Monday, June 30, 2008

Tagged by Upsidedown Bee with 4 Questions

1. What were you doing 10 years ago? 
Pastoring a storefront Church and mourning the death of my Mom.
2. Five Items on Your To Do List Today: 1. Sleep in while Lynn went to Augusta to the doctor. 2. Find a recipe for Black Beans and rice. 3. Cook it without burning it! 4. Read & research. 5. Fish with the family.
3. Snacks I enjoy: ritz crackers, dried mangos, jello (really!) & salted nuts - cashews are the best.
4. What would you do if you were a billionaire? I would not tell anyone because envy destroys relationships. I know this by experience. And I would not do anything differently.
5. Places you would live. Where God wants to use me.
6. Bloggers I am tagging. I will tag Elliott at Elliott's Journey, and Lynette at lollygagging with Lynette and one more - Tom at A Bridegrooms Robe

Sunday, June 29, 2008

One Word Challenge

On the Blog Journey to Heaven there is a challenge to answer a number of questions with just one word. That should be hard for a long winded preacher!

All of the answers must be just one word. 

1. Where is your cell phone? cradle

2. Your significant other? cozy

3. Your hair? grey

4. Your mother? deceased

5. Your father? few memories

6. Your favorite thing? family

7. Your dream last night? none

8. Your favorite drink? lemonade

9. Your dream/goal? grandchildren

10. The room you’re in? bedroom

11. Your church? none

12. Your fear? spiders

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? settled

14. Where were you last night? REVILO

15. What you’re not?  shy

16. Muffins? blueberry

17. One of your wish list items? recliner

18. Where you grew up? Birmingham

19. The last thing you did? fish

20. What are you wearing? TShirt

21. Your TV? disconnected

22. Your pets? shed

23. Your computer? MACBOOKPRO

24. Your life? Unpredictable

25. Your mood? pensive

26. Missing someone? Oliver

27. Your car? Pick-up

28. Something you’re not wearing? socks

29. Favorite store? Bass Pro-

30. Your summer? fleeting

31. Like(love) someone? Lynn

32. Your favorite color? cinnamon

33. Last time you laughed? tonight

34. Last time you cried? March

35. Who will re post this? Lynn

Preached the Gospel to Myself and Others Again Today

Today I had the privilege to preach at the friendliest church we have attended since Sandhills PCA. Rev. Lee Shelnutt & his wife Joni were celebrating his parents 50th Wedding anniversary out of state and asked me to fill the pulpit. This church is just up the road from our home and we have attended about 3 times in between traveling and preaching in other churches. A sweet portion of the Body of Christ.
Westminster meet in a building that is officially owned by the United Methodist Church. The UMC congregation officially ceased to exist last week and have asked the trustees of the denomination to gift the building to Westminster. They are to find out this week the results of the trustee's decision. Pray for them.
It has been affirming all the opportunities God has given me to minister to others. I Corinthians 9:24-10:13 was the text today.

1 Corinthians 9:24-10:13

New International Version (NIV)

Copyright ©

 24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

 25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

1For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3They all ate the same spiritual food 4and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert.

 6Now these things occurred as examples[a] to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry."[b] 8We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9We should not test the Lord, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.

 11These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. 12So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! 13No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

My son

Oliver was racing in a Sprint Triathalon last weekend in Charlottesville, VA and here are his results. He came in 52nd out of 168. He said he needs to work on his transitions. He did great on the run portion.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Boundless and Abiding Joy of Working with God

Here is a great quote that stirs my soul. I hope it affects you the same way!

“Nothing can wholly satisfy the life of Christ within his followers except the adoption of Christ’s 

purpose toward the world he came to redeem. Fame, pleasure and riches are but husks and 

ashes in contrast with the boundless and abiding joy of working with God for the fulfillment of his 

eternal plans. Those who are putting everything into Christ’s undertaking are getting out of life its 

sweetest and most priceless rewards.” 

     J. Campbell White, Laymen’s Missionary Movement 

Out of Sin comes Holiness

I have always appreciated it when saints of old write what I feel and I can borrow their words to better understand what is the truth behind the feeling. I got this from a blog you might want to visit regularly.

We are not home yet but home is a reality!

Yearning for our inheritance

“We know that all that is possible or conceivable of what is good and fair and blessed shall one day be real and visible. Out of all evil there comes the good; out of sin comes holiness; out of darkness, light; out of death, life eternal; out of weakness, strength; out of the fading, the blooming; out of rottenness and ruin, loveliness and majesty; out of the curse come the blessing, the incorruptible, the immortal, the glorious, the undefiled!

