Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Carol...

Click Here for the Best Christmas Carol of the season! Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Little Christmas Story...

Little Carol came into the kitchen where her mother was making dinner. Christmas was coming up and she thought this was a good time to tell her mother what she wanted. "Mom, I want a bike for Christmas."

Now, Little Carol was a bit of a troublemaker. She had gotten into trouble at school and at home. Carol's mother asked her if she thought she deserved to get a bike for Christmas. Little Carol, of course, thought she did.

Carol's mother, being a Christian woman, wanted her to reflect on her behavior over the last year, and write a letter to God and tell him why she deserved a bike for Christmas. Little Carol stomped up the steps to her room and sat down to write God a letter.

LETTER 1:
Dear God: I have been a very good girl this year and I would like a bike for Christmas. I want a red one.
Your friend,
Carol

Carol knew this wasn't true. She had not been a very good girl this year, so she tore up the letter and started over.

LETTER 2:
Dear God: This is your friend Carol. I have been a pretty good girl this year, and I would like a red bike for Christmas.
Thank you,
Carol

Carol knew this wasn't true either. She tore up the letter and started again.

LETTER 3:
Dear God: I know I haven't been a good girl this year. I am very sorry. I will be a good girl if you just send me a red bike for Christmas.
Thank you,
Carol

Carol knew, even if it was true, this letter was not going to get her a bike. By now, she was very upset. She went downstairs and told her mother she wanted to go to church. Carol's mother thought her plan had worked because Carol looked very sad.

"Just be home in time for dinner," her mother said.

Carol walked down the street to the church and up to the altar. She looked around to see if anyone was there. She picked up a statue of the Virgin Mary, slipped it under her jacket and ran out of the church, down the street, into her house, and up to her room. She shut the door and sat down and wrote her letter to God.

LETTER 4:
I GOT YOUR MAMA. IF YOU WANT TO SEE HER AGAIN, SEND THE BIKE.
Signed,
YOU KNOW WHO

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hell Has Frozen Over...The Finale

Mark 11:25 & 26, tells us about what forgiveness must be. More than a snapshot, this Scripture is the original portrait of the essence of forgiveness. I had read it many, many times…I had heard that specific Scripture used in uncountable sermons. I’ve even preached on it myself. But not until the middle of June this past summer did I ever see it literally come alive.

Jesus make forgiveness very simple, (my paraphrase), “when you are standing before Me, pouring out your heart to me, if you have ANYTHING against ANYONE, FORGIVE HIM, so that I may also forgive you. But if you don’t, neither will I forgive you.”

So with that said, how in the world can we allow anything to remain in us, where it can grow and manifest itself into a bitter beast and keep us from forgiving? When in reality, it has successfully built a wall around us that is keeping God from forgiving us? Talk about a gulf that spans the East from the West!

I actually thought I was enjoying life to the fullest, yet my spirit was being destroyed by an invisible beast within…

It was a typical Friday in the Delta. All effort was being made just to stay cool. The summer’s heat had been overwhelming. At Dad’s Place, we were getting ready for our Friday night Live Music venue. We had a special treat that week. An up-and-coming new Christian artist was performing that night, and was using DP as the location for his CD Release Party. We had expected a good crowd all along, but never did I suspect who would actually show up.

In the hustle and bustle of the crowd…the music and the mayhem, we were covered up making drinks…and in walked some of those same people from our last church that had given us so much grief and pain! It was at that point that all of my emotions, my anger and bitterness that I thought were long gone, came rushing out over me. I felt myself being transformed into something…someone I never knew existed. It was at that moment that I actually realized what had been going on inside of me for all of those years. It was all very vivid now. I remember telling Denise that I just can’t do this anymore…I know now THIS is what has been holding me back for so long. I could tell there was some sort of a barrier between God & me, yet I still didn’t understand it. For as much as I tried to break down the barrier, it kept growing stronger. I knew then, that all of the Bible reading, praying, Scripture studying and worshipping in the world wouldn’t help me grow in my spiritual walk UNTIL I was able to actually forgive everything and everyone that had been harboring inside my heart.

I made my way to our back office where I honestly think I had a nuclear meltdown. Our coffee shop was full of people, but it was just God and me in that back room. That little office space and storage area became Holy Ground that night. And when that encounter was over, I walked out a changed man. You see, I was the one that had to do the work…I had to be the one to realize, recognize and release. God had always been there for me and with me…waiting, but until I was willing to let go of the hurt, He couldn’t help me.

My life’s journey took on a brand new perspective that night. And in looking back, it was oh so needed for the path that He has taken our family on. We’ve climbed mountains and crawled into valleys that you cannot imagine since that night. But with each step I now take, I wrap myself in the blanket of peace of knowing that I have been forgiven, and, to help keep the chill out, for I’ll never forget the night that hell had snow drifts…

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hell Has Frozen Over...

Who would have ever thought that on a sizzling summer day in the hot Delta sun, things could have turned so cold…

One of the oldest clichés ever used goes something like this, ‘hell will freeze over before ______________ (you fill in the blank) will ever happen.’ I’ve used it…you’ve used it…we’ve all used it. And as usual, that ‘whatever’ never happens…just as you predicted. But have you ever wondered what would actually happen, if, that ‘whatever’ did come true? Generally, this cliché is always used when there is a guarantee that the ‘whatever’ will NEVER EVER take place.

I’ve learned, that’s not always true…

After years of serving on staff at a local church, not to mention all the years of being a preacher’s kid, watching…listening to each and everything thing that was said and done in the name of church, I’ve had to learn what it means to have ‘thick skin’. With my own experiences, as well as those from countless other pastors and staff members, it’s become extremely obvious that church members can be some of the most harshest people on earth. Some of the things they say…actions they take…literally can cut to the bone. And generally their target is church staff members. What’s sad, is that many times the advice from senior staff members to younger staff members comes only in the phrase, ‘Well you just need to grow some thick skin.” Instead of trying to help these young guys, they generally just get the brush off. I personally believe there is more to it than just ‘growing thick skin.’ It’s past time that church members stop using pastors and other staff members for target practice.

Having said that, let me also just say that I’ve heard just about every comment known to man when it comes to pastoral staff abuse. And I have developed ‘thick skin’. But just a few short years ago, my family and I suffered so much at the tongues and the actions of many of the church members where I was on staff, that it affected me much more than I realized. I honestly thought that I had moved beyond all of that hurt and bitterness that I felt in those early days. I was drastically wrong.

I had somehow, allowed the memories of that unbelievable experience, to hide themselves away in the pits of my heart. And there, they began to manifest themselves into deeper hurt…bitterness…even anger, without me actually realizing it. I truly thought I was over this. But instead, I had a mountain of unforgiveness growing inside me, with no end in site…


…to be continued.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Hello Again...

To all of our dear friends and readers, thank you for waiting on us to finally get settled. It's been a long few months. But as I write this, we've moved into our new home, trying to get over major colds, and doing our best to stay warm. We saw our first snowfall of the winter just a couple of days ago. That's so different to me.

I'm slowly but surely getting back in 'writing' mode. I'm currently writing for 3 different blogs, plus a couple of other literary works, so you can see I'm quite busy. But I've missed writing for this blog. You've been excellent readers, and I'm ready to get back to you on a regular basis.

I'll be seeing you soon...until then, I'm headed back to the coffee pot...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Horton...

Horton...an unlikely hero in a timeless children's classic. How ironic that the character of Horton resembles the modern day Christ-follower!

In 'Horton Hears A Who' the book tells the story of Horton the Elephant who, on the fifteenth of May in the Jungle of Nool, hears a small speck of dust talking to him. It turns out the speck of dust is actually a tiny planet, home to a city called "Who-ville", inhabited by microscopic-sized inhabitants known as Whos.

