Thursday, October 22, 2009

Take Heart

Sometimes life seems overwhelming, to the point that we want to just give up and quit. Physical or emotional pain can discourage one to the point that they seem to have no hope. Grief can take such a hold of us, we may think it will never let go. Temptations we face can dishearten us, until it seems that we will never become what God wants us to be. Instead of being “more than conquerors”(Rom. 8:37), we may be “more than defeated.” Fears can alarm us to the point that we are afraid to make another step, let alone face tomorrow or a lifetime of tomorrows. Financial setbacks can be debilitating to the point that we cannot see light at the end of the tunnel. If one will read Ecclesiastes and see the wise man Solomon’s summaries of life “under the sun,” he will find that Solomon described life as “vain”(empty). His many treasures did not make him happy, his love life was a disaster, and his power left him without satisfaction. Life can indeed bring a man down to nothing.
Today’s bad news seems to have brought many today to a point of hopelessness. But there is hope. David had many discouraging days on this earth. His mentor, Saul tried to kill him, his son forsook him, his life was often more miserable that fun. His words in Psalms 6:2-7 are sad, “Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled. 3 My soul also is greatly troubled; But You, O LORD--how long? 4 Return, O LORD, deliver me! Oh, save me for Your mercies' sake! 5 For in death there is no remembrance of You; In the grave who will give You thanks? 6 I am weary with my groaning; All night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears. 7 My eye wastes away because of grief; It grows old because of all my enemies.”
But it was likely David who wrote these very different words in Psalms 118:6-8, “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? 7 The LORD is for me among those who help me; Therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me. 8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” Here, dear friend, are the words that change everything. They may not change our health, but they give us strength to endure the day. They may not change the circumstances of many trials, but they change the outlook and the outcome of all of them. Just these 6 words can change your life- “The Lord is on my side.”
The apostle Paul had a “thorn in the flesh.” He was shipwrecked, stoned and imprisoned. He said, “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed”(2 Cor 4:8-9)
As Paul wrote to the Romans, he said, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:31-39). Yes, if we are in Christ, and he is in us, there is nothing than can separate us from Him and his love. Truly, “The Lord is on my side.” Is he on yours? If so, take heart. If not, come to Him and he will be with you always. David Courington

Sunday, October 04, 2009

My Fair One

Sorry I haven't posted much lately. It has been a busy month but I have been doing most of my posting on Facebook. I like to write a poem now and again. I know most of them are not the best literary works, but they are from the heart and my way of expressing some things that I want to say. This one was to my dear wife, Susan. She always, amazes, encourages, and strengthens me. I sent it to her and she gave her permission to put it online. My advice would be not to send it to someone, rather to write your own and send it to someone. They may not think it is that good, but they will probably not tell you that and will appreciate the effort.

My Fair One
If I could gaze the earth twice o’er,
To see the best God had in store,
I’d never see in all this sphere,
One as fair, as the one who is here.

No one whose heart is quite as pure,
As she who lives within my door,
Not one as true to the one she chose,
As my sweetest, vibrant, rarest rose.

Her beauty outward, none could doubt,
But seeing within, is more than out,
This kind of handsomeness can’t be found,
In many a glamorous one around.

If my years were thousands, instead of tens,
And I had an infinite, looking lens,
That could peek across the ocean wide,
One more fair, I could not find.

She’s the best there is, no equal will be,
And she’s right here, beside of me.
The days spent here, may I always savor,
How blessed am I with His constant favor.

To My Susan with Love, David

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Are You Repaying What You Owe?

Are You Repaying What You Owe?
The need for people to honor their father and mother is compelling. Every parent sees the need for parental authority as expressed in Eph. 6:1, “Children obey you parents…” This is not just a control thing, but for the good of the child while he is immature and unable to provide for his own needs. Even rebellious children see later in life that their parents rules; “Don’t play with matches, don’t play in the road, don’t use drugs!” was for their own best interest. Even irreligious people can see the logic in repaying their parents(1 Timothy 5:4) as they grow older and are unable to care for themselves. I wonder how I could ever repay my mother for giving me birth, for caring for my every need as a baby, for making my life her life in my growing up years. Her love and care for me never stopped through all my years. And Dad fought in WW II for my freedom before I was born, worked long hours at a hot and difficult job, not for his pleasure, but that I could have the provisions I needed and wanted. They both sacrificed to pay the heavy expense of my college education. How could I ever forget how they went beyond anything expected? When Susan and I married, we started out buying furniture and appliances on credit. We paid on it a year and the next year were given paperwork for Christmas- a paid off bank note for our furnishings. I owe them so much. I know not all parents are like mine, but I’m convinced that most of them sacrificed far more for us than we realize. Perhaps you can see why we should pay our parents back for the love that they offered freely.
But even if your parents were not attentive to your needs, have you thought about what God has provided for you? It is amazing how so few of us see a need to even have a relationship with Him, let alone have a sense of how we can never pay him back for all he has done. David said, “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.” Surely you realize that there must have been a creator. Many in our day are like the Romans who ignored God, as if he wasn’t there. Paul said, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:20-21). Some make fun of a belief in an “invisible” God. Do you believe that there is any “visible” force or intellect in this universe that was capable of making all that is here? Of course not! God made the heavens and earth(Gen. 1:1). You and I should worship and praise and thank Him for all that he has given us.
Paul reminded the Greeks, who had many concepts of God, the true God could not be of “gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising.” (Acts 17:29). They had an idol to the “Unknown God.” Paul taught them about the true God. Which one? The one that had given them life. Consider what he said, “Acts 17:23-29, “for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:


Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: [24] God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.’” Acts 17:24-28(NKJV). Yes, whether you admit it or not, he made you. You are His and he should be honored by you. He has given you all. He gave his only begotten Son that you might have life. You can learn more of this wonderful God in his book, the Bible.
Those of us who already have faith in God should not forget the all encompassing words of Paul- “in Hm we live and move and have or being.”
How wonderfully the words of the song, “He Is My Everything,” by Earnest Clevenger, Jr. capture what God should be to me:
“He is my everything, he is my all,
He is my everything, both great and small,
He gave his life for me, made everything new,
He is my everything, no how about you?
Some folks may ask me, some folks may say,
“Who is this Jesus you talk about every day?
He is my Savior, he set me free.
Now listen while I tell you what he means to me.
He is my everything, he is my all,
He is my everything, both great and small.
He gave his life for me, made everything new.
He is my everything, Now how about you?”

John recorded it this way, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” (Rev. 21:6-7).
He should be my all- my beginning and my ending:
Thoughts of him should begin and end my every day.
Thanks to him should surround my every action.
He should be the first place I go for help and the last place I go for strength.
Ideally, His church should be the first public place I went as a baby, and the last place I am able to go before death.(Have you noticed how some can go everywhere but to the Lord’s house?) My God should the first thing I learn of as a babe, and the last thing I think of as the shadows of death creep around me. Why? Because “He is my everything, He is my all.” David Courington

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Alzheimer's- A Touching Moment

Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's over 10 years ago and as might be expected, the disease has continued to progressively take it's toll. Though he has been pretty jovial lately, in the last couple of years he had increasingly been unable to say much of anything that makes sense. He is often not able to put any kind of a sentence together. One of the hardest things has been to see Mom talk to him and him not be able to respond. Well, she was able to go the Billy's to get her hair done on Thursday and I went to pick her up and take her back to Cherry Hill. She was looking specially nice and wanted to see Dad when we got back. One of the aids was walking him to the table for lunch and Mom went over to him. He looked at her and the biggest smile came over his face you have ever seen, as if he had seen a long lost friend for the first time in a long time. She said, "Wayne, I love you." With his fullest voice, his response was certainly unexpected, "I love you too, and I always have." That teary eyed moment will live in my mind for a very long time.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Driving Distraction

Sending text messages has become so commonplace to many that they continue to do it while driving their vehicles. This is not limited to teenagers. Even long-haul truckers who are away from home a great deal make use of texting. A new study by Virginia Tech used video cameras over a period of 18 months and found that their collision risk was “23 times greater than when not texting.” The study showed, “In the moments before a crash or near crash, drivers typically spent nearly five seconds looking at their devices — enough time at typical highway speeds to cover more than the length of a football field.” Rich Hanowski, who oversaw the study concluded “Compared with other sources of driver distraction, “texting is in its own universe of risk.” Wow, imagine a fully loaded 18 wheeler coming at you at 70 mph and the driver is texting his wife about what they are having for supper. Scarry.
Here is something even more scarry. All of us are careening at breakneck speed toward eternity. God’s word says, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27). And we are distracted! Jesus spoke of the destruction of Jerusalem in Luke 21, and the same applies to us as we face judgment,  "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.”(Luke 21:34) There are so many distractions. Some of them are sinful things, like drunkenness, but others are simply the daily cares of life. Yes, we have to have food, clothing, shelter, even rest and recreation time, but we had better make sure that we are not distracted to the neglect of the most important things in life. Nothing is more important to you than the care of your soul and where you will spend eternity. Have the distractions kept you from thinking about that? Jesus asked, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”(Matt 16:26-27).
The Bible tells us we should love the Lord with all of our heart, soul and mind (Matt 22:37). We must not be distracted from this most important thing. If we will come to Christ in faith (John 8:24), repenting of our sins(Acts 2:38), confessing Christ(Rom. 10:9-10), be baptized into Jesus death(Mark 16:16, Rom. 6:3-4) and be faithful to Him(Rev. 2:10), we will be saved. That is something too important to allow other things to distract us. Are you paying attention?
David Courington

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"I Wanta Sing, Sing, Sing..."

