Saturday, March 29, 2008


Trish and I watched the final episode of Celebrity Apprentice the other night. We had tuned in to most of it, when we were able to do so. Watching the celebrities eliminated one by one, we had our own choice of who we wanted to see win. We preferred the country music star, Trace Adkins. He was the kind one, and the one with the people skills. Piers on the other hand (can't remember his last name) was ruthless. He definitely crushed the competition, but he destroyed every relationship that got in his way. So we were rooting for the "good guy" versus the "bad guy". That was pretty much the way they set it up, and wanted it.

As the final episode was winding down to the last moments, they had Trace sing his latest country song. Trish and I grew up preferring country music over rock and roll, but haven't heard much in the last few years. We don't turn our radios or TVs to the country stations, even though we still enjoy some of the styles of songs they sing (the clean ones).

Trace sang a song, I think it was titled, "You're going to miss this". As the song told the story of the episodes in the life of a girl, turned young mother, turned older lady, each verse told of her wishing her life beyond where it was. The song told the story-- One day you will miss these days. Days of being young, days of raising the children, etc.

About half way through the song, I looked from my chair over to Trish's. She was crying, and so was I. Old Trace had written a beautiful song about life. It was a true tearjerker type song. And it told a story we need to consider. Don't wish your life away... treasure the moments.

Y'all be blessed!
Pastor Ronnie

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Sometimes I have to remind myself that things are going to work out, that God is in control. Yeah, I know I preach that God can do anything. I pray for miracles in other people's lives, and have seen things happen that only God can do. But I'll admit there are times when I allow fear, frustration, and doubt to unsettle me...

Like things going on in the church I pastor. We seem to get past one hurdle only to face another. And lately I have been watching the political process. I have expressed my disappointment at the choices of candidates left. Then there's the economy. They say gas will be over $4 per gallon by Memorial Day. I've got 3 gas guzzlers (I prefer the "big" ride), so it's more like $4.30.

So today I am checking my attitude. If I believe what I preach, then I believe God will see us through what we are going through. I need to guard my thought life and the words I speak. There is life or death in the power of the tongue. I'll admit, I don't know how things are going to work out-- but with faith in God, things will work out. The old song by Walt Mills says, "I've got a feelin', everything's gonna be alright"...

I've got to stop complaining. Whoever winds up in the White House should have our prayers and support, be it Obama, Clinton, or McCain. And whatever the price of gas and food is, God will see us through.

Reminder to self: IT'S GONNA BE ALRIGHT!

Pastor Ronnie

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Responsibility.... I know, I began my blog today with a "bad word". We don't hear that word much in today's world. It's probably because many people do not want to accept the terms associated with the meaning of the word.

The dictionary defines responsibility, or being responsible as: answerable, accountable, under obligation, dependable.

As I stated a week or so back, I bought a dog for my 4 year old grandson. The pup is nice, but he makes a mess. He is a labrador retriever, and if you know anything about dogs, you know they are a handful. Someone has to be responsible for cleaning up his mess, feeding him, taking care of him. Guess who that someone is? Yes, primarily, it's me.

Just as in my situation, there are certain responsibilities that go with the territory. With a marriage, there's faithfulness, love, work. With school, there's studying, classes, research. When you accept a place of serving in church, there are responsibilities tied to the position. It seems as if many in the church have forgotten this, and they leave their post without any thought as to those left without the services of the one entrusted to be there.

Well, that's it for today. Thanks for "tuning in" to my blog today. Maybe tomorrow I will have something lighthearted or funny... I just usually blog what hits me.

Be Blessed!
Pastor Ronnie

Sunday, March 23, 2008


The news of Easter is that Jesus was crucified for you. He shed his blood that you might have life and have it more abundantly. Redeeming, buying back the souls of fallen mankind by the sacrifice of Himself, the spotless Lamb of God without blemish. Nailed to a cross on a hill called Golgotha, he died. They placed him in a tomb.

Hell thought it was over. The bible says had the prince of the world known, he would not have crucified the Lord of Glory. You see, the grave could not hold him. On Easter Sunday we celebrate an empty tomb and risen Lord!

He lives, having conquered death, hell, and the grave. Because he lives, I can face tomorrow. Because he lives, all fear is gone. Victory is mine today. And it can be yours. All you have to do is accept what He has already done. Receive him into your heart by faith. Today is the day, don't put it off.

