.. churches that faithfully preach the Word have been hurt because of the Reformed Righteous Rabble-Rousers who are'nt content to preach Liberty of conscience ... they have to BIND the conciences of their followers -the old check list has to be dusted off so that the students can make the appropriate marks on the "score-sheet" ... do'nt forget to add the " How Reformed are you ?" application to your facebook page... it's a good witness... and oh Yeah... have a great time witnessing on the Beach this summer.. WE will be watching.... and keeping score....

Sunday, April 18, 2010

You Ca'nt Ad-lib Shakespeare( Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Listen to what I'm fixin to tell ya)

The News has recently come out that Christian singer Jennifer Knapp has come out as a Lesbian.She continues to sing songs about her faith in Jesus. She and other Christian musicians say that "same sex" sexual relationships are completely compatible with being a follower of Jesus- that the Bible does not forbid such relationships. As you might guess- I disagree- This is My response :

In High School I did a little acting.. I was mostly a music guy.. but I was blessed to be involved in some of the joint efforts of the music and drama departments... we had a blast.. I remember being in "A Mid-Summer Night's Dream".. One of the actors- a very talented actor named Steve was caught trying to do the un-thinkable during rehearsal .. He was on a roll... he spoke his lines perfectly and clearly... and then.. it happened... he started making up his own lines... - immediately a loud booming voice came from somewhere in the dark... " Mr. Whitney... you can't do THAT.... You ca'nt AD-LIB Shakespeare... this is not a soap opera... it just does'nt work with THIS- you ca'nt make it up as you go along".. well... Steve worked a little harder on the script and did a wonderful job... I think about that day... when all of us were given that warning...." you ca'nt make it up as you go along"... it's true- we HAVE to follow the SCRIPT... if we do'nt, it changes everything... the entire production becomes something it was never meant to be. It's like quoting lines from" Lil Abner" while you are doing " Death Of Salesman" - Daisy May winds up being Willy Loman's mistress- we KNOW it was'nt her... SHE doesnt BELONG there....

All of us that follow the Nazarene have a "Script" of sorts... IT tells us HOW to "ACT" it tells us what kind of "lines" belong in this play... what fits.... whats out of place... it tells us the "roles" that we are to play... and HOW to play them..- but these are troubled days, many who claim allegiance to the Messiah are deviating from the script, they've ignored the directions... the roles that are clearly defined are being mocked and forsaken... " Sorry God, I know you wanted me to "play" it THAT way... but I have a better Idea... right here... yes- there on page 37... where it says that "Man shall leave His Father and His mother, and cleave unto His WIFE, and they shall become ONE FLESH".. yes.. there.. well... I am gonna ad-lib.. I am going to make it up as we go along...I know that ALL throughout the script, this relationship is emphasized, the UNION between male and female is exclusively spelled out as being the ultimate picture of Jesus and His bride -the Church.... but do'nt ya know that me and some of the other actors have looked at the script and... we think that when YOU wrote this play, you REALLY didnt mean what SOME people say you meant.. I mean- after all... the parts of the play about Loving others, not judging, giving to others, ... .. well those parts are EASY to understand- thats all pretty clear- we know what they mean.. but where you talk about how that the sexual relationship is supposed to be exclusively between ONE woman and One man in the marriage relationship???? well...... we ca'nt REALLY trust THAT interpretation can we???? We wanna ad-lib.. nope.. more than that we wanna change the "play" into something else.... and we are going to shout it out loud so that all will know it.. we do'nt like the roles you have given us.. and do'nt say that we"protesteth too much"- we are just following our feelings....

