Monday, April 30, 2007

Closing the Deal

As I was listening to Randy Harris speak Saturday afternoon, something he said struck me. He said we in Churches of Christ feel like any time we are sharing Jesus, we have to "close the deal" (lead them to baptism). However, we have so many opportunities each day to share Jesus that if we only do so when we can close the deal, we are then failing to be seed-planters.

Our thinking that we have to close the deal actually works against us being evangelistic. After all, if you can't make the sell, why even try? So unless we can sit down and have a Bible study with someone (which few of us do), then why mention Jesus? Just blend in with the rest of the crowd. Treat people like a pagan would treat them, because without closing the deal, it really doesn't matter. We wouldn't actually be guilty of such callous thinking, but I think subliminally this is what happens.

Let's realize that we may be God's instrument to plant a seed. With every person we meet! You know, companies spend millions of dollars to advertise their products -- knowing that ads don't close the sale. But they present the product so that someone else might have the opportunity to close the sale at a later time. Well, we are walking advertisements for Jesus.

As Paul said (1 Corinthians 3: 6): "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow."

I have known this for a long time, but it just struck me in a powerful way when listening to Randy. It is going to change the way I deal with people. Would you join me?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Nelson

Tomorrow Beverly and I are going on a ministers' retreat. Actually, we are meeting Jacob and Heather at the Byron Nelson Golf Tournament to spend the day together.

I find it sad that the Nelson has fallen so quickly. It used to be an elite event -- drawing a great field. Much of that was due to Mr. Nelson's influence. As recently as just a couple of years ago, they would get 7 or 8 of the top ten players. This year, they have 2: Phil Michelson and ViJay Singh. My respect for them has gone up as a result. In fact, Phil was also at Mr. Nelson's funeral in September.

I really would have expected more golfers to come this year out of tribute to Mr. Nelson. I am especially disappointed in Tiger Wood's failure to appear. He has often said how much Mr. Nelson meant to him in his early years -- encouraging him and guilding him to make right decisions about his career path.

Regardless of who is there, I plan on having a good time tomorrow (even with Jacob present).

Tomorrow night, we will pick up our granddaughter and head to Houston. Beverly will be on the program for Elderlink. I will spend time with my sons and their families. My grandson, Jed, is now walking and is so cute and so much fun!

I'll return to blog land next week!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Toyota is Now Number One

I read this morning that Toyota has passed GM into the #1 spot in world auto sales. I can remember a day when I said I would never buy a Japanese car. I have now had one Toyota and four Hondas.

Back in the late 60s when Toyota first came to America, their cars were cheap -- in price and quality. But they really changed their reputation. Hyundai is doing a similar thing now. They first came with cheap, poor quality cars. But now, their cars seem to be much better.

I wish the American auto makers would make a similar change in image. However, I find it ironic that my Hondas are more American made now than most GMs.

I found the following comments on Tozer's daily devo to be interesting, especially since I am such a George Mueller fan:

..Yet you do not have because you do not ask. --James 4:2

It was a saying of George Mueller that faith grows with use. If we would have great faith we must begin to use the little faith we already have. Put it to work by reverent and faithful praying, and it will grow and become stronger day by day. Dare today to trust God for something small and ordinary and next week or next year you may be able to trust Him for answers bordering on the miraculous. Everyone has some faith, said Mueller; the difference among us is one of degree only, and the man of small
faith may be simply the one who has not dared to exercise the little faith he has.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Miscellaneous Monday

After watching the Mavs last night, I am thinking about trying out for the NBA. I am probably one of the worst shooters in the history of the world. I can miss layups as well as they did. And I would offer to play for much less. That was a sorry performance and the fans deserved better.

Does anyone out there know how to get rid of mushrooms. We have a flowerbed that, every time it rains, the mushrooms come up in clumps by the hundreds. I have tried poisoning them, and have succeeded only in killing a couple of shrubs. But they just keep on coming back. I am going to call the county extention agent and see if there is something I can do.

Adam, I'm coming to find you as soon as I get to heaven.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Review of "Idol"

FINALLY! Justice has been served. Sanjaya is gone! Now Idol can get down to determining who the best is.

I didn't watch Tuesday night. In fact, Beverly and I have not been big Idol-ers this year. We fast-forward through Wednesday night's shows to see who gets booted.

