Saturday, February 26, 2011


Recently in my Sunday School class, I told my students the story of Samson. Now "my" boys and girls are true covenant "kids", they have grown up hearing the Bible Stories, so I have to dig a little deeper so that we can learn a little more( thats right, " WE".... they teach me MORE than I could EVER teach them, Why do ya think I started hanging out with the little ones?") SO..... I gathered them around me, we got out the Clay Callaway picks and shovels and we started diggin....

I explained to them that the Angel of the Lord appeared to Samson's mom and dad and told them that they would have a son- AND that he would be a Nazarite. Samson would be set apart for the work of the Lord. He could not cut his hair AND he was NOT to drink any wine .... or eat raisins.... or grapes... Samson was to have NOTHING to do with anything that came from the Vineyards of the land.... All little Jewish boys and girls have understood for thousands of years that Wine, grapes, raisins.. yes,. the Vineyard itself is a symbol of God's BLESSINGS. It is a reminder that the Lord has given you the land, you are to work and rest and find joy in your life as you culitvate your vines..!.. Remember this: NOMADS do'nt have vineyards... they have NO REST... the prohibition against Samson drinking wine was not because he was a member of  the First Fundamentalist Church of Zorah.... it was because as a NAZARITE, he was to DENY himself the USUAL blessings that God's people enjoyed.... He was to never forget that he had a special calling upon his life. God had a  job for him to do.... He would enjoy the REAL blessing when his "job" was completed....

We "visited" with Samson! We saw him as he killed the Lion- We  marveled when Samson captured the 300 foxes and tied their tails together, set 'em on fire and turned 'em loose to burn down the Philistines crops... One of my boys shouted, " Samson was cooler than a super-hero Mr. Callaway" .....

THEN, we saw Samson pick up the Donkey's jawbone and kill a thousand philistines.... I told the boys and girls.." Can you imagine how much work that was???? to kill all those enemies with a Donkey's jawbone.. can you imagine how tired and THIRSTY he was..... then BEFORE I could continue with the story....  One of my boys said, " I bet Samson was thinking... ' okay Lord, I just killed a 1000 guys with a donkeys jawbone, NOW CAN I HAVE SOME WINE????'........

See what I mean.... I thought about that the REST of that Sabbath day... Now it's true that Samson did'nt get the wine... the Bible tells us that he said he was thirsty and God gave him a spring of water to quench his thirst..... but... my little teacher was on to something.. ya see.. he knows how all of US "get" after "doing something special for God"..... he knows that after a challenging time in our life.. we look to God to "bless" us with that blessing that has eluded us.... " Hey God, I been denying myself, working hard, made it through this trial and tribulation... it's time for a sign of your blessing.... where's my bowl of grapes??? where's my box of  Sun-Maid raisins.... where's the glass of  Chablis?????

Samson never planted a vineyard. He never held a corkscrew in His hand. Donkey's jaw bones are for killing Philistines- not for popping corks off champagne bottles.... but Samson did get the ULTIMATE blessing- After falling asleep at Delilah's house, the local Barber made a housecall and that was all she wrote- Samson became a prisoner of the Philistines and was blinded... when they brought him out to make fun of him at a party, Samson prayed to God to bless him with His prescence- and to help him destroy the philistines... you know the story.....

Samson believed in the One true God Of Israel who promised to send a Savior. Samson is in Heaven and we will see him in the new heavens and the new earth.... we will feast with him and the other Saints at the marriage supper of the Lamb.... I want to sit near Samson... and watch him.... and I want to hear Luke tell Samson.." NOW..... you can have some wine......."

Friday, February 4, 2011


                       10.)  Your Pastor NEVER wears a suit, and he wears his Shirt-tail hanging out
                         9.) Your Pastor wears a necklace.... and everyone can see it
                         8.) You are certain that even the Early Church had a slogan( oops- I mean vision statement)
                          7.) You believe that "Power-Point" is in the Bible
                          6.) You refer to the front of the sanctuary as a " STAGE"
                          5.) Your Pastor uses "props" for His Message
                          4.) You have a Praise Team whose planning meetings include wardrobe color coordination
                           3.) You have  Hymnals that no-one ever uses- everyone looks at the "screen"
                           2.) Drama is considered to be consistent with the Regulative Principle of Worship

................ and the Number One SIGN that  your church has seeker sensitive church growth obsession...... : YOU SEE NOTHING WRONG WITH POINTS 2-10