3. He feared Caesar more than he feared Christ.
John 19:12 From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.”
4. He was more concerned about his comfort than his conviction.
John 19:16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away.
Matthew 27:24-25 When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.” 25 And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”
Do you fear your boss more than you do God? How about your co-workers? What keeps you from doing what you know is right in the sight of the Lord? Do you live in fear of what you might lose?That is not the life God has called you to and it will not produce the fruit He desires. You have to neglect what people think about you and do the right thing for Jesus Christ. Put all your trust in Him. Cast all your concerns on Him. Stop worrying about what might happen and focus on what is happening right now through the Word of God in your life, through the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life and the godly counsel He has established in your life. In the last scripture the people wanted what they wanted so desperately that they ask for the blood of Jesus Christ to be on their hands and their children's hand. We may look at that and say that is crazy, what a crazy statement. Evaluate your own steps what is present in your life that is a direct result of you refusing to do what God says do? What is absent in your life, yet God is telling you get in gear. Walk in tune with Him today.
Brother Big Daddy
1. He refused to listen to God.
A. John 18:38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the
Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.
B. John 19:7-9 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.” 8 Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, 9 and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.
C. Matthew 27:19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.”
2. He refused to take a stand.
A. John 18:39-40 “But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 Then they all cried again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
B. John 19:4 Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.”
C. John 19:6 Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.”
D. John19:10 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?”
E. John 19:12 From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.”
F. Matthew 27:23-24 23 Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!” 24 When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.”
Pilate could not find fault with Jesus yet he had Him scourge. He could find no fault with Jesus yet he had Him crucified. Pilot would not listen to God, he did not listen to his heart and he did not listen to his wife and what she warned him about in her dream. There were several reasons for Pilots refusal, but ultimately he would not listen to God. What are you not listening to God about in your life? What are you being warned about through the Godly counsel in your life? Why want you listen to God? Ultimately Pilot knew what was right but He refused to take a stand. What are you not standing up for in your life? What keeps your from doing the right thing? Like Pilot are you trying to negotiate with God? What are you trying to push responsibility to others? What false power are you claiming in your life? You can do nothing without Jesus. You may fool yourselves for a little while but there is a train wreck coming, What comforts are you refusing to surrender to Jesus. What are you choosing over God? Are you trying to claim innocence when you know you are guilty? Surrender today live today, love today, BE A SOLDIER IN HIS KINGDOM TODAY!
I hope today you are becoming blameless and harmless. We cannot do that putting a stop to the complaint department in our life. But today will not be about complaining. I know that saddens many of you but I thought I would prepare you for Sunday. I want to read these two sets of scriptures and i want you to think about Pilate. I want you to look at His struggle and see the things He wrestled with. Look at other scripture Sunday we will be examining Pilate's Pitfalls. Have a blessed day and allow Jesus to use you today.
28Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover. 29 Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?” 30 They answered and said to him, “If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you.” 31 Then Pilate said to them, “You take Him and judge Him according to your law.”
Therefore the Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,” 32 that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die. 33 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” 37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all. Taking the Place of Barabbas39 “But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 Then they all cried again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. 2 And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. 3 Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands. 4 Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.” 5 Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!” 6 Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our[d] law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.” 8 Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, 9 and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” 11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” 12 From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.” 13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is calledThe Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” 16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away. 17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, 18 where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. 19 Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. 21 Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘He said, “I am the King of the Jews.”’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”…
Brother Big Daddy
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
