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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What A Week! (So Far)

     Last week, Terri, the kids and I went to her folks house for Thanksgiving.  That evening I began to experience chest pains.  These were high in my chest and I felt a burning sensation in my throat.  I had had similar pains a few times the prior two weeks, but kinda blew them off as reflux.  However, this time the pain was much more uncomfortable and would last for several minutes, subside for a while, then come back again.  We called the doctor and he agreed that it was "probably" reflux (especially since my BP was just fine, 136/86).  By then end of the day I was feeling better and got some sleep.
     We  (or rather, I) drove home on Friday.  We worked a little that evening.  Worked most of the day on Saturday.  Went to church Sunday morning and preached/lead music at the prison that evening.  I felt pretty good.  Terri, however, woke up sick on Sunday.
     Still sick on Monday, she decided to go to the doctor, and sort of incidentially, I might as well go along and talk to him about my reflux and maybe get some information on diet, etc.  So, at the doctor's office no one was too concerned, but it was decided to take some tests (labs, EKG) just to be "on the safe side".  The EKG came back okay, but when the doctor got the results of the blood work, he came back into the exam room and said, "You had a heart attack.  I called the cardiologist in Amarillo and he wants you there today!"  Of course, Terri and I were shocked and felt like idiots (because we "almost" went to the ER last Thursday when the pains were happening).  We told the doctor, "OK, we'll drive up there today".  He told us that we didn't understand, the ambulance was outside and was going to take me there right now.
     So, I got an ambulance ride to Amarillo.  Once at the hospital (BSA), I was ushered right on through ER and into ICU.  Within a 1/2 hour, I was having my heart cath done (through my wrist, not the groin) and having a stint inserted.  I was awake and conscious the whole time and watching the die pumping through my arteries on the monitor.  It was kinda cool.  The doctor said that the blockage was in a major artery, and there was some other minor blockage, but we'd treat those with meds, diet and exercise.
     The whole time, I had many nurses ask if I was okay, worried, etc.   I could only say, "I know where I'm going.  What do I have to worry about?"  Matter-of-fact, I was smiling, laughing, and joking with them the whole time. (Except for when they had to redo my IV.  They stuck me 3 different times trying to get it started.  Not THAT hurt!  It was like trying to shove a railroad spike up my arm.)
      After much thought I have realized that many people die from heart attacks every day.  But I didn't.  God gave me a second chance.  I was warned a few times prior to Thanksgiving, but wasn't listening.  I was warned much more energetically on Thanksgiving, but wasn't paying attention.  So, the Lord allowed/caused (I don't know which) my wife to become sick so I'd take her to the doctor and thereby go to the doctor myself.  Why would God go to such lengths for me...but not for someone else?  I really can't answer that other than to say that God is sovereign.  Maybe He has something else for me.  I can only say that I appreciate His grace and mercy which has been extended to me my whole life, and whatever He has in mind, I will do.
     Thank You Lord Jesus!

Terry Lee Hovey: Psalm 53:1,3

Terry Lee Hovey: Psalm 53:1,3: "The fool say's in his heart, "God does not exist". They are corrupt and do vile deeds. There is no one who does good." "Everyone has tur...

Psalm 53:1,3

"The fool say's in his heart, "God does not exist".  They are corrupt and do vile deeds.  There is no one who does good."  "Everyone has turned aside; they have all become corrupt.  There is no one who does good, not even one."  (Psa. 53:1,3; See also Rom. 3:10-12)

I've heard people say that they wouldn't want to serve a God who was mean and unjust--because a God who would condemn the innocent simply because they lived in some remote area and never heard the gospel and therefore, never had opportunity to either accept or reject it--is an evil God.

