Saturday, December 06, 2008


Visiting with the Missippi Clan and having fun in the leaves with our cuz....

One of the sights seen from the big truck this month...
sweetwater, texas---home of a lot of big ole windmills
(Need to double click on the windmill pics to appreciate the "bigness")

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Full length Case for Christ video

click on the links above to see this amazing collection of powerful arguments by top scholars

great, great stuff to use if you are having questions or doubts or are dealing with folks who are.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Tracking our Government

I know everyone is totally consumed with how the election is going to turn out, but I'm already kind of thinking about the midterms of 2010. I think if I'm going to actually begin to take politics a little more seriously, it will start by getting involved way, way earlier in the process and supporting strong conservative candidates for office and getting as informed as I can reasonably get. I am starting this process by adding a new link to the blog. It is and I highly recommend that you check it out. It puts any and all info about your representatives, any bills that have been submitted, and who voted for what among lots of other great bits of info. This is the most important piece of the puzzle because they can say all they want to say, but it's the way they vote that actually deserves our scrutiny. Check it out..... I hope it's a useful tool for us all.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Overdue Pics Fix

The top picks are in our new house as it is being painted and the bottom pics are from when we were still in the Clanton house.....loving the new house. Thanks for all your prayers about getting into it!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Miracle Story 3

My pastor Steve McCarty was in Nicaragua with a group of his youth from a church in Nashville, Tennessee. While they were there, they began praying for a nine year old boy who could not walk. They prayed for about five minutes and nothing seemed to be happening, and just as they were about to end their time of prayer, one of the youth asked if they could just keep on praying for a little while longer. After praying for a few more minutes, the boy was healed and stood and walked. He had fallen from a tree three weeks before the youth group had arrived in this community, and the entire community was intimately familiar with the tragedy that had occurred because he was so young and told that he would not be able to use his legs again. This obviously had a powerful impact on the people of this community who now saw him walking and recognized it as a testimony of the very real power of God.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Vets For Freedom

A while back I tried to start up a blog that was going to be dedicated to giving veterans a voice without being filtered through the media, but alas, it was not meant to be. I was not able to dedicate the time needed to get the word out to various vet organizations and/or PR personnel on various military bases. However, in the meantime, I discovered an organization and web site that has the largest collection of Afghanistan and Iraq vets and is dedicated to giving them a voice. This is more than my blog could have accomplished in a lifetime; therefore, I've decided to simply supply a link to this so you all can become aware of them and hear the opinions about U.S. policy directly from the vets mouths. Hope it is a useful link for everyone. The link is located on the right side of this page near the bottom of the list of available links. Just click on vets for freedom.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Help My Unbelief....

This is a declaration believe it or not, but it ain't gonna begin that just bear with me. Without going into details, let's just say that the uncertainty in some big stuff continues to seem to hang over our heads like a spooky looking rain cloud on the horizon. I am taking this moment in time to speak to it because of the uniqueness of this "moment in time." In this moment in time, I do not know how this will all play out. I know how we want it to play out and quite frankly, we think we know how it ought to play out. I wish I could say I've been a rock of quiet confidence, but it just is not the case. The stress has caused me to get ticked, frustrated, worried, etc. In the midst of this, what I pray is this.....Lord I do believe, help my unbelief. This belief is not necessarily that things will work out as I think it ought. My belief and my hope is in the goodness of God regardless of how things turn out. This is what I need help with. If I trust that he can make this work out as I hope, then I could be disillusioned if it does not, and if it does work out as I hope, I could potentially be trusting in the deceitfulness of riches(see Cares of this world post). I pray that He would help my unbelief in his goodness and my unbelief in his ability to work out his purposes in my life through whatever circumstances he introduces especially his ultimate purpose to remake us all in his image.

