Monthly Archives: June 2008

16 Years Ago Today

Danielle holding Brandon on left, Tabitha holding Britney on rightIt really started 16 years ago last night. In that year, June 28 fell on a Sunday night. Ellen was carrying our twins. We had tried and tried to keep them from coming early, but they would have none of that. On the 28th, Ellen called me at church and I came home and took her to the hospital. They tried a couple of attempts to stop her labor causing her some pretty intense problems. After giving up on that, they allowed her to continue what was to be inevitable. About 5:16 and 5:21 the next morning, she gave birth to our twins.

Brandon was born first. Though at the time of his birth everything seemed normal and healthy, we would find out very soon that his lungs were not developed enough. After Brandon came, the doctors discovered that Britney was breach and they tried to turn her. She was not going to allow that to happen so she was born in that fashion. When she came, the doctors immediately carried her to a table and began working with her. She was not breathing at all. It was the longest minute of our lives! The doctors and nurses were saying, “Come on little girl, breathe!” The kept repeating it. We were all in tears, from doctors to nurses to mom and dad. Then she coughed and started crying. It was the sweetest baby cry ever!

That was not the end of their traumatic entrance into this world. They were born at about 34 weeks. That’s about 6 weeks too early. Neither of their lungs were developed enough. They were immediately flown to Huntsville, Neo-Natal ICU. They would spend the first two weeks of their little lives there. I know that had to be the hardest thing Ellen had to do to that point in her life. She lay in the hospital bed and listened to the med-flight helicopter take off from the roof of that hospital.

We owe such a debt of gratitude to those doctors and nurses in both hospitals for doing the right things by our babies. Brandon actually came home first and Britney followed a week later. Though Britney had more trouble getting here, Brandon had the most trouble developing his lungs (as is the case most of the time with boys).  Because of Brandon’s weight he was able to come home first.  Britney was still about a pound short of her weight goal when they let her come home.  Just a note of interest–Brandon weighed 5 lbs 8 ozs and lost down to 4lbs 10ozs.  Britney weighed 4lbs 2ozs and lost down to 3 lbs 12 ozs.  They were so tiny.

Today they are healthy sixteen year old kiddos!! We love them very much. They have accomplished much in their short lives. Both were baptized the same night. Britney said, “We were born together the first time and now we will be born again together.” Awesome! They both have been part of the Muscle Shoals Band program–Brandon on drums and Britney on the color guard. They both have excelled as athletes. They both played in the Dixie World Series. Britney’s team, coached by yours truly, was the first girls team in our city to ever win a girls softball game in a World Series in the 11-12 year old division. Brandon’s team nearly won the World Series in 2005. Arkansas beat us in the championship.

I guess the greatest thing about the twins is that they are. I mean just having them in our lives is a blessing from heaven. When God decided to surprise us with a baby, He did so with two babies and we could not be more proud!! They have grown up to be wonderful teens. I look forward to seeing what it is that God has in store for them in the future as they mature, we trust, into adulthood.

Happy sweet sixteen Britney and Brandon!!

Oh, by the way, pray for Ellen and me. They both passed their driver’s test in school and will get their license tomorrow. My prayer life is about to take another upturn into high gear.


Spirit of Cooperation

Into the Garden of Eden.  Kelly from Macedonia inviting us in.Our Bible School is going great. We continue to have a wonderful spirit prevail. The children are off the chain with their love of singing and dancing. I often wonder what Sunday mornings would look like if worship was like that. Children are so uninhibited and open with how they feel about things. it’s just wonderful.

Sawyer and Britney as Adam and EveOne thing I’m really enjoying is the spirit of cooperation between Creekside and Macedonia. I’m so appreciative for a sister congregation who will spend the kind of time and energy that Macedonia is doing at Creekside. I am thrill with how our people at Creekside are showing up and working hard. The work load is shared. The love is strong between us. I look forward to our relations in the future.

What Bible School is all about--the kids!!One more thing: Tonight Ellen experienced a peak moment with our nephew’s young son. He ran up to Ellen after the night was over and exclaimed, “Look, we made baby Jesus tonight.” I don’t know if it was a drawing or what, but this is a child who hasn’t been to a church or Jesus related function probably more than five times in his life. Thank you God that you placed in our hearts the idea to have this event! If that little boy learns about Jesus, it was worth all the hard work. Praise God!!

Family Bible School

We started our Family Bible School tonight. We call it “Family” Bible School because it’s for the whole family.  We had lots of people. We didn’t count, but preacher count was about 150 or so. We had lots of singing, a great lesson about creation and an event called the bubble. I hope to publish some pictures this week, but you should see this thing.

Basically it’s a huge plastic bubble kept inflated by squirrel fans. Our theme is: Into The Bible. We are talking about Creation (tonight), followed by Jonah, the Manger, and Heaven. Inside the bubble it is decorated appropriately to the theme for the night. Tonight the folks witnessed the expulsion from Eden. Tomorrow night will be into the belly of the great fish! Should be awesome.

