Focal Point

Focal Point
Focal Point is more than a blog. It's purpose is to help us stay focused on Christ through Gods Word as we navigate through life and today's culture.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Because of Jesus

The Bible says that because Jesus Christ came at Christmas time, three things can be true in your life.  I want you to remember this as we enter 2011.  Because Jesus came at Christmas: First, my past can be forgiven.  Second, my present can be managed – why? because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Third, my future can be guaranteed.  When I put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ it secures my eternity with Him. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

We are Family

I am so thankful for my family. I love my wife, my kids, their mates and of course my grandchildren. And as a parent, we do everything we can to protect them and watch out for their ‘blindside’. I thought about this when I was working on Eph 2:19 while preparing for my Sunday School class. In vs 19 Paul says we are now members of the household of God. Which means we are members of Gods family and as believers we are brothers and sisters in Christ. We are ‘family’ and as a family we should watch out for each other and protect each other

The movie ‘Blindside’ is a true story of Michael Oher an adopted son of the Tuohy family. At one point in the movie Michael an offensive left tackle is at High School football practice and is not doing a good job of blocking and protecting the QB. His mother (played by Sandra Bullock) comes down from the stands in the middle of practice, walks up to him, takes him by the shirt and says “would you let anything happen to me? The answer is No. “Would you let anything happen to your little brother?” Again the answer is No. She then says, “this QB is me, your brother, this QB is family. You protect him, you protect his blindside, you don’t let anyone touch him. Do you understand Michael?” Michael responds with a “yes ma’am”. He then proceeds to block like he never did before and ends up playing for Ole Miss and now the Baltimore Ravens. What was it that made a difference in him? It was the word ‘family’ ---he needed to protect the blindside of family..

So it is with us. We are part of God’s family. In the church we are brothers and sisters in Christ and we are family. So instead of gossiping about someone, kicking them while they are down, talking about them, and mistreating them, we should have a desire to protect them. Protect their blindside. Isn’t that what it means when scripture says they (the world) will know we are Christians by our love for oneanother.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Who are you influencing today

Today my heart is full and full of praise for the Lord. Yesterday my daughterNlaw wrote on her blog about our granddaughter who is part of their church’s kids praise and worship team. Marty wrote about how she was so thrilled that Peyton loved Jesus and wanted to be part of something that gave worship to the Lord. Then a couple of weeks ago I read on Scotty’s facebook page about his desire to raise his children for the Lord. He stated how important it was not to be so concerned about their financial future, but their spiritual future. Then there is my daughter Kari who is just now beginning her parental experience in raising Addison and I know her and TJ will have the same spiritual desires for their children. Well, on this week approaching Fathers Day, my buttons are popping with pride for my three children and the impact they are making on their families and children. And while I know very well that the spiritual influences in my grandchildren’s life comes from many areas (which include both parents, both sets of grandparents, and their church) I still take spiritual pride in the direction my children are giving them as fathers and as a mother.

Now, as I was thinking about all this, my wife handed me a prayer letter from our missionary Dan Freeman. In his news letter he brought a very interesting fact about the influences in his life and that got me thinking about the influences of my life, my children and now my grandchildren.

In Dan Freemans newsletter he writes this:

“Many years ago, there was an unknown pastor that lead a young man to Christ. The young man’s name was Kimball and he became a Sunday school teacher. His walk with the Lord took him to a shoe store one day and he witnessed to a shoe salesman named Dwight L Moody and lead him to Christ. Moody became an evangelist that was used by God to influence a young man named Frederick Meyer. Meyer began preaching on college campuses and lead Wilbur Chapman to Christ. Chapman in turn influenced another young man Mordecai Hamm who became a great evangelist in his own right. Hamm would later lead Billy Graham to the Lord along with a young man named GB Vick who would be influenced by Hamm to go into the ministry. Vick became the Pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Detroit and later was the first president of Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri (where I attended, along with Scotty for 2 years and Kari graduated from there). While in Detroit, Vick led a young man named Richard Freeman (Dan’s father) to the Lord and Freeman later became pastor of Ryan Road Baptist Church. “

And this is where I insert my story. Because years later Freeman would influence a young man who would get saved during his ministry, and surrender to full time ministry. That young man was me. I was saved and surrendered to the ministry under Richard Freeman.

So, I now have 3 children and 5 grandchildren that are being influenced for the cause of Christ from many directions and other family members. But it’s interesting to know as well that part of their lives have been directly affected by a spiritual family tree that goes back to a shoe salesman.  I doubt he had any idea of the impact he would make for Jesus Christ way back then.

You never know who you will impact for Jesus Christ… kind of influence and impact are you and I making today?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Love part 2

We live in an age that honors personal feelings above almost everything. We do what we want when we want because we feel like it. And if we don’t feel like it we don’t. But as I survey I Cor 13 of Gods Word I am struck by the complete absence of any stress on personal feelings. The kind of love spoken of there is seen, experienced and demonstrated. While it may start in a feeling of compassion or pity - it never ends there.