Well let us continue where we left off yesterday. Did you complain yesterday? I am sure at some point you did, let us face it, in many ways complaining has become habit to us. It is a part of our conversation. Complaining has become a central part of our coffee club, our lunch group, so to quit cold turkey will take a commitment. I am also aware that there are those who have become so hardened that the words in a blog centered on the Word of God are not going to have an impact. In fact, you probably rolled your eyes, and sloughed it off, and will continue to live your way, with your attitude, how, when and where you want to, I can't help you. No one can, until Jesus Christ has you in a place of surrender, you will struggle. Some of you need to cast off a lifetime of religion and step into a moment of relationship. That is all in takes, a true encounter with Jesus and man what a change, it is no longer what i want, when i want it, and how I want it, it becomes what He wants, how He wants it, where He wants it, and all with the right heart attitude, man what a freedom. So let us get back to those individuals who took yesterday to heart and began a journey to becoming blameless and harmless to the kingdom of God, remember Philippians 2:14-15 says do everything without complaining, that you may become blameless and harmless. Was yesterday easy? It wasn't for me, there were a couple of times yesterday that Jesus had to ask me, Really? After we just wrote the blog, Really? Today, I want to touch base on a few things that came up yesterday; first how can we solve issues and problems if we can't discuss the negative things going on. Well, here is the deal, complaining yields not action. There are no hands and feet to a complainers lips. However, to the problem solver there is action and to the christian problem solver there is a humble heart and a laborer's effort. I will give you an example, you go in the store at Wal-Mart and there is no toilet paper in the restroom. Not at all happy with this, you have two choices, you can walk around the store, ride home and tell everybody when you get home about how sorry the folks are at Walmart because there was no toilet paper, or you can inform the manager or one of the workers at the service desk that there is no tissue in the restroom. Additionally, you could extend the offer to place the tissue in the restroom if they will get you some. Yeah I know, some of you are already thinking , i can't get into the toilet paper holder, or a million other reasons why you shouldn't have to do that. All I can say is, shame on you. Humble yourself and extend a helping hand. Could you imagine if you went to the service desk informed them there was no toilet paper and that you would take some to the restroom if they would give you some and the person on the other side of the desk said to you, I am very sorry for the inconvenience, we are a little short handed today we had two folks call out with a death in their family. You could then respond, I am sorry to hear that, but let me pray for you and the rest of your team as you get through this difficult day and as your co-workers get through the loss of their love one. I know walking around Walmart to proud to get tissue in the restroom for the next person, mad at every little thing in Walmart and expressing it to your children with you and your friend that you bump into by the vegetables is a much better approach. You know that friend you have been inviting to church, but they have just listened to you complain about everything under the sun for the last five minutes, right now they just want to get away, not only do they not want to go to your church, but if what you have is a relationship with Jesus, then they will pass. HARMFUL TO THE KINGDOM!!!! Unfortunately some of you are still locked on, it ain't my place to put tissue out at Walmart....SAD, SO SAD! Live different today!
Brother Big Daddy
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.
Yes it is 3:55am in the morning and I have been up since 3:15am this morning. I tried to go back to sleep, but God sent me to the scriptures this morning to examine something I said yesterday and wow did He confirm that He was speaking yesterday and that I needed to be listening. However, I am not alone, many of you and I repeat many of you need to listen to what was said and then examine this scripture thoroughly. So what did I say, well in a very bold way I said your relationship with Jesus Christ cannot be where it is supposed to be if you are someone who complains all the time. So how do I feel this morning? This morning I know that if you are constantly complaining you need to find a quiet place and you and Jesus need to work through some things, some serious things, there is major issues in your relationship. You cannot be constantly complaining about things in your life and be walking in tune with Jesus. If His Word says do everything without complaining, then if you are complaining, you are sinning. You can't complain and be in tune with God in your life anymore than you can lie, cheat and steal and be in tune with God. As I always tell you to do, this morning I got up and I went to Philippians 2:14 which simply states do everything without complaining, and by the way for all you out there in blog land, do everything without complaining means don't complain in the hebrew, and the greek, just saying. As a general rule I tell you to read above and below the scripture to make sure you have a complete understanding of what God is telling you, so what is above this scripture? Well simply put The Word of God certainly confirmed my statement yesterday and today I absolutely believe that we are not at all in tune with God in our if we are constantly complaining about what is going on in our life. Verse 12 states,'work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Verse 13 says that it is God that works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. So if you are complaining, is that God working in you? The answer is NO! It is God, not David that preceded the scripture about not complaining with talk of salvation and Him working in your life both to will and to do for His good pleasure. He then states in verse 14, DO EVERYTHING WITHOUT COMPLAINING! Now after verse 14 God states, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Do you get this, do everything without complaining that you may become blameless and harmless children of God, without fault. Some of us are certainly not blameless and we are very harmful because we complain all the time openly and without conviction. That is the scary part of it, we complain so much that the very thing God says will make us blameless and harmless, we don't even feel conviction over. On top of that we openly sin in front of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and in front of the lost, we show no reservation. How is this different from profanity? Drinking? Gossip? What is wrong with us? What is wrong with a group of proclaiming Christians that say they love Jesus, but openly slander this love with constant complaining. We will say on one hand God's timing is perfect? But let that timing not fit what we think it should be and we will start shooting darts out of our mouth and once we get to going like all sin, it snowballs and the next thing you know we pretty much have complained about most everything, then we smile and say, praise God for His blessings. We talk with our brother and sister in need and say, it is ok God's timing is perfect. Tell me which one do you really believe? All the destruction that flows through your mouth one minute or that God's timing is perfect. You can't have both. We thank God for the provisions He gives us and then curse the very job He gave us to provide. We thank God for the relationship He gave us, and then whine about how we don't have time to invest in the relationship. I believe that we always have something to complain about because we always complain.