Here's the declaration: God is good all the time.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Secret Church

Through a series of events that could perhaps deserve a blog post for themselves, I have discovered a wonderful resource for myself and all others who desire to study the Bible thoroughly and intensely. It is

This is a pretty fascinating phenomenon that is national and even global but has its roots here in the fair Birmingham Metro area. The pastor of Church at Brook Hills, David Platt, leads an intense six hour long marathon study once every 6 months or so. He has been doing this for about the past three years I believe. The topics covered include: The Old Testament, The New Testament, How to Study the Bible, Who is God, and they will be doing the fifth one this November. People travel from out of state to attend this thing called secret church from 6 PM to midnight. They have breaks every hour for coffee and food and bathroom/stretch your legs type stuff; therefore, the audio available online is actually about 4 hours in length because it only covers the actual teaching sessions. Both the audio and pdf files, that contain the same worksheets that they use in the service, are available online at the above web address for free for all. The reason it is called secret church is because the primary beneficiaries of the teaching are not those who physically attend, but it is specifically designed to be sent out to the church in third world countries who are first generation Christians and desperately need sound teaching about the most basic stuff. I highly recommend anyone with a desire to know your Bible to visit the site and allow yourself to be challenged by the solid approach to Bible study offered within the teachings.

It's GOOD stuff......

bushels of blessings to ya

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Cares of this world

I was recently thinking about that parable where Jesus talks about the seed, the sower, and the four different types of soil. I had some thoughts about one very specific part of this parable that I think might be worth writing about.

Myndall and I are in the midst of lots of stressful, big stuff right now, and I know of at least 8 or 9 close friends of ours who are facing some very serious, scary times in their lives that make our concerns look relatively small. It is in this context that these thoughts have emerged.

First, this parable appears in three of the four gospel accounts(Matthew, Mark, and Luke). This leads me to believe that this parable has a special significance, and Jesus even says, "Do you not understand this parable? How then shall you understand all parables?" This is a pretty powerful red flag that this is a pretty biggie to understand.

I'm just going to focus on one very specific point in the third kind of soil. The one that had thorns that choked out the life of the plant and made it unfruitful. In Mark 4:19 it states, "but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful." I think I've often interpreted this part in the past to be referring to people who just couldn't give up their pursuit of "worldly" things like the never ending quest for the bigger and better house, car, computer, tv, etc. or a hunger for power or something along those lines. I now am beginning to understand that this parable has a much more important point to make than simply chastising these problems.

When he says the worries or cares of this world, this applies to what all people deal with especially upon entering adulthood. However, it is clear to me that this does not mean to say that the cares or worries themselves cause the "soil" to be unfruitful. If this were the case we would think, "yep, it's too bad about old so and so. They would have been a great man/woman of God if they had not been sidetracked by all those terrible circumstances that played out in their lives. That stuff really derailed them from serving God."

I think that most of us inherently know this line of thinking is flawed because outside influences can't be what determines our "fruitfulness" according to our most basic understandings of the gospel. Therefore, what this passage is getting at is actually who we trust when the cares come and who we pursue when the cares leave us alone for a while. "...but the worries of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful." The great thing about our God is that he is teaching us(be it ever so slowly because I for one am a slow learner) that we work in the complete reverse of the world and its people in so many ways. Perhaps one of the most fascinating ways is that when we are in a place in our lives where a sudden storm seems to come in and overwhelm us, this is actually the place where we can find the greatest times of rest in Him because we are supposed to (slow learner) know that we are ultimately trusting in HIS ability not ours. Or another way of putting as my two year old daughter is fond of singing, "With Jesus in the boat, you can smile at the storm, smile at the storm, smile at the storm." :) I pray for my friends and believe they do the same for me. I pray that I would learn this lesson of dependence so I could be a better example of it to everyone. I pray that we would all pursue Christ with our whole hearts during and especially after the storm passes so that the "desires for other things" would exit out instead of entering in.

A possibly encouraging thought is that this third type of soil did receive the word and had roots and did not wither and die early on because of tribulation. It seems to me that each type of soil is progressively closer to the desired type of soil which is "good" soil that is deep and rich and free of thorns that strangle the life out of it. I hope that by the grace of God and the work of His Holy Spirit in our lives we are just around the corner from entering into a place of fruitfulness for those we encounter's benefit and for His glory.

