Peace Be With You


That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said.

~John 20:19, NLT


“To go back is nothing but death: to go forward is fear of death, and life everlasting beyond it. I will yet go forward.”

~ John Bunyan

The first message our resurrected LORD shared with the embryonic church was “Peace be with you.” These are not random words, Jesus said them because His disciples needed to hear them: they were afraid. All humans are insecure, just as all are sinners. Insecurity is a part of the curse. Before Adam and Eve sinned, they had no fears. Moses was afraid to return to Egypt. Joseph was afraid of rotting in prison. Jacob was afraid of his brother Esau and Esau was afraid of commitment. Even David, the mighty warrior, said...I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. The only exception is Jesus who feared nothing. This is one of the many reasons we admire Him, He had no fears. Read Psalm 22 and think of what Jesus endured...For dogs are all around me; a company of evildoers encircles me. My hands and feet have shriveled; I can count all my bones. They stare and gloat over me; they divide my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots. But you, O Lord, do not be far away! O my help, come quickly to my aid! Be honest, have you ever been encircled by a group of people who hated you and wanted to kill you. Yes, I have faced opposition and I have dealt with problems but I have never been totally forsaken like Jesus. I have never suffered alone.

When I was 13 I contracted spinal meningitis and my spine was taped three times in five days. I was frightened beyond belief but I was surrounded by doctors, nurses and parents who loved me. Jesus died on a cross surrounded by hate filled people who mocked and ridiculed Him in His darkest hour. Jesus dreaded the cross because He was human but He did not fear it because He was God.

Insecurity is a human problem and it will not go away but the first step to recovery is to recognize the problem. Drug addicts live in constant denial. Listen to them when they talk, the drugs are never the problem–it is always something else like their spouse, their job, their life, etc. The first step to recovery is to identify the real problem. I came to a place in my life where I acknowledged my greatest fear was death itself. Some people believe that 100% of our fear is related to our survival. If you can get to a place where you don’t care if you survive or not, you have it licked. For me personally, I had to get to a point where God’s glory was more important than my survival. This does not mean that I am fear free or that I have no insecurities. I may as well claim to be sin free as to claim being free of fear. I know folks who claim to be sin free but they are deceived. I know a lot more who act as if they are sin free but they too are deceiving themselves. Neither is anyone fear free. If you are battling anxiety, you are not riding a white horse and shooting silver bullets, we all have anxieties.

I was reading I Peter 5 in the New Revised Standard Version yesterday and these verses jumped out at me…Cast all your anxiety on Him {Jesus}, because He {Jesus} cares for you. Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.

Day two of VBS went great. We had 214 total. There were 19 third graders. I love being just a helper. I am having more fun than ever but I am sure our leaders have some headaches to deal with. Pray for Joe David, Mandy and Shohn. We already knew that Mandy was the best administrator in the country but I am also impressed with Shohn as our worship leader and Eva and Morgan are tops. Every thing is changing. Very few children come from traditional homes where mom and dad have the same last name. Displaced children are hurting children and they need lots of attention and our workers are doing a terrific job under difficult circumstances. They all do better at this than myself: shock, shock!

Vickie Livingston is having by pass surgery tomorrow in Birmingham. I will be going to B’ham and Joe David will be doing the evangelistic presentations at VBS. We both need pray. Steve Tanner prays for both of us every day. Thank you Steve!

Today is root canal day for Bro. Jack, whoo-pee!

DBC lost a close one to Central Baptist last night. Brady Wallace was unreal in the field. We missed our DH Kelvin Callahan who is nursing a knee injury. He bats 800. We had one bad inning where we gave up five runs. Hey, it is just a game and our team has a great attitude. David Wood brought out the fans but we didn’t get the chance to go crazy. We were ready! David is an icon in Danville. He epitomizes the tough, rugged, hard-working, tax-paying, conservative, angry-white-male. What was it Hillary calls us? Deplorable, I think. Here is the good news: we don’t care what Hillary thinks. I would be upset if she liked me!


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