Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pro Life Ad Rejected by NBC for Super Bowl

NBC has refused to air the ad by the league of Catholic which features an ultrasound image of a baby in a womb and the images of Barack Obama. The ad congratulates Mr. Obama on becoming the first African-American President. It mentions the potential of each human life.

Thanks to my friend, Larry Lawrence, for posting this on his Face Book page, and bringing it to my attention.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ted Haggard's victims

It saddens me to read that another incident of an inappropriate relationship has come to surface regarding former megachurch pastor and president of the National Association of Evangelicals. A 20 year old church volunteer was paid a reportedly "generous" sum of money in 2006 to keep the situation quiet.

Being in ministry, I will tell you that I feel compassion for anyone who has fallen. I feel sympathy for Ted Haggard, and I pray that he has been forgiven. I also pray that he will be restored. Where or whether the process has begun is one that Ted and the Lord knows. I am not his judge, and that is not my point for even referring to him in the blog today.

I do, however, want to speak of the victims his choices has left in the aftermath. There is his wife, his children, and grandchildren. The victims of his family, who bear his identity. There are the victims of this young man of 20, who undoubtedly has been scarred. ( I would hardly call the male prostitute in the motel room that initially surfaced a victim). His church suffered greatly, and continues to do so. Although it is rebuilding from the ruins, it remains under the stigma of what happened. His current tour via HBO, CNN, and the TV news shows are not helping.

We pray for Ted, and we pray for his victims. May the Lord give strength and peace to all.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Church gets a bail out

Of course it's not true. I just thought I would bring up the thought. Let's see, to date we have bailed out giant conglomerates such as the insurance industry, banks, and the auto industry. I've lost track of the bailouts quicker than the government lost track of the mobile homes sent to Katrina that never made it to people who needed them. All I know is that week after week the news tell us of another bailout on the way. The common train of thought, laymen terms wise, is "bail out, or else." In other words, if we don't bail them out, life as we know it will cease to exist.

About 10 years ago our county of textile and furniture went belly up. The industries here continue to go out, as over 1200 people lost their job last year in Rutherford County through closings. The closing of businesses and industries here means there is less money, which effects the schools, the diners, the town shops, and yeah, this is what I'm getting to... the church.

I would like to put in for a bail out for the church. We have bailed out big wheels with their extravagant salaries and bonuses while the working man suffers. Sorry, but it is hard for me to feel bad for someone making a gazillion dollars a year while people here are earning $7.25 per hour. The church I pastor consists of 35% kids and youth. They bring a lot of excitement, but they don't have money to support the church. 20% are seniors, and 18% of the seniors are on fixed income. Of the remaining 45%, 15% are without jobs, and of the 30% left, about 20% tithe.

The political proponents of the bail outs have made their pleas and spoken of the absolute necessity of obliging them of their requests. To fail to do so would put our nation in jeopardy, they say. I would like to say, what about the local church? What about the light that shines so brightly in the community? What is a saved life worth? A saved marriage? What about our food programs, our outreach programs? What about our missions to third world countries? Where would this nation be without the lights on in the local church?

I tell you where we would be-- in darkness.

Of course this blog for a bail out in the church is in jest. There would never be such consideration of such a thing. I just wanted to get mind your thinking about the importance of supporting the local church with your tithes and offerings.

Pastor Ronnie

Thursday, January 22, 2009


A private Christian school in Dallas, Texas apologized today for running up the score in a girl's basketball game. The game was played on January 13 between The Covenant School and The Dallas Academy. The Academy has just eight girls on its team, and twenty in the school. It specializes in teaching students with learning difficulties, such as short attention spans or difficulty in concentration.

Covenant School released a statement today saying it wanted to forfeit the game, and that "victory without honor is a great loss."

Duh? You think?! What took them so long to realize that running up the score against a clearly outmatched team was bad sportsmanship? A 59-0 score at halftime should have brought a speech to the team by a coach or school official.

I appreciate the apology. But it comes a little late. You cannot take away the hurt and humiliation that the girls of the Academy must feel. Nor can you take away the bad impression the score must have brought upon the school, officials, referees, and any attending supporters of the other school must surely have felt towards the Christian school.

Hey, Covenant. I appreciate your decision to release an apology. But your apology can't take away the pain inflicted in the game, nor the bad impression you left of a Christian school.

This is my viewpoint. I welcome your comments, if you have any thoughts.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


These are tough times. Stress and anxiety seem to be at an all time high. The economic climate of our nation has brought financial difficulties on many. Through my years of ministry, I have seen more marriage failures because of finances than infidelity. I just want to encourage you today to hang in there. You can make it through what you are going through.

