Second Chances

Most of us know someone who’s gotten a second chance after a near death experience.  It’s rare, however, when second chances are too many to count.  Scott Pate is thankful for his unnumbered blessings.  He readily shares his unusual story in hopes it will be a blessing to others.

I met Scott a few years ago when he moved from Albany to Dooly County.  Occasionally I would see him at Bank of Dooly, where I was employed.  He was friends with local pilot David Chancy.  He worked on airplanes and sometimes flew them.  That’s all I knew about Scott until December of 2018.

Our choir at Vienna First Baptist combined with Pinehurst Baptist Church last Christmas for a cantata.  Scott sat near me during a joint rehearsal.  He turned the songbook pages a bit awkwardly with his left hand.  Connie Christmas, a choir member from Pinehurst, asked me later if I’d heard Scott’s testimony.  She said it was worth listening to and told me he didn’t mind being asked.

Scott agreed to share his story with our Brotherhood, a monthly breakfast meeting for men that’s sponsored by our church.  “I’m by no means a speaker,” he said.  “But if you want me to come, I’ll do my best.”  He came one Sunday morning.  When he left there was no doubt what’s in his heart.

Scott agreed to my writing a column about him provided it pointed toward Jesus and not him.  He doesn’t take any credit for deserving second chances.  “I’ve done nothing,” he said.  “Jesus has done everything for me.”

In February of 2017 Scott had an annual physical, a familiar step in renewing his pilot’s license with the FAA.  He was shocked when his doctor diagnosed him with cirrhosis of the liver.  A second and third opinion confirmed he would eventually need a transplant.

He would soon learn that his liver was just one of several health issues.  He began having trouble swallowing and talking.  His speech would become slurred during even brief conversations.  His son took him to Emory University Hospital, where Scott’s stroke-like symptoms landed him in the emergency room.  The problem was determined to be myasthenia gravis, a breakdown in communication between nerves and muscles.  It can be managed but not cured.  He was treated and sent home with a plan.

Three months later, on the Monday after Memorial Day weekend, David Chancy took Scott to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany.  He had lost 60 pounds, down from a solid 200 to a frail 140.  He almost died and spent ten days in CCU.  Scott views this close call as another time where God used a problem to get his attention.

His next stop was Piedmont Hospital to determine eligibility for a liver transplant.  A restriction was found in his coronary artery, something routinely repaired with a stent.   Things went terribly downhill during the stent procedure.  The lining in his artery separated and tore into his aorta.  He was brought back to life three times and was too weak for further surgery.  As the doctors tried to slowly build up his strength, his aorta unexpectedly healed.  Scott views his unlikely healing as a miracle.

For three and a half weeks he wasn’t aware of his surroundings at Piedmont.  While the medical team focused on keeping him alive, poor circulation ravaged his right hand.  He lost his thumb and four fingers.  He admits it can be frustrating, but he reflects on the Apostle Paul having a “thorn in the flesh.”  Scott has a daily reminder, not of what he’s lost but of what he’s found on a closer walk with God.

He almost died from taking Coumadin, a powerful blood thinner.  It was one more reprieve on his long list of close calls.  In addition to matters of health, he can only guess at the number of potentially fatal mishaps he’s had in the air and on the ground.  The odds of him still being here are far beyond improbable.

When Scott came home from his long stay in Piedmont, he randomly opened his Bible to Psalms 6 and read David’s plea for mercy.  Scott’s daughter framed those verses with a photo of her holding her father’s hand.  He finds comfort and confidence in David’s prayer, and in a clear picture of love.

Scott Pate’s story is one of second chances, of seeing opportunities in our troubles.  He has some ongoing challenges, but through his trials he’s gained a deeper appreciation for what’s important. “I’ve done nothing,” he said.  “Jesus has done everything for me.”

Scott believes he’s still here because God isn’t finished using him.  And I believe Scott is right.

Posted in 2018 | 5 Comments

The Wounds of War

A September column was about a friend of mine, Rev. Bobby Ward, who has been diagnosed with ALS.  I visited with Bobby and his wife, Teresa, in their home before writing that story.  Teresa mentioned that Lou Gehrig’s Disease has been connected to Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant which was used extensively in Vietnam.  The wounds of war are not always readily seen.

