Screamin’ for More…

January 19, 2015

A long time ago, I wrote incessantly; feverishly; with a mission. It flowed out of me like molten lava, threatening to consume my every waking thought.

There were songs; poems; short stories, novellas…pen to paper became keyboard to screen and then dictation to text. And the river of words became a paragraph tsunami that continued unabated.

Then, like a faucet rudely interrupted by a broken water main, the words ceased. My once hulking creativity became a whispering, emaciated shadow; with slumping shoulders, I resigned myself to the fact that, perhaps, that period was gone for good.

Yet, every fiber in my being was screaming for more….more thoughts; more words; more LIFE. More of that spark that created the prolific firestorm of imagination I was once again longing for but didn’t know how to achieve.

I had begun to realize that much of my restlessness stemmed from not having that outlet of expression…an outlet that had been with me since a very early age.

When the new year of 2015 rolled around, I made a vow to God to do whatever it took to get back on track. Through some intensive bible study, self-reflection, meditation and prayer, January 1st dawned bright and early and I felt that I was ready for the task at hand.

A few weeks later, I am finding that my writing is coming more frequently and smoothly; words are tying into sentences and paragraphs into coherent stories. The inner muse (as my brother Ron would call it) is now active and growing with each day, and along with it comes a revival of my heart and spirit.

As I type this, a slow smile spreads across my face, and I feel…young…once again.

Thank you, Lord, for giving me that “write” stuff again.


In Spite of the Storm…

January 19, 2015

When I felt the call from God to move back to the small town of Brookfield, MO, I pondered to quietly ask several questions; the biggest of those was “Why?”

Of course, I knew the answer, no matter how hard I tried to deny it. The Lord was preparing my heart and life for one of the toughest challenges that I have ever had to face: and that was coming back to the place where I had began my downward spiral into drug and alcohol abuse and do the exact opposite: to lead those who were in the same gut-wrenching experience out of the darkness and into the Light of Jesus Christ…and to do that, I would have to completely sacrifice self.

So, twelve years, two pastorates, and many gray hairs later, the ministry still continues. There have been many joyfully led to Christ and baptized; several awesome tent revivals where our community actually came together to worship God; and some truly spectacular praise experiences…yet, on the flip side, there have been many nights of tears; of second guessing things; and many hours wondering if life would ever slow down so we could have a chance to breathe.

To be honest, folks, it’s been ROUGH at times. This servant would have never imagined just how heartbreaking the ministry could be, and how many people would say one thing to your face and then turn and stab you in the back. Murmurings and gossip abound on all sides, and the gigantic waves of the world seem to always threaten to capsize our lives.

And yet, in spite of the storm, His anchor holds us fast. We know that, at the end of the hurricanes of this world, there is a light waiting for us and everything will turn out ok. We know that, even when life seems at its bleakest, there is always hope in the eternal promises that the Lord gives to us. That’s what keeps us going!

Jesus Himself says these words in Revelation 3:8: “Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my Name.”

THIS is the promise that this servant holds on to…and no matter what, I will never deny His name, and I will always keep His word.

He loved me in spite of myself, and He proved that love for me at Calvary. And I will always do my best to show that same kind of love to others, no matter how much the world may try to shove me down, beat me up, or spit me out.

Storms come, and storms go. But praise be to God, because He will forever remain by my side.

Stand fast in Him, my friends!!

Don’t Market your Church…Market Jesus!!

January 15, 2015

For lack of anything else better to do, I took a few moments away from our busy schedules to take some alone time and sit back and reflect on the goodness of God in my life, even when I didn’t even know Him.

One of the things that really strikes me is how the Lord has allowed (in His infinite wisdom) my professional life to flourish. I began to think about the myriad of jobs that I have been blessed to be a part of, and those thoughts bring a nostalgic smile to my face. From being a (very) young radio announcer at KGHM in Brookfield, MO; then on to a long tenure as a route salesperson with Pepsi Cola; to an assistant manager at Goody’s Family Clothing; to Director of Sales and Marketing at both and Dynatek Labs; to Executive Vice President of Internet Operations at AccessATC; and now as part of the management team at Save-A-Lot…marketing in one form or another has always drawn me back into its’ fold time and time again.

Part of the allure is being able to make a difference while providing service that goes above and beyond the norm. Another aspect I enjoy(ed) is the visual marketing to keep relevant products fresh and new in the customer’s eyes without overhyped stagnation. Last, but not least, is the awesome opportunity to meet people with a smile or comment that might just make their day a little brighter and their steps a little lighter.

