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

  • 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 ( 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

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

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.


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

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

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