This passage, however, tells us that there is no one who is innocent.  They may not have heard the gospel, but everything that may be known of God is and has been revealed to all men (Rom. 1:19-21).  Everything that God has made reveals Himself to man, "so that they are without excuse." (Rom. 1:20b)

The problem is, that men have taken what may be known of God and were neither thankful or glorified Him.  They even changed His glory into something else, becoming vain in their thinking.  (Rom. 1:21-32)

But now, God has provided a way for us to get back to where we belong.  We can gain His righteousness through Jesus Christ (Rom.3:21-22) by faith!

Thank you Lord, for Your undeserved, unearned favor which You have given to me and to all who believe in Jesus!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Psalm 51:6

"Surely You desire integrity in the inner self, and You teach me wisdom deep within."

God doesn't want anything from us to be halfway--it's all or nothing.  He doesn't want "surface" integrity--it must be part of our core, doing down deep to the very core of our existence.  "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..." (Pro. 23:7)

Since God knows the thoughts and intents of my heart, I must always reflect on what my true motives are--am I doing this out of love for Christ, seeking nothing in return, or am I inwardly, actually seeking some sort of recognition in order to lift myself up.

Also, though David had sinned grievously against God, Uriah and Bathesheba--he recognizes that God never really turned away from him.  Nathan had been sent to point out his sin (God corrects and chastizes those whom He loves), he repents (because at his core, David was a man going after God's own heart), and he asks that the "joy" of his salvation be restored--not his salvation itself.

--Father, let me also chase after Your heart.  Let my love for You grow each day, and let that love, and any service I give to You, extend from the essence (the inner self) of my being (deep within).

Saturday, November 26, 2011

John Calvin for Everyone

John Calvin for Everyone
By: Russell Moore



     I consider myself a conscientious objector in the Calvinist/Arminian wars. First of all, it’s because I find the issue more complicated than such partisanship can convey, and I think both sides are right at certain points.

Terry Lee Hovey: Psalm 49:5-12, 15

Terry Lee Hovey: Psalm 49:5-12, 15: "...for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, that he should live on forever and never see the pit" (49:8-9) "But God wi...

Psalm 49:5-12, 15

"...for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, that he should live on forever and never see the pit" (49:8-9) "But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave for He shall receive me." (49:15)

Men's wealth can't redeem him from God.  Though we see the rich and poor, the wise and fool, dying all around us, we continue on, thinking that's them--I'm different.  Knowing all along that all men die, somehow we fool ourselves into thinking we won't.

But we who believe in God have the assurance that the grave isn't the end.  God Himself will redeem us, in fact--already has redeemed us through His Son, Jesus--and because of Jesus, God will receive us into His presence!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving

The family and I are heading to Salisaw, OK this afternoon to spend Thanksgiving with Terri's folks.  Pray for us, that we have safe travel and avoid the "Black Friday" traffic (we'll return home Friday evening).  I get the pleasure of "breaking bread" this Thanksgiving with my wife's niece's husband, who I've been told is a LIBERAL COLLEGE PROFESSOR!  Pray for GRACE on my part.  That regardless of how I view people with such views, especially those who have influence to corrupt young minds, that I may show the Grace of Jesus Christ.  (I've already been told to keep my mouth shut concerning politics, which REALLY make me want to go even more.)

You might pray for this young family.  They have a child who was recently in the ER and will have to go back.  I don't know what the situation is, but they do need prayer.

I hope all have a great Thanksgiving!

King Over All The Earth

"King over all the earth." (Ps. 47:2)  "...God is King of all the earth." (Ps. 47:7)  "God reigns over the nations." (Ps. 47:8)  "...the leaders of the earth belong to God." (Ps. 47:9)

Unbeliever's today (especially muslim's in the middle east) have tried to say that the God of Israel is/was just a small-time, local deity.  They tried (or thought) this same thing even in Israel's infancy.  Their enemies thought He was "a god of the hills" (1 Kg. 20:23), and therefore tried battling the Israelites on the plains (to their destruction).