I saw Bobby and Teresa a second time in late September.  I knew he had served in Vietnam in the distant past but not much else.  His youth, like that of many others, was severely disrupted by answering the call of his country.  He’s thankful to be among those who were upright when they came home.  He knows too well that many didn’t.

Bobby was born January 4, 1947, in Ashburn, Georgia.  When he was in the third grade his family moved to Almon, a small town between Conyers and Covington.  On his 19th birthday in 1966 he received his draft notice from the Army.  As an only child he could have gotten an exemption, but he didn’t think it was right to stay home when others were packing their bags.

It was a sad day in March for their small family as he left for basic training in Ft. Benning.  When he spoke of his mother and their closeness, it was obvious his words came from a place deep within his heart. “I was her baby boy, “he said softly, pausing to take a long sip of water.  “My father wasn’t one to show a lot of emotion.  I saw him cry that day for the first time.”  As Bobby described those parting moments in Almon, it reminded me that the pains of war reach far beyond the battlefield.

Bobby met his future wife, Teresa Martin, the day before he was leaving for Vietnam.  It was an uneventful encounter in which neither of them heard wedding bells.  He had no interest in small talk.  She thought he was somewhat conceited.  Bobby’s focus was on a very uncertain future.  The plane he would soon board had little room for romance.

Bobby was assigned to a transportation outfit at Camp Red Ball.  Their convoys hauled gas and diesel that was pumped from river barges.  They carried other things including 55-gallon drums of Agent Orange.  Years later it would be recognized as a contributor to multiple health issues including ALS.

In the Tet Offensive of 1968, the Viet Cong staged their biggest uprising of the war.  They tried to overrun the transportation compound.  Bobby recalls hearing the sirens blaring at three a.m. while soldiers scampered for bunkers.  Daybreak was announced with bombs, helicopters, and other enemy fire.

Bobby was in the back of a truck when he heard the whizzing sound of a mortar.  “Incoming!” shouted several people.  It hit about three feet away but bounced before landing again and exploding.  He sometimes wonders why he was spared while others were not.

He spent ten months and 22 days in Vietnam.  When the plane bringing him home landed at Hartsfield International Airport, Jane Fonda was there to greet them with a group of protestors.  “Baby killers!” they screamed along with other hurtful words.  There weren’t many welcoming committees for the tired young soldiers of Vietnam.

In April of 2000 Bobby went to the VA Hospital in Dublin to see Danny Mays, a fellow Vietnam veteran.  They knew it was likely their last visit.  Bobby stood by the bed just before he left and said, “Thank you for your service and welcome home.”  Danny told Bobby it was the first time anyone had thanked him.  He died two days later.

There are no doubt other veterans who have never been thanked.  Danny’s story is a poignant reminder that it’s already too late for some.

November 11th is Veterans Day.  It’s designated to officially honor those who served in our military.  It’s also an excellent time to offer our personal expressions of gratitude.  It can be as simple as a card or a phone call.  Or maybe a nursing home visit with an old vet who doesn’t have much company.  I have a veteran friend who loves warm buttered biscuits with pear preserves.  Maybe you do too.

If we hesitate it may be too late.  The wounds of war are not always readily seen.  To the men and women who have sacrificed to protect our freedom, “Thank you for your service and welcome home.”

Posted in 2018 | 11 Comments

Running Toward God

It’s not uncommon to run from God.  Like Jonah we board a ship for Tarshish instead of Nineveh.  Like Adam we try to hide in a garden our Creator spoke into existence.  Or like the man with one talent, we bury it rather than use it.  The roads are broad, plentiful, and landscaped with temptations.

My longtime friend, Jerry Pickard, wisely chose to run toward God at an early age.  He took the straight and narrow way many years ago.  With 48 years in ministry, he’s pausing to see how God will use him next.  Jerry retired on September 15th as pastor of Northside Baptist Church in Milledgeville after 33 years.  “I retired as the pastor,’’ he said, “but I didn’t retire from ministry.”

Jerry and I both attended Unadilla High School.  He was two grades ahead of me, but we spent a lot of time together in the F.F.A. String Band.  When I was in the ninth grade, the four guys in the band invited me to play piano.  I was the kid in the group and tickled to be playing with four juniors.  Jerry moved from piano to guitar, and patiently taught me to play by chords without relying on sheet music.  He and Charles Jones mentored me through country classics like Down Yonder and Wildwood Flower.

