Monday, February 22, 2010


I woke up yesterday with a nagging dry cough. I set the CPAP machine’s moisture level to “zero” Saturday night to see if I can get by without the humidifier part of it for the trip to Russia. That’s probably why I have the cough – still.

Several years ago I developed the same kind of cough but didn’t think much about it. Then four years ago I came down with pneumonia – unrelated – and in the process of doing chest x-rays, my doctor found some abnormal lymph nodes in my chest. We used words like “Lymphoma” and “cancer” over the next couple of appointments. I had scans and tests and finally had a procedure to remove a node for biopsy. The good news is that I don’t have cancer but I do have another disease called sarcoidosis – my lymph nodes affected are shot.

The nagging cough, as the surgeon explained it, was my nervous system’s way of getting the enlarged lymph node away from the nerves in my throat and lungs. The cough served to shake things up a bit. I don’t think today’s cough is for the same purpose but I am remembering those months in 2006 when I was unsure of my condition.

Although I didn’t know what was wrong, I did have a peaceful demeanor because of my faith in Christ. I knew that no matter what happened I would be OK. Maybe not OK physically in this world, but OK because he loves me. I wanted everything about this experience to glorify Christ. If nothing was wrong – praise the Lord! If I had a disease but was healed – praise the Lord! If I had a disease but was cured – praise the Lord! If I had a disease that would claim my life – praise the Lord! I made up my mind to accept God’s will and praise him no matter what.

That nagging dry cough is only a nuisance. I really praise the Lord for it because I am reminded of his presence in my life. Yellow butterflies also remind me of the Lord’s presence but I’ll save that for another post.

Monday, February 15, 2010


I’m rushing today to complete an assignment for the DMin seminar I took last month. It is to be postmarked TODAY! There’s just something about a deadline that both comforts and disturbs me.

First, I find comfort in a deadline that is far away. I can wait and do it later. I don’t have to designate my time so rigidly. I am safe because I am not yet late turning in my paper.

On the other hand, I am disturbed by deadlines that are quickly approaching. I lose sleep. I don’t do my best work. I take time from my family. I binge eat and bite my nails.

I am 45 years old and have been in school a total of 30 years. You would think by now I would have learned and changed my ways. Instead, I continue down the same path that, honestly, started a long, long time ago. Old habits are hard to break.

The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

Certainly, the verse applies to my desire to sin and my rejecting God’s ways. I am new and no longer desire sin – although I still sin – and I want to follow God’s ways – although I don’t always do it. But I have noticed a change in my life over the years as God’s Spirit has chipped away at the old Bob and brought out the new Me. And I like what I see.

I think the verse also applies to my procrastination regarding deadlines. But God’s Spirit will only change the parts of me that I give him access to. I don’t have a problem with procrastination – that’s just the symptom of a larger problem. I have a problem yielding all my life to God’s Spirit.

Maybe you do, too. Let’s pray that our hearts and minds will be completely open to the Spirit and willing to let him have his way in our lives.


Footnote: As I am writing this, I received a Twitter update from author Len Sweet. It said, “Deadlines are like bumper cars. They’re only fun I you hit them dead-on. (from Heather Wilson)”


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Friday, February 12, 2010


I don’t usually get concerned about feeding birds when the ground is covered with ice or snow, but today was different. Riley and I have been spreading birdseed on the snow on the deck and the birds have flocked to it. The Cross Road Birdwatchers Society could have had a great time identifying the different species feasting on the seed. Or the Cross Road Bird Hunters Club could have bagger their limit easily!

I saw as many as fifteen birds on the deck at one time. When they saw me peeking through the window they would all fly away. But they would gather again within a few minutes. Because of this, I couldn’t get pictures, though.

We had a woodpecker, a female cardinal, two kinds of blue birds (a big one and a little one), some small brown birds without stripes, some small brown birds with stripes, some small black birds with lots of yellow, a robin, and a camouflage bird. You know how the military jets are painted like the sky on the bottom and like the ground on the top? There were a few birds on the deck that had light grey tummies and dark brown or black backs. I’m guessing they are prey for bigger birds and this is the way God camouflages them.

