By Bro. Bubba | January 13, 2015 at 11:19 AM EST | 1 comment
A mulligan is second chance to perform an action, usually after the first chance went wrong through bad luck or a blunder. Its best-known meaning is in golf whereby a player is informally allowed to replay a stroke (though this is against the formal rules of golf). This is the definition according to Wikipedia. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had mulligans in every other event in our lives? Man, Marsha would be the happiest wife on earth if this husband had unlimited mulligans! Well fortunately she does give me a lot of second chances. Now think about God and our Christian life. God gives us unlimited mulligans. He is a God of second, third and never-ending do-overs. Many of us have made New Year resolutions. The most common is to lose weight. I used to say every year that I was going to lose 25lbs. This year my resolution is to not gain 25lbs! LOL On a serious note, let’s (as believers) look at 2015 as a chance to live our best year yet for the Lord. I want to be a better pastor. I want to be a better Christian. I want to be a better husband, father and grandfather. To make and keep this resolution we have to commit ourselves to God. We have to be determined to let Jesus live His life through us. You see, only the Holy Spirit living through you can make your mulligan count for the best year ever for God. Will you make this your commitment today?
By Bro. Bubba | December 16, 2014 at 11:53 AM EST | No Comments
Yes I know that you spell “presents” differently than the title of this blog. I was sitting here in the office thinking about Christmas and what is so great about it. Of course, the greatest thing about it is the greatest present/gift every given and that was Jesus. Isaiah 9:6 tells us that a child would be born but a Son would be given to us. How awesome is that? Not only would we be blessed by Jesus being born as a child and living to die for us. But the prophecy says that “a Son would be given to us”. This speaks of His pre-existence as God, His deity! The gift was God giving Himself to us and for us! I hope you have received that gift. It is totally free or it wouldn’t be a gift.
As far the “presence” part, of course I am thankful for His presence with me and His promise to never leave me. But I want to focus on another great gift and blessing from God. I am speaking of my family. I am looking forward to Christmas because Marsha and I will have the gift of the presence of our family. If I never pull the ribbon off of and rip the paper from a package this year all will be well. The present I will enjoy will be family presence. Thank you Lord for my salvation and my precious family! God bless you all and I wish you the Merriest of Christmases. Enjoy presence with Jesus and your loved ones this year.
By Bro. Bubba | November 19, 2014 at 09:49 AM EST | 1 comment
Well Turkey day is almost here. That special time that we cook enough to feed an army and then try our best to eat it all. Many will gather round the table and give thanks for the food and a few other things. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were sincerely thankful everyday of our lives? I can’t help but think of a little child. You know how someone gives them a gift or a piece of candy and the parent looks at the child and says, “Now what do you say?” The parent continues to prod the child until he says thank you. I wonder how many will sit together at the table next week and say thank you to God because they feel they have to or are supposed to? Let me encourage you to count your many blessings this Thanksgiving. Let me also encourage you to begin today counting your blessings and giving thanks everyday…with a sincere heart! God is good. He knows our needs before we even ask Him. He also knows what is best for us. He will provide and take care of us.
Psalm 92:1 “It is good to give thanks to the Lord…”
By Bro. Bubba | November 04, 2014 at 10:12 AM EST | 1 comment
We have the right to vote. Today is general election day and I would encourage you to exercise that right. I will not use this blog to tell you who to vote for. But then again, I shouldn’t have to do that. I will tell you that when you go (and even before) that you would be in full prayer mode. Most people will tell you to vote your convictions. I will not do that. I will tell you to vote for the candidates that the Holy Spirit leads you to vote for. Our country is in a time of bottomed out morals. We have turned so far from God! As Christians, we can make a difference. This country was intended to be a Christian nation (see *mayflower compact) and so Christians need to take a stand, and with the power and leadership of the Holy Spirit, make a change to this wonderful nation.
