All posts by Stan

March Madness. . . then POOF!

Just like that…POOF!…March Madness is over. After four weeks of buildup, filling in brackets, 63 games, it’s all over. I went to ESPN online and the lead story was about Tony Romo leaving the NFL for a CBS broadcast booth. The next story had a photo of John Calipari. You read that right- John Calipari, not Roy Williams. CBS always ends the championship broadcast with the song, “One Shining Moment.” How appropriate… because this morning there is Continue reading March Madness. . . then POOF!

Marriage, Music, and Mental Models

Today, March 26, marks the 47th anniversary of my marriage to Deborah Anne Hurtt. It has been a good marriage and it keeps getting better. Rough patches in a marriage that couples, pastors, and marriage counselors speak of are not something we can identify with. Fights are not something we have. What few disagreements we have had were minor (color of paint to use in the bathroom, what restaurant to eat at, etc.) and have been calmly and sanely discussed and an agreement reached. We go to bed each night content. However, we realize not all marriages are thus. Continue reading Marriage, Music, and Mental Models

Life Stories: A Tribute to Lauren and Jo Ann Helveston

lauren-jo-annLauren and Jo Ann Helveston are two of the finest people I know. Hailing from Citronelle, Alabama, this couple responded to a call of God upon their lives first to pastoral ministry and then to be missionaries in Ghana. Later, they connected with TMS Global serving in various positions. Their last two roles found them providing pastoral care to missionaries around Continue reading Life Stories: A Tribute to Lauren and Jo Ann Helveston

The Urgency of the Gospel

Dr. Maxie Dunnam, President Emeritus of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky,  is fond of saying, “Last words are important.” Most often, he is referring to the last words of Jesus spoken to a group of His followers gathered on the Mount of Olives immediately prior to His ascension. His final words as recorded by Luke in Acts 1:8 are, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 

I have spoken last words enough times to know that on these occasions Continue reading The Urgency of the Gospel

Keeping Christ in Christmas

Thanksgiving has come and gone, we have survived the national scrum we call Black Friday, and now December is here. Soon, if not already, we will hear the annual refrain, “keep Christ in Christmas.” It happens every year and we will see it on sweatshirts, pins, billboards, Twitter, Facebook, and even websites devoted to the expression.

The point of concern seems to center on three activities that many see as a Continue reading Keeping Christ in Christmas

A Holy Communion to Remember – Part 2

One thing I have noticed, except in the more highly liturgical churches, is that Holy Communion has become less of a focal point in our church services and more of a tack on occurrence. In my younger days, I recall communion Sunday as a day when the pastor’s message would be somewhat shorter and much more time was given to “the ritual” with its Scripture readings, congregational responses, and high reverence given to the elements. As a youngster, I remember the phrase, “We acknowledge Continue reading A Holy Communion to Remember – Part 2

A Holy Communion to Remember – Part 1

It was a Palm Sunday weekend that my wife and I were visiting our favorite southern coastal city.  We decided to attend the Sunday services of one of the many historic churches in the downtown area. After looking up churches in our own denomination, we discovered none were all that historic compared to some others, so we chose one in the Anglican tradition that George Washington had attended when he was in the area.

We arrived a bit early and were immediately confronted with a dilemma. Instead of the normal long pews to which we were accustomed, this Continue reading A Holy Communion to Remember – Part 1

My First Mother’s Day Without My Mom – And All Is Well

Tomorrow will be the first Mother’s Day since my mom passed from this earthly life this past December. It is easy to become super maudlin at a time such as this.  I would not and do not fault those who do. However, I choose to do otherwise. Yes, it is my first Mother’s Day without my Mom—and all is well. Lest you think me insensitive or cold-hearted, let me explain by giving three reasons I feel the way I do. Continue reading My First Mother’s Day Without My Mom – And All Is Well