September, 2011

Wake


Anyone who has spent any time on the water has seen “slow no wake” signs. I always thought such signs were dumb. A boat always leaves a wake. The signs should read “minimize wake.”. But I guess that would leave too much to interpretation.

We leave a wake. Consider a room after a three year old has passed. We leave a wake. The child may leave a physical mess behind but also likely lights up the room leaving behind smiles and good feelings.

We leave wake, physical, emotional and spiritual. When we pass through we change things. Some may try to minimize their wake. Others seem to relish stirring up the water. Like the unthoughtful boater, many give no thought to the wake they leave behind.

You are changing your world every day. You impact people around you. The amount of change varies with the frequency of your contact and the power of your motor. Some folks seem to create more wake than others. You are making a difference, for better or worse. There are no “no wake” zones.

Be blessed,

Nick

Great, Powerful and ordinary

1 Corinthians 2:1-4 (NLT)  Dear brothers and sisters, when I first came to you I didn’t use lofty words and brilliant ideas to tell you God’s message. For I decided to concentrate only on Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. I did not use wise and persuasive speeches, but the Holy Spirit was powerful among you. 

I met a great and powerful and ordinary guy yesterday I tell my grand kids that I am “The Great and Powerful.” The humor is in the obvious inaccuracies in that title. As my grandson says “Only God is great and powerful.” He is a pretty sharp kid and is usually right.

This guy was ordinary. He spoke at church. By the time he got to “preach” there wasn’t much time left. He spoke simply and plainly and briefly. Not only was he like the Apostle Paul; but he taught us how to be Pauls. The secret is to be down to earth, focused on Jesus, weak, and plain. In other words, what we really are instead of what we try so hard to be.

In our plain, grounded, focused and honest presentation, the greatness and power of the Holy Spirit comes through. People don’t need theology. They aren’t impressed by us. What they do need is to know God cares and moves in the lives of the ordinary in a great and powerful way. Hasn’t He done that in our lives? Don’t you know someone who would benefit from that story?

Who was this guy? Didn’t catch his name. But I did get His message. Isn’t that the point?

Be blessed,

Nick

The Cruise Buffet


Perhaps you’ve heard about the man who spent his life savings on a cruise. He cut his expenses close. He packed crackers and snacks to eat on the cruise not realizing that the fabulous food came with the price of the cruise.

We sometimes live our lives that way, ignorant of the bounty that is ours as children of God. I’m not talking here about the sheep on a thousand hills that are His. I am not even focused on spiritual gifts.

Let me give you an example. I drove to Butte Larose today to pick up my three year old great grand. My mission was to drive her from there to Rayne. What could have been a tense and painful trip turned out to be the highlight of my day. I tossed my iPhone and iPad into the truck and picked up my grandson. We picked up drinks from CCs. Opened the top. Put on 60s music and struck out. Nicky sang along in the front seat playing with the iPad. Kaydence held down the back playing with my phone. I led the singing, praying I didn’t get an important call, text or email, that no one could hear me sing. And that no I-devices would go flying out the open windows. It was an unexpected thrill. My granddaughter got to spend time with her boyfriend at the LSU game. My daughter didn’t have to get on the interstate. I got to smile seeing some of my favorite people just a little happier.

When we got back to Lafayette I took my grandson to lunch. He hadn’t stop smiling (or talking) the whole trip. As we finished our meal he told me there were three reasons he agreed to join me on this little trip. He needed to get out of the house. His mother had just ordered a clean up. He needed some guy time and I was the best guy for that. I really needed to hear that I was somebody’s best guy.

He’s already paid the price. Life is a cruise. Don’t settle for crackers and miss out on the buffet.

Nick

The Help


I saw “The Help” this afternoon. For those who don’t know, the film looks at race relations in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 60s. Before you hit the delete key, give me a moment. It is a painful look at a period in our history that I remember well. My family was pretty poor, but not as poor as our help. It is painful for anyone of any race to watch because it is so wonderfully accurate. Some will say things weren’t that bad; others may remember it as worse. But deep within each will know the truth It is done with beautiful poignant humor. You need to see it. Not because it is beautifully done cinema which it is, but because those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

We are rapidly approaching a political season in which race will be involved. Don’t deny it. There will be real and substantial differences between the parties. There will be valid differences of opinion. Anything more wouldn’t be fair to the Nation we’ve become and to the one our children deserve. If we ask “What would Jesus do?” We will likely get different answers. What’s important is to seriously ask the question.

Be blessed.

Nick

Out Of Touch


I spent the last two days out of touch. It was horrible. I felt unconnected with reality. I considered taking some kind of medication, but there was nothing of sufficient impact in the medicine cabinet. I was irritable and confused. My cable was out. This was serious. Not only had I no TV, but my Internet was messed up…no Facebook, Twitter or email. The cable company finally sent a tech. How busy could this guy be that it took two days to reconnect me? Then after he left I still didn’t have all channels. The Saints kickoff was rapidly approaching. So was the President’s speech, but that didn’t create the same level of concern. Shortly before kick off the cable corrected. The Internet was reestablished. Relief flooded my soul. I felt like I had been through another 9-11. It is horrible to be out of touch.

Yet sometimes I go that long out of touch with My Lord. I really need to do something about that.

Stay in touch and be blessed.

Nick

Location:Beau Coteau Pkwy,Broussard,United States

Labor Day is Over – Get Back to Work – Devotional for Thursday, September 8, 2011

Now that Labor Day is over, it might be appropriate to turn our thoughts to…work. I really have things pretty easy. I work for a living  but most folks don’t seem to know it. I hide it well. I’m embarrassed by the frequency of the “How’s retirement?” comments I get. Some people are such smarty pants. But I can see the reason for their confusion. I don’t go to “work” each day. If I’m not in court I can dress pretty casual. I don’t have a boss, unless you count clients. I “work” out of my house. I do work. Just ask the IRS. So maybe you should take my labor thoughts with a grain of salt, but here they are.

