Showing posts from December, 2014

Ten Things I Learned about Suicide, #'s 6 and 7

Continued from a previous post: 6.  Parents who have lost children through suicide want you to say their child’s name and talk about their child’s life. During our interview time, Mike mentioned that his son is one of three young men who had died untimely deaths in their family.  Mike tragically lost two nephews.  One was killed in a car accident and the other was lost when a tornado hit a high school in Enterprise, Alabama in 2007.   Mike said that when he is around friends and family, people will freely share memories of the other two boys, but will seldom mention his son.  There may be various reasons, but whatever the reason it reveals a common problem, people don’t know what to say. Mike looked at our congregation on that Sunday and said, “Say their names.  Parents who have lost children through suicide want you to say their names.”  People who have lost loved ones through any manner of dea

Ten Things I Learned About Suicide (1-5)

A few weeks ago I invited The Director for The Center for Hope , Denny Whitesel and a pastor friend of mine, Mike Jackson, Director of The Office of Leadership and Church Health for the Alabama State Board of Missions, to join me one Sunday morning for a conversation about suicide.  Denny has done extensive work in suicide prevention.  Mike lost a son 11 years ago to suicide.  Here is what I learned. 1.   Suicide is more common than we think and more people in the church are struggling with it than we care to admit.   Joe Carter of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission of the SBC shares these statistics: “In the U.S., there were 38,364 suicides in 2010—an average of 105 each day. On average, one person commits suicide every 16.2 minutes.  An average of one elderly person every hour and 41.4 minutes and an average of one young person every two hours and 2.1 minutes killed themselves. “Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death for all ages in 2010. Suicide is the t

Is God a Fun-Sucker? (An Excerpt from My Book #TheWalk)

It is difficult for many of us to believe that God wants us to be satisfied.  My wife affectionately refers to me sometimes as a “fun-sucker.”  A “fun-sucker” is someone who can emotionally vaporize every ounce of joy in a room with a single word.  I am a master at the craft. One of our favorite things to do in the spring of the year is to attend the University of Georgia G-Day football game.  The weather is warming.  There is a real family atmosphere in the stadium.  It has been a long, dark winter and it has been a long time since we have seen some football.  Best of all, its free!  A game will cost my family a small fortune in the fall, but the spring game is perfectly priced. We get out of bed the morning of G-Day and the weather is perfect.  Our plan is to stop at a mom-and-pop breakfast joint in our town and grab biscuits on the way to the game.  Apparently, everyone else in the metropolis of Chatsworth, Georgia had the same plan.  We live in a small town with only a few t

How much do you weigh?

In Psalm 138:3, David writes, “On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.” Life is heavy.  There is a weight in situations and circumstances that cannot be measured with a scale.  There is no physical mass to a hard day, but still you feel and weight of it.   How heavy is the soul?   Can you imagine going through the day, walking up to friends, acquaintances, and strangers and asking them a common question, “How much do you weigh today?”  Talk about getting personal!   And so, I will start the day with you, how much do you weigh today?  I can ask because I am at a safe “no slap” cyber-distance from you through the blog.  Yet, I can also ask, because I am not speaking of the weight of your body, but the weight of your soul.  How about the weight of your day?  Perhaps the weight of your situation?  The weight of the body, you and I mindlessly carry it around day by day.  I think very little of 211.  I’m so used to it, I don’t feel it.  I am wh

The Signal of Christmas

I pulled up to a major intersection.  It is one of those intersections where there is a designated lane and signal for every turn.  In every direction, right turns, no turns, left turns.  There were two lanes of incoming traffic to my left, three lanes to my right.  In every direction, for every lane, there was a light.  The cornucopia of red lights served to each driver in the intersection a unified message - “Sit here - wait your turn!” On this particular occasion my desire was to turn left.  I have no scientific proof, but it seems like at this intersection the lefties are stranded much longer behind the light than everyone else.  When the left turn signal does finally come, the green light initiates a virtual drag race to the white stripe.  You have only a few seconds to make your move or you are doomed to repeat the cycle again and wait twice as long for your turn. There were four cars in front of me.  Familiar with the situation I reached for my addiction of choice to pass

12 Days of Christmas Bid-A-Way for Adoption

My friends Sammy and Michelle Tice are raising money to adopt two boys from Ukraine.  I had the honor of serving the Tice's as pastor when we were in Birmingham and I can attest that their decision to adopt is only the latest testament to their ever expanding vision of the gospel.  You can read more about the Tice family and their journey in adoption on their Facebook page, Trust Without Borders .    Numerous businesses have contributed items to the Tice's fund raising effort and they are offering them for bid in a unique campaign, 12 Days of Christmas Bid-A-Way.  This is a great way to get involved with their adoption effort.  I encourage you to bid on their items, learn more about the Tice family, and get involved in bringing their boys home! Some of the things you can bid on - win - and help, include: Starbucks items - I'm for that! A Sephora Gift Card - I have no idea what that is, but it sounds expensive, and woman-ish. An Augtographed Karen Kingsbury book -