Ok Guys let's try again from Scene three-

" Juliet, Juliet- Lady Montangue says that your eyes are like doves, she requests that you come and be her life companion and live in her castle - She will play love songs to you upon the Lyre!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Hey yall! Greetings from the sunny south-land! The air is thick with pollen, the fields have been plowed, and the mailbox is gettin' full!!! Yep.. it's time when LOTS of folks are sending out those support letters so that we can "partner " with them on summer mission trips! It's encouraging to see SO many followers of Christ wanting to go and tell others the GREAT news of the GOSPEL... I am blessed to contribute so that others can go forth and make disciples... that IS what it is all about. remember the words of Jesus?" Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;and lo I am with you always,even to the end of the age"- Matthew 28:19,20... We call this " The Great Commission" and thats the reason we GO in HIS name... but notice something with me.. He DID NOT say" Go and share the Gospel message and ask people to say a prayer asking Jesus "into their Heart"( by the Way, that phrase is NOT in the BIBLE), He did NOT SAY, " Go and Pass out Gospel Tracts", NOPE.. He said go and make DISCIPLES! A "Disciple" is properly defined as a Follower- Learner.... so How do you MAKE DISCIPLES??? In Matthew 28:19,20 Jesus tells us!! Now our Pastor friends who have studied GREEK will tell us that the ORIGINAL GREEK of the GREAT COMMISSION conveys this IDEA- " Go and Make disciples, this is how to make disiples: BAPTIZE and TEACH".... thats what Jesus commanded .. yep he told us HOW to do it.. is'nt interesting that Jesus though so HIGHLY of Baptism that he INCLUDED IT in the Great Commission??? It must be a BIG deal to Jesus!!... but it's not such a big deal to some of us.. After all- some of us go out on mission trips, we share the Gospel, ask people to trust in Christ alone for salvation.. then we leave... we think NOTHING of their need to receive baptism, the sign and seal of the covenant of Grace! We need to go and share the Gospel, -we need to work with local Gospel preaching churches ; making sure that those who respond to the call of the Gospel are baptised and taught the Scriptures... Remember that in the NEW TESTAMENT , when someone believed in JESUS they were immediately baptized along with their HOUSEHOLD( sorry my Baptist friends, I could'nt resist- love ya:)... NO Church in the Area?? well.. we should start one..when we take Baptism seriously , we will do this... but first we must begin with OUR OWN CHURCH- we do NOT really believe that Baptism is a big deal.. and we show it in many ways... we send out people to share the Gospel who have NEVER been baptized.. oh yes.. they believe in Christ.. but we have let them down because we have not taught them the importance of this sacrament( for my Baptist friends- this ordinance)..We have people TEACHING and leading others in the Church who have NEVER been baptized.. it's not so important to us... and thats a shame... The Westminster Confession of Faith says this about Baptism:" although it be a GREAT SIN to CONTEMN( despise) or NEGLECT this Ordinance , yet Grace and salvation are not so inseperably annexed unto it as that no person can be regenerated or saved with out it, or that all that are baptised are undoubtedly regenerated".. In OTHER words.. baptism doesnt SAVE you... You can be saved with out being Baptised, all those baptized are not necessarily BELIEVERS- ALL that is TRUE... but look at the first part....- a GREAT SIN to contemn or neglect..!!!???.. as for me.. I think there's way too much contemn'n and neglect'n going on out there! Shalom Yall...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Every Summer when I was a child, we would be invaded by the yankees... it was a scary time... we knew that they were'nt going to burn our farms and march to the Sea- but they WERE going to ATTACK!!!... NOT with guns... but with their WORDS and their condescending attitude. Believe you me.. thats almost as bad as burning down your farmhouse and/or stealing your hogs!!!.. As we say in the Holy land, It flew all over me when those brash Boston braggarts made fun of us and our "country" way of life. Those yankees were'nt really my enemies... they were my cousins..We always enjoyed their visits. We would have a great time playing in the creek, running thru the woods, and hearing about life in the big city of Boston... They got a big kick out of our "simpler" way of life..- they could'nt resist the smart -aleck comments- you know what I'm talking about: " Man, they shut this place down when it gets dark do'nt they?", I've seen the Beverly Hillbillies but now I've seen where all the GEORGIA Hillbillies live, "There's not much to do here after YOU-ALL ( They never figured out that it's "YA'LL" NOT YOU-ALL) slop the hogs is there..???. this place is so boring"..... You've heard statements like that thousands of times... the city folks always making fun of the country folks .. it's a story as old as Theophrastus and his diatribe against garrulity( more about that in another blog). The thing that really made them laugh was reading our small town newspaper. They would grin like mules eating briars when they read the news from the local communities in our county. Those of you who live in small towns know what I am talking about... it's something like this:


Sally Jenkins and family enjoyed a wonderful visit from the Smith family on Sunday. Sally's cousin Emma Peabody cooked a wonderful fried chicken dinner for the out-of-town guests..

John Blackshear and Martin Cook went to Simpson's Lake Saturday and caught lots of catfish and bass.. and thats a good thing because they are in charge of the fish fry next weekend at the Church of God!!!. Be sure to pray for "Miss" Maggie Wellborn. She fell while she was working in her garden and broke her hip..

My sophisticated big city cousins thought that it was hilarious - THESE kind of "stories" are published in a newspaper..??? Why would YOU-ALL( They NEVER got that it was "YALL"- not YOU ALL) wanna know what other people are doing on the weekend, who came to visit them, or what they were eating on Friday night...?? That shows how "simple" youse country bumpkins are ! You see my big city cousins didnt understand that the simple things in life are really important.. Time with friends, family, a good meal with loved ones, these are the moments that add meaning to our lives. No matter where we live or how much money we make... those are the moments that bring us joy.. and we love hearing about others who find joy in the simple things in life. It reminds us that we are all the same... thats comforting!.God created us to interact with others, to be interested in others lives, to care about our fellowman.. and it's encouraging to know that LOTS of people are "getting it" because of Facebook- YEP- That's RIGHT FACEBOOK is helping us to be "SIMPLER" folks- Think about it... right NOW... as you are reading this about 300 million people are posting on their "status" : " Had Pizza for Supper- YUMMY" ... or " Going to the beach this weekend - Woo-Hoo" or... " Pray for my Sister- she was in an accident"... do ya see what's happened to us??? we have realized that the simple things in life are really important.. it brings us joy knowing that our friend in Sweden is going to enjoy dinner with his family... or that he is excited about his new job... it comforts us to be reminded that we are ALL the same in so many ways... that's not only SMALL TOWN NEWS... its BIG CITY NEWS... IT"S BIG WORLD NEWS... excuse me yall I gotta sign off now, I have to go check my Boston cousin's facebook status..His Latest status update was this:, " Had some wicked chowder on the Cape- stopping off at the Stop and shop , then headed home" :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

