Maybe I can share something...

Monday, February 27, 2006

What Is A Blog???

It has been suggested that this is possibly why I started a blog. I won't name any names...but her blog can be viewed here. Click on the cartoon for a larger view. receives a "facelift"

This past weekend Stewart gave the Dixie Echoes website a "facelift." Along with my "creative" input this is what we came up with: Check it out!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Stewart Varnado Remembers Anthony Burger

Anthony Burger was one of the greatest pianists that Gospel Music has ever had, and I’m proud that I had the honor of calling him a friend. He wasn’t just a friend, but was also one of my heroes. Anthony Burger, along with Roger Bennett and Derrell Stewart, hold a special place in my heart, as my 3 heroes. Everything I do seems to be a mixture of their styles and accomplishments. Anthony encouraged me from the first time I met him, He played a duet with me on my first instrumental album, he invited me to join his Pianorama at NQC, and he wrote quotes about me in publications. He did all of this for some young red headed kid who he didn’t have to take time to fool with, but he didn’t mind putting others in the spotlight. I will be forever grateful to Anthony Burger for all that he has done for me and I’m glad to have been able to hang out with him many times. I spoke with him about a week ago, since he was playing on my newest recording with me. Losing Anthony is a tremendous loss for all of Southern Gospel Music. He had just sent me a copy of his new dvd, and I had watched it the night prior to his death, And I had been putting all of my old Kingsmen VHS tapes onto DVD earlier that day. So I had been watching and listening to his music all day, and after hearing the news it was such an extreme shock!

Thanks Anthony for all you have done for me and thanks for being a friend! I’m sure that Anthony has found a Steinway in heaven and is holding a Pianorama with Wally, Hovie, and all the greats!

Stewart Varnado
Dixie Echoes

A Few More Thoughts...

While reading the message boards over at, I came across some song lyrics. Being a musician I often find comfort or solace or inspiration in a song. And I know most of you do as well. But I thought I'd share with you these lyrics. The first song is "We Shall Behold Him" which is the song that Anthony was playing when he collapsed. The other song is one that I have never heard but the lyrics are amazingly moving. It is entitled "Finally Home."

Why is it that we usually start thinking about our own mortality only when death occurs close to home? Now I'm not implying that we should be walking around everyday with a long face mourning the fact that all of us will die someday. But for those of us that are Christians there is this hope that is within us that someday we shall see our creator; Savior; face-to-face! It should be something that moves us so, that the range of emotions is almost unbearable. What a hope! What a promise!! WE SHALL BEHOLD HIM!!! And I propose that the reason why unsaved people are so unhappy is that, since we are "created in His image"(Genesis 1:27; Isaiah 43:1) , God has built into us this "homing device." I think that it's just human nature to want to go to Heaven despite what our personal views are. And God wants us to go to Heaven to be with Him. But you never know when you're going to stand before God.

Anthony, Doug Riley, Warren Parker, none of them had any idea how close to their last breath they were. So what have you been doing here on this earth for the kingdom of God? What are people going to say about you tomorrow should you die today? What will God say to you should you face Him even today? You're going to be dead alot longer than you were alive!! So where will you spend eternity?? Are you sure??

For the Lord Himself will come down from Heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, NIV)

We Shall Behold Him

The sky shall unfold, preparing His entrance;
The stars shall applaud Him with thunders of praise.
The sweet light in His eyes shall enhance those awaiting,
And we shall behold Him, then face to face.

The angels shall sound the shout of His coming;
The sleeping shall rise from their slumbering place.
And those who remain shall be changed in a moment,
And we shall behold Him, then face to face.

And we shall behold Him, we shall behold Him
Face to face, in all of His glory;
And we shall behold Him, Yes, we shall behold Him,
Face to face, our Savior and Lord,
We shall behold Him, our Savior and Lord.

Finally Home
by L.E. Singer

When engulfed by the terror of the tempestuous sea,
Unknown waves before you roll;
At the end of doubt and peril is eternity,
Though fear and conflict seize your soul.

But just think of stepping on shore-And finding it Heaven!
Of touching a hand-And finding it God's!
Of breathing new air-And finding it celestial!
Of waking up in glory-And finding it home!

When surrounded by the blackness of the darkest night,
O how lonely death can be;
At the end of this long tunnel is a shining light,
For death is swallowed up in victory!

But just think of stepping on shore-And finding it Heaven!
Of touching a hand-And finding it God's!
Of breathing new air-And finding it celestial!
Of waking up in glory-And finding it home!

The World Remembers Anthony Burger

Here are several links that have rememberances and stories about the passing of Anthony Burger

Singing News


Gaither Homecoming



Roger Bennett

AOL Entertainment News

Anthony performs at Booth Brothers Homecoming in Lakeland, FL February 17, 2006

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Another Sad, Sad Day.............

I've just gotten word that long-time southern gospel pianist extrordinare, Anthony Burger has passed away.

Anthony was on the Gaither Homecoming Cruise. Apparently while performing he collapsed. Several people took him backstage and attempted to revive him but to no avail. Details are sketchy at this time but it has been assumed that it was a massive heartattack. Anthony was just 44 years old and leaves behind his wife LuAnn, 2 sons, and a daughter. Mark Lowry has reported on his website that Anthony was playing the great song, "We Shall Behold Him" when he was called home. How amazing it must have been to finally behold Him!!!

