Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I spent a good portion of yesterday trying to get in touch with the many friends that I have in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Today, I spoke with a couple who had moved to Austin last year and they told me they had spoken to many of the people I was concerned about as they called to tell them they were safe, but many they had not heard from. The stories that I'm hearing (and maybe you have heard some of them too) is that the situation in the New Orleans area around Lake Ponchartrain, southern Mississippi and Alabama is approaching desperate. When storms like Katrina roll in from the gulf and across the country, most times I say a prayer, maybe - but mostly I brush it off, feeling that there are people in place to help with the emergency.

This time the situation is much closer to my heart because quite a few people that I know and love are missing right now. Some may have perished; many of them I'm sure are safe in a motel somewhere. But when the water finally recedes, they will find they have no home to go back to - and probably no job. They are living on what they had time to put in their car and what little they have in the bank. All the rest is gone!

I wanna help somehow; maybe you would too. Please do. And if you don't have another way to do it, please join with me through auspices of Living Faith Covenant Church. We are collecting money for a truckload of drinking water and gas powered generators that can be used until the water and electric can be restored in the New Orleans area - and perhaps some other more basic needs as we become aware of them.

Please help. If you can donate online, goto:

Click on the "Donate" button under "Your Freewill Contribution"

If you cannot do it online, please make out a check or money order to Living Faith Covenant Church, and put "Katrina" in the for line; and send to:

Living Faith Covenant Church
Katrina Relief Fund
P.O. Box 192691
Dallas, Texas 75219-2691

All gifts are tax deductible and a record of your donation will be kept and accounted for, for tax purposes.

Thanks for any help you can provide during this crisis.

May God bless you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Brother Robertson Has Spoken . . . Again!

Well, I've never been an avid fan of evangelist Pat Robertson and the 700 Club anyway but now any credibility he may have had, as far as I'm concerned, is completely shot. You gotta forgive him for being ignorant; preaching "hate" out of fear; invoking the name of God because he simply doesn't understand.

A couple of years ago he said that God told him that a meteor would fall to earth and destroy the city of Orlando, Florida because they decided to hold an annual Gay-Day, honoring the GLBT community that descended each year in mass on the city. How dumb is that? I don't think he lost any market share for this stupidity. It didn't seem to stop his momentum in making even more ignorant remarks. And even though the event did not happen, his sheep continued to watch him and his audience probably increased. The people who listen to his ravings want to believe that the "bigotry" he preaches and "righteousness" are the same thing.

This time, calling for the assassination of the president of Venezuela. . . . wow! Now I've made some serious mistakes and done some bad things, even as a Christian, but I've never called for someone to be murdered and justified it as right before God, and on international television. As an evangelist for Jesus Christ, what could he have been thinking?

The clear message of faith we have from Jesus' teaching is "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." This is the basic stuff of the gospel and what it means to be a Christian. Hate is not in the equation for the followers of Jesus.

Mr. Robertson is a strong advocate for the rights of the unborn, but I guess after those babes are born, taking them out is okay, if in his opinion they turned out to be a bad apple. This is a major problem for right-wing conservative fundamentalists Christians. The blatant hypocrisy of condemning lesbians and gays (or anyone else) because they do not fit the narrow interpretation of scripture they hold and then turn right around and call for murder, a clear violation of the principles of the Sermon on the Mount. How ludicrous can you get? Who does he think he is?

The President has so far not made any comment. I'll be surprised if he does. Pat Robertson is one of those who supported him the most. I'm sure his other sheepish followers will reject any appeal for sanity from the media or from people like me and will send him more money so that he can keep the message of hate alive. It's scarey. Where are we going with all this? Mixing politics and religion is a bad idea - one that has never worked historically, but here we go again.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Under Attack

My writing lately has been very prolific. The Lord is very alive to me these days; speaking to my heart sometime at 90 mph. It's all I can do to get it down on paper. Being close to the Lord is wonderful. Knowing He's there and watching over my every move feels very good. But the devil apparently doesn't like what is happening - because I find myself being drawn in directions that I know are not what my Lord would have me do. Instead of stauch resistence, I put up a little fight, then give in, reasoning its only a little thing. The penalty for my lapse is lost intimacy with God. He does not punish me. It was and is me that stupidly walks away - doing things that He will not or cannot participate in because of holiness. Curious, I can choose unholiness, but He can't. Why is that?

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Doing Your Job

I preached today. I was a little nervous. I'm not a very good preacher. I do teaching and not everyone likes my style. I guess that could be said for any pulpit filler. I just feel more comfortable in the "Bible study" arena; where there is discussion and dialogue. But anyway, the pastor asked me to preach kind of last minute. I was hard pressed to get my research done and put together what I did. It is kind of interesting how it all came together.

When he told me that I would be preaching, he really didn't ask - I was informed. I try to accomodate and as a minister I am supposed to be really in season and out. It just was not convenient, but with God, sometimes good research and well rehearsed is a luxury - this was one of those occasions. I teach the people that I minister to to follow the Holy Spirit. I want my disciples to learn to follow after the Spirit - in order to do this they must practice so that they can recognize the voice of the Spirit and respond in obedience. Well what's good for the goose is good for the gander, so to speak. In other words, I should take my own advice.

So in preparation for this sermon I began by asking God to tell me what I should bring. He gave me some basics, inspired by Jesus' words from the Sermon on the Mount. So I wrote down what He told me and began to polish it up. I didn't have a lot of time and it wasn't coming together like I felt it should. So I got on the Internet and began to poke around looking for something that inspired me. I found an article about the church - it was some study about the real Church that Jesus built. It had some interesting points that I wanted to follow up on when I had more time. I had to work days and stuff was already planned for the evenings all the way until Sunday - how was I going to be able to get my act together. So when I looked through the new material, once again it just didn't seem to be coming together.

I prayed again and asked the Lord to show me. His response was that He already had, but I had rejected it. I repented. I threw out what I had found and went back to the original simplistic message that the Lord had given to me when I prayed the first time. I had wasted a lot of precious time working on my stuff instead of His stuff. The church service is in the afternoon on Sunday, so I had Sunday morning to work on the finishing touches to the sermon. Even so, I still did not feel comfortable with the end product. But, as I finished up, I came across a verse from Matthew that gave me hope. It said, "not to worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say." The context was not about delivering a sermon, but I felt embolded anyway.

Sure enough, though I was feeling a little uncertain all the way up to stepping up to the lecturn, the Lord came through with flying colors. I will try never to question Him again. The scripture that says if we trust Him with all our hearts, we will not be disappointed came true for me this afternoon. Praise the Lord. The message was succinct and apropos and well received. That is a very exilerating experience. I love being used by God like that.