What a difference a day makes! Just thinking about the blessings I’ve experienced over the years… sitting under the teaching, working alongside, building friendships, drinking coffee, and eating dinner with and in the midst of some really neat men of God.

Dr. Henry and Marilynn Blackaby

Dr. Henry and Marilynn Blackaby

This past evening we had the privilege of meeting and dining with Dr. Henry Blackaby and his wife Marilynn. (A gift afforded me only by my marriage to my sweet wife Bev, and her work with WBC’s Global Mission Office and Bro. John Crocker) Dr. Blackaby is the author of the best-selling book “Experiencing God” and is in town to speak at the Global Impact Celebration at Whitesburg Baptist Church this weekend. What a treat to hear the stories of how they met and how God shaped them and their ministry/mission philosophy…find out where God’s working and join in. Dr. Blackaby is not only an inspiring Christian author, but I found him a truly personable and passionate follower of Christ. When I asked him for his take on the current state of the church; why so many typical congregations are filled with dispassionate pew sitters, yet the modern church plants are exploding onto the scene and bursting at the seams… he responded, “…they aren’t looking for more doctrine, they are looking for more relationship.” To which I was compelled to ask, ….which is more important? His response, “Relationship.”  Not the churchy answer… I like it!   I pressed him about the “dispassionate pew sitters.”….Are they just apathetic towards God or non-responsive out of fear for what He might do in their life if they respond.  He said, “No, they’re just not being taught….If you’re the pastor, you ask God what the people need to hear and preach that, then you will see their lives change.” No heavy spiritual diatribe, pretty simple and straight forward.  And, this isn’t a response from some upstart hipster pastor in skinny-jeans…. this is coming from a man who has put in the blood, sweat, tears and years serving Christ.  Knowing God is experiencing God. He said, “if knowing God doesn’t radically impact your life, you don’t know God.” Read the rest of this entry »

What is Christmas All About?

December 19, 2014

I have to stop and ask myself this question over and over. Is it all about the programs, purchases, parties,  the hustle and bustle??? Over the last few weeks I’ve talked with several fellow worship pastors and friends and keep finding the same seasonal burnout everywhere I turn. I’ve even threatened to tear the last two months out of next year’s calendar… thinking maybe a self induced coma from Oct 31 ’til Jan 1 would be a viable option.  But it shouldn’t be this way.

Old Fashioned Christmas Lights

I remember the good ol’ days  (I think I qualify to use that phraseology since I’m over 50, half a century has to count for something). Christmas was all about the expectation, wonder, excitement. I loved seeing all the decorations, houses and yards strung in those fire hazard ropes we called Christmas lights.  Remember?…maybe you don’t. Forget these new-fangled LED lights… strangely brilliant colors, electric ice blues and purples that burn out your eyeballs… that you can string along a thousand strands and plug into one outlet!… NO!  We had real lights….lights with real bulbs, real HOT bulbs…and don’t think you could plug them all in together, not a chance – not unless you have a couple ungrounded multi-sockets and 20 frayed extension cords.  And there were no color injected plastic tips..no no no,  these light bulbs were painted on the outside to give the color. So, after one season you always had some white shining through the chips on each of the Easter Egg sized bulbs. Those light strings with braided cloth covered wire and exposed sockets were the cause of many a destroyed plastic tree and even worse, many a house fire….but we didn’t care!  There seemed to be no worries.

Old tree lights

Maybe my mother worried …. I don’t know, I really never thought about it… I was a kid. That said, I never saw her in a holiday panic or a festive frenzy. Life seemed to move a little slower. The Christmas holidays seemed a lot longer and we relaxed in our PJ’s more and spent time with the family. I want that time again!

