PRECIOUS MEMORIES


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mary Did You Know - Parable of the Birds - O Holy Night - Merry Christmas!

Mary Did You Know



Parable of the Birds

Once upon a time, there was a man who looked upon Christmas as a lot of humbug. He wasn't a Scrooge. He was a very kind and decent person, generous to his family, upright in all his dealings with other men. But he didn't believe all that stuff about an incarnation which churches proclaim at Christmas. And he was too honest to pretend that he did. "I am truly sorry to distress you," he told his wife, who was a faithful churchgoer, "but I simply cannot understand this claim that God became man. It doesn't make any sense to me."

On Christmas Eve, his wife and children went to church for the midnight service. He declined to accompany them. "I'd feel like a hypocrite," he explained. "I'd much rather stay at home. But I'll wait up for you."

Shortly after his family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to his family room window and watched the flurries getting heavier and heavier.

"If we must have a Christmas," he reflected, "it's nice to have a white one."

He went back to his chair by the fireside and began to read his newspaper. A few minutes later, he was startled by a thudding sound. It was quickly followed by another, then another. He thought that someone must be throwing snow balls at his living room window.

When he went to the front door to investigate, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They had been caught in the storm, and in a desperate search for shelter had tried to fly through his window.

I can't let those poor creatures lie there and freeze, he thought. But how can I help them?

Then he remembered the barn where the children's pony was stabled. It would provide a warm shelter. He quickly put on his coat and galoshes and tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on the light. But the birds didn't come in.

Food will bring them in, he thought. So he hurried back to the house for bread crumbs, which he sprinkled on the snow to make a trail into the barn.

To his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow. He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around and waving his arms. They scattered in every direction - except into the warm, lighted barn.

"They think I'm a strange and terrifying creature," he said to himself, "and I can't seem to think of any way to let them know they can trust me. If only I could be a bird myself for a few minutes, perhaps I could lead them to safety. If I could just talk bird talk - speak bird language - they would listen to me, because they would understand me. Maybe if I put on my daughter's 'Big-Bird' costume, I would look like a bird and they would trust me because I would look like them."

"If I could just become a bird for a few minutes...
if I could just walk like a bird...
if I could just talk like a bird...
if I could just look like a bird...
they would trust me and I could save them...
they would trust me and I could save them...
they would trust me and I could save them..."

Just at that moment, the church bells began to ring. He stood silently for a while, listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. Then he sank to his knees in the snow.

"Now I understand," he whispered. "Now I know why you had to come to earth. Now I know why you became one of us. Thank you, Jesus, for coming to earth to save sinners like me."

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philip. 2:5-11)

O Holy Night



Twelve Things You Can Do With A Christmas Fruitcake

  1. Paint a few white and place them outside on the grass so people won't park on your lawn.
  2. Use it as building material. (This is actually what the Ancient Egyptians used to build the Great Pyramids.)
  3. Keep one under your pillow for home defense.
  4. Send one to the junk mail company with a note asking them to take you off their list.
  5. It's colorful; use it as a Yule Log.
  6. Carve the Presidents' faces in it and submit as a science or art project.
  7. Give one to your boss and tell him it's a life preserver.
  8. Use it as a base for flower arrangements.
  9. Donate to the local airport for use as airliner wheel blocks.
  10. Grind a few up and give it back to your in-laws in a bag marked "lawn fertilizer."
  11. For a community project, sink a few in the ocean and build an artificial reef.
  12. Tie one to each foot when you walk through deep snow to keep your feet dry.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thank a Veteran today!


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from falling hand we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, through poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Author – Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae

Thanks be to God for all the men and women who have served our state and nation in this cause for freedom.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Casey Joe Fowler Flag Football II



Casey Joe lunges for the flag at the end of the play...


Casey Joe Fowler Flag Football Video 4 from Buddy Smith on Vimeo.

Casey Joe can't get the flag so he pulls him down by shirt...


Casey Joe Fowler Flag Football Video 5 from Buddy Smith on Vimeo.

Casey Joe runs the ball...


Casey Joe Flag Football Video 1 from Buddy Smith on Vimeo.

Casey Joe makes another tackle. Oops, this is flag football!


Casey Joe Fowler Flag Football Video 2 from Buddy Smith on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

10 Predictions No Matter Who Wins The Election

1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost when they come to him.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

America's Choice Now

This video is for all ages -- there are no graphic images. The goal here is to give every American citizen a grasp of where Senators McCain and Obama really stand on the life issue, using their own words. Millions of young lives depend on our election-day decisions. Over 35 years of hard won pro-life battles could be reversed if voters remain uninformed - especially Christian voters who alone could reclaim the rights of the unborn on November 4th.

"What American needs is spiritual renewal and reconciliation -- first, man with God and then man with man." Ronald Reagan 1976

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Kyle Lograsso

Our son Casey Smith, Jr. is a golf professional who sent us this amazing video about Kyle Lograsso who is a 5 year old golf prodigy. And to think he started playing at the age of 2! Watch this story about a loving family who overcame a great many problems. Be warned though, keep a box of tissues close at hand.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

155th Armored Brigade of The National Guard

I was invited by Geoff Wagner, a co-worker at AFA, to share a devotional this past Sunday morning with the brave men and women of 155th Armored Brigade of the National Guard. What a privilege this was to sing a few songs and offer them sincere thanks for putting their lives on the line in defense of our American freedoms.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A Salute to Paul Weyrich


Carol and I will join Don and Lynda Wildmon and others on Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, DC for a tribute to Paul Weyrich. Read more about the accomplishments of Paul Weyrich here.

