Saturday, January 20, 2007


This morning I had the opportunity to participate in the funeral for Paula Stout. I did not know her well. But I know lots of her family. And on occasion, I did get to talk with her . Most of the visits were brief, but encouraging.

In my remarks I said that a 250 word obituary certainly does not do someone like Paula justice. She was so much more than date of birth, date of death, and all the dates in between.

I looked out over her family as I talked and thought... "Wow, there are some really great people out there."

When it is all said and done, it is relationships that count. Our relationship with the Lord is the most important. Paula had been a Christian since 1934. That is 73 years! During that time she led her husband to the Lord. She raised 4 children , all of whom are Christians. She has 13 grandchildren, and 17 great grandchildren, all of whom have seen her faith in action.

She had a great relationship with the Church. I think that this is the thing that stand with me the most. I don't know what the count would be, but Paula Stout has seen alot of preachers come and go over the last 73 years. One thing was constant... she stayed. I am sure there were ups and downs, some good times and some bad in the church ( there always are), but she stayed faithful. I imagine that there were changes that she did not care for, personalities that rubbed her the wrong way, and some frustration , but....she stayed.

The church of Jesus Christ is built on the backs and faith of people like Paula Stout ( And Jack). They are not flashy. They don't always take leadership roles where they are out front. But the stay... and they give.... and they serve, (most often behind the scenes.)

A lot of us get alot of credit for the things that people like Paula has done. It is humbling when we stop long enough to think about it. Where would our church be with out people like Paula Stout, Don Kerr, Paul Fuller, Ben and Deloris Harper, Bill and Gloria Kirby and a multitude of others? Where we would be if those people abandoned their desire to worship God, serve His Church and love their people? Where would we be if they did not provide a great example of faithfulness to thier families, friends, neighbors and co-workers?

God knew what He was doing when he compared the church to a body. Some parts get greater honor... but no part is indispensible. For the body to work, IT MUST have people like Paula Stout.

It was a good reminder for me.... I need to appreciate those people more... Thank God for them more, and do all I can to be faithful to Him and His Church...

I don't know who reads this or who does not...but if you do, and you are having trouble "staying" with your church... remember this... You are important. You are loved. You are worth dying for. And the one who died for you, died for the church you are a part of. It is worth it to spend your life being faithful to Him and His Church.

I plan to do that... I hope you will too.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Its been a while...

It has been a while since I blogged last... Let's see.... what's been going on?

ICE STORM 2007- This is pretty bad around here. After 6 days below freezing, we finally got above the 32 degree mark today...just in time for the next heavy snowfall event. This ice storm created some major kinks in schedules. For instance, a week off of school only means that the kids get to go into June. ERRRRRR. We did not have church Sunday or Wednesday night. ERRRRRR. Chipping ice is no fun. ERRRRRR. We had about 3-4 inches of sleet and ice. Treacherous.... slippery.... Falls...... ouch!

ARKANSAS "IMPLOSION"- I am big sports guy, so I pay attention to this stuff.... And our oldest daughter is a Arkansas Alumnus, married to an Arkansas Alumnus.... so this is big stuff. So whats the deal? Well bottom line it looks to me like "the inmates are running the aslyum." First, The head coach gets told, "win or else." Implied in that is the demand, "Get the three best players in the state off of the local team( Springdale). So what does coach do? He hires the coach!. And low and behold the players follow the coach. Then there is a book that is written about the High School team and the stars. I haven't read the book but reports say there were some less than flattering things said about the Arkansas Coach.

The story continues. The Star Freshman Quarterback sits on the bench in the first game ( a loss), then starts the next 7-8 games, all wins. But he is replaced by the third string QB (at the start of the season). Worse yet, the team does not pass, ( Bad news for the hot shot QB). Instead the run all over the place... two running backs are stars, All Americans!. And the team wins 10 games in a row. Then they lose three in a row....

One of the star players , a wide receiver says, "I want more passes, they ran too much, I am transfering to USC." OOOOOH.... a crack in the exterior of the hog nation!

That is just the beginning. Then the mothers of the star players from Springdale have a press conference. THE MOTHERS ! Who has their mother speak for them?!! It was stupid. And the Coach then is forced to say, "Hey everything is okay...just family matters that need to be worked out."

It continues. The High School coach, hired a year ago, jumps ship to Tulsa University. Rumors abound. Was he mad? Was he forced out? Whats the real story? Coach has another Press Conference to thank the coach for his contribution to the team. Nice move.... nobody believes it though. Something is up.

The next day the star Quarterback goes to the team meeting and tells the coach, "I want my release..." Rumors swirl...... Where would he go? Coach holds another press conference to say, "I will let all my players go if they want." I understand that... however, I wonder what would happen if they all said, "Okay... I want to transfer." Maybe he just gets the Springdale High School team to become the that would not work.

Rumor is that Shiloh Christian Academy could do it... or at least Ronnie Floyd thinks so. ( See his blog,

Today the news is..Mitch Mustain was in Tulsa.... The Star QB in TTown! Does it get any better than that...

Maybe it does. Maybe someone needs to tell the star QB that "you signed a letter of intent" which is a committment. A promise in my mind. And unless you are being abused (which was a rumor that I have a hard time believing) stay in school, and get an education. The odds of you going to the NFL are a million to 1.

So anyway, what does this have to with anything? Really nothing except for the fact that I have a terrible case of cabin fever and I am looking for anything to be amused by.

Now, if you didn;t like what I just wrote... I think I did you a favor. I watched American Idol last night... What a HOOT! Do these people not have any real friends who have the guts to say, "You are pathetic.... you can't sing... Don't sing....! " Apparently they do not have friends.

But you have to admit... It is funny.

Hopefully after the 5-8 inches of snow we are supposed to get this weekend, things will get back to normal.

And maybe I will too.....

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Morning reflection

“The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1

Darkness.....This morning I left the house in darkness. I was was cold. The white frost covered the ground, housetops and cars. There was no wind. 15 minutes into the walk, the eastern sky came into view. The wispy clouds had been illuminated with three shades of pink. It was the beginning of a new day. That view reminded me that there is someone who is in control...complete control. Out in the park, I turned to the western sky and there it was. The large saucer we call the moon. Illuminated with the purest of light, it seemed to invite me to its surface. No spaceship needed, just my imagination. I turned and the wispy pink clouds had turned yellow. Bright yellow. It was warm. It reveals the promise of a new day ahead. It was different kind of light, but beautiful just the same. I continued to walk... soon the wispy yellow clouds seemed to blend with some pink and blues. Then the yellow ball in the eastern sky began to rise. The white light on the full moon began to fade into the northwest horizon.

It occurred to me that this happens every day...without fail. The sun rises and the moon sets. The sun sets and the moon rises. I thought..." It is a new day, a new month, and a new year." It brings the promise of new things to my life. But some things stay the same. The love of a wonderful wife, the care of grown children, the promise of a purpose driven ministry, and especially of a God who let me see just a glimpse of His glory.

It is the best way to start out the day.

Thanks for sharing the coming year with me.