What Ever Happened to Moderation? 

What Ever Happened to Moderation? 

July 8, 2018 Philippians 4:4-8 When I was a junior at Samford University, I saw a student riding a unicycle across the campus.  I was instantly hooked.  Before long I had one and I was learning to ride down the long hallway of the dorm where I was a resident assistant. It was a perfect place to learn to ride because I could reach out and touch two walls and balance myself from side-to-side.  If I got off-balance from front to back I just let the unicycle fall to the floor.  Falling off was never hard.  Learning to get on it was the challenge. The first time my grandfather watched me ride a unicycle I though he was going to brag on my abilities.  Instead, he responded in his typical humorous way, “Son, if I were you I’d start a family before I rode one of those things.” I later found a 6-foot unicycle and I rode it from my house to downtown Louisville, just a few blocks away. I didn’t ride a six-foot unicycle again until I bought one when I was the pastor of Clarkesville Baptist Church. I had my picture on the front page of the Northeast Georgian Newspaper riding my unicycle in the Mountain Laurel Parade in full clown costume so I thought I’d impress everyone the next year by riding a 6-foot unicycle.  And I did—for about half the parade. Remember, I told you that falling off was never the hard part.  Well, that day it was.  When I got off-balance that day, I fell sideways and I when I braced my fall I...
Whatever Happened to Respect?

Whatever Happened to Respect?

July 1, 2018 Watch how people treat each other on Black Friday as we try to purchase presents for Christmas.  Go to a ball game and listen to the trash talk from opposing fans, and I’m talking about Little League and children’s soccer games as well as high school. Wherever there is an intersection of people that are different from one another in color, language, culture, beliefs, religion, social status, or wealth, there is loss of respect and it is noticeable in how the people treat each other.  If we would just use the Golden Rule. Our national leaders have failed to set the tone and the example for the rest of us in how those that are different from us and those we disagree with us should be treated. Our religious leaders need to set the tone for us, too, but so many of them mirror the actions and sound bites of the national leaders that they have not helped much either. I have noticed in the last year more and more examples of athletes, and politicians refusing to respect their counterparts by extending a traditional handshake. “According to one anthropologist, the handshake evolved in medieval Europe, during the times of knights. It seems not all the knights were virtuous. More than a few would approach opponents with concealed weapons and when within striking distance pull out a dagger or a sword and plunge it into the unsuspecting opponent.”  https://virtuefirst.org/virtues/respect/ That is not a fair fight. “To fend off the fear of this kind of nasty business, knights took to offering their open and visibly empty hand to each...
The Eulogy of Jim Joiner

The Eulogy of Jim Joiner

June 13, 1942 – June 24, 2018 We dedicate this service to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Jim Joiner. Last evening over 400 of Jim and Ruth’s friends, and friends of this family passed through the doors of this church to extend love to them for Jim’s 23 years of service as their State Farm Agent, for the twelve years of service he gave the city of Jefferson as our mayor, and before that as a city councilman, for decades of service work through Rotary International, Jefferson Lions Club and the Commerce Kiwanis Club, for his love and devotion as a friend, for his example as a husband, father, grandfather, father-in-law and for his life of Christian service in the church and in the community, which permeated all that he did and stood for. I have heard it said that it’s difficult to be accepted in Jefferson if you are not from Jefferson. Some say if you don’t have roots here you will never be from here. But Jim and Ruth are not from here. They are transplants from Alabama. The truth is that most of us are from somewhere else. Not only that, Jim came to Georgia with an Auburn degree.  He bled orange and blue, so you know who he pulled for when Auburn played Georgia and you still elected him mayor. But that just shows you that those things are secondary to what really matters and that is our relationships with each other. What really matters in an election is a person’s character, his/her vision, and how well he/she can lead and work for the best of the entire...
The Eulogy of Dr. Drew Crouch

The Eulogy of Dr. Drew Crouch

January 12, 1985 – June 21, 2018 Prayer Our God, For our faith to be authentic today, we must say to you that our hearts are broken.  We are disappointed and upset that we are here, and Drew is not. That Drew is with you is part of your grace, and for that we are most grateful.  Yet you know it does not take away our pain. Drew’s death is a reminder that we live in a world where even the best, the brightest, the most talented, creative, and passionate among us have a fixed number of days.  We are all reminded of our mortality. We have known one who taught us to make good use of each day. Drew was like our Lord Jesus in that he accomplished more in 33 years than most people accomplish in two or three times that time. But we feel cheated, Lord.  Drew is heaven’s gain, but our loss. Still, we are grateful to have known him, to be loved by him, and led by him.  But we thank you for the years that we were fortunate to have him and the legacy he has left. Now Lord, what this family needs is your grace to sustain them.  Please give them a double portion.  May your strength be evident in them amid their loss and as they grieve.  Amen. “9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9 Many of you are here today because you met Dr. Andrew Crouch at the Commerce Veterinary Hospital where he was the co-owner. Drew has known that he wanted to be a veterinarian since he...
Are Women Finding Their Voices?

Are Women Finding Their Voices?

Ephesians 5:21-33 The conviction of comedian Bill Cosby and the arrest of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein have shaken Hollywood.   We’ve seen the worst fears of any parent come true with the abuse of dozens of gymnasts and the arrest and conviction of their sexual abuser, Dr. Larry Nassar, former U.S.A. Olympic Gymnastics doctor.   Unfortunately, the cover-up by Michigan State University of Dr. Nassar’s actions shows how unwilling our society is to hold people like him accountable for their actions. We are learning that these are not isolated incidences.  What these and other cases are showing us is that there is a pattern of female sexual abuse by men in this country and an unwillingness by the rest of us to acknowledge it.    Women have felt powerless because they cannot get justice.  They bare afraid to speak up because they are afraid if they xtell their story no one will believe them.  They might even be made out to be the ones responsible.   Sometimes women are made to believe that if they speak out, their lives will get worse rather than better.  Too many times this has proven to be true.  Women, teenage girls, and sometimes children have felt trapped in a man’s world.   Other times, women are made to feel that they caused or deserved the abuse, or that it was somehow normal, or that it didn’t even happen.  We do not live in Saudi Arabia but our country has not come nearly as far as it needs to come in how we treat women. But women have begun to feel empowered, just as they did when they campaigned...