Philippians - For Those We Hold in Our Hearts

Complete My Joy

There are a lot of things tacos can do, but they can’t complete my joy. Only YOU can do that!

The past Sunday, I preached this sermon and our church celebrated Pastor Appreciation Day. In addition to the delicious cookies, brownies, and other treats our ladies had prepared, I made up a batch of my Caribbean Jerk chicken for tacos. I love cooking and am always eager for an opportunity to share my recipes with others. As much as our church appreciates me, I appreciate them right back! And they definitely appreciated my tacos.

But I have a confession to make.

Tacos Do NOT Complete My Joy

Complete my joy with a taco!

I’m sure you’re in shock to read this, but it’s true. As much as I love tacos, they do not make my joy complete. The truth is, they’re not even close!

“But Bret,” you say, “you’ve shown us just how amazing tacos can be! Your tacos are delicious!” You’re right; I won’t deny it, tacos are amazing. If you were with us in person Sunday morning, you got to try my Caribbean Jerk Chicken Tacos, which one of our members called (and I quote), “Best tacos I ever had!!!” Yes! He used three exclamation points! His reaction to my tacos made me plenty happy, but alas, even that did not complete my joy.

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Philippians - For Those We Hold in Our Hearts

To Live is Christ

Famous last words fascinate us. We read them for inspiration, looking for hints of faith heard in the confidence of someone’s final words. We also read them for the humor with which many have faced death. 

We’re inspired but the last recorded words of Todd Beamer on United Flight 93. Just before he and several others rushed the cockpit in an attempt to subdue the terrorists. After reciting the Lord’s Prayer with the operator on the other end of the phone, Beamer turned to his fellow passengers and was heard to say, “Let’s roll.”

With his last words, Leonardo Da Vinci said, “I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.” It seems like maybe Leonardo was a bit of a perfectionist. 

Buddy Rich to Live is Christ

And then there are the last words of drummer, Buddy Rich. Just before going into surgery, a nurse asked him if there was anything he couldn’t take. “Yeah,” Buddy replied, “country music.” He died during surgery. 

Of course, we cannot forget Union General John Sedgwick. As Confederate sharpshooters took their stand against Sedgwick and his troops, he was heard to say, “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist—.”

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Philippians - For Those We Hold in Our Hearts

What Discouraging Word?

Philippians offers a plan out of the discouragement that plagues our world.

Not Me. I Was Cuter.

I remember hearing the song “Home On the Range” when I was a kid. There was a line in the song that always confused me:

Where seldom is heard
A discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day

I wasn’t sure what “seldom” meant, but I was certain it belonged on that list of words that I wasn’t supposed to use (you know, the words Dad always used). “Seldom” was a discouraging word. If I said it, other people would feel bad.

(How’s that for 4-year-old logic?)

It didn’t take me long to find out that “seldom” itself wasn’t a discouraging word. In fact, it seldom discourages anyone. But, there are plenty of other discouraging words, phrases, and even attitudes. We seldom escape discouragement.

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That’s Me in the Corner

In case you’ve been wondering where that very handsome looking logo in the upper left corner came from.

Since beginning this blog, I’ve tried to keep the header image personal and current. Every few months, I take another picture of myself and try not to look like a complete goofball, with varying results. I’ve attempted the artsy approach, the fun approach, and, recently, the scholarly approach with a picture taken at my very windy outdoor graduation in May.

The tassels and hood didn’t play well in the wind. Thanks a lot, COVID!
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Proverbs: Short Sentences Long Remembered

Pursuing Righteousness and Kindness

Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
    will find life, righteousness, and honor.
Proverbs 21:21

What Smokey & the Bandit Taught Me About Kindness

Righteousness and Kindness

The greatest movie of 1977 was Smokey and the Bandit. I’ll fight anyone who disagrees with me! I know Rocky won the Academy Award for best picture that year, but think about it. Rocky lost his fight at the end (sorry if this is a spoiler, but the movie is 44 years old, so that’s kind of on you). But, on the other hand, Bandit actually completed his mission and did what they said couldn’t be done.

Also, the theme song to Smokey and the Bandit is a lot catchier than Rocky. When you sing the Rocky theme, you just go “duh duh du-du-duh du-du-du-du-du-duhhhh.” Nothing tops Eastbound and Down by Jerry Reed.

I think I’ve made my case.

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