Our present portion, however, is but the pledge, not the inheritance. The inheritance is reserved for the appearing of the Lord. Here we see but through a glass darkly. It does not yet appear what we shall be. We are now but as wayfaring men, wandering in the lonely night, who see dimly upon the distant mountain peak the reflection of a sun that never rises here, but which shall never set in the ‘new heavens’ hereafter.”

—Horatius Bonar, “Home”

One more quote that was new to me but certainly true for me in this stage of life.

Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn. 
--CS Lewis

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Morning by morning new mercies I see!

Today I had the opportunity to share my story of God saving me. I have told the story so many times, in many ways and situations. I have used parts of my story in sermons and in witnessing opportunities. One thing about your story - no one can argue about it. It is my story - a story of grace and acceptance when I was lonely, stupid and with no direction. It is also His story. It is still a story of grace - I am not lonely, but still stupid and looking for direction. His grace will cover that too!
I remember when God opened my ears to hear that a christian is not someone who simply believes information -- but a person who asks a "living Jesus" into their lives. God has been faithful in my life, not predictable, but always faithful. The Hymn goes ...
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father:      
There is no shadow of turning with Thee.      
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;      
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.     

Refrain:      Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!      
Morning by morning new mercies I see;      
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided      
Great is Thy Faithfulness, Lord unto me.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,      
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide,      
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,      
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
Right now, God is being faithful to me. He is providing strength and bright hope for tomorrow. He did that when I had such little faith that when I asked Him to be my Savior my prayer was, "I ask you to be my Savior  - but if you fail me I will quit you forever. He has never failed me - although I have failed Him so many times.
Early this morning Lynn and I were praying on the back deck overlooking a beautiful scene of creation before us. If he can take care to dress the flowers - will he take care of us and our family?
 The passion to tell the story still continues.
 When was the last time you told your story/His story? I would love to hear it & and so would others!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Can you do a home project with only one trip the Lowe's?

Today I made my obligatory two trips to Lowe's to accomplish three tasks in the never ending saga of getting our house ready to show. I was in a hurry which didn't help. What would have helped was wisdom in the past to take a shop class in woodworking. (Ladies that is not a class on shopping - men do not shop they just go buying!) The reason I was in a hurry was to help a friend pack up all of his possessions into a 42 ft. U-Haul truck and his racing mini-van that he is so proud to drive!
Rebekah was baby-sitting his two children while adults were busy sweating onto the boxes and furniture. This wise 12 year old ask the obvious question, "Daddy, why does it take us 2+ months to get our house ready and they can do it in 2 days." Don't you just hate the truth sometimes from our children.
I am sad that I lack those "shop" skills, sadder that good friends are moving to TN.


Everyone wants to be remembered! Some built libraries and named them after themselves to accomplish that goal. I'll never do that. I am a pastor. I wouldn't let the church put my name on the sign - hate that about most church signs. How many people go to church because they see a pastor's name on the sign?
  It is easy to think that no one will remember you - we tend to be pessimistic don't we?
Today someone called me and really encouraged me because it was clear they remembered me. This is not the first time, just a few days ago a young mother called me to pray with her - but today was different. My friend made me feel valued. It made my day. If you are reading this - thank you for such a precious gift!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Buy this House!

MLS# 128656114 Windsor Ln, Southern Pines, NC 28387 Southern Pines Real Estate

Type: Single Family
Asking Price: $359,000
Address: 114 Windsor Ln
City: Southern Pines
State: NC
Zip: 28387
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 3
County: MOORE
Total Finished SF: 3000-3499
Master Bedroom Size: 17x15
Bonus Room Size: 15x8
Office Size: 15x12
Office Level(MUL): Main
Carolina Room Size: 18x15
Carolina Rm Level(MUL): Main


  • DINING ROOM: Formal
  • FAMILY ROOM: Wet Bar
  • FAMILY ROOM: Ceiling Fan
  • FAMILY ROOM: Fireplace
  • MASTER BEDROOM SUITE: 1st Floor Level
  • MASTER BEDROOM SUITE: Separate Sinks
  • DOCS ON FILE: Property Disclosure
  • DOCS ON FILE: Lead Based Paint Discl.
  • SIGN: Yes
  • FIREPLACE: Propane Logs Convey
  • FLOORS: Carpet
  • FLOORS: Wood
  • FLOORS: Tile
  • FLOORS: Vinyl
  • INTERIOR FEATURES: Central Vacuum
  • INTERIOR FEATURES: Broadband Int. Avail.
  • INTERIOR FEATURES: Window Treatments
  • EXTERIOR: Composition-Wood
  • EXTERIOR: Vinyl
  • EXTERIOR: Wood
  • ROOF: Composition
  • HEATING & COOLING: Central Heat
  • HEATING & COOLING: Heat Pump
  • ROAD DESCRIPTION: Public Paved
  • COMMUNITY TYPE: Single Family
  • Preaching to Myself Again

    Today's sermon was on Ephesians 2. Next week I am preaching at a small Associate Reformed Church, Westminster in Albemarle, NC.