I ran into one of my church members this morning at Wal Mart. It was around 6:30 AM, and I am not usually in Wal Mart at that time of day. But I had gone by the church, turned the heat on in my office, and remembered I was out of coffee. I go into the store thinking it is about coffee. However, upon arriving, I decide to go in a different direction than the food aisles. In doing so, I run up on her. She stood there a moment telling about some stress and difficulties, with tears in her eyes. I encouraged her, and walked away praying. I also was thanking God for an opportunity just to be there at the right time, the right place to offer hope and encouragement, and prayer.

I'm reminded of a poem I heard years ago, entitled "Don't Quit." The poem's author is unknown, but it has been repeated and shared countless times through the years. I want to tell you today to hang in there, don't quit. You can survive whatever you're going through... a marriage crisis, sickness, job loss, whatever.

I want to remind you that you are not alone. We are in the battle together. Jesus loves you, and so do I.

Pastor Ronnie

Sunday, January 18, 2009


We celebrate Martin Luther King today, and we give honor unto him. I am old enough (55) to remember segments of his speeches. I can also remember the discrimination that existed. Dr. King had a dream that people would not be judged by the color of their skin. Thankfully, my children grew up without knowing the depths of racism and prejudice, although it still exists to some extent today.

I am also old enough to remember the "white only" signs on doors of cafeterias, laundromats, and various businesses. I remember my dad going up north to buy used cars, and taking one of his employees with him. The black employees could not sleep in the motels, and my dad hated it.

I don't pretend to know or understand some of the things my African American friends contend with today. I don't view myself as being prejudiced in any way, although I know it still exists in our society and culture. And although we may not have seen the totality of Dr. King's dream come to fulfillment, I believe it is to some extent being fulfilled. The dream lives because a man dared to dream it, dared to pursue it, and dared to put his all on the line for it.

Tomorrow we will inaugurate our next President. He is a man of color. For many in my circles, he was not the choice. Some of his views and stances run opposite of ours. But the fact remains that he is our president. As such, we should pray for him continually. He will need the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Dr. Martin Luther King had a dream, and today the dream lives. There are dreams locked up inside each of us. I have a dream and a passion for our community and church. I preach and teach it constantly. It involves reaching the unchurched, evangelizing the community, region, and reaching to the nations of the world. I have a dream of building a local church that is strong in the power of the Holy Spirit, that sets the captives free. I have a dream of building up and equipping people of all ages, creeds, and cultures. Sorry, the preacher is coming out of me, now.

But the dream lives. I want to encourage you to dare to dream today!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gator, God, and Google

University of Florida star quarterback Tim Tebow played last week's championship game with against Oklahoma with John 3:16 below his eyes. The Gator quarterback is a devout Christian, and shares his faith proudly. When he was interviewed after the game on national TV, his speech was filled with thankfulness to the Lord. It was also very apparent what was inscribed in the black grease athletes wear below their eyes to reduce glare.

Immediately following the game, John 3:16 was googled more times than Obama, Oprah, and all other searches. It took the top spot across the globe in the popular search engine.

Tim has stated in interviews that his greatest passion i nlife isn't football, but Christ.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thank you for your prayers

I want to express my sincere thanks for your prayers for my dad, who had surgery yesterday. He came through the surgery well. Everything looked good from the doctor's standpoint, and he gave us a good report. I value so much the thoughts and well wishes you expressed to us, and your continued prayers as he recovers from this operation and the cancer. I also realize there is a vast number that did not call us or have not seen us, but have heard or read, and have included us in your prayers. I am so grateful to you for your thoughts.

Please continue to remember my son in law, Michael, and daughter, Tina. Michael has had an ongoing battle now for about 4 years with lymphoma cancer. He is recovering from a stem cell transplant, and has had some difficulty. But it appears he is now on the way to receiving the blood cells (not sure I am saying it right) and he is gaining some strength. God is good!!

Trish and I are honored to be servants of Christ, and your servants. Although we will never have the opportunity to meet some of you, we love you in the Lord. If we can ever be of service to you, please let us know.

Pastor Ronnie

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


My dad is having surgery tomorrow morning (Thursday) at Charlotte Medical Center. It will be to remove a portion of his liver which is cancerous. I ask you to remember him, and us, in your prayers during this time. Dad's name is Farrell.

Love in the Lord,
Pastor Ronnie

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Pastor Ronnie's note: I posted this blog on my Pastor's and Leaders blog site. It is set up to help encourage those who serve in the local church. After posting, I decided to also place it here. It may not apply to all of you, but I hope you will enjoy it. It will give you some perspective of those who serve as your pastors. My wife tells me that I am sometimes too personal, and too transparent in my blogs. I realize she is right, but I feel I need to be real with you. I welcome and encourage any and all feedback, positive or negative.