You've gotta see the movie "Fireproof"

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin bears witness to Jesus Christ at her home church - Parts 1 & 2

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin bears witness to Jesus Christ at her home church - Wasilla Assembly of God - where she was led to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Gov. Palin attended Wasilla Assembly of God from the time she was a teen ager up until 2002. Since that time she has maintained a friendship with Wasilla Assembly of God and has attended various conferences and special meetings there. This video was taken in recent months since she makes reference to her newborn son. Watch this compelling video to hear Gov. Palin witness about her belief in prayer and God's Word. The Gov. begins speaking at 2:20 into the video. (Part 1)



Gov. Sarah Palin bears witness to Jesus Christ at her home church - Part 2. Pay close attention to the prophetic prayer that her former pastor, Reverend Paul Riley, prays over her at the end of the video.

Gov. Sarah Palin strikes back



Newt Gingrich asked about Gov. Palin's experience

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Does it really matter what people think of us?

BY BUDDY SMITH, AFA special assistant - AFA Journal, September 2008

How do people outside the church view those inside it? If you’re talking about Americans between the ages of 16 and 29, the answer is, “Not favorably.”

David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons in their book unChristian conclude that Christianity has an image problem. The research found Mosaics (born 1984-2002) and Busters (born 1965-1983) most often expressed disenchantment (or outright hostility) toward Christians because they perceive them as hypocritical, only interested in people as potential converts, uncharitably anti-homosexual, sheltered from cultural and societal realities, too political and judgmental.

Before you get defensive, the authors are quick to remind Christians that this is how they are perceived. Your perception may differ, but that doesn’t change the fact that outsiders often reject Christianity because of the image it projects or because it is framed in distortions by mainstream media.

On the one hand, the book is helpful. If Christians want to fulfill the Great Commission then we must first understand what we’re up against. Kinnaman is president of the Barna Group, a research firm that studies trends in American religion. Lyons is founder of the Fermi Project, a network of emerging evangelical leaders who are trying to positively impact American culture. unChristian, summarizes the conclusions of that study and suggests how Christians can overcome their image problem.

On the other hand, the book falls short in exhorting the faithful to remain steadfast in a life of holiness. Christianity is only lived out through our faith in Christ by adherence to Biblical standards. All the polling in the world does not change the need for our faithfulness to that call.

Lest we forget, Jesus Christ had an image problem that ultimately resulted in His death. We also have powerful testimonies of the early martyrs of the Christian faith who remained steadfast rather than clear up their image problems.

Sometimes, while attempting to stand for righteousness, we may come across as judgmental. While trying to apply Christian ethics to the social scene, we may come across as trying to grab political power.

One case in point is Christians’ attitudes toward homosexuality – and homosexuals. The “hate the sin, love the sinner” attitude so often expressed by Christians just doesn’t wash with Mosaics and Busters. They see little love and compassion toward gays. From what they’ve observed, Christians hate the sin and the sinner. Again, this is the short version and hardly does justice to the detailed, compelling and convincing research results in the book.

What is a Biblical response to our image problem?

We should repent in those areas where we are unChristian and pray for God’s help to fulfill the Great Commission to our generation and become a bridge to the next. We should remain vigilant in upholding Biblical family values in our society including marriage amendments in California, Florida and Arizona, and the Marriage Protection Amendment in Congress. At the same time, we should give more support to ministries such as Exodus International, Love Won Out and Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays which are helping men and women find freedom from homosexuality.

When the message is rejected, we should remember that the Gospel, in Paul’s words, is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to the Greeks – and even to the postmoderns – as Kinnaman and Lyons acknowledge. As Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “We are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16).

Does it really matter what people think of us? Ultimately, no. What really matters is that we offer them Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Alabaster Box" by Mandy Smith

Our daughter-in-law, Mandy Smith, singing "Alabaster Box" at Enon Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Ackerman, Mississippi.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Stephen Curtis Chapman on Good Morning America

The Philosphy of Peanuts

Philosophy of "Peanuts"
David Langerfield

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip. You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just read the e-mail straight through, and you'll get the point.
  1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
  2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
  3. Name the last five winners of Miss America.
  4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
  5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
  6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.
How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:
  1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
  2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
  3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
  4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
  5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
Easier?

The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

The people who make a difference in your life are the ones who encourage you in your Christian walk, who encourage you with spiritual strength in times of trouble and the ones who help you see your value to the Kingdom of God.

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Subscribe to David Langerfield's "The Daily Encourager" by sending an e-mail to: The_Daily_Encourager-subscribe@MyInJesus.com (Subject: SUBSCRIBE)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

An excellent way to begin each day

Here is a simple prayer and an excellent way to begin each day. John Stott, the well-known author and much-beloved former pastor of All Souls Church in London, begins each day with this prayer to each person in the Holy Trinity:

Good morning heavenly Father. Good morning Lord Jesus. Good morning Holy Spirit. Father I pray that I may live this day in Your presence and please You more and more. Lord Jesus I pray that this day I may take up my cross and follow You. Holy Spirit I pray that this day You will fill me with Yourself and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, three Persons in one God, have mercy upon me, Amen.