The Whos ask Horton (who, though he cannot see them, is able to hear them quite well) to protect them from harm, to which Horton happily obliges, proclaiming throughout the book that "a person's a person, no matter how small". In doing so he is ridiculed and nearly murdered by the other animals in the jungle for believing in something that they are unable to see or hear. His chief tormentors are the Wickersham Brothers and the Sour Kangaroo, and the small kangaroo in her pouch. Horton tells the Whos that they needed to make themselves heard to the other animals, lest they end up as part of "beezlenut stew", which they finally accomplish. The Who's finally make themselves heard by ensuring that all members of their society play their part. In the end it is the smallest Who of all, Jo-Jo, who provides the last volume lift to be heard, thus reinforcing the moral of "a person's a person no matter how small".

We looked at several Scriptural comparisons in this story, but the one I really wanted to focus on was just how compassionate Horton was, to a 'talking' speck of dust, that no one else could hear. We looked at Matthew Chapter 9, verses 35 - 38 where Jesus looks out at the multitudes and is moved with compassion. He compares the multitudes to 'sheep without a shepherd.'

One could say that Horton was 'born' to hear the 'un-hearable'...the ones that are desperate in need of saving. So it is that we, as Christ-Followers, that have been 'born again', are able to hear those same ones that are crying out...desperate in need of saving. But we have to be willing to hear...wanting to help, at all costs. Look at what happened to Horton...he was riduculed, injured, nearly murdered. When we as Christ-Followers start getting our hands dirty, reaching out to those who are searching for Christ, we will become riduculed...sometimes injured...and possibly, nearly murdered. Just look at all of the missionairies that have committed their lives to living overseas, in unknown lands, just to share the Gospel.

When Jesus told his disciples in verse 37 & 38 that the "harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few," and to "pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." He was telling them...and He's telling us now, that WE are the laborers that need to be in the harvest. But how can we see the harvest, if we cannot see with compassion?

Horton was willing to do whatever it took, just to save that little dust speck...the land of the Who's. The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 9:22 that "I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."

Even though our days are filled with chapters to read...tests to study for...and papers to write, games to prepare for...routines to rehearse...and don't forget we have to check out our FaceBook, we seriously need to take every opportunity we can to evaluate our campus, our dorms...see the harvest...and do as Jesus tells us, 'get busy', 'we have a crop to gather'. And we, are the workers.

Hear the hurting...feel the desperation...see with compassion...get in the harvest! We WILL make a difference...just look at Horton!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Things We Forgot To Put In Our Backpack...

Each year, about a month prior to the start of school, every elementary school in the land puts out a school supply list. And Wal-Mart sets out a huge display in their front door of gazillions of copies of each and every school lists for Mommies and Daddies to get a list, and go get all the supplies on the school supply list. It’s a nightmare to say the least when parents are out in full force @ Wal-Mart in the back to school aisles.

Now when we get to the High School, the lists were gone but we were in routine enough to go ahead and get the necessities: paper, folders, notebooks, pens, pencils, Kleenex, gum, breath mints, chapstick, hand sanitizer, you get the picture.

But when we get to college, all rules are pretty much thrown out because you don’t have a clue what your professors are going to want until that 1st couple of days of classes. And by then you’ve already been hammered with 47 chapters to read in 14 different books; not to mention trying to learn where your classes are, trying to park, and of course buying your books. The 1st time I had to buy college books, I about had heart failure. How in the world could 5 books cost $800.00 I’ll never know!

What’s Missing?

Today, the average college student is so unprepared to face the new world. Whether it’s lack of parental support, maybe we didn’t get totally prepared in high school to face the new classes… maybe we were never really taught how to study in high school and the list goes on and on. We come to college not ready.

In 1997, the dropout rate for college freshman:
a.) in public universities = 28.6%
b.) in private universities = 25.9%
c.) overall = 26.7%

Today, overall, for all 4 classifications of students 500,000 students dropout of a 4 year college. And to make matters worse, nearly 1/3 of all Americans in their mid-20’s are college dropouts. Today, ¼ of all new freshman who started T.U. or @ the Berg, statistically will not be back next fall. Again, what’s missing?

But there is a greater failure rate among college students and especially freshman. It’s a spiritual dropout… A relational dropout! Students today are walking away from any relationship they ever had with Jesus at an alarming rate. Today, almost 9 out of every 10 students, when they graduated high school are done/finished with their part of the relationship with Jesus. 85% - 90% of all Americans – 18–25 are unchurched...that means 17.5 million people!

What happened?

It goes back to that backpack concept. We forgot a couple of things. When we graduated, or left for college, we forgot to pack a few critical items for survival.

For me, a flash drive is critical to my survival and possibly for some of you, something like a flash drive is critical also. Imagine everything that you ever worked on, all your pictures, MP3s, things that were very important to you. Imagine leaving that @ home, and forgetting to bring it, or worse what is you lost it? Or what if it were your laptop?

Students are forgetting to pack:
Their curfews – I’m in college, I can stay up as late as I want.
Their morals – many times, morals disappear on college campuses.
Their food – (Bible) “I won’t need my Bible @ college.
Their focus/their purpose.

Girls are consistently looking for their “MRS.” degree and guys are looking for another notch on their gun. Yep, I would say, something is missing!

Grab your Bible and go on over to 1 Peter 5, and read verses 5 through 11. In a way, this is a perfect road map to college, and for college.

This is Simon Peter opening up his heart to us, trying to help us NOT make some of the mistakes he did. Simon Peter...the author of this book...the guy who 'literally' forgot his backpack, much less forgot to pack it. This guy knows first hand what it’s like to be chewed up and devoured by satan. He knew all too well that satan is consistently on the prowl. And if Peter tells us that in order for us to be on guard...be alert...ever watchful of satan, then we have to clothe ourselves in humility...how hard is that? Then Simon said to 'cast all of our cares on Jesus'. Why? Because Jesus cares for us...and Simon Peter knew that. Then finally, he says to 'resist the devil'. How? By being 'steadfast in our faith...knowing that we are not alone.' We're all in this battle, and Peter knew it. And he's sharing from the depths of his heart to try and protect us from this beast called satan.

And the end result...go ahead and read verses 10 and 11. Now you know...that's Peter we're talking about. He knew. Peter, forgot to pack his backpack. And this is his 'school supply list' for us. But not only for school...but for life.
So this is Peter, Simon Peter himself telling us how to be guarded…how to survive…how to defend…defeat…avoid the attacks of the devil. Because he knew that Jesus perfected him, established him, strengthened him, and settled him. And Peter knew that Jesus would do the same for us.

How? He humbled himself, clothed himself with humility...he cast all of his cares on Jesus...he was sober…self controlled...he was vigilant…ever watchful...and he resisted satan being steadfast in his faith.

I don't know about you, but I think it’s about time we repacked our backpacks.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sometimes, God Just Blows You Away...

First of all, thank you all so much for your much needed prayer support. It is extremely obvious that enormous amounts of prayers have been sent up for our family. And I would personally like to briefly share with you JUST HOW your prayers...and our prayers have begun to be answered.

This past Friday, a pending offer on Dad's Place was removed from the table. I cannot tell you just how I felt in the pit of my stomach. I had honestly felt all week that 'this was the real deal'. I was so wrong. The 'last minute-ness' of this situation was overwhelming. This meant that on Saturday, the very next day, I was going to have to remove all of the furnishings and equipment from Dad's Place and put it into storage (not to mention all of the other details that went along with it). Late into the evening, I was on the phone with people who had expressed an interest in purchasing the business, but all to no avail...until the very last phone call. And would you believe that we agreed to terms in the 'literal' 11:00pm hour! Amazing how God allows us to actually get to the end of our ropes...and the rope has begun to unravel...and THEN He steps in!