Well this pastor is going to take a new approach, I will not complain, I will live thankful and become blameless and harmless. I sure hope that you want to be blameless and harmless. Stop hurting the Kingdom of God with your complaining, just be quiet if you have to, but stop tearing down the very gifts He gives you with the harm the flows from you complaining lips. Your daggers are destroying the kingdom and rendering you powerless. You have a choice today so choose wisely.
Brother Big Daddy
Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. 5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” 8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came to this earth yes to die on a rugged cross for our sins, but more importantly to rise from the grave. He defeated death, satan and anything else that stood in the way of bringing salvation to the world. Scripture shows us here that Jesus defeating the grave was something that was seen and heard. First, there was an earthquake and an angel of the Lord sat atop the stone that once blocked the tomb of Jesus Christ. I believe there was much spiritual warfare going on as Jesus destroyed death and established victory over the grave and sin for eternity. The earth felt this battle and it shook. As these ladies approach the grave they see an angel atop the stone that once blocked the tomb of Jesus. Please see the splendor of this angle, scripture says that his countenance was like lightning. His presence had to be overwhelming as the guards passed out as if dead. But the angel spoke to the two Mary's and said, do not be afraid, this is pretty important since his appearance caused the brave and trained soldiers to pass out. the angel then says, "I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified." If we truly think about this statement we will see it has deep meaning. The angel did not say I know you come to mourn, or I know you come to pay your respects, he said I know you come to seek Jesus. He tells the ladies Jesus is not here He is risen, 'come see where they laid Him.' The Lord was gone and and they had a job to do. This is a reoccurring theme throughout all of the Bible. Come and see and then go and tell. Come and see that the tomb is empty and go and tell. I want you to understand that they did exactly what the angel said in the order he said do it. He said come and see, so they did, he said go quickly, so they did, he said tell it, so they did. They did not negotiate or try and reason, they went quickly and told what they had seen. Verse 7 says they ran to tell this news. They did what the angel said and how he said do it. Think about verse 8, the scripture says they went out with fear and great joy to deliver the news to the disciples. It may seems odd to you, 'with fear and joy,' well I don't think so, the word used for fear here is phobos and means fear, dread, terror, that which strikes terror, and finally reverence. I think they experienced all of these things. After all the countenance of the angel was like lightening and that had to have an everlasting effect. Have you ever been really scared? It has a lingering effect. The bottom line is we should have the same mindset when we set forth to do the work of our Lord and Savior. Fear and joy. Let your terror fade into respect and reverence as you know that it is Jesus that works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Let that bring you great joy. Go make disciples today because HEIS RISEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ARE YOU HYDRATED?
I can remember countless times when I was playing football where I felt as if I were literally going to die of dehydration. I would day dream of swimming in a pool of Gatorade. I remember one time in Mississippi when I lost eleven pounds at practice and could not get enough fluid in my body (and by the way the delta of Mississippi was not an ideal place for me to die). I remember becoming so weak that I just felt like lying down on the field and taking a nap. Not only that, while playing at West Georgia, we had a number of players catch full body cramps and have to go the hospital to get IV’s. It’s a miserable feeling and it is impossible to be effective on the field and be suffering from dehydration at the same time. The problem is that most of the time you only get water when the coaches wanted to allow you to get water. When this happens it is pretty obvious what is going on, you don’t need a doctor to tell you that you are dehydrated. However, many times as Christians we become severely dehydrated and don’t even know it. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 says “do not quench the Spirit “; Webster defines the word quench like this; to put out, or extinguish. So we know that when we become physically dehydrated it’s because we have not taken in enough fluids. Well, how do we become spiritually dehydrated how do we extinguish or put out the spirit? That’s real easy to define but we sometimes seem to complicate it, SIN quenches the Spirit. When we have unresolved sin in our life it begins to stifle the spirit’s work. Verse 22 in this same chapter says “to abstain from even the appearance of evil”. The spirit and sin are like oil and water no matter how hard we try to mix them they just want go together. We can do our best to justify ourselves and even go so far as twisting the word of God in order for it to fit our way of living, which is a very dangerous thing to do. The problem with being spiritually dehydrated is that we have and adversary that is whispering lies, telling us that we are okay and encouraging us to continue down the path that we are on. 1 Peter 5:8 describes him like this “8 be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”. The devil is a lot smarter than we give him credit for. Not only that, he comes as an angel of light, meaning there is no way to recognize him without you relinquishing complete control to the spirit. However, if you have quenched the spirit, you are in a good spot to get the brakes beat off of you by the devil. So how do you overcome that? How do you keep from becoming dehydrated in the first place? First, you have to be thirsty; if you’re not thirsty you don’t realize your need for something to drink “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled”. In Acts 3 Peter told a crowd of people to repent and turn to God, so they may be cleansed and then wonderful times of refreshment would come from the presence of the Lord. You see the great thing about God is we don’t need permission to drink from his fountain. When we place our faith in him we can enter into his presence with confidence because the blood of Christ has covered us. We can drink from his unlimited fountain of refreshment and know “that the fullness of joy comes from the presence of the Lord” Psalm 16:11. So ask yourself today are you thirsty? Have you been walking around dehydrated for too long? Identify your enemy today and return to you first love and he will restore you. God bless and have a great day
