What a weekend this has been. This has been one of the best Thanksgivings I can remember and it all started with the people that I love dearly – the First Baptist Church family for our annual Thanksgiving Day service. The service went very well and I’m thinking that next year I’m going to try moving it to the day before Thanksgiving. With all of the cooking activities that take place on Thursday morning and the new Thanksgiving day holiday of shopping, I may need to make adjustments. Anyway, the service was good and the Lord led me to preach, “That’s One Crowd I Don’t Want To Be a Part Of” which examined the ten lepers who were healed by Jesus and the sole one that came back to offer thanks and worship. Very appropriate for the day.
For Thanksgiving we feasted on Fried Turkey, Corn pudding, scalloped potatoes, green beans, cornbread dressing, sweet potato pie and the works. I ate in moderation. And I must admit, Jessica earned her chef’s hat this year! Way to go baby, way to go! Then the rest of the day was football until I passed out.
On Friday night, Jessica and I drove to Louisville for a scheduled program by the Messengers of Christ at Hill Street Baptist Church which, unbeknownst to us, had been cancelled at the last minute. So we took the night to have dinner at Cheddar’s Restaurant over the bridge in Indiana and then returned to our hotel room at the Galt House, which was filled with families that were in the area for the annual Light Festival. A good night indeed. I’ve learned as a pastor that things happen, programs cancel and we don’t always know the whys and wherefores, but God is still good.
We returned home on Saturday morning in time for the Men of Praise rehearsal. Many of the guys are out due to the holiday but those who were there, we pressed on, and actually we had one of the best rehearsals I can remember and there was a period of “male bonding” that is unique to the black experience that took place afterwards. We just sat there and talked – from sports, to shopping, to relationships, to you name it. It was a great time and rather than to hurry them out, we just let this happen. Sometimes, the best pastor is not the one who preaches but the one who can listen.
Sunday morning we had cancelled early morning service and I guess the word didn’t get completely out. For those who don’t know, I live RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the church, and my doorbell rang several times with parishioners who didn’t get the word about cancellation. They took it in good stride – that’s the one thing about have 99% of your congregation within city limits.
We concluded the Book of Hebrews in Sunday School and Deacon Zenas English taught our combined class. We had a great discussion and I appreciate his insights on the text. Kudos!!!
At 11:00 a.m., the people gathered slowly and by the time of the sermon, we had a very decent crowd. The Men of Praise SANG their hearts out. That number was affected by the holidays, but as I mentioned earlier, they were pitch perfect! They sang “Faithful is our God” and a new song I taught on Saturday by my friend, Dr. Patrick Bradley, “I Know There Is Something About God’s Grace” that the congregation picked up and welcomed immediately. God be praised for the men!
I preached on “SCANDAL” based on John 8′s description of the scandal of the woman caught in adultery. Several things caught my eye: First, Jesus was teaching and then interrupted by this scandal by his nemesis, the Scribes and the Pharisees; Secondly, when they accused her, Jesus went silent and wrote in the dirt. I suggested that it could have been words of praise because the accusations ceased; Thirdly, Jesus dismissed them by saying “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and the only one qualified to do so was Jesus himself. Instead of condemnation, He pardoned – just as He does in our lives.
God be praised for one young adult brother joining the church under restoration. It was a good day.
Now that the election is over – what is with the looney part of the GOP with their asinine insistances since the election??? It reminds me of the character Marvin Martian who is always trying to blow up something and they are literally out of their minds. Look at their stupidity:
a. “Obama Stole the Election” – uh huh. Ever heard of a court case called Gore v. Bush ????
b. “Obama Wasn’t Eligible” – the birther wing led by Alan Keyes, Orly Taitz, WND and fools of that ilk have turned “Birtherism” into a cash cow. They disparage the President, look for conspiracies and “-gates” and are doing more harm to the country than good – oh and by the way Orly and WND and Sheriff Joe are ALWAYS begging for money but never produce a spreadsheet to see where their contributions go. Hmm . . .
c. “Let’s Secede” – OK, let me see – 25,000 people in Texas sign an electronic petition. There are over 25,000,000 people who live there that mean 1/100 of 1 percent have signed this foolish petition. Idiots . . . They can secede, just pay your portion of the Federal Debt, give us back all of our highways, bridges, airports, colleges, Federal Aid, and we’ll be glad to oblige.
Man, I must really need some coffee.
There were a lot of great games over the holidays. I’m saddened that Oregon won’t be playing for the national championship but they’ve got to stop playing Portland State and The College of Pharmacy and schedule some serious games in the future. Methinks it would be wise for the Ducks to schedule 2 non-conference games a year – one against the SEC and the other against Big 12 or another major conference or Notre Dame.
On the Cowboys front. This season is over. Stick a fork in it. We could have traded Romo for the pick to get RG3. He humiliated the Cowboys. Great Stadium. Great Venue. Horrible team.
Today I am on my way to Cleveland, Ohio for the very first time. I’ve never set foot in Cleveland although I have been to Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Chillicothe and other cities. I’m preaching for Rev. Derek Witcher, pastor of the Israelite Missionary Baptist Church, who I met on the internet through my preachers Forum I’ve operated for years. They are having their Family and Friends Day on Sunday and I’m looking forward to the fellowship.
One of the leading pastors of that city is an old friend of mine, Dr. A. Charles Bowie of East Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church. I met Dr. Bowie when I was a teenager in Portland, Oregon and he was then pastoring the Tolliver Chapel Baptist Church in Waco, Texas. He is best known as “the voice” of the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America and beyond for his rendition of “Rock of Ages.”
I’m leaving First Baptist in capable hands this weekend. I’ve been superbly blessed to have dedicated men and women to serve as Associate Ministers. I know they will be serve well in my absence.