After numerous conversations late into the evening, negotiating this and discussing that, we were blessed with a contingency offer from an incredible family to purchase Dad's Place. Prayerfully, this will be final in a few days to a couple of weeks. This will mean that I will have to be back in Arkansas for a couple of days to complete this business deal and to train the new owners.
You absolutely have no idea what kind of a burden was lifted off of me.

I headed back to Ohio on Saturday morning to stay until the offer is ready to be finalized. But not until God wanted to bless us again. Before I could leave Arkansas, an incredible young family wanted to give to our ministry...a gift of almost $700. This was for travel expenses, meals, and for two weeks rent on our temporary home in Ohio. You know who you are...and we thank you and love you so very much!

I arrived home at 2:30am Sunday morning...call it road lag or jet lag, I was exhausted. Physically...mentally...emotionally...and even spiritually...I was a train wreck. Being back with one's family after days of seperation has a means of reviving one's well being. For those of you who know me, you KNOW just how much I love my family, and being with them means so much to me.

Sunday also brought two great messages from our pastor, here in Ohio. Even though I probably looked like a zombie setting in the sanctuary, I was able to absorb every word. Thank you Bro. Jerry for speaking to 'me'.

Today, brought more blessings. We were presented with a check from three groups of people who have been led to financially support our ministry. One family in Arkansas gave us a one-time gift of $30. Another family in Arkansas gave us a gift of $100 and committed to sending $100 per month for one year. To both families...may God's richest blessings fall on you. Then we were absolutely blown-away with a one time gift of $1000 from a local association of churches in eastern Ohio. Our support check today totalled $1130.00! "Thank you God so very much for providing for our family! Please bless each and every one that has lifted us up in prayer and has given financially to our ministry. May Your richest blessings be theirs."

Please continue your prayers for our family as we push forward for His Kingdom.

Yesterday and today, I have been making a few changes in my blogs. After today, this blog, I Espresso'd Myself, will go back to my regular devotions and short stories. Writing is such a big part of my ministry, and I appreciate each of you for dropping by and sharing your comments with me. Dad's Daily Grind is a new blog that I've started to share about our personal ministry and what's going on with our family. Kind of a personal journal in a way, where I'll be listing prayer requests, ministry needs, personal needs, etc. Please make sure you stop over at 'the Grind to stay up with the Whaley family.

I have also launched a new blog for our collegiate ministry in Ohio. h2o...for all who thirst will be used strictly as a ministry tool on campus. You are more than welcome to dive in the h20 as often as you like to see what's happening on campus. Thank you again for your faithfulness. Please make sure you check out the new blogs.
Until...






Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hello From Jim...

Hey Everyone,

I certainly appreciate each of you for staying up-to-date on our relocation and new ministry. As soon as I can get somewhat 'smoothed' out, I have so many things to share with you about what God has done for our family. It's my prayer that everything you read here, will be of great encouragement and hope for you. So please keep coming back to stay in touch with our family! And I certainly don't mind if you forward our blog to any and all of your fellow bloggers. I also would love to hear from you personally. I know that I have a tremendous amount of readers, but I don't hear from many. How's this, if you would rather send me something via email, INSTEAD of leaving a comment, then click here and send it to me. I would love to hear from you each time you stop by. I'm currently working on a new blog for the new ministry in Ohio. And you are certainly welcome to stop by anytime on that blog as well. I'll keep you posted when it's up and running!

I must ask you to please put my family and I on your daily prayer list.
Denise and I have taken a serious look at our overall situation, and here is where we need your help. We have determined that if we can overcome the backlog of bills that keep mounting, then we can make great strides forward. When we accepted the call to become volunteer missionaries, our methods of income, changed very drastically. Our problem, is that we are incredibly behind on our bills, and it's easy to take our focus off of what we're supposed to be focusing on and see only the financial struggles. It reminds me of when Peter hopped over the side of the boat and started walking on the water to get to Jesus, when he took his eyes off of Christ and focused on the storms around him, he began to sink. It was when he re-focused on Christ, and reached out to Him, that Christ brought him back up on top of the sea with him.

I'm asking you to give serious prayer toward a way to eliminate these mounting bills. And I would also alk that you forward this to anyone that you have that is a prayer warrior in your family or church. And also, I would ask that if God is placing a burden on your heart to help us financially with our ministry, please contact me immediately.

You can send your gifts to:
Northcoast Baptist Association

Please mark your checks for: Jim Whaley Ministry in the 'Memo' section.

Please mail your gifts to:
Northcoast Baptist Association
980 Abbe Road
Elyria, Ohio 44035

Each of you have no idea just how much we appreciate you, your families and your churches. I pray one day, that we will have an opportunity to visit your church and share with your congregations in person just what God has done in, and through our lives. Thanks for your prayers and support.

Stay in touch,

Jim

Friday, August 17, 2007

Dad's Place For Sale...

After my last post, I did receive a few emails concerning the purchase of Dad's Place. However, I really don't think that I was taken as serious as I really am. I previously shared with you about our new calling and our relocation to Ohio, so as you can see, it's impossible for us to continue on with the day-to-day operation of Dad's Place. DP has become a virtual 'over-night' icon in Monticello. It IS the hangout of many high school and college students. And it is the location of many, many activities throughout each week that gives people the opportunity to get out of the house/dorm/apartment and fellowship with others in a family-friendly environment.

DP is the business opportunity of a lifetime. It is already established in the community with plenty of room for business growth...an established clientele...an incredible product...and a phenomenal location. And on top of that, it's just a great place to go!

If you are the SLIGHTEST BIT interested in this business opportunity, PLEASE contact me here. We are more-than-willing to work with you in any way possible. We will consider ALL OFFERS! And I DO MEAN all offers. Don't let this great opportunity slip by. I can't wait to hear from you! Email me TODAY!


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Dad's Place Needs YOU...

Hello From Ohio,

I took a great opportunity on Friday to go home to Ohio. I hadn't seen my family in 3 weeks, so you can imagine what my adult ADHD was doing to me! :) Our family had moved to Ohio during the first part of July, and I returned to Monticello for the final sale of Dad's Place.

As so many of you know, Dad's Place was begun to minister to the 18 to 25 year olds in our community and surrounding area. What we didn't realize, was that the target audience was soooo much greater! Over the past three years, God allowed us to develop incredible relationships with many, many great people. All of which, I will always cherish. And in addition, we served great coffee too!

Upon arriving back in Arkansas from our move, we were notified that the purchase of Dad's Place did not grow through. As I shared in my previous post about our new calling, we will be heavily involved in ministry to college students in Ohio, however, it has always been our prayer and desire that someone would see the ministry and vision that we've had for Dad's Place and want to carry it on. At this time, it appears that at the end of August 2007...THIS month...Dad's Place will come to an end.

Here is where we need your help. If you or someone you know shares the vision and hunger for ministry as we do, and would like to carry on the ministry we know as Dad's Place and serve the best coffee and ice cream in south Arkansas, we would love to talk to you. You can email me here, and I'll get back to you as soon as I get the message. I would ask this, please no curiosity seekers...serious inquiries only.

And also one other favor...please pass this post on to all of YOUR blog readers, and link to us on your blog...we firmly believe that God desires that Dad's Place remain open in Monticello.

Could this be God's Call to you...


Thanks for your prayers,

Jim

Monday, August 06, 2007

Our New Calling...