Anyway, please pray for our efforts. I pray God brings us lots of children. We especially thank the Macedonia congregation for helping us with this!! We look forward to the rest o the week.

Great Book!!

I just finished a book that is really inspiring.  The book is called “Never Say Diet” by Chantel Hobbs.  Ellen and I were just browsing a book store.  I found it interesting to see a book about diet in the Christian section.  This book was right next to “UnChristian” (another good one by the way).  That seemed odd to me.  Anyway, I picked it up and read a couple of pages and I was hooked.  It took only a few days to have this one finished.  This lady lost 200 pounds and did it healthily and is keeping it off.

I found out why it was in the Christian section.  She writes the book from a Christian perspective.  She tells of her decision to pray about her health.  God placed on her heart to work at it and she trusted Him for help.  That’s a real “nutshell” story of her decision, but I couldn’t stop reading.  In fact, the book would be inspirational for any number of problem areas in our lives because it’s a book about trusting God to help us out of a tough plight and doing what it takes to make necessary changes in our lives in order to “do our best for Him.”

It’s very unusual for me to read a book of more than 200 pages in just 3 or 4 days.  That tells you how inspirational it was.  Pray for me as I try and work this plan.  I’ve tried almost everything else to get in shape and I usually don’t announce things like this for fear of failure, but I’m going try this.  It’s going to take a lot of time, but it’s going to be worth it.  It seems very sensible and I sure like the idea of ditching dieting for the rest of my life.

Check it out at

Use Your Gifts

I am amazed at the talent that God has given his people.  The Bible says, (1 Corinthians 12:4-7 NCV)  “There are different kinds of gifts, but they are all from the same Spirit. {5} There are different ways to serve but the same Lord to serve. {6} And there are different ways that God works through people but the same God. God works in all of us in everything we do. {7} Something from the Spirit can be seen in each person, for the common good.”

What is the “common good?”  I’m going to step out on a limb here and say that the common good is that which glorifies God and builds the kingdom.  Now, before I step up on a soap box about this, I want to make a disclaimer.  I understand that our gifts can be used both in and out of a church building.  I don’t want to pretend that all of our gifts have to be used within what we call “church.”  However, I have a sobering question for each of us.  To what degree are we using our gift or gifts toward the common good within the church?

I mean really people!  Can God be happy about our excitement in using our gifts when we only use them outside the church?  Why can’t we see the need within the church family to use what God has given us in order to help the church grow in spirit and in number.

Here are some examples of what I’m talking about.  If a person has the gift of persuasion and only uses that gift to sell cars, clothes, cameras, or cakes, is he fully using that gifts.  Why not persuade people concerning the good news?  If a person is really good at using money, why not use those smarts to help the church financially.  If a person teaches in a public school, but won’t lift a hand to teach Jesus to others in the church, is that fully using that gift?  You name the gift and many times, you’ll find people who will readily and with fervor and zeal use that gift at work or play, but won’t help in the kingdom.

I don’t know about where you attend worship, but at Creekside, we always need folks to stand and serve.  There is so much to do and so few who will sacrifice the time, effort, energy, or whatever it takes to do it.

Consider just how serious we are about the kingdom of Jesus.  We need workers to rise up and serve God within and without the walls of the church building.  When are we going to take this seriously?

Father’s Day Early Gift

My eldest called me up yesterday and asked me about what day this week I could go out for lunch.  She explained that she had to work on Sunday right after church time and would not get to have lunch with us.  She wanted to take me out for Father’s Day.  So, I got an early gift today. 

We had lunch and hung out for a couple of hours together.  I think that’s pretty cool and I really appreciated it.  On top of that, she told me that she had a gift for me at home that she wanted me to open when everyone was there. Cool!  Not the gift, but my daughter.  She could have a sack of rocks and they would be special just because she got them for me.  The real gift was the time spent with my daughter who cared enough to spend time with me.  Thanks Woo Woo!!

Blessed Week

I guess it’s true what the group Chicago sang, “Everybody needs a little time away.”  This week has been good.  We have met new friends, got to spend time with people we love dearly, and had loads of fun in the process.

Last night we went to eat with Cecil, Barbara & Steven, Steve Puckett, and our new friend Mark.  We ate some great seafood and had wonderful conversation.  Afterward, we came back to the resort for a short visit.  The kids all went swimming and we came back to the room for one last visit.  After a short visit, Cecil led us all in prayer and asked God’s blessings on our travel.  I really appreciated that.  Cecil and Barbara left and when the kids got back to the room, we said our goodbyes to two of the nicest young men I’ve ever met.  Thanks to all of those teens at Central.  They treated my kids with kindness and respect.

Florida has been nice, but I’m ready to return to our home.  We feel tired, but rejuvenated somehow.  We look forward to getting back to our church family and growing God’s kingdom in the Shoals area.  God is good and this has been a blessed week.