Tempted By The Sensational


“If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you’ and ‘with their hands they will lift you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

~Matthew 4:6, NET


Fame is the province of few, but pain is sooner or later the province of us all.

~Calvin Miller

Fame, what an allurement for the ego. Fame is powerful and can be all consuming. Those who get a taste get addicted and they can never get enough and yet it does them so little good. There are not many stories as sad as the Elvis Presley saga and it seems to never end. The way Elvis dies is sad. I was not a fan but when I got the details it broke my heart. He was surround by millions of adoring fans and yet he felt lonely and incomplete. His life had become so miserably that he relied on drugs. Then there was the recent suicide of his grandson who looked a lot like his granddad, and then more recently his daughter. All three deaths were drug related. Calvin Miller says that “fame is a consuming fire,” and the Presley’s got burned. I think it is one of the most heart breaking stories I have ever read. I have no desire to be famous. The older I get the more I embrace my anonymity. I am sure that I could not manage fame; it would destroy me just as it has destroyed so many before me.

The famous become addicted to more than drugs; they love the applause of men and it seems that they are willing to sell their souls for more applause. It never ceases to amaze me what entertainers will do for applause. When a person cares more about their approval ratings than they do their integrity, there is a problem, a moral problem. The second temptation is the LURE OF THE SPECTACULAR, the temptation to do something sensational; something that will draw a crowd. The church yields to this temptation with their smoke and mirrors. Some churches have a special promotion every week. Dr. Vance Havner use to tell about a church that had gone Hollywood, and they invited the talking horse. The trainer put the horse on the stage and asks the horse how many commands were in the decalogue; the old horse stomped ten times. Then he asks, “How many disciples were there?” The old horse stomped twelve times. Then some smart Alec  from the back of the church stood up and hollowed: “How many hypocrites are there in this church.” Dr. Havner said, “The old horse went into a dance.” The right thing and the popular thing are seldom the same. Do the right thing and wait for the applause of heaven.


Two NEWS items for Grace Pointers: Mark Byrd and the LIVING FAITH QUARTET will be with us on Sunday morning July 30. This will give us some extra time to get our fellowship hall ready. We have been doing the dinner meal on the Sunday near the fourth but we will go with July 30 this year {LORD willing}. The January Bible Study at Athens has been rescheduled for February 26-March 1. Josh will be preaching on the 26th.

PTL for a beautiful day yesterday. We could use several of those in a row. Our building project has been delayed because we can’t get in the dirt pit. Also a praise for a very good service yesterday. LORD willing, I will check on Sam Cowart today.

Appreciate the encouraging comments of Judy Blackwood on the OLD BLOGS. When I get behind, I post an old one. Had to do it twice last week.

Have a great week. Verse for the week…Proverbs 21:21…

Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.
Martha assumed that Jesus was late, too late. She loved Jesus dearly but she questioned His timing. Jesus is never late and He never gets in a hurry. God has no emergencies. As humans, we are impatient. We want God to work instantly and dramatically. We want a Red Sea or a Pentecost everyday but this is not God’s way. He can do dramatic things in an instant but that is not His normal way of working. He works like leaven in bread, quietly, inconspiciously, constantly and effectively. Most of the time, He works via this process. He does not hurry. When Moses returned to Egypt, he assumed that God would deliver the Israelites instantly and the Israelites made the same assumption. God did deliver them in time via a process. Let us not make the same mistake that Moses and Martha made: God’s timing is perfect and He is never too late. Martha was sure that Lazarus DEATH had created an impossible barrier for Jesus. Martha underestimated the power of Jesus. We don’t need to make the same mistake.


When I came to Danville in April of 1979, Vellene Tanner was the church secretary and did the Sunday bulletin. Vellene is not doing well and we all need to pray for her. Leslie, her granddaughter brought me some stuff that Vellene had on file for bulletin fillers. Trust me, this is not my stuff…


  • He preaches 20 minutes
  • He preaches against sin but never offends anyone
  • He stays in the office from 8:00-4:00 Monday through Friday
  • He makes 12 ministry visits per day and a half of a dozen evangelistic calls
  • He makes 60$ dollars a week and gives 30$ back to the church
  • His vehicle is to be nice but not a luxury car
  • He is 26 years old and has 30 years of experience
  • He is tall, dark, and handsome but not too handsome
  • He has one brown eye and one blue {so he can relate to everyone}
  • He has a burning desire to attend all youth events including camps
  • He also loves to work with children
  • He must wear nice clothes but not dress better than his members
  • He accepts the fact that he is never to win the argument and if anything goes wrong, it is his fault

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