Archive for November, 2010

TSA Humor

11/30/2010
Entrance to gates at Asheville Regional Airpor...

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This was contained in a funny little email I received today. Just some humorous food for thought. Have a great day-Chris

Here’s a solution to all the controversy over full-body scans & pat-downs at the airports – This is so simple that it’s brilliant.

All we need to do is develop a booth that you can step into that will NOT X-Ray you, but WILL Detonate any explosive device you may have hidden on or in your body. The explosion will be contained within the sealed booth.

This would be a win-win for everyone. There would be none of this crap about racial profiling and the device would eliminate long and expensive trials. No body pat-down or invasive X-Rays.

I can see it now – – you’re in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion. Shortly thereafter an announcement comes over the PA system, “Attention standby passengers, we now have an available seat……..”

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SStock

11/28/2010
A Turkey.

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I hope this first blog back from the Thanksgiving holiday finds everyone happy and safely home, ready to return to the endless grind of household chores and office responsibilities. I want to start this off by saying that as someone who has written countless papers on my faith, read the bible multiple times and done the best I could manage to absorb as much as humanly possible of it….I was humbled today by a 15 year old “kid”. The truth is that this kid was not who humbled me, it was the power of God working and speaking through him. I could see the looks on the faces of some of our older church members when he took the stage wearing a pastoral earpiece mic. They were dazed and confused. Some of the visitors had looks of (very brief) disbelief on their faces. I say brief because they quickly faded once he opened his mouth. He spoke like a veteran pastor. If he was nervous about being the first person under the age of 25 (give or take a few years) to speak in front of a full congregation (for two straight services at that) I couldn’t see it, in the pre-service briefing and run through and certainly not in the message. It may sound like I am trying to earn brownie points with his parents by my next few statements but I assure you I am not. When Jessica and myself entered the stage two membership class at church, I met his mom. She was great. I knew I would like her as soon as I saw her tattoo on her shoulder/neck area. She embodied what I was looking for in a church family. Different. And please do not think I mean that negatively, I grew up strict southern style COG. Teaching a membership class with a visible tat would have NEVER been accepted back in those days. By any pastor for that matter. But to me that tattoo that I am sure she would probably go back and change told me that EVERYONE was accepted here. Sinners, saints, outcasts, people who walked their own path for a while before decided to come to God, etc. That fits me more than many people know. Non-judgementalism to me, is as close to perfection in my church family as I could ask. It wasn’t long before I met her husband. Truly great and talented guy. Our bassist to be exact, and an awesome one at that. They have a whole family of talented kids to, and in laws and sisters that are just as well. Their oldest boy is our drummer, and well on his way to a making quite the career in college of playing drums. I don’t really know any of the kids personally, but I do speak from what I have seen. The kid on the stage this morning was from great spiritual stock. A genuine love of God, and willingness to do whatever it takes to get that word out there. The message itself was about having RELENTLESS faith, and because of hearing it, I am certain I will be mentioning it in other blogs. But it never ceases to amaze me how I can go to church, work both services, and leave with no clue what the spoken message was about, yet take so much more from it. Another message entirely if you will. Often I have to download the sermons to listen to at work to catch back up everything I missed. The message could not have been more clear to me this morning though. If I am unable to give my newborn son Christian anything else, I hope to breed that stock into him. Willingly of course, I would never force my faith down his throat, but to show him, to lead by example, the way that the parents I spoke of earlier have done, and continue to do daily. This Thanksgiving holiday wrap up leaves with me this to say: I am thankful for many things, my wife, my son, my loving family (both new and old, blood and not), my pastor and church staff, and the church family that, like these parents, teach me more and more by the day. If either of you are reading, we love you guys, you are the best.

“My own little world is not about me”

Chris

pastor pride

11/10/2010

-If you put a small value on yourself, please do not be alarmed when nobody else raises your price. Self worth is something you must create within yourself. Being surrounded by a good group of people who care about you and having a strong work ethic can most definitely help in this department. But, if you are one of the many people I know who do not believe you have a massive value and include yourself in the “average” grouping, it is your own fault. Do something to set yourself apart from the herd.

