The Shepherd's Nook
May 2nd, 2013
It’s a small mistake that in the scheme of things will probably not have any kind of earth shattering implications. However, the lesson this slight oversight teaches is of mammoth proportions. It’s happened at the fitness center on several occasions. There is a small wastebasket that sits against a wall where I normally leave my stuff. Evidently at one time, its purpose was to hold used gym towels. However, they now have different containers for the towels and the small cans have all been turned back into garbage containers. So what’s the problem? On one side of the small can, “Towels Only” is written in permanent marker. Whoever empties the can sometimes forgets to turn that writing toward the wall. The results are confusing. While some of us regulars are throwing trash in the can, the rookies are placing used towels in it. I always try to stop the problem by turning the writing back towards the wall, but someone else has to sort out the mess. The moral of the story is simple - do not send mixed signals“Let your yes be yes and your no be no, or you will be condemned.” James 5:12
A trashy lesson,
April 25th, 2013
In the aftermath of the senseless bombings in Boston, the debate over how to ensure public safety and at the same time protect individual freedom is once again at the forefront. There was a political cartoon in the Commercial Appeal recently that really begins to get to the root of the problem. It showed three people standing side by side with signs in their hands. One was calling for “gun control”, the other was calling for “pressure cooker control”, and the third was calling for “ricin control” (a reference to the substance sent through the mail to officials in D.C.). Seated at a desk to the side of these three was an image of Uncle Sam with his head in his hands. The caption above him says it all…”How about crazy people control”. The truth is, what we refer to as crazy is many times just unabated evil that has so twisted the minds of folks that the killing of innocent people is somehow justifiable, even heroic. It is a very different world that we live in and because of that, even the church must consider security measure that in days gone by would have seemed absolutely unnecessary. The truth is there’s not a place or person immune from this evil. However, while not one can guarantee your safety, we can guarantee folks that through Jesus Christ, they have hope and a future. The message of the church is still relevant and needed.
“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4
April 18th, 2013
As many of you may have heard, Michael Bucy resigned Wednesday evening as Minister of Students for DHBC effective May 1. He, Lindsey, and Brooks will be moving to Wichita, Kansas where he will be serving on staff at Country Acres Baptist Church. Wichita is Lindsey’s hometown. As a fellow grandparent, I know her folks must be elated that their little blonde headed grandson is moving so near to them. I hope all of you will join me in wishing them the very best as they embark on this new phase of ministry. A copy of his official resignation is printed below. Thanks, Michael, for the investment you have made in the students of DeSoto Hills. May the Lord use you to impact future generations for Him.
April 10th, 2013
As I sit here and scan the contents of our home, I am keenly aware of how priorities begin to change when little ones enter your life. Behind our couch is now a play area with toys everywhere. A wooden box beside our couch is overflowing its brim with children’s books. The dining room has a fleet of riding toys and in the kitchen there’s a child’s table and chairs full of puzzles. In fact, it hit me the other day that every room in our house, with the exception of one small part of our bathroom, now has baby items in it. Mind you I am not complaining, just commenting on how much those little bundles can change your life. Even the music we listen to has changed. Songs like “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “Head and Shoulders”, and “The Wheels on the Bus” have become standards in the Lewis household once again.
Speaking of wheels on the bus, have noticed that we have two brand new vans sitting in our parking lot? For years now we have been renting vehicles for a variety of church related activities. The Stewardship Team decided that in the long run, it would be more cost effective to purchase two of them, so this was included in the 2013 budget. They are both 15 passengers vans so that no special license is required for operation. The interior is designed more like a bus than a van with storage space overhead and room for luggage in the back. We have one open for inspection today (April 14th). Come by, sit down, and imagine rolling down the road with the DHBC family. “The wheels on the bus go round and round….”
March 20th, 2013
I certainly don’t have a degree in accounting, but even I know that a negative balance is typically not a good thing. It often means that you have spent more than you took in, which if not checked, can lead to financial ruin. However, recently when one showed up on one of my household utility bills, I took the negative balance to be a very positive thing. The balance due showed a -$41.00. It appeared as if they were crediting my account. Could it be that somewhere down the line they had overcharged me and were now trying to make amends for their mistake? Did I overpay accidently? Just to be certain, I decided to give them a call. There was a number listed on the bill for questions. I dialed and immediately got a recorded menu message instructing me to push 1, 2, or 3 based upon my concerns or questions. I pressed the appropriate number and after several rings got a message that said the party I was trying to reach was unavailable. I called the number again and again over the course of a week only to get the same message. I did finally get someone’s voice mail that said they were busy with other customers and if I would please leave my name, address and phone number, they would get back with me. It has been almost a month and I am still waiting for them to return my call. To give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe they looked up my address and saw that not only was my payment current, but that I also had a credit. Maybe they just got swamped and could not get to all the calls. Here is the real kicker. The voice mail also said and I quote, “Your call is important to us.” I believe this would fall under the category that actions speak louder than words. Excuse me, but I don’t feel very important.
“Above all, my brothers, do not swear – not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your ‘Yes’ be yes, and your ‘No’, no, or you will be condemned.” James 5:12
Another lesson from life,
March 13th, 2013
Last week we debuted a new and very unique worship guide that was designed by Marc Lewis. The front cover features a variety of photo shots Marc took one Sunday morning during Sunday School. The pictures of folks in our church family were artistically placed down each side of the page. As the new layout began to take shape, I added the captions featured on the inside cover:
Many Faces One Family One Focus
This new design and heading serves as a reminder that we are an ever-growing part of the body of Christ. Our features, backgrounds, interests, abilities, talents, and gifts vary, but we are part of the same family. As I so often say, He has brought us together “for such a time as this.” Please remember that the Lord has placed you at DeSoto Hills to not only do something in you, but also to do something through you. You have things to contribute – time, talent, tithe – that this body needs. I pray that we will continue to focus on knowing Him and making Him known.
