Thursday, April 28, 2011

Anybody Else Awake At This Hour?

Well, I am wide awake at 2:45 AM.

That is what happens when a 60 year old guy falls asleep in his recliner around 8:00 PM. Linda awakened me at 11:00 with the familiar, "Are you coming to bed, or sleeping down here all night?" Many times the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (and the recliner is comfortable) and I just grunt some sort of reply - never budging from my position. However, last night I managed to arise, plug up my cellphone, and trudge up the stairs to the comfortable mattress with the clean sheets and the warm bed buddy.

One would think that having had a three hour power nap, that I would have had a case of what my father in law calls "The Big Eye", and been awake half the night.

Not so!

I was out like a light before Tony Cavalier could finish the tornado watch report on NewsChannel 3's First Warning Weather segment.

I sawed logs like crazy until 2:30, when my body alerted me that I had achieved 6 1/2 hours of shut eye, and it was ready to go for the day. This is fine in the sense that I am refreshed and ready to go. Unfortunately, I know how groggy I am going to feel around 2:30 this afternoon - when I should be busy doing the Lord's work. Uggh!

So, reluctantly I put on my slippers (diabetics aren't supposed to walk around barefoot) and moved my unused alarm clock over to my spot in the bed (it makes it easier for Linda to hit the snooze button for about an hour) and down the dark stairs I go. For the past six years the only times I have ever woke up by my alarm, is when I have a 6:00 AM flight at the airport. I generally don't need to set it then, but just in case I would happen to oversleep, I wouldn't want to miss the security pat down from the TSA - or my flight either.

The two morning newspapers I receive were not yet on the front porch. A quick check of Facebook reveals that most of my friends turned in several hours ago, and some of the younger ones haven't even gone to bed yet! Television at 3:00 AM is pretty much the "vast wasteland" we were warned about in the 60's. Mostly infomercials, old movies, the endless cable news channel reports on the Royal Wedding, soccer matches from some foreign country, all star poker tournaments, and endless commercials about natural remedies for a particular malady common to some men of a certain age. Good Grief!

So, a quick post on the blog (as if anybody would be even remotely interested in my messed up sleep patterns) and now for on an hour or so of quality time in the Word. That is probably the best thing about waking up so early. God is still up - He never sleeps. And early in the morning, while things are still quiet, I have found it is the best time to connect with Him. He speaks to me through His Word and I pour my heart out to Him in prayer. It doesn't get any better than that!

The day always, ALWAYS, goes better when I spend some quality time with Him, early.

So, it's off the computer for now, and into the Book (not Facebook) for my personal spiritual growth and some good, productive sermon prep time. There is plenty of other ministry stuff to take care of the rest of the day.

I hope YOU have a blessed day as well!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Slain In The Spirit?

My preaching can have this effect on some people. Check out this photo from 1976, pay special attention to my son, Jay, on the front row.

Pardon Me For Asking, But...

Is there anything on earth that grows faster than dandelions?


Last week the price of gas here was $3.99. Sunday evening it had gone down a dime. Monday afternoon it had jumped to $4.09. How does the price jump 20 cents in (just hours) on gas that is already in the gas station's underground tanks?


Why are we continuing to spend billions of dollars per day in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the congress keeps arguing how to reduce spending?

What is it about Lowes and Home Depot that makes my heart rate increase and a tingle run up my spine?


Where have the statesmen gone? Where are the larger than life leaders that we need in times like these? Must we settle for mediocrity? When will the election ballots contain the block for "none of the above"?


Why is the church the only army that shoots its wounded?

Baseball or soccer? The choice is obvious!


They say Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Aren't the President and the 535 members of the Senate and House doing the same thing?


It is obvious that I (and just about every other minister I know) married up. How can anyone doubt the existance of God and the brilliance of His plan?


Is there anyone out there who is as tired of hearing about the Royal Wedding as I am? I am happy for the Prince and his beautiful bride, but enough already!

Pardon me. Just asking...

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Monday Morning Chuckle

Sunday, April 24, 2011


The Book of Job, probably one of the oldest in the Bible, recounts the suffering, faith, and victory of a man whose total reliance was upon God. The enemy had come against Job on a full frontal assault that took away his family, his wealth, and even his physical health. He found no encouragement from his wife, nor his closest friends. But the enemy could not take his faith!

Job knew that physical death was a reality. He saw the examples all around him, yet he also saw examples of rebirth in nature. (Job 14: 1-9) The resulting lesson causes Job to ask a question, and state his own faith in a life after death:

"If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my service I would wait,till my renewal should come." (Job 14:14) ESV

This is the age old question. Is death the end? Is earthly life all there is to our existance? Many people feel that haunting emptiness like the song lyrics that Patti Page sang years ago, "Is that all there is?"

Paul the Apostle answers these and other questions about the Christian doctrine of the resurrection of the dead in the 15th Chapter of 1 Corinthians. This is arguably the greatest treatise in all the Bible about the Resurrection - of Christ first - and His followers thereafter.

The Apostle answers the question, "Is that all there is?" in this manner.

"If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ."
(1 Cor 15: 19-23) ESV

Today, all around the world, the message of the Resurrection is being proclaimed. It is a theme central to our Christian faith. It is not just the "extra point" tacked on after the "touchdown" of the cross. The resurrection of Christ is the capstone and fulfillment of God's plan of redemption for fallen man.