To Our Dearest Friends And Faithful Bloggers,


Denise and I are blown away by a need that we have seen, and are humbled by a call that God has put on our lives. Thank you for taking the time to read and learn about our new adventure…and even pray about how God might want you, too, to be involved.

Today in North America, many college students will never have the opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. College students, numbering approximately 16 million, are one of the most significant and unevangelized people groups in North America. The battle for the souls of collegians is growing more desperate each year.

Our love for collegians began many years ago when God allowed us to serve as the University Pastor for Nettleton Baptist Church in Jonesboro, AR. It was during this time, that we began to understand the needs, both spiritual and physical, that this particular people group has. It was the beginning of a love that has burned fervently in our hearts till this day. We always prayed that somehow, someway, God would allow us to return this ministry. He has…and that time is now.

Beginning this fall, I will begin my ministry as Campus Pastor of Crosswalk Ministries at both Tiffin University and Heidelberg College, in Tiffin, Ohio, and Denise will serve as Support Staff for the campus ministry. Crosswalk is the Collegiate Ministry of the Ohio Baptist State Convention. Tiffin is a beautiful community, located in North Central Ohio on the Sandusky River, near the North Coast of Lake Eerie, with a population of approximately 19,000. The two universities have a combined enrollment of approximately 5,000 students, with only a minimal evangelical presence on either campus. We are currently in the relocation process. Denise and Tabitha have already moved, along with our housing, I've returned to Monticello to wrap up a few loose ends and to sell Dad's Place.

Never before has Luke 10:2 come screaming so loud and clear: ‘Therefore He said unto them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth laborers into His harvest.”’


We will be serving as Mission Service Corp (MSC) Volunteer Missionaries through the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. What is needed now is for other Great Commission-minded churches and individuals to join this partnership through providing financial support and praying for our work. The amount to be raised per month is over $3000.00, so it will truly take a unified effort of Christ’s Church to see this vision fulfilled.

I’d like to ask you to please do two things:

1.) Please pray for our family, our mission and our mission field. As we are currently in the process of finalizing our relocation, there are so many ‘little things’ that need extra attention. We are truly praying to see a mighty work of God on both of these university campuses, and your prayer support is much needed and greatly appreciated. Also, we would encourage you to pray for the sell of Dad's Place in Monticello. It is our prayer and desire that this ministry would continue in Southeast Arkansas.

2.) Please pray about supporting our mission financially. We are in need of partners at many different levels of giving to make the vision of this Collegiate Ministry a reality. We truly believe the Lord who calls is the same Lord who provides.

We are constantly encouraged knowing that there are people like you with a kindred spirit toward taking the Gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth. Thanks for your prayers. I pray that Christ will bless you with every spiritual blessing today. Thanks for reading and praying. Drop back by often for updates, and, a new collegiate blog is on it's way!

For His Glory,

Jim & Denise Whaley

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Partnership...

CrossWalk Collegiate Ministries of Tiffin
Jim & Denise Whaley ~ Missionaries
Tiffin, Ohio

We pray that God will lead people to come alongside this ministry and embrace the title of "armor bearers" both financially and prayerfully. It is has been the template of God set forth in Scripture for God and His people to partner together for kingdom ministry. Therefore, we are asking God's people to prayerfully consider joining us in the ministry of reaching the universities in Tiffin, Ohio with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

All financial investments to the Collegiate Ministry of Jim Whaley are tax deductible and all contributions will receive an end of the year giving statement for your personal records.

Thank you so much for being a vital part of this exciting ministry. We are humbled by your willingness to partner with us. Feel free to contact us at any time for additional information concerning this ministry.

All ministry contributions can be made out to: Northcoast Baptist Association.

Please mark your checks for: Jim Whaley Ministry in the ‘Memo’ section.

Please mail to:

Northcoast Baptist Association
980 Abbe Road
Elyria, Ohio 44035

Thank you for your Partnership! We look forward to sharing great and exciting news of God's Work with you. A new collegiate blog is in the works...stay tuned!


Jim & Denise Whaley



Anticipation...

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed (emphasis mine)." 1 Peter 4: 12-13

Friday, August 03, 2007

A Prayer For The Moment...

This was a prayer I received this morning in my email. Such a needed and comforting prayer. I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me.
Jim

Be Blessed and may GOD's loving favour come upon you and your family. God still sits on the throne. If you are going through a tough time right now, God is getting ready to bless you in a way that only He can.

Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and blog readers that are reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of Your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask You to minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence through Your grace. Bless their homes, families, finances, their goings and their comings. In Jesus' precious name.
Amen.

Monday, July 30, 2007

God Is Busy...

For those of you who don't know yet, my family and I are moving to North Central Ohio. The bulk of our move is complete, Denise and Tabitha and all of our belongings are there in Ohio now. I'm back in Arkansas to complete our transition. It's been our prayer that God will allow us to sell Dad's Place so that our ministry here in Monticello will continue. As of now, that has not happened. There is so much that our family is experiencing through God's grace that I can't wait to write it down and tell you all about it and about our new ministry...that time will have to wait a little longer.

There is something that happened last week that is a concrete reminder that God is at work in our new community. The small SBC church that we will be serving from had their regular VBS last week. The church is a small congregation, predominantly an older congregation. Having that said, last week during VBS, the church had 28 adult workers...43 children. Now here is the staggering part...11 of those children accepted Christ as their Savior. ELEVEN! That's a whopping 26% of the total enrollment for VBS! My family and I are VBS guru's and we've NEVER seen those types of conversion rates. I believe with all our heart that God is seriously at work in our new community. Pray for us as we make this massive transition.

If you would like to know more about our new ministry, stay tuned...there is lots to come. If you would like to know more on a personal level and find out how YOU can help in our new ministry, please email me and I'll be glad to tell you what great things God is doing.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

DP is back OPEN!!

Dad is back and Dad's Place is back OPEN! Drop by and see me!!! I've missed you!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Spec Ops...The Finale...

Simply by appearance, they look like the unlikeliest of applicants. Some, barely able to comb their hair…others, obviously color-blind by looking at their clothing. One would seriously have to wonder how these recruits could even tie their shoes, much less serve on an elite tactical team. But then, I made eye contact with one of them. Then another…and another. Slowly it became apparent by the look in their eyes, just how serious each one was, and just how much each one belonged in this unit. A look of determination, a look of courage, a look of willingness, a look of compassion. A new breed indeed whose motto could honestly be termed, ‘Failure is no longer an option.” This is a Unit that has been tried and tested throughout the years with little success. Flirting with failure simply because the leaders believed the traditional methods were superior. But now a new breed of leader is emerging, and his focus has changed. Same target, new method…new squad.

Millions of lives hang in the balance whose eternal destiny lies in the hands of this new group of misfits. Willing to forsake the established traditions that had previously been set in stone, just for a chance to make a difference in someone’s life and eliminate the target that has taunted them for a lifetime.

The scenario described earlier, is not entirely what you think. It would be easy to picture that same sequence of events played out in the deserts of the Middle East or in some remote part of the country. We see this type of action brought to life each and every day on prime time TV, in theaters, and even on FoxNews. So it’s common place to imagine a team that’s arrayed in camouflaged paints to blend in with their surroundings for the sole purpose of being able to get off a clean shot from a high-caliber sniper’s rifle that would kill an individual who had been determined to be the ‘bad guy’.