Even during our youthful days, Jerry’s faith was evident.  He had a spiritual maturity that many of us as teenagers were lacking.  He kept his language and humor clean and treated everyone with respect.  It didn’t surprise me when he followed God’s direction toward full-time Christian service.

I asked Jerry to tell me about his call to ministry.  “Those seeds were planted early,” he said.  “One of my first memories is of sitting between my parents at Unadilla Baptist Church.”

After high school Jerry attended Valdosta State College where he earned a degree in history.  He was President of the Baptist Student Union and became involved at First Baptist Valdosta.  He began to have a stirring in his heart and talked to Rev. Jim Pitts.  Jerry felt God might be calling him to preach, but he didn’t feel worthy.

“None of us are worthy to bear His name,” said Rev. Pitts.  “All we have to do is be willing and available.”  So that’s what Jerry did.  “I never ran from God,” he said.  “I ran to Him.”

After college Jerry taught school in Warner Robins and worked with young people in his hometown church in Unadilla.  Clark Standard was his pastor, friend, and mentor.  As God firmed Jerry’s awareness of a call to ministry, Rev. Standard suggested he enroll in seminary.

Jerry spent three and a half years at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas.  He and some fellow students began attending First Baptist Dallas.  It was a 40-mile trip each way, so they stayed after morning worship and waited for the evening services.  They volunteered to help with outreach, and soon began spending Sunday afternoons following up with visitors who had turned in cards.

Jerry benefited tremendously from the inspired preaching and effective leadership of W. A. Criswell and Jimmy Draper.  Rev. Draper invited him to become an intern.  “Seminary was an excellent place for learning,” said Jerry.  “First Baptist Dallas gave me the opportunity to use what I learned.”

Rev. Clark Standard moved from Unadilla to Britt David Baptist Church in Columbus.  He asked Jerry to pray about becoming his associate pastor.  Under the guidance of Clark Standard, his “father in ministry,” Jerry learned how to effectively pastor a local congregation.

Columbus was good in other ways too.  Another pastor introduced Jerry to his future wife Terri Brasington.  “We were set up without either of us knowing it,” he said with a smile.  “The rest is history.”

Jerry pastored in Vidalia and Macon before being called to Northside Baptist in September of 1986.  I commented that a 33-year tenure speaks well for both him and the church.  “I had a very patient congregation,” he said with modesty.

I asked what advice he would give to young preachers.  “I would tell them to love the people and preach The Word.  People need a steady diet of The Word of God.”

Jerry doesn’t know where the next road may lead, but there’s no doubt of its direction.  He’ll keep running toward God.  Those seeds were planted early for him.  Jerry intends to keep planting them for others.

Posted in 2018 | 7 Comments

Matriarch of Metcalfe

It seems to me when a person reaches the 100-year mark it warrants a special title.  That’s why I’m bestowing the prestigious designation “Matriarch of Metcalfe” on Janet (pronounced Ja-net’) Horne Lanier McLendon.  I’m a tad late getting around to it, but I think she’ll be okay with that.

Janet, who turned 100 on July 13th, is a first cousin of my late father-in-law Bennett Horne.  They were born in the small south-Georgia town of Metcalfe and both ended up living in nearby Thomasville.  I got to know Janet a few years before I married into the Horne family in 1974.  She’s celebrated some milestone birthdays since we first met, but her sweet demeanor and spunky attitude are unchanged.

Jane and I went to the nursing home to see her in early August.  The first thing she said was, “I’m so glad you brought that good-looking man with you!”  I know she’s exaggerating, but it’s the same greeting I’ve loved hearing many times before.  Then she asked me if I was still painting.

Several years ago, I gave her a little book titled “Lessons From The Ladder.”  It was about painting our house and some of the thoughts I had while perched on the ladder.  She’s asked me on multiple occasions if I’ve finished that project.  We laughed once again as I confided I still lack the front door.  “But I have it on my list of things to do,” I said.  “It could happen at any time.”

It was probably a decade ago when Jane and I visited in her home and saw a pink Daisy BB gun propped by the door.  “You must be in charge of the Neighborhood Watch,” I surmised.  She laughed and told me it was her squirrel gun.  “It stings them enough to run them off, but they come right back.  That’s about all I can do,” she coyly lamented.  “The police don’t like to hear gunfire.”

She was still working in her yard during her early nineties, enjoying gardening and growing blueberries and figs.  Her house was in town, but she’s always been a country girl at heart.

