Showing posts from October, 2012

Billy Gilmer

Most people are willing to remind you of what can’t be done.  There will be a few God gives you that will tell you otherwise.  Billy Gilmer was a man God brought into my life to tell me otherwise.   Not long after our church had made a difficult decision to relocate, Mr. Gilmer invited me to “ride around” with him in his truck.  He said he wanted to, “show me some things.”  He failed.  Mr. Gilmer showed me everything.  We surveyed the entire NE section of Jefferson County, Alabama in a Ford.  As we did so Mr. Gilmer told me the history behind every piece of property, every development, and every family in the area over the last 50 years.  You may not have known Billy Gilmer, but if you lived in Birmingham anytime since 1950 I would be willing to bet that Billy Gilmer knew something about you.  While we drove down Carson Road; Mr. Gilmer told me about Mr. Carson.  To make a long story short, Mr. Carson had done for Billy 50 years ago what Billy was doing for me that day.  Mr. Carson


There is a tiny but powerful word that operates in our lives, IF.  It is what we choose to do with our “ifs” that determine the course of a day.  Ultimately it is a series of daily “ifs” that determine the course of our lives.  Looking back we wonder, “What if?”  Looking forward we consider, “What if?”  We can’t escape the power of “if.” Possibility begins broadly.  At the center of it are a number of variables all hinging on “if.”  Once an “if” is chosen, its accomplice, “then,” takes control.  “If” invites us to choose.  “Then” becomes the stuff of destiny.   You have a choice with “if.”  You must live with “then.” The Bible’s Book of Deuteronomy is an if/then book.  In short Deuteronomy is a series of farewell sermons given by Moses.  The word Deuteronomy means, “second law”, but it is more than that, it is a second chance.  Deuteronomy is a big “if.”  A generation has passed away in total failure.  Their “if” came in Numbers 13 and 14.  They were at the edge of prom

Church Appreciation 2012

This month I will begin my 17th year serving the local church as pastor.  God has blessed me with the privilege of serving three great congregations during that time:  Lantana Road Baptist Church in Crossville, TN (1996-2002); Ridgecrest Baptist in Trussville, AL (2002-2012); and currently Liberty Baptist Church of Dalton, GA.  I am deeply appreciative of the experiences God has given me at every place and for the people He has brought into my life along the way.  I am a very different person now than I was when this journey began.  Thank you, to everyone who has helped to mold me as a man and as a pastor. This year we made a bittersweet move to Dalton, GA.  The bitterness came as we were called to leave a group of people we dearly loved and a place that was very much home in Birmingham, AL.  Added to the bitterness was the difficulty of watching our daughters deal with the natural challenges of leaving a place in which you are rooted.  Birmingham was really all they had ever known

The Return of Nehemiah

The Return of Nehemiah from Brian Branam on Vimeo . Nehemiah was a man who caught a vision for the revival of God's people. However, this return to a homeland could not simply be a physical relocation, but also a spiritual one as well. The scope of the gospel and plan of God for the ages has to be at the forefront of our returning or else we do not know to what we must return, what it looks like, what the standard is. The gospel calls us to return to the cross, return to the commission, return to the commandments, return to our family, return to missions, return to giving, return to worship - if we simply feel sorry and want to do better, then we have failed. The point of returning is to get ourselves back in line with God's love for His people in the covenant.

Your BEST at Mealtime

This Sunday at Liberty we will begin to answer the question, “What if we all did our BEST?”  Each week we are challenging one another to do our BEST in six key areas: Attend Sunday School. Attend worship gatherings. Attend Wednesday discipleship. Serve where I am committed, commit to serve if I am not. Tithe (10%) of my income. Have a meal with my family, including time in prayer and reading Scripture at least 2x per week. One of the greatest challenges of our culture is finding time to spend together as a family.  Even though most everyone has a kitchen or dining room table, it has become a vacant relic, seldom used, sacrificed on the altar of quick meals on the way to the next demand on our time.  For families where both husband and wife are working, a home cooked meal is all but a thing of the past.  Not only is this lifestyle difficult on our wallet and our weight, as we are eating out more frequently, but our lack of time at the table is also taking a toll on ou