    Saturday, June 21, 2008

    Belinda Furby's Challenge - First poem since 5th Grade

    Belinda Furby had a challenge to write a personal  "fill in the blanks" type poem. Check out her blog.

    I am from a Civil War era white wooden house with a big staircase and a hidden one I thought only we knew about, from Oscar Meyer bologna and Smithfield salty ham.
    I am from the REVILO, a farm in ole Virginia surrounded by the aroma of magnolia and the taste of giant cultivated fresh blackberries.
    I am from the large mahogony trees older than anyone knows, the bright purple of the overgrown crepe myrtle trees.
    I am from yearly Christmas time family reunions and people who love to laugh, from O.B. & Elmo, Oliver & Pat and Gillis and Cross.
    I am from the folks that value people who have time to talk and are honest workers not matter how much money you make.
    From sayings like, "that is just a short walk"  and "this will be yours one day.
    I am from church folk that lived it.  "Love God and treat everyone with respect, you don't know their circumstances" kind of salty folks.
    I'm from Scotch/Irish who eat watermelon rhine pickles that they make themselves, warm yeast rolls made on a wood stove, fried chicken, blackberry cobbler made in large casserole dishes and ice cream at the bewitching hour (9 PM)
    From the "stuffing Karen into a cannon until she is stuck story",  the grounding my kids until they repent, even if it takes months, school of parenting.
    I am now an orphan since all my parents and older relatives are gone, but not really. I see them in so many memories and I still laugh.

    Cross Women BREAK Splash Mountain

    Rebekah and Lynn Cross waited an hour plus and then broke the ride and had to walk through the ride and every one in line had to leave! OPPS!

    Not here, Not there

    Ever been on an easter egg hunt looking for the silver and gold egg among all the other colored eggs? You can only find the eggs by looking,  and sometimes you become an expert on where they are not!
    My premise is that I will not find - or better said than finding, it will not be revealed to me by the Great Shepherd of the Sheep -- where He wants me to labor for His Kingdom and Glory until He is ready.  Right now, the first page of the list is narrowing itself down.
    Yesterday I called the folks at Mission to the World (PCA's mission board) and told them after much prayer we do not believe that God wants us to go to the Philippines permanently at this point in our lives. Our missionary friends in Manila love us, at least one will still call me names - she did that before too! But they understand.
    This week I went to Florida and interviewed with the greatest group of guys. They were very affirming of my gifts and abilities. But is was obvious that I was not right for what they were looking for in a New Church Network Director. In their words, "you are a great guy but too much like us!" So we got to stay in a great condo at Bay Hill CC and Rebekah's first roller coaster was Space Mountain at Disney World.
    In the last 2 days other opportunities have arrived and I will see if the silver egg is there!

    Thursday, June 19, 2008

    It's a Small World After All

    On Monday, Katie, Lynn, Rebekah and I went to DisneyWorld. Had a great time and just had to go to the old ride that keeps a tune in your head for years. You know the one, "It's a small world after all" The tune is in your head right now isn't it?

    Guess who we saw there - how ironic?

    Shaq was there with his family - enjoying that day. He is so much bigger than I thought!

    For those who do not know:  this 7ft, 1 inch basketball center presently with the Phoenix Suns, has won the NBA championship 4 times with various teams. Some of his award include: 2000 NBA MVP, 3 time NBA Finals MVP, 14-time All-Star, and has won 2 gold metals in the Olympics.
    He is 36 and there doesn't seem to be any fat on him at all!
    I also took a pic of his shoe - BIG!

    One sad note is that he could not fit in any of the rides and had to have 4 Disney employees keeping people form mobbing him asking for autographs so he could enjoy the day with his kids. He seem to be having a good time!

