Friday, July 28, 2006


Earlier today (July 28) I asked for prayer for my uncle Robert. Apparently he's going home today. I told you he was in ICU in a Birmingham hospital. That was overnight after a fall from a horse yesterday (7/27/06). Everything had checked out OK except there was bleeding in the brain. After a CAT scan this morning, the doctors said there is a small amount of bleeding which should be absorbed into the body and there is no swelling which is what they were concerned about... My sister Dedra is supposed to take him home in a little while. Please continue to lift him up in your prayers because he is going to have some serious headaches for a long while. Also, my aunt Faye did not handle the whole episode very well. Please continue to pray for her as well.

Urgent prayer request

Please pray for my uncle Robert. He is a Birmingham hospital in ICU with bleeding in his brain. He had a fall from a horse which resulted in a busted noggin'. No one at all is allowed to see him right now. Please pray for him, his doctors and especially his wife — my aunt — Faye.
Check out the link to my website for more updated prayer information. Click on the prayer tab.

Another wonderful story


By Steve Klusmeyer
Life might be less complicated for all of us if we each received our own Lego kit at birth.
Yes, I realize there is a choking hazard for children under three. But when you are old enough, you can learn a lot from Legos. I have learned that:
  • There is strength in numbers. When the bricks stick together, great things can be accomplished.
  • Playtime is important. Sometimes it doesn't matter what you are building, as long as you're having fun.
  • Disaster happens. But the pieces can be put back together again.
  • Every brick has a purpose. Some are made for a specific spot — most can adapt almost anywhere — but every one will fit somewhere.
  • Color doesn't matter. A blue brick will fit in the same space as a red brick.
  • Size doesn't matter. When stepped on in the dark, a 2 x 2 Lego brick causes the same amount of pain as a 2 x 8 brick.
  • No one is indispensable. If one brick is unavailable, another can take its place.
  • All Lego men are created equal (1.5625 inches tall). What they become is limited only by imagination.
  • It doesn't always turn out as planned. Sometimes it turns out better. If it doesn't, you can always try again.
    I thought about each of these statements as it relates to the church. Some of the statements apply more than others.
    For example, unity is a biblical concept. When Christians stick together, great things can be accomplished.
    And it is an important biblical truth that every Christian has a purpose. As Paul describes it in 1 Corinthians 12 using the analogy of a human body, some of us are eyes, some are hands, still others are feet, but we all have a purpose and a role.
    But while it is technically true that "no one is indispensable", the teaching of scripture is that each one of us is needed and the body suffers greatly if we don't do our part. (1 Cor. 12:20-22)
    The greatest comparison between Legos and Christianity, though, is that we are indeed a building shaped by God's own hand. And every Christian is a part of that building -- not a plastic building block, but a "living stone":
    "As you come to him, the living Stone — rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him — you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:4-5)
  • Thursday, July 27, 2006

    Prayer request

    I received a longer email today from some missionary friends in the Middle East. They ask for prayer for our Southern Baptist representatives in Israel. They are in imminent danger of being evicted from Israel, after having worked there for many years. This is an unprecedented effort by a small minority in the Israel government...and if it is successful, could lead to a domino effect in relation to other Christians in Israel.
    First of all, pray. In the end, our trust is in the Lord and not in man!
    Please join me in praying for the missionaries there. Pray for God to work in the hearts of the people behind this effort. Pray for open doors to share God's Word.
    Thank you for joining me in this effort to pray.
    Below is a story I thought would help with your priorities.

    Full life

    A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
    The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
    The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."
    The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
    "Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things — your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions — and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
    The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else — the small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
    "Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
    One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."
    -- Author unknown

    Wednesday, July 26, 2006

    Updated web site/sharing another story

    I updated my website today and yesterday with more prayer requests. There's a link over on the lefthand side of this page. So click on the prayer tab when you get there. I'm posting a picture of some kids in Venezuela. Some missionaries I know work there. They just sent a newsletter to me. I put a link on their section of the prayer page. Please make sure you pay attention to the Wake Cross Roads Baptist Church section as well as the Wayfarers on the Silk Road. Each of these three have been updated in the last couple of days. The others have dates on them as well. Please pray for these missionaries and the work they are doing around the world.