I had an interesting experience while on vacation recently. It may have been the first time that I have ever attended a church service where the singing was led so poorly that on 2 or 3 songs I and most of the audience just had to quit. The song leader may have been doing his best, but the congregation couldn't sing. If you know me, you know I love to sing. I was very young when I was asked to take a whole service because all of our regular song leaders were either sick or unable to attend on a Wednesday night. I think I was about 9 years old or so. Anyway, I got "on the job experience." Certainly I could have done a better job if I had had some training. This brings me to my point- churches need to teach people how to sing and how to lead singing.
According to scripture, worship attendance is vital(Heb 10:24-25.) It is by this means that we exhort one another as well as worship God in "spirit and truth"(John 4:24). Part of worship is singing songs, hymns and spiritual songs.(Ep. 5:19, Col. 3:16). And we must be taught to do this by some means. No part of our Christian worship is simply an unplanned "experience" as some would like it to be. It takes study, preparation and forethought.
Some are leaving the Biblical way of "teaching and admonishing one another" for various forms of man-made worship. But the doctrines and commandments of men are vain(Matthew 15:9). One of the reasons men abandon Biblical singing is obviously that men are not being taught what the Bible says. Another is that some churches sing so poorly it would run the church mice out of the building. This is actually the reason that the preacher gave for introducing instrumental music into worship in Midway, Kentucky. And while it is true that God looks on the heart and that is where we "make melody", it is also true that we have to have some type of leadership and planning to sing together.
There are many good methods of teaching singing and song leading. One that has been very effective for our congregation is using Lads to Leaders. For a period of several weeks each year, boys and girls practice singing and song leading for about 45 minutes before Sunday night services. Some question whether girls should be taught to lead. Certainly we do not advocate that they lead the entire congregation in singing(See 1 Tim 2:14-16), but older women are to teach the younger. This is often done in children's Bible class where song leading is essential. It is also helpful to have women who can lead other women for Ladies Days and other women's gatherings.
In the past many congregations had singing schools for a week or more. This is seldom heard of today. A monthly singing night would be more effective if someone would actually take time to teach at least some of the elementary parts of singing and song leading. A singing emphasis workshop or special Sunday can help in teaching singing.
Whatever means you choose, choose some means. The old saying, "Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it," is quite true. But you can't do anything about the weather. You can and should do something about poor singing. Provide opportunities to teach people how to do it. David Courington

Monday, June 29, 2009

Heat Wave- How Have You Coped?

We went to camp at ICYC last week and it was the hottest week in my memory. We used to have a July week, but have started on Father's day the last several years, and usually enjoy moderate weather. I was glad I have spent more time outdoors this spring than usual, and coped pretty well. We kept everyone hydrated, had lots of ice cold watermelon,swam, and everyone made it through pretty well.
We knew our house was hot before leaving for camp and we had to "call the man" today. It was not quite as hot today, but everyone is still talking about it.
The most interesting "coping with the heat" story came tonight from a 65+ year old lady working in Cracker Barrell. She said they had a sidewalk sale last Saturday and she had to work outside. She told Susan that she had taken two of those ice packs that you use in your cooler and put them in her bra. "It worked," she exclaimed.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Grampsmobile

That is the name that Susan has given to my golf cart. I have been wanting one for a long time, especially for camp. There are so many times when you need to run to the ball field, down to the creek, up to the pool, wherever you are not is often where you need to be. We had a couple of very old ones but they never lasted long.
Anyway, I wanted to have it to cart the grands around at the house. I plan on getting some lanes cut in my 9 acres,eventually letting the goats clear a bunch of it. I tried it out this morning and it is nice.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Jon and Kate - Can This Marriage Be Saved?