This terrible news comes on the heels of the passing of Doug Riley of the Gold City Quartet. Doug passed away as a result of a motor vehicle accident on January 31st. Doug was 35 years old and left behind his wife Amy Jo, as well as his children Chapen and Griffin.

Just a few weeks before that we were saddened to hear the news of the passing of Warren Parker of the
Parker Trio. Warren passed away as a result of an auto-pedestrian accident. Warren was helping back the groups bus into a church parking lot where they were to sing the next morning. A drunk driver did not see the large bus in the roadway and pinned Warren between the driver's vehicle and the bus. Warren was 34 years old and left behind his wife Shannon.

You just never know when your number will be called. It just drives home the fact that we are NOT promised tomorrow. We must be ready at all times to answer the call home. Are you ready??? Do you know for sure that you're going to go to heaven?? If you're not sure follow these steps.
In closing I want to leave you with the lyrics to a song that Doug Riley penned in 2000:

Are You Ready?

The hour is approaching when the souls of man will hear
A mighty shout resounding in the sky.
In power and great glory, King Jesus will appear
And take His children home to paradise.
It will be a celebration for the ones who chose His name
But total separation for the ones who turned away.

The Bible speaks of two men who were standing in the field
Where one is taken and one is left behind.
Two women in the kitchen, one goes and one remains
So get your house in order while there's time
In the cross there is salvation,
through the Blood there is a way
To secure your destination on resurrection day.

Are you ready for the trumpet, are you ready for the call?
Soon the angels will assemble to usher in the Son of God.
Will He come and find you faithful, will He know your name at all?
Every moment brings us closer, are you ready for the call?

Crystal Goblets and Peanut Butter Jars

Here's another poem by Bob Benson, from Laughter in the Walls p. 44

Shortly after Peg and I were married,
Mrs. Payne gave me
four lovely crystal goblets.
They were even lovlier because
she told me
they were the only four remaining
of the crystal she recieved
for her own wedding
some sixty years earlier.
They were thin,
beautifully shaped
and delicately etched.
We still have them at our house.

We decided not to use Mrs. Payne's crystal
As a matter of fact,
we decided not to use ours, either.
We're saving it for "good,"
whenever that comes.
If using crystal is the basis
for judging our married life,
we haven't had much "good."
Of all the things that were given to
us some twenty-five years ago,
the crystal is probably
the least used.
The toaster and the mixer
have long since bitten the dust.
We could use another linen shower.
But the crystal is still there.
We just use everyday glasses
like you do.

I don't know why,
but I like glasses to match.
They're not too expensive,
so when I buy Christmas gifts
I usually end up with a set
of glasses.
The last thing I do on Christmas Eve
after Peg has gone to bed,
and after the bikes are
put together,
is to take all the old glasses out
and stand the new ones
in neat, orderly rows.

After a few weeks the same thing
always begins to happen.
Someone will empty
the peanut butter jar.
Someone else will stick it
in the dishwasher.
Someone else will put
the jar on the shelf.
At last, it shows up
on the dinner table.
There it is--
thick and ugly--
with part of the label
still attached.
There is no delicate etching.
It doesn't match.
It's just a big, old
ex-peanut butter jar.

We all know that there are people
who seem to have
all the natural graces.
They know just what to say
and when to say it.
They move through life with ease
and are like a benediction
wherever they go.
They are Mrs. Payne's
crystal glasses.
Some folks are like that.
They are better by nature
than others are by grace.

Now, I hate to bring this up,
Maybe I don't even need to,
I'll just mention it.
We all know some folks
who are like
peanut butter jars.
You know--
part of the label is still hanging on.
There's not much grace
and beauty about them.
They are always blurting out
the wrong thing
at the wrong time.
You would think
that by law of averages
they would accidentally say
the right thing once in awhile.
They are the people who say,
"I've always liked that
blue dress on you," or
"I like that suit better
than the ones you're wearing
these days."

"You are vessels unto honor,"
Paul writes.
The variety of vessels
proves that what matters is not that
we are goblets
or peanut butter jars
or root beer mugs.
The difference proves that
the power does not
come from us.
The power is God's alone.

We are not great because
of what we are.
We are great because
of what we contain.
He has made you a
"depository of truth."
The secret is this:
Christ in you.

A Letter To Dad

A father passing by his son's bedroom was astonished to see the bed was nicely made and everything was picked up. Then he saw an envelope propped up on the center of the bed. It was addressed, "Dad". With the worst premenition, he opened the envelope and read the letter with trembling hands:

Dear Dad,

It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing this. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with mom and you. I've been finding real passion with Barbara and she is so nice even with all her piercings, tattoos, and her tight motorcycle clothes.

It's not only passion Dad, but she's pregnant and Barbara said that we will be very happy. Even though you don't care for her as she is much older than me.

