A Beam, A Hammer and Nails

I had a young lad to give me this cross a couple of weeks ago, and this title kept going through my mind. Thanks Graeme

A Beam, A Hammer and Nails

It was a normal day for the men in uniform, 

Another prisoner put to death. 

A man in the middle and the thief on the right,

and another placed upon His left.

The man in the middle was treated no better

Than the two that were on His side.

In fact, it seemed His punishment was more severe

By the scourging that was viewed on His hide.

He carried that beam till he could no more,

His battered body in pain.

So they beckoned a man, who stood nearby.

To bear that beam for Him to be slain.

The hammer, I’m sure it was used before,

To fasten many a criminals hands.

There were none like this, so innocent as this,

That were pierced, No, not a one in this land. 

The nails were common, and were nothing unique,

To fasten Him to the beam.

But, they held him tight, A frightful sight,

To be heard, hammering into the King.

It wasn’t a hammer that killed this man, 

nor the nails that held Him to the beam.

It was the sin of man, that bound Him there,

For all the world to see.

He knew he must die, He had told it before,

As those prophets would tell.

Just how it would happen, no one would‘ve guessed,

It would be, A Beam, A Hammer and Nails

While you think that was the end of the line,

For the story of the Savior slain that day.

For those of us who live by faith,

It is the Master that was pointing the way.

For on day 3 the resurrection happened,

Just like He said it would.

Now I await, for His return,

And live just like I should.

So, I carry this cross that was given to me,

And a story I have to tell,

And remind others of His love for me

With A Beam, A Hammer and Nails.

The Magic Spark

The magic spark….

It creates life…

From the moment it bears a light for all to see.

While that light is contained, we know that it is there.

We watch it get brighter with the hopes and expectation of seeing it in its brilliance.

We do not know where that light will shine.

Where it will go,

Whose life it will influence.

A family, a community, maybe the world!

That light has a soul, given by the Creator.

The light harbors the soul and is given even more power from that within, so it can shine brighter!

It will have the opportunity…to tell the story of the Creator and His Son.

But…

What if the light is not given the opportunity to shine.

What if the light is put out by the darkness beyond control.

Light overcomes the darkness when given the chance!

Light brings strength, power and vision!

Light shows the way!

Light brings joy!

The light deserves to shine. 

Let the light have life!

10 years…

10 years….

It’s been 10 years since Dad has passed away. 

10 years.

I guess I’m like all the rest when I say “it doesn’t seem like it” or “ sometimes it seems longer!”

I had the opportunity to be on the road today to go to one of my favorite places. Freed-Hardeman University, I was taking some of Mom’s things to donate to the associates for a sale they are having for scholarships. 

Someone asked me what I missed the most about Dad….

I could say some of his phrases that he would say and the way he would say them. If I use that phrase…I hear his voice. 

I miss the fun side of his life… after Dad repented of his sins and came back to the Lord, he truly changed and loved living life with people. He loved to laugh, sometimes till the tears came.

I miss the spiritual conversations we had….”Son, I was studying the other day…”and he would talk about the scripture. There were no sweeter words to hear from my fathers mouth than the word of God!

I miss being with him…riding in a Tom’s Peanut truck, in an old Plymouth station wagon or a old C-10 chevy. 

I miss him.

With all the things I miss, I have faith that I will be with him someday. 

I don’t want to miss that!

So, Dad, we are doing okay…there is a lot of junk going on here and you are not missing a thing! 

I’m telling the Grand-babies all about you every chance I get. 

Give Mom a hug…

Always love you.

Jr.

P.S. Roll Tide…we got number 18!

2020 – The Year that was…uh..is..well

2020 – The Year that was…uh..is..well

As I write this on the next to the final night of 2020, there have been many word to describe this year…

Unprecedented

Fluid

Tumultuous

Flexible

Cancelled

I get it…and that is just the start. 

I was in the midst of my writing of “My Road to Sixty” when the pandemic (there’s that word) hit. In fact I quit writing daily because of it. 

Everyone was put in a quandary! 

Mask – Shut down – Cancel – Cancel – Postpone

Then you hear this phrase, “when we get back to normal!”

Allow me for a moment to make some observations, I promise I will be brief.

While I know there were many bad things around, I saw many GOOD things take place.

I saw FAMILIES together, did you try to purchase a bicycle this year, they were hard to come by. I saw families riding together down sidewalks and bike paths. If they were not biking they were walking, playing in the front yard, hiking TOGETHER>

They became creative, I believe imagination came back along with story telling and other adventures.

I saw the church doing more…now follow me here, 

I saw the church (people) helping one another. Childcare, food, dinners, trips, setting in hospital parking lots. 

You see many times people will state that the church should do more. The fact is we will NEVER know how much the church does because we don’t do this for OUR glory…

We do this to GLORIFY GOD!

