Day 34 No opinion just truth

!! Timothy 3:16–17  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

At age thirteen to pass my evenings away I read books on either World War II or the Bible.  It was at this time that I read the entire 10 volume series of The Bible Story written by Arthur Maxwell.  These books gave me a great background to help me understand the Bible when I started reading it two years later.  My Bible study began the year my father passed away.  It was hard for a fifteen year old to understand why someone would take his own life.  At that time the Retail Clerk Union gave family members a Bible in a cedar case at the death of a love one.  It was the reading of this Bible that I started my search for an understanding of the ways of life.  I still treasure this Bible and the notes in it to this day.

As I was listening last night to the President speaking I heard his words and the message he was presenting.  Afterwards I listen to the commentaries on his speech and a lot of these commentaries were portraying a different message that I had just heard.  This truth can also apply to reading God’s Word.  The truth about a daily study in the Bible is that it gives us the truth without anyone else’s opinion.  It is God speaking to you.  The Word of God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  It is never changing.  It is the gift of the scriptures that God has given mankind to show us the way to Him.   Yes Bible commentaries and guides are great resources for us to use in gaining a better understanding of his Word, but so is the hiding of God’s Word in your heart.  So sit down and read the Bible and let the Word of God speak to you.


Day 35 What is your life verse

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose. (KJV)

Romans 15:20 “Yea, so I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:”

Romans 8:28 was the verse that Dr. Lee Roberson put beside his signature in the Bible given to me at my ordination into the ministry at Highland Park Baptist Church. At that time I serving as the pastor of one of the Highland Parks chapels which was a small church called Rock of Ages in Richard City Tennessee. It was during the questions and answer section that a minister must go through before his is ordained that I had to give my life verse and explain why I choose this verse.  My verse at that time was Romans 15:20 “Yea, so I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:”.  Before I could give the reason one of the professors ask me what version of Bible I was using.  I told him the King James Version.  He looked it up and stated that in all his studies of Paul he had never recalled this verse.  He asked me the reason I chose this verse and I told him my desire was to preach Christ on the mission field in South America.  Of course at that time I had studied David Livingstone journeys in Africa and want to follow in his footsteps in South America.

Life happens;

As I look back on the pass my life verse has changed several times.  However, I guess the verse that I love now is found in Philippians 1: 21 ” For me to live is Christ and to die is gain”.  I have taken the easy road with this verse unlike many through-out the world.  For in so countries if you live for Christ your live may be taken from you as Paul was referring to in the context of the verses 22-26 that follows verse 21.  I just live day by day with the phase “what a beautiful, wonderful day that the Lord has given us” to preach my love for Christ.  Yes some might disagree with me but my life is never in danger.  However, easy road or hard road the last part of the verse “and to die is gain” is what we are blessed with when our live is over.  As I get older and see so many of my love ones around me pass away, the great the truth of “to die is gain” brings joy to my heart.   Yes, death is just the gateway for believers to enter heaven.

I Corinthians 15:53-58

For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.  When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”  “Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?”  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.




Day 36 I was used as an example

Have you ever wonder about pass decisions?  What would have happen if I had  made a decision to go somewhere or took on a task that was waiting for me that was difference from the real decision I did make.  As I look at these pass decisions  (what ifs  directions I could have taken) I would have had a completely different life than I have now.  Decisions are made daily and we must learn to live with these decisions.  I love the Lord’s prayer where the focus is not on the future, but on our daily needs.  Give us today our daily bread and lead not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Everyday is a new opportunity to move forward, forgetting the things of the past and moving closer to the goals that Christ puts before us.

One of the greatest joys I had when I was a student at Tennessee Temple was when Dr. Lee Roberson used me as an unnamed student as an example in one of his sermons.  Earlier in the week I was on my way home early in the morning from work when I hit a slick spot and ran my car off the road.  Back in 1973 we did not have cell phones so I walked over to a house that had a light on and knocked on the door.  It happened to be the home of Dr. Lee Roberson who was up and having breakfast.  I informed him that I recognized him because I was a student at Temple and that I just had an accident and needed to call the police.  He ask if I was OK and if I needed anything.  That when I told him I was OK and that I just needed to report the accident.  In his sermon he spoke of this incidence and made the statement that in this young student he could tell had the peace of God in his heart by the look on his face.