She already owns a trailer in Alabama and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. She wants to have many more children with me and thats now one of my dreams too. Barbara taught me marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone and we'll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with her friends for all the cocaine and ecstasy we want. In the mean time we'll pray that science finds a cure for AIDS so Barbara can get better; she sure deserves it!! Don't worry dad, I'm 15 years old now and I know how to take care of myself. Someday I'm sure we'll be back to visit so you can get to know your grandchildren.

Your Son,


P.S. Dad, none of this is true. I'm over at Jimmy's house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than my report card which is in my desk center drawer. I love you!! Call when it's safe to come home!!

Mathematical Formula

I recieved this through email. It's pretty neat how it works out. Enjoy!!

From a strictly mathematical viewpoint:

What equals 100%? What does it mean to give more than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they're giving more than 100%? We have all been in situations where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 101%? What equals 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:

If: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Is represented as: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26


8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%


11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%


1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

AND, look how far the Love of God will take you...

12+15+22+5+15+6+7+15+4 = 101%

Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that: While Hardwork and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Love of God that will put you over the top!! Have a great day!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Indian Nazarenes unfairly arrested en route to district assembly

Taken from
Indian Nazarenes unfairly arrested en route to district assembly
Eastern Maharashtra, India
Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Twenty Nazarenes from the Eastern Maharashtra District were threatened by Hindu extremists while traveling to their District Assembly on January 26. Four of the delegates, including one pastor and his son, were imprisoned, falsely accused of forcing Christian conversions, and were repeatedly denied bail.

Initial reports from Internet news agencies stated as many as three Nazarene pastors were arrested.

Delegates from several churches in central India had gathered at a lodge on the evening of the 26th, where they planned to spend the night before traveling by bus to their district assembly in Nagapur the next day.

While there, members of local Hindu extremist groups stopped one of the delegates and asked where they were going, then accused him of forcing people to convert to Christianity. He was badly beaten by a crowd that gathered there, and was taken into police custody when local authorities intervened.

The other delegates were threatened, taken to a Hindu temple and told to bow to Hindu deities or be burned to death. Those who refused were sent to the police station and held for two days without food. While in custody, the delegates were forced to sign belief statements in front of local media—one woman refused, and was arrested.

"The arrests were unlawful from all angles," said the Eastern Maharashtra District Superintendent. "But when the crowd is against you, no law can protect you in this country, especially in states like the one where this happened."

A local Nazarene pastor was summoned from his home by the police after they questioned the group, and his 18 year-old son joined him out of concern. Police asked about the delegation and accused them of forcibly converting innocent and illiterate people to Christianity by offering money, jobs, and church facilities. Though the pastor insisted the delegates were believers already, he and his son were both arrested.

The pastor was questioned repeatedly over several days, sometimes in front of the local media.

“Some people, along with media, came to interview me under pressure and tried to assault me,” he said. “But they failed because God was with me and was protecting me.”

Bail was finally posted, and the four prisoners were released after five days.

“This was the power of prayer: all over India, people of God were praying for us,” said the pastor. “I take [everything that happened to us] as the grace of God to my family and me, because the Bible says, ‘Blessed are those who suffer for His gospel.’ I am honored to suffer for Christ. I have experienced that the mighty hands of God are protecting me and working for me.”

All delegates returned home safely, and the pastor’s son said the experience strengthened his own faith in Christ.

“This is just a small sample of what our bothers and sisters in parts of the world go through every day while living out their faith in word and deed,” said Eurasia Regional Director Gustavo Crocker. “But even thought events like this unsettle us, they do not deter us from being salt and light to this world that badly needs the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ.”

Continued prayer is requested for Nazarene brothers and sisters who continue serving the Lord in spite of such difficult circumstances.--Eurasia Region (Photo taken from


One of my favorite books is a collection of poems by Bob Benson. He just seems to write in a way that you feel like you're sitting there with him on the front porch telling stories and sharing the everyday experiences of life. His writings are very easy to understand, practical, and just down to earth. Most of his writings were about the things he loved the most; his family, his Savior, his life. From time to time I'll share some of my favorites with you. Here's the first one, maybe someone needs just a little encouragement today!! Enjoy!!


He was a college student--
he seemed so sure,
he was so positive,
he just missed cockiness.
I thought in college
I knew all the answers too
but it seems that someone
has thought up some new questions.
The older you get,
the more inclined you are
to see the risks,
to raise the objections,
to vote against it.
Hastily, we say this is
our superior judgement,
that impetuous youth is gone.
But sometime isn't it really faith
weakenend and corroded
by our failures,
our ill fated ventures,
and our lost battles.
The Master talked of
"the faith of a little child."
There has been a time when each
of my children thought
I could
fix anything,
lick anybody,
answer any questions,
win any race
(ideas that were domed
to be short lived).
But maybe that's what Christ
God wants you to believe
that He can,
that He has the power.
Sure, you've failed--
but He hasn't.
Sure, you've retreated--
but He didn't.
Sure, you're weak--
but He isn't.
He wants you to believe
with the buoyant,
faith of a little child
rather than the defeated,
cynicism of an adult.

From: Laughter in the Walls by Bob Benson, p. 40

Monday, February 20, 2006

This is too funny not to post...:-)

Friday, February 17, 2006

And Once Again...Another Baby!!

