Terry Jones’ Quran Burning in Gainesville

Can it get more ironic than this quote from Terry Jones, who burned a Quran Saturday night,

“For some of them,” he said, “it could be an awakening.”

Looks like he was right…In the protests that followed overseas one has died and 16 injured. You can be sure there will be more to follow. Apparently he put the book “on trial” and dressed up in judicial robes and had a mock hearing to declare the book guilty.

“It’s like people forgot about us,” Jones said Saturday. “But we kept doing what we do.”

What does that imply this whole thing is really about anyway?

1 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. – James 3:1-12

St. Pete State of Mind Music Video

Here is what our youth minister and summer interns did last week to round out the summer. In case you haven’t seen the original video that this parodies, Empire State of Mind, you can view that below too.

Empire State of Mind with Jay-A and Alicia Keys

Jonah At the Beach

Jonah 10 months old at Saint Pete Beach…

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Gators and Disc Golf Don’t Mix

I was out playing disc golf this morning at a local course. One of the interesting things in Florida is it is not unusal to see alligators in any given body lake or pond. I heard some city workers yell something about a gator in the water. The only problem was, I was chest deep in said water retrieving an errant disc. Needless to say, I only stayed in for a few more minutes 😉

Back from the Beach

Funny to drive 4 hours to get to the beach when you live 1 mile from it. We went to the East coast of Florida to spend a few days with Missy’s folks. A great time was had by all. Jonah now has a tooth and also loves to “swim.”

Tim Tebow Talks About Finishing Strong – This is a Great Read

Shortly after posting the previous silly video about Tim Tebow I got this email in my inbox from my friend Donny who was at this dinner. He passed this message on through email today and I asked him if it was okay to share. This is a great story…

Finishing Strong! Submitted by Amanda D:

A true story shared by Tim Tebow at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes annual dinner on Thursday, February 12, 2009. And, a follow up story shared by Urban Meyer!

During the 2008 NCAA Football Season the National Championship University of Florida football team faced many challenges. Everyone remembers the passionate speech quarterback Tim Tebow delivered after the mid-season 1 point loss to Mississippi. The team morphed into a better, more cohesive and stronger unit. The theme for the team became FINISH STRONG!

During the 4th Quarter of the SEC Championship game, facing the #1 Ranked Alabama Crimson Tide without star running back/receiver Percy Harvin and behind on the scoreboard, Tim Tebow and the Florida offensive team rallied on the sidelines and passionately committed to FINISH STRONG as they went out and scored the winning touchdown in dominating fashion. They FINISHED STRONG!

During the 4th Quarter of the National Championship game, facing the #1 Ranked Oklahoma Sooners and the most dominant high powered offense in the history of college football, the defensive team…special team…and the Tebow led offensive team rallied on the sideline and passionately committed to FINISH STRONG as they went out and shut down the Oklahoma offense and then s cored the winning touchdown to secure the win.

Once again…they FINISHED STRONG!

Tim Tebow spoke about those games and compared them to the game of life. We face many opportunities to make good decisions and to passionately pursue many different goals in life. Most of us pursue them passionately and many of us successfully achieve those goals. But when we don’t achieve those goals…are you able to say that you FINISHED STRONG? In life, as we move toward our destination, are you going to feel good about your answers to the following questions that ultimately are waiting for you: Did you do enough? Did you do too little? Did you finish strong?

The guy who wears number 15 and accessorizes with a ‘red cape’ finished his testimonial after dinner with the following story:

A day or so before the national championship game God touched his heart with a message…Tim needed to change the message on his black eye liner that he wears when he is playing. All year he had a reference to Phillipians 4:13 on the eye liner which represented the following: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. He talked to four or five others about switching the message and everyone except his parents told him not to do it because they had been so successful all year with the Phillipians 4:13. His parents, Pam and Bob Tebow, supported the change and Tim knew it was the right thing to do. He played the championship game with John 3:16 on the eye liner which represents the following: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

We all know the outcome of the game, but the phone call that Tim received a couple of days later when he was back in Gainesville was nothing short of unbelievable. Tim answered his cell phone and it was the P.R. guy for the UF Football game. He said, “You set a record.” Tim wondered what kind of record was he talking about. “In the 24 hour period from the start of the championship game, JOHN 3:16 was Googled…93 MILLION times! No other topic had ever been Googled that many times in a 24 hour period of time.”