1 Corinthians 15:33-34 (NIV) 33 Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God — I say this to your shame.
It has been said that character is who you are when nobody is looking. Well, as believers, we know that God sees all and knows all. Therefore, we know that our character counts because we are never out of God’s sight!
Tom Osborn, the great football coach for Nebraska wrote a book entitled “Faith in the Game.” Listen to what he says about character from the first chapter of his book.
“At the beginning of each season, approximately 15 Division 1-A College Football teams possess the tradition, coaching, and talent to win a national championship. The differences among those 15 teams are very slight. Quite often the factor determining who finishes first, tenth, or fifteenth is largely a matter of character. Those teams that develop a unique chemistry based on factors such as honesty, hard work, self-sacrifice, faith and loyalty will out-perform teams of comparable ability that lack those traits. . . After examining factors relevant to our team success, I know that character was the foundation. . . In my view, achieving an understanding of character without relating it to faith is nearly impossible. . . My experience is that our relationship to God plays a significant role in that which we call ‘character’.”
John Wooden, former legendary basketball coach for UCLA said, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
Knowing “Character Counts”, don’t let bad company corrupt your good character. Someone said, “Friends are like buttons on an elevator – they will either take you up or down.”
Brother Ray Cummings
Last night was a true blessing. Just let me say thank you to all the people from The Way Church who came and supported your church family members who spoke on behalf of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Charity, Luke and Coach Skeen did a wonderful job and they certainly delivered The Word of God. I know it meant a great deal to them to have part of their church family there to support them and love them, so again a shout out to all of you who attended. Now to Charity, Luke and Coach Skeen, thank you for being prepared and delivering the Word of God. God spoke through you and people listened. A special shout out to Ashton Wicker, thank you for answering the call and being obedient to God. He used you last night. 2 Timothy 2:15 states, Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. This is what happened last night and as a result 43 people made a decision Jesus Christ. It was an awesome night and I am thankful to each of you who had a part to play and played it. God accomplishes His work through His children. As we walk in obedience to Him we will always find ourselves being pulled and pushed out of our comfort zone. However, we must understand it is outside of our comfort zone that Jesus does His greatest work. Jump outside of what you consider comfortable and watch Jesus redefine your comfort zone. May the love of Jesus Christ abound in and through your life today. May we always be reaching and always trying to be about His business. May we surrender so others will surrender. Your choice today, who are you telling about Jesus. Who are you walking with? The world or the One who created the world?
I spoke last night at the training table for the Central High School football team, it was a wonderful evening and one I enjoyed very much. I discussed the individuals that made a big impact in my life. The men and women who chose to teach me, invest in me and love me. I left the players and the towns people that were present with this charge; sit down today, put some thought to those people who made an impact in your, write down what they taught you and then let them know you love them and you appreciate what they did for you. I give you the same charge. Have a Blessed weekend.
In Salina, Kansas there was a little old man named Ralph Heatwole. Quite frankly he was just as weird as his name. He was a cranky old man who was always griping about the bratty little kids running around church knocking people over. One Sunday the Pastor announced that it was about time for church camp and several children wanted to go but didn’t have the money to pay for it. One of those kids was a rambunctious boy named Randy. Randy was the brattiest of the brats that rode the bus to church. Ralph’s wife suggested that they pay Randy’s way to camp. Ralph hit the ceiling at the very thought of throwing his hard earned money away on Randy of all kids. But his wife kept working on him until he finally gave in. The Sunday after camp all the kids went to the front of the church to tell about camp and to thank those who paid their way and Randy testified to accepting Christ as his savior that week. That was all Ralph needed to hear – after that, he paid to send at least one kid to camp every year. That’s not the end of the story though. God called Randy to preach. Years later Ralph was there when Randy was Ordained an Elder in the Church of the Nazarene. As people filed by to congratulate Randy after the service, Ralph was at the back of the church and Randy pointed to him and shouted “There’s the man who paid my way to camp when I got saved.” Ralph learned that when you invest in people, you invest in eternity.
