Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Last Hodge Podge of March Madness

Hello Hodgepodgers!  You know the drill...hop back here tomorrow and add your link to the party by clicking here and going to Joyce's blog.

1. This coming weekend is Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week. Do you celebrate Easter in your home? What was your favorite Easter tradition as a child?  I am a pastor, married to a pastor....we have Spring Break next week....Frank and I are both preaching at other churches for Holy Week.  We have always celebrated Holy Week.  When I was a child...and even now...the Maundy Thursday service and Sunrise service were my favorite events.  
2. George Weinberg is quoted as saying, 'Hope never abandons you, you abandon it.' Agree or disagree? Share your own thoughts on the word hope.   I agree. 
3. Weigh in with a yay or nay on the traditional Easter candies. A solid milk chocolate bunny? Cadbury Creme Eggs? Peeps? Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs? Jellybeans? Coconut Cream Eggs? Of the candies listed, which one would you most like to find in your Easter basket? Yes to all of the above except for the Coconut Cream eggs.  Yuck!  As a child I was allergic to chocolate so I never found any of those wonderful chocolate things in my basket....but there were always peeps and jelly beans.  Love them still today.
4. When did you last feel 'like a kid in a candy store'? The last time we visited Frank's sister, Ann in Greenville and went to Mast's General Store.  They have barrels and barrels of old-fashioned candies.  I thought I had died and gone to candy heaven.
5. What's something you know you do differently than most people? Does that bother you? Does it bother other people?  I hold a crochet hook unlike anyone else.  The lady that taught me to crochet goes nuts and is constantly correcting my hold.  I also hold a pencil weird.
6. Palm Springs CA, Palm Beach FL, or the PALMetto State...of the three mentioned, which sunny spot would you most like to visit right now? Which have you visited at one time or another?  I have been to all three.....I grew up in West Palm Beach, FL so I have been to Palm Beach many times.  I would love to go to Palm Beach today......and stay at the Breakers.
7. If you could change the length of a day would you lengthen it or shorten it? Tell us why.  I would do neither.  I think 24 hours in a day is just enough to either get something done....or not do anything at all.
8.  Insert your own random thought here. Today is National Pecan and Waffle Day....who is up for some pecan waffles for supper tonight?  I love waffles for supper.  Here is my favorite recipe:
  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I use Mexican vanilla)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for brushing and topping
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, melted and cooled
  • Maple syrup, for topping ( I like to heat mine a little bit)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet; bake until toasted, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool, then chop. Reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees F.
Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk the egg, milk, buttermilk and vanilla in a separate bowl until combined. Stir the egg mixture, melted butter and shortening into the dry ingredients until just combined. (The batter will be lumpy.)
Preheat a waffle iron and brush with melted butter. Ladle some batter into the iron (about 1/2 cup, depending on your waffle iron); sprinkle with 2 tablespoons toasted pecans. Cook until golden brown, then transfer the waffle to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining batter. Top the waffles with butter and maple syrup.  Bon Appetit!

Monday, March 23, 2015

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining.......I Know I Am!

I am not from Alabama, but I have lived here long enough to know a great deal about it and be proud to live here.  There are things people have said to me over the years about being from the South and it really gets my goat.  I found this great site that had 20 of what I deem the "stupidest" comments made about the South and just had to share it with you.  Hope you enjoy it....and maybe learn a little from it

1. Isn’t Alabama All Backwoods?

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
Source: Rick McCoy Facebook
Kind of. Once you get past all the pristine beaches and the cities and buildings, museums, science centers, art galleries, and towns…Yeah, there are some woods around.

2. But Aren’t The Beaches All Oil?

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
Source: Alabama Gulf Coast Facebook
Yes, there’s oil everywhere. In fact, you probably shouldn’t come here. You would hate it.

3. So, I Guess You Really Like Football?

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
“Like?” One does not simply “like” football in Alabama. Football is a way of life for Alabamians. And when you hear “Roll Tide” it has nothing to do with laundry.

4. Why Alabama Doesn’t Have A Pro Football Team

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
Source: Business Insider
Alabama is so busy cheering Roll Tide or War Eagle, there’s no time for that silly NFL stuff.

5. What’s With All The Houndstooth?

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
Source: YouTube
If you have to ask, you wouldn’t possibly understand. But it’s classy as heck, isn’t it?

6. Is Sweet Home Alabama The State Song?

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
Source: Quick Meme
Nope. A lot of people love it. A lot of people don’t. And there’s nothing official about it. But there’s always someone around excited to turn it up.

7. What’s Muscle Shoals And Why Do They Have The Swampers?

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
The Swampers are the heart of Alabama music and The Shoals is where some of the greatest music ever made gets made.