But instead, it is a typical scene that could be at a local coffeehouse or maybe a park, even at a sporting event, maybe a café. The target is not someone who is simply profiled as one of Middle Eastern descent, a young professional with an Arabic dialect. Inside the coffeehouses and cafés of America, a new war is being waged. These new spec ops teams are the covert units that are being deployed to eliminate an enemy whose sole purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. The war of evangelism has a new face, and millions of souls are being snatched from the gates of hell like never before. No longer are the traditional methods of ‘cold calling’, ‘surveys’ and the like, accepted as the only ways to share the gospel. The foolish religious conception of ‘if we build it, they will come” is finally being exposed as just that, a foolish religious conception. Churches have to realize that just because we have these fancy ‘sacred cows’ that we meet in each week doesn’t mean throngs of people will be magnetically drawn to attend our rehearsed and choreographed Sunday routines that is filled with religious jargon and make-believe empathy. If that were the case, then it would be ‘standing room only’ in every church of every denomination and race across this country, each and every time a ‘church service’ is announced. But it’s not…

It is time that Christians pop this ‘christian bubble’ in which we live and step out into a real world where people, just like you and me, are searching and waiting to get to know the ‘real us’. Relationships are, without question, the spec ops unit of evangelism. The elite of the elite, willing to face excruciating circumstances…willing to sacrifice everything just so that lives will be changed. When we take the time to get to know someone, someone outside the church, and be able to be ourselves and to show what Christlikeness and Christ’s love is really all about, then we will see lives changes, souls saved and the landscape of America will be eternally altered. We have a Biblical mandate to ‘love our neighbor’, and the best possible way to fulfill this directive is to willingly be a friend to the friendless and to love the seemingly unlovable.

Sharpen your weapon skills and listen very close to your spotter.

There is a new Unit being deployed and is proving to be a force to be reckoned with. The Commander-n-Chief has given the ‘go ahead’ order. And He’s still looking for recruits…

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Spec Ops...

Rangers…Green Berets…Seals…you know their names…the Special Forces Units of our military…the elite of the elite of our fighting forces. Units such as these also exists in the FBI, the CIA and the Secret Service. When all other attempts have failed and the mission is soon to be aborted, the Unit is called in. In certain situations when normal, traditional methods and planning will not work, the Unit is called. Nameless individuals working alone or as a team, willing to face excruciating circumstances…willing to sacrifice everything for the completion of the mission. Silently waiting on the ‘go ahead’ order. Standing ever-so-ready for any and all obstacles that might arise. Shadows that quickly disappear in the night…

The order had been given. The Team was now in position. Camouflaged by the night, each one was waiting…waiting for the target to arrive. Using secret codes to communicate on an ‘as-needed’ basis, it didn’t take long to realize this mission would take longer than expected. A sniper was in place but just couldn’t get a clean shot. All attempts to move the target into position had failed. The spotter remained focused, “Two clicks left.” he said. And immediately, the sniper made his adjustments. “Three clicks right.” The adjustments continued. The target was elusive, skilled in his own right…a master of deception. Still not a clean shot, but the Unit remained steadfast. Finally, a new order was given. “Stand down”, was heard in the earpieces, and immediately the members of the Unit disappeared into the night. Additional planning…Additional preparation. Another day…

Traditional troops have been deployed for years, looking for ways the enemy could be conquered. Initially, these methods worked. And worked great. But times have changed, and changed drastically, and we now live in a different world...a world where evil lurks and our enemy is steadily gaining strength.

Now, a war plan is being reactivated and a new Unit is being assembled…

...to be continued.

Read 'The Finale' Here.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

CPR...

Another great quote from Shane Claiborne from his book, "The Irresistible Revolution".


"For even if the whole world believed in resurrection, little would change until we began to practice it. We can believe in CPR, but people will remain dead until someone breathes new life into them. And we can tell the world that there is life after death, but the world really seems to be wondering if there is life before death."

What have you done in the way of CPR today?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Climbing Out Of Windows...

I'm currently in the middle of a great read that I would encourage each of you to take the time to read and digest. But this is also one of those that will challenge your core beliefs...you really have to be ready. The name of the book is "The Irresistible Revolution" by Shane Claiborne. Jeff did a great review of this same book a while ago. Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book:

"I was asked to speak at...(my university's) graduation ceremony, and to the chagrin of the dean, I told the story of how some friends and I were busted for rappelling out of the windows of one of the dorms. The dean had written us a warning that said, "Can you please enter and exit the buildings through the doors, like everybody else?" So my graduation message, "Crawl Through The Window," went something like this: 'The doors of normalcy and conformity are dead. The time has come to give up on the doors and find a window to climb through. It's a little more dangerous and may get you into some trouble, but it is a heck of a lot more fun. And the people who have changed the world have always been the risk-takers who climb through windows while the rest of the world just walks in and out of doors.'

We were ready for something new."

I guess the question of the day would be, "Am I ready for something new? Are you?"

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Puzzle Pieces...The Finale

PLEASE somebody, PLEASE unplug the machine!

I found myself in the middle of an otherwise mundane seminar on church missions. Been there…done that…bought the t-shirt…sold it at a rummage sale. My ADHD was cruising at Mach 8 with a virtual unlimited supply of jet fuel. The longer I sat there, the faster I counted the indentions in the ceiling tiles. In my mind’s eye, I had already restructured the room, critiqued the other seminar attendees, and had redesigned the PowerPoint presentation…and that was just the first ten minutes! Did I mention the fact that the main seminar speaker spoke in an almost monotone, high pitched, nasally voice…and I was sitting in the front of the room?!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a new seminar speaker with a welcomed change to my ears.
He was a younger man, more eloquent in speech,
The voice of a disc-jockey…my senses were peaked.
The longer he talked, the more excited he became,
Something was wrong, he didn’t play by the rules of the game.
His heart screamed of missions, you could see it in his eyes,
I felt myself calming down, I couldn’t understand why.

Then out of nowhere, this guy had the audacity of passing out puzzle pieces to all of us in attendance. There I was, totally focused, enjoying the rare calmness of the moment when he stops at our table to give us our puzzle pieces.

Yep, there I went. My applecart was just knocked into oblivion and I became nothing more than a salivating dog waiting for my master to say “Go!”.

Let me at the puzzle!

Since I had already evaluated the room, I came to a very quick conclusion that I could have a WWF Smackdown in the middle of the conference hall and I guarantee I could have had that puzzle put together in nothing flat.

Uh-oh…I think I might be crossing that line again…

But he didn’t say ‘Go’. He said “Stop”. “Stop what you’re doing. Stop how you think of missions. Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!”

What!? Stop it!?

I felt my engines calming down almost as fast as they had fired up. I was trying real hard to hold it all together, but my Type A, ADHD personality was on a Guinness World Record setting pace. Somehow, someway I had to focus, fast.

“Each of you are holding a very unique piece of a puzzle.” “And each piece, whether it’s at this table (pointing to mine), or that table (pointing to one in the back), is just as important as the next.”

No he just didn’t!

“Let that sink in. Each one is just as important as the next.”

There is no way this guy is actually telling me and everyone else in this room that each piece is just as important. Did he not get the memo that told him that mine out-ranked all the others? That without mine, this puzzle couldn’t be completed?

“But just remember” he said, “Even though there is not one individual piece that’s more important than the other, each single piece…each single person, is such a vital part that without it…the puzzle just isn’t complete.” Then he looked and pointed at the person beside me. “It takes you. And you…and you…and you!” As he pointed to others around the room. Others, just like me.

He shared a truly grass-roots style philosophy of missions that in all honesty, I’ve never seen before due to my over-energized, caffeine-fueled personality. A philosophy that is so basic, yet so incredible...goes back to that ‘forest for the trees’ thing. But when I saw it…I really saw it.