Isn’t that just like God? He protects us from our enemy, too. Cloaked in garments of righteousness (his, not our own), we are safe. Yes, the devil will go after us but he cannot defeat us. But we must be clothed in his righteousness and keep our eyes on the Lord.

And another God-thing… He takes care of us even better than he takes care of the birds. And he often uses other people as conduits for our blessings just like he used me to feed the birds today.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The New Building

I spent several minutes in our new building this morning. No electricity so it was cold and dark. But I propped a door open and walked around in the shadows. Our volunteers have spent many hours over the last few weekends putting up sheetrock. From the set of doors in the end of the building, you can no longer see everything in the building because the sheetrocked walls block some of the view.

I remember one of the ladies in New Orleans who was so excited when a team from CRBC finished hanging the sheetrock in her post-Katrina home. She couldn’t help herself but blurted it, “Now it looks like a home.” Our building is beginning to look like a fellowship hall with a kitchen, bathrooms, and classrooms. I can’t wait until we quit calling it “the new building” and start calling it the fellowship hall.

In the Bible, God says that each believer is the house of God (see 1 Corinthians 6:19). I wonder how many of us are just the shell of the building we are supposed to be. I wonder if we allowed the Spirit of God to begin the remodeling of our lives but have closed him out so that he cannot complete the work. I wonder if God gets excited when he sees the work in progress. I wonder if he gets discouraged when he sees things in your life that are undone.

Our prayer should be one of confessing the sin of wrestling control of our lives from God. Then we should submit to the Spirit’s work in our lives so that we can be the wonderful temple of God he intends us to be.

Friday, February 05, 2010


I’ve had my iPhone since September but have really just started using the iPod built into it. I registered to attend the Expository Preaching Conference held annually by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (March 8-9 this year). I found the audio files of previous conferences on iTunes so I downloaded several and have been listening to some great preaching.


So that got me to thinking…What other preaching can I find on iTunes? I was amazed at how much is out there. I even started recording and posting my own sermons on the church’s website ( although I haven’t looked into what is necessary to post to iTunes. Anyway, I downloaded sermons from Liberty University’s chapel services last week and listened to them today while driving to the hospital and back home. One was a sermon by Mike Huckabee and the other by Charles Lowery. I was inspired by the messages and also happy to find a common thread in them so I posted two statements as my status updates on Facebook ( and on Twitter (


Mike Huckabee said that life is perishable. You either give it away or you throw it away. You use it or lose it.


Charles Lowery said the life is short. It’s a quick trip from diapers to Depends.


Take advantage of every day and live it to the fullest giving glory to God in your words, thoughts, actions, and attitudes. Your relationships with Jesus and the people around you are the most important things in life.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Monday, February 01, 2010

A Difference in Roads Taken

We’ve had a pretty good winter storm over the last few days. Freezing rain began to fall Thursday with snow overnight and through the day Friday. Schools, churches, government offices, and businesses shut down. Arkansans don’t handle the ice and snow very well.

We live in Saline county about a mile and a half from the Pulaski county line in two directions. This is sort of a “no man’s land” when it comes to law enforcement, road repair, cutting edge utilities, etc. AT&T put in their U-verse lines to within a mile or so of the house. They stopped at the entrance to the upscale gated community. City water just came in about three years ago. We all are on septic tanks.

So I was surprised when the Saline County Road Department sent a road grader past the house toward the county line. Funny thing is that Pulaski county did nothing or their side of the line. We made it to Benton (Saline county) and back Saturday with no problems. Headed to Little Rock (Pulaski county) Sunday after church and was shocked by the bad condition of the roads. The route to Little Rock is fairly heavily travelled but there is no sign that the Pulaski County Road Department has been out that way.

But I’m not writing to bash the road departments but to comment on the choice of roads and destinations from a spiritual perspective. And this is not about the spiritual condition of Benton versus Little Rock, although someone else may want to pick up on that.

Our choices make a huge impact on our lives. Take the wrong turn or travel the wrong road and you face danger and difficulty. Head in the right direction and you stand a much better chance of arriving at your destination safely. In fact, with the Lord you are guaranteed to arrive at your eternal destination safely. Even the stops along the way are better travelling with the Lord along the Lord’s highway.

So take care when deciding which turn to make or which road to take. It makes all the difference in the world.