Today I want to tell about some of the men and women who have impacted my life growing up and to tell you what they did for me. I hope this will speak to your heart the desire to sit down tonight and make your own list. Over the next few days call or better yet go by and see those individuals and let them know how much you appreciate their investment.
Mr. Digsby, River Road Elementary School Principal, he was a man who rewarded right and busted bad right square in the fanny. I had discipline at home and I had discipline at school. He was everywhere in the school. He taught me that if you care you will be there. Mr. Digsby was a teacher and he chose to teach me.
Luther Reeder, Jordan Vocational High School math teacher, he was the first man outside my family that talked with me about Jesus Christ. He was a man of God and there was no doubting he served Him with his whole heart. He was firm but very fair. He loved Jesus and wanted me to love Jesus. Luther Reeder was a teacher and He chose to teach me.
Coach Gene Sharpe, Jordan Vocation High School Head Football Coach, he was my high school football coach and athletic director. He showed me the importance of loving all people. I watched him care more about the young men that played for him than the wins they could produce. I watched him take athletes home, provide for their needs and invest in them as young men. Gene Sharpe was a teacher and he chose to teach me.
Mrs. Bland, Jordan Vocational High School 11th and 12th grade English teacher, she was a hard lady and a very tough nut to crack. It is my understanding that she failed her own son in senior English. She would not allow me to fail. She refused to allow me to half-step, she expected much more from me than I ever expected from myself; consequently, she received much more from me than I had given in the past. Mrs. Bland was a teacher and she chose to teach me.
Coach Paul Waldrop, Jordan Vocational High School, high school football and baseball coach, one of the toughest men I have ever dealt with in my life. He taught me to be tough, he would not allow anything else. He opened up his home to me. He allowed me to be a part of his family. He loved me and expected more than I could give; therefore, pushing me further than I would have ever reached on my own. Coach Waldrop was a teacher and he chose to teach me.
Coach Wayne Trawick, Central High School, Head Football Coach, he taught me the importance of knowing what you want and then going after it. He taught me hard work and dedication and that winners don’t punch a clock. As a rookie coach he treated me like I was his best coach and that I had been there for 20 years. Coach Trawick was a teacher and he chose to teach me.
Carey East, Phenix City Schools retired Assistant Superintendent, Carey East is a dear friend and he taught me to do the right thing NO MATTER WHAT IT COST YOU PERSONALLY. He was my mentor and he taught me how to deal with people. He taught me balance and loyalty. Carey East taught me to love what you are doing and to love those around you. Carey East was a teacher and he chose to teach me.
Dr. Larry DiChiara, Phenix City Schools Superintendent, Dr. D taught me that sometimes you have to fight when you’re a man. He taught me to make decisions based on what you know is right and best for your organization, even when the decisions are not popular and may cause ripples. He taught me to have a vision and that your decisions, actions and focus must be driven by that vision. He taught me about friendship and that his love and care for me went beyond the job and professional relationship. Dr. D was a teacher and he chose to teach me.
Jerri Dean, my sister, she taught me to never ever stop praying, because she never stopped praying for me. She taught me what it is like to be loved and to know she had my back. She showed me the need for surrendering to God. She taught me to love and protect. Jerri Dean was a teacher and she chose to teach me.
Patsy Wilson, my MAMA, she taught me that a mama loves her baby with every ounce of her being. She taught me how to be selfless. She taught me that, “no one,” better hurt her baby. She taught me that she loved me and so did Jesus Christ. She taught me that daddy would take care of most of my issues when he got home, but have mercy on me when she felt like the lesson couldn’t wait. My mother was a teacher and she chose to teach me.
Willie Wilson, my father, he taught me how to be a man. He taught me how to treat my wife and to raise my children. He taught me how to help others and to never let a friend go in need. He taught me what is to be respected and admired by those around you. He taught me that attitude is way more important than physical abilities. My father was a teacher and he chose to teach me.
Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Savior, He taught me how to live,
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
He taught me how to laugh,
Habakkuk 3:18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
He taught me how to love,
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
Jesus showed me how to take all these wonderful things that so many people taught me and to do them because of my love for Him. Jesus taught me how to live my life surrendered to Him. Jesus is a teacher and He chooses to teach me.
I hope that you being here tonight and listening to these words will cause you to give serious thought to the people in your life who along the way were teachers and they chose to teach you. Give thanks for them. Call them and tell them you love them and you appreciate them.