Pastor’s Desk July 27th

Scripture Passage:  “The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.”  Proverbs 31:1

Dear Friends,

     Today I am writing my last pastor’s page.  What started seven years ago has come to a conclusion.  My mother has a copy of every one of them.  I gave her a notebook with that years writings for Christmas each year.  She treasures each one of them and down through the years I hope you have enjoyed them also.  I also pray that in some way, they have touched your life and made it a little brighter and better.  This year I decided to take a few verses from each chapter in the Book of Proverbs and cover them each week.  This is week thirty-one and we are on the last chapter. 

Pastor’s Desk July 20th

Scripture Passage:  “Two things have I required of you: deny me them not before I die:  Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:  Lest I be full, and deny you, and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.”  Proverbs 30:7-9

“God, I’m asking for two things before I die; don’t refuse me- Banish lies from my lips and liars from my presence.  Give me food to live on, neither too much nor too little.  If I’m too full, I might get independent, saying, “God, who needs him?”  If I’m poor, I might steal and dishonor the name of my God.”  Proverbs 30: 7-9   THE MESSAGE

Dear Friends,

     It’s funny how a man’s prayers change the older he gets.  When I was young, I prayed for wealth, prestige, success, and “stuff.”  Even the “stuff” I want has changed.  Now that I am older I pray for good health, peace of mind, money to pay the few bills I have, and enough to eat.  We are in the process of down-sizing everything and thirty-eight years of accumulation is going in a yard sale.  At one time we needed, or at least wanted it.  Now it is just stuff in the way that will have to be moved if we keep it.  Hobbies and interest have changed and now so will our lifestyle.  I am an avid reader.  If I ever saw a book that I did not love, I don’t remember what it was.  My Bible and doctrine study books are lining the hallway as I write.  My music, history, tractor, trucks, and shop manuals are yet to be collected.  I still have all my children’s books from when they were little and most of their toys.  It is all over whelming because I have to go through them and decide what to keep.  It won’t be much.

     Let us look at what Solomon desired at the end of his life.  He was the wealthiest man of his day.  Scripture says there was none like him before, nor none that would be like him after.  What could a man who has it all possibly want?  You will be surprised. 

     His first request was that God would remove things that do not satisfy and people who are counterfeits.  There are so many things I have purchased down through the years that I thought would make me happy.  They did for a while, but eventually that happiness waned.  The Bible is so true when it says that a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things which he possesses. Luke 12:15    The second part of his first request was that deceitful, lying people be removed from his life or at least from his presence.  The older I get the less tolerance I have for such people.  Just tell the truth and let the “chips fall” where they may. 

     Solomon’s second request was that God would give him just enough.  Enough food and enough money to take care of his needs.  When you are young, you want more than enough.  That is why we pay in so much to retirement plans and annuities.  That is why we go deep into debt for things that we rarely use because we are working so hard to pay for them.  We do not can vegetables like we used to or stock the freezer as we one time did. We plan for the future but have stopped stocking up like we are going to live forever.  We, like Solomon, would like to be comfortable in our dependence on God.  I think we realize how much we need the Lord more than we ever have before.  Patty and I pray we may finish well and honor the name of our God in the process.  “Lord do not deny me these things before I die.”

In Christ,

Pastor Johnny

Pastor’s Desk July 13th

Scripture Passage:  “A fool utters all his mind: but a wise man keeps it in till afterwards.”     Proverbs 29:11

Dear Friends,

     Have you ever heard someone say, “I feel like giving that person a piece of my mind?”  I remember many years ago my daddy telling me, “Just tell them off and be done with them.”  I told him I could not do that because I am a preacher and teacher and watched by the community.  Regardless of what I would say, it would be misrepresented, misinterpreted and embellished to the point it would only taint my reputation.  Over the years I feel some have labeled me weak because I did not put people in their place.  That is the farthest thing from the truth.  The only thing I fear is God. To shame him or cause His church to receive a bad name has caused me to bite my tongue and endure many tongue lashings.  For someone to label me as a hypocrite or “hot head” and run down my good name makes my blood boil. So I can blow up and get it all out or put a lid on it and sit and simmer.  Neither one is a good option for me.  I am by nature an encourager and a peacemaker.  I have always tried to find peaceful solutions and fix problems behind the scenes without making a big deal out of it.  For this to take place, there has to be a willingness to compromise or people have to agree to disagree and move on.  If that does not take place the end is near.

Pastor’s Desk July 6th

Scripture Passage:  “He that covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.”  Proverbs 28:13

Dear Friends,

     One of my favorite ways to answer someone when they ask me what I am going to preach about Sunday is: “Sin!  I’m against it.”  As funny as it sounds, most people are not.  They like to pick and choose what they want to call sin.  It usually involves what someone else is doing and not themselves.  The American people are fascinated with conspiracy theories and cover-up schemes.  Water Gate in the early 1970’s was a cover up scheme from the Richard Nixon presidency.  I remember hearing public opinion as a little boy concerning the scandal.  Some would say, “He was only doing what every politician does.”  The one that sticks out in my mind the most is, “The only thing Richard Nixon did wrong was to get caught.”  Really?  Are you kidding me?  Remember the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal with Bill Clinton?  Now Donald Trump has been impeached, but found not guilty for his supposed involvement in Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.  All of these things support my theory that no one sins anymore.  “Not me.  I didn’t do it!” starts with children and continues into adulthood.  Rather than repent, we just cover sin up and continue on as if nothing ever happened.  That may work in the warped world we live in, but it does not work with God. 

