Like A Dream


When the LORD brought back his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the LORD has done for them.” 

~Psalm 126:1-2, NLT


God can do more in five minutes than man can do in ten years.
~Martin Lloyd Jones

During the very first year of Cyrus reign, he mysteriously freed the Jews from captivity and had intentions of helping them rebuilt their temple. The Jews were shocked, stunned, this was unbelievable. Although Jeremiah had prophesied that the captivity would be only 70 years, the Jews had forgotten his promise and Cyrus ruling surprised them–it was too good to be true, so good that it seemed like a dream. I dream a lot but my dreams lean more to the side of nightmares. I can’t remember the last time I had a good dream. There are no telling how many times I have awakened in the middle of one of these horrible dreams saying to myself, “Thank God, that was a dream.” But this fantastic news that seemed to good to be true was not a dream, it was really happening and as the truth of the moment sank it, the Jews began to celebrate. Joy and gladness are mentioned four times in this brief Psalm.

My constant prayer is for God to do something that no one can explain. Ben Cook says, “If you can explain what is going on, God did not do it.” Cyrus’ decree to release the Jews came out of the blue and no one could explain it. Even the unbelievers gave God the credit. True Revival has this same mysterious persona: how can you explain a revival? How do you explain the reformation or the great awakening? You can’t. Formulas don’t work. Man can not work up a revival or even pray one down, although I would enjoy seeing a group try. Revival is the mysterious moving of the Spirit of God, the Ruach {wind}. A revival can come to anyone at anytime God pleases. When God’s Spirit moves, things happen and they can happen quickly and if it is the real deal, you and I cannot stop it. Could you stop a freight train by standing in the middle of the track or a hurricane by standing in its path? Of course not and when God decides to intervene in any given situation, no one can stop him. God does most things the slow way via the process but every now and then, He will shock us by intervening in the situation and bringing something to pass that to us seemed impossible.

Twice in Israel’s history, we find them in bondage in a foreign land: first in Egypt and then in Babylon. In both cases, they had no way of saving themselves. They were totally helpless and possible for some, hopeless and both times God miraculously intervened and saved them. All that saved them was Divine Intervention: nothing else. It was a God thing and even their enemies recognized that it was the hand of God that saved them. Our testimony is no different; in the fullness of time, God sent His son in the likeness of human flesh. His Son lived a perfect life and died an atoning death: two things that are impossible for us to do. Had God not intervened, you and I would be hopelessly lost.

Sammy and I had a good discussion on this yesterday: why do men want credit for what only God can do? It is our pride. We want boasting rights. Paul sums it up in Ephesians 2, For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of  yourselves, it is the gift of God: not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. There are some things that I am sure of, for one, I am a depraved sinner and there is no good in me and another is that Salvation is by grace and I mean pure grace. It is what Christ has done for us and not what we do for Him. It is not Christ plus baptism or Christ plus anything else: it is Christ alone. I know the flesh and it’s tendency is to weasel it’s way into the spotlight. This is why God hates religion–its mans effort to put himself in God’s favor and it always produces pride and self-righteousness; and God hates them both.

Veteran of the Day

Rodney Fields

Rodney Fields, Army

Rodney served in the National Guard for several years. Matter of fact, his sickness may have been the reason he retired from the guard. I meet Rodney when he was just a boy and he was a lot like Bro. Jack when he was boy, a bit of a dare devil who enjoyed putting things to the test. As an older teenager, Rodney had a head on collision near West Hartselle Baptist I think and he stayed unconscious for days. It was a while before the family had assurance that he would survive the wreck but he did and God gave him another 20 years. I am blessed on Sunday mornings to greet Rodney’s daughter Harley when she comes in for a biscuit. She even gave me a hug yesterday morning with is big for Harley. She use to throw toys at me when I was visiting with Rodney. I became very proud of Rodney: he was a good husband and father: knowing that his time was limited, he made sure that Tracey and kids were provided for. He was also a good son, brother and friend. He was honest to a fault and had a keen sense of humor. I admired him most for being a man of courage.

  • Two very good services yesterday and two small crowds. If we had any doubts about true revival, they were answered yesterday. Where were our people? They were not with us, that is for sure. General Todd did a super job. If Catfish has that posted on the web page, you need to listen. The Guatemala report was the best ever: Many, Sandy, Gregg and Donnie spoke and all four hit it out of the park. Mandy is ready to do the warm up on Sunday morning: she was cool as a cucumber. I am more nervous when I get up there than she was. 
  • Two words stood out in General Todd’s message…“Show Grace.” I had opportunities to show grace last week and I failed. I need more grace to show grace.
  • YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT DBC. Eva ask me to lead the music yesterday morning. When Big Mama found out, she went home and Joe David got really nervous. I told Stacey Blackwood, “I know what they will do, they will not sing. They’ll just sit there and make fun of me and the bunch upstairs will tape it.” So, in my wisdom, I declined the mic which turned out to be a stroke of genius on my part. I started the birthday song off key, way off: actually, I was singing tenor…ten or twelve notes off and I just shut her down and sit down and the congregation did fine. The anniversary song, which I dreaded went better but again I started and then listened to the congregation. Mr. Blackmail himself, told me afterwards, “I have it all on tape.” I said, “No you don’t, I did not use the mic.” I had him and he knew it.
  • Last night I was showing Willard my new truck, the silver one with the Toyota emblem on the front. Michael walked up and I continued my spill about the truck. Then Michael said, “Bro. Jack, are you sure that is your truck?” Then he pointed to the truck a space over and said, “Isn’t that your truck?” I was showing them Brian’s truck. It is bad enough to do something stupid but to do it in front of Willard makes everything worse. He and Carrie Beth are already trying to find me a home, a nursing home for dementia patients.

I accidentally stumbled onto a movie yesterday evening called SWING VOTE starring Kevin Costner. It is a feel-good comedy about Bud Johnson an ordinary dad drifting through life, caring about nothing except his overachieving daughter Molly. Trying to encourage him to get involved, Molly accidentally sets off a chain of events on Election Day that ends with the presidential race coming down to one vote, Bud Johnson’s. To be honest with you Bud is a redneck who loved beer, Bass Fishing and NASCAR. He cannot keep a job and lived in a trailer or mobile home. Both presidential court him but in the end, he listens to his daughter and becomes a spokesman for lower middle America, the families who struggle to make ends meet. I know this is Hollywood produced but his speech at the Presidential debate brought tears to my eyes and I want you to check it out….you may not agree with it all but his confession moves me. Sounds like Bud is describing Donald Trump when he talks about the office of president. {Bud does use the  Greek word ge’-en-nä twice}


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