Whatever Happened to Kindness?

Whatever Happened to Kindness?

August 12, 2018 Luke 10:30-37 The scar remains over the bridge of my nose, but the memory of the kindness of the man who placed a handkerchief over my open gash and drove my mother, my infant sister, and me to the hospital remains. Although I was only three, I remember the small Post Office in Greenville, Alabama where my mother stopped to purchase some stamps. While she paid for her stamps and held my infant sister, I wandered a few feet away to hop on some marble steps that went to the second floor. When I fell, my face hit the stone steps and opened a gash across my face. Blood was everywhere. My mother asked for help. A stranger stepped forward, pulled out his handkerchief and applied pressure to the wound. He put us in his car and drove us to the hospital where I received my first stitches. While he didn’t offer to pay for our bill, he was kind like the Good Samaritan that Jesus spoke about in his parable. In that story, a stranger came by and helped a man that had fallen among thieves along the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. What he did for the Jewish man likely saved his life. He attended to his wounds. He made a sacrifice of time and money as he paid for the man’s stay in an Inn where he took him until he could recover. He said he would come back and pay more if it was needed, an additional act of kindness. To describe his actions, Jesus said the Samaritan had “mercy on him.”...
Every Flower Is Not Worthy of a Bouquet

Every Flower Is Not Worthy of a Bouquet

Every Flower Is Not Worthy of a Bouquet When I was a boy, on a hot summer day, I noticed some beautiful orange flowers growing along a fence near my home. I picked a lovely bouquet of them and presented them to my mother. While she was appreciative of the gesture, I was surprised that her response was not a pleasant one. What I was handing her were poisonous flowers from a trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans) vine, more commonly known as a cow-itch vine. She gave me instructions to go and immediately discard them and then to come back inside and wash with soap and water. Thankfully, I didn’t suffer a reaction to the flowers potent toxins, which can cause a painful red rash to break out on your skin. I always remembered my mother’s strong warning never to pick them again. I saw a cow itch vine grow recently near the same place where I picked those blooms about 45 years ago. Since those days I’ve learned not to run after everything that looks pleasurable or pleasing to the eye. I’ve learned that not everything that looks pleasurable will give lasting pleasure. The Bible says that there is “pleasure in sin for a season,” but only a season. In fact, that’s how this entire sin thing got started—the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil was “pleasing to the eye” (Genesis 3:6). Eve was duped, and so was her husband. Our senses can mislead us. Every flower is not worthy of a bouquet. Every fruit is not worthy to be eaten. Everything that is pleasing...
The Eulogy of Mildred Horne 1914-2018

The Eulogy of Mildred Horne 1914-2018

The Eulogy of Jonnie Mildred Greene Horne July 20, 2018 This service is dedicated to the remarkable life of Jonnie Mildred Greene Horne and to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Dean Woodham, her son-in-law, will begin our service with a prayer. Prayer Given. Mildred’s daughter, Mary Ethel, used to pick out a picture of a dress from the Lady’s Home Journal Magazine or some other magazine and her mother would make a pattern from that picture which she would then use to make her that dress. She used the same technique to make her wedding dress and her veil. When Jesus came, he gave us a clear picture of God, of his grace, mercy and love. The Bible commands us to pattern our lives after Jesus. As Beverly Danford plays, “Living for Jesus,” lets reflect on the ways that Mildred Horne has lived for Jesus and left a pattern for us to follow. “Living For Jesus Played” Message: Mildred Horne was affectionately known to her family as Mother, Grandma Horne, and to many as “Aunt Mimmie,” even to those who were not kin to her. Her life spanned 104 years, a time which is difficult for us to comprehend. She met people who fought in the Civil War. Her earliest was a memory, about the age of four, was going to the mailbox, and finding a letter from her Uncle Robert who was fighting in World War I. She lived through 18 U.S. Presidents. At the beginning of the 20th century, about 1 in 10 infants died before their first birthday. While that rate had improved slightly...
Whatever Happened to Sportsmanship?

Whatever Happened to Sportsmanship?

Vacation Bible School Sunday July 22, 2018 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 How many of you like to play sports?  How many of you like to watch other people play sports? When you play a game, what is the goal of the game? The goal is to win.  The goal is to do your best and hope you are better than your opponent. Just to make sure I am right about this, is there anyone here that likes to lose? I didn’t think so.  We all hate losing. But we are not going to win all the time.  All of us that play sports or games are going to experience losing. Here’s a good question.  When you win a game, and you have played well and defeated your opponent, how do you want your opponent to act toward you? A.    Do you want your opponent to say, “You won, but I was really better than you?  You just got lucky.  Next time I’ll beat you so bad you’ll be calling for your mama.” B.    Would you want your opponent to be so mad about losing that he or she just walked away without shaking your hand or saying anything to you? C.    Would you want your opponent to accuse you of cheating or say that you didn’t play fair and that’s the only reason you won? D.    Would you want your opponent to shake your hand and say, “Good game,  congratulations/” We want people to have good sportsmanship and congratulate us for winning, so that’s how we should act when we win. Sometimes when we win, we...
Whatever Happened to Fairness?

Whatever Happened to Fairness?

Whatever Happened to Fairness? July 15, 2018 Exodus 22:1-14 My parents have a neighbor that has a bull that gets out of its pasture.  It jumps a fence, walks through the woods, past their fish pond and jumps another fence and then helps itself to their garden. So far, the owner of the bull has not offered any restitution for the bull’s appetite nor has he kept the bull from repeating his bad behavior. As the Hebrew people came out of Egypt and formed a communal lifestyle, Moses had the task of creating laws to help them sort through their differences.  A lot of these disputes involved animals. What if someone borrowed an ox and returned it with a hurt leg?  What if someone asked you to keep care of your donkeys while you went away and when you came back the donkeys were dead because they had not been watered?  What was fair when someone had been wronged like that? Sometimes it was difficult to know whose animal had misbehaved if all the grapes in your vineyard had been eaten.  Once discovered, it was sometimes difficult for people to resolve their disputes and differences and know what was fair so everyone could get along. As much as he tried, it was impossible for Moses to come up with laws to deal with every possible scenario.  What these laws show us is that we must live with some boundaries.  Without boundaries, life would be chaotic and in constant disarray. But we also see what was considered fair in Moses’ day may not be fair today. Our understanding of God...