Friday, November 28, 2014

Am I Always Thankful?

Recently Renee picked up a plaque for the house that reads, “ What if you woke up today with only what you thanked God for yesterday?” I must confess, there would be some days that I don’t have much due to taking so many things for granted.  God help me to understand that I am the richest man in the world in every aspect of life.
 Today the Lord blessed me to pop in on one of our shut ins, Barry Clutter, who is recovering from surgery at Sycamore Hospital.  For those who may not know, Barry has battled MS for many years, I believe he shared over twenty years.  I remember when Barry played softball, golf and was very active.  Many of us have called upon his computer genius in some form or fashion.  He has been confined to a wheelchair many years, and now has nearly no use of his hands and arms.  Despite, these challenges, he and Linda have remained encouragers to those of us that know them.

 I noticed that Barry’s meal had been delivered and ask if I could help him, with his lunch.  He whispered that would be great.  As I fed him and listened carefully to his instructions, his patience and gratitude for the smallest things were so refreshing and convicting to me. Things like moving the sheet off of his hands and adjusting pillows.  As I held his bowl as he ate his tomato soup through a straw, he smiled and looked my way responding, “That is delicious.” I was the one who was ministered to today.

 Dear Lord, give me the heart of Barry Clutter.  Keep me grateful and thankful more than ever for the simple things of life. Even a bowl of tomato soup.

Would you take some time and pray for Barry and Linda Clutter this Thanksgiving?

 Have a great day tomorrow.  Bro. Greg

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Slow Death

Renee and I just returned from a Smoky Mountain Vacation that included three days of Southern Gospel Music at the Smoky Mountain Praisefest. Some of my earliest and fond memories growing up on Canary Ct. in Dayton involved Southern Gospel music. A quartet that featured four parts, a piano, and a bass guitar to me was all you needed.  We really did enjoy the Praisefest, yet I recognized a hard truth.  Most of the nearly two thousand in attendance for each session were in their golden years, Senior Saints, Classics, Fifty Uppers, whatever term we can come up with, an older audience.

I mean here I am now fifty three and love this style of music it, yet there were very few  younger than me.  I overheard a group member sharing with a man and he indicated that when this generation of fans pass on there will not be anyone to sing too.  For some reason folks who have not grown up with southern gospel music don't seem to appreciate or follow it. things have changed.  Let me go on record.  I love it and will sing and listen to it until the Lord comes or calls me home!

This picture of this music genre is a little bit like a church.  We have to take a hard look at times and look at our congregations.  Do we have young people, young families, middle agers coming, serving, leading, giving, or are we really depending on those who are in front of us when it comes to years to carry the load?  When we are at that point here is the sad news, once those in front of us are gone, what will the Church landscape look like when it is up to us.

Unlike music styles, the gospel of Christ does not change.  We are living in a day where it seems that Bible preaching has taken a back seat to non offensive feel good messages to keep a crowd. It can sometimes feel like convenience is now more important than commitment.  Schedules more sacred than worship. More time can be spent on Facebook than in the Word of God.

God help us. Now is the time, today is the day for us to step up for Christ and serve Him with everything. Christ is about life, he paid for it with His death.  Thank you Lord.