This wonderful prayer encapsulates in only a few words our need to be filled with the fullness of who God is.

We need the Father.
We need the Son.
We need the Holy Spirit.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Shhh - Don't tell Carol

Three pastors' wives from the Florida Hospital Seventh-day Adventist church in Orlando decided they were tired of having their latest household fiasco show up in sermon illustrations, so these women made a parody video to get their point across, revamping Carrie Underwood's popular "Before He Cheats" with their rendition of "Before He Speaks."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pro-family groups call for boycott of McDonald's, supporter of homosexual marriage


As special assistant to American Family Association Chairman Don Wildmon, I am honored to be joined by these wonderful pro-family organizations and local supporters to stand near the world headquarters of the McDonald’s corporation to call for a boycott of the corporation over their disregard for traditional moral and family values. It is a shame that McDonald’s would tarnish their family-friendly image but the company has ramped up its support of the gay agenda and it leaves us no option but to call for a boycott.





AFA Chairman Don Wildmon wrote McDonald’s with a plea to remain neutral in the culture war by removing McDonald’s name and logo from the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) Web site (where McDonald’s is cited as a corporate partner and organizational ally) and withdraw McDonald’s VP of Communications Richard Ellis’ endorsement from the pro-gay Web site. McDonald’s ignored both requests. To put it politely, McDonald’s has thumbed its nose at the Christian community.

McDonald’s donated $20,000 to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in exchange for membership and a seat on the group’s board of directors. The NGLCC lobbies Congress on a wide range of issues related to the gay agenda including gay "marriage". The NGLCC is about much more than commerce. They are a political machine with a mission of radically changing American by redefining the sacred institution of marriage between one man and one woman. The NGLCC is a close ally and partner of the Human Rights Campaign which is the largest political force of the homosexual movement.

In response to the boycott, McDonald’s spokesman Bill Whitman told the Washington Post that those who oppose homosexuality are motivated by hate, saying that “…hatred has no place in our culture.” McDonald’s has decided to adopt the “hate” theme used by homosexual groups for years.

In the past, my wife and I have enjoyed taking our two young grandsons to McDonald’s where they have enjoyed happy meals and playing on the playground. McDonald’s recent actions have necessitated that we deny their request to eat at the formerly family-friendly McDonald’s restaurants based on the company’s disdain for the teachings of the Bible and people of faith. For the younger grandson, we have had to simply explain that Ronald McDonald has been bad. For the sake of our grandchildren, we implore McDonald’s corporation to stop their attack on people of faith and traditional moral values. As grandparents, we are responsible for protecting our grandchildren. As Christians and Americans, we share responsibility for kind of nation we leave to our grandchildren and their generation. Therefore, we will continue to boycott McDonald's until they stop taking money that we would spend on happy meals for the grandchildren and use it for the destruction of marriage and family.

This boycott isn’t about hiring homosexuals, or homosexuals eating at McDonald’s or how homosexual employees are treated. It is about McDonald’s, as a corporation, refusing to remain neutral in the culture war. The company has chosen not to remain neutral but to the full weight of their corporation to promoting the homosexual agenda, including homosexual marriage.

The pro-family groups are here today encouraging families to do these things: sign, print and distribute a Boycott McDonald’s petition at www.boycottmcdonalds.com; and call the local McDonald’s to politely tell the manager you are boycotting the chain until it stops promoting the gay agenda that undermines the God-ordained institution of marriage and family which is the only foundation of a healthy society. Pray for those caught in the trap of homosexuality that they will turn to Jesus Christ for salvation and deliverance. Finally, pray that McDonald's President Andrew McKenna will return his company to being family friendly.

America's children need a mommy and a daddy.

Casey M. “Buddy” Smith, Jr.
Special Assistant to the Chairman and President
American Family Association
P.O. Drawer 2440
Tupelo, Mississippi 38803
Phone 662-844-5036
FAX 662-842-7798
URL www.afa.net
E-mail buddy@afa.net

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Another birthday for me but the Gospel is ageless

Today is Saturday, July 12, 2008 and I turn 57 years old. It’s a typical hot Mississippi summer day and mom tells me it was this hot in 1951 only without the luxury of air conditioning.

At 57, I have come to rest my soul on a handful of biblical truths:
  • Only Jesus saves.
  • Only Jesus satisfies.
  • The Bible is true.
  • God is holy, just and good.
  • His mercies endure forever.
  • Jesus is Lord.
  • His blood cleanses from every sin.
  • He rose from the dead on the third day.
  • He is now enthroned in heaven.
  • One day He will return to the earth.
  • The God who created me has a purpose for my life.
  • All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.
  • The Holy Spirit intercedes for me.
Here is a video clip of Billy Graham preaching in Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1957. I hope you are reminded in this excerpt from a sermon preached 51 years ago that the Gospel is ageless.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Happy 232nd Birthday, America!