Paul's treatise on the Resurrection is beautifully expressed in 1 Corinthians 15. Much greater scholars than I have written volumes about the doctrine of the resurrection, but in a nutshell, I believe it can be most easily understood from a passage in the eleventh chapter of the Gospel of John.

Jesus' dear friend, Lazarus of Bethany, had fallen sick. Lazarus' sisters, Mary and Martha, had sent a messenger to Jesus, hoping the Master would arrive before Lazarus got worse, but alas, Jesus took his time in coming. He knew what He was going to do. He tarried, to give Lazarus time to die and be buried, so He could teach His followers - and us - an important lesson.

When Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had already been in the grave four days. Martha ran to meet Him and said, "Master, if you had only been here, our brother would not have died..." (quite a statement of faith, huh?) Jesus assured her that her brother would live again. Martha came back with more "head knowledge", when she said, "Oh, yes Lord. I know he will live again in the resurrection on the last day."

My heart thrills when I read Jesus's answer to that in verses 25 and 26. " Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

I'm sure you know the rest of the story.

I'll close by asking you the same question that Jesus asked Martha. Do you believe this?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hey Mrs. Kimsey - I'm Baaaaaaack!

As Mark Twain once wrote, "The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated."

Looking back at my posting history, some of my friends may have actually thought I had gone to that big blogosphere in the sky.

I was somewhat shocked when I realized that the last regular post was made February 13th during our mission trip to the Philippines. Oh, I know, I posted a couple of things from "Sacred Sandwich" in March, and then the bummer post from last night, but that's it. Nothing of any substance for a little over two months. Wow! Where did the time go?

There are several reasons for my absence from this space. Suffice it to say, that my days (and evenings) have been pretty full since our return from Asia. It seems that every waking hour has been consumed with ministry responsibility, travel, house remodeling, doctor appoinments, meetings, recording radio programs, and book editing. Linda can testify that by the time my butt hits the recliner in the evening, my consciousness simultaneously hits the off switch. Often I have awakened, stiff necked and dry mouthed, at 2:00 AM, and motivated myself to climb the steps and stretch out in the bed for a few more hours of rest before it starts all over again. It's not that she doesn't try to wake me to come to bed - some evening's it is just "mission impossible".

I post a few things on Facebook most days, but that usually doesn't require much thought, or creativity. So the blog lays dormant.

A few weeks ago, my friend Darrell forwarded me an email from his mother in law who lives in another city. Apparently, she did not have my email address, and just wrote Darrell and asked him to pass it along to me. He did as instructed, and I got the message! In part, she wrote:

"...Tell C.J. all of us are not on Facebook, and I miss his blog. I go there every day to see what he has posted, and I am disappointed that he has not updated it in a long time...."

She went on to talk about how many of our posts have brought back memories for her, and her other comments were most kind and gracious, and were deeply appreciated.

It was nice to know that someone was reading (and allegedly enjoying) the blog. When I was posting regularly, it was getting 80-100 hits per day. Now, I know that's not a huge following, but it was nice to know that some folks were checking in each day. Hopefully it brought a chuckle or a thought to ponder to others.

Presently I am in the editing process for my first book, which is supposed to be at the publisher by July. That deadline is moving closer each day. It is requiring more of my time and attention, but I am going to try to carve out a little more time in the schedule for posting to my online journal. There may not be a post every day, but hopefully they won't be two months apart...

So, Mrs. Kimsey, I'm back, "For What It's Worth".

Hope you're still checking in...

Beaten Down

Nobody likes a whiner.

I sure don't.

But that is exactly what I feel like as I write this post. I almost feel like a stranger on my own site, since it has been more than a month since I have posted here.

Have you ever felt beaten down? Mentally - physically - emotionally - and spiritually drained?

We all get there from time to time. A friend of mine sometimes speaks about having "the blobs". (I think he means "the blahs" but "the blobs" kind of paints the picture anyway)

I'm not talking about clinical depression, suicidal thought, or taking desperate actions, but just the drained feeling that you are just spent.

I have often counseled others in that state to chill out. Take some time off. Count your blessings. Read your Bible, Pray, Get closer to God, spend some time with an old friend, etc, etc, etc. But the truth of the matter is, that it is often easier said than done. No matter who you are, what you do, or how hard you try, somtimes you just find yourself spent, tired, sad, uncreative, and beaten down. You know in your heart that it is not a sin to get knocked down, but it is to stay down. Yet at times, you just don't feel like you have the ooomph to get back up off the mat.

The amazing thing about getting down in the mullygrubs is that it usually it comes after some time of blessing, or the proverbial mountain top experience.

The prophet Elijah, in the Old Testament, was no different. Soon after the the tremendous victorious experience on Mt. Carmel, when fire from God actually fell in a powerful victory of one man against a host of enemies - we soon find Elijah sitting under a Juniper tree, having a pity party!

The lesson indicates that even the most dedicated servants of the Lord, sometimes scrape bottom. The encouraging news is that in spite of it all, God is faithful. He lovingly rebuked Elijah. He met his needs and brought refreshment to him. He reminded the prophet that he was not alone. And He gave Elijah strength to get up and get on about the Father's business.

He can and does do the same thing for us.

I know this is true. I've been there before and He has come through. I know He will do it again.

My prayer tonight is simply this: Lord I know you are there. I know your promises. Please send the time of refreshing. I am ready...