By Bro. Bubba | October 07, 2014 at 09:38 AM EDT | No Comments
I do love sports. Well most of them anyway. I am a huge NASCAR fan and I was raised up around local dirt track racing. I am a fan of football, basketball and baseball on the high school and professional levels. At all levels and in all sports you can see some pretty fanatical fans! I would say that if you went without a shirt to paint your body to become a human sign in below freezing weather that you were pretty zealous about what you were supporting. Some might just say that you are crazy! By the way, fanatic is pretty close to lunatic! On game days it is pretty easy to tell who is pulling for whom. The team colors are everywhere. We went to a NASCAR race in Fort Worth this past year and it was amazing to see the people sporting their favorite driver by numbers and colors. You don’t have to get people to tell you who they are pulling for because everything about them shows it. The funny thing is, as fanatical as they are, they are still just called fans.
By comparison, if we become fans of Jesus with a little zeal, we are labeled as fanatics. My opinion? Let’s become real fanatics for Jesus. You see, the football fan doesn’t mind you knowing who he is cheering for in the stadium. He is also just as supportive of his team outside the stadium and on days that his team isn’t playing. We Christians seem to only support our Lord and His cause when we are gathered together in the sanctuary. Let’s get busy bragging on Jesus to the world. I hear so many people bragging about their team being the best. Then I hear so many excuses about why they lost that game. Believers listen up, Jesus is the best! He has won the victory for us for all times. He will never be dethroned. We never have nor ever will have to make excuses for Him! Let’s break out the megaphones. Let’s fly His colors. There is no other and there is none greater! Rah Rah Ree, let’s praise Him with glee!
By Bro. Bubba | October 01, 2014 at 10:12 AM EDT | 1 comment
Let me start this blog by requesting prayer for my step-father and step-brother as they are both in Dallas hospitals with illnesses. I have a few little pet peeves as do most people. One of those is people who refuse to wash their hands especially after a restroom trip! I remember years ago serving as associate pastor to James Seigler in Savoy and learning a valuable lesson. We made many hospital visits together. He never failed to wash his hands as we were leaving. He would always tell me to do the same. I remember one visit in particular as we were leaving he stepped in to wash his hands. He said you better wash your hands. I asked him why and he told me “because you don’t want to catch what they’ve got” (referring to the one we just visited). I looked at him and said, “But we are in the maternity ward”. He looked at me and said, “I rest my case”! I’ve never failed to wash my hands when leaving a hospital since that day. They all have hand sanitizer available everywhere also. Monday I went to Dallas to Presbyterian Hospital to make a visit. As I was leaving I heard on the radio that there was the possibility that one of the patients had Ebola. Sure enough it was confirmed on Tuesday. As the CDC was doing their news conference about the case, I kept hearing that the spread of this virus can be defended against by simply washing your hands. Ironically, as I went to the restroom that day I noticed a man who came in for a rest stop. As he turned to leave he stopped at the sink, looked into the mirror and did a little maintenance on his hair, and then turned and walked out without even turning the water on.
When I put this into spiritual perspective, I see this all the time. I am even guilty of it many times. We know as Christians that we many times need a spiritual cleansing. I’m not talking about salvation (a washing of regeneration) but confessing and repenting of the sins that we commit that affects our fellowship with God. Just like when Jesus washed His disciples feet. He did make reference to the washing of salvation. But he told the disciple that there were times when they just needed their feet washed after they were made clean by a spiritual bath. There are times when we get off of the beaten path for God and we go (sin) where we shouldn’t. It is at those times that we need to wash our hands or let God wash our feet if you will. It is great to know that He will never run out of cleansing and forgiving power no matter how many times we sin. Just like the hospitals that have sanitizer dispensers everywhere, God will dispense His great forgiveness and cleansing power to us wherever we are.
“There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins. And sinners plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stain.”
By Bro. Bubba | September 22, 2014 at 09:45 AM EDT | 1 comment
Marsha and I had the privilege of going to Salado this past weekend to do a wedding. The wedding wasn’t until 5:30pm Saturday so we took advantage of some free time and visited the shops in the little town. We walked into a little shop that had one wall covered with glass containers of flavored coffee beans. Man did it smell good! We were greeted by the worker who told us to take the lid off of each container and get a sniff of it. We enjoyed some really great sniffing and snorting together! We finally decided on a coffee that we wanted to buy. We selected the Chocolate covered Strawberry flavor. However, there must have been 30 other flavors that we passed on. I’m sure any of them would have been a good choice because they smelt wonderful.
