Not so common

I was a senior in high school when some of the guys and I sat in my van, yes I drove a van to school, watching the bus and car riders be dropped off for school. It was a Ford with windows all the way around.

It was a wet morning with a light rain. The buses would pull under the canopy closer to the building and drop off the students while the car riders used the lane farther away from the building. There was a canopy there as well.

It wasn’t long before Joey arrived. He had a new car. His first car. However we were surprised to see him use the bus lane. Joey was the smartest guy in our senior class. A real genius with an outstanding GPA (Grade Point Average)! He was book smart!

Well he didn’t show so much smarts on this particular morning when he used the bus lane to drop off his girl passengers. Hey, no biggie, right? You see, Joey was excited about his new car and his passengers. He had girls riding in his car. He was to be envied.

Well least he thought so. No real big deal here until the guys and I watched him get out of his car and open the doors for each of the girls to exit. A real gentleman huh.

By now Joey realized what he had done. He used the wrong lane. Buses were lined up waiting on him to move his car. It was a steady rain fall now so the buses wanted to get under the canopy to let their riders off.

Hold on. There’s a problem. Joey’s car won’t start. You could see him trying and trying but no luck. People were waiting. Time was passing. Students were going to be late.

Mr. Mobley, our Assistant Principal, was the bus monitor that morning. He had Joey to pop the hood so he could maybe figure out what was going on with his car. They tried and tried. No luck.

At about this time the guys and I, in my van, were going to get wet as we left to go push Joey’s car out of the way when we saw a remarkable change of circumstances. Mr Mobley got in Joey’s car, turned the key and nothing happened but quiet. That’s when Mr. Mobley reaches over to the gear shift on the steering column and placed the car in park, turned the key, and low and behold, the car started.

Here’s the smartest guy in the class with the highest GPA and all the book sense in the world. But on this particular wet morning, in front of hundreds of student and a few girls he was trying to empress, poor Joey forgot good ole fashioned “Common Sense.”

It happens to us all from time to time. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on Joey. But if you think about it today, maybe you come away with two reactions. First is the humor behind it. I mean I found it funny. Mostly because it wasn’t me. And Secondly, you realize Common Sense doesn’t seem as common anymore.

Until next time,


P.S. Which would you rather have book smarts or common sense?

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Don’t Take It Personal

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been told something which is precipitated with that phrase, “Don’t take it personal.”

Usually what I’m about to hear is very much personal. It’s placement is a frugal attempt to take the sting off a harsh, hurtful comment. For example the boss walks in to your office and says, ‘Jones, don’t take this personal but we’ve got to make some cutbacks. We’re going to have to let you go.’ How is that not personal?

Have you ever noticed no one says, ‘don’t take this personal but you did a terrific job today!’ Naw, Me neither.

The simple introduction of the phrase; I find subtly offensive. At last check I am a person. All that I do, say, how I behave reflect my personality.

So is it any wonder why people build barriers of dislike with others because they come across less than forthright. Oh no, we don’t have to be blunt. By all means tactful rebukes and corrections are what some moments call for.

The Urban dictionary defines the comment as a phrase people use as a disclaimer to make an excuse to say or do something rude or mean to you to prevent you from having a poor self-image or so there won’t be repercussions and make you feel they still like you even though they probably don’t.

I think the better advice comes from Master Chef Gordon Ramsay:

“Don’t take it personally. Just take it seriously.” Gordon Ramsay

I had a professor while at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College named H. C. Chiles. He was in his seventies and biblically wise in practical applications. He would tell us theological students to be prepared for anonymous notes sent to us as pastors and the scathing comments included within. His advice? Read them, take note of what is truthful and file the rest in the trash!

I think that was his way of saying there is always room for improvement and we should where we can but where they is just maliciousness, ‘trash it.’ It requires an honest openness to self improvement.

Don’t take this personal but most won’t read this whole article. If you do say so. Just a test to satisfy my curiosity.

Until next time,


Posted in Quotes, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

The Quilt Rack and Me

It was a strange revelation. One that I was not looking for and came quite as a surprise to me. The meditation of my mind was going in a different direction when it occurred to me that my quilt rack had more of a lesson for me then I first expected.

While preparing for a message from the book of Jeremiah chapter 18 verses one through six; I stopped to focus more on verse four and to reflect on its meaning. It is my practice to apply the Scriptures to myself and what they mean to me before I try to deliver God’s message to a congregation.