Today my 4-0 Oregon Ducks take on the 2-2 Washington State Cougars. Normally you would expect a Cougar to devour a Duck, but in College Football, these Ducks are rabid. I’ll be surprised if Oregon doesn’t crack 60 on the Cougars. Home field advantage is a disadvantage in this case – the Ducks are the real deal this year. Adam Fentress from the Portland Oregonian gives a great analysis:
Time: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle
Records: Ducks (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12), Cougars (2-2, 0-1)
Coaches: UO’s Chip Kelly (38-6 at UO and overall), Mike Leach (2-2 at WSU, 86-45 overall).
Latest line: Oregon by 28.
On air: TV ESPN2, radio on KXTG 750
What’s at stake: Oregon ventures out on the road for the first time this season to face a mediocre WSU team in a venue that has not been kind to out-of-state teams. Last Monday, Green Bay lost to Seattle thanks to a questionable call on a last-second touchdown pass. On Thursday, Washington upset No. 8 Stanford. Now it’s WSU’s turn to host a game at CenturyLink.
UO offense vs. WSU defense: Good defenses have a tough time slowing down Oregon. So how much trouble should WSU’s defense, ranked 12th in the conference, have with the Ducks? Plenty. Linebacker Travis Long leads the conference in sacks (6 1/2) and Deone Bucannon ranks tied for third in tackles (32). But even with them the Cougars have allowed 473 yards per game against teams below the caliber of Oregon. That said, last season WSU hung tough with Oregon. The Cougars trailed 15-10 at halftime before losing 43-28 and outgained the Ducks 462-454.
UO defense vs. WSU offense: The Cougars will come out slinging it. WSU is averaging 46.7 pass attempts per game. However, they haven’t been very impactful attempts. The Cougars rank fourth in the conference in passing yards per game (313.8) with Connor Halliday and Jeff Tuel sharing the quarterback snaps and have produced 10 touchdown passes (third in the conference). Tuel missed the past two games with knee injury. Top wide receiver Marquess Wilson has 18 receptions for 317 yards and four touchdowns. But WSU lacks much of a running game and making it somewhat one-dimensional. Not a good formula for attacking Oregon’s defense.
Individual matchup to watch: Wilson vs. Oregon cornerbacks Terrance Mitchell and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. Both Oregon defensive backs have performed well this season but they have yet to face a wide receiver of Wilson’s caliber. NFLDraftScout.com ranks Wilson has a potential second-round pick in next April’s NFL Draft should the junior leave early.
Key injuries: Oregon — wide receiver Josh Huff (knee) has missed two games. Defensive tackle Jared Ebert (knee) has missed two games. Linebacker Keloni Kamalani (arm) has missed three games. Washington State — Tuel (knee) is questionable.
Key stat: 2.7 — Washington State’s average yards per rush. The Cougars rank last in the conference in rushing at 59 yards per game. Every other conference team averages at least 100 yards per game.
They said it: “I watched my boys (the Dallas Cowboys) lose a couple of weeks ago in Seattle (against the Seahawks). Hopefully I can get some revenge.” Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, a big Dallas fan.
Prediction: WSU lacks the defense to slow Oregon and the firepower on offense to score with Oregon. Oregon 47, WSU 17.
Adam Jude’s pick: Oregon 55, WSU 17.
This was the most difficult day that we (FBC and I) have walked through together. The weather was cloudy with some light rain, but our difficulty had nothing to do with rain and everything to do with bereavement.
We gathered together (in good numbers) in both services with the cloud of the loss of Sis. Carol Davis and Sis. Mabel Conda weighing heavily on our minds.
At 8:00 a.m., we had two souls (coincidently) to be baptized – two grown women – and I am certainly thankful for that. The service was a little behind time, so I preached a sermon on renewed commitment, “Don’t Jump Ship!(1 Corinthians 4:1).” The purpose of the message was to recount the purpose of the rowers in the hull of a ship in New Testament times, that they were responsible as the engine to the ship, therefore, we must continue rowing and rowing and rowing .. . until the Lord taps us on the shoulder and says “well done,” just as he had down with Sis. Davis and Sis. Conda.
Minister Pamela Black taught during Sunday School.
At 11:00 a.m. we had the McCoy Family Reunion from California, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and other states worshiping with us. Attendance was down due to the Labor Day holiday and again, bereavement was in the air. I commend our Gospel Choir for singing anyhow – they were awesome. The sermon (see above) went well and something special happened during communion. We started singing “Look Where He Brought Me From” and the Holy Spirit took over. It was a special time of the Spirit ministering to the Pastor and People of FBC. Thank God for His power.
Now, our preparation is for two services this weekend.
GO OREGON! The Oregon Ducks, ranked #5 in the nation, beat Arkansas State like they stole $50 from the Ducks. Final score: 57-34, but it was never close.
DEMOCRATS: Now the week-long rebuttal to the GOP begins this week in Charlotte, North Carolina. I don’t think that President Obama and the team should take the GOP for lightly – they are energized, emboldened and brazen. That’s a very dangerous combination. They’ll get the opportunity to raise the base and with President Clinton – who, if nothing else, will pull out all the stops to help President Obama. Then on Thursday, President Obama must hit the ball out of the park and line out his vision for the next four years.
SAY WHAT: Clint Eastwood needs to retire, immediately, yesterday.
CONVENTIONS: I won’t be going to National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. in Atlanta like I had planned due to my wife’s illness and now two funerals to preach. The National Missionary Baptist Convention of America will meet in Los Angeles and they will be electing a new President to succeed the late Dr. C.C. Robertson. My understanding is there are at least two candidates – Dr. Nehemiah Davis, acting President from Fort Worth, TX and Rev. Dale Jay Sanders from New Orleans, Louisiana.