8. Isn’t Alabama Super Religious?

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
Source: imgur
Well, yeah. A lot of it is. But don’t worry. The devil is too busy dealing with Northerners to worry about you.

9. Alabama Must Be Filled With So Many Uneducated Hillbillies

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
Source: The USA Travel
Ummm, does the acronym NASA mean anything to you? Alabama has more science in its pinky finger than most other states could only hope for. Does your state have a Rocket City? Did it help send Neil Armstrong to the moon?

10. Wait A Minute, Space Camp Is REAL?

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
Source: Space Camp Facebook
Yep, Space Camp is real and it’s right here in Huntsville. But it’s not like every kid grows up in zero gravity environments. It costs a pretty penny to go. But those who get to are living the dream.

11. Alabamians Aren’t Country, They’re Genteel

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
Source: Tumblr
All those Southern charms – the good manners, respectable nature, sometimes backhanded politeness, and old fashioned traditions, that’s what makes Alabamians what they refer to as “genteel.” Not country.

12. Pork Is Actually An Anagram For Conecuh

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
Source: Plan To Plate
If an Alabamian has cooked you up some sausage, you can bet good money that it’s Conecuh sausage.

13. Texas Doesn’t Have The Best Barbecue

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
Source: Hello Giggles
Whoever told you such a ridiculous lie is no friend at all. Everyone knows that Alabama’s barbecue is where it’s at. And Archibald’s where you go to experience the real stuff with the locals, not the silly tourist stuff.

14. Are Those Biscuits Made From Real Cat Heads?

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
The Cat Head Biscuits? Yes, that’s really what they’re called. But fret not, no felines are harmed in the making of these doughy delights. The consensus seems to agree they’re called Cat Head Biscuits because they’re the approximate size of a cat’s head.

15. Biscuits Are Not Complete Without Sausage Gravy

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
The only proper kind of gravy to enjoy with those Cat Head Biscuits here in Alabama is sausage gravy. Don’t let anyone serve you anything different. And seriously, it tastes better than it looks.

16. Bless Your Heart Isn’t So Much A Blessing

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
Source: Meme Generator
Chances are, you just got called an idiot without even realizing it.

17. Ha-Ha-Ha, Alabamians Can’t Drive In Snow – Good One!

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
Source: Pinterest
Wait, no it’s not. It’s a tired old joke. Alabamians don’t need to apologize for not being masters of the snow. No one expects someone from Canada to know how to surf. Get over it.

18. No, Mardi Gras Started In Alabama, Not New Orleans

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
Source: Alabama Gulf Coast Facebook
Okay, the Mardi Gras thing can’t be ignored so it makes its way on the list. Especially because it’s a little crazy that so many people still don’t realize that Mardi Gras first began and still thrives in Mobile.

19. What’s A Moon Pie?

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
Source: Gallery Hip
It’s a chocolate covered marshmallow pie that are thrown off Mardi Gras floats along with beads and subsequently hoarded. A lot of people make a big deal out of them, but they’re not such a big deal outside of Mardi Gras.

20. You Talk On A Mo-Bull Phone, You Visit Mardi Gras In Mo-Beel

30 Things People From Alabama Are Tired Of Explaining
Source: Tumblr
If you do go to the real Mardi Gras, know how to pronounce the city properly for the love of Moon Pies.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Why God?

I want to ask you some questions this morning…..the first is…..

Why does God allow trials in our lives?

My scripture text will be coming from John 12:24-25

Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming. One second he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over.

The problems began when Chippie’s owner decided to clean Chippie’s cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up. She’d barely said "hello" when "ssssopp!" Chippie got sucked in. The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie -- still alive, but stunned.

Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water. Then, realizing that Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do . . . she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air.

Poor Chippie never knew what hit him. A few days after the trauma, the reporter who’d initially written about the event contacted Chippie’s owner to see how the bird was recovering. "Well," she replied, "Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore -- he just sits and stares."

It’s hard not to see why. Sucked in, washed up, and blown over . . . That’s enough to steal the song from the stoutest heart.

The second question this morning is……?

Do you still have a song in your heart?

You see there is one of two things you can do when trials, tests or tribulation comes your way:

1. You can become bitter -- Like Chippie

· So easy to do – it is our natural way of handling problems

· Even as Christians we are full of ourselves and especially during trails in our lives.

· This is when your fears, hurts and negative thoughts mull over and over in your mind, you’re constantly thinking of it and in the same time you looses God’s love.

· There is no longer a song in your heart.

· Measured by worldly standards your feelings might be justified but it is not by God’s standards.