And once again I find myself introducing a new life to ya'll. This one is also from Bethany, Oklahoma(must be something in the water up there...). Introducing Caroline Rose Brandt!! She was born Friday, February 17, weighing in at 7 lbs. 9 oz. Caroline belongs to my good friends Shawn and Angela Brandt. She'll be in great hands with this family, and it looks like her big brother Sam is going to be a big help to mom and dad. Congratulations Shawn and Angela!!

Our Misgivings About Jesus

So I was reading a few days ahead in My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers and came across this devotional for February 26th. But I think it's okay if we read it sooner. I think you could spend quite a while studying this one! It'll preach!! Take some time to read it slowly and consider what it's really saying!

"The woman said to Him, 'Sir, You have nothing to draw [water] with, and the well is deep' " (John 4:11).

Have you ever said to yourself, "I am impressed with the wonderful truths of God's Word, but He can't really expect me to live up to that and work all those details into my life!" When it comes to confronting Jesus Christ on the basis of His qualities and ablilities, our attitudes reflect religious superiority. We think His ideals are lofty and they impress us, but we believe He is not in touch with reality--that what He says cannot actually be done. Each of us thinks this about Jesus in one area of our life or another. These doubts or misgivings about Jesus begin as we consider questions that divert our focus away from God. While we talk of our dealings with Him, others ask us, "Where are you going to get enough money to live? How will you live and who will take care of you?" Or our misgivings begin within ourselves when we tell Jesus that our circumstances are just a little too difficult for Him. We say, "It's easy to say, 'Trust in the Lord,' but a person has to live; and besides, Jesus has nothing with which to draw water--no means to be able to give us these things." And beware of exhibiting religious deceit by saying, "Oh, I have no misgivings about Jesus, only misgivings about myself." If we are honest, we will admit that we never have misgivings or doubts about ourselves, because we know exactly what we are capable or incapable of doing. But we do have misgivings about Jesus. And our pride is hurt even at the thought that He can do what we can't.

My misgivings arise from the fact that I search within to find how He will do what He says. My doubts spring from the depths of my own inferiority. If I detect these misgivings in myself, I should bring them into the light and confess them openly--"Lord, I have had misgivings about You. I have not believed in Your abilities, but only my own. And I have not believed in Your almighty power apart form my finite understanding of it."

Babies Everywhere!!!!

It seems like many of the people I know have been adding to their families lately. Well, here's the latest addition to this earth. Introducing Camden Brent Green!! Camden was born earlier this week, Valentine's Day if my memory serves me correctly. Camden's daddy, Brent, is a good friend of mine from Bethany, Oklahoma. I've spent many hours riding with Brent fighting crime on the mean streets of B-town.(Actually, I keep Brent from making mistakes!!! He's learning...someday he'll make a good officer!!) But I guess my days are numbered!! I'm sure when little Camden is old enough dad will have him out there training him to be the next generation of crime fighters!!(That is if his mom lets him!) I think Camden inherited his dad's cheesy grin!! LOL ;-) Congratulations Brent and Holly!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

More Pictures!!

While I was looking through some of the pics Cherie sent recently I thought I'd give Sarah some press coverage as well!!! So here's just a couple of candid shots from around the house. She's a mess!!

More of Matthew

Scott and Cherie were able to bring Matthew home on February 9th. According to Matthew he's having a great time with his new family! Here's just a few more pics of Matthew and his big sister Sarah helping out mom with her new little brother.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Icebergs and Spiritual Formation

My good friend Mark has some great words to say over at his place on how to measure the success of your ministry. It'll make you think!!

Icebergs and Spiritual Formation

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!




Monday, February 13, 2006

You've Got To Be Kidding!!!!!!!!

As I was surfing through the immense blog world, just having a look around I came across this little news story. "Evolution Sunday"???????????????? WHAT?????????????????????? You've got to be kidding me??!! Right??!! Please tell me these pastor's can't be serious!! According to this site, on February 12, 2006, 445 congregations from 49 states as well as the District of Columbia, were to celebrate(from the pulpit mind you) "Darwin Day" on this the 197th birthday of Charles Darwin.

This "event" is being promoted by Dr. Michael Zimmerman, Dean of the College of Letters and Sciences at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. He started on this campaign as a result of a series of so called "anti-evolution policies" that were passed by the school board in Grantsburg, Wisconsin. Mr. Zimmerman roused help from clergy throughout Wisconsin to prepare a statement in support of teaching evolution. According to Zimmerman, "the response was overwhelming". In nearly a few weeks he had acquired the signatures of 200 clergy in support of this statement and sent it to the Grantsburg School Board. Eventually he was able to garner enough support in his favor, causing enough attention to be drawn to this, that the Grantsburg School Board retracted their policies. How very unfortunate this is!!!!

