Monthly Archives: August 2008

Hidden in the Jungle

There are people all over the world who have never heard about Jesus.  The Amazon Basin in South America is home to several hundred culturally distinct people groups.  Here is a video about the Amazon Basin and its people.

Hidden in the Jungle

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The Hope That Doesn’t Disappoint

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38,39

I’ve been sitting on those two verses for a couple of weeks, just waiting for a time to sit down and write how these words have been impactful to me in my life.  These two verses are a couple of verses that have been words of hope time and time again.  But this week, they hit home in a little bit of a different way.  This week, a couple of things happened that last night found us sitting, disappointed, kind of shaking our heads, discouraged and frustrated.

Last night, my wife and I stayed up late talking about it.  We were both pretty bothered and disappointed.  She was crying and I was disspirited.  As we turned out the light and tried to go to sleep, still ruminating over the disappointment, these verses came back to me.  I had to be reminded that, though people will eventually disappoint us and circumstances may discourage us, there is one rock who never will.  I had to be reminded, for a moment, of God’s love. 

No matter the discouragement we experience in our circumstances or the disappointments we face in life, Christ Jesus is never more than a prayer away.  No matter the frustration, no matter our dismay, no matter how disheartened or whatever happens in life, no one can separate us from God’s love.  Those are words of hope.

And this morning, Romans 5:5 has been on my mind as I made it into work.

Now this hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.   Romans 5:5

The hope we find in God doesn’t disappoint.  Man will disappoint us.  Circumstances will discourage us.  Things will happen.  But there is one constant, one solid rock, one cornerstone, one Lord from whom nothing can separate me.

Mississippi Redneck Chili

After seeing some of the food recipes on other blogs, I thought I’d share my own recipe for a great chili common here in my part of backwoods Mississippi. I’m a little overwhelmed with the complexity of some of the recipes I’ve seen on the web but this recipe is downright easy for most folk.  Y’all ain’t gonna  need no high-fallutin’ education to follow this easy recipe.

1 Big Can of Hormel Chili (I prefer no beans version)
1/2 Bag of Frito’s Corn Chips
1/2 Block of Extra Sharp Cheese (May substitute MSU Edam cheese)
1 Large Onion chopped up (peel first and discard skins)

Heat chili in the microwave (don’t use a metal stove pot – been there done that – wife got to hollerin’) until hot, popping and splattering. Pour into a big pot with handle (make sure handle is not loose). Throw as many frito’s in there as you’d like. Grate a good portion of the cheese and put on top. Add chopped onions to taste. Mix it up. Get a tablespoon, sit in the recliner, kick back, turn the window unit on, adjust the rabbit ears and enjoy a college football game.

(Health and Legal Disclaimer: You may require one drop of bean-o periodically for two days afterward. No guarantees are made as to what health outcome you might experience. I cannot be held responsible for the consequences of eating like a Mississippian but this might give you an idea of what could happen.  Valid in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam.)

SEC Game Predictions – Week One

Ahh…  Football season has arrived.  I’ve survived the summer by watching Mississippi State Bulldog highlights here, here and here.  But now football season is upon us and the grills are getting fired up.  Cowbells are ringing, Rebels are drinking and pundits are talking.  Which means only one thing.  College football in the South.  The best kind of football, SEC football, starts this Thursday. 

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Every Day is Christmas

Wow. What a beautiful day this morning in my little piece of the world. For the last week or so, it’s rained pretty much everyday as Tropical Storm Fay came in and out of our town. I haven’t seen the sun for a little while. That’s not necessarily a bad thing here in Mississippi where it can be downright miserable in August. We’ve had several days this month in the 70’s and 80’s which is almost like Christmas weather for us. But it has been pretty rainy and everyday has brought its clouds and rain and gloom.

This morning when I woke up, I could see the sun, for the first time in days, having broken through the darkness and beginning to rise over the horizon and the line of trees in our backyard. As I looked out the window, though the sun was visible, the fog clouded the trees and sort of blocked the sun and the sky. Even so, I knew it was going to be a pretty day as the sun was trying to burst through the fog and the misty hold it had on the day.

As I drove the kids to school this morning and the fog gave way, the sky began to become fully visible. And as it did, all I could see is blue sky. There wasn’t a single cloud in the sky anywhere. Not the small little white streaky clouds, not the puffy kinds of clouds that float around, not even the little miniscule dots of fluff. Nothing but blue. Just to be sure, as I came up a hill coming to work, I looked out across the horizon in every direction and the sky was completely clear, completely blue. What a beautiful day in Mississippi.

I love Christmas. It is my favorite time of the year and my wife and kids know it. A few weeks ago we went to Nashville to see some friends and on the way back, we listened to Christmas music. Christmas in August – you gotta love it. A few days later, we had Christmas Eve snacks, a tradition we’ve carried over from my parents. Every Christmas Eve, we eat all kinds of little snacks, like hors d’oerves, cookies, you get the picture. This week on the way to school, we’ve been listening off and on to Michael W. Smith’s (my all-time favorite singer) Christmas album. I wish everyday was Christmas day.

2,000 years ago, hope dawned on humanity when a little baby was born in Bethlehem, bursting through the darkness. As the light of the world was born, hope and life began to shine down on the world. Just like this morning with the sun rising and the fog fading, Jesus came in to the world as a light for the nations. Of course, we recognize his birth on Christmas Day. Like the fog fading away and the sky becoming completely clear, Jesus, when born in our life, washes away the fog and gives us hope for everyday, for every moment, for all of our life.

So, for me, everyday is like Christmas as I’m constantly reminded of the birth of Christ in me. Today, Christ will be born in people’s hearts all over the world, just as He was born in Bethlehem, just as He was born in my life, bursting through the darkness. Today is Christmas. Tomorrow is Christmas. Everyday is Christmas.

In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.   John 1:4-5

 Christmas Day – Michael W. Smith with Mandisa