If you are feeling the same way this year, the question becomes: How do we get it back? Personally, I believe we have to step back and breathe… It’s ok to say no to all the “stuff” we continue to pack into our already busy schedules.  Simplify, simplify, simplify! Schedule time in your schedule to NOT have a scheduled time or place to be. Take a stroll with someone you love to just be together.  Remember those around you who may not be experiencing a festive time.  Invest something into the lives of those less fortunate than you – and there is always someone less fortunate than you. Take time in your day to stop and pray. Thank our Heavenly Father for giving you one more opportunity to show His love to someone in need, even in small and seemingly insignificant ways.  Let’s keep “the celebration of His coming to be with us” as the most important aspect of this holiday season and every day of the year ahead.

Jesus is THE Christmas “Light of the World”

Note: If this year you are feeling completely unconnected and at your end.. don’t stay silent.  Talk to a friend, professional or minister. Verbalize your feelings and emotions.

Your answer is more than likely a resounding “YES!” – (at least I hope it is) You should also be jumping up and down saying He is not only omniscient (all knowing), but also omnipotent (all powerful) and omni-present (always with you) …and He would say you have answered well. But what comes forward today is – ? Do we live like that ?…do we live and operate like we serve an Almighty Omniscient Father?..or do we live like we serve a petty,easily offended, co-worker.

My Dad has been gone for about a year and a half. Even though he was a challenging man to understand and notably inconsistent in my life….I always knew one thing about him my Dad loved me and accepted me with all my shortcomings.  He also had an uncanny way of knowing what I did or was doing even though I saw him very little. I can remember a trip as a 16 yr old  visiting him in LittleRock, Arkansas. One of the many places he inhabited for short business ventures. I had borrowed his new Chrysler Imperial, 1982-Imperial-opt  that one with the swanky slanted trunk and crystal hood ornament (for you younger readers – a hood ornament is…. never mind, google it). I took a left turn onto a main road a little too fast and ended up in the 4-lane median “nose-to-nose” with a light pole. I eased back, pulled off to check the car and when I found no damage I continued with my venture and later headed back to dad’s place assuming he would be none the wiser. I had no sooner opened the front door when dad called out, “Close call there, huh?”  He knew! I never found out how, but he knew.

“Well-Churched” people tend to operate under the assumption that I was working with that day, …”If my father found out what I was doing he would go ballistic”, or “He would be so disappointed”, “shocked”, you can fill in the blank for yourself. When the truth is: your Heavenly Father is never shocked, caught off guard, disappointed, mad, or otherwise unprepared to handle the issues you deal with or create on a day-to-day basis.  What He did on the cross 2000 years ago was all encompassing.  He knew you then and He knows you now and He knows what mess you will make tomorrow. That’s why He came to live with us…He knew we couldn’t do it alone. So after Jesus came to show us the way and introduced Himself to His disciples and a few thousand others, He moved Home and sent the Holy Spirit to continue introducing Himself to the world.

So relax today, we do not have to carry the load… He has reconciled us unto Himself. If you are struggling with something you’ve done He is already there to hold you and comfort you and encourage you,  just talk to Him. He will change you in your circumstances (yes, “in”, not “and”) if you seek Him with all you heart. God loves you. Isaiah 41:10.

Hello world!

May 4, 2012

This is the first of many posts that I hope reach out from here and reveal the great grace of God who loved us first, so we could love and experience Him!  I hope you will see Him in the pages and posts that come from My Perrsonal Preacher,  You may ask , “Why that name?”.  I say why not!  Alot of folks get hung up on preachers and pastors being a part of a church…well I am.  However, Im not called to reach people IN the church…Im compelled to preach and reach those who are far from the Father.  He gave me a second, third, fourth…chance – I want others to know and find that He is the One running to embrace us  – even when we blow it.  You see, it was always about peformance for me…. “am I living up to what makes God love me enough to accept me?” It was through the encouragement of friends, those I consider my own personal life-pastors,  that He always chose to use to speak into my life…giving the good news that He has done the work,  He accepts me – no performance needed!   I hope through my rambling and those of others that someone else may realize the same thing.

Scott