Through the outpouring of support Dr. Zimmerman has decided to take his campaign nationwide. He is looking for support from clergy in favor of this statement. Folks, take time to read what this statement says!!!!! The more that 10,000 clergy that have signed this statement are agreeing that, "We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth...", WHAT???????????? How can you believe the evolutionary theory to be true when it has NEVER been proven?? No one has ever seen evolution take place!! It has NEVER been observed by anyone!! "To reject this truth or to treat it as "one theory among others" is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children. We believe that among God's good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator." So according to this statement, if I "deliberately" ignore evolution I am ignorant!!?? I don't know about you but I take great offense to that!! I can assure you of one's much more easy for me to believe that an almighty God created this universe in 6 days, as the Bible teaches, than it is to believe that we all evolved from nothing!! I don't know about you but I serve a God who did it right the first time!! He didn't have to work through an evolutionary process of trial and error to create life. My God doesn't make mistakes!! "We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth" There are a couple of things in this last statement that I actually agree with. First, "We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum..." I agree 100% up to that point. I think that our textbooks should be 100% scientifically accurate!! Evolution is not scientifically accurate!! It doesn't even happen!! And besides that EVOLUTION IS NOT SCIENCE!!!
Evolution is a religion just as creation is a religion!! Secondly, "We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion..." Evolution has slowly worked its way over time into the realm of science, and now, even though it has never been proven, is being taught as a fact. I believe also that science should remain science, and religion remain religion. Where things start to blur is when scientists and evolutionists blend science with religion. You can say that it is a fact scientifically that a rock exists, you can feel it, touch it, break it apart, run tests on it to determine its chemical and molecular make up, and we can all agree that it is a rock. But to believe that over billions of years this rock can produce life is absolutely ridiculous!!! That's where evolution crosses from science to religion. I've heard out of the mouths of scientists and professors that one day a cow decided to become a whale!! That's one of their evidences for evolution!! So tell many cows had to die before one learned how to breathe under water?? And how did it decide that it had better move its breathing apparatus from the tip of its nose to the top of its head?? It takes alot more faith to believe that everything on earth evolved from some primordial soup billions and billions of years ago, than it is to believe that a loving God created this universe for fellowship with Him! And this isn't the end!!

Dr. Zimmerman is working tirelessly to get the word out nationwide via major media markets about his "clergy letter". You can read about his advertising campaign here. And I can assure you that he will get major support from the liberal media. Anything that is anti-conservative, or anti-God will be a guarantee for plenty prime air time.

Here's the bottom line, evolution is NOT a FACT!!!! It has NEVER been proven, nor will it ever be!!! It's basic logic that a non-living thing will NEVER produce a living thing!! EVOLUTION is a RELIGION!!!!! And Creation is just as much a religion as evolution. I can't empirically prove that God exists any more than an evolutionist can prove evolution exists!! But as a Christian I know that God exists because I can feel Him and I can see His hand at work. But at the same time I'm not asking for my religion to be taught in school at tax payer expense!! And evolution, whether you like it or not, is being taught in the United States as a fact!!!! Our textbooks are sooo permeated with evolutionary junk, and not any mention for a Biblical creation, that our children are being indoctrinated not educated!!!!!!!!!!! And it's our tax dollars that are paying folks like Dr. Zimmerman and the textbook manufacturers to cram this theory down our children's throats!! And something else...if you'll notice all of Dr. Zimmerman's work in favor of evolution is all on his website which is under the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh's website. That means he's not paying out of his own pocket for his own web server, he's allowing the tax payers that support this public university to pay for his personal campaign for evolution to be taught as a fact!!! I don't know about you but I don't want my tax dollars to be spent this way!!! If you're going to teach evolution in school, why not give Biblical creation, or intelligent design equal time? Why not? Because if evolution and creation were to be viewed on an equal plain the evolutionists are going to look mighty stupid and have some major explaining to do for their absurd theory!!

You see, this creation v. evolution debate goes alot deeper than just science, religion, and what should or shouldn't be taught in public schools. It has to do with the ever present battle of God and satan. Everyday satan is working to destroy God's work. If he can keep God out of the school system, generation after generation, will be indoctrinated in the theory of evolution and never once hear a
reference to God unless used in a negative, derogatory, or demeaning manner. You see, if you admit that there could be a higher power, an intelligent designer that created this universe, then you must admit that he may have some rules to govern his creation by. And if many people were to admit that, it would ruin alot of "fun and free" lifestyles!! They neglect the Bible and God because it disrupts their daily lives and in essence, just chaps their hides!! Well my friends...someone had better get some vaseline, because God is coming back someday to judge His creation and you better be ready for it!!

Satan is using this theory of evolution to permeate the church. Thousands of clergy have already been brainwashed into believing this ridiculous tale. And they in turn are leading their churches in this direction. Folks, what kind of hope do we have in life if we believe that we came from nothing? If we came from nothing, then we must have nothing to live for. Where does our value system come from? How do we know wrong from right? What, or Who gave us this measuring device? My logic leads me to believe that there must have been an intelligent designer. And that intelligent designer is the God that I serve. The one and only True and Living God. He's the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. In the beginning was God...and in the end God will have the final word. Do you know what you believe and why? Are you ready to meet the creator of this universe?? He's coming back really soon I believe, I pray that you're ready. If you don't know Christ as your personal Savior please follow these steps.