I was surprised to hear Simon apologizing for his facial expressions the night before when one of the contestants said something about the shootings at Virginia Tech. When they replayed it, I can only imagine what viewers from Tuesday night must have thought about Simon for the next 24 hours. But when Simon's dialogue with Paula was turned up, it was obvious that he was not even listening to the contestant -- and his facial expressions were in response to something Paula had said.

It reminds me just how easy it is to be misunderstood. A facial expression. Tone of voice. Poor choice of words. Unintentional oversight of someone. All can be considered slights and cause strain in relationships.

Wow! Relationships with people would be so easy -- if it wasn't for people being involved. (You might want to write that one down. If you quote it, please give me credit.)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sports Talk

The rain last night was sure nice. This month will go a long way to curbing the draught. If we could have another few wet weeks, we should go into summer in pretty good shape. Thank you, Lord!

Are the Stars going to do a repeat of last year and disappear in the 1st round of the playoffs? They keep crowing about how they are the better team in this series. Yet they find themselves down 3 games to 1. Not good.

And the Mavs. I know some of you who read this blog are sports fanatics, and I confess I am really not. I would love to see the Mavs win the championship this year. They have certainly had a great season. But what is the deal with them against Golden State? I know last night was a meaningless game in which they held out all their starters. However, they haven't been able to beat them this year. And it looks like they will be their 1st-round opponents in the playoffs.

Part of the joy I find in walking with the Lord is that no matter how much history we have -- He never ceases to amaze me. He is just so incredible! LIfe with Him is definitely "da bomb"!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Prayers for Virginia Tech

What a tragedy yesterday with the massacre at Virginia Tech. I wish I could say I was shocked -- and to some degree I was. But after Columbine, Paducah, Wedgewood Baptist, the MacDonald's in California, the Luby's in Killeen . . .

We know the guy who killed so many in Austin back in the 60s had a brain tumor. With these others, I find myself wondering what would cause someone to do such a terrible thing? I've heard all kinds of reasons offered -- but I just can't relate to it at all. Beverly often tells me rational people cannot relate to the thinking of irrational people. I do worry sometimes when I hear the "experts" on TV explaining what is going on in these murderers' minds. I think they need to be careful not to make victims out of them. Whatever has happened in these people's lives does not excuse the cowardliness of their actions.

This morning I am praying that the Lord will be really big in the lives of the victims' families and friends.

Monday, April 16, 2007

No Time

Beverly had an interesting weekend. She went to Panama City, Florida for a Ladies' retreat. She was supposed to be home Saturday evening around 9. Well, the storm that came through here on Friday night hit Atlanta on Saturday night. So she was delayed several hours. She got home about 1:30 Sunday morning. Then immediately after church yesterday, she was off for Sunnyvale for a "coffee" honoring our nephew, who is graduating from high school. I think she might have caught up a little on her sleep last night. I know I did.

This time of year the pace of life is unbelievable! I don't do nearly as well with it as Beverly does. We have baby showers, weddings, graduations and birthdays every weekend until June. This weekend we go to Houston. Then next weekend we go back for Elderlink, where Beverly will be speaking. So, there will be lots of late Saturday nights coming up.

And somewhere in there -- we are going to have a grandson (another trip to Houston -- but one I can't wait to see Truit!)

Whew! I get tired just thinking about it!

When do you reach the time in life where you piddle in the yard on weekends? Or drive to some little town and look around? Or watch a movie? (Some friends lent us a movie 6 weeks ago, and we have yet to find time to watch it!) I thought that might come with empty nest, but I think we are busier now than when we had kids at home.

When you boil it all down, I guess we do what we want to do.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Crabs and More

Decatur made the national news! For those of you who do not live in this area, you might have missed it. The Decatur courthouse was reported to have "crabs" in the public restroom. Something resembling a lice had been found, and someone asked, "Could it be crabs?" The next thing you know, the media had picked up on it and was reporting that as a fact.

It turns out that the "lice" was a bird parasite brought by the pigeons that nest around the courthouse. Oh, well. So much for our moment of fame.

I hear an incredible story this morning on "Good Morning, America" about 9-1-1 operators. There was an incident in which a woman was choking on a piece of meat. Her husband called, and the 9-1-1 operator asked if he could do the Heimlick on her. The husband said he did not know how -- and the operator nor the supervisor could tell him how! By the time EMS arrived, the woman was dead! Can you imagine that?

Then to top it off, the operator was reported to have said, "Well, another one bites the dust. I guess she bit off more than she could chew."

Could we bring back public floggings?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Daily Blogging?

I have been blogging now for nearly three years. I must confess: There are days when I have no idea what to say. There are often times when I wonder if this is really a good way to spend my time. I could be spending this time in prayer or reading from the Word. I like the discipline most of the time. I had really hoped that by now, this would be a place for the exchange of ideas, dialogue, etc. It is OK that it hasn't developed into that, but I am just considering its priority. I am trying to decide if it might be good for me to give it up for a while. Or maybe go to once or twice a week. I think I'll sleep on it.

My friends Jody Adams and Kyle Reeves are leaving today for Mexico. Kyle has made this trip three previous years, and Jody has gone twice. They open up a clinic and do dental work. Kyle works on my teeth, so I know how good a job he will do. Jody? I think I might rather have Jack Bauer approaching my mouth:) This year, they are taking an orthodontist along with them. Let's cover them with prayer as they make this trip.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My Granddaughter Is Seven!

Seven years ago today, I was in Abilene -- wondering what it would be like to be a grandfather. What I learned is that no words can descibe it.

Today my first grandchild turns 7. She has truly been one of the handful of greatest blessings in my life. She is fun, smart and truly has a love for God that carries over into a love for people. And she actually thinks I am smart. Her mother says that when a discussion of history or current events comes up and they are not sure of the answer, Malaya will say, "Grampy will know."

I also love the way she can turn on her voice when she wants something: "Gray-im-pee." She can have whatever she wants.

I am proud to be her "Grampy" -- even though when she spends the night, I end up on the couch.

Tonight we will celebrate her birthday at Chili's in Keller.

It's hard to believe, but in about a month, I will have THREE grandchildren. Two boys and a girl. Life is sweet -- and I am blessed.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my sweet Malaya!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Thoughts on the Master and The Masters

Last week my thoughts were on the original resurrection week a lot. Each day I found myself asking, "What was Jesus doing right now?" "What were Jesus' apostles thinking right now?"

Well, it still hasn't stopped. This morning one of my 1st thoughts was, "What was it like for the apostles the day after resurrection day?" After seeing Jesus in the Upper Room on Sunday night, what was it like for them as they awoke Monday morning? Were they excited? Confused? Did they wonder if they they were just waking up from a dream?

I enjoyed watching The Masters this year. However, I think they have made the course too difficult. Part of the thrill of watching it is hearing those roars go up when someone sinks a birdie or eagle. There was a little of that yesterday, but it was absent Saturday. The Masters played like a U. S. Open. But I don't think that's what most people want from Augusta. It will be interesting to see if they correct that.

And the winner? Zach Johnson. A 31-year old fresh face. It was really neat to see the way he handled himself in the victory. Very gracious. Obviously a man of deep conviction and faith.

Friday, April 06, 2007

"Good Friday"

At this very moment 1,973 years ago today -- Jesus was approaching Golgotha.

I'm saying that with some poetic license. Of course, He was in a different time zone. And there are good arguments made that "Good Friday" should be "Good Thursday" -- that Jesus was actually crucified on Thursday -- and spent three FULL days in the tomb. Could be. But I'm just offering the daily reminders as points of reflection.

So, having said that -- the transaction which paid for my sin was only hours away.

Here's some thoughts from Tozer:

But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him. --Habakkuk 2:20

I think we are the busiest bunch of eager beavers ever seen in the religious world. The idea seems to be that if we are not running in a circle, breathing down the back of our own neck, we are not pleasing God!

When Jesus said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15 KJV), Peter probably leaped to his feet and, no doubt, scooped up his hat on the way out. He was going to go right then!

But the Lord said, "Peter, come back, and 'stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high' (Luke 24:49)."

Sometimes I think the Church would be better off if we would call a moratorium on activity for about six weeks and just wait on God to see what He is waiting to do for us. That's what they did before Pentecost. The Counselor, 95.

Looks like we might get a freeze tonight or tomorrow night! Wow. I hope our marigolds make it. We'll be at LTC.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

In Another Place and Time

Winter has refused to retreat. The last two days have been really cool, and it is supposed to get cooler. Not a freeze -- but temperatures in the 30s this weekend. I had just put up all of my winter clothes last Saturday.

I have now entered the 21st century. Yes, I have TiVo -- and just in time! My first TiVo-ed show? The Masters. Yes, Beverly works late tonight. So, after I mow my in-laws yard this afternoon, I will settle in with TiVo and Augusta. Life gets better only in heaven:).

What a wonderful surprise to hear that Iran had released the British soldiers they were holding captive. I can't figure out what would have motivated them to do that -- but I am glad. Maybe that lunatic leader of theirs is trying to make some points globally.

Again, assuming the crucifixion year of 30 AD, 1,977 years ago tonight -- Jesus washed the feet of His apostles in the upper room. He instituted the Lord's Supper. He prayed in anguish in the Garden.

I wonder what He was doing at this time in the morning on that fateful day?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I am working on my Wednesday night class and Sunday morning class from the house this morning. We are making the switch from DISH to DirectTV. This was prompted by my kids telling me that I am still living in the stone age since I don't have Tivo (sp?). DirectTV is scheduled to be here at 10. I am hopeful that I have made the right decision. I have been with Dish for 6-1/2 years, but they just were not willing to give me any kind of deal. To get from them what I am getting from DirectTV would cost about $30 a month more.

I have written about W.A.R.M. (Wise Area Relief Mission) before. Since I have just left my prayer group where we talked for a long time about W.A.R.M., it is still on my heart. We are in need of a new facility. We operate on a tight budget, and the current building (used to be the Church of Christ building) is ours to use for free. But it is falling down around us. It is in need of a lot of repairs, and has a mold issue as well. Please pray that the Lord will provide for this need.

Also, we could use some volunteers. This would be perfect for someone who is retired. One could volunteer for a couple of hours a week or a month. But we really need help! It is gratifying work. Mostly just stocking groceries and things of that sort. But to see how the poor are being helped gives you a good feeling.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

TV Commercials

Congratulatons to the Florida Gators. They are the only NCAA team in history to hold both the national football and basketball championship at the same time.

I know I am probably overreacting, but am I seeing an Achille's heel in the Mavs? Was Dwyane Wade right in saying that Dirk is not a leader? In the two head-to-head matches with the Suns in the last month, Dirk has been mediocre at best -- while Nash looks like Superman. This does not bode well for getting to the finals. I know that championships are not won in April, but is anyone else concerned?

Geico appears to have hit on an advertising stroke of genius. I got pretty tired of the gecko thing. But their caveman ads are interesting. And now there is talk of making this into a prime time television show.

Speaking of commercials, have you seen the one with the guy who is standing outside the company conference room dressed in loud golf clothes with a golf glove on his hand. He asks his boss if he can leave work to take care of his daughter. It's cute.

I also like the one for a hotel chain ( I can't remember for sure who). The boss tells an employee that he wants him to go to represent them at a conference because everyone likes him. He acts surprised. So the boss says, "OK, watch." He picks up a potted cactus and throws it at a fellow employee who is sitting at his computer. The guy jumps up angrily and yells, "Who did that?" Seeing that it is this "likeable" guy, he just says, "Oh, it's just ________. He's so funny." He then goes back to his computer -- with the cactus stuck to his back. It cracks me up.

Any favorites?

Monday, April 02, 2007

What a Week!

This is a busy week. First of all, it is Master's week. I ate lunch with a guy yesterday who got to spend 2 days there a couple of years ago. He said it is one of those places that you go to with high expectations -- and it still exceeds your expectations. And he's not really a golfer!

2nd, this is LTC weekend. Our kids from church have been studying the book of Acts since September in preparation for events this weekend. Many have also been involved in crafts, radio and any number of activities. Beverly and I will spend Friday night at the Hyatt-Airport, which is where LTC is bein held. We will be watching and encouraging our kids in their individual competitions. We will stay until after lunch on Saturday.

3rd, and greatest of all: Sunday is Easter. We will commemorate THE day of the greatest event in history -- the empty tomb. Let the skeptics continue with their chatter. They only make themselves look silly.

I was thinking yesterday about something. If I live to be 73, I will celebrate the 2,000th Easter (assuming the dating is accurate). It was once believed that Jesus was crucified in 33 AD. Then the dating was changed to 30 AD. Some are now saying it may have been 28 AD. In my calculations, I am going with 30 AD.