He went on to say that even if we did attempt to assemble the puzzle, we couldn’t because all of the pieces were not handed out...more people were needed…more people willing to take the focus off their own puzzle piece and instead, do everything in their power to see…to complete the big picture. There were still very valuable pieces that we didn’t know about, yet, each was just as important as the ones we were holding. What really is the big picture? What does it look like? These are the real questions that we must seek the answers to. It’s irrelevant what my specific puzzle piece looks like, but how does it work in relation to the big picture. The focus must be on the overall picture…what does it look like…what is His picture.

I am still a very confident individual…extremely sure of myself…borderline arrogant. And I will always be accused of crossing that superthin line. I’m still a classic Type A personality with overactive adult ADHD tendencies. But now, I carry with me that same single puzzle piece that serves as a constant reminder of that moment when I really saw the big picture.

Want to put a puzzle together?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Puzzle Pieces...

I’m a very confident individual…extremely sure of myself…borderline arrogant. And if you can only imagine, I’ve been accused on many occasions of crossing that fictitious line. Without question, a Type A personality. Wikipedia describes it best:

"Type A personality, also known as the Type A Behavior Pattern, is a set of characteristics that includes being impatient, excessively time-conscious, insecure about one’s status, highly competitive, hostile and aggressive, and incapable of relaxation.[1] Type A individuals are often highly achieving workaholics who multi-task, drive themselves with deadlines, and are unhappy about the smallest of delays. They have been described as stress junkies."
Yep, that’s me…all me.

Many, many times I literally have on blinders and can only see or focus on my immediate tasks at hand. It’s almost like not being able to see the forest for the trees, all the while straining so hard just to get a glimpse of the elusive forest. Now granted I’ve rewritten the definition and expectations of the concept of multi-tasking, yet I get so inundated on the smallest of details. It’s so easy for me to be very happy and very miserable at the exact same time. Liken it to a ‘split-personality’ of sorts.

Imagine it this way…a hundred people come into the same room. Each is given a single piece of a hundred-piece puzzle…including me. Our goal is to assemble the puzzle. I’m the person attempting to look at each of the other 99 pieces…simultaneously mind you, to see if I can find the ones that only match ‘my piece’. I could actually care less if any others match…does it match mine…mine…only mine. As I scramble around the room, frantically searching for my matching pieces, I see other parts of the puzzle beginning to come together. I become furious and frustrated in my attempts to successfully complete my task. After all, it’s my piece that is the most important. Without my specific piece of the puzzle, all the rest is moot.

My insides scream…my mind spins out of control…every fiber of my being is somehow lost in organized chaos…my eyes bounce like pinball’s seeking to hit every bonus available and score as many points as possible.

Would somebody PLEASE unplug the pinball machine?!

Did I mention I’m also adult ADHD?

Welcome to my world.

Such is the case of the viewpoint of so many churches and Christians. “Mine, mine, mine…me, me, me…I, I, I…us, us, us…we, we, we…bringing in the sheaves”. Sorry, I guess I got carried away for a moment. This was too easy for me. It fit my normal thought pattern. Life was good. And I bought into this viewpoint with no reluctance what so ever.

Yep, life was good…up until a few days ago. It was in an unforgetable moment that I came to the mind-altering fact, there was something seriously wrong with my spiritual piece of the puzzle…

…to be continued.

A Must Read...

One of the best thought provoking, heart altering posts I think I've ever read is over at Dean's. I strongly encourage you to read Dean's Personal Revolution!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Guys Study Group @ Dad's Place...

Hey Guys,
Join us Tuesday mornings at 6:00am, YES, that's 6:00AM, for an incredible new Bible Study Group. I know it's early, but it's worth every moment of your time. Come on in and bring a friend or two! The coffee will be fresh...and the study will be real! See you on Tuesday Mornings.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Agendas...

In the just concluded Southern Baptist Convention held in San Antonio, Frank Page, President of the SBC and pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, SC, shared this amazing statement in his President's Address to the convention:

"For 30 years we've been trying to raise baptism levels among non-revived churches among non-revived people who've lost their passion for the lost," said Page, adding he was paraphrasing longtime evangelism professor Roy Fish. "But interestingly enough, we've become strangely passionate about our own agendas...."

One of those things that make you go, 'Hmmmmmm'! 'I think I've heard that before....no wait, I think I've said that before."

The only real shame to messages such as this and the one by Rob Zimm, is the fact that the overwhelming majority in this audience is pastors and other staff members. These messages need to be heard by the remaining members of all the churches across America. Those members whose personal agendas completely clog the passage way of God's Will.

Here's the bottom line: It's not about me or my agenda. It's not about you or your agenda. It is ALL about HIM and HIS Will...His agenda.

Today's Daily Brunch...

A few days ago, Jeff gave us a great review of 'The Irresistible Revolution' by Shane Claiborne. Here is just one of the many 'stand-out' quotes from the book...

"But we live in a world that has lost its appreciation for small things. We live in a world that wants things bigger and bigger. We want to supersize our fries, sodas, and church buildings. But amid all the supersizing, many of us feel God doing something new, something small and subtle. This thing Jesus called the kingdom of God is emerging across the globe in the most unexpected places, a gentle whisper amid the chaos. Little people with big dreams are reimagining the world. Little movements of communities of ordinary radicals are committed to doing small things with great love."

Definitely something to chew on...and swallow...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

"Get Off The Pew"...

It seems as though for years I've literally been screaming the fact that if the church in the 21st Century really, really wants to impact their communities for the Kingdom of God, changes MUST be made! I have never ONCE suggested in altering the Gospel Message of Christ. The Bible, in it's entirety is, and always will be the inerrant, infallible Word of God. However, the WAY we do things, and literally the things we do, must be revamped...mindsets must be changed in order to reach our society for Christ.

Yesterday, at the Southern Baptist Convention that is taking place in San Antonio, Texas, Robb Zinn, senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Highland, California absolutely lays this exact mindset down in immaculate fashion as he delivers the convention message at the convention. You can read the highlights of his message HERE. Don't miss this one!
Let me also honestly say, I really don't care if you disagree with me or not. The bottom line here, is what are YOU...and what is your CHURCH doing to change your community...your neighborhood...your family, for Christ? Don't be stuck in the 40's and 50's attempting to 'do church'.

CD Release Party...

Join us Friday, June 15th, at Dad's Place for a wonderful evening of Christian music, provided by Jonathan Snow Carpenter...Worship Leader for Second Baptist Church, Monticello, AR. Jonathan is an incredible young man with a strong heart for the Lord, and a passion for leading His people into His presence. This is a special evening for Jonathan, as this will be his NEW CD Release Party for the just released "A Heart On My Sleeve" CD. Join Jonathan as he performs the songs on the new CD, as well as some incredible favorites. Show time is 7:00pm. There will be NO COVER charge. You WILL be able to purchase a copy "A Heart On My Sleeve" on Friday Night. We're looking forward to seeing you here!


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New! @ Dad's Place Coffee...

Hello Everyone,

First of all, I want to thank each and every reader for stopping by Dad's Place Coffee. It's a pleasure to know the amount of traffic we have each week.

I realize that it's often hard to comment on everyone's blogs that you read...even though I love your comments, sometimes it's just hard to. For that reason, I've installed ClickComments on each post. ClickComments are designed to make it easy for readers to send an expressive comment with just one click on either of the icons. The clickcomment counter gets updated immediately for everyone to see. Go ahead, roll over each of the icons to see if they express your thoughts on any particular post. If so, click it, and share with me your thoughts.

And don't forget, I still cherish your written comments as well. Again, thanks for stopping by Dad's Place Coffee.


Jim Whaley

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Winner In Our Midst...

