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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at www.clsnet.org if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Good preaching

On the internets (that's what Our President Calls it) today is a lot; highlighted by my friend Robert Parham's challenge to Governor Huckabee to reconsider and in fact show up at the Baptist
Confab in Atlanta with Carter and Clinton.

If we can get Huck away from the bad influence of Richard Land and Karl Rove, in time you have to believe there is a God in Heaven and with the help of Mark Noll, Balmer and Garry Wills we can bring Huck back to his true Baptist roots on church state; cause his heart is right about immigration to the point maybe the closest thing we have to an Atticus Finch today, David Broder, is calling for a McCain/Huckabee ticket to honor the fading memory of Abraham Lincoln.
Go to http://www.ethicsdaily.com/ and look around.

What follows is even stronger; for http://www.pulpitbytes.blogspot.com/ from the great Baptist preacher and former Furman Proff; Charles Kimball's great friend Jeff Rogers.
He has some strong stuff, among other things at the request of some parents of a VA Tech graduate in his church, his sermon in the wake of that tragedy.

But here are two excerpts from recent sermons to help put things in perspective; almost as good as Cormac McCarthy's dream for Sheriff at the end of No Country for Old Men.

Rogers:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Jeremiah 31:15-17—Weeping and Working Toward Hope (Children’s Sabbath 2007)
Opening Sentences:
Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Leader: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Leader: Every 10 seconds a high school student drops out.
People: Jesus loves me, this I know.
Leader: Every 35 seconds a child is abused or neglected.
People: For the Bible tells me so.
Leader: Every 40 seconds a baby is born into poverty.
People: Little ones to him belong.
Leader: Every 51 seconds a baby is born without health insurance.
People: They are weak, but he is strong.
All: Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.
(Adapted from the Children’s Sabbath at First Christian Church [Disciples of Christ] in Frankfort, Ky., published in Shannon Daley-Harris, National Observance of Children’s Sabbath Manual, vol. 16 [Washington, D.C.: Children’s Defense Fund, 2007], p. 69.)

Sermon:
Call me Rachel. I’ve been called worse. She is crying inconsolably. Her tears will not stop. There is no end to them. At the beginning of this morning’s Scripture lesson from the 31st chapter of the book of Jeremiah, Rachel is weeping for her children. She refuses to be comforted, verse 15 says. Have you ever been there? Have you ever known someone who has? In this morning’s Old Testament lesson, Rachel was there and not for the first time. Rachel was the wife of Jacob and the mother of Joseph, he of the coat she had made him with fancy sleeves or many colors, depending on how you translate it. He son, you may remember, was reportedly torn to bits by a wild animal, when in fact his half-brothers had sold him into slavery. Rachel did not live long enough to be a party to the discovery and the happy tears that her son was still alive in Egypt. His name meant “he adds,” but he was taken away from her. Rachel was also the mother of the twelfth and last of Jacob’s sons, in whose childbirth she died after naming him Ben-Oni, “son of my sorrow.” Evidently, her husband Jacob was unwilling to live with the constant reminder of his late wife’s grief, so he renamed the boy Ben-Yamin, “son of the south” or “son of the right hand,” depending on how you translate it. Rachel was a woman of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and by the time the prophet Jeremiah invoked her name and her tears, the descendants of her beloved Joseph and Ben-Oni had been exiled from the land of their living into Assyria, modern-day Iraq, for more than a century. Rachel’s tears for children in Jeremiah 31 are the tears of an entire people. They are tears for innumerable children whose days have turned to darkest night, whose dreams have turned to nightmares, whose lives have been cut short by death—or worse. Have you ever been there? Have you ever known someone who has?....



“There is hope for your future, says the Lord.” And the bridge between weeping and hope is work, according to verse 16. Work. “There is a reward for your work, says the Lord.” In the end, the reward is not for our weeping but for our working, even as we weep. So don’t get caught up in the arrogant conservative assumption that the children of responsible parents are not at risk because they’re being brought up in the right way and they will not depart therefrom. Children of responsible parents are at risk as well as children of irresponsible parents. And don’t get caught up in the arrogant liberal assumption that only poor children are at risk because children from affluent homes have everything they need. Children from affluent homes are at risk, as are children from poor homes.

In fact, the tide has turned in our culture. Children of affluent families in the suburbs are now statistically at greater risk for drug addiction, alcohol abuse and illicit sexual activity than poor, urban children. And the reason, sociologists tell us, is because affluent children from the suburbs have the money, the transportation, and the unsupervised time necessary to mix the cocktail of drug addiction, alcohol abuse and illicit sexual activity. Arrogant conservative assumptions and arrogant liberal assumptions alike are crippling our culture and killing our children. All children everywhere are at risk.

And this, the closing of his masterful sermon on the tragedy at Va. Tech:

If we do not commit ourselves to healthy bodies, healthy minds and healthy souls of all the world’s children—not just our children behind walls and moats barbed wire, then it is only hours or days before the next tragic episode. We must think and live and minister in new ways, not only to ourselves and our own, but to all whom we meet, even the troubled and the disturbed. That’s our calling as the body of Christ, willing to take up upon itself the sins and the suffering of the world, in Jesus’ name.
Let us pray. Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. Father, forgive us, for we know not what we do. Amen.
This material is Copyrighted © 2007 by Jeffrey S. Rogers. It may be copied or disseminated for non-commercial use, provided this notice is included. The author can be contacted at jeff.rogers@firstbaptistgreenville.com.

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