HOW THE CHURCH NEGLECTS IT'S CHILDREN( Have some cookies and kool-ade and leave us alone)

Greetings from the country Yall! It sure has been raining a lot- too wet to lay any brick or stone. And the Goat barn is all clean- so today is a good day for philosophisin' and frettin"( or maybe a little of both).. yep the old agrarian agitator is agitated again .. ya see, we JUST started a NEW YEAR and LOTS of Churches have been looking ahead ; making plans; deciding what is REALLY important to focus on for this year!! As we know, SOME things are a GIVEN( or as the young folks say: a No-brainer..)Churches need to Preach the Word and administer the sacraments- but the question for EVERY CHURCH MEMBER IS: "HOW SHOULD I USE MY GIFTS IN THE BODY OF CHRIST?"That's right... we know that we are to use our gifts to build up the body.. and it seems to me that LOTS of folks are missing the boat.. or should I say they are sitting IN the boat when they should be getting out and walking... yep... there's a mighty sea out there.. and let me tell you about some folks that are waiting for you to extend your hand... You see them sometimes in the hallways at church( sometimes You JUST HEAR THEM).. yep... thats right it's the children of the church... and let me tell you a secret.. the children are NOT THE FUTURE of the CHURCH- They ARE THE CHURCH RIGHT NOW... and they NEED YOU (and YOU need them.. whether you admit it or not).. Oh, You know how things go...NOT MANY people want to teach children's Sunday School or Children's Church.. well.. let me tell you a little church secret.. I'm gonna whisper so come closer.. I do'nt want everyone to hear this:" The awful truth is... it's EASY to find people to teach ADULT classes.. and to attend adult classes.. it's just so much more fun sitting around talking about supralapsarianism for the TEN-THOUSANDTH time...and ya know if you keep going to that Adult Sunday School class for a few more years, you might discover the answer to the question, " How many Calvinists does it take to start a contentious theological argument?"( answer- ONE.. if he's alone, he will start an argument with himself)... Yep- it's the truth.. Not too many folks realize that the church is filled with little ones who need to be reminded that God is not only the God of their Parents,, He is THEIR GOD.. The children need to be taught the truth about God's grace... Dear Friends, when those children were baptised, you made a vow to help their parents raise them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord- even my mistaken Anti-paedo baptist brethren have their "baby dedications" when the congregation makes the same vows( by the way... add a little water to the baby dedication, mix with prayer, and you will be getting close to the correct ordiance:).. yep- you made a VOW.. but NO... You ca'nt spend any time with the children of the church, you have to make sure that the praise team wardrobe is color- coordinated, you have to sit in a class and argue with the arminian visitors about the Bondage of the Will for the millionth time... Guess what??? there's some little followers of Jesus who need you to love them... do'nt just drop off the snacks for the children's sunday school , pat them on the head and say God Bless you... why do'nt you sit down and have a snack with them( i recommend Cheese crackers and water)?.. You wo'nt be arguing about supralapsarianism... you'll be spending time with little souls that love Jesus.. and HE will be there with you...Ya might have to miss playing the triangle in the Worship Orchestra from time to time... but hey.. it will be worth it:) Shalom !

Friday, January 29, 2010

EVERY LIFE IS PRECIOUS( even if they never throw a touchdown pass)