Pastor’s Desk June 29th

Scripture Passage:  “As in water face answers to face, so the heart of man to man.”  Proverbs 27:19     “Just as water mirrors your face, so your face mirrors your heart.”  Proverbs 27:19     THE MESSAGE

Dear Friends,

     They say the eyes are the window to the soul.  You can let your hair grow, or cut it off, and your appearance will change.  You can shave every day, or grow a beard, and some will not recognize you.  You can wear a different style of glasses or change your eye color with contact lenses and people will perceive you in an entirely different way.  You can have plastic surgery and totally change your physical characteristics, even to the point of being unrecognizable.  I think there are two things that can be altered but can never be changed – your eyes and your smile.  Often when people are describing a child they will say, “She looks like her daddy through the eyes.”  Or they will say, “What a beautiful smile, he looks just like his mother.”  The reason I believe this is both the eyes and the smile are a true reflection of the heart.

Pastor’s Desk June 22nd

Scripture Passage:  “”He that passes by, and meddles with strife belonging not to him, is like one that takes a dog by the ears.”  Proverbs 26:17

“Where no wood is, there the fire goes out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceases.  As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.”  Proverbs 26: 20-21

Dear Friends,

     Anyone who has kept up with the news lately realizes we live in a volatile society.  Every social issue ranging from small and insignificant to large and contentious remind us of this American powder keg we call democracy.  Our forefathers wished for the “American Experiment” to be a case study in freedom and democracy.  They knew that every freedom and “right” also carried a high degree of responsibility.  A person who abuses those rights is no better than a dictator or monarch who abuses the power he has been granted.  Every right we have been granted by God, is to be used to glorify God and for the good of society.   When a person focuses upon themselves and what their rights are, they lose sight of what true freedom is.  A person who focuses on others is a servant.  A person who focuses on themselves is a prima donna. 

Pastor’s Desk June 15th

Scripture Passage:  “A man that bears false witness against his neighbor is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.  Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.”  Proverbs 25: 18-19

Dear Friends,

     The Carr lineage has three distinct traits that are inbred in our DNA.  1.  We cannot stand a liar or a person who is deceitful.  2.  We loathe a hypocrite.  3.  We are prejudice against lazy people.  These are characteristics that often put me in a bad place when dealing with people. I want to say what I think, but have to suppress my words for the sake of peace.  God also knows I am not very Christ-like when I get mad.  I told Patty that even Jesus got angry.  He overthrew the moneychangers table and drove them out of the temple with a whip.  She reminded me that I am not Jesus.  His anger was holy, righteous, indignation, whereas mine is just pent up rage.  There is a difference between right and wrong when dealing with injustices and the difference between the two is determined by how much Jesus lives in us. 

Pastor’s Desk June 8th

Scripture Passage:  “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”  Proverbs 24:10   “For a just man falls seven times, and rises up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.”  Proverbs 24:16

Noteworthy  quotes:  “One test of a person’s worth is how he behaves under pressure.  If he gives up when the going is rough, he doesn’t have what it takes.”   A righteous man may fall into trouble or calamity seven times, but he will recover each time.”  William MacDonald

Pastor’s Desk June 1st

Scripture Passage:  “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, says he to you, but his heart is not with you.”  Proverbs 23:7

Dear Friends,

     So much of what Solomon wrote about in his proverbs deal with the integrity and character of a man.  He does a masterful job comparing and contrasting their similarities and differences.  He compares the wise man with the fool.  He compares the working class with the lazy, entitled caste.  He compares the righteous with the wicked.  He compares the sober with the drunk.  He compares the virtuous woman with the woman of ill repute.  Now in Proverbs 23: 6-8, he compares the miser who is stingy, with a good man who invites you to a feast for the right motives and intent.  There is an old saying, “Not everything that glitters is gold.”  Such is the moral of the lesson presented in the proverb for today. 

Pastor’s Desk May 25th

Scripture Passage:  “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.”   “A sterling reputation is better than striking it rich; a gracious spirit is better than money in the bank.”  The Message

Dear Friends,

     What is in a name?  In Bible days everything.  Careful attention was paid to the naming of a child.  Often the name related to a family member. At other times it related to a circumstance or a projected hope or desire for the child’s future.  Patty and I were both named for our fathers’.  Our children were all named for family members and certain situations we were experiencing at the time.  It seems today people try to come up with names no one has ever heard of before, or something so outlandish it makes no sense at all.  A name always ends up being personally tied to our identity and reputation.  So it is important that we guard and protect it as a cherished treasure.