As we left the little store I was reminded of the different types of worship services that our churches have and in particular the variety of music types that we use. Now let me just say this first, I love the old hymns and the contemporary praise and worship. The problem is that we choose our place of worship many times by sniffing the lid to decide which one we like. And in most cases we go in with the attitude that “I like straight black coffee” and Foldgers is the best. I am not even going to try anything new.
You know, I like to ask folks what type of music is best for worship services just to hear their answers. Problem is, most folks begin their answer with “Well, I like this type”. You see, that’s the problem right there. It’s not what we like. It is what God likes. That brings me to another little problem. When someone tells you that God prefers this type or that type of music then they are just as wrong. How do we know what God likes? Personally, I don’t think God is interested in either “type” of music. He is listening to our hearts. Which ever type of music we prefer or use should come from the heart. You can have the greatest praise and worship or the best old gospel hymns but if they aren’t coming from a sincere heart of love and true worship to God then both types are just a bunch of noise.
Just for the record, I am a regular black coffee guy. No cream, no sugar, just coffee. However, I did brew up some of the chocolate covered strawberry coffee this morning. It really wasn’t that bad. Of course I drank it black. I guess I am sweet enough and don’t require any extra sugar! God Bless!!
By Bro. Bubba | September 15, 2014 at 03:05 PM EDT | 2 comments
Do you have a smart phone? Of course you do. If you don’t, you are out of the loop. I truly love my Galaxy S5. It does so many things. Of course, I don’t use very many things on it at all. I make and receive calls and do a little (very slow) texting. And there seems to be an app for everything. Marsha and I have been eating healthy and currently dieting so we have taken up brisk walking and some jogging. As a matter of fact we do 3.5 miles about 4-5 days a week. We do the 3.5 miles in 60 minutes and burn around 300 calories. How do I know this? I have an app that tells me. We also have an app that we use for our diet. It takes all of our profile info and we put in how much we want to lose per week and presto…it tells us how many calories per day we can have. Our phones use GPS to track our every step thru our walking app. It even has a nice lady that encourages us and keeps us posted on how we are doing. If that isn’t enough, it will even check your heart rate! I did notice a little glitch the other day. You see, the walking app that uses the GPS will track your every step all down long and report it to you. Our goal is to take 10,000 steps a day. Back to the glitch. Marsha was mowing our lawn (on a riding mower) and when she finished, it showed that she had taken around 3000 steps that she didn’t take but got credit for! We figured it had to be due to the bouncing around of the seat as she was mowing. I thought to myself, this is great; I will just bounce my phone around as I am driving down the road and get all my steps in about 10 minutes of driving. Even if that would work it would benefit me absolutely zero.
All of this reminds me that God is our GPS system. He tracks our every step. There is no glitch in His amazing system. He also has the greatest app of all. It is called the Bible. It is powered by the Holy Spirit. Why don’t you download it into your life and try it out. It is truly a free app. Then you can begin walking in Him. You will find encouragement in His Word. Oh, and it will benefit you greatly. Get spiritually fit today!
By Bro. Bubba | September 09, 2014 at 09:25 AM EDT | 2 comments
Short, slow and not that talented. I guess that pretty much described me as a 14 year old boy (pretty sure it still applies). I loved the sport of basketball as a young boy. I was excited when Jack Neely asked me to come with him to Emmanuel Baptist Church in Terrell. He said I could play on the basketball team there. I was in! It was there that I met the pastor, D. Casey Perry. I remember one Saturday after a basketball game that Brother Perry gave us a ride back to the church. He took me into his office and began to share with me about Jesus. I remember the little yellow tract (The Four Spiritual Laws) that he read to me that day. First, it says that
“God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for you life”. That got my attention for sure. We all want to be loved. I knew that I was unlovable at best. By the time Brother Perry read to me the second law “Man is sinful and separated from God” I was under conviction and in tears.
On that Saturday in 1976 I realized that Jesus loved me, died (in my place) a vicarious death and wanted to forgive me and save me. The ball was now in my court. I am so glad I chose Jesus as my Savior that day! Just like in basketball, I haven’t always played my best or made great choices. Many times I have just sat on the bench. Many more times I didn’t even suit up for the game. But this I know, I have always been on the team! I also know that there is a great day coming when all who are on Christ’s team will be awarded the trophy. There is no second place. Will I deserve it? Absolutely not. But because of God’s amazing grace I will receive the prize.
If you haven’t joined Jesus’ team I would encourage you to do so today. Need to know more about how to do just that? Just follow this link to read the Four Spiritual Laws. http://www.joyfulministry.org/laws.pdf
Questions? Find the link to my email under my picture on the “Ministry Staff” page. Or you can rest your cursor on the “Home” link and a “Contact Us” link will appear.
By Bro. Bubba | September 02, 2014 at 10:24 AM EDT | 1 comment
Do you ever catch yourself thinking back on the great things that have happened in your life? I was sitting in my office this morning trying to think of a blog for this week. I kept thinking, “This is Marsha’s fault”. You see, it was her idea for me to start a blog. So, I looked up and the first thing I see is her beautiful face looking at me from her bridal picture. Soon to be 34 years of marriage and she is still as beautiful as the day we met!
So, I began to ponder on the marriage thing. I have had the privilege of doing 7 weddings this year so far and closing in on 200 since my first one in 89’. As I think back, I have never seen an ugly bride. I’ve never seen the groom raise the veil and put it back down real fast after the scream! I love to watch the groom as his bride walks down the aisle. In most cases, he hasn’t seen her all day and not that well made up! The Bible tells us (church) that we are the bride of Christ. One day we will be presented to Him in a marriage that will truly be made in Heaven. We will be presented to Him spotless and without wrinkles (Ephesians 5:22-33)! Imagine that. No super magic cream can make us wrinkle free like God can!
Marriage is an awesome thing and requires a great commitment. Marriage is a union that is to be unbroken. It is becoming one. Unfortunately, here on this earth, we don’t always honor the vows we make to one another in marriage. Many of the almost 200 I have married have divorced. But when the marriage in Heaven takes place we will be one with Christ and that union will never and can never be broken! Have you prepared for that wonderful day? Have you trusted Jesus and Him alone as your saviour?? The wedding music is playing. The Groom is about to enter to receive His bride. The wedding is closer than ever!
By Bro. Bubba | August 25, 2014 at 10:39 AM EDT | 1 comment
Unless you have been under a rock or just totally out of touch with the world you have heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge. It is amazing how these challenges hit facebook and then go viral in no time. I have seen some wild videos of people taking the challenge. Some guys screamed like girls and some girls took it “like a man”! I have seen some have the bucket dumped on them before they were ready and some have the bucket dumped on them and they weren’t even taking the challenge. Most of those taking the challenge were not concerned about their appearance before or after the cold awakening shower.
I wonder if we could get a “Worship Attendance Challenge” to go viral? Wouldn’t it be great if we took that much concern and effort and put it toward serving and praising the One who took the greatest challenge ever. The challenge that Jesus took required Him to die a vicarious death. The Bible says that the “wages of sin is death”. So we owed a debt that we just couldn’t pay. However, Jesus took the challenge. He left His rightful place in Heaven, became a man, and paid the debt with His life and blood. Salvation is now free for “whoever believes in Him” and the atonement He made.
Now, the least we could do is accept the challenge of worshiping Him and attending Sunday School to learn more about Him. We don’t have to worry about the way we look or what others might think. Jesus accepts us just as we are. I am challenging you today to accept Him and be faithful to Him. Will you accept and challenge someone else? God Bless!
By Bro. Bubba | August 18, 2014 at 11:00 PM EDT | 1 comment
I have had the pleasure of serving in 6 churches since I surrendered to the ministry almost 29 years ago. Of these 6 churches I have been the pastor of 3 of them and served as interim pastor of one of the others. Most of these have been rural churches with First Baptist of New Baden being the most rural. I am reminded of a song from the 70's by a group called “Love Song”. The name of the song is “Little Country Church”. Here is the song: Little Country Church (Chuck Girard/Fred Field)
Little country church on the edge of town Doo-do- do-dn-do-do-do People comin' everyday from miles around For meetin's and for Sunday school And it's very plain to see It's not the way it used to be
Preacher isn't talkin' 'bout religion no more He just wants to praise the Lord People aren't as stuffy as they were before They just want to praise the Lord And it's very plain to see It's not the way it used to be
They're talkin' 'bout revival and the need for love That little church has come alive Workin' with each other for the common good Puttin' all the past aside Long hair, short hair, some coats and ties People finally comin' around Lookin' past the hair and straight into the eyes People finally comin' around And it's very plain to see It's not the way it used to be
I catch myself singing this song (at least to myself) a lot. It reminds me of our little church on the edge of Franklin. I know, as pastor, I don't want to be tied down by religion. I just want to praise the Lord. Religion is man trying to reach up to and appease a holy God. Let me just say that you'll never do that my friends. Christianity is a relationship with Jesus Christ. It is God reaching down to man through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ.
When I go to worship I don't want to try to do something religious or ritualistic to try and earn my salvation or impress God. I want to go and praise the One who loved me and gave Himself for me. I want to lift up Him who accepts me just as I am. I don't want to get caught up in long hair or short hair. I don't want ties or suits to be an issue (I don't care if you wear them or not).
As you read this blog I pray that you will see my heart. These things I have said are based on personal conviction and have no reflection on any other church or ministry but First Baptist New Baden and the pastorate that God has blessed me with there. If you ever visit the “Little Country Church” on the edge of town I pray that you will feel welcomed just as you are and that you will experience Jesus Christ in an amazing way. As a matter of fact, when you experience Him, there is no other way to describe Him but amazing! God bless you.
By Bro. Bubba | August 18, 2014 at 10:47 PM EDT | No Comments
Is an “oxymoron” someone who is dumb as an ox? No an oxymoron is a figure of speech that juxtaposes elements that appear to be contradictory. Oxymora appear in a variety of contexts, including inadvertent errors (such as "ground pilot"). Being the food critic (not really, I’m only critical if the portions aren’t big enough) that I am, I’ve always thought that “jumbo shrimp” should be an oxymoron! This past Friday Marsha and I were shopping in Bealls. I noticed (in the ladies section) a tag on a shirt that had P/XL on it. I had to ask and was told that it stood for Petite/Extra Large! Seriously!?! Shouldn’t they just put ST on it for “stumpy”?? What does this have to do with a spiritual blog you ask? Glad you asked. As I think about the encounter between David and Goliath, I can’t help but think about it being a spiritual oxymoron. I see it as a “jumbo shrimp” battle. You see, Saul and his army saw Goliath as jumbo but David (in the power and might of the Lord) saw him as a shrimp! Remember when obstacles stand in our way, and they will, we need to see them as God sees them. Trust Him, because the battle belongs to the Lord. Those obstacles that appear jumbo will become shrimp. They will go from obstacles to opportunity.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”
Let me start by saying WELCOME to my blog. Thanks for taking the time to read these words. I pray that they will be an inspiration. I have been putting off starting this blog for too long now. This morning as I was sitting in my office I realized that everyday I put it off would just be another day that I missed out on something new. Wow, that was a ton of bricks that just fell on my head! How often do we procrastinate when it comes to doing God's business? How many times have we missed out on God's blessings or maybe being a blessing because we find so many other things to do for ourselves or maybe just doing nothing? We break God's heart when we are unwilling to come to Him or render service unto Him. The greatest and worst form of procrastination is putting off Salvation. God loves you. If you have never trusted your life to Him and accepted His great salvation by faith through His amazing grace, I would encourage you to do so before it is too late. Don't put it off!
Matthew 23:37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling."
Beautiful Sunset behind the church.
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I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.