    Friday, June 13, 2008

    Tim, Becky, Emma & Steven

    Yesterday we had a great day in Steele Creek with the family to the left. Philosophy of ministry, gifts, preferences, convictions, past experiences, dogs, good food, adiaphora and many other topics were probed. There and many more discussions and decisions are to be made by our family and theirs plus those in authority over us - but no red flags yet.
    We were there from 11 AM until 9 PM. The time went by so quickly. 
    This in one of four main possibilities. Today we travel with Katie and Rebekah to Orlando to look at 2 other possibilities. The window we have set to decide on these is short - so please pray. (We will also take in Walt Disney World!)

    Thursday, June 12, 2008

    Another visit to Steele Creek

    Lynn & I are going to visit Steele Creek today and look at the area as a potential church plant. Pray for us and that God would clearly lead and direct.

    This is one of a number of options but is certainly closest!

    Tomorrow we travel with Katie and Rebekah to Orlando - more about that in another post!

    Wednesday, June 11, 2008

    Weighing yourself

    To all my friends that are trying to lose weight - and not doing it! Here is the RIGHT way to weigh yourself and feel better about it! Be sure you have taken your blood pressure medicine before you get down on the floor!

    Sunday, June 8, 2008

    Preached to Myself Today

    While I was preaching to myself, a church was listening too!

    If you are interested:

    If you listen to it - I left out a major point in the beginning linking the text to the sermon - rusty I guess.

    This Church has asked me to be their regular "fill in preacher" for at least the Summer while they and I pursue opportunities. 

    Thursday, June 5, 2008

    26 Years

    Today is our 26th wedding anniversary and we splurged on eating at KFC (white meat for me) and then we took in Prince Caspian.
    So much has happened in all those years. We have had great joys and terrible disappointments. But the constant has been we have stuck together and kept seeking the Lord. Many laughs and many tears later we have a bright hope for our future. There is no one else I would rather walk another 26 years with than Lynn.
    I realized that I have been married over half of my life. Where would I be without Lynn? I have no idea and do not want to think about it. God has used her to make me grow as a person in many ways. I know I got the better end of the marriage - she has to put up with me.
    We prayed at dinner and she asked God for at least 26 more years - AMEN.

    PS. On our 20th we went to Jamacia, after out trip to the Philippines we decided not to spend big bucks like that again on an anniversary. Mission trips are so much better for our souls and a much better investment in the Kingdom.

    Tuesday, June 3, 2008


    It is amazing the amount of dirt you find when you touch things that have not moved in a long time.
    Today I pack still more books. They are dusty and dirty - although my spouse would be quick to remind everyone that --- you can fill in the blanks if you know her. She has read most of these books - some of them twice.
    I also took apart the shower door and threw it away. There was a lot of yuck under that door, beyond the reach of any cleanser. No amount of scrubbing could have gotten it - just a removal exposes the dirt.
    Why do I tell you this? - not to justify my work today. To remind you and me - things left untouched get dirty. In your house and in your soul. God has a way of touching what we want untouched.

    Monday, June 2, 2008

    God's Will

    What is God's Will for my life? What will my family do next? When you preach, (not everyone does but since I do preach indulge me), about God's Will people listen. Because so many people are in transition.
    Now we are in transition, so I revisited this morning 
    a sermon I preached Oct. '93 from the book of Jonah. I think I might preach this this Sunday at New Hope PCA in Clemmons - for them but also for me.
    If "open doors" are the most important thing then Jonah had an open door to Tarshish: a waiting ship, money to pay for it, beautiful weather = "open doors." But we have read the end of the story. Even though he was at peace enough to sleep it was not God's will. The weather did not last, the captain and crew cared less and less that he had paid full fare. At one point his ticket was revoked without a refund and he took the first biblical submarine ride as alternate travel. This second ride was free financially but it took a toll on his physically and spiritually. This underwater ride was God's will being acted out in spite of what Jonah wanted to do. God had prepared a people to hear His Word and Jonah was the preacher. So God also prepared a storm, a big fish, a wind, a worm to prepare the preacher.
    Since God is moving our family - my goal is to go where He wants first. I do not need the bleached blonde affects that Jonah had to deal with the rest of his ministry!
    Here is a quote from George Mueller:

    Without giving the whole sermon to you in this post, this morning God gave me peace (yes, using one of my own sermons but remember it is based on God's Word) that He will lead because all 12 points of the sermon - Lynn and I, are following as best we can.

    A thought to ponder, since He is moving a family, can God be doing different things with different members of the family and we still go in the same direction? Can Lynn and I be following God, hearing His voice, and it be a  "big fish" submarine ride for one or all of our immediate or extended family? Be the second person to post a comment and let me know what you think.