Thursday, October 9, 2008


These are pretty scary times we are living, at least economically. Prices keep going up while stock markets fall. I cringe every time I look at my retirement account. I also cringe every time I have to fill a vehicle up. Even with government involvement (or because of it), the recovery is going to be slow. I've read some commentators saying it will take years for us to get back to where we were just two years ago.

In such a crazy, volatile world it's good to know that somethings never change. For one, God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever more. He is still in control and can and will work in spite of the circumstances of our economy. Another thing that hasn't changed is God's mandate for His church - make disciples. In Matthew 28, when Jesus gave the Great Commission to go into all the world and make disciples, He didn't place any qualifiers or disclaimers on it: He didn't say, go if it's safe, go if it's affordable, or go if it's convenient. He just said go, and as we go, He will go with us. Whether it is around the block or around the world - go and He will go with us.

Tough times require tough people. The church has always flourished in tough times, because the people of God have risen to the occasion and kept doing what God called us to do. The economic crisis has and will continue to affect the church, but God is our Provider, not Wall Street or Washington. He will make a way for the Church, His Body to accomplish His call even in the tough times.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I was privileged to attend a pastor's meeting at Carson Newman today and had the opportunity to hear the new president, Dr. Randall O'Brien share his heart and his vision for CN. It was powerful. Dr. O'Brien has a passion for the Lord and to do His will. He shared that his purpose in coming to CN was build the college on the foundation of the lordship of Jesus Christ. You could feel his passion as he spoke of an experience that he had in Mossy Creek when he came here for the interview with the presidential search team.

I haven't too often come across people in the educational field who have such a passion for Christ. With Dr. O'Brien, it seems to permeate everything he says and does. This the third time I have heard him speak, and he has been the same every time. I'm excited about what God is going to do at CN in the coming months and years.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Not really. This passed Thursday, a friend of mine passed away. Though he was quite a bit older than me, we had a wonderful relationship. When I came as pastor of Magna View I started visiting Malcolm and his wife Ruby. They were elderly and no longer able to attend church, but I spent many hours visiting with them in their home. Malcolm loved to talk and tell stories. He talked about his time in the military, his days as a coal miner, the trips he and Ruby had taken, fishing, and Tennessee football. He and Ruby had been season ticket holders for a number of years and Malcolm loved Tennessee football. I knew Malcolm's time on earth was short when I visited a couple of weeks ago and asked him what he thought of the TN-UCLA game and he said he had been too tired to watch it.
We often describe someone's death as a "loss," and I guess in some way it is. But for me it is more of a "passing" than a "losing." Someone once told me "you can't lose something if you know where it is." I know where Malcolm is - he's in the presence of his Lord. He isn't lost, he's just passed on to a knew reality of life. I'll see him again someday. That is the hope (assurance) I have in Christ.