Monday, June 21, 2010


Since 2004, we have included in the end of the year bulletins the year in retrospect. That is, we have listed our births, deaths, baptisms, and those who have placed membership with us in the past year. This week I gleaned from those bulletins some thoughts about people who have passed on from Pulaski St. since I have been here. This list does not include everyone, but these are just some personal thoughts.

I miss Bill Powell's stories.
I miss James Tripp's smiling confidence although bedridden.
I miss Foster Lee's advice.
I miss Bim West's hunting trips.
I miss Ivan Warren's gentleness with my children.
I miss Odus Campbell's singing voice.
I miss Jean Kyle's support.
I miss Charles Heffington's positive attitude.
I miss M.D. Moore's humility.
I miss Virginia Boyd's friendship cakes and phone calls.
I miss William Potts' preaching tips.
I miss Thelma Reeves' little chuckle that reminded me of my grandmother.
I miss Wilson Boyd's critiques of my sermons.
I miss Frances Green's educated suggestions.
I miss Joan Smith's strawberry pies.
I miss Nelson Gunnell's strengthening presence.
I miss Evie Springer's Christian example.
I miss Ellen Warren's kindness.
I miss Hushell Spann's quiet respectability.
I miss Jessie Mae Rigsby's mountain moving faith.
I miss Roy Smith's love for the Lord.
I miss Ruth Trammell's love for my children.
I miss Bill Jackson's Sunday suits.
I miss Willard Wells' friendship.
I miss Audrey Wiley's spunk.
I miss Woodrow Kelly's walks of repentance.
I miss Grace Kidd's laugh.
I miss Bettye Brewer's mothering of me.
I miss "Red" Mitchell's gentlemanly Christianity.
I miss Bob Reeves' political opinions.
I miss Dot Jackson's independence.
I miss Joann Ward's hunger for worship.
I miss Elizabeth Ratliff's sincerity.
I miss Martha Dean Belew's dependability.
I miss Lelton Davis' compassion.
I miss Betsy Roberts' encouraging praise.
I miss Edsel Goff's trust in God.

These are just some of the things I am thankful for from these friends and fellow Christians that have gone on to their reward. There are so many others not mentioned here for whom I am also thankful. One thing that you can count on when you reflect on the lives that have touched your own - Heaven is going to be a wonderful place!

"Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.' " "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them." ~ Revelation 14:13

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hide it under a bushel? No!

Rob Cutshaw owned a little roadside shop outside Andrews, North Carolina. He was a rock gatherer, though he knew little about rocks. He knew enough to pick up ones that he could sell, and he allowed the collectors to appraise the rocks and decide their value. He would sell enough rocks and do enough wood cutting to make ends meet.

While digging several years ago, Rob found a rock he described as "purdy and big." It was a blue rock, certainly different enough and attractive enough to sell. But he had no success at selling it right away. He thought, with the right buyer, he might get as much as 500 dollars. He was willing to sell it for less if it meant paying the bills in a pinch. But instead, he just hid it for a while in the closet and sometimes under his bed.

In the end, Mr. Cutshaw almost made a huge mistake. What he might have sold for a few hundred dollars was discovered to be the most valuable sapphire ever found. The blue rock that Rob had abandoned to the darkness of a closet for two decades -- now known as "The Star of David" sapphire -- weighs nearly a pound, and could easily sell for close to 3 million dollars!

Unfortunately, it often happens that the greatest discoveries in life are not given a chance to shine and show their true value...

1. Have you undervalued your talents, your knowledge of the gospel, or your relationship with God?

2. Have you allowed anything of potentially great value slip through your fingers without further investigation of its true worth?

3. Have you given up on something that you first recognized as beautiful, and allowed your greatest and most valuable possession to remain hidden, unseen, and unused?

Remember the words of the Lord Jesus Christ - "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matt. 5:14-16)

We have the true "Star of David." Everybody should hear Him. Everybody should see Him. Everybody should know Him.

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us." ~ 2 Corinthians 4:7

Monday, June 7, 2010

"We Have Forsaken All!"

The rich young man had gone away sorrowful. The disciples had been watching and listening. Jesus had been asked by the young man what was necessary to obtain eternal life. When he was challenged by Christ to give up his riches he refused to make the sacrifice. It was at this point, that Peter decided to speak, "See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?" (Matt. 19:27).

How interesting that Peter would make such a statement. Peter assumed that he, along with the other 11 apostles had truly "left all." He was mistaken.

1. Peter had not yet forsaken his pride. After all, it seems that he felt justified and better in this moment than the rich young man. That Peter was asking what he was going to receive in exchange for his sacrifices illustrates the immaturity of his discipleship.

2. Peter had not yet forsaken his own ideas. As Jesus revealed more about God's ultimate plan, Peter argued about it. When Jesus told the apostles that He was going to suffer and die, the Bible says that, "Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!" (Matt. 16:22). Jesus told Peter in this instance that he was not mindful of the things of God, but of the things of men.

3. Peter had not yet forsaken his relationships. Why did Peter deny Christ three times? Peer pressure! Why did Peter have problems with hypocrisy and prejudice in the first days of the church? Because he could not stand to be unpopular! Jesus had stated that discipleship demanded loving God more than any other person, period (Matt. 10:37-38).

4. Peter had not yet forsaken his own will. After the resurrection, Jesus commanded Peter to feed His sheep. He then went on to tell Peter how many things he was going to have to suffer for Christ (John 21:28-29). Peter's response, was, "What about John?" Peter could not allow himself to accept God's will for his life. He was still involved in the art of misdirection.

Interesting, isn't, that Peter would make the statement to Jesus, "See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?" Peter was following Jesus, but he really hadn't sacrificed anything yet.

Is this a fair description of your discipleship? Or can you say you have forsaken all?

"For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin." ~ Hebrews 12:3-4