    Clay ball

    A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a
    canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled
    clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake.

    They didn't look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the
    bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw
    the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.

    He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it
    cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!

    Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each
    contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in
    the 20 or so clay balls he had left. Then it struck him.

    He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the
    clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of
    thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands,
    but he had just thrown it away!

    It's like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and
    we see the external clay vessel. It doesn't look like much from the outside. It
    isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it. We see that
    person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known
    or wealthy But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden
    inside that person.

    There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to
    get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He
    sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to
    shine forth.

    May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown
    away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May
    we see the people in our world as God sees them.

    I am so blessed by the gems of friendship I have with each of you.
    Thank you for looking beyond my clay vessel.

    Tuesday, July 25, 2006

    Something better is coming

    The story below is one of my favorites. It probably makes the email rounds every year but it never ceases to amaze me. We need to look forward to something better...


    There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live.

    As she was getting her things "in order", she contacted her Pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.

    She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.

    Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

    "There's one more thing," she said excitedly .

    "What that?" the Pastor replied.

    "This is very important," the young woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."

    The Pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.

    "That surprises you, doesn't it?" the young woman asked.

    "Well to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the Pastor.

    The young woman explained, "My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement.

    "In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.'

    "It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming... like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something absolutely wonderful!

    "So I just wanted people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, 'What's with the fork?'

    "I want you to tell them my story of keeping the fork. And then I want you to share the gospel."

    The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death.

    But he also knew that the young woman had a tremendous grasp of heaven. She knew that something better was coming.

    At the funeral, people were walking by the young woman's casket and saw the fork placed in her right hand.

    Over and over, the Pastor heard the question, "What's with the Fork?"

    Over and over, he smiled. And shared her story and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    --Author Unknown

    Monday, July 24, 2006

    That all may know Him

    A few weeks ago controversial Bible came to my attention. I admit, I’m intrigued. Apparently, an organization called XXXchurch has been handing out Bibles at adult film industry events and conferences. With vibrant colors, letters boldly proclaim: Jesus Loves Porn Stars.
    Bible publishers refused to publish the book because they weren’t sure it was a smart move.
    But Jesus does love porn stars, doesn’t He? Of course He does, but most traditional churchgoers don’t want that element in their church.
    This is the reason so many of our churches are declining or barely maintaining the status quo. No one wants to rock the boat.
    A new friend — I’ve known him a little over a year — of mine is a fabulous storyteller and a pastor. He has a heart for people and winning them for Christ. But when he started sharing the gospel with prostitutes and minorities and bringing them to church, baptizing them and trying to disciple them … well, he soon lost his job!
    Loving the unlovely is good in theory and definitely when in another place. Let’s go on a mission trip! Let’s support missions overseas or in rural Appalachia!
    But start inviting the low-income or no-income to your church? Forget about it!
    Tell me what you think…

    Friday, July 21, 2006

    Sharing brownies

    The story I’m going to share below shows us an example of how tolerant we become of sin in our lives. It shows us how we justify letting a little in — just a little.
    There’s an old saying I love because it is so true: If you give Satan an inch, he’ll become your ruler. Most rulers for school are made up of 12 inches. It helps us draw a straight line; it helps us measure. You find giving an inch is easy; it’s just an inch. But the problem is once the inch is gone, we generally don’t get it back. Satan is not going to voluntarily say “Oh, here you go,” and hand us back the inch. You have to fight for it.
    In battle, the military digs in and fights. Continual retreats lead to defeat. After one inch, Satan will want another. We’ll wear down and give up another. After all, it’s only an inch. Mind you, now that’s two inches gone, leaving me with 10 inches — still a winner!
    You get the picture. The story below is a chunk of space, but it is worthwhile. Let me know what you think by clicking on the comments below:


    By David Kirkwood

    We become de-sensitized a little bit at a time.