“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.” I Corinthians 12:12
From one member to another,
March 6th, 2013
It is rare that a preacher will experience this, much less admit it, but I am speechless. A simple “thank you” seems so inadequate to describe how much I appreciate the time and effort that went in to making my 15th anniversary with the Carriage Hills/DeSoto Hills family so memorial. The cards, comments, gifts, and other tributes were truly touching. I feel so blessed to be a part of such a loving church family and look forward to many more years of service here. At age 57, I think I have a few more days of ministry left in me. Surely there’s a few more messages that I just might need to share. The sabbatical in July is likewise appreciated. It has probably been 25 years or so since I have gone so long without preaching, but I believe the time of silence will be good for my soul. Someone jokingly asked me what would happen if they died while I was away. While that may be a morbid thought, I understand where they are coming from. Rest assured should you “rest in peace” during July, I will return to help in any way I can if at all possible. I am going on a sabbatical, not into seclusion. Well, maybe not complete seclusion.
Love you all,
February 28th, 2013
The Shepherd’s Nook,
Most of you probably know that the church offices are located on the northeast corner of the 2ndfloor. They were really designed to be temporary so that when we move into our second phase, they could be converted into classroom space. However, some of them already serve double duty. They are offices during the week and classroom space on Sundays and Wednesdays. We recently made the decision to completely vacant one of the offices to free up more space for a class that needed it on Sundays. The secretaries were more than happy to do so and even showed enthusiasm for the project. The whole staff pitched in and rearranged the main office to accommodate two administrative assistants. The refit looked so good that it inspired me to make an executive decision. I asked Laura to get on the web and find us a folding table that had a “wood look” to replace the tacky white one that we’ve been using for years. I cannot believe the transformation that simple small purchase has made to the overall feel of the main office space. The entire project looked so good that it kind of inspired us to straighten up the whole area. No need for a work space to look like a war zone. The office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays. So come by and see us. You are always welcome.
P.S. Remember that small changes in your life can have a major impact and just might inspire someone else to make some changes of their own.
February 19th, 2013
It is amazing how attached many of us have become to a device that only a few decades ago was the stuff of science fiction. I confess that I keep mine near me most of the time. I guess my motto concerning this technology comes from the 1970’s classic American Express commercials, “Don’t leave home without it.” Staying in touch has never been more convenient or apparently, so urgent. Love them or hate them, take them or leave them, but there is no turning back. The world as we know it will never be the same, due to a modern marvel that has become a common household item. I believe the CELL phone is a fad that is here to stay, and they seem to be getting SMARTER every day. However, while at the farm recently, I was reminded of a lesson via my cell phone that had nothing to do with Google search, texting, calls, emails, or any of the thousands of apps that are available for use on a so called smart phone. Of all places, the lesson came from my phone’s battery. I have noticed for months now that while I am at CrossRidge (the farm), I have to charge my phone multiple times a day. This does not happen anyplace else. It’s strange because the farm is one place that I rarely use my phone. I don’t carry it with me. I don’t try to make many calls because the reception is so terrible. We have found that if you stand just outside our front porch, you might (and I emphasize might) have one bar of service. In reality, that is the reason for the battery drain. My phone is constantly searching for a connection while at the farm, thus the need for the recharge. Perhaps today your spirit is drained of power because of poor reception. There is a distance between you and the Lord that has come about because of some type of disobedience. Check your bars. If the reception is bad, then MOVE.
“Come near to God, and He will come near to you”
Raising the bar,
February 5th, 2013
I thought it was a nice gesture. After all, it was my wife’s birthday and since the gift I had ordered her had not arrived, I thought it was a good idea. The plan seemed flawless. Granny (Kathy’s mom) had driven up the day before to join us for KK’s birthday supper with the kids which we were doing a day early. Since we had already decided to go to the farm to further celebrate, I suggested that Kathy ride back that way with her mom. I would follow suit after the babies were picked up later that afternoon. It would give her time to visit with her mom, plus give her a little extra time at the farm. The kids and I would be fine. I’ve got this covered. Go enjoy yourself.
They left midmorning after the children laid down. All was well until Riley woke up from her nap. She asked for KK. Evidently my answer to her inquiry was not well received. The drama queen in her came out. She started whining for her KK, which of course, woke up Alex. Now they’re both in my arms. Alex is still sleepy and Riley is still looking for Kathy. No problem. I am a grown man. I can handle this. Finally they both calm down and decide to play, but as is so often the case, they wanted to play with the same toy, at the same time. I intervened and another crisis avoided. I was already worn out and I have only been watching them for half an hour. It was going to be a long day. Now, before you get the wrong idea, my granddaughters are not bad (most of the time), they are just busy. We did survive the day. After they were picked up, I crawled in the car and headed to the farm with a new appreciation for what my wife does EVERY day. My hat goes off to all stay at home moms with preschoolers. We need to pray for you more often. My hat goes off to all you working moms who have to juggle all those schedules just to be sure every base is covered. However, my hat especially goes off to my precious wife who made such an impact on our two kids and now is making a difference in the next generation. I love you. Happy Birthday.