Lee Greenwood - God Bless The USA



"Spiritual Entropy"
by Paul Heil

This weekend Americans are celebrating the 232nd birthday of what arguably became the greatest and most powerful nation this planet has ever known.

232 years seems like a very long time. But, consider this: with an average life expectancy of about 78 years in America these days, that is actually just a bit less than three overlapping lifetimes. And compared to such nations as Egypt, Greece, China and others, the good-ol' USA is still the kid on the block.

Last week in this space, we discussed how New Age philosophies, like a virulent disease, are eating away at the very heart and soul of this nation. And I use the word "soul" intentionally because, as we have seen, this deadly cancer has been spreading through the church as well as secular society.

Although the hazards we face as Christians in America pale compared with the persecution our believing brothers and sisters around the world are facing -- even gruesome death -- we are definitely seeing an accelerated level of attack on fundamental Christian beliefs. (Take a moment, if possible, to re-read last week's Epistle about this.) Satan obviously knows his time is short. (Rev. 12:12.)

The late Dr. James Kennedy went to great lengths illustrating how the United States was founded on Christian principles, even if not all of the founders were Christian. And Christian principles were historically at the heart of American society and even American jurisprudence.

But I have lived long enough -- and the majority of you reading this probably have, as well -- to have seen a major change in American society regarding Christian beliefs. When I was in grade school -- public school, mind you -- the teacher would read a chapter from the Bible each morning. We would recite the Lord's prayer. And we would recite the Pledge of Allegiance. To today's school administrators all of that seems totally out of place, archaic, primitive, and certainly not something for a more "enlightened" and pluralistic society. During my years as a radio newsman, I covered many municipal government meetings that opened with prayer. Today that practice is coming under relentless attack – or, commonly, has disappeared entirely. It's just verboten.

Too bad. We have lost sight of where this nation's strength originated.

But over the past two centuries, enlightened observers have warned about what we're seeing happen now.

In 1832, a Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, came to America to investigate the American penal system, but, much more broadly, to observe American society. His observations and conclusions filled two volumes. Consider these well-known observations of his:
"I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers – and it was not there.
"I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her fertile fields and boundless forests – and it was not there.
"I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her public school system and her institutions of learning – and it was not there.
"I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her democratic congress and her matchless constitution – and it was not there.
"Not until I went into the churches of America and heard the pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power."
And so it was – in 1832. But are American pulpits still "aflame with righteousness?" Consider de Tocqueville's conclusion – and warning:
"America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."
That's a chilling warning, especially in light of the changes we've seen in as little as the past twenty years. It's not unfair to say that much of American society has lost its moral compass – or has simply decided to disregard it entirely. Our celebrities and our politicians and even some liberal theologians preach that there is nothing wrong with killing pre-born babies or in approving, celebrating and even "sanctifying" acts that God has called "abominations."

How much longer will God withhold the judgement that this nation must surely be bringing upon itself? And can we allow these celebrities, politicians and others to continually thumb their noses at God without speaking up more boldly in defense of the truth? The words of the glorified Christ to the Church at Ephesus in Revelation 2:5 could be read as a plea – and warning – for us today, as a nation as well as individually: "Think about those times of your first love (how different now!) and turn back to me again and work as you did before; or else I will come and remove your candlestick from its place among the churches."*

One of the most insightful and incisive quotes I've seen on this issue comes not from a theologian or a preacher but rather from a noted U. S. Army officer during World War II, Gen. Omar Bradley (after whom the Bradley tank is named). Read carefully what he had to say: "We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount… America today is running on the momentum of a Godly ancestry, and when that momentum runs down, God help America."

There's very little momentum left. As a society — and especially as respecting Christian influence in our society — we are experiencing entropy, which the dictionary defines as the "steady deterioration of a system or society."

Pray today as you have never before prayed for this land. Pray for spiritual revival to reverse the accelerating downward moral and spiritual trend. Pray that God's people will exercise those "unalienable rights" the Founding Fathers uniquely recognized as given "by their Creator" to take a stand for truth — now more than ever.

Pray that God's chilling words to Ezekiel (22:30) will not apply to us: "So I sought for a man among them who would...stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one."

- Paul

*Living Bible paraphrase.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Prairie Bible Camp - Lehr Camp Meeting: Lehr, North Dakota

After twenty three years, Carol and I enjoyed a wonderful reunion with friends at Lehr Camp Meeting in North Dakota. According to MapQuest, Lehr is 1,232 miles from Plantersville. Over an eight day period, I preached eight times plus led Bible studies and devotionals. Carol and I truly enjoyed renewing our fellowship with North Dakota State Senator Robert Erbele, his wife Susan and their loving family. The highlight of our week was the salvation of four young men who came to the altar in response to the preaching of the gospel. Pray with us that Tristen, Tyler, Chase and Andrew will grow in the grace and knowledge of the Savior.

The Wissmann Family of Seward, Nebraska did a splendid job leading the Prairie Bible Camp through the day. They directed the youth ages 4 – 18. In addition, they led us in worship during the evening meetings.

A Wissman family member aptly blogged this line about the camp meeting and Bible camp, "How does a person sum up a week of ol' time revival meetings, dozens of youth ages 4 - 18, colorful dramas, meaningful lessons, enthusiastic games, and priceless moments with friends?!"