I saw communities fed and sheltered after Tornados, Hurricanes and other disasters. 

I have seen the BAD…but I have witnessed the GOOD!

I will choose to continue to do good…sounds somewhat Biblical. (Look it up)

So farewell 2020, thank you for allowing me to focus on those things are good in the midst of the bad!

P.S. What about 2021?  Keep seeking, keep serving!

Veterans Day

He will walk out this morning as the sun rises for a new day. Under his arm he carries the “stars and stripes” the “Red ,White and Blue” …Old Glory.

It will take him a moment to undo the cord that is on the flagpole, his arthritic, shrapnel, worn hands just will not work like they used to years ago.

But he gets is done.

He carefully snaps the flag onto that cord and pauses… He looks at the stars on that blue field .
Oh how they have been added, there were 48 when he was younger and he remembers the joy when 2 more were added to the “Land of the Free”!

He sees the red and white and his mind will drift back to a time when he clung to a pier in Pearl Harbor, or maybe it was driving that truck providing fuel and supplies in Korea. A rice field in Vietnam…hot and dirty. Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan.

He remembers his buddies, friends, the ones he lived with while wearing that uniform with pride. They matched! No social status, just one common purpose. A purpose that holds true still today,

He remembers the ones that are gone, the one he cradled as they took their last breath.His friend. His heart will sink. His mind will go from that flag to a moment to a sea of tombstones with the name, rank and position engraved upon it and the place they served.

He will raise the flag, watching as the slight wind begins to unfurl the folds to open it to a new day of freedom, flying over the land protected by these men and women from all foreign adversaries.

He will kiss his wife and say “i’ll be back in a while, I’m going for coffee”.
She smiles cause he does this every day!

He pulls in and there they are…he is late and they let him know it! The Colonel will say, you getting a little lazy today. They are from all of the wars, yes, there is even one from WWII. No food just coffee and the one that drinks the Diet Coke!

They will even allow those who didn’t serve to come and set with them…and listen.

Their stories are all the same, they will drift back and talk some about their service. Love for THIS country and where will we be in the future.

They would suit up again in a moments notice, if the age and health would allow.

They are Americans
They are Veterans

He will go back home and at the end of the day as the sun begins to set, he will walk back out and bring that flag down, folding it correctly and walking it back into his house for the night he hears in his mind the bugler playing “Taps”

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

Rest well Veteran!

May God bless you on this your day!

One Year

One Year.

I was reluctant to post this photo, but it is our last one together. 

It has been one year today that you took final breath on this earth. 

One year since we held your hand. 

One year since we heard your voice.

One year. 

and yes….my heart still hurts.

I still get up, make the coffee and wait for you to come and drink a cup with me. I even listen for that small slurping sound just before it hits your lips. 

Your cup still hangs in the same place. 

I still walk through the door of your bedroom in our house and listen for things you need me to do. 

My phone goes off every Friday at 10:30 to take you to the beauty shop to get your hair fixed.

Every Alabama game is somewhat not the same after setting with you for 8 years nearly every week to watch them! I’m glad I have that video of you saying those precious words…”Roll Tide!”

Of course, I’m not the only one that misses you!  Everyone does. Gail, the grandkids and the great-grandkids.

Uncle Ernest misses his phone calls.

I know Danae misses the advice that you could give her when I couldn’t. 

While your voice still resonates in my head I smile. Sometimes just Iike with Dad, I find myself saying a phrase or doing something just like you. Sometimes I laugh and people might wonder why? Most of the time, it’s because I can still hear your reaction. 

I thank God for the memories and I could write more than a book for this. 

Just know this….

I miss you, but I’m glad you are not suffering.

I’m thankful for the assurance of being together again!

Thanks for being my Mom!

I love you Mom!

Jr.

Another Day

Written 7 years ago…maybe someone need this today!

Another Day

We’ve all had those days,
When the sun wouldn’t shine.
When you heart would hurt,
You thought you would lose your mind.

Just look for the crease found in the cloud,
Releasing one shining ray,
Then you will know that someone cares,
And will give you another day.

When the teardrops fall,
And your pain is deep,
And the troubles around you,
Won’t allow you to sleep.

Just look for the crease found in the cloud,
Releasing one shining ray,
Then you will know that someone cares,
And will give you another day.

That ray will come, from the heart of a friend,
Who will give you their time, with a love that won’t end.

So look for the crease found in the cloud,
Grab hold of that one shining ray,
Take the hand of the one that cares,
And live to love another day.

For the Lord Today…

For the Lord today…

I should have started yesterday, but I will work for the Lord today.

I can’t do anything about the past, but I can change for the Lord today.

People will think I’m strange, different, not the same old me, that’s because I am living for the Lord today.

It’s important for me and it important for HIM, that I love for the Lord today.