It's kinda funny that I ran across this news story. The creation v. evolution debate has been at the forefront of my thoughts lately. Recently a friend of mine discovered a gentleman living here in Pensacola that has dedicated his life to spreading the word that there is another way to believe creation. His name is Dr. Kent Hovind. He has a unique ministry called Creation Science Evangelism . I won't tell you all about Dr. Hovind here, but I would strongly encourage you to visit his website and learn more about the creation account according to the Bible. And if you're ever in Pensacola I would recommend that you stop in and visit Dr. Hovind's Creation Science Museum and Dinosaur Adventure Land. We're in a battle, be prepared, be armed, be ready!!!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

It's A Boy!!!!

Welcome with me Matthew Roy Cundiff!! Hopefully this Friday Matthew will be moving into his new home with his new family!! Last Thursday Scott and Cherie recieved a call from their social worker telling them about this little guy. This evening(Feb. 7) was their first chance to meet him. And from what I've heard, it was love at first site!! Matthew is 2 months old and was born on November 18. He is seen above with his future mommy, daddy, and big sister Sarah Renee'!!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Cost of Sanctification

February 8-My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers

"May the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely..." (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

When we pray, asking God to sanctify us, are we prepared to measure up to what that really means? We take the word sanctification much too lightly. Are we prepared to pay the cost of sanctification? The cost will be a deep restriction of all our earthly concerns, and an extensive cultivation of all our godly concerns. Sanctification means to be intensely focused on God's point of view. It means to be secure and to keep all the strength of our body, soul, and spirit for God's purpose alone. Are we really prepared for God to perform in us everything for which He separated us? And after He has done His work, are we then prepared to separate ourselves to God just as Jesus did? "For their sakes I sanctify Myself..." (John 17:19). The reason some of us have not entered into the experience of sanctification is that we have not realized the meaning of sanctification from God's perspective. Sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the nature that controlled Him will control us. Are we really prepared for what that will cost? It will cost absolutely everything in us which is not of God.

Are we prepared to be caught up into the full meaning of Paul's prayer in this verse? Are we prepared to say, "Lord, make me, a sinner saved by grace, as holy as You can"? Jesus prayed that we might be one with Him, just as He is one with the Father (see John 17:21-23). The resounding evidence of the Holy Spirit in a person's life is the unmistakable family likeness to Jesus Christ, and the freedom from everything which is not like Him. Are we prepared to set ourselves apart for the Holy Spirit's work in us?

Spiritual Dejection

February 7-My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers

"We were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since those things happened" (Luke 24:21)

Every fact that the disciples stated was right, but the conclusions they drew from those facts were wrong. Anything that has even a hint of dejection spiritually is always wrong. If I am depressed or burdened, I am to blame, not God or anyone else. Dejection stems from one of two sources--I have either satisfied a lust or I have not had it satisfied. In either case, dejection is the result. Lust means "I must have it at once." Spiritual lust causes me to demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Himself who gives the answer. What have I been hoping or trusting God would do? Is today "the third day" and He has still not done what I expected? Am I therefore justified in being dejected and blaming God? Whenever we insist that God should give us an answer to prayer we are off track. The purpose of prayer is that we get ahold of God, not of the answer. It is impossible to be well physically and to be dejected, because dejection is a sign of sickness. This is also true spiritually. Dejection spiritually is wrong, and we are always to blame for it.

We look for visions from heaven and for earth-shaking events to see God's power. Even the fact that we are dejected is proof that we do this. Yet we never realize that all the time God is at work in our everyday events and in the people around us. If we will only obey, and do the task that He has placed closest to us, we will see Him. One of the most amazing revelations of God comes to us when we learn that it is in the everyday things of life that we realize the magnificent deity of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Transcript Trouble Averted...(Hopefully!!!)

Just the other day I was talking with someone about the large number of links on this site. And just when I thought I had all of my bases covered, I recieved a comment from my college choir director, Dr. Brent Ballweg(Dr. B). He posed the question as to why I didn't have a link to my FAVORITE musical ensemble while in college.(emphasis added by Dr.B). I already had a link to the university's main site, but I guess, once again, I opted for the more general approach and overlooked a minor detail(that always seemed to get me red marks on my papers in college for some reason...) So in the event that I may ever need a copy of my college transcript, and in memory of the eternal legacy I carved out while a member of the Chorale, I offer to you, THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF THE SOUTHERN NAZARENE UNIVERSITY CHORALEWithin this site you can find pictures of me while I was carving this legacy as well as soundclips from the Chorale's latest recording Sing A Might Song, SNU Chorale "LIVE" 2002-2005. If you enjoy great sacred choral music you can purchase your own copy of this cd through the SNU School of Music office(you can pay me later for the plug Dr. B!!)

Now, lest any other "old" professors come knocking, I was also a part of several other choral and instrumental ensembles during my 4 years of accruing debt. I played tuba in the Symphonic Band, Brass Choir, and Brass Quintet all under the direction of Dr. Phil Moore, 2 seasons on tuba in the SNU Metropolitan Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Melissa Lewis, the SNU Choral Society co-directed by Dr. B and Professor Phillip Miller, also the Chamber Chorale and Men's Chorus both directed by Dr. B.