This slide show will give you a glimpse into the week of activity better than a wordy post could do. Building on the theme, "The Greatest Discovery", we studied the principles of seeking Truth, the courage to stand for Truth, and the importance of spreading the Truth. [John 14:6]



The Waddington Family of Seward, North Dakota shared their ministry of music with us on Saturday evening.

Here are my photos from the week.



Today many people believe the usefulness of the camp meeting has passed. They consider it an old mode of operation that needs to be put to sleep. We strongly disagree. Instead of allowing the camp meeting to die, we should renew our efforts to bring it to new life. Far from being a dried relic of the past, camp meetings still provide the opportunity for many people to hear the message of Salvation and Scriptural Holiness.

Conferences drawing thousands of people are going on almost constantly all over the nation. At these conferences people spend thousands of dollars on admission, food, lodging, and the materials offered by the promoters. At these conferences people sit all day long listening to speaker after speaker, several days at a time.

At the Lehr Camp Meeting this year you won’t pay a steep admission charge, and no one will ask you to buy hundreds of dollars worth of materials. No, you won’t be worshipping at the Ritz-Carlton twenty floors above the city streets, but then you won’t have to pay their price. The food won’t be steak or lobster. But your experience at camp meeting can definitely change your life.

As children, Carol and both I stayed in a (wooden) tent with our grandparents at South Union Camp Meeting (www.SouthUnionCampmeeting.org) established in 1872 and located in central Mississippi. We can remember camp meeting days at South Union when we had to haul the water from the spring, and the floors under the open Tabernacle and in the tents were sawdust. We also remember the sight of altars covered with people seeking God and lives being changed.

As Carol and I grow in years, we become more convinced that our parents and grandparents gave us life's greatest treasure: a Christian home. Now, our prayer and passion is that we will be found trustworthy of offering that advantage to our children and grandchildren.

We believe that the God of the Scripture, the God who displayed His glory in the great camp meetings of the past, is the same God we worship today. He has not changed. He is no less able to turn the heart of a nation today than He was 100 years ago! All the social and political evils that threaten to be the undoing of our world today, all the false religions that vie for the allegiance of men – these are no match for our God. He is willing – yes, eager – to manifest Himself and His saving grace to this lost, prodigal planet. But first we must have a revived church. And a revived church consists of revived individuals.

The psalmist said, “You who seek God, let your hearts revive” (Psalm 69:32). If you will seek Him with all your heart, you can be assured that He will restore, renew, and revive you. One person, one family, one small group, one church, one camp meeting – no matter how “insignificant” – that is committed to seeking the Lord can become a part of the “awakened giant” that God will use to spread His glory and the fame of His name throughout the world.

As we seek Him with all our hearts, our prayer is that God will reveal Himself to us in fresh ways during Lehr Camp Meeting 2008; that He will revive our hearts, and that He will be magnified in and through our lives.

Buddy & Carol

Friday, May 23, 2008

Memorial Day 2008



Below is an excerpt from the speech President Ronald Reagan delivered at Pointe du Hoc, France, where U.S. Rangers fought an incredible battle to reclaim Europe from the evil of fascism. I hope you find President Reagan’s remarks a reminder of who we are. May God help America to rediscover this resolve in the fight against the new fascism of militant Islam.

Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love.

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One’s country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.

The Americans who fought here that morning knew word of the invasion was spreading through the darkness back home. They thought -- or felt in their hearts, though they couldn’t know in fact, that in Georgia they were filling the churches at 4 a.m., in Kansas they were kneeling on their porches and praying, and in Philadelphia they were ringing the Liberty Bell.

Something else helped the men of D-Day: their rock-hard belief that Providence would have a great hand in the events that would unfold here; that God was an ally in this great cause. And so, the night before the invasion, when Colonel Wolverton asked his parachute troops to kneel with him in prayer he told them: Do not bow your heads, but look up so you can see God and ask His blessing in what we’re about to do. Also that night, General Matthew Ridgway on his cot, listening in the darkness for the promise God made to Joshua: “I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.” …

Here, in this place where the West held together, let us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Let our actions say to them the words for which Matthew Ridgway listened: “I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.” Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their valor, and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

In Memory of Mary Sue Chapman (2003-2008)

Maria Sue Chapman, adopted and youngest daughter to Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman, was killed Wednesday night in a tragic accident in the family driveway on Wednesday evening. She was LifeFlighted to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital but for only reasons God can explain she went home to Him... not to Franklin as we all so desperately wanted.

Your prayers are needed for all in the Chapman family. This is a family who has so generously loved and given to so many. Just hours before this close knit family was celebrating the engagement of the oldest daughter Emily Chapman, and were just hours away from a graduation party marking Caleb Chapman's completion of high school. Now, they are preparing to bury a child who blew out 5 candles on a birthday cake less than 10 days ago. These words are unthinkable to type. And yet we trust in a God who was not surprised by this and because of Jesus I am certain through faith in Him we will see Maria again. - Jim Houser (Manager)

Meet Maria

For those who never had the chance to meet this special little girl, we invite you to get a glimpse through this "goofy" blog video shot with her Daddy just two months ago. It’s a wonderful recording to help us remember Maria. We miss you so badly already. We'll see you soon Maria.