It’s important to the world around me that they see, I live for the Lord today.

You see, If I live for the Lord today, do His will, seek His kingdom, obey His commands, and leads others.

Maybe, just maybe..

They will want to live for the Lord today.

I’ll wait till tomorrow, or maybe when I am older to live for the Lord.

I have never heard of anyone that lived with regret when they started living for the Lord, TODAY.

In fact, it’s been the opposite…

I should have started yesterday, but I will Live for the Lord….today!

The Next Curve

The Next Curve

There is this stretch of the road that is called the Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap with 318 curves in 11 miles: America’s number one motorcycle and sports car road. Designated US 129, the road is bordered by the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest with no intersecting roads or driveways to hamper your travel.

I have had several friends that have tackled this on motorcycle and in car and they all talk about the challenge that comes from it. They talk about the thrill and they always mention the danger. 

It seems that over the past several months we have been on that road, winding back and forth going around the next curve waiting to see what is around the bend. 

Of course this has me thinking, (which is alway dangerous,) is this what our current life is about? Winding back and forth, trying to get to our destination, challenged by each turn in the road?

The answer is simple….yes. 

Put your realistic glasses on at this time. (seems like we live in an imaginary world)

Let just think of 318 curves that we must face…..okay we will narrow it to 100…on second thought…let’s just take it one curve at a time.

Getting around the first curve (situation) will be the most important.

Now YOU must fill in the blank what that situation (CURVE) will be. 

Yours will be different than mine. 

It might be the same.

It might be different than anyone else.

The point is YOU must CONFRONT that situation. You must FOCUS on what is important, (reaching the destination.) YOU must be FAITHFUL to YOUR task!

IF you are so concerned, (worried) about the 100th curve when you haven’t made it past the first curve, there is trouble waiting for you. We must move one step at a time. 

My friends that have done this course several times will tell you it gets somewhat easier because you know what to expect. 

I think it is interesting that there are NO intersecting roads or driveways.

I wish life was like that… It seems that the road we are on today has something constantly thrown in front of us trying to block us, wreck us, make us lose our focus. 

So Paul made it clear for us in Philipians 3:12-16

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

So with each curve in life, I will continue moving forward, when I fall, I will get up. When I lose focus, I will refocus. I will not stop, I will not quit. 

I let the Lord lead the way!

There is a finish line at the end…

See you there!

The Road to Sixty – Day 366


The Road to Sixty Day 366 (Remember it is a leap year)

If you recall I started the Road to Sixty one year ago. I wrote for 238 days on this journey to my 60th birthday. 

Someone asked me why I quit after that day. 

Let me explain…

I never quit writing daily, I just quit publishing it. There were more things important to do (and still are). 

When all of the Covid, Corona, Virus, stuff came in, I realized that I needed to focus more on the spiritual matters of my life and the lives of others. If you follow me on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, you will see that Road to Sixty never stopped, the “Think About It Series” with over 40 days of my friends allowed me to share the Good News of Jesus throughout the World!

Candy Cannons going to all of our children’s homes during the “shut down”
Chicken Runs with Dale and feeding thousands of people.
Honoring our High School Seniors in a much different way this Year!
Special classes and Webinars with my Dale and  Jeff A Jenkins!
5 two-day camps at my home, so we could have an experience of the camp we miss so much!
Horizons at Spring Meadows Horizons at FHU last week so we could continue the 40 year streak of leadership training for young men and ladies
An Awesome Jr-Sr Retreat spent in the mountains hiking 5 miles and passing a torch to next years Seniors!

So for the last 127 days my life and ministry has been more intentional, more intense and more purposeful. 

It was more than writing about ME, it is more about ME thinking about YOU!

and now THANK YOU!

On the day of my 60th birthday I received so many messages, text, Facebook, Instagram, cards. Memes…(Thanks Webb)

There is no way I can thank you all personally, but I will try. 

Im glad that this day fell on a Sunday,
It was good to worship God with the church inside a building to see people face to face or some mask to mask. 

I got to do some of my favorite things:
Have Mr. Jerry time with the little ones.
Work with our Live – Virtual VBS with AngieJaret and Jessica.
Teach our Teen Zoom classes. 

But the best….
Being with my beautiful wife for a simple catfish meal together, to talk, to share, to love.

Having my pride and joy Danae and  Zachary come home bringing the gifts that lift my heart each time I see them!

Holding my grandchildren and reading a book or singing songs or just jumping up and down!

Conclusion – Epilogue – Whatever you call the ending!

My “Road to Sixty” was filled with the highs and lows of life, the hardest hit was losing Mom in October.

As I look back at this journey of life I thank God for the journey. He has been and will be with me ALL the way. 

I hope you will keep walking with me too!
As Willie Nelson would say..I’m on the Road Again!
Thank you again and I love you all…
Jerry