The Psalm tells us that God is the God of all the earth, of all nations, and that all leaders belong to Him and Him alone.  So whether they believed or not, it makes no difference...He is still God and uses them all for His own purpose.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Proverbs 28: 13

"The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy."

We tend to think of grace and mercy as NT principles, yet here is one of many OT passages that clearly display the Father's grace and mercy from ancient times.  If "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
(Heb 13:8) -- then His grace and mercy always have been and alway's will be--contingent upon our "confession" and "renouncing" (or, repentance) our sins.  (Apologizing and going on as if nothing has changed isn't repentance!  We must turn around and go in a different direction--His direction.)



"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
(1Jn 1:9)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Proverbs 29:18

"Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law. "

We see the evidence of the truth of this verse everyday in our "modern" society.  Beginning with evolution being taught in our schools and prayer removed--the slide into the abyss grows ever steeper and faster.  Now, homosexuals want to be accepted as "normal" instead of hiding their shame.  This, I believe is why they push for "marriage"; Pedophiles are close to being removed from the American Psychiatric's Board list of deviant behavior.  (I'm sure that one day, Christian's will be placed on that list.)

Our world is in a sad state, and it grows worse by the hour.  As Christians, we must cling to the Word of God--both written, and made flesh.  Only Jesus can show us the way--regardless of what the world around us says.

Marantha Lord Jesus!  Come!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Proverbs 24: 11-12

"Rescue those being taken off to death, and save those stumbling toward slaughter.  If you say, "But we didn't know about this," won't He who weighs hearts consider it?  Won't He who protects your life know?  Won't He repay a person according to this work?"

I know of no more powerful and clear call in the Bible telling us to witness to others.  The lost are clearly being taken off to death and stumbling toward slaughter.

But I fail at this call all the time.  Though I may live a Christian life, that doesn't mean I'm a witness for Christ.  To be a witness for Christ takes words -- "How shall they believe in him of whom They have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14)

Lord forgive me for not speaking of You to the unbeliever's.  Forgive me for falling into the trap of thinking that living like Christ is enough testimony to reach the lost.  Give me the courage to speak boldly of You in all situations.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Proverbs 23:17-18

"Don't be jealous of sinners; instead, always fear the Lord.  For then you will have a future, and your hope will never fade."

When we were living in Kentucky, for about 3 years I sold cars for a living at a local Ford dealership.  Very seldom did I make more than the minimum in required sales and profits. 

However, there were those salespeople (unbeliever's) who were making big sales and commissions.  This really worked hard on my faith.  With a wife and four children to support, I was barely making enough money to survive.  Bills piled up.  Collection people were always calling.  We told our children, "We can't afford that" so many times...we were in hard times.  Yet, the "heathen" were profiting and we weren't!

These were troublesome times for my faith.  Why would God bless them over one of His own?

I was doing exactly what this passage tells me not to do...jealous of sinners.  But why should I be jealous or envious of those who only have hope in this life?  Those who don't know Jesus Christ as their Lord...this life is all they've got.  But, as a believer, I have so much more waiting for me, and it can never be taken away or fade away (get weaker).  It remains as strong and as sure as it ever was!

Who'd a thunk it?

Who'd a thunk that one day I'd give effort to writing a blog?  Surely not me. Though I'm not computer illiterate, I am illiterate when it comes to something like this. URL's, blogs, etc....it's all french to me.

So, a little about myself...I'm Christian and conservative with libertarian leanings.  What that means is, Jesus Christ is Lord of my life (even though sometimes I may not act like it), and I believe that government is the problem...not the solution.  I love the idea of Texas politics.  We have a part-time legislature because from the beginning it was understood that the more time people spent in Austin making laws, etc., the more opportunity they had to mess things up.

So, here I am wondering what this blog is going to be all about. I'm thinking maybe a daily devotional of sorts.  Possibly comments on religion or politics.  Maybe, anything and everything that comes to mind.  I'm open to suggestions.

As Jackie Gleason used to say..."and away we go!"