Friday, May 16, 2008

No Excuses

There are many reasons why God shouldn't have called you.
But don't worry. You're in good company . . .

Moses stuttered.
David's armor didn't fit.
John Mark was rejected by Paul.
Timothy had ulcers.
Hosea's wife was a prostitute.
Amos' only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.
Jacob was a liar.
David had an affair.
Solomon was too rich.
Abraham was too old.
David was too young.
Peter was afraid of death.
Lazarus was dead.
John was self-righteous.
Naomi was a widow.
Paul was a murderer.
So was Moses.
Jonah ran from God.
Miriam was a gossip.
Gideon and Thomas both doubted.
Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.
Elijah was burnt out.
John the Baptist was a loudmouth.
Martha was a worry-wart.
Mary was lazy.
Samson had long hair.
Noah got drunk.

Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse?
So did Peter, Paul -- well, lots of folks did.
But God doesn't require a job interview.
He doesn't look at financial gain or loss.
He's not prejudiced or partial,
not judging or grudging,
not sassy or brassy,
not deaf to our cry, not blind to our need.

As much as we try, God's gifts are free.

Satan says, "You're not worthy."
Jesus says, "So what?... I AM."

Satan looks back and sees our mistakes.
God looks back and sees the cross.

He doesn't calculate what you did last month or last year.
It's not even on the record.
Sure. There are lots of reasons why God shouldn't have called us.
But if we are in love with Him,
If we hunger for Him more than our next breath,
He'll use us - in spite of
who we are,
where we've been, or
what we look like.

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" Philippians 4:13

Monday, May 12, 2008

Dottie Rambo – Legendary gospel singer and songwriter

Legendary gospel singer and songwriter Dottie Rambo died Sunday morning when her tour bus ran off a road in southwest Missouri and struck an embankment. She was 74 years old. She had more than 2500 published songs, among them a song of great hope called “Sheltered in the Arms of God.” Casey and I sing this wonderful old song at South Union Camp Meeting in 2002.

Here is a short list of Dottie’s published songs:
  • Sheltered in the Arms of God
  • We Shall Behold Him
  • I Will Glory In The Cross
  • Behold The Lamb
  • Build My Mansion
  • I Go To The Rock
  • He Looked Beyond My Fault
  • Holy Spirit Thou Art Welcome
  • I Call Him Lord
  • If That Isn’t Love
  • Tears Will Never Stain The Streets of That City
Here is a more complete list of songs by Dottie Rambo.

Dottie Rambo and Barbara Mandrell sing “I Will Glory In The Cross.”



Sandy Patty sings “We Shall Behold Him” like no one else. You can see Dottie Rambo sitting in the background, singing along. I have no doubt that the song’s author is now beholding Jesus face to face.

Listen, watch and be blessed.



See below for a behind the scenes look into the Dottie's CD released this year. LuLu Roman joins her for “Holy Spirit Thou Art Welcome.”

Crape Creek Baptist Church Memorial Day - Choctaw County, Mississippi

Carol attended Memorial Day at Crape Creek Baptist Church in Choctaw County. This church and community is where her dad, Freeman Erwin, lived as a youngster.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day celebration reaches 100th anniversary

I honor my mother, Joan Smith: youngest of 2, loving companion to my dad for 60 years this August, now 78 years young. She prayed for me, encouraged me, listened to me, and is a model of “hoping in God.”

I honor my wife, Carol Smith: middle of 3, companion, friend, lover, ministry-partner, mother of 2, grandmother of two, amazing wife.

I honor my daughter, Stacey Fowler: oldest of 2, authentic Christian witness since her conversion at 5, faithful wife to Chip, nurturing mother to Casey Joe and Weston, faithful servant to her local church.

GRAFTON, W.Va. - On this 100th anniversary of Mother's Day, the woman credited with creating one of the worlds most celebrated holidays probably wouldn't be pleased with all the flowers, candy or gifts.

Anna Jarvis would want us to give mothers a white carnation - she felt it signified the purity of a mother's love. Read more of Mother's Day celebration reaches 100th anniversary.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Where the cross should be raised

I simply argue that the Cross should be raised at the center of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles; but on a cross between two thieves; on the towns’ garbage heap; at a crossroad, so cosmopolitan they had to write his title in Hebrew and Latin and Greek… at the kind of place where cynics talk smut, and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble. Because that is where He died. And that is what He died about. So, that is where church-men ought to be and what churchmen ought to be about. -- Rev. Dr. George McLeod, Minister, Church of Scotland, 1895-1991

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Congratulations Coach Parker & Jane Dykes

Carol and I are grateful for the influential Christian witness of Parker and Jane Dykes during the early years of our lives. Parker Dykes was head coach at Ackerman High School from 1968-70 while his wife, Jane, taught 7th and 8th grade English. I played football and Carol was cheerleader during their era at AHS.

Carol and I were honored this past Saturday to attend the induction of Coach Parker Dykes to the Mississippi College “M” Club Sport Hall of Fame on the MC campus in Clinton, Mississippi. Watch the video (in 2 parts) of acceptance speech and be blessed by his meaningful comments regarding faith, family and freedom.