I think she moved to Southern Pines assisted living about five years ago.  She was around 95 when she decided to let someone else do the cooking.  The first time Jane and I went there to visit, I asked if she still had her squirrel gun.

“Don’t tell anybody,” she whispered.  “I’m not supposed to have a gun or an electric blanket, but I’ve got both hidden where no one can find them.”

Jane and I made several trips to her apartment.  We’d look to see if her car was there before getting out, knowing she drove across town every day to see her brother Olin.  Though ten years younger than her, their roles were reversed.  He was in the nursing home and she was the visitor.

One day Jane and I saw a different vehicle where Janet usually parked.  We were surprised to learn she’d bought a new car.  She was 96, I think, and was tickled about its excellent mileage.  She enjoyed knowing that a gallon of gas per week would take her everywhere she wanted to go.

When Jane and I visited her in August, her room at the nursing home had a fresh look.  For her centennial celebration a granddaughter had decorated the cream-colored walls from floor to ceiling with colorful flowers.  She showed us her favorite and told us how much she enjoys looking at them.  She asked Jane about our yard, knowing they share a love for working outdoors.

The Thomasville Times was by her chair. “I read it every morning, and I enjoy the sale papers too,” she said with a smile.  “I look at what I could buy if I had a car and some money.”

She reads her Bible daily and misses her late pastor, Milton Gardener.  He used to stop by her house on his way to work.  He drank coffee with Janet and her late husband, Claude, five mornings a week.  He kept on visiting long after his retirement.  Jane commented how much Milton loved Claude and her.  She modestly replied, “I think Milton loved everybody.”

As we were leaving, I promised to bring her some BBs on our next trip.  I think they checked her for weapons when she moved in, but it wouldn’t surprise me if she has her pink Daisy beneath the mattress.

“Y’all be careful,” she said as we paused by the door.  “I love y’all so much.”

We love you too, Janet.  There’s a package of BBs on my desk to prove it, and a certificate showing you have been deemed the “Matriarch of Metcalfe.”  I didn’t run that by the mayor, but I’m sure it will be okay.  If not, we’ll just hide the certificate with the BB gun.

Posted in 2018 | 8 Comments

Combovers

The man said he needed to talk to someone about a situation that had gotten out of hand.  All he asked of me was to listen to his story.  I sat quietly as he stared into his coffee cup and shared his troubling tale.

“If you don’t mind me asking,” I said, “how did all this begin?”

He said it started in a small way that seemed harmless at the time.  “I noticed my hair was thinning on top and decided to drop my part a little.  It was hardly noticeable at first, maybe a half inch or so below the norm.  As my hair kept receding, I went lower with my part.  When my part met my ear, I began wondering if I could comb my sideburns upward.  That’s when I knew I needed help.”

“Have you thought about wearing a toupee?” I asked.

“I thought about it,” he said, “but I don’t like the idea of wearing someone else’s hair.  There’s no way of knowing where that hair came from or where it’s been.”

“But couldn’t you wash it, run it through the dryer, and spray it with Lysol?” I asked.  The man acknowledged it could be done but quickly added, “It would be like wearing someone else’s underwear.  You could wash it a hundred times but that still wouldn’t be enough.”

“What about trying a new approach to your combover?” I inquired.  “You could part it from the other side, or go from back to front, or maybe give it a swirl?”

“Tell me more about the swirl,” he said.  “That’s sounds rather promising.”

I confessed that I had only seen a full swirl done successfully one time and that regretfully I had no pictures to document it.  “It was a spring day several decades ago,” I began.  “The Chamber of Commerce was hosting a Developer’s Day in Dooly County.  We had invited 20 or so influential guests who could help us with industrial recruitment.  Most of them were from Atlanta and worked in state government or for the utility companies.”

“Who was the guy with the swirl?” asked the man.

“I’ve long forgotten his name,” I said.  “Even if I knew, I wouldn’t want to share it without his permission.”

“I understand,” he replied.  “Tell me more.”

“The developers were given three choices of how to spend the day.  They could fish in Dewel Lawrence’s pond that was loaded with bream, play a round of golf at Lake Blackshear, or take a boat ride on the Flint River.  I went with the group on the boat ride.  That’s where it happened.”

“That’s where what happened?” asked the man.