-A common misconception about churches is that they are after your wallet. This is something many people feel unnerving about churches. If my pastor were to drive a nicer car than me (which if he is still driving the same tiny little Dave Ramsey car, he most certainly is not) I would not let it bother me one bit. He works weekends, visits hospitals, deals with church business, is the spiritual leader of over 500 people, gives more money away a year than I do to those who truly need it, runs a small group from his home one night a week, oversees more than the majority of the church has a clue about, is personally debt free thanks to outstanding dilligence, is a great husband, father of two great kids, saves countless marriages a year outside of his own (wether he would take direct credit or not), on top of many other things like generally being a caring and genuine person as a whole. This on top of a pretty hefty work schedule, in my book, would be plenty of reason for him to drive a nicer car, I despise that argument against church. I will go on record with agreeing that many “pastors” are in it for the money, and sadly so. But I am comforted to know that mine, more than earns everything he has recieved and the following quote does not apply to him. “The more I know about business, the more I’m convinced that it is conducted in homes and churches far more than in office buildings.” (Laura Moncur) But I repeat, sadly this is true for many of them.

In closing:”Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open.” (Elmer G. Letterman)

-Chris

fences

11/09/2010

I want to start out by thanking everyone who read yesterday’s post. Apparently the NOW Sunday night carried into reading and tons of feedback from yesterday’s post. At the very least, I hope I was able to generate a little carry-on from the previous night wether you were able to be there or not. If you were not, I sincerely feel sad for you. Was quite the experience. For all who were able to attend, I wanted to comment on a few things I have read/learned this week so far. First a random fact that really has nothing at ALL to do with the night of worship. I learned earlier today that Sherlock Holmes never actually said; “Elementary my dear Watson”. Struck me as odd being that the particular selection of text is one that resonates with the stories. Funny how stigmas can stick to things they do not belong with. For instance, I have an atheist friend. We caught up today after not seeing each other for a while. He was quite sympathetic to my wife’s recent illness. Generally people of faith stick the label of uncaring or insincere to people who have no faith. This is so far from the truth it is not funny. I also have a few agnostic friends. I have recently decided that I respect atheists more than agnostics. This is because the agnostics among us ride the fence of indecision. At least the atheists have made a firm decision on where they stand. Many agnostics “closetly” believe that if God is real they can make up their minds just in the nick of time to find salvation after living the life they wish to. Unfortunately, it does not work that way as the scriptures clearly state that God’s return shall occur as a theif in the night, and over just as quickly. I truly hate the thought of my close friends who have not made that leap of faith yet, being comminated one day. But in that same respect, light cannot effectively function without darkness and vice versa. Back to the NOW, “Music is an art form. It is a way to wordlessly communicate” (Ken Hill). I read this today and thought back to Sunday night. To be fair, we did use lyrics and even a read-over but the music itself set the tone, very proud to be a part of a group of musicians as talented as ours.

In closing, a quote from the editor of the first King James Bible. “Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; and adversity is not without comforts and hopes.” (Sir Francis Bacon)

God bless,

-Chris

NOW

11/08/2010

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” (Mark Twain) Reading this after being surrounded by a few hundred of my closest friends for a couple of hours last night hit home for me. The audience was amazing. Our tech and sound teams were as close to flawless as possible. The musicians raised the bar. And the vocalists, were unbelievable. Two vocalists stood out even more. To avoid names, our lead singer and a male tenor both suffering from vocal problems from the changing of the seasons dug down deeper than either thought possible and pulled their voices back from the deep end. A slight scare with our drummer, two youth giving testimonies, and an outstanding guest vocalist all made it back quite literally right at the buzzer from a youth retreat. I still greatly miss one of the on stage presences and believe that the particular person will be back soon as prayer is quite powerful, but this is neither here nor there. Last night was the strongest service I think I have ever participated in. The partaking of the protestant Eucharist (communion) before the night felt incredible. And the way it was set up for the congregation was just as much. I used the Twain quote to begin the blog today because it speaks of GREAT people making you feel great as well. And from the smallest newborn (which was possibly mine) to the oldest person out there in the crowd, I truly felt as if I were surrounded by the greatest people I have ever had the priveledge of being around. It was quite a production and I look especially forward to the next.

-God bless

Chris

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Tammy Walker Dyer likes this.
    • Brandon KellerGlad you liked it.