Part 1



Part 2





Coach Parker Dykes

Coach Dykes currently works as professional football scout for the Edmonton Eskimos and Associate Director of Football Coaches Ministry with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Parker and Jane Dykes currently reside at 232 Battlefield Drive, Dandridge, Tennessee 37725, e-mail pdykes@fca.org.

  • Forty two years of coaching experience in junior high, senior high, junior college, senior college and youth leagues.
  • FCA’s “Boo” Farris Influence Award
  • State – Regional – National Championship Winning Coach
  • National Junior College Football Coaches Hall of Fame
  • Past President of the National Junior College Football Coaches Association
  • All America Football Foundation Award Four Times
  • Honored by Congress and entered into the Congressional Record Twice
  • Professional Football Scout
  • Christian Husband, Father of three sons, Grandfather of three girls, three boys and Numerous Friends
  • Active member of First Baptist Church of Dandridge, Tennessee
  • Christian Speaker

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Lehr, North Dakota Camp Meeting: June 8-15, 2008

After more than thirty years, Carol and I are very grateful to be invited again to Lehr Camp Meeting. Today many people believe the usefulness of the camp meeting has passed. They consider it an old mode of operation that needs to be put to sleep. We strongly disagree. Instead of allowing the camp meeting to die, we should renew our efforts to bring it to new life. Far from being a dried relic of the past, camp meetings still provide the opportunity for many people to hear the message of Salvation and Scriptural Holiness.

Conferences drawing thousands of people are going on almost constantly all over the nation. At these conferences people spend thousands of dollars on admission, food, lodging, and the materials offered by the promoters. At these conferences people sit all day long listening to speaker after speaker, several days at a time.

At the Lehr Camp Meeting this year you won’t pay a steep admission charge, and no one will ask you to buy hundreds of dollars worth of materials. No, you won’t be worshipping at the Ritz-Carlton twenty floors above the city streets, but then you won’t have to pay their price. The food won’t be steak or lobster. But your experience at camp meeting can definitely change your life.

As children, Carol and both I stayed in a (wooden) tent with our grandparents at South Union Camp Meeting (www.SouthUnionCampmeeting.org) established in 1872 and located in central Mississippi. We can remember camp meeting days at South Union when we had to haul the water from the spring, and the floors under the open Tabernacle and in the tents were sawdust. We also remember the sight of altars covered with people seeking God and lives being changed.

As Carol and I grow in years, we become more convinced that our parents and grandparents gave us life's greatest treasure: a Christian home. Now, our prayer and passion is that we will be found trustworthy of offering that advantage to our children and grandchildren.

We believe that the God of the Scripture, the God who displayed His glory in the great camp meetings of the past, is the same God we worship today. He has not changed. He is no less able to turn the heart of a nation today than He was 100 years ago! All the social and political evils that threaten to be the undoing of our world today, all the false religions that vie for the allegiance of men – these are no match for our God. He is willing – yes, eager – to manifest Himself and His saving grace to this lost, prodigal planet. But first we must have a revived church. And a revived church consists of revived individuals.

The psalmist said, “You who seek God, let your hearts revive” (Psalm 69:32). If you will seek Him with all your heart, you can be assured that He will restore, renew, and revive you. One person, one family, one small group, one church, one camp meeting – no matter how “insignificant” – that is committed to seeking the Lord can become a part of the “awakened giant” that God will use to spread His glory and the fame of His name throughout the world.

As we seek Him with all our hearts, our prayer is that God will reveal Himself to us in fresh ways during Lehr Camp Meeting 2008; that He will revive our hearts, and that He will be magnified in and through our lives.

Buddy & Carol Smith
www.BuddySmith.com

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Tears of our President


President Bush gives Medal of Honor to Navy SEAL

By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer
Tue Apr 8, 2008

Navy SEAL Michael A. Monsoor had fast thinking to do when a live grenade came out of nowhere to bounce off his chest: Take the clear path to safety that he had but his comrades didn't, try to toss it safely away, or throw himself on top of it.

With barely an instant's hesitation on that Iraqi rooftop, Monsoor took the last course, sacrificing his life to save the men around him. For that, President Bush on Tuesday awarded him the Medal of Honor.

In an East Room ceremony, Bush presented the nation's highest military honor to Monsoor's still-grieving parents, Sally and George Monsoor. About 250 guests, including his sister and two brothers, fellow SEALS, other Medal winners, many friends and GOP Sen. John McCain and other members of Congress, looked on quietly.

"The Medal of Honor is awarded for an act of such courage that no one could rightly be expected to undertake it," Bush said. "Yet those who knew Michael Monsoor were not surprised when he did."

Bush has awarded the medals to 10 people during his presidency. Monsoor is only the third from the Iraq war, and Bush's lip trembled and tears streamed down his cheeks as the official citation was read with the details of his bravery.

The emotional proceedings at the White House came as the top U.S. general and diplomat in Iraq opened two days of testimony across town on Capitol Hill on the status of the war, which has killed more than 4,020 U.S. military personnel.

Gen. David Petraeus said security in Iraq is still too fragile to allow announcements of troop levels going below 140,000 before September. Bush is giving a speech on Thursday to announce whether he accepts Petraeus' recommendation to suspend troop withdrawals for 45 days after the current round completes in July. He is expected to do so.