Monday, September 01, 2008


The only thing I see are the clouds
The only thing I hear are the doubts
The only thing I feel is the pain
The only thing I taste is bitterness

The only thing I see is a ray of light
The only thing I hear is a small, tender voice
The only thing I feel is comfort
The only thing I taste is forgiveness

The only thing I know is the Word
The only thing to accept is the Truth
The only thing we deserve is judgment
The only thing we need is Him

The only thing He died for was you
The only thing keeping you from Him, the same

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Miracle Story 2

I've told this one on another blog I wrote but thought it needed to be posted on this blog because it is so powerful.

This is a bit of a romantic miracle....Andrew and Juliana met but were soon separated and living in different countries(Ju in Brazil and Andy in the States). They called, wrote, and sent packages to each other over about 8 to 9 months time, but about 6 weeks into the relationship, Juliana prayed for God to confirm if Andrew was "the one" for her by having him send in his very next email the passage of Isaiah 61:1-3 since it had a great significance for her. The very next day, Andrew, not realizing he was doing anything unusual or special, sent an email with Isaiah 61:1-3 centered on the email in large green font. It was the first time he had begun an email with a scripture passage rather than a salutation!

1The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; 2to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God;to comfort all who mourn, 3to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes,the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting so they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.

Isaiah 61:1-3

Please visit the link to their blog, Jernigans, about their current ministry in Ghana serving in a medical clinic as well as sharing the gospel at every opportunity.

Revisiting Steven Curtis Chapman

these are the lyrics from his song called Savior

"Well who is this angry man I see in the mirror looking back at me? It's a man who's tired, a man who's weak..... it's a man who needs a savior.

And who is this fearful little child crying out for home, lost in the wild? With a lonely heart that's fading fast.... it's a child who needs a Savior

And what is this longing in my soul that I get so scared and angry? I need more than just a little help. I need someone who will save me...Come and save me. I need someone to save me. Who will save me? Come and save me

And who is this one nailed to a cross who would rather die than leave us lost? He's come to rescue us, come to set us free. Hallelujah, hallelujah! It is Christ the Lord...our Savior"

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Obama's Media?

The New York Times' refusal to publish John McCain's rebuttal to Barack Obama's Iraq op-ed may be the most glaring example of liberal media bias this journalist has ever seen. But true proof of widespread media bias requires one to follow an old journalism maxim: Follow the money.
Even the Associated Press — no bastion of conservatism — has considered, at least superficially, the media's favoritism for Barack Obama. It's time to revisit media bias.
True to form, journalists are defending their bias by saying that one candidate, Obama, is more newsworthy than the other. In other words, there is no media bias. It is we, the hoi polloi, who reveal our bias by questioning the neutrality of these learned professionals in their ivory-towered newsrooms.
Big Media applies this rationalization to every argument used to point out bias. "It's not a result of bias," they say. "It's a matter of news judgment."
And, like the man who knows his wallet was pickpocketed but can't prove it, the public is left to futilely rage against the injustice of it all.
The "newsworthy" argument can be applied to every metric — one-sided imbalances in airtime, story placement, column inches, number of stories, etc. — save one.....
To see the full article in investor's business daily please click the link below.
I'm not going to add any commentary on this one. I think it speaks pretty clearly for itself.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Word experiment

Give a quick response to all of the following questions and see what you come up with. I will give an answer to each on my following post that may surprise folks......P.S. nope, I didn't come up with it, this is an experiment that I listened to in a talk given by Peter Kreeft--professor of Philosophy at Boston College.

1. Name the living person who has had the greatest influence on your life.
2. Who are you?
3. What is God like?
4. What is the church?
5. What is the church’s gospel?
6. What is truth?
7. What is the meaning of life?
8. What is death?
9. What was the last command of the last apostle?