“The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD saying, “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will announce My words to you.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make. Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does? ” declares the LORD. “Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.” Jeremiah‬ ‭18:1-6‬ ‭NASB‬‬

The Jeremiah passage that I was looking at focuses on a potter who fashions a lump of clay into a vessel suitable for his service. The potter comes across a piece of clay that is bad or as the Scripture says “spoiled” and he takes it out and re-makes the clay into a different vessel. Simply stated he remakes the vessel.

I am not a Potter and have never worked with clay unless you include play dough. What I have done is a little woodwork. I guess that’s where the quilt rack comes into play.

A few years ago I was given a broken quit rack. It seems that a child had stepped on one of the rods and because the rod was so small in diameter it broke in two. The lady decided she did not have any use for the quilt rack and wanted to throw it away.

I took the quilt rack home. I removed the small diameter rods. I put wood putty in the holes from where the screws had been and sanded down the sides both inside and outside. I replaced all the small diameter rod’s with 1X2 pieces of lumber.

I stained the whole quilt rack after attaching the 1×2 rods which I had ripped and sanded from 2×4 scrap lumber. A couple coats of polyurethane and I’m done.

The lesson I got from this:

My Maker has found areas of my life that are ‘spoiled.’ He has removed those areas because I submitted to Him. Once removed, He began re-making me. Just as I shored up the quilt rack I remade so has He shored me up with His Love, His salvation through His Son and His guidance through the Holy Spirit.

There’s nothing really intricate about the looks and construction of the quilt rack. It is a simple looking piece. Kinda like me in that I’m a simple kind of guy who hasn’t a lot of abilities. What I am is a child of God and that makes Him worthy of praise and glory.

Just as clay submits to the Person of the Potter, the Purpose of the Potter, the Pressure of the Potter, and the Patience of the Potter; so do I submit to the Person (Jesus Christ), and His Purpose for my life while leaning on Him though the Pressures of life in my discipline to be Patient while He re-makes me.

Y’all He ain’t done with me yet!

Until next time,


Posted in Christian, Discipleship, Faith, God's Favor, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Life's Lessons, Scripture | Leave a comment

For What Reason?

As a very small child just learning to walk she was being watched by her Great Uncle Bill. Had he not seen her fall down the small opening and into the hole, she would likely have died. She was completely beneath the surface!

Not very long from that time the same little girl was with her mom at the swimming pool when the small girl fell into the pool. She was totally submerged. Mom panicked and froze, dad came running. There was only one person in the pool. That one man in the pool rescued the little girl. Had he not rescued her she would have died.

Did I mention the man in the pool was totally blind.

For what reason did God spare her life? Wish she would seriously consider the question,

God has spared your life. For what reason?

Until next time,


Ps. True story

Posted in Death, God's Favor, love | Leave a comment

Gone Missing

I’m taking small steps to old age. Really small steps. Some can’t decide if I’m old or young. For example I’ve received membership offers from AARP and coupons from Huggies (diapers).

With my age comes the inevitable comparison of days gone by. It’s the ‘remember the olden days’ as the older generation like to recall. Therefore as I thought about some things gone missing that I’d like to see make a comeback, I made a short list. I think these would add value to our lives.

In no specific order my list contains:

  1. Discretion – people do not care what they say or who they say it to. Parents cursing each other and their children. People do not care what little they wear or how they wear it. You ever been ‘window shopping?’ Merchants used to put things in their storefront windows just to entice shoppers to come in and buy. They wouldn’t put everything! Some people wear so little that the onlookers do not have to use any imagination about the person and their attributes. It’s all put on display and at a minimal cost! Some have forgotten where the waist band of clothes are made to fit. Discretion involves so much more than this though.
  2. Kindness – folks used to offer others a helping hand, a hand up, or a listening ear. Now it’s all about ‘one upping’ the other person or “you owed me.” I miss folks being kind, stopping to offer assistance, saying a kind word. The mindset now is being kind is to be a pushover or be suspect for inappropriate or even criminal behavior. Motives are called into question. I sure wish we could see more kindness and a lot less mean words spoken about another.
  3. Respect – I guess this stems from the kindness that’s gone missing. It just seems people in general simply do not respect one another. They cut you off in traffic, raise a finger, park in handicap spaces when they can easily parked elsewhere and left the space for those intended. People post mean derogatory remarks calling folks out by name on Facebook and other social media’s. No one is exempt. You, me, President, and Jesus.
  4. Tithe – how many church going folks do you know who appear to tithe more to sporting events than their local church. Church is an option. Sports, movies, entertainment, the lake, beach, or mountains all deserve and receive more $ than the church.
  5. Work ethic – it seemed there was a time when people were grateful for a means to earn a living. Now it layout, call in sick, entitled to taking a day whenever and however I choose. It’s a mindset of how can I cheat the company, get something for nothing or go so far as to steal. The work ethic of today’s generation really needs to look at the work ethic of the generation a couple years ago. The earlier generations were not perfect and neither am I! I certainly have room for improvement. I know this! The following link portrays the outcry of many in the workforce today. I don’t want to work today!
  6. Repentance – Now this is really a church thing! I am a church goer. I’m not always a good Christian person but I try. I’m keeping the Holy Spirit busy teaching me and correcting me. How often do you see people in your church or in your life repenting of their sin asking God for forgiveness? I don’t see it much anymore. I miss it. I/we need it.
  • You may have read this and think, ‘boy is he a negative person!’ I’ve been accused of a lot of things. This would not be the first.
  • What I am is a person who simply misses us being kind to each other with respect for human life as we live with pride displayed in our discretion and our support of the church work striving to be all we can be in God’s eye practicing repentance of sin.
  • These are some of mine. Do you have any to add?