I love being able to brag on our students. And this past weekend, one of our students, that hangs out at Dad's Place, took care of business in the Junior's Golf Tournament this past weekend, here in Monticello. CLICK HERE for more...

Dart League Final Statistics...

The leagues are over, and the trophies have been passed out. CLICK HERE to see the final results and overall standings of both the Individual Dart League and the Doubles Dart League.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Reflections In The Water...The Finale...

Just when you thought the hounds of hell have officially been unleashed and your only means of escape lies at the bottom of the sea, God reminds us what He’s really all about.

In the midst of mass chaos, an eerie silence sweeps over the people as the words of Moses echo throughout the camp.

“Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. Which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:13-14 - emphasis mine)

Stand still. Calm down. Hush! Trust Me. How easy we forget that the God of creation is also the God of deliverance. And if we trusted Him enough to follow Him and His chosen man called Moses out of the bonds of slavery, even though we stand at the shores of the Red Sea, the God who got us out will also get us through. He WILL NOT take us down a path that leads to destruction. We might choose a side road…a short-cut, but His way is everlasting. The God who led us out, has the answers. The God who led us out, has a plan. The God who led us out, WILL take care of us, IF we will get out His way and let Him do it. Let Him, do it. Not us. Not me. Him.

Let Him do it.

Stand still…

“Father, it’s so hard to simply stand still. I, want to take of things. I, want to do it. And to be honest Lord, I’m tired of trying…please help. I can’t wait to see you at work. Father I’m asking for nothing less than the hand of God at work in my life. Clear the way…part the sea. In Jesus Name, Amen.”

The wind has picked up…the waves are rising…yes, He IS right here with me…and yes, the bottom of the ocean floor is dry…

Friday, May 25, 2007

Reflections In The Water...Part #2...

The group was three million strong. With them, they brought every piece of their belongings, as little and as ragged as it may be. For generations, all they knew and understood was slavery. Their living conditions were nothing more than cardboard cells. For most, the mere concept of freedom existed only in someone else’s world…another place, another time. Torture and death were the norm. Peace had vanished. That place called the Promise Land seemed fictional. It was the best of times…it was the worst of times. And now, things just got even worse…

This man called Moses had led the children of Israel out of slavery and into a world that was unusual by any stretch of the imagination. Not having to submit to the impetuous conditions provided by the Egyptian army was a lifestyle the latter generations had never known. Freedom…really?

There they stood, staring into the waters of the Red Sea. And staring back at them were desperate faces seeking deliverance. The path to perpetual freedom had led them to what appeared to be, a watery grave. With grumblings spreading throughout the camp, an about-face seemed evident. Maybe the life of slavery wasn’t so bad after all. Crying out for answers, the ground beneath them began to tremble. What they thought was an answered prayer was actually their worst nightmare coming true. For in the distance, the cause of the rumblings began to appear. It wasn’t a redeemer, it was reality. The Egyptian army had sent it’s best warriors to amass the Israelites and return them back into slavery. Death was before them, riding in chariots.

Have you ever been, literally, between the devil and the Red Sea? You know, the proverbial ‘rock and a hard place’? Yes you have. And some of you may be there now. Desperate for answers…not knowing which way to turn, what to do, you cry out for help only to have your pleas slowly sink beneath the sea. There is rarely a more lonely feeling…forgotten…hopeless.

I understand. Knowing that the God who led you out of one place only to ‘seemingly’ abandon you at the corner of death and desperation, is now silent. The waters of the Red Sea splash on the shores and on your feet, only to remind you that time is drawing near. And if there has ever been a time in your life to depend on the Living God, it’s now. Yet, the heavens remain silent.

Shhhhhhh…the winds of hope are beginning to blow…


…to be continued.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Reflections In The Water...

There is rarely anything more soothing than the rippling sounds of water. Many of us can drift back in time when we've had an opportunity to walk on the shores of the sea. Those of us in the South are drawn to the beauty of The Gulf, while those on our two outer coastlines have miles and miles of beach that contain the splendor of the oceans. The waves crash...the breeze is in my face...the seagulls dart to and fro overhead...the sand is between my toes... There 's just something about the ambiance of the beach...

I've stood on the edge of both coasts. The temperature was always toasty on the East Coast and chilly on the West. I've watched the sun rise above the Atlantic and I've seen the sun set beyond the Pacific. In the distance, majestic ships sometimes appear motionless as they ever so slowly make their way to exotic places unknown. The earth shakes as the waves pound the shores, rearranging nature's landscape. And each time as my eyes seek to find the outer edge of the waters, fear overtakes me as a battle rages within.

For as much as I love the seas...the oceans, I fear them even more. A childhood incident provided the foundations of a fear that I suffer with to this day. Way beyond a phobia, my fear of water is unimaginable. Just the thought of being near a body of water...even a normal swimming pool...sends chills up my spine...my blood pressure skyrockets...my heart races...my skin crawls... Many have offered help...but the fear continues to say 'no'.

While many of you long to have ocean-front property, I simply can't imagine living by the water. For you, it would be pleasure...for me, it would be pain.

Imagine being in this condition, and being forced into living on the shores of the sea. Imagine that your life...your world has been turned upside down and the future lies in the reflections on the water. Imagine what once was called normal...routine, has now vanished. Imagine what you once called home, no longer existed...yet you long to return. You relive the hardships and sufferings of the recent past and the memories of your nightmares are more inviting than what your future now holds...it seems....


...to be continued.






Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Final Wrap-Up...

There is not a day that goes by that I don't wish for more hours in the day. 24 is somehow, not enough. I have taken, and taught, many time-management classes/seminars, and yet I still can't find enough time to do some of the things that I enjoy. Reading, is one of them, blogs, in particular. And with blogging becoming so popular, there are so many new blogs arriving each day, I'm running into that 'needing more hours in the day' thing, just to attempt to keep up. And I've come to realize, it's just not happening!

With that said, this will be my last 'Weekly Wrap-Up'. I will continue to post on my personal blog, but the wrap-ups have to come to a close. It's been a blast to give you my take on the local blog world. There is so much to learn about others through their blogs, and I strongly encourage you to continue reading in the local blog-world. And you have my personal invitation to continue to drop by here, for personal encouragement...stories...and just plain good coffee for the soul.

So here it is, the final wrap-up on the week that was, in no particular order...


Dean's post on a very tough topic, a third-party marriage, is a great read...Good job Dean, way to take a stand.

An absolute must read is over at K.T.'s. A silent world exists with few knowing the realities...a great personal expository on Down's Syndrome.

One of my favorite authors is Leonard Sweet, and Jeff gives us a very good review on Sweet's latest book.

Have an incredible week, and drop by often because the coffee is always fresh, and so is the conversation!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

More Life...


It's time to stop trying to put more years in our lives,
and start putting more life in our years.



"I am come so that they may have life, and have it more abundantly."

~ Jesus

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Friday Wrap-Up...

Things have been kinda quiet this past week...the end of the school year, finals and graduation stuff is a time vacuum. Instead of listing any specific blogs for the week, I'd like to encourage you to read your favorites this weekend...and take time for yourself to post something new. If there is a blog out there that you would like for me to read and possibly make it on the Friday Wrap-Up, leave it in the comments...I'd love to read it. In the meantime, keep reading and writing, and have a great week.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Friday Wrap-Up...

Great reading going on in the blogworld this week. There are several that caught my attention, but there were a couple that really deserve your's. Here it is, the week that was, in no particular order...


Jeff's blog gets a new face-lift...and a good one at that...and he asks us a point blank question, "What do you want from Jesus?"




