Monday, April 4, 2011


As a younger man (which I am no longer), I saw a dynamic which concerned me greatly then and still concerns me today.  I had not been a Christian long when I began seeing  men who were then my age now developing a very unhealthy attitude.  They had subscribed to the train of thought of "I have put in my time. I have worked hard all my life and now am very comfortable.  I intend to enjoy life."  Well, so far, not too dangerous a set of thoughts, but wait.  They would go from there as say, not verbally, mind you, but with every fiber of their being, would say, "I have served God faithfully and now it's time for the younger generation to step up and do their fair share.  They have the energy and and mine is waining so I am going to sit back and relax."

Those desires are, not only unbiblical, they are downright dangerous.  Dangerous how, Dwight?  Glad you asked.  One of my favorite devotion books has become "The Complete Green Letters" by Miles Stanford recommended by by friend from Argentina, Will Herndon.  In the chapter entitled "Process of Discipleship," Stanford says,
           "So many seek to settle for this stage; saved with heaven assured-plus a pacifying measure of
           Christian respectablility, at least in church circles. Here we have the believer as a normal kernel of 
           wheat containing life inside a more or less shiny golden covering, in fellowship high up on the stalk
           with similar kernels of wheat.  This is but a stage, not the goal. And, like middle age, this can be a
           dangerous stage: one of seeking a 'much deserved' rest: of basking aimlessly in the fellowship of
           meetings, classes, etc.; of ignoring or forgetting the struggles and growing pains of the tiny green
           blades down at one's feet, and expecting and exhorting them to shape up and mature without delay."

My heart aches for those who are missing so much.  It is true that the physical body cannot do at 60 or even 50 what it could at 30 or even 40. However, we can do what we can do.  One of my heroes in the faith is Harry Piland.  Harry was the director of the Sunday School department at the Baptist Sunday School Board (now LifeWay) when I first became involved in Sunday School work.  Not only at 70 did Harry fuel a fire in my heart for Christian education but he set an example for us all in his last years.

After Harry retired from the Sunday School Board, he began serving as minister of education at churches.  This continued until brain cancer ended his life and took him to Glory.  Oh, how my desire is that my last years be my best years!  And I hope it's yours too.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

If Only...

Last Wednesday night Zannie and I both raised the average age in our mid-week service considerably.  The Decatur D-Now kick-off was at Decatur Baptist Church and we wanted to see what was going on.  The young man leading the concert was, so I was told, the worship leader for Andy Stanley's church in Atlanta.  Yeah, we were a bit out of our element-in the presence of about 1500 sreaming, rocking, jumping, worshipping, and praising high school students. 

I began thinking later about when I was in high school and the youth group events we had. I remember going to the youth evangelism conference in Nashville one Saturday and I remember serving for a Valentine banquet.  That's about all the activities besides an occasion pizza party we ever had.  I began to wonder how things would have been if we had 1st Priority.  We've had almost 200 students across our county saved already this year because of 1st Priority.  I wondered how many young people might have turned out differently in years past if the youth pastors were like the dedicated student pastors of today.  I know that there have been great youth leaders in my generation and we probably have some not so good ones today.  But that is not what I have experienced and am experiencing today.

I do actually envy students today.  I have seen in recent days some of the most dedicated young men of God anywhere!  I see young people being taught to not only live out their faith on a daily basis but I see students leading frineds to Christ and brining their lost friends to church.  They are not doing this out of obligation or peer pressure but from a deep desire to see their friends enter into a saving realationship with Christ.

There is hope for this generation.  In fact, we could learn much about their commitment.

Monday, January 31, 2011


I know it's not the Thanksgving season, but after all, isn't it always the season to be thankful?  I just had a brief conversation with my pastor who had shoulder surgery a couple of weeks ago and is in a great deal of pain all the time right now.  I have seen several emails today from people who are dealing with some very serious health issues.  Then there are those who are requesting prayer for employment.

And then there's me; I am blessed beyond measure.  I am convinced that no man living or dead has or had a better wife than me.  Few as good either.  God gave us three great kids and three awesome granddaughters.  I've healed pretty much completely from my recent knee surgery. I serve a church that has a staff so committed to their areas of ministry that it's a true blessing to come in to the office each day.   God has given me a ministry assistant who truly does keep me on track and doesn't just do her job (and extremely well, I might add) but one who has a standard of excellence and a haert for doing things above and beyond constantly.

The teachers I lead love God, love His Word, and love their flocks.They are as agreeable a bunch as I have ever had the joy and pleasure to work with.

The news is filled with articles of persecution and famine and tragedy.  I'll go home to a comfortable home and rest tonight with no fear.  Many today will make choices today as to which child gets fed; my biggest choice regarding food today has been toast or cereal for breakfast and what to order from the Crack Barrel menu at lunch.

I have the down payment of heaven in the Holy Spirit Who lives in me.  I truly am blessed!

My goodness!  I live a life for which I am truly thankful!