Greetings nascar fans, paedobaptists, and manichaens! It's that time again.. yep its time for some dusty ramblings from the old cotton chopper!! It's been raining a lot down here in the country, but the clouds rolled away last weekend fer a spell!!! long enough for the old satellite dish to start working again- and I certainly enjoyed watching the March for Life on EWTN!! It's good to see our Roman Catholic friends taking the lead in proclaiming a culture of Life! We protestants could really learn a thing or two from them about taking a firm stand! Thanks Yall!I have been hearing the last few days that the superstar quarterback Tim Tebow is going to make a pro-life commercial that will run during the Superbowl. Tebow's mom was counseled to abort the child that she was carrying many years ago- the risk was too great.... well... we know the REST of the story-Mrs. Tebow KNEW that she was carrying a LIFE in her womb, she knew the right thing to do... and the baby was born and became one of the greatest college football players ever! Thats a great story... because it's true!!! Let me say that I like Tebow. I admire his unashamed witness for the Gospel of Jesus Christ- I could do with out the taking Bible verses out of context and pasting them under your eyelids...( Yeah I know... I'm a ultra conservative Christian so I'm SUPPOSED to LIKE THAT kind of stuff- SORRY- God's Word is not to be cut and pasted like a link on your facebook profile page- You are supposed to read it as a WHOLE- when Paul said," I can Do all things thru Christ who strengthens me", he was'nt talking about throwing a touchdown- it was about being content even when you suffer )- sorry but I digressed... ok where was I??? oh yeah- I like a guy that boldly proclaims Christ, speaks up for the PRO-life cause ... so Yes- I'm glad they did the commercial... I have'nt seen it yet.. and yet I am FEARFUL... - I hope that people do'nt get the wrong idea after seeing the commercial- I hope people understand the REAL reason we should'nt abort our children. You know what I am talking about.. some very well-intentioned people use the worst ever arguments against abortion.. you 've heard them.. "You should'nt abort your baby- what if he's the one who will grow up and find the cure for cancer, or be the next Bach, or Einstein, or do this great thing or do that great thing..."," why Mrs Tebow would have aborted the great Tim Tebow if she had listened to the doctors"!!... Dear Friends... are ya catching this??? can you see it??? That line of reasoning is from the Devil himself..." in other words.." Do'nt kill your baby and risk killing someone who will grow up to be a WORTHWHILE human being... " WELL... those of us who follow the Nazarene know the truth- the truth is : ALL LIFE IS PRECIOUS because we are CREATED in the IMAGE of GOD and we each have an ETERNAL SOUL- thats why the Scriptures command us " Thou shalt not Murder" .. EVERY SOUL is precious... every life is to be protected.. ALL human beings are "worthwhile"... I pray that THE TRUE message of the sanctity of life will be conveyed by the Tebow commercial... today, throughout the world countless numbers of children have been aborted... those little ones should have been allowed to live... no matter what they would have "turned out to be"... I hope Tebow goes all the way with this one and I do'nt have to throw the penalty flag... we'll see- ...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

THE REASON FOR THE HAITI EARTHQUAKE??( Judging the Sin of the Suffering)

Hi friends! It's been a while since we've visited- but the earthquake in Haiti has stirred up the old Agrarian Agitator.. yep it's time for me to put in my two cents worth! So here we go again.. here's some crumbs from the poor man's table- maybe you'll find a little nourishment here... Ya never know! It seems that lots of folks are reaching out to the suffering in Haiti with prayers, food, clothes, money, and ALL kinds of help! That's encouraging... but it seems that SOME folks are speculating on the "WHY" of the earthquake.." why did this happen to THEM???.. ",. We see this often- a tragedy happens, someone goes through a trial or tribulation and it's not long till the self appointed prophets of judgement and doom tell us WHY it happened... "Why THOSE people must be REALLY EVIL- Yeah... that HAS to be it.. if only they were nice and respectable and righteous ( LIKE US) .. they would have escaped this tragedy" Thats what we hear... time and time again... When I hear that kind of response, I am reminded of the story of Jesus and His disciples when they were discussing "tragedies" one day- the story is found in LUKE 13- the following is the Clay Callaway Standard Version:

One day Jesus' disciples asked Him if he had heard about a couple of TRAGEDIES. It seems that some men were working on a tower and there was an accident.. the tower fell on them( earthquake???) and they were killed... and there were some men who were put to death by Pilate... YEP- those disciples loved "toting" tales of tragedy that day, they had an itch.. and Jesus KNEW it so HE started scratching..Jesus asked them ," Do you think that these men were terrible SINNERS and THAT's the REASON this Happened???" Before they could answer, Jesus gave them the TRUTH( He had a habit of doing THAT)... Jesus said" NO- BUT I TELL YOU THAT UNLESS YOU REPENT, YOU WILL LIKEWISE PERISH"

In other words, Jesus was saying, " Do'nt be examining the WHY- Do'nt be judging the "sin-status" of those who suffer... that is NOT the ISSUE... The issue is YOU... How is YOUR HEART??? Have you repented??? and IF YOU TRULY have.... guess what??? You will reach out in LOVE to those who are hurting. You will pray for them, you will give food to those who hunger, clothes to the naked, water to the thirsty. Remember when Jesus said," In as much as you have done unto the least of THESE, you have done in unto ME??" There are men,women, and children who were created in the image of God underneath the rubble in Haiti. They do'nt need you speculating on the "degree of their sin"- they need you to pray for them- they need food,clothing, and medicine. They do'nt need judgement- They need help. " Except YOU REPENT, you will likewise Perish"