Another great part of being involved in the SNU School of Music was the opportunity to travel on musical missions trips. With the Chorale we toured Russia, Estonia, and Finland. The Symphonic Band accompanied by the Univeristy Singers and the Orchestra traveled to Brazil. What a marvelous trip that was!! And with the Brass Quintet we ventured to Chiapas, Mexico to be a part of a mass orchestra and choir made up of college students from that area. I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to travel outside the borders of our great to country to take that opportunity any chance they get!! Especially if it's a missions trip of any kind. You will come back home having been MORE ministered to than the people you went to minister to.

Also, be sure and check out Southern Nazarene University. If you or someone you know is looking to attend college in the near future I offer you this option. SNU is a great place to recieve a top notch education in a positive Christian environment. And you don't even have to be Nazarene to attend there!!! (Editors Note: Any tampering done to Tracy's transcript would only serve to help him at this point. It couldn't get any worse!!! Trust me, I've seen it!!)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

An Urgent Call To Prayer

I want to tell you about a very serious situation that is currently playing out in the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica. Joel & Nancy Faulk are long-time and dear friends to our family. They are originally from Crowley, Louisiana and attended the Ebenezer Church of the Nazarene(the "other" Nazarene church in town
;-) ) Several years ago Joel & Nancy accepted the call to the mission field and began the long process of preparing for their venture into the unknown. I'll not tell you their life story but bring you up to speed on the urgent need in their life. Joel & Nancy have four children: Erica, Lauren, Jill and Kristen. Erica is married and living in the US, while the other 3 girls have followed their mom and dad into the mission field. Currently they are located in the Dominican Republic serving through Nazarene World Missions as Work & Witness Coordinators for the entire country. Work and Witness involves construction and renovations of buildings such as churches, schools, and pastor's homes. It also includes the ministry aspect of conducting children's crusades, offering community service such as medical clinics and evangelism outreach through the Jesus film. Individuals, churches, and church districts form mission teams that go to the DR to volunteer their time, resources and talent.

The Faulks have just completed their first 12 months in the DR and have enjoyed the work of hosting teams, building buildings, leading ministries, and have seen lives impacted and changed, formed many cherished friendships, worked hard and leaned on the Lord. And now, they are having to lean on the Lord in an unprecidented way. On January 16 their daughter Lauren, who turned 18 on January 13th, made the decision to leave their home without her parents permission, blessing, or knowledge. They believe that there are much more serious matters at stake than just another 18 year old trying to "spread her wings". Lauren has been found living in San Jose, Costa Rica, having returned there to be with two middle-aged Costa Rican women that she formed a friendship with while the family was living there in 2004 attending language school. For obvious reasons her parents feel that this is not the best thing for Lauren and is detrimental to her well being. Unfortunately the fact that Lauren is 18, limits their capabilities in handeling this situation. Nevertheless Joel traveled to Costa Rica with the intention of talking face-to-face with Lauren, affirming her family's love and concern for her, and asking her to consider how her actions have affected her immediate family and their ministry there. Upon his arrival in Costa Rica, Joel was made aware that the situation was much more than they realized. He was denied the privelige of talking to his own daughter. Joel spent three days trying to negotiate through the authorities at the language school(where Lauren is working at a temporary part-time job). The family has been made aware of several serious and false allegations that have been made against them, and therefore, the powers-that-be at the school, as well as the 2 Costa Rican women stated that they are "sheltering and protecting her from any face-to-face encounters" she may have with her own family. The two women admit to having wrongly aided(and the family feels, convinced her) into secretly leaving home, suggesting that they know whats best for Lauren, more so than her own parents.

Understandibly the family is extremely concerned about Laurens physical, emotional, and spiritual well being. Humanly speaking they have exhausted all of their efforts. At this point the matter lies in the hands of the authorities, legal counselors, etc... At last report Lauren has not contacted her parents nor responed to the pleas of her two younger sisters. The family is currently working through authorities in the U.S. to get in touch with the US Embassy in Washington as soon as possible. They are hoping that the US Embassy will be able to put some pressure on the Costa Rican authorities as it seems that nothing is being done on the local level.

The family has since found out that, according to the FBI, child exploitation is the #2 international crime behind terroists. This is not only a battle against a form of terroism but it is also a battle of the spiritual realm. Folks, satan is working hard everyday to destroy the Christian home and he will find whatever weak spot he can to get in. I believe that this family has been doing amazing things in the name of God and satan is not happy with them. Well as far as I'm concerned he can continue to be unhappy!!!! I am asking you to tell everyone you know to pray about this matter. Sure, the authorities can make things happen and maybe get this family reunited but God can get to the heart of the matter!! Pray that God will lay heavy on Lauren's heart and mind. Pray that God will give the wisdom and words to the authorities when they need it. Pray that God will give strength, comfort, and wisdom to Joel, Nancy and their family. Pray that a miracle may come of this horrible situation. Pray that God would touch the hearts and minds of the two women and the people at the language school. Pray that God would recieve all the glory and praise and that through this situation His word would be heard and lives would be changed!!!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Stork Is On The Move!!