      November 8, 2010 at 5:56pm ·LikeUnlike
    • Steve WoodsonIncredible blog and even a more undescribable evening. The presence of God and the Holy Spirit cannot be merely described but must be felt by those who are willing to allow His presence into their heart. Many youth before have felt God’s power and seen his hand at work and turned from his presence. I pray for every young person who wore glow bands last night that God will continue to burn an eternal glowing light in their hearts and it will grow brighter and shine longer FOREVER Amen.

      November 8, 2010 at 6:07pm ·LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading…
    • Brian David WoodsonAmen Amen and Amen. I am so in Love with our Savior. He gave us all a voice last night. Almost every person on that stage last night had been struggling with vocal issues. The enemy’s been defeated and death couldn’t hold Him down. We lift our voice in victory. We will forever make His praises LOUD.

      November 8, 2010 at 8:47pm ·LikeUnlike · 2 peopleBeverly Reynolds and Tammy Walker Dyer like this.
    • Cindy WoodsonThat was an awesome blog. I really wish that I had felt like going Sunday night. Daddy hasn’t stopped talking about it yet and you know it takes a lot these days to get him excited about church. I can’t wait until Sunday so that I can go back. Really looking forward to the new series. Love you.

      November 9, 2010 at 8:17am ·LikeUnlike

wounds

11/05/2010

I was thinking today on exactly how cruel people can be. I can think of times in my life where I was truly evil towards people and at the same time I can think of times where the exact thing happened to me. Often times we say things before speaking and later regret it. “No regrets” was my life’s philosophy for a very long time. The majority of my life to be more precise. All of that changed very recently. As you more than likely already know, I almost lost my wife recently due to pregnancy complications that most of her Doctors can still not entirely explain. Earlier this year we were looking at a potential divorce thanks to many bad decisions and communication issues on both parts. The entire ordeal lasted roughly six months, the first six months of this year to be exact. I said horrible things to her, never wishing her ill but I just was not a nice person at times, and I am sure she would say the same of herself. When the news came from her Doctor that she could potentially not make it through the storm of her illness, I was comforted in knowing where she would end up if the worst happened. I was riding in the car with Mom one morning leaving to hospital briefly to make a run to the store. During that drive I lost it, I pulled my sunglasses as close and tight to my face as possible to try and hide it. It hit me at that moment that if she did not make it, my biggest regret was not having the neccessary time to go back and fix things with her, make them right so to speak. It dawned on me that all of the drama, fights, cold stares, etc., wasted away valuable time with her that we could have been spending and enjoying together. In all of this, I learned a very important life lesson. That being that wounds heal generally fast, but words can never be retrieved. Once heard they do not disappear. The damage inflicted by ones words and actions is permanent unlike a gash that heals, scars over, and eventually is barely noticable anymore. Hope you got something out of that, if not then I apologize, I felt this needed to be written down.

God bless,

Chris

Chances

11/03/2010

~So many people seem to be overly excited about yesterday’s election. While it may be a good thing to be happy over the election events, I do not advise anyone to begin putting too much faith in these new politicians. At their very core they are still politicians, and your faith should not be in government anyway. While they can assist in the more immediate issues in our lives, they have nothing to do with eternity and are no more knowing of those matters than anyone else. Keep that in mind before you get too wrapped up in matters that only partain to you in an immediate sense.

~Take chances in life. After all if you never go out on a limb, how can you ever reach the fruit? Scripture tells us ‘James 4:14 ESV / 9: Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.’ With that being understood, without knowing exactly what tomorrow means, after meditation on a venture of whatever sort, why not try it? Nobody is ever successful until they apply their ideas to reality.

~”Whatever God’s dream about man may be, it seems certain it cannot come true unless man cooperates.” Stella Terill Mann-author.
This is so true, you can have the greatest plan for yourself, He can have the greatest plan for you as well. But the fact is that unless met in the middle this dream can never be a reality. This is why we strive daily to be better versions of ourselves. Keep it up, you will (if you have not already) reach your full potential in God’s eyes.