Here's today's blog:

Making the headlines in news is a story of a surgeon in New York who is embattled in a bitter divorce. He is seeking 1.5 million dollars from his estranged wife, or if she chooses, can give him his kidney back. He had donated her a kidney prior to the marriage failure.

This certainly goes into the account of "weird news." As I was watching the story this morning on TV, my mind raced back to all those times I have put my life on the line for someone who later betrayed me. Like the bitter husband in the story, I have wanted to strike back, and to get even. After all I had done, how could they treat me this way?

If you have ever led a church, you undoubtedly have experienced the pain of rejection. For that matter, anyone who has ever lived at some point, will. The ones which hurt the most and last the longest are the ones where the relationships were the closest. Through the years of ministry, Trish (my wife) and I have been privileged to shepherd over some of the greatest people in all the world. To those people we have given our all. We have given them more than a kidney, we have given them our heart.

When those people leave you, it hurts like crazy. I am not sure how the well trained and big boys do it, but in small town USA, our church is small enough to know everyone. We are like family. And we get attached. You cry, you search yourself to see what you have done or could have done differently, and you begin to blame yourself. You also go into isolation. You refuse to get close to anyone again.

Then, if you're not careful, you will become cynical and bitter. You will distance yourself from developing intimate relationships. After all, who can you trust? And when you see your "ex" members out on the street, you will secretly be filled with anger. You want your kidney back.

I don't know, but I suspect Trish and I are not the only ones who have been involved in ministry that have gone through these type situations. I can tell you that the grace of God has given us strength to forgive, forget, and move on. He has healed our hearts and taught us to trust again. And to continue to love. Yeah, we'll get hurt again. We'll give our kidney to someone who will later betray our love to them. But that is life. You gotta let go, let people have the freedom to leave, and not become your enemies.

Let me know if this has helped you, or if you have any thoughts concerning this blog.

Monday, January 12, 2009

God Bless Coach Dungy

Tony Dungy, coach of the Indianapolis Colts, announced his retirement today. Although I have not been a fan of the Colts, I have admired coach Dungy for a while. He has lived his faith, and has not been ashamed of his Christian profession. In a field where high strung cursing coaches seems to be the norm, his mild mannered style seemed to be out of place. But he constanly kept his composure in the heat of adversity. And he constantly witnessed of his faith in the Lord, even when he went through the tragic death a couple of years back on his son.

Coach Dungy is praying about what direction to take next with his life. He stated today, in announcing his retirement, that he wants to mentor young men who have lost direction in life. I watched the live interview on ESPN, where his 30 minute or so speech constantly referred to God and His direction in his life.

Thanks, Coach Dungy, for setting an example among your peers, your team, and those who follow the sports world.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The flesh is weak

I sit here at 6:30 am this morning awake. It is Saturday, and I should be snoozing. I am an early riser, but I need to sleep in this morning. It has been a busy, productive, hectic week. I should be resting, but my mind is running as fast as the cars will be at Daytona in a month. So, I stay up. But I am out of coffee. OMG! I need a couple of cups of Columbia Supreme Millstone, ground expresso, extra strong with no sugar.

The week of prayer and fasting has been a week of weak prayer and fasting. The schedule has been too hectic, and some of it is my fault. I need to be able to clear my schedule during these times, but failed to do it this week. Plus Trish, my precious wife, came under physical attack. For about three days she was having some severe chest pains. My fasting and praying turned to some worrying and eating. I continued to fast, but it was at a lesser pace than my plan. (it wasn't a complete fast). Although the week is not over and I continue to press through with some fasting, I feel somewhat under conviction for not sticking to my goal. Wow, the great preacher I am who preached to the church about it has fallen short. Sorry for those of you from my church who read my blogs. Yes, I am human, no I am not Superman.

That's it for today. Y'all have a blessed day, and a blessed weekend.

Pastor Ronnie

Friday, January 9, 2009


It's one of the beatitudes. In Matthew 5:9, Jesus made the statement. The word translated peacemaker there speaks of one who bring harmony, peace, and reconciliation. It means to pacify. It is quiet the opposite from one who holds grudges and carries bitterness. A peacemaker cannot be an unforgiving person. I know this, and have preached it for years. But in 35 years of living for Christ and being in the ministry, there have been times when I didn't want to be a peacemaker... and I DID want to hold a grudge. I felt like it was my right, given the way I had been treated.