    Until next time,


    Posted in Christian, Church, Discipleship, Faith, God's Favor, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Leadership, Life's Lessons, love | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

    The wheels on a bus go round and round but that ain’t all that can happen

    While on a trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota (1979) a group of us from South Carolina, decided to go on a tour by bus to St. Paul to see the capital and a drive along the Minnehaha Falls and Hiawatha Falls. The group on the bus was comprised of visually impaired adults with their sighted guides/family. (Now let this paragraph sink in a minute)

    Part of the joy of the trip for me was getting to sit on the front row as you come up the steps to board the bus. I had a great view!

    It was nice. Though it was a hot day the air conditioning was workin great! The trip wasn’t long from Minneapolis to St. Paul. Once getting to the capital, St. Paul, we stopped and viewed the capital building.

    Now part of the package on this trip was being served wine and cheese. Part of the responsibility of distributing the wine and cheese fell to me because I was on the front row. Here’s where things turned not so nice.

    I had stood up so to pass the condiments along and was stooped over just a bit to keep from hitting my head. Just as I turned to pass along some more wine and cheese my posterior hit the window and just like that “snap” out popped the window and onto the ground.

    I was way passed embarrassed. I wanted to exit the bus and take another ride back to the motel. Turns out the window was an emergency exit window and is designed to pop outward in the event of an emergency.

    After being assured by the bus driver and hearing the echos going down the aisle about the hefty fella up front knocking the window out we left for the Falls and Minneapolis.

    As I mentioned earlier there was a large number of visual impaired adults on the bus. I keep hearing the explanations being loudly whispered as to why the air conditioning didn’t seem to be working so well. There were questions about where the breeze was coming from?

    Women with their hair all made up and styled just so. The men with sweat saturating their faces. Did I mentioned it was hot?

    As for Me? I just sat there with my mouth shut and taking full advantage of the air rushing through my missing window. Even thought about sticking my head out and hollering. It was a fleeting thought and I opted to remain quiet.

    I’ve heard many say not to stand up on the bus while it is moving but I think I can make a case for when it’s not moving as well. Best just to sit down and stay there!

    In case you’re wondering, I didn’t even drink the wine!

    Until next time,


    Posted in Humor, Life's Lessons, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Headed to the Gravel

    As two of my co-workers and I were leaving work today, one of them made the statement, “looks like we are all headed for the gravel.”

    Our parking lot is set up in two sections. There’s the paved area and the gravel area. Therefore she was saying all three of us were going to the gravel parking lot because that’s where we parked.

    It didn’t take but a moment for me to realize how right she was about the gravel but not just the parking lot. In America, for the most part, we are ‘headed for the gravel’ because common practice is to have gravel in our graves and on top of the grave.

    Indeed we are all headed for the gravel for it is appointed unto man once to die and then then judgment. (Hebrews 9:27)

    When you head to the gravel, where’s your soul? Heaven or hell. Trust Jesus Christ as your personal Savior believing in His birth, life, death and resurrection as the atonement for your sin. (Roman 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9-19 in that order)

    Don’t just love Jesus, fail in love with Him.

    Until next time,


    Posted in Christian, Death, Faith, Heaven, Jesus, Religious, salvation | Leave a comment