Follow up story from Urban Meyer, Coach of the 2008 National Champion University Florida football team:

As Coach Meyer was introduced next, he looked out at the 400 attendees and said, “How do you follow that?” as he referred to Tim’s testimonial.

Coach Meyer then shared a few stories and then introduced his last story with the following introduction:

We all hear about the incredible family Tim is a part of. With everything going on in the world, you just know there is no way Pam and Bob Tebow can be as perfect as they are made out to be.

I am here to tell you I witnessed the most amazing conversation which is the truest testimonial to how incredibly good the Tebows truly are.

A few days after the championship game I sat at a table in the back of the Ballyhoo restaurant with Tim, Pam and Bob Tebow. It was just the four of us and I listened in amazement as Tim’s future about moving to the next level of football was decided. Unbelievably, the NFL was never once mentioned. Tim’s dad started the conversation by saying that Brett Farve spoke about his faith and no one ever listened. Here was a future Hall of Fame quarterback and no one heard his message. Tim then said…”I can think of 93 million reasons why I would want to stay in school and play my senior year at the University of Florida.”

That’s how the decision was made.

Which platform would provide Tim with the best opportunity to share the word of God? As you now know, playing his senior year for the University of Florida would be that choice.

And, is there any doubt about Tim’s passionate commitment to FINISH STRONG?

Sunset over Pass-a-Grille Beach, Florida

We had dinner by the beach last night and the sunset was beautiful. The seagulls and pelicans were in rare form as the sun disappeared into the water (for those of you who are still pre-Capernican).
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Spiritual Growth 2008 in the Books

What a great experience in Orlando! I got to meet so many great people and hear some really powerful lessons and classes. I was able to meet Tim Archer, Jeanne M, Jason Goldtrap, Jim Miller, Flavil Yeakley, and a plethora of other folks. I was able to reconnect with Bob Bliss, Bill Williams, Eddie Randolf, Keith and Sharon Lancaster (who did an awesome job leading singing!), and many, many people from several different parts of my past. People were there I had not seen since high school in Alabama (Gene and Carol Britton), people from the college days (Daniel & Rachel Cherry + kids), the grad school days at UF (Philip C, Donny Dillon, Beau and Monique, and a bunch more), the grad school days at Harding (Ed Gray and others) and from the more recent future (Brett & Lydia Shannon) on and on the list could go.

I was also really glad that my two classes went over well. In fact, we had standing room only! It was in a broom closet but it was standing room only! The brooms seemed to get a lot out of the lessons. They made a commitment to clean up their lives.

Brett and Lydia, if you are reading this these pictures are put here especially for you:

Missy and Lydia

M & M

Dabbseses & Shannon’s

Dabbs/Cherry Families

Us with Missy’s parents.

Us standing in front of the poster of ourselves. We are on Dr. Ed Gray’s Marriage Mentoring poster that he travels with. Several people we know came up to us and said, “You wrote a book on marriage?” Sorry. I didn’t. I am just good at standing and getting my picture taken.

Spiritual Growth Workshop 2008

Well it is finally time for the Spiritual Growth Workshop in Orlando this weekend! If you live anywhere near central Florida you really want to come and be a part of this awesome event. Here is the website complete with a list of speakers. Speakers include Randy Harris, Wayne Kilpatrick, Ed Gray, David Young, Jim Miller, John Clayton, Bob Bliss, Keith Lancaster, Eddie Cloer, Flava Flav Yeakley, Wiley Lowe, Tim Hines, and many more. Hope to see you there!

I will be speaking opposite Randy Harris so feel free to walk in Randy’s room and ask if you can borrow a chair for Salon 24.

Thanks to the Highlands Church of Christ in Lakeland

Thanks to Randal Myers and the elders at the Highlands Church of Christ in Lakeland, Florida for letting me come and ramble to them for 40 minutes last night about the kingdom of God in Mark 4. I seem to have some kind of inverse curse from the days of Elijah – both Wednesday nights I have gone to a congregation to speak this summer I have had to drive through torrential rains to get there. Last night was no exception. I did get to meet a lot of really nice people and even met a fellow disc golfer. It looks like good things are happening at Highlands with people being baptized and placing membership, a new building being dedicated and a real straight shooter they have in Randal. Randal, if you are reading this, thanks for everything and I hope to get to know you better in the coming years.