In my years at Temple I learned a lot from the teachers and the students that surrounded me.  One decision I made was not to look back on the decisions I had made.  Yes, I made many wrong decisions in my life, and some of them were not pleasing to God, but I also learned He is a forgiving God and as I always try walk in His ways he will always be there to meet my needs.  Do not look back to the “what ifs” in your life, but to the “here I am Lord” moments and let God use you in His ministry to meet the needs of others.  Then this happens you to will have the peace in your heart that passes all understanding.

  • I had the perfect peace that passes all understanding down in my heart
  • down in my heart
  • down in my heart
  • I had the perfect peace that passes all understanding down in my heart
  • down in my heart
  • down in my heart to stay
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Day 37 On my Own

On my own.


Three words that usually means a big change.  In the fall of 1972 I left for Tennessee Temple College with just a letter stating I was welcome to enrolled, two hundred and fifty dollars, a suit case of clothes, my Bible and a 1967 Impala.  It only took me a day to realize how much was in store for me.  Registering for class and getting a room was easy.  However, I had to stay at Holly Hall which was a very old two story house that had about twenty students living there (three or four to a room).  However, to my surprise Kroger had no job openings, so my new number one task was to find a job.  Since my last position at Kroger was a stock clerk working on the night shift I thought I could find a job at a Kroger store here in Chattanooga.  However, these stores were smaller and only stocked their shelves in the day time and that then I had classes.  I finally got a big break when one of the students told me about a job he applied for at Red Food but could not take since it required him to work the night shift.  I jumped on the lead and had the job that day.

One thing I realized at nineteen was that going to school full time, working full time and the chapel requirements at school keep my days full.  In high school I could sleep through most of my classes and still have a passing grade.  Here it was different, I could sleep in classes, but it would be almost impossible to pass the classes since almost all of the class material was lecture based and note taking  a huge requirement if you wanted to pass the class.  However, after eight weeks I had the routine in placed and kept my class naps down to just a few.  I did learn the trick of keeping a nine volt battery with me to place on my tongue to wake me up when I got sleepy in class.

The only thing missing were letters from my girlfriend back home.  The first two weeks of school the letters came almost everyday, but after that only once or maybe twice a week.  So because I had no detentions after eight weeks, I was able to get a pass to go back home for a weekend.  Yes, all of our activities were monitored and we had to be in our rooms every night by nine.  However, I had the exception to the nine o’clock rule since I worked third shift.  So off I went to back home to Cincinnati, only to find out my girl friend had found someone else.   

Life happens.

School was now easier to focus on, especially since Tennessee Temple had some of the greatest Bible teachers and speakers that were in the Conservative Christian ministry at that time speaking in our chapel morning meeting everyday.   Work was also great and I was able to make enough money to pay for school, however very little left over to live on.   However, I needed something else and that need was meet by working in the Chapel ministry.  The number one acquirement that one needed for the Chapel ministry was a car.  That I had.  Also the Chapel ministry gave me the opportunity to work in a small local church or help out in church planting.  It was a time of growth in my life working with many young students as well as several older and more mature pastors and their families.  Much of the knowledge I have of the scriptures today were acquired during this time.


Day 38

Some jobs just seem to go away.  One of my first jobs I had at Kroger back in 1969 was a bottle boy.  As a bottle boy my job was to come in every evening and sort out all the soft drink to the correct vendors.  At that time, I remember there was the six-ounce, ten-ounce, sixteen ounces, and the new thirty-two-ounce bottles.  It was not always a clean job.  For a lot of those bottles were picked up on the road side by young kids (yes, I did it too when I was 13- 15 years old) and were covered by dirt.  Yet that is how young kids made their spending money during those times.  Yes, we recycled during these times.

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After I was finished the task of sorting the drink bottles, I would go and help get in carts and bag up the customer’s orders in paper bags.  As a sixteen-year-old this was a great job.  I only got paid $2.35 an hour, however gas was a quarter a gallon and you could get a pizza and a pitch of Pepsi at Pizza Hut for less than $5.00.  Live was good.