“That’s where the swirl broke loose,” I said.  “Buddy Pruett was driving his boat about twenty miles an hour straight into a noticeable breeze.  The fellow wasn’t wearing a cap.  Next thing you know he had two feet of hair flapping behind him like a flag.  It was fully extended like a car lot banner in a March wind.”

“Did you get tickled?” asked the man.

“I got tickled,” I said, “but I didn’t laugh.  I looked away and tried to think of sad occasions to help distract me.  As Buddy slowed the boat to pull up to the dock, the fellow ran his hands through his hair.  To my surprise it returned to its original position, a full wrap-around swirl that cleverly hid his baldness.”

“So, you think a swirl may be the answer to my dilemma?” asked the man.

“Absolutely not,” I said.  “I think a swirl is a terrible idea.  I told you that story to let you know just how bad it can get.  I believe you already know what you need to do.”

“You’re right,” said the man.  “But do you think I’ll look funny without my hair?”

“Probably,” I replied.  “Maybe you should first try to train your sideburns to grow upwards.”

He laughed and said he was going to get a haircut.  I hope he doesn’t change his mind.  Lowering his part had seemed harmless in the beginning, but he almost hit rock bottom at the top of his ears.

Posted in 2018 | 5 Comments

Stan the Man

The late Stanley Gambrell was affectionately called “Stan the Man.”  He was the city manager for Vienna, Georgia, for 30 years.  He founded The Big Pig Jig, Georgia’s official barbeque contest, and left a trail of notable accomplishments.  It is, however, the humor and creativity he scattered along that trail that I recall most fondly.

Much of Stan’s career overlapped with my own.  I saw him on a regular basis at Bank of Dooly.  Sometimes we’d talk about business.  More often he’d just share something he knew I would enjoy.

Stan was involved in numerous pranks, both as an instigator and a recipient.  He’s the only person I know who had a cap that was kidnapped.  He met regularly for early morning coffee with men at the American Legion.  Those fellows were behind the cap caper and were privy to many others.

Frank Morgan, Jr. knew that Stan loved the Indianapolis Colts and their quarterback Peyton Manning.  On a business trip to Indiana he bought Stan a bright blue Colts’ cap with the horseshoe insignia.  Stan began wearing his lucky cap to the Legion and bragging about the success of his team.  He bragged too much and the cap mysteriously disappeared.  Ransom notes were sent picturing three masked men and a hostage cap.  Cryptic messages demanded that $20 be left with Frank at Forbes Drug Company.  Serious consequences were threatened if Stan didn’t comply.

Stan had suspicions of the culprits’ identities but no evidence.  He ran an ad in the local paper offering a reward, but eventually paid the ransom.  Two heavily disguised men on a borrowed golf cart returned the cap. They watched from a distance as Stan played the ninth hole at Lake Blackshear.  When he was too far from his cart to give chase, they drove past and threw the cap toward him.  Fred Walls, Derald Woods, and Andy Colter denied Stan’s accusations.  Frank Morgan, Jr. kept their secret well.

I believe it was Stan and Derald Woods who had a memorable outing while fishing at Lake Blackshear.  Two of their coffee club friends were nearby in another boat, watching in amazement as Stan casually pulled countless bream from a bed.  Their friends kept edging closer, hoping to get in on the action.  After about a half hour Stan showed them his technique.  He only had one very confused fish.  He had been lowering him over the side and bringing him back up.

Stan and his wife, Ann, had S&R Shell Station and Restaurant near I-75 in the 1980s.  The Stanburger, a homemade hamburger with a delicious chili topping, was their highly acclaimed specialty.  The chili recipe was, according to Stan, kept in a safety deposit box at Bank of Dooly.  He figured if Coca Cola needed to protect their prized formula, he should do the same for his.

The station’s marquee gave Stan an outlet for his creativity.  One of his most enduring slogans was, “TWO KIDS IN COLLEGE- PLEASE STOP.”  His creative talents also included song writing.  He planned to title an album, “The Road Signs of Life.”  The lead song was, “Sharp Curves and Soft Shoulders Made a Wreck Out of Me.”  Stan the Man was full of ideas.

Stan also used his creative talents in his role as city manager.  Years ago, when Cargill decided to build a poultry processing plant in Vienna, Stan told me about a problem that threatened to sidetrack the project.  A small area of wetlands had been identified as a potential site for Carolina Gopher Frogs, a federally protected species.  Cassette tape recordings of such frogs were provided to the city.  They were instructed to play the tapes on seven consecutive nights during the summer mating season.  If the frogs were in the area, their distinctive croaking response could be expected.