Without a formal education in marketing and lacking a college degree on my resume, I have been truly blessed everywhere that I have went and made some memorable and lasting friendships along the way…and financially, the Lord has provided abundantly! It is truly amazing to see God’s hand at work, especially during the time when I did not know Christ as Lord and Savior.

So, with these thoughts in mind, I finally came full circle to my time in the Lord’s ministry, and the even BIGGER blessing that has been in my life. From my time as a youth leader/teacher at Second Baptist Church; to a stint as Associate Pastor/Music Minister at Faith Temple Church (both in Waycross, GA); getting my feet wet for a few years as a lay speaker in the United Methodist Conference in Missouri; then surrendering to the ministry call as a local licensed pastor before being called into ordained full-time ministry at The Lighthouse…the ride has been full of ups and downs and tremendous thrills and crushing blows, but it’s been a great ride nonetheless.

And here’s the most amazing thing about the two paths: both my professional and spiritual occupations have everything to do with marketing and public relations.

You might ask, what does being a pastor or being in ministry have to do with marketing? And my answer is this: telling people about the greatest product in this world and the next…Jesus Christ. Savior; Redeemer; Lord.

Some might look at this and call it blasphemy…but let me ask one question: when is the last time you went up to someone with a smile on your face of a gentle comment on your tongue and spoke to them about the Good News? When was the last time you actively promoted salvation in the Lord Jesus as the only way to true peace and happiness in life? Or, perhaps, when was the last time you shared scripture with the passion that you only reserve for those things you hold near and dear to your heart? That’s what REAL marketing is…believing in a product so strongly, so adamantly, so firmly that nothing else matters!

My friends, this has to be our new mantra: we SHOULD “market” Christ with all of our thoughts and actions; we MUST “market” His wondrous story with a lost and dying world that desperately needs saved; and above all, we HAVE to “market” a relationship with Christ Jesus as the means to grow and prosper spiritually in all areas of our lives.

Marketing the world and all its pleasures is not the true answer, folks.

Marketing Jesus is. 🙂

What is the Church?

January 5, 2015

I’ve been asked that question many times in the 25+ years that I have been in the ministry; most people have a very skewed sense of what the church really is. The majority of them think of it as the building where a congregation meets to worship God; only a few realize that the church is actually the body of Christ.

I mention this because our fellowship known as The Lighthouse has recently sold the building where we met every Sunday and Wednesday; mainly because we could not afford the upkeep of it any more, and secondly because we wanted to offer the building as another ministry opportunity for someone.

MANY people have been curious (i.e. nosy) when they found out; 99% of them wanted to know where the money was going to. And our answer as a congregation is this: there is plenty of ministry to be done in our area, and we have already accomplished a few tasks that have been placed before us…and there are many, many more out there that we will be taking a look at (and doing) in the next several months. The finances of the church are being cared for wisely and thoroughly by our Board of Directors, and there are some wonderful plans being laid out for 2015.

With that being said, over the past few months, The Lighthouse has been meeting in the cozy confines of the Davis household every Sunday morning at 10:30; we call this “Worship@Home” and we are actually hosting more people in this intimate setting than we were in the “church”
. We are patterning our worship directly from the Book of Acts; just as the apostles met in their homes and fellowshipped and broke bread together, so we, too, meet and greet each other with joy, laughter and love and learn the Word of God with gladness.

This, my friends, is what the Church SHOULD be…a group of Jesus followers who are eager and hungry to know all they can about their Lord and Savior and who actually enjoy being together. No pretenses, no masks, and no “fake” Christians…just the love of brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus.

Sadly, this is what is lacking in our mainstream congregations of today…most are too busy worrying about what their fellow pew warmer is doing (or not doing) instead of examining their own hearts and lives and seeing what changes need to be made to rekindle a nurturing and loving relationship with Jesus Christ.

There is one thing that his servant is indeed thankful for…and that is the awesome and life-giving changes that have come to light these past few months, and I am indeed looking forward to serving the Lord with a fired-up fervor in this new year!

So, folks, the next time someone asks you what the church is…let them know that it’s not the ornate buildings; not the fancy facilities; and not the beautiful stained glass windows…the church is you, and me, and all of those who profess the Name of Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Let’s be the true church in all that we say and do, and truly reach out to a lost world in need…instead of hiding behind our “buildings”.