Heb 12:14-15 Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled;

Or you can choose to:

2. Absolutely delight yourself in the Lord and know that He is in charge of your Life.

· You can keep your song in your heart even when the going gets tough! · This was Paul and Silas choice when they we’re in the Jail.

· The word says that they were singing!  They were only doing what the following scriptures are saying:

James 1:2 tells us:  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

3. Knowing [this], that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

Look at v3. trying of your faith

James is saying here that our faith is tested.

This answers the questions:…Yet we still find ourselves asking….

· But why is this happening to me?

· Why do bad things happen to good people?

Let’s look at a couple of Case Studies….Number One

Deut 8:2-3 -And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, [and] to prove thee, to know what [was] in thine heart, whether thou would keep his commandments,... And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knew not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every [word] that proceed out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

Two things we learn here:

Trial time -- wilderness – they were in dessert, and it was a lonely place.  Have you noticed that if you’re in a trail how people tend to leave you?....alone?  Why would a loving God allow the Israelites to dwell 40 years in the dessert.

1 . To humble thee:  No thing in life that make a person so humble than trials.  When we realize that we can’t do it on our own, we look up….because we need the Lord.   The Israelites wouldn’t have made it without the Lord.

2. To prove thee, to know what was in thine heart.  What comes out if I shake you?

Case Study Two: is found in Psalm 107:25-30.  For he commanded, and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves thereof.  26. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.  27. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.  28. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he brings them out of their distresses.  29. He makes the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.  30. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bring them unto their desired haven.  The Lord is dealing with fishermen here but we can apply it to our lives today.  Notice a few words that reflect today’s life.

1. Stormy wind, which lifted up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven; they go down again to the depths  Who of you has ever felt like that?  One-day things seem normal in your life, and then the next day the wheels come off.  Interesting how it starts with the wind.  What was Jesus reaction on the boat in the storm with the disciples?  He rebuked the Wind and the waves calmed down.

2. Their soul is melted because of trouble.  I’ve seen people like this; in fact I have been there.  People who bite their finger nails, etc.  What did all of this teach them?  Back verses 28-29. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he brings them out of their distresses.  29. He makes the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.  To pray.  It is kind of funny how much energy people have to pray,… when they’re in trouble.

Case Study Three comes from Psalm 119:69,71,75:  69. The proud have forged a lie against me: [but] I will keep thy teachings with [my] whole heart.  71. [It is] good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy law.  75. I know, O LORD, that thy judgments [are] right, and [that] thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

Has somebody ever gossiped about you?  Were you the victim of a lie?  Why does it happen to you?  Why is the Psalmist happy?

This is why…..Verse 69 says…..[but] I will keep thy teachings with [my] whole heart.  Not just a little section….ALL of it!  71. [It is] good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy law. The Lord is trying to teach us to keep His law.  ALWAYS!  Not just when it is convenient.

So, the Lord let things happen in our lives to:

          Humble us,

          Test us, see what’s in our hearts

          Bring us back to prayer

It is, however, hard to be humble if you’re proud.

Pride is the sin that destroyed our fellowship with God.

The only way to stop pride is to die in ourselves.

People we need to take today’s scripture more serious.

Your view of trials will change if you die in yourself.

I want to leave you with one final story….Like a lifesaver who spotted a men in trouble in the water. There were other people nearby who urged this lifesaver to jump in straight away. He didn’t. The man in the water was fighting furiously to stay above the water. The crowd grew angry, they shouted at the lifesaver, but he waited. After a few minutes, when the man in the water started to get weak, he jumped in and saved the man’s life. The angry people asked him why he waited so long before jumping in. He replied that if he had jumped in earlier that the man would have drowned them both out of panic. He waited for the man to get weak. So he could save him.  It is the same with us, The Lord is there waiting to help you, But, you need to die first in yourself and let Him do His work in your life.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Seeds Object Lesson For Kids

Today our scripture is going to come from (John 12:24-25)

I want to talk about the corn seed.  If we want more corn what do we need to do? 

If we never plant it, this seed in our hands is all we will have.  Jesus used symbolism to teach God’s truth to His disciples.  He was preparing them for what God was going to do with His life.  Jesus came to save us from our sins.  After Jesus’ death on the cross His body was placed in a sealed tomb. 

Thinking about the seed, Jesus was like this kernel of corn being placed in the ground.  Jesus died, was buried and God raised Him from the dead and now all who believe in Him become a part of His family.  If Jesus would not have died for our sins He could not save men, women, boys and girls from their sins.  Just like a kernel of corn going into the ground it appears to have died but when it sprouts (use pictures), it grows and brings forth more corn.  Jesus’ death has brought forth many who have placed their trust in Him.  Jesus’ death brings life to all who believe.