Gods Word gives us several elements of a love that should be evident in our lives. The first one is Patience - The Bible says ‘Love is patient’ and its not dealing with patience in difficult circumstances but rather patience with difficult people and that can be tough at times can't it?  But It also carries with it the idea of one who has the power to get even but chooses not to use that power.

As we think of ways to be patient, let me suggest that you start with someone you love. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


You know we use the word ‘love’ so loosly that its really lost its meaning. We say we love America, love our car, love pizza, love our mate and love God all in the same breath. But In I Cor. 13 of Gods Word it talks about what real love is. What it looks like in the nitty-gritty of life. Whether it's toward our mate, children or just a friend. And true love that the Bible talks about is a love that is better seen than defined. It’s a love that is seen in our actions towards others.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Corporate Worship

I want to share a word with you about the importance of your corporate worship in church on the Lords Day. The Bible says, “Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it Holy” but what does that mean? To help us understand this we need to go back to the book of Genesis and there we read that God rested on the seventh day not because He was overwhelmed with fatigue, but to pause and celebrate the goodness of the created world. So this commandment stands for us to take a day and reflect on God's power, His majesty over all that is, and to reflect on Who made us and loves us.

This is why Sunday worship is important. Scripture calls people to acknowledge a sacred focus to all of life. It’s a command given to keep us from living life with ourselves at the center of everything. It calls us to remember that there's more to us than chemicals and glands. And how our world needs this reminder today. God, in a tremendous act of life giving love, says, we must take one day a week and remember Him or we will fail to orient the rest of our lives properly.

Yes, corporate worship is important and here is one more, it allows me to break with my normal routine! Corporate worship in church is designed to jar my earthbound patterns and wake my soul up like a speed bump on a parking lot. The Lords Day isn't just a pause to catch my breath in a busy world. It's a pause to turn my life from self to God - from my pursuits and plans to His. And I can't properly remember God without giving Him this time.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Jesus Knows Your Name and He Cares

Does God really care? Does he really care about the small things going on in my life? In fact does he really know my name? Well, yes he cares and not only does he care, he even knows your name. As it says in Isaiah he even has your name written on the palm of his hands. Think of that, God knows your name and cares about you and wants you to pray.

The Lord has been teaching me and convicting me so much in the matter of prayer. Presently I am doing a prayer series at our church and through this I hope our church will grow to a greater level of prayer. (And you can hear these messages via our church web page at  ) It is my prayer that we will see the vast importance and blessing that comes through prayer.

Now, sometimes God wants us to pray and go, to act and cooperate with His plan. But that takes the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives to realize exactly what it is He wants us to do as we pray. Then there are other times we are to simply pray and wait on the Lord. This too takes prayer and guidance from the Holy Spirit if that is what we are to simply do.

But most importantly God wants us to remember that He cares about every aspect of our life. That we can put all our troubles and cares into His Almighty Hand knowing that He has the power to help us. I love what 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” why? Because through prayer God can and will help.

I think about Moses as he was leading the children of Israel out of Egypt. In Exodus 14:13 he instructs them to “do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.” Are you kidding? Stand still? Moses, the enemy is approaching, they are behind us and there is a body of water we can’t cross in front of us. It was an impossible situation from man’s point of view, but not for God. May I remind you that nothing is impossible with God.

As Moses spoke to the people to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. I am also reminded of the Psalmist words in Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God” And that is exactly what God wants us to do when we go through difficulties, trials and valleys. He wants us to pray and turn to Him. He wants us to cast all our cares at His feet. He wants us to be still and know He is God.

I came across this writing from the ‘Angels were Silent’

He’s waiting for you. God is standing on the porch of heaven, expectantly hoping, searching the horizon for a glimpse of his child. You’re the one God is seeking. God is the waiting Father, the caring Shepherd in search of his lamb. His legs are scratched, his feet are sore, and his eyes are burning. He scales the cliffs and traverses the fields. He explores the caves. He cups his hands to his mouth and calls into the canyons. And the name he calls is yours. The message is simple; God gave up His Son in order to rescue all his sons and daughters. To bring his children home. He’s listening for your answer.”

God wants us to pray to Him and trust Him

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Importance of Evangelism

Since my wife almost went home to be with the Lord on Feb. 6th the Lord has been teaching me a lot of things. For one, the importance of eternity and reaching people for Jesus Christ. Life is short, heaven and hell are real and people need Jesus.