Remember try to give quick responses. I know that's crazy hard on some, but limit yourself to about 15 seconds to respond to each question. It's not so much to test you, but to make a point.

no cheating......

are you sure you tried to answer all the questions before looking?

last chance to go back and try to answer them for yourself before looking at the answers.....

ok, here we go.....

Answer: Christ

1. Did you not think of him as a living person?

2. Christ lives in me

3. In Christ all the fullness of God dwells

4. Christ’s body

5. Christ in you the hope of glory

6. I am the way, the truth, and the life.—Christ

7. I am life.—Christ John 14:6

8. to live is Christ and to die is gain—more Christ

9. Jesus Christ, this is the true God and eternal life---little children keep yourselves from idols.

Just a clever way to remind us how much we are called to revolve our ENTIRE life around Jesus, and how far short of that we all fall(I don't think I answered Christ on a single one).

I pray He transforms our minds.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sayings I'll miss

"Daddy gonna buss you up."

"Daddy, can you come here a second?"

"How bout...."

"Ina(I want to) touch the butterflies."

"Daddy read."

"Squeeze the daddy."

"Daddy/mommy silly."

"Ready, Go, Set!"

"Ina color chalk."

"Ina swing."

"Ina swim."

"Ina see gamma."

"Dere's Elijah!"

Your Pics Fix

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Jesse M. Guy

"We are always some mix between the influences of who we were ten years ago and who we want to be ten years from now."

Just choice or no choice?

Certainly there are things in our lives that deserve to be placed into one of the two above categories. Things that are simply a choice we make in the course of our lives, or things that we have no choice about at all. An example of the first would be perhaps the color of the first paint we choose to paint on the walls of our first abode, and the second could perhaps be the country we were born in that determined in large part how many fun filled choices we would be given the opportunity to make in our lives.

However, I believe we are far, far too quick to place many things into one of these two categories. One example of this is homosexuality or sexual identity or identity in any sense. There are often two schools of thought that drift in and out of how we choose to deal with questions of how choice interacts with identity. You are what you do, or you do what you are.

No one believes that a person's gender or race is determined by choice, and these factors greatly affect what a person's identity is. However, a person's identity is not solely based on genetically predetermined factors. Who a person is, is also determined by their beliefs and attitudes. It is true that we all have environmental factors thrust upon us that we have no control over, but is it not also true that we can control what we choose to believe about what those experiential influences mean to us? Can we not affect the direction our lives take by what our beliefs and attitudes are in regard to any genetic predispositions or environmental influences? Therefore, a person's choices can and do affect what their options are in the future to some extent. I know that there are some who would say that sexual identity is as engrained as race or gender. It is important to understand that this is a belief no less than my belief that homosexuality is immoral and is not a predetermined path. We both choose which belief to espouse and this will impact our identity in the future. Beliefs chosen are often like snowballs on the tops of snow covered mountains. If you allow them to roll far enough down the hill, they will create an avalanche that only a miracle can stop the momentum of. This is why it is wise to give serious consideration to what we choose to fully invest ourselves in. The beliefs that we choose to fully invest our lives around are more accurately called convictions and will sway our identities more than mere casually held beliefs to be sure. I say that those who "believe" that sexual identity is as engrained as race or gender is only a belief because that is true. Even in the secular world, this is an established fact. In spite of media reports that muddy the waters(the 1993 story about the 'gay gene' is one of my personal faves) and activist political groups that would try to make it sound like the civil rights movement part deux, the FACT is that this belief about gayness not having any meaningful choice attached to it at all is exactly that, a belief. My point here is not to defend the equally silly notion that someone perhaps wakes up one day and decides to be homosexual, but simply to show that identity is one of the things in our lives that may appear at first glance to be either simply a choice or from another perspective seem that there is no choice to made because "that's just who we are." The truth lies somewhere in between. Although there are a complex mix of genetic, environmental, and experiential influences that contribute to our identities, sexual or otherwise, there will always also be a meaningful role for choice as well that is woven into our lives. I believe my ultimate conviction is that God is ultimately the only one who truly and completely knows both what our identity is here and now and what identity He will give us if we yield to Him.

Daddy/Daughter week....

Spent a lot of time with mommy and Elijah too, but this was a special week especially for daddy and Ella. We got to hang out a lot more than we usually do during the week and a half off that I was blessed to be able to take off from work. It was special. I'm having family withdrawals now but it was a great week and a half.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Steve Gallagher...

"God did not call us to success. he called us to faithfulness."

Freedom and a pure life

It's time to highlight another incredible person/persons for anyone checking out the ole blog.

Pure Life Ministries is a ministry started by Steve and Kathy Gallagher. Steve had what he refers to as a sexual addiction. His story is intense and is worth checking out if you ever get a chance.

If you visit their web site, you will immediately be greeted with 3 amazing statistics.

1. 50% of Christian men are addicted to pornography
2. 20% of Christian women struggle with pornography
3. 47% of families said that pornography is a problem in their home

These stats represent a dirty little secret in the church. Sexual immorality is a serious problem for professing believers and not enough is being said or done about that fact. I have struggled intensely in my life with lust and am not in any way stating these facts as someone who is above it looking down on those poor, pitiful souls affected by it. I am talking about it because I know first hand how much damage it can and does do. I long to live in an ever increasing spiral of freedom and purity not in an ever deepening spiral of bondage and depravity.

Pure life ministries is the single greatest resource I know of to point to for fellow seekers of a life of purity.

Ironically, the key to purity is NOT to think of it simply in terms of sexual sin. Purity or the lack thereof is spiritual, and it is spiritual purity, not just sexual purity that we are called to as believers. This is the strength of pure life ministries. They know this secret. Spiritual purity is synonymous with the degree to which our lives genuinely REVOLVE around Christ. Because this is the case, even if you personally do not struggle with some form of sexual immorality, I highly recommend checking out the web site. They also have a podcast if you have itunes. Simply type in purity for life podcast into the search bar of itunes and you can subscribe to their weekly "audio magazine" for free. Their podcast is full of invaluable insights for ANYONE seeking the purity of a life fully consumed with Christ.

The following is a snippet from their show. Steve Gallagher is sharing an overview of principles that he counsels pastors to put into place in their church to be proactively prepared for the ongoing issues that will arise when a pastor chooses to try to begin combating the forces of sexul immorality that are ravaging so many people within the church.


Foster an atmosphere of truth and honesty

Renounce sin from the pulpit

Educate your congregation about proper and improper sexuality

Establish and encourage men’s ministry

Disciple those in need

Offer restoration for fallen church leaders and members

Model godly character in consecration

May 4, 2008 Purity For Life podcast 2nd segment

Friday, June 27, 2008

Miracle story

This seems like a pretty good time to implement another new part of my blog which will be making a regular appearance. I plan to share first hand witness accounts of people I know and trust and their first hand accounts of powerful miracles that God has allowed them to experience. I know that stories you hear of and read about in media outlets may be easier to at least harbor some doubt as to the truthfulness of the stories, but these are people whom I trust intensely and know well enough to trust in their truthfulness. I hope these stories, as I present various accounts occasionally in the future, will spur you on to consider asking around to discover the people within your own circle of friends and acquaintances that have stories like these to share and can be used to strengthen our faith and challenge the unbelief of ourselves and others.

10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.
12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. John 14:10-12

Steve McCarty was my pastor in Trussville, Alabama. Before he was a pastor there, he served at a church in Nashville, TN as youth pastor. They took a trip to Nicaragua to do some missions work there. He witnessed some amazing things on that trip. This is just one of the stories he has shared with me.

He was praying for a man who was blind. The man had milky white cataracts that covered his eyes, and as Steve prayed, he began to see the milky white film clearing up. Suddenly, the man said, "You're a white man!" Steve continued praying and said that the milkiness had cleared even more by the time they left the man's house, and he had limited sight that seemed to be continuing to improve.

Chow for now my main chickens