Thursday, May 21, 2009

MDA Update: Only $530 To Go... The Lock-up Is Today!

I am to be carted off to the pokey any moment. I am only $530 away from my goal of $1700. Thanks so much to those of you that have given already.

You can read the previous post for the story behind why I am doing this. If you would like to give to help me reach my goal today, simply click HERE to be taken to my personal MDA homepage where you can give safely and securely online.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


If I promise to keep this short, will you promise to read it all? Good!

This Thursday, May 21, I have agreed to be "arrested" for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. I have never done this and I am very particular concerning for whom I will beg money. Yet, I agreed this time for the following reason.

I had a very good friend by the name of Shirley Smith. A great person with a great smile and a killer alto voice, Shirley was easy to love. I went to church with Shirley and her family for years and have many fond memories of time spent singing and fellowshipping. At an age when life was just getting good, Shirley was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. We all watched as Shirley became trapped inside a body that would not respond until the day Shirley went on to her heavenly home to sing over Jesus.

MDA has a major division devoted to research to find a cure for ALS. That is why I agreed to be jailed. I have to raise $1700 "bail money." This will help to fund some life-changing research. I have made it very simple to give. Click HERE to be taken to my own MDA webpage where you can give easily and securely online.

God bless you and thanks so much for helping me with this cause.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Prayer For Media

This is the National Day of Prayer. I was honored by being asked to offer a prayer for media as a representative of the media at a small prayer breakfast gathering in Johnson City this morning. I offer it to you as simply one of many prayers that ought to be offered today and everyday. The media is unquestionably one of the most powerful and influential forces in our world today. We must cover it in prayer.

Heavenly Father, today we bow our heads and we acknowledge you as the Sovereign God of the Universe. Your reign is supreme, over all of the establishments of man. It is under Your authority, God, that the institutions which make up the media have come into existence. Radio, television, motion pictures, Internet and all print media formulate one of the most powerful and influential forces in our culture today. In and of themselves, we understand that these can be great tools that, in the right hands, can bring life and prosperity, but in the wrong hands, can bring death and adversity.

Father, we pray for the leaders in each of these mediums. May they understand that with great privilege comes great responsibility. Proverbs reminds us, Father, that, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18) We pray that they would seek Your face and Your will and that what they sow would bear good fruit.

We pray, Father, for the actor, the director, the writer, the on-air personality, that we would be people of integrity, understanding that we are not to “let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Eph. 4:29).

Father, we pray that You would raise up people of faith who would seek to do Your will and who would be motivated to take the reins of these mediums and utilize their great power and influence to accomplish Your special purposes in this world.

Finally, Father, we thank You that in Your love and grace You grant us the freedom of choice. We pray that You would give us all discernment enough to know truth, your Truth, Father. That we would recognize and turn away from that which would lead us to confusion and fear. Help us to find and give credence to that which leads us to the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. It is in His powerful name that we pray, that name that is above every name, to whom even the media must answer, Jesus, the Christ. Amen.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Big Decision

Last night my daughter Ellie admitted her need for a Savior due to her sin, believing that Jesus was who He said He was and did what the Bible says He did. Furthermore, believing that God had raised Him from the dead, she confessed Him as her Savior and Lord. It was the ABC's of faith that she had heard countless times in Vacation Bible School (still trying to figure out that vacation part). I have been talking to her about Jesus since she was still inside her mother's womb. We have read about it. We have seen pictures and movies about it. She has seen me baptize many people which always led to conversations about daddy baptizing her too. Last night, she had an opportunity to sing about it in church. All the times before she had not been ready. Last night... she was ready.

As she rode with her mother from the church to Perkin's for supper, she declared that she was ready! She did not want to even wait until the car stopped. She was shocked to find out that mommy could actually lead her in "the prayer." She had always assumed that daddy, "the professional," had to be the one to do such things and approach the throne of grace! I don't know when "the prayer" became the tradition because the Bible never spells out any specified prayer formula for salvation. The Bible plainly says in Romans 10:9,10 that we simply confess and believe... no prayer is mentioned. There is absolutely nothing wrong with praying, mind you. It is a nice formal way of "sealing the deal," but it is just another one of those traditions that we have sanctified.

When we got home last night, I "grilled" her. I am not wooed by the sweetness and light of a little girl's fanciful whimsy. I wanted to make sure she knew exactly what she was doing. To my delight, as I began to talk about sin she began quoting scripture... my 6-year-old quoted Romans 3:23. As I began to talk about what Jesus did about our sin, she quoted John 3:16. When it finally dawned on us that she did, indeed, know what she was doing, Paige and I were overwhelmed with emotion.

Words can't express my gratitude for all the unseen people over the years who have rocked her in the nursery while whispering the love of Jesus. The ones who taught her Sunday School classes and told her the Good News. The ones who helped her make a craft in VBS that symbolized God's love for her. The pastors who have preached to her. The family and friends who have just loved her. All of them played a part in this.

But here is what I want to say to parents. Nothing on this earth can replace or duplicate what YOU can offer your children, spiritually. Never abdicate your role in their spiritual lives to people like me under the guise that "it is my job." In many respects, YOU hold the keys to the Kingdom! Tell them. As it says in Deuteronomy 6:7, "Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home, and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." In other words, at all times be living Jesus for your kids. The reward is out of this world!