While in Jacksonville, I heard a sermon by Dr. David Platt. In that message he pointed out these facts. He said, there are about 6.8 billion people in the world, 1/3rd of those are assumed to be Christian (but in truth many are not and that word 'Christian' is often used socially and politically ). But if 1/3rd were Christians, that would still leave around 4.5 billion people who do not know Christ as Savior. That is an astonishing number. Now neither I nor my church can even begin to think about reaching that many people. Not even the mega churches could do that. However, we can do our part to fulfill the Great Commission. We can do and must do our part in fulfilling our responsibility as a church, people and pastor to reach not only those across the sea, but those right here at home. Smith River, Crescent City and Brookings Oregon is my home mission field and I want God to use me here. My prayer is that the Lord would help me become more passionate about people’s spiritual lives. My prayer is that the Lord would help my church become more passionate about others. That we would spend the time we have left on this earth for His glory and to fulfill His purposes and the purpose He has left us to do.

A few weeks ago I came across a great article in a blog written by Thom Rainer the CEO of Lifeway. Here is the link, I hope you will go to it, scroll down to the article on Seven Characteristics of an Evangelistic Christian.

People need the Lord. It is not just some song from the 80’s, it is a fact of life

Friday, April 2, 2010

Gods Word is a light to our path

We have always had some type of night light in our house that helps to guide us in the night. But now, Karen wants more than ever to have that little light shining in a room or down the hallway when darkness falls for protection. We can all get easily confused when we wake up at night but for her (having just gone through two brain surgeries on Feb. 6th and 7th) she can get confused and lose her balance a little more easily.

You know, we can all do that in our spiritual life and what we need is something to keep us going in the right direction. Something that will help us make not just a good decision but the best decision. Something that can point the way when we need it most.

God’s Word says; “it is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” That means that because it is God’s Word to us it can have a direct positive impact on our life every day. As we read it and follow Gods guidelines for our lives it will be a light not only to our path, direction and future, but also guide our direct steps that we are taking. Someone walking in a dark cave, not only needs to see where they are going, but know exactly what they are stepping into. God’s Word can give us that kind of direction

Monday, March 22, 2010


These past two months have been quite a month for my family. Since almost losing my wife on Feb. 6th God has shown Himself mighty and strong in His healing of her body. But then again when I come to think about it, He has all my life but like most of us we fail to see the strong hand of God in and on our life. As a result, we worry about a lot of things that we should not. We see God save and heal a life and then turn around and worry about smaller and lesser things forgetting what God had just done on the bigger scale.

A University of Michigan study discovered some interesting facts about fear and worry:
60% of what you worry about is unwarranted
20% of what you worry about is already past; it is over and done with
10% are issues so petty that it is foolish to worry about them
4% to 5% are justifiable concerns, but there is nothing you can do about them; they are out of your hands
Only 2% of what we fear and worry about is legitimate

Many of us are professional worriers; in fact, we worry over the fact that we worry too much. You see, so much of what we worry about is not real and it simply blinds us like fog to the awesome power of God.

Did you know worry can be like fog? I live in an area where the fog can become pretty thick and you can not see what is in front of you. But did you know that if you take a dense fog that is one hundred feet deep and covers seven square city blocks and condense it, you would get less than one single eight-ounce glass of water? When a single cup of water is vaporized, it transforms into a dense, blinding fog that covers seven city blocks. That is amazing! And that is what we do with worry. We allow something in our life, whatever it may be, that amounts to almost nothing, to become a blinding, all-encompassing vapor that hinders our faith.

When David wrote Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want”, he knew he was connected to the source that is all-sufficient and inexhaustible. He was not going to worry, God was in control.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

He is our Yoke

Vs 28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Vs 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matt. 11:28-29)

This past month has been a time of really drawing to the Lord and trusting in Him. Scripture has become so alive to me. Verses I have read all my adult life has taken on a whole new meaning and Matt 11:28&29 is one of them.

Do you realize this is the only time Jesus ever described Himself? The reason He's a safe place for hurting people is that He has a soul that has been tamed from any agenda except the agenda of God's redeeming love. Why a yoke?

A yoke is a single object built for two. When yoked together, two oxen can pull more than one alone can. It cuts work in half and multiplies the effect of their labor. Think about Jesus' yoke. Christmas is the celebration of the fact that Jesus came to earth as a flesh and blood human being. John 1:14 says that God became flesh and dwelt among us. Why? So He could invite us to His yoke. The Hebrews had strict laws concerning the abuse of animals, especially those placed under the yoke. An ox and a horse could not be hitched together in the same yoke. Why? One or both will get hurt. So Jesus came as He did, to do what He does--carry the heavy burdens of life with us. He came for the heat of the struggle, when your body is weary, and when you are reminded that pain does not always go away quickly.

He is strong. He takes up the load that you can't handle. He carries the load when you stumble. He holds the yoke in place when you refuse to go another inch. His strength makes the yoke easy and the burden lighter for us. In the midst of our struggle and pain, we have His gentle and humble heart to teach us His way, the way to a cross. He knows how to handle heavy objects and weighty things. He manhandled the cross up Calvary. The Christian life begins by placing faith in Jesus, but it continues victoriously as we learn to walk like Him--by walking with Him under the yoke.