Pastor Ronnie

Saturday, March 22, 2008


We had an Easter party today for the kids. We call it Easter Eggstravaganza. We set up games, booths, have egg hunting contests, and share the true message of Easter- the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord. It is a lot of work, but also a lot of fun.

The faces of the kids lets us know that everything we do is worth the effort. From the pre plannning to setting up, serving, and tearing down. From printing up flyers to advertising. Cooking hotdogs, making cup cakes. Yes, it is a lot of work. But the smiling faces tell us that it is worth it all!

Several visiting parents and grandparents told us that it was great, and that it was better than others they had attended. We do not do it to be competitive with others, but it is good to know that it is appreciated.

Thanks to all the New Harvest team for the great work. I'll post some pics when my laptop is repaired. Hopefully, that will be the first of the week, and I can update the news and info. Until then, I can't make any updates. I also can't respond to your emails (unless you use my bellsouth address-

Hope to see you guys in the morning at the greatest church in the world!

Trish and I love you guys!

Pastor Ronnie

Friday, March 21, 2008


The title to my blog today is a borrowed line from a sermon. The sermon originated some years ago, and I am not sure of the original author. Like many sermon topics, it has been copied and repeated many times. I have preached my own version of the subject.

Today is Good Friday. This is the day that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was crucified. They nailed Him to a cross. Jesus suffered the pains of death for us. He took our place. He who was without sin became sin for us. He died so that we might live. Paying the price for fallen humanity, redeeming man from the curse of sin, Jesus willingly offered himself as a sacrifice for us. No doubt, Satan rejoiced. He thought he was finally finished with this One who had caused him so much trouble. After all, Jesus had gone through the villages and cities healing the sick, delivering those in bondage, restoring back what the devil had stolen. Satan thought he had ultimately triumphed when he nailed Jesus to the cross.

But hold on... It's Friday, but Sunday's coming. The scriptures tell us that had the prince of the world known, he would not have crucified the Lord of glory. When he succeeded in having Jesus nailed to the cross, he ultimately was securing his own defeat.

Sunday's coming means resurrection is just 3 days away. The victory, the promise, the breaking forth of everything God has purposed and intended for our lives was secured in the death, burial, and resurrection. On Friday, the blood was shed securing our redemption. On Sunday, He arose. Not only did He arise, but we have risen with Him!

PRAYER: Lord, I thank you for shedding your blood on the cross. Thank you for rising from the grave, and securing our victory. Help us, Oh Lord, to live for you. In Jesus' name, Amen!

If you're in the Forest City NC area, visit with us this Sunday. We would love to see you.

Be Blessed,
Pastor Ronnie

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I was on my way to the midweek service last night. The tune to an old chorus was going on in my head, and I found myself singing it. "All I want to do is worship. All I want to do is love you. All I want to do is bow down right at your feet. As I lift my hands to heaven, let your fire fall down on me. Rekindle the fire within me, Lord, once again." As I sang the chorus, I remembered the season a few years ago when we sang that chorus and other similar ones. Not only did we sing them, we lived them. I had a hunger for God in those days, and so did the church.

I began singing the song out loud to myself in the car, when somewhere in probably the middle of the second time around, I was stopped by some thoughts in my spirit. I sensed it was the Lord speaking to me. This is what I heard inside me: You need to change the words. What you are singing is not what you are actually wanting. If you really want to worship me, you will. Remember, worship is a word that speaks of worth. You give yourself completely to that which is worthy. You cannot sing that song in truth, because you really don't just want to worship me. If you did, you would. Instead, you allow things to rob you of your destiny and of My presence.

In the midst of the song, the inward words continued: Instead of singing you want to worship me, you are at the place where you want to want to worship me. In other words, you have a desire to get back to it, but not enough to do something about it.

Needless to say, I got the message. Life gets too busy, too complicated. There are too many allurements, too many distractions. I got the gentle rebuke, the reminder. I want to get my "want to for Him back".

I hope you are planning on being in church this Sunday. For those of you within driving distance of New Harvest Church, we welcome you to visit with us.

Be Blessed,
Pastor Ronnie

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Absentee voting has begun in North Carolina for the May 6 primary. North Carolina's primaries are so late in the process that it typically does not matter in the national contest for President. This is the case again this year on the Republican side. John McCain has already locked up the nomination for the Republican party. Whoopie..

The Democrat party is still a hotly contested process, and will probably remain so right up until the time of the party's convention. Those voting on this side get to choose between senators Obama and Clinton. Another Whoopie.