In brief remarks, Bush told the story of Monsoor's service-oriented upbringing and determined youth.

Monsoor became a Navy SEAL, the military's most elite fighting force, in 2004.

"His teammates liked to laugh about the way his shiny Corvette would leave everybody in the dust," Bush said. "But deep down, they always knew Mike would never leave anybody behind when it counted."

By spring 2006, Monsoor was deployed to Ramadi in Iraq's dangerous, then-al-Qaida dominated Anbar Province, as an automatic weapons gunner and communications operator — a double assignment that often landed him more than 100 pounds of gear to carry in the hot desert.

In May, Monsoor ran through heavy enemy fire to pull a wounded SEAL to safety. He earned a Silver Star, the third-highest award for combat valor, for that action.

It was only four months later, on Sept. 29, 2006, that Monsoor and his two American teammates, plus members of the Iraqi Army, were on a rooftop in a Ramadi residential area known as a stronghold for the Sunni insurgency. They were providing early warning and sniper cover for a mission aimed at trying to clear the neighborhood.

After a long day of back-and-forth engagement and evidence that the enemy was closing them off, Monsoor and the two other SEALS moved to a confined outcropping of the roof for a better lookout position. An unseen insurgent lobbed a grenade, which hit Monsoor in the chest and landed on the floor in front of him. He yelled a warning, but quickly saw that his fellow SEALS, not positioned near the exit like he was, wouldn't be able to get clear in time. Monsoor fell onto the grenade just as it exploded, absorbing the blast with his body and dying from the injuries about 30 minutes later. Others suffered shrapnel wounds, but no one else was killed.

The Garden Grove, Calif., native, was only 25 years old.

"Mr. and Mrs. Monsoor: America owes you a debt that can never be repaid," Bush said. "This nation will always cherish the memory of your son."

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Jesus Paid It All



'Jesus Paid It All' is a grand old hymn. This video was taken at the Passion '06 conference and is a worshipful rendition of this wonderful hymn.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Opponents of silent observance related to gays aren't keeping quiet

The following story ran today in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and was in response to this AFA Action Alert.

Opponents of silent observance related to gays aren't keeping quiet

By EVA-MARIE AYALA
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

Some area students are planning a silent observance late this month to denounce the harassment of gays, but a national family values organization is urging parents to keep their children home that day to fight the protest.

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, a New York-based nonprofit, set April 25 as a national Day of Silence to bring attention to the harassment of some students by peers because of their sexual orientation or gender expression, organizers said. Participants are asked to refrain from speaking all day or part of the day and may give a card explaining why to those who ask.

But a Mississippi-based nonprofit is trying to stop the observance. The American Family Association has posted information about the event on its Web site and has circulated e-mails in recent weeks listing schools that the association says are participating.

"It's just foolishness for children to be subjected to this social activism at school," said Buddy Smith, an administrator with the association. "It is not the place for this type of educational malpractice."

Local schools

GLSEN officials said students from about 125 Texas schools have registered to participate, including those from seven Fort Worth schools and two Arlington schools. Students may register on the organization's Web site, but the group does not publish a list of participants or schools, said Daryl Presgraves, the group's spokesman.

Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth is among the schools the American Family Association listed as a participant. Principal Neta Alexander said that she has received some calls from concerned parents, but she said she is not aware of any student or group planning to participate in the effort. Alexander has asked the association to drop the school's name from its list.

She said, however, that students do have some rights to express opinions at school.

"We certainly respect the students' right to express themselves in free speech as long as it does not disrupt the education environment," she said.

"We have to handle each case on an individual basis."

Smith said the silent protest will be disruptive to teachers who expect all students to participate in class.

"It just puts an obstacle in the way of the teacher who has a job to do," he said.

Different views

Joshua Rollings, a senior at the Texas Academy of Math and Science at the University of North Texas, plans to be among the students taking part.

"I want people to be more aware of what they are saying and doing and how that affects others," said Rollings, 18, of Fort Worth.

"People should be exposed to different ideas even if you don't like it. You should hear them so you can better argue against them."

Rollings said he will maintain his silence that day because he has felt harassed because of his sexual orientation.

Eliza Byard, deputy executive director of GLSEN, said the American Family Association's message distorts the day's meaning.

"This is an opportunity for concerned students to speak out on the issue of violence and aggression against students based on sexual orientation or gender expression," she said. The harassment is "simply unacceptable, and it has to stop."

Smith said his group's efforts are intended to protect children from what he called the homosexual lifestyle.

"I would not want my child subjected to a push for a lifestyle that goes against everything I'm trying to teach my child about what is right and wrong," he said.

DAY OF SILENCE

April 25 is the national Day of Silence. The event was organized in 1996 by University of Virginia students to bring attention to the harassment and violence some gay students face.

This year's event is in honor of Lawrence King, a California eighth-grader who was killed in February because of his sexual orientation, according to news reports. Nationwide, 4 of every 5 gay or transgender students are harassed at school, according to the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network. GLSEN became the event's sponsor in 2001. For more information about the event, go to www.dayofsilence.org.

The American Family Association says it has persuaded about 300 schools nationwide to ban the observance. To learn about that group's efforts, go to www.afa.net.