Mark give us a great post on 'fear' and an even better follow-up on 'no fear'. Great job Mark.


Jason looks at the 'why?' generation.


I wrap up my series on David with 'The Butler' ..... and 'The Beast Within'. Also, check out this prayer that was prayed in the Kansas Senate.


Pretty neat little firestorm over at ML concerning the name or naming of the Rough and Ready Festival. Should be interesting to follow.





Have a great week...keep writing...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Are You Domesticated...

"Perhaps the tragedy of our time is that such an overwhelming number of us who declare Jesus as Lord have become domesticated-or, if you will, civilized. We have lost the simplicity of our early faith. Beyond that, we have lost the passion and power of that raw, untamed, and primal faith. Maybe John was alluding to that in the Apocalypse when he told the church of Ephesus that they had lost their first love (Revelation 2:1-4)."

Erwin Raphael McManus
'The Barbarian Way'

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Singles Dart Tournament @ Dad's Place...

This Saturday, April 28, we will have a Singles Dart Tournament, beginning at approximately 12Noon immediately following the IDL Matches. Cost will be $5 per person with all of the entry fees being paid back out. It will be a BLIND DRAW tournament, which means you will DRAW for seeding placement. It will be a DOUBLE ELIMINATION tourney. And it will also be played SCRATCH...absolutely NO POINTS! Best 2 out of 3 wins. Everyone is invited to participate. Help spread the word!!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Senate Prayer In Kansas...

I received this in an email this morning and thought it was worth sharing with you. Hope you enjoy...



Thought you might enjoy this interesting prayer given in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate. It seems prayer still upsets some people. When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:

"Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Amen!"

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India , Africa and Korea
Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, "The Rest of the Story," and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired.
With the Lord's help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called "one nation under God."

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Friday Wrap-Up...

In a week that will forevermore be etched in history...I would like to encourage each of us in the blogworld to pause and remember the blessings that God has poured out on us, and to pray for the families and students at Virginia Tech. May God cover you with His love.

I've found a couple of great posts over the past two weeks, but then I read what could possibly be, one of the most profound writings I've ever seen. It's so intense...yet so true. Keep up the great writing, but this week, please, grab a cup of coffee...drop by Dean's..and enjoy The Violinist's Song.


Have a great week...Go Hoakies ...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Reflections...

It saddens me so as I devour everything on the news channels to digest this horrific act of violence on the Virginia Tech campus. It seems as only yesterday that my family and I were caught in the middle of the school shooting that took place in Jonesboro. There are scenes of that tragedy that still play out in my mind, so I really can't grasp what many of these students and faculty are facing today at VT.

What's so ironic is my last post was a call to arms for todays Christians in the battle of good vs evil. And I wrote it only 24 hours prior to the first shots being fired. Here is another great post about Living in Enemy Territory. And a definite MUST READ is this Call To Prayer , concerning this dramatic situation from David James, Team Leader of the ABSC Collegiate Ministry.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Part #4...The Beast Within...

One of the most treacherous pieces of roadway in America is a stretch of interstate from Flagstaff to Phoenix, Arizona. Flagstaff itself, is located just off the southern rim of the Grand Canyon, which means the elevation is tremendous. This interstate, termed the ‘Black Canyon Freeway’, takes one from the highest elevations of the ominous canyon, down and around the mountains at grades almost unbelievable and, if you haven’t driven it yourself, it’s absolutely indescribable, into the majestic sands of the desert below...down into the valley of the sun. I’ve navigated this piece of highway on numerous occasions, and, even in the best of conditions, looms as a worthy adversary. Arrayed in the beauty of the mountains with it’s snow-covered peaks, towering pines and plush valleys, one has to look deep within the landscape…past the outer covering, to realize that something greater…more powerful, lies within.

So it was with this boy named David.

Beyond the simplicity…beyond the passion to serve, was a waiting warrior destined for greatness. A warrior whose spirit…whose courage was forged with an invincible armor. A warrior who knew no fear simply because the God he served was his protector…and he knew it. If only we could grasp this shroud of invincibility that covers a Christian’s very soul, then lives would be altered and kingdoms would be changed for eternity. We would soon realize that we are not POW’s of this world but instead champions for Christ that are willed to crash the very gates of hell whose sole purpose is to kill and to destroy. We are in a battle of biblical proportion. There is a massive call to arms that’s being screamed from our Commander-in-Chief, and it’s past time for us to lace up our boots, reach down deep into the depths of our soul and release this beast…release this warrior into the battleground that surrounds us.

Time and time again, we encounter giants of every shape, form and fashion that’s determined to bring about death and destruction into every nook and crevice around us. When we least expect it, we’re faced with such insurmountable odds that we cower with fear and tremble in the shadows that encase us. Yet, all the while, the warrior waits…

Who really knew what the real David looked like. Who knew that this young man who spent more time in his father’s fields than he did at his father’s table was a champion in the making. Who knew that inside this ruddy, teenage boy was a beast waiting to be unleashed. Who knew…David knew…God knew. David had the hand of God upon him…that, he also knew. He was invincible…he knew the God he served, the God of Israel, was unconquerable. What about us…what about me…

As the dawn breaks anew each day on the Black Canyon, all of nature’s best awakens to reveal it’s magnificent splendor. All is calm, it seems… As we wake each morning to face our day, and the person in the mirror stares back, the warrior inside waits…and all of hell trembles at the thought of it being unleashed…

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Part #3...The Butler...

“Service is the rent we pay to be living. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time.” ~ Marian Wright Edelman

Some people are born to serve…the gift of hospitality is the very essence of their being. They salivate at the very thought of being able to do something for someone…somewhere. No matter how big or small, they will always accept the task before them. Many times, I feel the people with this gift are so often taken for granted…and I’ve seen so many take advantage of those with this gift. All the while, there are others who simply serve…and then, there are those who desire to be served. I fall somewhere in the latter of the two categories…with the balance of the scales leaning closer to the last.

Young David’s life was a portrait of service. With each stroke of the brush, the canvas came alive with opportunities for service that brought brilliant color to an otherwise colorless existence. With each of these acts of kindness, the portrait became more three dimensional…the colors, more spectacular…the profile, lifelike.

I Samuel Chapter 17 is a classic Bible story that has spanned the ages. For centuries, children have been told of the little boy who killed the giant with a sling and a rock. And we as adults, have allowed this one dimensional view of this passage of Scripture to define the battle of good vs evil in a climatic scene where evil appears destined win, only to have the obvious underdog stand victorious in the end. But I honestly feel that we fail to see a major characteristic that screams loudly in this character tour. David’s gift of service speaks volumes about the fabric that lines his very soul.

Picture this typical young boy, hurrying down the road to take bread, grain and cheese to the battle front where his two oldest brothers fight in the king’s army. And with haste…haste, David runs to follow his father’s direction. Haste! Where is this zeal in today’s society? We’ve fast become a ‘Me, Me, Me’ centered culture, instead of David’s classic ‘You, You, You’ civilization.

If only we would obey our Heavenly Father with as much haste as David did his earthly father…

...to be continued.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Friday Wrap-Up...

Easter week has always brought about lots of activities. This is a huge opportunity for each of us to spend some extra quality time with our families. There were some really good reads in the blogs this week, I hope you enjoy each of these!

Pointless Debates are going on over at Dean's.

Head Scratching in the Lion's Den.

WMCJD.

The Mayor gets a report card. An incredible article...a definite must read.

Carolyn voted for Sanjaya.

And I've started a new series here at DP. You can read Part 1 and Part 2.

Check out Dinner & A Movie. An incredible way for a family outing to celebrate Easter.

Have an incredible week and remember, He IS Risen!