    Some years ago, I walked into my office after a Sunday morning service to find a sandwich bag on my desk containing three chocolate brownies. Some thoughtful and anonymous person who knew my love for chocolate had placed them there, along with a piece of paper that had a short story written on it. I immediately sat down and began eating the first brownie as I read the following story.

    Two teenagers asked their father if they could go the theater to watch a movie that all their friends had seen. After reading some reviews about the movie on the internet, he denied their request.

    "Aw dad, why not?" they complained. "It's rated PG-13, and we're both older than thirteen!"

    Dad replied: "Because that movie contains nudity and portrays immorality as being normal and acceptable behavior."

    "But dad, those are just very small parts of the movie! That's what our friends who've seen it have told us. The movie is two hours long and those scenes are just a few minutes of the total film! It's based on a true story, and good triumphs over evil, and there are other redeeming themes like courage and self-sacrifice. Even the movie review websites say that!"

    "My answer is 'no,' and that is my final answer. You are welcome to stay home tonight, invite some of your friends over, and watch one of the good videos we have in our home collection. But you will not go and watch that film. End of discussion."

    The two teenagers walked dejectedly into the family room and slumped down on the couch. As they sulked, they were surprised to hear the sounds of their father preparing something in the kitchen.

    They soon recognized the wonderful aroma of brownies baking in the oven, and one of the teenagers said to the other, "Dad must be feeling guilty, and now he's going to try to make it up to us with some fresh brownies. Maybe we can soften him with lots of praise when he brings them out to us and persuade him to let us go to that movie after all."

    About that time I began eating the second brownie from the sandwich bag and wondered if there was some connection to the brownies I was eating and the brownies in the story. I kept reading.

    The teens were not disappointed. Soon their father appeared with a plate of warm brownies which he offered to his kids. They each took one.

    Then their father said, "Before you eat, I want to tell you something: I love you both so much."

    The teenagers smiled at each other with knowing glances. Dad was softening. "That is why I've made these brownies with the very best ingredients. I've made them from scratch. Most of the ingredients are even organic. The best organic flour. The best free-range eggs. The best organic sugar. Premium vanilla and chocolate."

    The brownies looked mouth-watering, and the teens began to become a little impatient with their dad's long speech.

    "But I want to be perfectly honest with you. There is one ingredient I added that is not usually found in brownies. I got that ingredient from our own back yard. But you needn't worry, because I only added the tiniest bit of that ingredient to your brownies. The amount of the portion is practically insignificant. So go ahead, take a bite and let me know what you think."

    "Dad, would you mind telling us what that mystery ingredient is before we eat?"

    "Why? The portion I added was so small. Just a teaspoonful. You won't even taste it."

    "Come on, dad; just tell us what that ingredient is."

    "Don't worry! It is organic, just like the other ingredients."


    "Well, OK, if you insist. That secret ingredient is poop."

    I immediately stopped chewing that second brownie and I spit it out into the waste basket by my desk. I continued reading, now fearful of the paragraphs that still remained.

    Both teens instantly dropped their brownies back on the plate and began inspecting their fingers with horror.

    "DAD! Why did you do that? You've tortured us by making us smell those brownies cooking for the last half hour, and now you tell us that you added dog poop! We can't eat these brownies!"

    "Why not? The amount of dog poop is very small compared to the rest of the ingredients. It won't hurt you. It's been cooked right along with the other ingredients. You won't even taste it. It has the same consistency as the brownies. Go ahead and eat!"

    "No, Dad...NEVER!"

    "And that is the same reason I won't allow you to go watch that movie. You won't tolerate a little dog poop in your brownies, so why should you tolerate a little immorality in your movies? We pray that God will not lead us unto temptation, so how can we in good conscience entertain ourselves with something that will imprint a sinful image in our minds that will lead us into temptation long after we first see it?"

    I discarded what remained of the second brownie as well as the entire untouched third brownie. What had been irresistible a minute go had become detestable. And only because of the very slim chance that what I was eating was slightly polluted. (Surely it wasn't...but I couldn't convince myself.)

    What a good lesson about purity! Why do we tolerate any sin? On the day of the Passover, the Israelites were commanded to remove every bit of leaven from their homes.

    Sin is like leaven - a little bit leavens the whole lump (1 Cor. 5:6).

    Thursday, July 20, 2006

    New ABC's

    A is for apple, and B is for boat,
    That used to be right, but now it won't float!
    Age before beauty is what we once said,
    But let's be a bit more realistic instead.

    A's for arthritis;
    B's the bad back,
    C is the chest pains, perhaps cardiac?

    D is for dental decay and decline,
    E is for eyesight--can't read that top line!
    F is for fissures and water retention
    G is for gas, which I'd rather not mention.

    H is high blood pressure--I'd prefer low;
    I for incisions with scars you can show.
    J is for joints, out of socket, won't mend,
    K is for knees that crack when they bend.

    L is lost hearing--now what did you say?
    M is memory lapses occurring all day.
    N is neuralgia, in nerves way down low;
    O is for osteo, the bones that don't grow!

    P for prescriptions, I have quite a few;
    Just give me a pill and I'll be good as new!
    Q is for queasy. Is it fatal or flu?
    R is for reflux--one meal turns to two.
    S for sleepless nights, counting my fears,
    T for tinnitus; there are bells in my ears!

    U is for urinary; big troubles with flow;
    V is for vertigo--that's "dizzy," you know.
    W is for worry. NOW what's going 'round?
    X is for x-ray and what might be found.

    Y is another year I'm left here behind,
    Z is for zest that I still have--in my mind.

    I've survived all the symptoms, my body's deployed,
    and I've kept twenty-six doctors fully employed.

    My comments: A friend sent me this email. I'm not sure where she got it, but I sent her an email back saying I believe I had that many doctors as a teenager. God is a miracle worker! But it doesn't mean I don't try to avoid them as much as possible now!

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006

    Mideast crisis

    Please join me in praying for missionaries serving in areas under attack right now. Some have been evacuated to other regions. Check out my website's prayer tab (see link on left-hand side of page) to hear prayer requests from the region.
    Lord, please be with the people of the Middle East right now. Please be with believers and missionaries who are in harm's way. Please protect them and get them out if it is Your Will.
    I pray for those in leadership roles. I pray for wisdom and discernment. Lord, let Your Will be done.
    Help believers during this time: to be able to reach out to others, to share Christ and to further Your Kingdom.
    Lord, above all, let Your Name be glorified in this situation. Bring others to You.

    Friday, July 14, 2006

    Cell Phone vs. Bible

    Someone sent this email to me. It brings priorities to mind. What would the world be like if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone. How do you treat your Bible?
    Read the full email below:
    I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell Phones?
    What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?
    What if we turned back to go get it if we for got it?
    What if we flipped through it several times a day?
    What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
    What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?
    What if we gave it to kids as gifts?
    What if we used it as we traveled?
    What if we used it in case of an emergency?
    What if we upgraded it to get the latest version?
    This is something to make you go... hmmm... where is my Bible?
    Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we don't ever have to worry about our bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill!

    Thursday, July 13, 2006

    God Walks With You Through The Valleys

    My comment: I share so many emails I get with you because they so often encourage me in my walk with Christ. Each day we need to praise God for all He is to us. We need to share Christ with others. I need to — more than I do. Lord, help me give you praise and honor. In everything, may You be glorified. Give me courage today to share You with someone. May this be your prayer as well.

    Life is good on the mountaintops of celebration. But no matter how much we'd like to spend our lives up there, we need to walk through the valleys of challenges, too. Life is tough in the valleys.

    Still, there are valuable lessons we can learn in the valleys that we could never learn if we stayed on the mountaintops.

    If you find yourself walking through a valley right now, let God teach you as He walks alongside you. Here's how you can find victory in the valleys:

    * The Valley of Uncertainty. Remember that every day of your life is gift from God. Thank Him for each day, and decide to use your time as well as you can. Don't assume that you have tomorrow; live one day at a time, as best as you can. Praise God for giving you life and ask Him to accomplish His full purposes for you. Understand that nothing can take you from Earth until God's plan for you is complete, and nothing can keep you here after God's plan for you is complete.

    * The Valley of Fear. Know that God wants to use this valley to deepen your faith. Be assured that nothing can change the fact that you belong to God, and He is in ultimate control of your life. Ask God to make you aware of His presence with you and to give you the peace that only He can give - the peace that surpasses all understanding. Remember that God will help you overcome anything that's causing you fear. Ask Him to give you the strength you need. Realize that God will be faithful to you, even when you're not faithful to Him. Use your time in this valley to learn how to trust God more, knowing that struggles build trust by showing you how to live out your faith.

    * The Valley of Detours. Realize that what is a detour to you because it's unexpected is, to God, just part of the expected path for your life. Even though you don't know where the detour will lead, God does. Lift your eyes beyond your circumstances to God and trust Him to guide you well. Cooperate with His plans for you; work with Him instead of against Him. Decide to live your life according to biblical morals, and follow God in both adversity and prosperity. Count on God's promises in Scripture as He works out His plan for your life. Cling to His providence and move forward in confidence.

    * The Valley of Suffering. Understand that, because God is sovereign, nothing can get to you without first coming through Him. Know that He won't allow you to suffer any more than you can bear, and that the suffering He allows you to experience is all for a good purpose in your life. Ask God to show you what He wants to learn from your suffering. Use your time of suffering to get to know God better, love Him more, and trust Him more. Don't lose heart; seasons of suffering inevitably end, and often result in positive growth for you.

    * The Valley of Storms. Invite God to use the storms you go through to stretch your faith.

    Understand that God can use storms for correcting (returning you to a right relationship with Him), perfecting (to mature you and prepare you for serving more in His kingdom), and instructing (to teach lessons you couldn't learn otherwise). As you struggle through a storm, keep in mind that Jesus is watching and listening, and He is rooting for you. Not only that, but He is praying for you to remain faithful and learn to trust Him even more. Don't panic, no matter how much rain falls, how loud the thunder crashes, or how close the lightening strikes, because God is more powerful than any storm you could ever experience.

    * The Valley of Discouragement. Seek counsel from people who are close to God, rather than from worldly sources. Ask strong Christians to pray for you, because their prayers are powerful. Bring your problems and pains to God and ask Him to empower you to handle them according to His will. Ask God for encouragement, and know that He will give it to you. Don't isolate yourself or fall into lethargy. Remember that if you wait until you feel like doing something, you often won't do it, but if you decide to take action no matter what your feelings, your feelings will follow. For example, if you wait to read your Bible until you're in the mood to do so, you probably won't read it. But if you read it anyway, despite your feelings, you'll discover that you'll want to read it more. Trust that obeying God will always bring His blessings into your life. Remember that nothing is impossible for God, and that problems are platforms for Him to work miracles if He chooses to do so. Know that you can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you. Don't quit living a faithful life; if you do, you'll miss out on God's best for you. Be persistent in faith until your circumstances change - and know that, in the process, you will change for the better yourself.

    * The Valley of Confusion. While walking through this valley, don't let yourself become disoriented.

    Stay focused on God, and firmly cling to Him and His promises, regardless of what happens. Be assured that even when your circumstances confuse you, God knows what He's doing in your life. Ask Him to help you trust Him more.

    * The Valley of Correction. Recognize that every crisis is an opportunity to take a personal inventory to determine how closely connected you are to God. Ask Him to show you any sins in your life that are blocking intimacy with Him. Repent, accept His forgiveness, and embrace the grace He offers to be reconciled with Him. Know that through your repentance, God can restore you and use your life to accomplish great things.

    * The Valley of Sickness. Understand that sickness is a summons to pray. Don't be shy about praying often, about everything you need, like healing, strength, and wisdom. Intercede for your loved ones and your medical team. Keep praying until answers come. Ask others - especially strong Christians - to pray for you, and let them know your specific requests. Don't wait for others to contact you; take the initiative to contact them. Seek the best medical care you can find, pray hard, and never give up hope. Understand that, while physical healing isn't guaranteed, God will intervene according to His will if you pray and give you peace and possibly restored health as well.

    - by Whitney Hopler

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006

    San Diego cross to remain, pending appeal

    My comment: I thought you might want to hear about this ... I've been following the story for quite some time. Plus, I thought the photo was awesome. Let me know what you think or even if you think...

    By Robert Marus
    Association Baptist Press
    Published July 10, 2006

    WASHINGTON -- A controversial cross will stay high atop a hill in a San Diego park at least until a federal appeals panel determines its fate, thanks to a Supreme Court justice.
    With a special order on the evening July 7, Justice Anthony Kennedy halted enforcement of a lower court's edict that the Mount Soledad cross be removed from the spot where it has stood since 1954. Earlier in the week he had temporarily granted cross supporters' request to delay the upcoming deadline while he considered the application's merits.
    The 29-foot-high monument, located prominently at the crest of an 800-foot hill in a city-owned park, has been at the center of a legal dispute for more than 15 years.
    In May, U.S. District Judge Gordon Thompson issued the latest in a string of rulings against the cross, claiming it violates the California Constitution's ban on government endorsement of religion. He gave the city 90 days to remove the monument -- or begin facing daily $5,000 fines.
    The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will consider the case in October, but had denied cross supporters' request to delay enforcement of Thompson's order until then.
    Kennedy issued the ruling because he is the justice assigned to hear emergency requests from the 9th Circuit's boundaries while the Supreme Court, which ended its 2005-2006 term June 29, is in recess.
    In an opinion explaining his ruling -- rare in such cases -- Kennedy said the case's circumstances "support preserving the status quo while the city's appeal proceeds. Compared to the irreparable harm of altering the memorial and removing the cross, the harm in a brief delay pending the court of appeals' expedited consideration of the case seems slight."
    Kennedy also noted recent actions -- a move by Congress to designate the monument a federal memorial and a 2005 decision by San Diego voters to transfer the property to the federal government -- as making it "substantially more likely" that the federal Supreme Court would eventually agree to consider the issues in the case. The high court has denied appeals to hear the litigation at previous stages.
    The cross's legal saga began in 1989, when a local atheist and Vietnam veteran, Phillip Paulson, sued the city for removal of the structure. He argued that the monument was clearly intended as a religious symbol and that its presence in so prominent a position in a city park suggests government preference for Christianity.
    Attorneys for the city have argued that the monolith is simply a monument to veterans. Although some version of a cross has stood on the spot for the past century, the present version was dedicated as a Korean War memorial on Easter Sunday in 1954. It gradually grew to include plaques and walls with the names of casualties from the Korean conflict and other wars.
    Paulson's attorneys have argued, however, that the private group that maintains the site did not add the commemorative elements until after the lawsuit was filed and that the cross continues to play a prominent role in Christian worship services.
    Cross supporters have attempted to sell the property to a private group to solve the dispute, but state judges have said that also violates the California Constitution. A lower state judge has ruled that the attempt to transfer the property to the federal government is also illegal, and an appeal regarding that matter is still pending in the state's courts.
    The case is Paulson v. City of San Diego.

    Tuesday, July 11, 2006

    The Right Hands

    A basketball in my hands is worth about $19.
    A basketball in Michael Jordan's hands is worth about $33 million.
    It depends whose hands it's in.

    A baseball in my hands is worth about $6.
    A baseball in Alex Rodriguez's hands is worth $25 million.
    It depends whose hands it's in.

    A tennis racket is useless in my hands.
    A tennis racket in Roger Federer's hands usually means a Wimbledon title.
    It depends whose hands it's in.

