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Several years ago, while serving in North Georgia, I made visits one hot Spring afternoon. I drove to the home of a lady who visited the previous Sunday. She lived a mile or two off the main highway. I located her house, knocked on her door, and no one answered. I left my card with a note, returned to my car and noticed a loud hissing sound. My tire was going flat.

When I was in elementary school—it was either the sixth or seventh grade—my classmates elected me to fight a boy named Johnny because he supposedly was picking on smaller kids.  It was almost an honor.

On a recent Sunday, Connie and I were able to attend our home church together and reconnect with some of our friends. We heard a great sermon from Dr. Andy McDonald, who is serving as our interim pastor while we search for our next pastor.  

While on vacation or traveling for business, finding a place to worship, especially when a tight schedule requires traveling on Sunday, can be a challenge. Yet, the worship and fellowship experienced on many of those occasions may be enhanced by the providential hand of God, opening the church doors we normally would not have opened, and by introducing us to new friends along the way.

Commentary: Take a 'zero day'

It’s been written that Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, once hired an expert to gauge the efficiency of his company.  A few weeks later, the man presented a very positive report, except for one thing. “It’s that man down the hall,” the expert reported. “Every time I go by his office he’s just sitting there with his feet on his desk. He’s wasting your money.” “That man,” answered Ford, “once had an idea that saved us millions of dollars. At that time, I believe his feet were planted right where they are now.”

Eddie Drinkard is a member of Green Acres Baptist Church in Athens, a real estate broker who focuses on selling property with large acreage, and a very gracious Christian gentleman. One of the things Drinkard does to serve his church is to maintain the grounds, including doing whatever landscaping is necessary, and providing pine straw whenever it is required.

Sunday morning! The sun is out, the church doors are unlocked, the AC is on (and working!), and the fellowship hall smells of homemade breakfast. A week has come and gone, and now it’s time to worship and fellowship with the church family.

We all follow someone. But following Jesus is not like following someone on social media. It’s not like following a sports team, or just keeping up with someone we admire or respect. Following Jesus is totally different from these other expressions of following. Following Jesus is about being an apprentice, a disciple of Jesus.

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me!” This ancient proverb dates back to the 17th century book, The Court and Character of King James, written by Anthony Weldon. Intended to be a lesson about learning from our mistakes, the modern takeaway for many is to write off those who do you wrong permanently. In fact, we might even use it to justify our sustained bitterness and resentment toward other people.  

Are you making church members or are you making disciples? Like every follower of Jesus, a pastor’s first calling is to be a disciple-maker. Although I regularly quoted the Great Commission in challenging our church toward kingdom work, I must confess that I did not really understand the difference between a good church member and a disciple. Because of that, I was not intentionally making disciples of Jesus.

I grew up knowing very little about Deaf culture. As a kid, I had interacted with a few Deaf adults, and gave myself a pat on the back when I understood one question they asked me. But I did not go out of my way to talk with them. Not that I had anything against them; I was just in my own little world, and in my world, everyone speaks my language.

I’d never heard of Grant Holmes until the 28-year-old pitcher made his Major League debut on Father’s Day at Truist Park against the Tampa Bay Rays. His appearance highlighted an 8-6 Braves loss as Holmes pitched three scoreless innings, allowing only two hits.

Life in West Tennessee has been unusually hot recently, with temperatures hovering in the mid-90s for prolonged periods. But it isn’t just here. Brownsville, Texas, peaked at 100 degrees as early as May 24. Las Vegas hit 111 degrees the first week of June, while Death Valley endured heat of 122 degrees on the same day.

We now live in a world and society of skepticism. Most people no longer believe the Bible is true or that it is God’s Word.

When Robert Fulton unveiled his new invention, the steamboat, a host of naysayers gathered on the riverbank yelling, “It'll never start, it’ll never start.” Fulton quieted the crowd when, after a lot of clunking and groaning, the boat began moving down the river.

We are approaching our 248th anniversary as a nation. We should all bow our heads and thank God for the privilege of living in the United States of America. It is the land of the free and the home of the brave. When Christopher Columbus arrived on the shores of this new world, he lifted his heart and eyes to heaven and with great gratitude offered expressions of thanksgiving to God and his crew joined him in singing a hymn of praise to God.

If you fly a lot, you know that much of what happens on your journey can appear senseless and frustrating. On one occasion I sat at the terminal gate for hours after loading a plane. Another trip taught me that being number 43 for takeoff means waiting for a few hours on the runway. More than once I’ve been rerouted away from my final destination to another city. I have circled Memphis in the air numerous times without getting permission to land.

Is your pastor making a living wage? Our pastors willingly carry many burdens on their congregation’s behalf, but financial hardship should not be one of them. When they answered the call to ministry, they didn’t go in with the expectation of building wealth but they did hope to earn a solid income to provide for themselves and their families and to finish well financially. 

You can believe the good news about the kingdom of God. You can trust in the King of this newly opened-to-us kingdom and therefore trust what He has said and done. Certainly the belief I’m writing about is more than acknowledging propositions. It is what I call a saving faith.

In his book, Begin Again, Max Lucado shares the story of Nadin Khoury, who was just a 5’2”, 100 pound immigrant when he and his mother moved to Philadelphia. He never stood a chance when a group of neighborhood kids began to bully him daily. As their taunting escalated, it led to full blown assault on a cold day in January.

A dream trip turned into reality when my church family generously gave us an Alaska adventure as a retirement gift. In 2020, Amy and I planned a 40th wedding anniversary land tour of Alaska. Then came the pandemic.

The greatest barrier to disciple-making in the United States is undiscipled believers. We have resources and opportunities like never before, and yet our churches still struggle to fulfill the one task our Lord left us to accomplish — to make disciples. Just ask the majority of churches that have plateaued or are in decline since the pandemic.

The good news is that we can celebrate the overturning of Roe v. Wade on June 24th. Under the Lord’s leadership, we can keep working together to build a culture of life in Georgia that stands up for all innocent human life and ministers both to mothers and babies.

I was recently hiking on the Appalachian Trail in north Georgia with some friends. One of my companions was Jack, a 25-year-old young man from Nashville, Tenn. I was told Jack had just checked his compass when he called out to me, “What direction are we going?” It’s an important question while navigating the AT, you don’t want to become disoriented on the trail.

I heard about a physician who said, “Many of my patients have nothing wrong with them except their thoughts. So I have a favorite prescription I write for some. But it is not a prescription that you can fill at a drugstore. The prescription I write is a verse from the Bible, Romans 12:2.

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