-Chris

365

11/02/2010

~The Lord says: I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye. (Psalms 32:8-9) Easier said than done right? Accepting the fact that you do not always know the best route to take in life never is. But if we relax, read the instructions (scripture) and let go of the steering wheel of life, we can reach greater potential in our lives.
For example, while Jessica was in critical condition nearing a month ago, all I wanted to do was choke a doctor into making her better. To call it a day-to-day thing would be very wishful thinking. In fact it was more of a hour-to-hour scenario. Hundreds of people were praying and keeping her in their thoughts. It took me getting to my personal breaking point to finally accept the fact that there was nothing I could do. I was powerless. As a control freak, this destroyed every ounce of personal pride I had. But it was in that same enlightening moment that God decided to tell me to shut up, sit down, and thankfully watch him work. We quite literally went from a day where we were told she may need an emergency life or death colon surgery to remove the entire organ, to within two days being out of the ICU entirely and on our way to recovery. So the next time you are in a bind this way, just keep in mind and hold tight to the fact that it is not your job to fix the problem, just to be prayerful and faithful while observing the Master physician at work. My church (SCC) recently had a terrible tragic loss, from a scenario very similar to Jessica’s. In times like these it is all but impossible to see the logic and master plan. At the same time, it is very comforting to know that there is still a plan and although we do not understand it, it is very real. The promise of a reunion one day at the very least can be comforting through all the pain.

~Fact: “Do not be afraid” is written in the Bible 365 times.
~Fact: There are 365 days in a typical year.
Coincidence?

-Chris

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Phil Bristow likes this.
    • Fallon Joneswow very touching keep it up bro

      November 2, 2010 at 5:22pm ·LikeUnlike
    • Julie Cochran CoxI have been reading your blog. Rock bottom, and powerless is somtimes the only way God can get us to look up.

      November 2, 2010 at 5:46pm ·LikeUnlike
    • Steve Merritt it happend to me.

Magic?

11/02/2010

-“The cruelest lies are often told in silence” (Robert L. Stevenson: 1800s Scottish novelest known for his works such as Treasure Island, Kidnapped and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) How true this can be. More so the weight of the guilt that can come from holding back the truth from someone. This poses the question: Is ommitance truly the same as lying? Any feedback on that would be interesting. I am on the fence of the topic.

-“The best way to get approval is not to need it.” (Hugh Macleod: 1800s Scottish born Canadian politician and thinker) As Christians this also seems to apply. While you may be thinking that today’s blog is 1800s Scottish-oriented, I can promise it was not intended to be that way. So many people go above and beyond their natural spiritual calling seeking approval form their peers. When the approval they truly should be seeking would be that of the Creator himself. Sleepless nights over getting that community event or that power point made should not even be an afterthought. You are not perfect but your objective should be to try your best to be the best YOU, you can be. In your eyes as well as God’s. Besides, it is not the casual friend that will be there when you need them. In truth, it is the friend you can call at 4am that really matters. So a word to the wise would be to try and find as many of those as possible.

-In closing I wanted to talk about “Magic”. Do you believe in it? If you are reading this then chances are you believe quite strongly in magic and do not even realize it yet. For assistance in explaining my point I look to Tom Robbins, a modern novelist who grew up in a Southern Baptist family, and who had two preachers as grandfathers. Tom went on the record with the following: “Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.” Now, please be aware that I took this entirely out of context as I am farely certain he was referencing one of his books. However once again, I apply this daily to my faith. By historical definition, magic was a word once used to describe the inexplicable, or supernatural. Modern society and sadly, many churchgoers would have you believe that magic is evil or “of the devil”. Our founding fathers even believed in supernatural happenings and even magical/mystical capabilities. Ever heard of anyone turning water to wine? If Criss Angel did this on A&E you would call it nothing more than a parlor trick, or cheap illusion. But every Sunday, we go to Church to worship a faith that celebrates a man who did this same thing. Please do not take me wrong, I am well aware that Mr Angel is an illusionist, but at the same time, if you travelled back in time to our country’s settling and showed them a plasma television they would burn you at the stake for alleged witchcraft. When one turns away from the possibilities of the impossible happening and refuses him/herself that childlike ability to simply believe in the unseen, at some point they turn elsewhere to find something tangible to believe in. And neither the government nor big business can truly “save” anyone the way that this particular “magic” can.

-Chris