Pastor’s Desk May 18th

Scripture Passage:  “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turns it whithersoever he will.  Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord ponders the hearts.  To do justice and judgement is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.  A high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.”  Proverbs 21: 1-4

Dear Friends,

     We are continuing to go through one of the most difficult times we have ever faced as a nation.  The decisions being made are unprecedented in American history.  We went straight from an impeachment trial for the president to a national pandemic from the coronavirus.  We have had military operations, international conferences and compromises, social and political unrest, and now a nation crippled from being shut down by sickness.  I feel for our president, his cabinet, and all members of Congress.  They have a hard job and every decision they make has positive and negative consequences.  Sometimes there does not seem to be a clear direction for making the right decisions.  Whatever decisions they make seem to be met with opposition and bitter criticism.  My prayer is that they would seek the face of the Lord and be guided by His hand.
 


Pastor’s Desk May 11th

Scripture Passage:  “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”  Proverbs 20:1

Dear Friends,

     I am a teetotaler by choice and conviction.  I believe in total abstinence from alcohol and the Baptist Faith and Message, The Church Covenant, and Holy Scripture all are the basis for my decision to abstain from alcoholic drink.  In all my years of Pastoral Counseling, I have never seen a positive influence that a person experiences by imbibing in an intoxicating drink.  The opposite is always true. I have never seen anything good that comes from it.  So why are people today so attracted to alcohol?  Why are even Christians drawn to participate in social drinking?  The answer lies in marketing strategy and transforming moral absolutes brought on by cultural change.  We are told by the media that alcohol is a prerequisite for social acceptance and peer inclusion.  Every sitcom, every movie, every athletic event, and even musical concerts are saturated with advertisement and availability of alcohol.  It is portrayed as the norm and anyone who abstains or criticizes its use is depicted as a simple minded social reject. In recent years even Baptist life has been affected by social drinking and the camaraderie and fellowship produced by the consumption of alcohol.  A hundred years ago, Baptist would have considered it a shame, and a sin, to drink alcohol. This would have been the beginning of the temperance movement.  Today it is becoming accepted more and more and is one of the identifying characteristics of the Age of Tolerance.  I beg to differ and would like to give you some logical reasons why.
 


Pastor’s Desk May 4th

Scripture Passage:  “There are many devices (plans) in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel (purpose) of the Lord, that shall stand.”  Proverbs 19:21

Dear Friends,

     “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”  (Robert Burns)   I am a planner.  I like to think ahead to predict what the future will be like and then plan accordingly.  It has often been said that if we fail to plan then we plan to fail.  What do you do in unprecedented times like these?  You can make plans today only to have them changed tomorrow.  At this point there is no predicting the future, because we have never been here before in the past. The closest example in recent times is the swine flu epidemic of 1918.   The advances that have been made over the past few weeks can regress faster than we have progressed to this point.  We are navigating unchartered waters.  It is leaving those making decisions in a state of indecision because there are not clear cut directions being issued by our government.  I believe the majority of the people want to do what is right for the health and well-being of everyone.  I believe the government officials want to make the right decisions but cannot agree upon what that is.  I feel for anyone having to make these decisions and pray for them daily. 
 


Pastor’s Desk April 27th

Scripture Passage:  “Whoso finds a wife finds a good thing; and obtains favor of the Lord.”    Proverbs 18:22

 

Dear Friends,

     A couple of weeks ago I visited a local parts store.  I was the only one in there at the time so it did not take long for me to get what I came for.  One of the young clerks came out from the back and the other clerks began to rib him about his upcoming wedding.  We were all married except for him, so you can only imagine the torment we put him through.  I began by saying that marriage can be the best thing to ever happen to you or it can be the worst.  One of the other young married men piped in with, “Yeh, It’s according to what day it is and what kind of mood She is in.”  We all had a good natured laugh at the expense of women everywhere.  The funny thing was there was not a woman present anywhere, so our courage and marriage expertise went forth freely and unquestioned.  The young man just smiled and went back to his work. 
 


Pastor’s Desk April 20th

Scripture Passage:   “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.”   Proverbs 17:6

Dear Friends,

    Let me tell you about my grandchildren.  As much as I love my children, I think I like my grandchildren more.  It has often been said that if I knew grandchildren would be this much fun, I would have had them first.  I really believe what I like so much is when I get tired of them, I send them home to their parents.  There are many grandparents called upon to raise their grandchildren who do not have that luxury.  If called upon, Patty and I would gladly do the same.  It would, however, require a major adjustment to our lifestyle. 

     Patty and I have four grandchildren- two girls and two boys.  Cadence is nine and Finley is almost one year old.  Kenner is ten and JP is three.  It is interesting to watch them play together.  The older ones cater to the younger ones and make really good babysitters.  Parents and grandparents watch over the whole crew and referee when disputes arise.  My grandchildren love to come to my house and play at “Johnnywood.”  I open the basement, garage, and outbuilding and say “Have at it.”  They play in the sandbox, ride bicycles, shoot basketball and write on the pavement with sidewalk chalk.  When dark comes, they work puzzles, play games, watch movies, and play on the computer.  When time comes to go to bed, they sleep on a pallet Grand momma has made them on the floor.  I hope when they grow up they will look back on these times with fond memories of spending time at Paw and Grand momma’s house. 

     If the glory of children are their father’s, why is more not said about fathers?  Could it be that too many men fail to set the example of what a good father should be like?It seems that too many men are short tempered, impatient, and too busy to spend time with the kids.  If they are off work, they do things they want to do and often find things to do to be away from their spouse and their children.  If they have to be around the children, they become ill-tempered and make life miserable for everyone.  A child needs a father who lives and patterns his life after the Heavenly Father.  Of all the honors I have received down through the years, nothing brings me more pleasure than the privilege of being dad and paw. 

In Christ,

Pastor Johnny



Pastor’s Desk April 13th

Scripture Passage:  “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”  Proverbs 16:7

Dear Friends,

     The Scripture today is a good reminder that the whole duty of man is to love God, live to please Him, and to enjoy His presence.  If we live to please God does it mean we will not have enemies?  The Apostle Paul says in II Timothy 3:12, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”  It seems as if one Scripture contradicts the other, but that is not the case.  A good illustration concerning this truth is found in Genesis 26 and relates to the life of Abraham’s son, Isaac. 
 


Pastor’s Desk April 6th

Scripture Passage:  “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!”  Proverbs 15:23     “The heart of the righteous studies to answer: but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.”   Proverbs 15:28
 


Pastor’s Desk March 30th

Scripture Passage:  “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”  Proverbs 14:12

“Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”  Proverbs 14:34

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Pastor’s Desk March 23rd

Scripture Passage: “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.”  Proverbs 13:22
 


Pastor’s Desk March 16th

Scripture Passage:  “Heaviness in the heart of man makes it stoop: but a good word makes it glad.”  Proverbs 12:25 

     “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”  Proverbs 15:13    “A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones.”  Proverbs 17:22    “The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that his weary: he wakes morning by morning, he wakes mine ear to hear as the learned.”  Isaiah 50:4