    A rod in my hands will keep away a wild animal.
    A rod in Moses' hands will part the mighty sea.
    It depends whose hands it's in.

    A sling shot in my hands is a kid's toy.
    A sling shot in David's hand is a mighty weapon.
    It depends whose hands it's in.

    Two fish and five loaves of bread in my hands is a couple of fish sandwiches.
    Two fish and five loaves of bread in God's hands will feed thousands.
    It depends whose hands it's in.

    Nails in my hands might produce a birdhouse.
    Nails in Jesus Christ's hands will produce salvation for the entire world.
    It depends whose hands it's in.

    As you see now it depends whose hands it's in.

    So put your concerns, your worries, your fears, your hopes, your dreams, your families and your relationships in God's hands because...

    It depends whose hands it's in.

    -- Author Unknown

    My comment: What do your hands say about you? Do you put all your troubles and blessings in your Father's hands? Why or why not?

    Monday, July 10, 2006

    Patriotic or psychotic?

    I thought you might like this picture I found on the Web, relating to July 4th.

    Friday, July 07, 2006

    Making idols

    I'm currently reading through Isaiah, and God is teaching me so much about His sovereignty.
    Today's reading was about making idols. Back then, they made them out of wood and metals, but they were handmade and then worshipped. Man was making an image to worship. Man was also the one creating and giving power to the "idol."
    God wants us to worship Him without all the manmade stuff creeping in...
    We don't need a manmade idol to worship God. He is all around us. Besides, we can't make an idol to represent Him because we cannot fathom how great He is -- how deep -- how vast -- how massive -- well, you get the picture, I hope.

    Other news: I updated my website again after receiving an update from my friends in Mexico. Click on the website link on the lefthand side of this page to take you there. Once there, click on prayer tab and scroll down to view the latest prayer requests and updates from the mission field.

    Thursday, July 06, 2006

    Prayers needed

    Please pray for my friends Doug and Rebecca who serve with the International Mission Board on the island of St. Thomas in the West Indies. They are suffering some persecution, and they have a team coming from the United States today to work. Threats have been made. Go to my website:, click on the prayer link for more specifics.
    God, please watch over your servants, who are serving in obedience. Please pray for this group from Georgia as they minister to this community. Pray for the hearts of the residents, that they will soften to Your message. May Your Will be done.

    Also, please pray for President Bush. His birthday is today, and we need to be praying for our leaders! Pray for wisdom and obedience to God's Will!

    Wednesday, July 05, 2006

    Reflections of...

    Have you ever noticed that a reflection is of something that is around the object? How could it reflect something that's not there? In this image, taken in Birmingham years ago, you see a tall building, but in the windows you see the reflection of the surrounding buildings. Now, the building can't choose what surrounds it, but we can.
    In our lives, we make the decision to surround ourselves with certain people. What are we reflecting in our lives? Do you see Jesus in your fellow church members? You should if they are spending time with Jesus. Do they see Jesus in you, in your actions?
    God is so good. He gave us free will -- to make our own choices. Let's choose to make the right ones today. Let us reflect the love, peace, grace and mercy of our heavenly Father.

    Monday, July 03, 2006

    Independence Day

    My cousin sent me this quote from Jay Leno:
    With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, "Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"

    The e-mail said the above photo is of a giant flag in Arizona that hasn't been retouched. Notice the cross formed by the sunshine.

    During church Sunday, the sermon was on dependence on God. Pastor Frank shared that we should allow God to have dominion over our lives. It is amazing to me how so many people talk about what Christians "can't" do instead of focusing on the freedom we find in Christ.
    As you celebrate the United States independence, think about what freedoms God has given you. We are free to love others as He has loved. We constantly think about the things God urges us not to do, that we miss the big picture. We are free from eternal damnation, free to live eternally with our Father in a wonderful place beyond our imagination! May He bless your holiday! If you do not know Him, please ask how you can know the One who gives you true freedom!