Thursday, December 27, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

I'll have the Baby Jesus Combo, Hold the Cross, Repentance, and No Resurrection Please.

As far as speaking goes the month of December is not the "Most wonderful time of the year" for Wellspoken Ministries. Churches sit the speakers on the bench in favor of Cantatas, Parties, and Living Christmas trees. It does however afford me some much needed time of promotion, writing, and devout self introspection. I have for instance had some time read, reflect, and on occasion even turn on the old television. Of course the Christmas theme is in full swing, and in between shows I am inundated with a barrage of commercials selling every thing from dog food to donuts and everything else under the sun. This Past weekend my youngest son went to spend the night with a friend, and with the teenager entrenched in his room with headphones a blazing, Pam and I sat down together to watch tv. As I flipped from channel to channel and show to show, I began to have the awareness of an interesting dichotomy. Have you ever noticed that during Christmas our country and our world has very little problem with the baby Jesus? I will even go a step further. If I didn't know better(and I do) I could get the impression that everyone is on board with Christianity, and Jesus is in the lives of the vast majority of tv personalities and actors. I saw sitcoms, movies, cartoons, talks shows, news casts, annoucments, and even Matt Lauer mention the baby Jesus! And as far as music goes, oh my, I heard Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesnee, Tim McGraw, and Brad Paisley all sing christian carols with gusto! Shoot you can even go on I-tunes and find Silent Night sung by Rick Springfield, Sting, Justin Beiber, Blake Shelton, Wilson Phillips, Rod Stewart,Stevie Nicks and Boys to Men! I would dare say that outside King Herod, the Baby Jesus is a rock star! So why in the world is the Jesus who is so celebrated and sung about by so many, get to be so hated by the time Easter rolls around? Why is the baby embraced, while the man who dies on the cross scorned? I think my favorite secular author and Native South Carolinian captured it best in his book the Great Santini. In this book Pat Conroy's lead character is a teenager named Ben Meechum. He describes his feelings on the baby Jesus vs the Jesus of the cross.
"Ben believed in God on Christmas Eve above all other times, and on this night, he turned always away from the stern man on the cross, and ceased to believe in the hellmaker, the fire lover, the predatory creator, the godly carnivore who flung men and angels into a place of darkness and devastation, pain and endless fire. On this night he gave himself to the child, not the gnarled carpenter who himself was nailed to the wood he once worked with until he was called to walk among the Jews. The child would not send anyone to the flames. Ben knew this; felt it; hoped it."
Our world has a fundamental blindness concerning why this Jesus was born at all. We seem to want a fast food Jesus that is gentle, soft, and requires nothing. We want Jesus like Ricky Bobby does...... "Baby Jesus". However the birth of Jesus means nothing without the Cross, and the cross means absolutely nothing without the Resurrection! The world rushes to sing about the Babys birth, and then cowers at the Saviors death. And utterly refuses the saviors Resurrection. God sent His son into the world to get the entire job done. He didn't just start, he was born, lived a perfect life for me, died on a cross a death that I deserved, and then becomes an all sufficient savior by coming back to life in bodily form! My favorite place to eat a Burger has always been Burger King. I get to have it my way at Burger King. That is not the case with Jesus. The Bible speaks plainly that the sins of man, my sins demand a sacrifice. A sacrifice that I am unable by my very nature to make. And even as the world clamors for Jesus to remain the baby. He did not. Thank God He did not. "Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me. This Christmas don't settle for having it your way. Embrace fully "The Way".

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The commandments of the "Chaplain"

Some of the Commandments of being a "Sports" Chaplain as outlined by South Carolina Football Chaplain Adrian Despres reads like this:
1)Never Coach.
2)Never Get in the Way.
3)Never be a fan.
4)Never deal with the media.

Most of these are pretty simple for me. Even though I am a Bass Fisherman I have never had the temptation to try and teach Dean Rojas how to fish a frog or instruct KVD on my spinnerbait ideas.
I was asked by Bernie Schultz once to move my motorcycle helmet while he was fighting 5 pounder at Lake wheeler. (He caught the fish BTW). As far as the media goes, I am pretty much invisible on the BASS Scene. No reporters are beating down the door to get the opinion of the Bass Chaplain. I would say that out of the 4 "Chaplain commandments" only one gives me a little trouble.

"Never be a fan" is difficult for a guy who's heroes were all BASS Pros growing up. I mean I still get the shakes when I speak to Paul Elias, Shaw Grigsby, and Rick Clunn. This past season proved to be a real struggle for the "Never be a fan" command. Out of the top 5 finishers for the Angler of the year title,(AOY) 4 of them were FOCAS members, and attend our Bible Study on a regular Basis.

This year on the Tour we tried something a little different with our worship times. In the past we have traditionally had the FOCAS meeting before the Pre Tournament meeting. We elected to try it afterwards this year. We improved the number of Pros that attend our meetings, but lost most of the Marshalls.(Marshalls are amateurs that ride along with the Pros during the event).

On the Final tournament we decided to do both. We had a meeting before which was mostly Marshalls, and a meeting after for the Pros. We ended up seeing 9 Marshalls Pray to receive Christ. The plan for next year is to do 2 (FOCAS) meetings per BASS Elite Series Event.

When you think of Mission work often times visions of far away and exotic lands come to mind. That is certainly a part of our Mission as followers of Christ. We don't often envision a guy that rides in a $60,000 Bass boat as a "Mission" Field. However a person's financial status does not determine where he or she spends eternity. The fact is that everyone not matter where they are or what their social status is needs Jesus. I've got the 4 Chaplain Commandments down. It's the great commandment in Matthew 28:16-20 that I'm working on now.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Face for Video or Radio?

Now I have to tell you that of all the people that I know who should not be doing anything on Video, my name should top the list. Now there was a time when my abs had a six pack,but as of late I have a 3 liter......ok a mini keg!  However, with that being said the old BASS Chaplain is heading into the Video age with a full head of Steam! I am partnering with Mike Lord Outdoors to create an exciting and hopefully amazing series of Videos for Men! Our goal is to create a 30 day devotional series aimed at guys who may have a little trouble spending time with God. Most men have heard they need to spend time with God, shoot they even know and believe they should spend time with God. The problem is that they just don't do it! I want to give guys like that a helpful resource that will help enable them to stop wanting to spend time with God, but rather start doing it!

The Series will have a 3-5 minute devotional that can be downloaded to any computer or smart phone. Each day will include  relevant Bible teaching (usually from the outdoors) designed to meet men right where they are. For 30 days men will be able to have the Bass Chaplain lead them into life changing habits that God honors!! No one who gets in the presence of God can remain the same!

The Series will also have 4 Longer teaching sessions so a Church or Men's Ministry can use this a small group Study or in their Sunday School. We are very excited about this new step that we have taken to bring Men to the forefront of Church and family leadership. Please pray for us this month as filming has already started.

This week ill be headed to Toledo Bend for the BASS Elite Series Event. I will be documenting my journey each day on Social cam. Make sure  you tune it to check it out!!