Friday, November 26, 2010

Reluctant to Change

I just saw a commercial for the TV program "V." In the ad a woman shows a typical human reaction to change: the humans have to fight back because the aliens "are trying to change us."
That made me think about the Holy Spirit working in our lives. As Christians, we are being transformed, made new, changed from what we were/are to what God wants us to be. And we can be just as turned off by change as the woman in the commercial. Why is that?
One reason is our selfish nature. We want to be in total control of our lives. We don't like it when anyone has authority over us. Don't believe it? Do you drive 70 mph on the interstate or 73? Do you push the limits of the dress code at work or school? You may say that things like this don't really matter, but they show a lack of respect for authority. And a reluctance to change. So when the Holy Spirit convicts you about your language or how you treat your spouse, you push back. And you justify your actions either by comparing yours to someone else's or convincing yourself that it's not really that bad.
God created us to bring glory to him by honoring him, worshiping him, and obeying him. He also created us with a free will so that we can choose to do these things. Or we can choose not to do them.
If you believe God is all-knowing then you must believe he knows what is best for you. If you believe he is all-loving then you must believe he wants what is best for you. If you believe he is all-powerful then you must believe he can do what is best for you.
So when we choose to reject the Holy Spirit's work in our lives we are saying we know better, we care better, and we can do better. That's arrogant and selfish. And it robs you of God's blessings.
A reluctance to change will cost you. You are to be a new creation You are to be transformed. You are to be clay in the potter's hands.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Every day this week is a unique experience. Riley is out of school all week for Thanksgiving. So we are watching a bunch of Nick and Disney shows. Those of you with kids or grandkids about 9 years old know what I'm talking about!
Then he gets tired of that and plays Wii. Then he gets tired of that and…
But I'm glad he's home and I can be with him. Not many dads get that chance. I didn't get it with my older boys.
So this Thanksgiving I'm thankful for my boys. Jim is 26 and is married to Ashley. He lives in Conway and teaches music in one of the middle schools. He's a good guy.
Caleb is 24. He lives in Bentonville and works at Best Buy in Rogers. He's a sharp guy who's making a good way for himself.
Riley is 9, lives at home, and is in 4th grade at Arkansas Baptist Elementary School. He's a good kid and will be a good man, too.
We don't get to spend holidays together but I'm thankful for them. And I love them.
Enjoy the unique experiences with your children. They'll be grown and gone before you know it. But that's just a chance to enjoy more unique experiences. Don't ever stop being their dad. They may not know it or admit it, but they need it as much as you do.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A week in Alaska

Everybody ought to have the chance to do what I've just done. Spend a week in Alaska with Christian people who are excited about what God is doing through their church.

Alaska is a beautiful place. Even though most of the days were either snowy or overcast, the natural beauty is breath-taking. Just knowing that even more amazing scenic views are behind the clouds and under the snow makes me want to come back. I hope to come back with family and friends.

If/when I do, I'll make it a point to meet up with Scott Coffman and the folks at College Heights Baptist Church. We formed friendships this week that I know will endure time and distance. With email, skype, facebook, and other wonders of technology that we have these days, keeping in touch will only be hindered by our lack of desire. Lord, help me stay in touch with these wonderful Christians.

So, I'm packing up and heading home later tonight. Catching the redeye to Houston. Then on to Little Rock by 2:00 tomorrow. I'm thankful for the trip, the sights, the people, and the experience. And I'm ready to get home to my family and my church.

Friday, November 05, 2010


I'm in Alaska for a Men's Advance for churches in the Soldotna area. Then I'll be part of revival services at College Heights Baptist Church in Soldotna. I'm here through Thursday.

Not doing what you might think. I am a preacher and I love to preach and teach. But in my wide variety of experience, I am a musician of sorts. I don't think I'm all that, but I do enjoy it. And I spent many years leading music in churches and singing in gospel groups.

Through a strange connection of events, I'm here to lead music for the conference and revival. I kinda like that. I enjoy the few minutes each Sunday when I sit at the piano and lead our church in worship. But I'm a little apprehensive doing this for folks who have been led to believe I'm good at it. Danny Johnson is quite the salesman – even though he won't admit it.

So here I am. November is Alaska reminds me of Russia. There's not as much snow, yet, and the temperatures are around 0 degrees C instead of 0 degrees F. But the tall pines weighted down with snow is a pretty sight – and one that makes me think of the Sverdlovskaya Oblast.

Chuck, the man who owns the facility where I am staying – a VERY nice facility – took me out onto the deck this morning with excitement. It was 8:00 but still very dark because we are so far north. He took a spotlight and shined it alongside the road leading to the house. I large moose was munching on some grass sticking up through the snow. Chuck says it's only about a year old – just a small moose. But it must have been seven or eight feet tall! I hope I get to see a BIG one.

Just a few minutes ago I raised the blinds on my window to take a picture of the pretty scene just outside my room. I took a couple of pictures, turned away for a few seconds, then turned back to see the same moose walking past. I am a little slow getting the camera set to take a picture so I just have his backside. Check it out on

It's gonna be a great week It will be full of worship, teaching, sharing, and beautiful scenery. I'll try to post some pictures here as well as on my Facebook page.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


I bought a MacBook Pro last week. Now I’m trying to get everything from my HP laptop over to the MacBook. Not everything on the old computer will be useful on the new one. Not everything on the old computer will even work on the new one. For me, this is a hit and miss opportunity.

But it makes me think about people who come to Christ for salvation. (Not that Apple should be compared to our Savior.) Many new believers try to simply plug their old lifestyle into the new life. Just like with the computers, not everything is useful and not everything works.

Some things about the MacBook are similar. The ABCs and 123s are in the same place on the keyboard. But the CTRL, FN, and ALT keys I have become very comfortable with are not in the same place and maybe not even there at all or maybe called something else and doing something else.

And what happened to “My Computer”? Finding stuff on the MacBook takes me a while.

I’ll have to learn new applications for word processing, presentations, and spreadsheets. I may buy Office for Mac but I expect there will be some adjusting to do even taking this easier pathway.

In short, life is different now. And life is different for a new believer. It’s easier to keep on doing what you’ve always done. It’s safer to stick with the same friends. It’s more comfortable going to the same old places. But Christianity requires that we change. God’s Spirit is with us to make sure the change goes as planned – and that’s a good thing! All we have to do is follow the Spirit’s leadership.

Sure wish changing from a pc to a mac was that easy.