Rather than hiring an outside firm, Stan asked the Vienna Police Department to assist.  After receiving the required training, the VPD was scheduled to begin the week-long process later that week.  I asked Stan what would happen if the police heard the croak of a Carolina Gopher Frog.

“Three officers, spaced 20 feet apart, will each fire five rounds of buckshot toward the sound,” he said.  “They’ll wait 30 minutes then play the tape again.”

I ran out of space before I ran out of stories, but there are plenty of people around who’ll gladly share some more if you ask.  To honor Stan’s memory I have one request of the readers:  If you ever hear a Carolina Gopher Frog in Vienna, please don’t say anything about it.

Stanley Gambrell – November 25, 1939 – October 12, 2010

Posted in 2018 | 6 Comments

Dare To Be Average

I once had an idea I considered brilliant for a book to be titled “Dare to be Average.” I envisioned a lighthearted parody of the motivational program “Dare to be Great.”  A Google search, however, determined my proposed title had already been taken.  I’ve not read the book by David Martin, but per the brief description his concept seems to be in sync with my own.

Jimmy Collins is a friend and a member of our men’s Sunday School class at Vienna First Baptist.  I told him about my initial excitement for such an undertaking and related the unexpected transition toward disappointment.  He suggested an alternative title, “Aspirations of Mediocrity.”  Jimmy thought my inspiration to cover a topic that had already been addressed further validated the project.

Since then I’ve learned that book titles aren’t protected by copyright, so if I want to title my book “Dare to be Average” then legally I can.  Copying a title seems like a good beginning for a book which heralds the celebration of coming in second in a three-man race.

I don’t remember ever hearing a squad of cheerleaders enthusiastically chanting, “We’re Number Two!”  That wouldn’t resonate with most crowds.  And parents never boast to their friends, “Just look at my kid!  He’s about average!”  But maybe we should rethink some of those things.

I doubt I will ever write such a book.  That would take a lot more than an average effort.   But I hope this column will encourage others to celebrate life in the middle of the pack.  I should probably clarify that a bit.  I’m not saying our goal should be to secure a spot near the middle.  We should, instead, fervently try to excel.  But there’s no shame in average results if we’ve made our best efforts.

I’m an average piano player, better than some but not as good as many others.  With a lot of practice, I might be able to move up a notch or two on the list, but I’d still fall into that group of folks with mid-level talent.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  I enjoy playing and I play well enough to help out at church.  I’ve been to a few nursing homes recently and so far no one has complained.  If I aspired to greatness on the piano, I would have become frustrated long ago and probably quit playing.

My wife enjoys sewing, but it takes her a long time to complete a detailed project.  She is an unlikely candidate to win Seamstress of the Year, but that doesn’t diminish her pleasure.  Our grandchildren don’t check to see if the stitching is perfect.  They thank her with a big hug.  Average talents can produce exceptional results.

One area, however, that is tempting to settle too easily for being average is our faith.  Our churches have plenty of empty pews to prove it.  We tend to give our best efforts to our jobs, hobbies, and hopefully our families.  But giving our best to God can be a lot more challenging.  His reward system is a long-term plan.  It doesn’t promise a paycheck at the end of each week.

Years ago, a couple came to my office at Bank of Dooly for some financial counseling.  They had, as the country song says, “too much month at the end of the money.”  When I reviewed their checking account it surprised me they faithfully tithed.  I mentioned it, not sure where the conversation was headed.  The husband said, “We write our check to the church the first of every month.  We might not have the money to tithe if we waited.”

I don’t know if I helped them with their budget, but they helped me with my perspective.  If we only give from our abundance, then we’re settling for being average.  That’s true of everything, including our time, talents, money, and attitude.  The greeting that Christians hope for one day is, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21) It sure would be disappointing to hear Jesus say, “It looks like you were about average.”

There are a lot of days when the average line is the one I would be asked to stand it, but that’s not what Jesus wants for any of us.  He can use average talents, but he expects our efforts to be the best.  Maybe a better title for a book would be “Dare To Be Our Best.”  I think I’ll check Google to see if it’s already been written, but that can wait until tomorrow.  I’ve already made an average effort today.

Posted in 2018 | 4 Comments