I have my opinions and my sharply held convictions. First and foremost, I am unapologeticly Christian. I uphold certain moral and spiritual standards, and I generally place my ballot accordingly to those whom I feel best represent those values. But unlike some ministers, I attempt to stay neutral when it comes to politics and religion. I don't believe God is a Republican, and I don't believe He is a Democrat. Having said that, I am concerned this year.

And I hope I don't get in trouble for being so transparent, but the Presidential contest concerns me for where we are headed in this country. First, there's McCain. His age concerns me. And he is more liberal than some of those in the Democratic party. That concerns me. He touts his strengths as having a strong military background. I appreciate that. But I am concerned that we will continue to send our young men and women into a war that we cannot win. Investing lives of our own, while at the same time pouring millions of dollars out while our economy is suffering. That is another thing that concerns me. Will he continue the path we are now in, economically? We cannot afford another 4 years of hapless spending. I voted for President Bush, but he doesn't seem to get it. Yes, we are in a Recession. Our jobs have gone oversees, and what is left are low paying jobs at Wal Mart and Burger King.

I cannot even begin to express my concerns on either Democratic candidate. Their liberal view points scare me. The next President will probably select a couple of Supreme Court nominees. Both Obama and Clinton support same sex marriage and abortion. Senator Obama's pastor of the past 20 years, whom he has called his mentor, is blatantly racist. Spewing messages saying "God, xxxx America", and calling for black supremacy ought to concern everyone, regardless of race. I am opposed to racism, whatever color it comes in. Senator Obama is now renouncing his protoge and mentor, but remember, he followed him for 20 years. I am just as fearful of Senator Clinton. I am concerned that we will be taxed to death by either one of these candidates.

And so, as our primaries draw near in North Carolina, these are the choices... An elderly man who may give us more of the same of what we've been getting. A man who was unknown until 4 years ago, and we still know little about him. And what we are finding out concerns us. A woman that has an extremely liberal track record. So I guess as I go into the booth I will cast my vote for what I feel is the best of the worst.

I have done the absentee voting thing. It is pretty neat. You get to avoid the rush of election day lines. This year I may do something else. I may do the absentee voter thing.


Pastor Ronnie

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hosanna to the King!

Today is Palm Sunday. I sit this morning getting my thoughts together for the sermon today. I plan on sharing about Jesus' triumphant march into Jerusalem. There are voices in this crowd that are shouting. Some of these same voices that are shouting Hosanna are probably among those voices shouting a week later for him to be crucified.

Yes, as Paul Harvey says, "stay tuned for the rest of the story". You and I know from our bibles that only a week later the tide has turned and Jesus is crucified on a cross. So on Palm Sunday I am somewhat torn between staying on the subject of celebrating the King to the message of the betrayel, the cross, and the tomb. And yet, all of it ties together. You see, the people of Jesus' day were looking for an earthly king to establish an earthly kingdom that would rule. They were disappointed when Jesus would not accomodate them. But in crucifying him, the enemy played into the hands of the eternal plan of God (1st Corinthians 2:8 .. had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory). But the grave could not hold him. He arose triumphant. He conquered so that we could live!

So go ahead and celebrate. Cry out Hosanna-- Save, now. The King of Glory, the Lord, strong and mighty comes to us!

Be Blessed,
Pastor Ronnie

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Have you ever tried to fix something that was broken, but found yourself unable to do so? No matter how hard you tried, the problem seemed unsolvable. In life we are faced with adversities. Sometimes there are issues that are beyond our ability to resolve. We know our God is a healer, but sometimes good people die young. We know He is able to fix what is wrong in a marriage, but there are times the marriage ends in a divorce. You may be someone who has worked hard all your life but now you've lost your job and your retirement pension. What do you do when things break and you are unable to fix them?

In church, we pray and believe for Divine healing, for victory in every situation, for restoration. But we also hold the hands of the weary and console them when a loved one passes on, counsel with them through the pain of divorce, and are there for them in the broken things of their lives.

I want to be one who prays to the one who can heal all broken things. I also want to be one who helps the broken who doesn't get healed.

Think about it!

Friday, March 14, 2008


It's been a week now. I haven't told about it yet, as I did not know initially if I would survive. My grandson turned 4 last week, and I got him a dog. Here in NC, that is pronounced dawg. The "dawg" is a lab pup. Zach and I brought the little one home, but I failed to clear things with maw maw. Needless to say, the past week has seen me more in the doghouse than the pup.

Every boy needs a dog. Now Zach's got one. He named him Buster. Buster turned 6 weeks old today. He and Zach are already bonded.
And although she won't admit it, I think Maw Maw is warming up as well. After all, who can deny the face of either one of these.
Y'all be blessed!
Pastor Ronnie

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I'm reading a book on servant based leadership, and it is awesome. I don't have it with me as I write my blog today, and I am not sure of the title. But I can hardly put the book down as I devour its simple truths on leadership. It speaks of how authority and leadership are propelled not by titles or positions, but by acts of service.

I was busy on my laptop yesterday morning when it went out on me. I've been having some problems, the battery only lasting about 15-20 minutes at a time before it goes out before I need to plug in the power cord. Yesterday it went out on me. When I plugged in the power cord, it did not repower. The guys that do my computer service work (on my personal computer here at home, and also at church) are closed on Wednesdays, so I had to wait until this morning to give them a call. Unfortunately, they could not look at my laptop today, and it contains files that are only accessible through it. So much of my work would be delayed until I could get it checked out. I told them about my problem with the battery, and asked if this could be the problem. The tech on the other end told me that if it wasn't coming up when I plugged in the power cord, the battery would not be the problem.

I trusted his judgement, but decided since they could not see me today, I would look in the yellow pages. I found someone located a little nearer, but I haven't used them. I called to see if they could check my computer out today, and they said yes. I then told the guy what was going on, and he said, try taking the battery out of the computer to see if it will come on. I did, and it did.

Needless to say, I do not need the services of either computer gurus today. My trusted people that I do business with have been adequate in making repairs so far. But I find myself today with a new computer technician. No, they didn't get any business today-- but in reality, they did. The guy went out of his way to tell me what the other tech also knew. And no, I don't need either one of their services today. But I will, eventually. And one guy lost a customer, while the other one gained one. The one that lost the customer really didn't do anything. He just withheld what he knew so that he could get me to come in and make a service charge. The other guy told me some free info over the phone that stopped me from paying him a visit today- I was going to him, because he could see me. Although he didn't get the business today, he did get the business. Of not only myself, but the church, my friends. You see, good service sells. And happy customers sell.

I'm learing a lot from my little book. I'm actually relearning some things I already knew. And I learned something today from a phone call. Service Sells. It sold me.

Oh that we could learn that in the the church! Reminds of the teaching of Jesus. Going the extra mile, he who wants to be the greatest become a servant.. tons of stuff in the bible. Check it out. It's the greatest book on servant leadership!

Be Blessed,
Pastor Ronnie

Friday, March 7, 2008


We've started a "shoe drive" here at New Harvest, through our Helping Hands Outreach. The purpose is to collect shoes for those in need. We will make them available to those here in our area who need them, and to selected missions projects.

I was checking my pictures this morning of last week's mission trip to El Salvador. I have already placed some of them on our overhead at the church, put some here on the website, and had others printed up. Moving pics of the power of God on display as Pastor Joey Turner and I ministered throughout the country are displayed. But the ones which move me the most are not of us preaching eloquent sermons, nor of people falling out under the power of the Holy Spirit. Yes, those stir me... but it's pictures like this one that stir me the most. I found it on a CD I had not yet loaded on my computer, but it is similar to some of the others.

This village is within a mile of a hotel we lodge at in Santa Ana, Hotel Tolteka. The hotel is a nice one, modest price. While we were there, there were 2 other missionary teams from the states. So it accomodates the Americans, with hot water, air conditioning, etc. I have stayed at this hotel before, but never knew until now that only about 3 blocks away sits this area.

I don't remember the name of the place. I wrote it down on one of my notepads, but honestly haven't unpacked everything. This area was where people were placed when the earthquakes of 2001 and 2002 devasted large portions of the nation. The homes are shacks with tin roofs. No grass or playground facilities exist here... Only dirt and dust for the children. I saw one toy- a soccer ball that the boys were sharing. The other "toys" were used tires that the boys were rolling around. And then this picture-- I hadn't noticed it before. They seem to be playing with sticks.

And one other thing-- I noticed about half the kids there did not have shoes. We plan on returning, probably sometime in August. I would like to have plenty of shoes to take with me. There are 500+ kids from 10 and under in this village.. Anyone want to help me round up some shoes? Do you know of a company that might want to make a donation? Let me know.