However, this job did not last long.  When one of the eighteen-year employees got a better job, I was asked to fill in and take his place on the processing crew until they could find a replacement for his position.  His job was to cut open the cases that came in on the grocery truck and send them down the line to be priced and place on a cart sorted by aisles.  Yes, everything had to be priced back then, since we did not have scan tags on items yet.  I did such a good job my first week at this position that I was able to stay on the crew.  There was no need to hire someone else.   So, I learned early on that hard work can lead to great opportunities.

Between work and school all my free time was spent at church.  From the age of thirteen my mother made sure that I and my brother and sisters were in church.  At sixteen church was a big part of my live.  I was surround by many great individuals who provided me with great examples of how God works in an individual’s life. Pastor Cairns became like a father to me since I my father pass away when I was fifteen.  It was his great Bible teaching that influence my life to this day.  As I look back in time, he was one of the great pillars that God provided to support me at a great time of need.  He helped me form the Bible Club at Amelia High school, which help influence my high school years (I was the kid that always carried his Bible with him).  It was his influence that lead me to go to Tennessee Temple College in 1972.  So, I was blessed to have God’s hand leading me all the way of my young.  The two songs that that meant so much to me at that time was Blessed Assurance and Day by Day.  The words of these song still play a big part in my life to this day.

Day by day and with each passing moment,

Strength I find to meet my trails here;

Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,

I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.

He whose heart is kind beyond all measure

Gives unto each day what he deems best

Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,

Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Everyday day the Lord himself is near me

With a special mercy for each hour;

All my cares he fain would bear and cheer me,

He who name is Counselor and Power.

The protection of his child and treasure

Is a charge that on himself he laid;

As your days, your strength shall be measure,

This the pledge to me he made.


Help me then in every trail and tribulation

So, to trust your promises, O Lord,

That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation

Offered me within Thy Holy Word.

Help me Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,

Ever to take as from a father’s hand.

One by one, the days the moments fleeting,

Till I reach the promised land.


Thanks be to God who gave me the examples of Godly people in my early youth.  May I also be an example that God uses so others can see Christ in me.


Day 39

Finishing the cleanup of my last major project has now made my retirement seem a lot closer.  With this project completed I can now finish the cleanup process of turning over everything to others.  I can now leave knowing that I no longer have a project that has to be completed.  May the joy of entering my 4th career be as great as I plan.  May God use my life to influence my children, my grandchildren, and all others who will be with me in a positive way to grow in the Lord.

Wisdom I picked up along the way.  As I look back to the ones who influence me I have to thank my very first boss, Mr. Weslin who taught me the saying “when you have you a boy, you got you a boy, when you have two boys, you have a half of a boy, and when you have three boys you have no boys at all.   He would always tell me that when I would ask why he did not bring my brother and cousin along when we had a lot of work to do.  I guess that is one of the reason I love working by myself on projects.  However, as we finished my last major project last week, I am so glad of all the support I got from my team.DSC04179

Beginning the Forty day countdown

As I start the countdown until my retirement I am beginning to reflect on the last fifty one years of my working career.  It has been a wonderful fifty one years, times of great joy and times of many disappoints, however as I look back I can truly say I have seem God’s hand in directing my path.  For if there is one thing a christian’ who truly wants God’s leading in their life, will see as they look back over the sands of time is how God has had to carry him or her though some of the rough times.

I had a great friend I looked up to in my early career who re-enforce this saying of Christ  “he that is the greatest among you let him be your servant” in my everyday actions.  Servant-hood was something I strive to achieve early in my career.   At first I believe I was great so I had to be the servant, however later on I learned it was not being great, but being Christ-like.  For when I serve as being great I was really letting everyone know my true motive of showing off how good I was; but, when I serve as being Christ-like I had a peace in my heart that passes all understanding.

Another lesson I wish I had learned early in my career was that of not judging others.  I learned later in life not to judge others, even my enemies, because just like me God was still working in their life to bring them to a closer relationship with Him. I learned late in life that I could be the instrument in a person’s life to lead them back to the way of God.

So in forty more days I will no longer have a career that will take most of my time during the week.  And yet in forty more days God I will still have the same amount of hours in a day to serve you (24).  For as I tried to lift others up everyday at work with my saying, “How is it going this beautiful, wonderful day that the Lord has given us” may I continue it when I start my 4th career.

Thank you God. for giving me a 4th career.