Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church Shooting Impacts All Of Us
June 18, 2015

Almost 40 years ago I began preaching the gospel of Christ.   What happened last night in Charleston, South Carolina at the Emanuel AME Church touched me dearly.  Weekly, preachers, pastors, bishops, ministers, elders hearts are made glad to see individuals assemble midweek after a long day at work, challenges with health and so many other day to day matters.  My heart dropped as I prepared for bed at 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday night following a great day serving God.  I had an excellent evening of fellowship at our 6:00 p.m. church meal, being blessed by a wonderful 7:30 p.m. study on the topic “Masters and Servants” only to arrive home and on the 10:00 p.m. news to hear about a church being targeted as the sight of a mass hate murder.

The Emanuel AME Church is considered the mother church of the AME churches in America.  It was reported that 9 of the 13 people assembled to pray and study the Word of God and encourage each other was killed by an individual who entered as a wolf among sheep.  The gunman, just like a wolf among sheep,  had no regard for anyone or anything except their own self serving desires.

The common ground for every place of assembly in the United States is not what the religious positions were of those inside the Emanuel AME Church, but rather the fact that it was a place of assembly for those who believed in the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob.  The common ground is the embrace of Jesus as the one Lord of the Christian community and for that purpose were they assembled on last night together.  If this could happen to Emanuel AME, it could also happen in any place of worship in the United States.  It’s my prayer today that collectively we can all rally around the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in support of God, Christ the Holy Spirit and the desire they had to learn more about God’s will for their lives.

Every person in the entire world who embraces the deity of Christ and the Sovereignty of God should grieve and embrace and support the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in time of their grief.  Rejoice with them who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15

“Bucket List” The Rules…..I’m Doing Me Right Now
June 4, 2015

It was December 15, 2007 when the Hollywood blockbuster “Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman hit the world by storm.  The movie cost about $45 million to produce and brought in over $175 million dollars.  The primary plot centered around two terminally ill patients who with nothing to loose deciding to toss restraint to the wind and go out with a bang by doing anything and everything they had always wanted to do but had not yet completed.

Bucket list poster.jpg

Recently an American was on a safari through a lions park where signs in large print were posted warning those driving through the park to keep the vehicle windows up at all times.  For some strange reason according to tour guides in the park people will ignore the verbal and written cautions as if they have nothing to loose and are saying to the world around them “Bucket”.

ABC News recently posted the following regarding the lion incident:

The park where the mauling occurred allows lions to roam while tourists drive through the preserve. A park official said that although visitors are ordered to keep their windows closed, the woman was taking pictures through an open window when the lioness lunged. The vehicle’s driver, believed to be a local tour operator, was also injured and was hospitalized.

South African media have reported that an Australian tourist was bitten by a lion earlier this year while driving through the park with his windows open and a teenager who tried to cut through the park on a bicycle was attacked by a cheetah.

The park official said the lioness would not be killed, but was kept away from tourists after the attack.

Most recently near Jackson, Mississippi a family attending the high school graduation ceremony of a loved one made a decision to ignore the directives of the school district to wait until the end of the awarding of diplomas before cheering and applauding in order for all students to be able to not only hear their name called but to maintain a certain dignity for the commencement ceremony.  A family came to the decision to “Bucket” the schools request and live, celebrate and call out the name of their loved one as if this would be the final commencement they would every attend.

http://news.yahoo.com/video/mississippi-family-members-charged-cheering-225635150.html

Boundaries, regulations, expectations and rules are often in place to protect not only an individual but also the specific institution or environment as well.  The Old Testament nation of Israel continually found themselves in danger and were constantly faced with grief and death because of their decision to “Bucket” many of Gods boundaries, regulations and expectations that were in place to keep them safe.

Deuteronomy 12:8 Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.

At some point our country, our communities, our families and our churches must accept the reality that putting laws on a “Bucket List” will destroy the very fabric of this world as God intended.

Noah The Movie…..NOT REALLY
March 31, 2014

Did you know that Noah was protected by giants called “Watchers”?  Neither did I.  Did you know that a direct ancestor of Adams son Cain ten generations after Cain went into the Ark?  Neither did I.  Did you know that only Noah and his wife and his three sons and the wife of Shem were the only people to enter the Ark?  Neither did I.  Did you know that Shem’s wife bore twin girls while in the Ark?  Neither did I.  Did you know that Ham murdered that descendant from Cain while on the Ark?  Neither did I.  Did you know that Methuselah prior to Noah beginning building the Ark gave Noah a seed to plant and all of a sudden trees sprang up to provide wood for the building of the Ark?  Neither did I.  Did you know that just before the flood Ham went looking for a wife and almost got her back to the Ark but she was killed?  Neither did I.  The just released movie Noah is an absolute mockery to Old Testament History.  I now understand why this movie wasn’t recommended for children.  My 10 year old grandson would have been as frustrated as we were after sitting through distortion after distortion after distortion through the entire movie.  Oh, I almost forgot, did you know that Noah’s two other sons Ham and Japheth had no wives when they landed on dry ground and exited the ship?  Neither did I.  Did you know that prior to Methuselah’s death he healed Shem’s wife of her inability to bear children?  Neither did I.  That is until today when I saw the movie Noah starring Russell Crowe.

Noah’s Ark no kind of escape planBuilding Noah's Ark

 

I have never been so dumbfounded by a movie in all my life.  Even my wife who has accused me in times past of picking holes in movies just to be critical walked away as frustrated and disappointed as I.  When the movie ended people of all races and probably all religious backgrounds were completely silent.  A better description would be shocked, bewildered, puzzled, feeling tricked, feeling as if the movie makers used the name Noah to trick Godly people into the theater.  This movie was an absolute mockery to the Genesis account of the life of Noah and the great flood.  I would say under normal conditions for you to go and see it for yourself, but in this case I suggest you send the cost of your ticket to a homeless shelter, or donate it to a cause at a local school, or put a few extra dollars in your churches contribution plate.  This movie was terrible.  And that’s all I have to say about that.  Except to take time and read Genesis chapters 6 through 8 for yourself to see if any of the things that I saw in this movie are found in the text.