Be Blessed,
Pastor Ronnie

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Staying fresh

One of the points of emphasis I had while ministering in the pastors and leaders conferences/meetings on my trip last week to El Salvador was the need to stay fresh in God. I told the pastors how they need to ensure that their relationship with Christ was vibrant and alive, and not to allow anything to take them away from that. Being a pastor for a good number of years now, I know that nothing affects the church more than a man and woman of God in the pulpit who are on fire. It is vitally important that leadership is refueled and refreshed at all times.

I find myself sometimes needing to get what I have preached. Being busy or active does not imply that we are anointed. Sometimes I find myself running on fumes. Jesus told the disciples on one occasion to "come apart and rest awhile". It is important to come apart lest we come apart. Sometimes my precious wife, Trish, will remind me to practice what I preach.

I want to encourage you today to keep your romance alive with Christ. Take time out for Him. Take a few minutes before you start the day, on your lunch break, or whatever works for you. Open your bible, say a prayer, and allow the Holy Spirit to respond to your spirit. Those around you need your freshness in God!

Be Blessed!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I heard this a few years ago, and am not sure where. The story goes that some people wake up in the morning, saying, "Good Lord, it's morning"! I know that some phrases get lost in culture and do not translate well, but the expression and the tone of the expression are spoken so that the emphasis is not on the goodness of the Lord, nor of the awaking to another beautiful day. The meaning of this phrase is one of dread, fear, and worry. Like, another day I am facing..more problems, what's next?!

I have had days like that. Where things did not go well and I dreaded waking up in the morning to face the things ahead. I may not have verbalized the words spoken above, but I lived them. Today I wake up with the challenge of how I will handle every situation. I flew in Saturday night from my trip with renewed fire. The missions trip tired me physically, but refreshed my spirit. I return home, and we have a great Sunday. minus some empty seats. There's still a lot of sickness, I assure myself, and in a week or so everyone will be gathered back in. So Monday I am ready to establish new momentum, and see a mighty move of God. But I get a phone call, receive an email, am handed a bill that is twice the quote, and suddenly I feel drained. I began to bottom out last night.

So I awaken this morning with the "hangover" of all that has transpired in the last week and a half, and the things I faced on the typical Monday. How will I face this day? My mind says, "Good Lord, it's morning". But I know that is not the attitude I need.

I must remember to keep a right attitude and a renewed mindset. The words I speak are creative or destructive. So, instead of "Good Lord, it's morning", I welcome the day with "Good morning, Lord". You see, I know that with Him I can face all the battles, the bills, the budget, everything. This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!

Be Blessed,
Pastor Ronnie

Monday, March 3, 2008


As indicated by my previous blog, I just returned from a missions trip to El Salvador. We had powerful services throughout the week. From the pastors and leaders conferences, to the church services, and the citywide crusade in the theatre... all were stirring times in the Lord!

The people of Latin America challenge me with their unashamed and unreserved worship.
They have a passion for Christ that is refreshing. I love to worship with them, and find myself often returning to my home church feeling something is lacking. This is in no means an attempt to discredit the precious people the Lord has given me oversight of. It is simply a feeling that we have lost the awe of God here in the U.S. At least we have lost the depth of expression that the Latinos have.

I want to recapture the flaming passion for Him, and the revival fires that we so desperately need in America!

By the way, my Spanish vocabulary is very limited, so the spelling is probably inaccurate. But no matter how you spell it, this one thing is true...


Be blessed,
Pastor Ronnie


I just returned from a missions trip to El Salvador. Thank you to those who supported the trip financially, and who prayed for the team while we were away for the week. Pastor Joey Turner and I, along with a couple of guys from his church (Terry and Alfredo) were very busy this past week. We crisscrossed the nation, visiting several cities. We preached in pastor's and leader's conferences, churches, and in a city crusade. We visited children in an orphanage, school, and a poor village. We also had some "Kingdom Connections" in meeting new friends.

It had been a while since my last trip there, and it was so good to see our precious friends there. It is always both a great blessing and honor to be able to spend time in their churches, at dinner together, or whatever setting may be provided. I appreciate the precious times we have together.

Somewhere near the last day or so of the trip, Pastor Joey called his church and spoke to his secretary, who also heads up his intercessory prayer group. She had received a word while in prayer that said, "Mission Accomplished." A mission is defined as: to be sent with an appointed purpose. Accomplished is defined as: Established beyond doubt or dispute. The word the Lord was saying was that we had been sent with an appointed purpose, which had been established beyond doubt.

Again, thanks for covering us in prayer. We felt the hand of God upon us.

Pastor Ronnie