We are in the midst of prayer and fasting. I had set up a meeting back before Christmas for this week. I didn't realize until we were locking into a time and place to meet that it would be during this time of earnestly seeking the Lord. I had a meeting this week with an old friend, who had become a foe. I had gone through a time of not wanting to see him, much less sit in a room with him. And although we have briefly talked on occasions since our parting, there was still a tension when our paths would cross. He and I met and prayed together this week. It wasn't one of those where there was fanfare and celebration afterwards. It was just a time to pray. The prayer went great, and the communication was open and good. I think, at least on my part, that peace has been made. I feel better about it. No, we couldn't correct the things which led to the split. We couldn't undo hurt made in times past. But we could resolve to move on, let go, forgive.

The same day I met to make peace and pray with this one, I received a call. It was a family member wanting to make amends. Although it was somewhat uncomfortable on my part, I knew that this person needed for their sake to apologize. In a way, the person was making peace with me, but more importantly, I feel they were making peace before the Lord.

Sometimes you just need to make peace. Sometimes you need to allow others to make peace with you. Whether initiated on your part, or on another one's part, it is good when you can bring peace to troubled paths.

Some other things are going on during this time of prayer. I will tell you about them later.

Y'all be blessed,
Pastor Ronnie

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Sorry to confess that I'm not one of those fasting preachers. I'm one of the feasting kind. In my earlier days of ministry, I would periodically fast. I know that those times were precious in the preparation for what God was going to do in my life.

Fasting doesn't necessarily move God, it moves us. It brings the flesh into submission, so that we can be alert to the dealings and movings of the Holy Spirit. I know this: more than my body craves food, my spirit craves God. That is why I have called for a fast next week at our church. Many churches and ministries do so at the first of each year. Some join Jentezen Franklin's call to a 21 day (Daniel type) fast. Our call is for 7 days, from Monday to Monday.

I am now shifting into that mode of getting my heart and my stomach ready. I really want to hear from Him, and I want to shut out anything that may get in the way. That includes this thing I am on right now- the internet. So, at least for now, I will not be surfing the web, blogging, or such. I will limit my time on the computer for needed research and study, and that's it. My fast will include not only some meals, sweets (ouch), the computer, and anything else I sense from the Lord that I need to abstain from during this time.

Yeah, I'd rather feast than fast. But if I keep on doin' what I've been doin', I'm gonna keep on gettin' what I've been gettin'.

And in plain old southern hillbilly talk, THAT AINT GOOD ENOUGH!

Friday, January 2, 2009


I have called for a corporate fast for the week of January 5-11. This is a crisis hour in which we live, and the times call for a church that is victorious. We must be those who are men (people) of understanding, to know what Israel (the church) must do.

We are praying and fasting for those who need Christ, for sicknesses and diseases to be healed, and for the healing (spiritually) of our nation. During this time, we will also take spiritual inventory of our personal relationship with God.

Each person responding to the call to fast is advised to consult your physician, if you are under a doctor's care. Length of fasts, food options, and liquids (sodas, waters, juices, etc) are at your discretion. This is not a legalistic call. If you choose to fast a meal a day or to fast the entire day, it is your option. We simply want our hearts to be opened to God during this time.

I invite you to join us on this journey!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year?

The dictionary defines happy as: delighted, pleased, glad over a particular thing; pleasure, contentment, joy; favored by fortune; cheerful, willing (source:

I awoke this morning only to discover several problems lingering from 2008. My bank account did not accumulate wealth overnight. I did not suddenly get delivered from all my weaknesses. The cake left over from last week tempted me this morning, and I ate it. And, no, my pants size wasn't reduced 2 sizes.

In reality I did not expect instant success and victory. Yes, I know God can do things supernaturally and independent of our involvement. But usually He works in a partnership with us. And He never violates our will. So, if I choose to continue to yield to the temptation of sweets, I will continue to have the battle of the bulge. And if I continue to spend more than I earn, I will continue to have the battle of the budget.

We had an awesome watchnight service last night. We sang, prayed, shouted, danced before the Lord. Our youth team presented a powerful skit in drama. And we did the countdown, with the whistles, horns, hats, and balloons. It was both a worshipful and festive atmosphere. As 2009 entered, we wished everyone a Happy New Year!

But our happiness, or the word I prefer to use, is joy- is not contingent on circumstances or situations. The joy of the Lord is my strength. In good times and in bad times, in weak economy, in financial prosperity; in times of health and in times of sickness; when people love me, and when they despise me and work against me, of this I am sure. If God is for me, who can be against me? A Happy New Year can be mine if I stay focused, keep my mind renewed, and remember that no matter what comes my way, I am truly blessed and highly favored.

I wish upon you and your family a very blessed, prosperous, and favorable Happy New Year!