I don't know where one finds rest while still in the struggle, except with Jesus.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Power of Prayer

My wife wrote this down on a card that I found in her calendar book, "Things change when we get desperate enough to talk to Him" This past month my family got desperate, and friends and family joined us in fervent, continual, constant prayer for Karen. The result? God heared, answered and change took place.

Now, Can you imagine what would happen if we would pray with the same fervency for our church and those spiritually lost and away from Christ? Hmm.....= revival

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rebuilding our life

Today I sat in the outpatient rehab waiting room and looked at an article about Jillian Michaels.  For those that do not know who Jillian is she is one of the trainers on The Biggest Loser TV show.  When asked why she did what she did Jillian commented by saying this, "I am passionate about helping people rebuild their lives."  I thought wow, that is exactly what the church (not the building) but the Pastor and the people ought to be about...passionate about helping people rebuild their lives.  The problem is we get so focused on other things don't we?  I know I do..but that is what I want to focus my life on and the life of our church..being passionate about helping others rebuild their lives.

Then I sat with Karen in Therapy and listened to the Occupational Therapist talk to us.  After awhile of small talk he said "ok we can talk philosophy forever, lets get down to business and do some therapy"  As he walked into the other room, I told Karen, that is what we do in church too much.. we talk about the philosophy of Christian living, but not the nuts and bolts of 'how to"

My prayer is .. Lord help us be passionate about helping people rebuild their lives and help us give them the principles from Gods Word to do it"  The nuts and bolts, right down where the rubber meets the road in the daily grind of life.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Power of God

God is truly awesome.  Like many, I use the word awesome far too many times and I have a bad habit to break.  We say the car is awesome, the game was awesome, the pizza was awesome.  In fact, we use awesome so much the word awesome is no longer awesome.  But when you study scripture the word 'awesome' is only used in reference to God.  Nehemiah prayed to the Great and Awesome God.

Today I serve and love an awesome God.  He is a God of miracles and might.  This week my wife was released from Forrest General in Hattiesburg, MS.  The nurses on the rehab floor said she was a miracle and they have never seen anything like it.  To think of where she has come from (one not able to do the easiest of tasks and it taking 3 people to move her from the bed to her wheelchair) to this past thursday when she actually stood in the rehab kitchen and cooked.  She is an answer to prayer and a result of the healing, miraculous power of God.

When I think of Karens testimony Psalm 145:6 & 11 comes to mind, vs 6 Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, And I will declare Your greatness.  vs 11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, And talk of Your power

Saturday, February 27, 2010

God gives us courage

Not only do I like a good starbucks mocha, but I also got something even better at the Starbucks in Hattiesburg, MS. The other night I went in for an evening Mocha and while waiting for mine to be made I saw two ladies sitting close by with their Bibles. I walked over to them and noticed one had a John Maxwell study bible and I pointed to it and said "that is a good book". They nodded and agreed. Soon I found out they were attending the church my nephew went to and I asked them to pray for Karen.

Then one of the ladies got up with her Bible and showed me a verse she had underlined. What a great verse. Karen and I have read it now twice at night. Psalm 27:13-14 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed. That I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!"

When you walk through the valley of death you can easily lose heart. But knowing our Heavenly Father is their for us gives us courage. When we wait on Him it causes us to trust more and grow in His strength.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

God is with us

It is so good to know that when you go through the eye of storm God is there. He truly will never leave you nor forsake you

Just two weeks ago I came so close to losing my wife. Today, she is alive and recovering, slowly but recovering. I keep claiming Gods promises of healing and praying to Jehovah Rapha, the Lord our healer. A dear church member said that I was a 'fixer' that I always wanted to fix things 'now' and she is right. I want to fix this right now too, but I can't. I have to learn to wait, trust the Lord and be patient. God has brought Karen along so much in these 2 weeks and I am looking forward to what He is going to do in the future. So many passages of scripture keep running through my mind of Gods power and strength...what a comfort they are to this frail weak person. But as I write this I am reminded that when I am weak I am made strong through Him.

God is awesome and I will write about that later. But for now I pray for Gods complete totally healing. No, she is not a young strong 20 year old olympic athlete trying to recover from brain surgery. But still, I am praying the greater prayer, prayer for a greater miracle, praying that God will show Himself evern mighter and stronger in His healing of Karen.. God may you get the praise and draw more people to Yourself

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I want to welcome you to my blog page. I hope that as we make this journey together that we call life we can truly grow in Gods love and grace. It is my goal to share with you not only what God is doing in our church, Smith River Baptist, but also what God is teaching me in His Word.

As Paul prayed for the church in Col 1:9 "For this reason, we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding"