32 Years a Slave

This old photo from my “other life” circa 1980, reminds me of my “stupid 20s,” when I had no sense, lived for myself, and cared not a whit about anybody else.

I was at Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, Mexico, and decided it would be a good idea to dance on top of a table.

Suddenly, two Federales grabbed my shoulders and escorted me to the shadows.

Thankfully, a Mexican local, whom I did not know, followed us into the “torture room” and negotiated my release. (I’m the smug, shirtless guy standing next to one of the arresting officiales.)

Today, December 2nd, not only marks the day that shiftless guy died in 1990, but also marks my 32nd anniversary as a Christian, a bond-slave of Jesus Christ, an unworthy servant, worm, wretch—completely dependent on my Master for life and breath and everything I have.

This picture is a great reminder of what the Lord has done in my life…and in the lives of so many others.

Flag Day in Johnson City

Today is Flag Day which commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

It’s wonderful to live in Johnson City, Texas, a town that loves America and celebrates traditions such as Flag Day.

Our flag is a symbol of the greatest nation on earth, exceptional in that America is a nation of immigrants bonded together by a shared commitment to the democratic principles of liberty, equality, individualism and laissez faire economics, as well as one nation under God.

I have the honor every year to give the Invocation at our Flag Day Observance sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution in front of the Courthouse.

Here is the prayer I composed during my time with the Lord this morning and then prayed at the Courthouse:

Lord God of the earth and of America,

28 Days Later

The preacher was shaking hands with his congregants and saying goodbye after the Easter service. He grabbed one man by the hand and pulled him aside. “You need to join the Army of the Lord!” the preacher exhorted.

The man replied, “I’m already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor.”

Curious, the preacher asked, “How come I don’t see you except at Christmas and Easter?”

The man looked around cautiously and whispered back, “I’m in the Secret Service.”

We had record attendance at our Resurrection Day service this year, but on May 15, 28 days later, four Sundays after, everything was back to normal.

It’s tough in this post-Christian era to get people to see the value of coming to church after the two big holidays of Easter and Christmas. But a Christian without a church is like a student who won’t go to school, a soldier without an army, a citizen who won’t vote, a sailor without a ship, a drummer without a band, a ballplayer without a team or a bee without a hive.

A pastor asked a man why he didn’t go to church, and he replied, “I don’t go to church because every time I do they throw something at me.”

“What do you mean?” the preacher inquired.”

“Well,” the man explained, “When I was a baby, my parents took me to church, and the minister threw water on me. After I got married, they threw rice at me.”

The pastor answered the man impatiently,

Earth Day Shouldn’t be Celebrated

Ira Einhorn hosted the first Earth Day event on April 22, 1970. Police raided his closet seven years later and found the “composted” body of his ex-girlfriend inside a trunk.

Pope Francis said, “We see these natural tragedies, which are the Earth’s response to our maltreatment. We have sinned against the Earth, against our neighbor and, in the end, against the creator.”

Then-candidate Joe Biden, at a 2020 fundraiser, declared, “COVID…is a wake up call to action to climate change overall and to climate justice.

“I’m not against preserving the earth; I am against worshiping it.

The earth has no feelings, we cannot sin against it, it does not think about the things we do and doesn’t mete out retribution nor create wake-up calls.

It’s a planet.

What’s so good about Good Friday?

The story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life, positive or negative, and remarking, “This is good!”

thumbOne day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation, the friend remarked as usual, “This is good!”

To which the king replied, “No, this is not good!” and proceeded to send his friend to jail.