1. Work is God’s idea. He did it for seven days and look what he accomplished. What have you done this week?

2. Retirement is not scriptural.  By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground (Gen. 3:19). If this idea catches on, I think I may have just solved the Social Security crisis. Who says I don’t work????

3. You haven’t been a good person but work is not punishment for that. Punishment for being bad is the subject for another day. Aren’t you glad?

4. We work to live, but also because work should be satisfying and it serves God if done right.

5. Don’t complain about your boss… His name is Jesus. It’s not wise to complain about God.

6. The standard to apply to your work is “Does it please God?” It doesn’t matter if it pleases you or anyone else. So get over it.

7. Rose and I watched “Becoming Jane” last night It’s the story of Jane Austen. In her day, proper people didn’t work. That was for the lower classes. The proper people were wrong. Work is honorable. Besides this isn’t England.

8. I know you are planning to be a missionary to China when you retire (see number 2 above). Forget it. Your work is your chance to be a witness. How’s that working out for you?

I’m going to wrap this up. It’s been a long day staying home from work.

Aren’t you glad Labor Day is over?

Be blessed.

Nick

Beauty – Devotional for Wednesday, September 7, 2011

(Wives) do not let your adorning be external–the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear–but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
1 Peter 3:3-4

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12:1-2 MSG

Pornography generates more income than all combined revenues of professional football, baseball and basketball franchises. Millions of Americans are on prescription medications for stress. Americans spend billions on reconstructive surgery, diets, and cosmetics. The suicide rate for teens, especially girls is skyrocketing. Fewer people are married than ever before. 
All of these trends have a common basis. We don’t know what beauty is.

Watch this brief video and think about your perception of beauty.  What is portrayed as beauty today isn’t realistic. It isn’t really real. We are drowning in media which sets up standards which 99.9 of us can’t reach. But what is worse, in this flood we have lost sight of what true beauty really is. 


Have you ever known people who just glow? I’m talking about those men and women whose faces just glisten with Christ in their lives. And while their outward features, that is, their external beauty, may be great or they may be “repulsive”  the glory of Christ  shines through them. There is nothing more beautiful than that.

God knows what sinful creatures we are. When we are young, generally our skin is smooth, our hair is abundant and our fat is not. In this condition men and women are drawn together, and humanity continues. But the plan is that originally drawn together principally by the physical that we will mature to see the true beauty in others and the deterioration of the body and its beauty will be meaningless. However, in addition to being awash in media misrepresentations of beauty; we are also stunted in our spiritual growth.


Let’s refocus and grow up. Let’s rejoice and feed the spirit man and appreciate that beautiful spirit in the renewed around us. That may mean a little less TV and a little more Jesus. Our cable is out until Thursday. I feel a revival coming on.

You’re looking good. Be blessed.

Nick




Growing up in Crowley one of the most impressive families I knew was Dutch. The parents had experienced the tyranny of the Nazi regime. The oldest son is a minister today. This family would be distressed by the state of the church in Europe today, specifically in Holland.
Some church leaders in the Netherlands want to transform their small nation into a laboratory for rethinking Christianity. It seems this “rethinking” is already well along. One pastor doesn’t believe in life after death, nor even in God as a supernatural being. He describes the Bible’s account of Jesus’s life as a mythological story about a man who may never have existed, even if it is a valuable source of wisdom about how to lead a good life.”
The pastor, Klass Hendrikse is an unbeliever, but in the largest Dutch denomination, he is considered a minister in good standing. As a matter of fact, he is not even unusual. A study undertaken by the Free University of Amsterdam determined that about one of every six Protestant ministers is either agnostic or atheist.
Rev. Kirsten Slettenaar, another minister of the church, refers to “Son of God” as a mere title. “I don’t think he was a god or a half god,” she says. “I think he was a man.” The majority of Dutch citizens desire some form of spirituality, but not the God of the Bible. 
This kind of “Christianity” doesn’t happen overnight. The central doctrines of Christianity are first sidelined and hardly mentioned, then revised, and finally rejected. Behind that process is the argument that the world has changed, and that Christianity must change with it. And this thinking isn’t limited to Europe.  John Shelby Spong, the retired Episcopal bishop of Newark, New Jersey, put the issue bluntly: “Christianity must change or die.”
Christianity stands or falls on its central truth claims. Without the knowledge of the full deity and humanity of Christ, there is no Gospel and no salvation of sinners. Of course, if you no longer believe in a personal God, or any existent deity of any sort, then you will not be worried about salvation from sin. A church that lacks the doctrinal conviction and courage necessary to prosecute an atheist pastor for heresy is a church that lost its Christian identity — a long time ago. 
Many fine American’s have expressed concern that the ideas of our Founding Fathers have been forgotten in our country. Such people are organizing in the Tea Party and similar organizations. I support their fight. But even more important is the recognition that the term “Christian” doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone any more. The Faith of our Fathers is also in danger of being changed beyond recognition. In fact, that change is at the heart of the political problem in our country. This country was not founded on the ideas of “Christianity” now prevalent in Europe and growing in the US.  Our founders were “fundamental” on such ideas as the divinity of Christ, the sinful nature of man, and the truth that Jesus is THE WAY. 
In our fight to save our Country, let’s not forget that our fight to save our Faith comes first.
Be blessed.
Nick
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