I just got a call from my sister and found out that I'm going to be an uncle again!! Apparently their social worker just called today and has a 5-month old little boy for them! They're supposed to get him this weekend and it could be May-ish before the final adoption takes place. So the family keeps on growing!! God is faithful!!!

Just about a year and a half ago the stork stopped in and dropped off this little cutie to my sister and brother-in-law. This is Miss Sarah and we could not be more happy having her as a part of our family. I'm sure she's a heartbreaker in the making!! The first picture was taken on November 18, 2004 at Sarah's adoption day! She put on quite a show for the folks in the court room that day. I'm convinced she's a natural born entertainer! She loves to sing, so...maybe there will be some SG music in her future!! The second picture is just for fun because I'm pretty sure her mom would never let her ride a motorcycle!!! hehe! If you want to see more pictures of Sarah, visit her grandpa's website here. Just the other day Cherie(my sister) called me to tell me that Sarah heard the Gaither Vocal Band on the radio and exclaimed, "I hear Uncle Tracy!!" Well, my dear Sarah, not quite, but maybe if I take you with me we could convince 'ol Bill to share some of his "homecoming dollars" with us!! ;-) Sarah told me on the phone that she's going to be a great big sister for her new little brother. We don't know any more details right now, but we will soon enough. I have no doubt in my mind that God placed Sarah in our family. Be in prayer that the rest of the adoption process goes smoothly with minimal red tape.

If you've never thought about adoption I would suggest that you think and pray about it. I know our family has been blessed to have Sarah with us and we look forward to the addition of another soon! Why not give a child the opportunity they deserve to grow up in a loving, Christian home! Check with your local adoption agency for more information. It'll be a blessing to your family I know.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

My Beautiful Bride!!

Coming up in the month of June this lovely gal will become my bride! I couldn't be more pleased. Her name is Valerie Whitman and she is from DeRidder, Louisiana. Oddly enough we grew up together through church youth activities but never in a million years did we think we would ever get married. But God always seems to have surprises waiting around every corner. And he certainly surprised me with this one! We've always stayed somewhat in touch with each other but nothing much. Maybe 4 or 5 emails per year. When I moved to Pensacola I sent an email to everyone letting them know about my move. After that we really did start staying in touch and as they say, the rest is history!! And whats more amazing is that a long time ago I gave God a very detailed description of what I wanted my wife to be, and do you know that order wasn't too big for God to fill!! I am a blessed and very thankful man. God is faithful!!

Because of the Blood

On most days while hanging out around the house I usually have some form of music playing whether it be online radio, television, cd's, etc... But today I decided to play a dvd by The Collingsworth Family. If you've never had the chance to hear or see this wonderful new family group I STRONGLY urge you to check their tour schedule and go see them sometime. I really, really like this group for a couple of reasons: 1. They're a family group. I love family groups. And to me they just seem to be what I guess I might have always dreamed my family would be like; close, musical, and all serving the Lord together. 2. They give a wonderful presentation of the Gospel in their concerts. And its done in a way that I guess I just really enjoy.

As the concert was playing I was just doing different things around the house. I was listening and enjoying the program, but it wasn't until the last song of the program that my attention was pulled right into this one song. And since then I've played this song over and over and over and over and over and over...well you get the idea. So I copied down the lyrics to share with you. Read that last chorus over and over and over till you get the full effect. If those lines don't light your fire, and don't get you excited then maybe you need to do some checking up!!

Because of the Blood

The thief on the cross deserved his sentence,
dying for the crimes he had done.
Desperate and hopeless with only a prayer left
he turned and asked for mercy from God's Son.
As the veil was being torn, thunder shook the earth
and the power of the blood reached out to him.
As Jesus paid the sacrifice He made a promise
Today you'll be with me in paradise!

Because of the blood he was free that day
Death's chains lost their hold on him
His sin's washed away
He met one who forgave him
and changed his destiny.
His sin's were forgiven, forgotten, forever
Because of the blood

And like the thief on the cross
my soul was covered with the stains of my sin
that brought me shame
Desperate and dying I looked to the cross
And called upon Jesus' name
I don't understand it, I can't explain it
But one thing I know for sure
My sins are washed away, O' Happy day!
That's why we stand here and say

Because of the blood I am free today!
Sin's chains have no hold on me!
My ransom is paid!
Jesus forgave me!
And He changed my destiny!
My sins are forgiven, forgotten, forever!!
Because of the blood!!

Jesus forgave me!
And He changed my destiny!
My sins are forgiven, forgotten, forever!
Because of the blood!
Because of the blood!
Because of the blood!

My first post!!! I am! Finally posting a blog that a few people have mentioned that I should do. So tonight I finally became bored enough to get this thing slightly off the ground. So what can you expect to see posted on my little slice of cyberspace? This is a question I wish I had the answer to myself!!! Like alot of areas of my life I'm sure this will be a "fly by the seat of my pants" operation. So don't set your expectations to high! I would try to write something useful at this moment in time, but it's very late and I have minimal brain activity at the height of my day so you can imagine what it's like right now!'s my first post. Maybe I'll come up with something novel later on!!(Hey! Anything is possible!!)