My blog here at “Hey God” is coming to an end. I’ve decided to retire as Frazer’s Senior Pastor effective in June, 2016.
I’ll be succeeded at Frazer by Dr. Larry Bryars. Larry is a tremendous man of God and a good friend, and I know under his leadership Frazer will continue to be a blessing to Central Alabama and to the world.
Virginia and I will be moving on to a new chapter in our lives. We’ve got brand new grandbabies to love on, and we can’t wait to see what other opportunities God will open up for us. We are retiring from the full time ministry, but we never retire from seeking to serve God and love people!
It has been a privilege for me to share my thoughts with you through this blog, and I hope you have been blessed. My prayer for you is that even as this blog comes to an end, you too will always be finding new beginnings through Jesus Christ.
The Bible says Jesus is “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.” If there’s one thing I could leave with you it would be this: the secret to life is less of me, and more of Jesus. More of Jesus, less of me–for he is giver of new beginnings!
Today is our last day of Stop and Think. I’ve been recording these daily one minute radio spots for several years now, and it’s been a privilege and an honor to share part of each morning with y’all in the radio audience. However, I’m retiring in about a month, and all good things must come to an end.
I know Frazer Church will continue to be in good hand under the leadership of incoming Senior Pastor Dr. Larry Bryars. As for you, even though we won’t share this Stop and Think moment in the morning, I hope you’ll still take to stop amidst your busy schedule, listen for the voice of God, take time to read the Bible, and think about what it has to say. As the Bible says, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and wisdom comes to those who stop and think.
Brain scientists have recently been doing studies on the “amygdala”–a part of the brain associated with strong emotions. In the past they thought it only reacted to negative feelings, like fear. But surprisingly they found that it can also react to positive feelings, like compassion. However, it was not the same for everyone: for unhappy people, there was only a strong reaction to negative things, while for generally happy people there was a reaction to both positive and negative things.
The bottom line? Being a happy person doesn’t mean that you ignore the negative things in life. The key is not avoiding the bad, but intentionally choosing to seek out the good. Suffering is inevitable, but misery is optional. As the old song says, count your blessings. Be thankful. Celebrate the goodness of God. Don’t ignore the negative, but make time for the positive.
Scientists in Italy are using powerful x-rays to read scrolls almost 2,000 years old. The scrolls, buried in ash when volcanic Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD, were discovered 200 years ago, but they couldn’t be opened without destroying them. But when it was discovered that they were written with metallic lead ink, someone realized x-rays could be used to peer inside without ever opening them.
The Bible says that the human heart is like a hidden scroll that no one else can read. You can pretend to be one way on the outside, but no one knows what’s on the inside–no one except God. He pierces through the secrets of our hearts faster than the most powerful of x-rays. The good news is, the same God who sees and knows our darkest secrets, loves us anyway and simply wants us to open our hearts to him.
I’ll be retiring in about a month, and these radio spots will soon come to an end. It’s been my joy to share them with you. The wonderful Dr. Larry Bryars will be coming on board to be Frazer’s new Senior Pastor. Letting go can be hard, but I trust Larry. Under his leadership, I know Frazer will continue to be a force for good in our city.
Handing over the reins of leadership reminds me that all of us have to hand over the reins of our lives to God. We have to choose either to run our own lives, or let God be in charge. You may say you believe in God, but you haven’t really trusted him until you hand over the reins. Hand over the reins of your life, and see where God will take you today.
Easter weekend is over, the family has gathered around the ham or turkey, children have hunted eggs, and everyone is a few pounds heavier from marshmallow peeps and chocolate bunnies. But don’t worry, Easter is coming back next Sunday!
What do I mean? Well, in the Christian church, really every Sunday is Easter Sunday. That’s because every Sunday when we worship it is for one reason: to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Because he lives, we have forgiveness for our past. Because he lives, we have purpose for today. Because he lives, we have hope for tomorrow. Because he lives, we gather and worship. So whether you join us at Frazer on Atlanta Highway, or Frazer in Pike Road, or find some other church where you can worship, I hope you’ll celebrate Easter again this Sunday, and every Sunday after that!
Today is Good Friday, a dark day in history–the day Jesus Christ died on a cross for you and for me. But Sunday is Easter morning–the day Jesus rose again from the dead to give us life forevermore. Because of Jesus, we can come home to God.
Maybe you’ve been away from church for a long time, or maybe church has never been your thing. But Easter is a wonderful time to renew your spiritual journey. It’s a great time to come home.
Let me invite you to the community wide Easter Sunrise service at 6AM Sunday out at Blount Cultural Park, or to one of Frazer’s Easter Sunday worship services on Atlanta Highway at 8, 9:30 or 11AM, or at the Pike Road School at 9 or 10:45AM.
Every day, the light of the world goes out. We’re all plunged into darkness. But we’ve seen the sun go down and come back up so many times we don’t think twice about it.
When Jesus was on the cross, with his final breath he cried, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” He trusted in God. He didn’t think twice about it. And on the third day, he rose again, defeating death once and for all.
We’re going to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection this Sunday morning at sunrise for Easter. I hope you’ll join us out at Blount Park Amphitheater at 6 a.m. As sure as I am that the sun will rise, that’s how sure I am that Jesus is alive and because of him, I can face anything in life or death.
This week is Holy Week, and here at Frazer for the next three days we will host an event called the Stations of the Cross. It’s an interactive prayer experience that helps you prepare your heart for Easter. It will open at noon today and be open all day tomorrow and Friday at our Atlanta Highway location.
The Stations of the Cross is not a train station or a gas station. It’s a way to remember the steps of Jesus–the stops he made in his last hours before dying on the cross for you and for me. But these stations are a way to fill up your soul. As you reflect on Jesus’ suffering, his anguish, and his sacrifice for you, you will understand perhaps for the first time the depths of the love of God for you. Don’t miss your stop at the Stations of the Cross.
Cecelia Chicone is known as the Miracle Child because in 1987, an airplane leaving Detroit crashed after takeoff, killing all 155 people on board except for one survivor—4 year old Cecelia. At first when she was found, they didn’t even believe she was on plane. But amidst the wreckage they discovered how she survived; while the plane was crashing, her mom took off her seatbelt, got on her knees, and wrapped her arms around her girl. Her body absorbed the impact and saved the life of her child.
Scripture says that the wages of sin is death, but it’s not God’s will that any of us should perish. That’s why on the cross, Jesus wrapped his arms around us, and his body absorbed the impact. He loves you. Accept his gift of life today. You are his miracle child.