The number of viewers of the TV show “Jon and Kate- Plus Eight,” doubled this week. It is no wonder, since tons of media attention has focused on this reality TV family as they begin their fifth season on TLC (The Learning Channel). In case you don’t know, Jon and Kate Gosselin had a set of twins and later sextuplets. The show is about the daily struggles of this young couple as they face the challenge of rearing their children. The reason for all of the extra interest is that rumors of the couple’s marriage being on the rocks have been confirmed. Details vary, but many sources say the troubles include infidelity. Most recent reports say that TLC has pressed them to get counseling if their contract is to be extended.
Our purpose here is not to get involved in the details of such, but rather to remind us of what is involved in marriage and child rearing and to think about how to save a marriage.
First, let’s be reminded that God meant for a marriage to be permanent. Jesus was very clear in Matt. 19:6 when he said, “what God has joined together, let not man separate.” Troubled marriages can and should be saved. Recent times have shown that many are quick to give up, often going from one marriage right into another, only to find the same problems repeated over and over again. A few suggestions for solving your problems are:
1. Quickly give attention to trying to solve difficulties privately. The problem should not be aired on TV, Radio, Facebook, My Space, or in your circle of friends, even in your family. Usually, the more private a problem remains, the easier it is to solve.
2. Couples trying to solve their problems should do so prayerfully, carefully, lovingly, and unselfishly. Christian kindness, patience and other virtues are very necessary here. Problems are never solved by seeing who can out-shout, out-glare or stare, and out-mean the other.
3. Look to God’s word for guidance. There is great value in asking oneself, “What Christian principles apply to my situation?” This is of greater importance that saving face, preserving pride, or guarding position.
4. Use a great deal of introspection, instead of inspection. In other words, look at yourself first. If you are only 10 percent of the problem, try to fix that part first, before working on your mate. Remember what Jesus said, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matt 7:3-ESV).
5. If you cannot quickly solve the problem between the two of you, seek help from a trusted advisor. Sadly, some call a divorce lawyer before seeking spiritual counsel. An elder or preacher, a Christian counselor, or a trusted older Christian with marital experience will likely be the best source of help. It may be best not to use your Mom or Dad, or a close friend at this point. Sometimes people very close to you have a hard time looking at situations objectively. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. These people will want to help and will keep your problem confidential.
6. Realize that all marriages of any length have some rough spots. If only those marriage lasted that were perfect, none would survive.
7. Do not ignore problems, but try not to blow them out of proportion. Don’t focus on a problem exclusively and failing to take into consideration other good points of your marriage. It is wise to make a list of the positives so you can keep your perspective and not be too negative. Are you seeing the half empty part of the glass and ignoring the half full part?
8. Anger makes problems larger. So does speaking hurtful words that you may later regret saying. It may be a good idea to put write down your problem and what you want to say to your spouse. Read it a few times and ask yourself how you would feel about it if you were in their shoes.
9. Do consider your children. In hearing about Jon and Kate the last few days, I have wondered about the “Plus eight.” Have they been forgotten? They are the ones who will suffer most if this marriage fails. Children should never be brought into problems for leverage, and their interest should come first. Remember, no matter what the outcome of your marriage, your children’s father or mother will always be your children’s father or mother. You can best teach your child to respect their parent, by setting a good example
10. Pay primary attention to your faith during this time. Sadly, some Christians begin to neglect worship attendance, Bible reading, and prayer during stressful times. They limit association with Christian friends and those that could best help them. The church is not a place for perfect people, but people that are trying to grow in Christ. He should always be, not only our focus, but our life. Paul said, “For me to live is Christ.”(Php. 1:21). Put him first now and always.

“And they lived happily ever after” is a phrase often used in fairy tales and seen as something magical that many marriages are blessed with. There is no “marital magic,” but there can be success and happiness if we are willing to work and sacrifice to make it happen. David Courington

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Alex Graduates- A Good Sermon

In my own mind I don't see myself aging, but in looking at those around me, I must be. Especially troubling is that now days, "babies" are graduating from High School and I realize that 18 years have quickly passed. My nephew, Alex(0n left in picture), has been a great joy to all of our family ever since he was born. He is graduating from Pleasant Grove High tomorrow night at the Alabama Theatre. I affectionately call him Aubie because of his love for Auburn football. He has another great love, and that is his Lord. Alex is going to Freed Hardeman in the fall and plans to preach. In fact, he is already preaching and doing a wonderful job. Last Sunday night, He and Landon Wylie preached at Sylvan Springs and did a great job. You can hear this lesson at our church website(Landon's lesson is first)(
Congratulations Alex Courington.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Special People- Special Day

Yesterday was special. I had been telling Mom if she got a little better I would take here out for a time. She is still frail but able to walk a few steps now. Yesterday afternoon I called Cherry Hill and the nurse said she was having a good day so I told her I was going to come and we would go to Billy's shop in Graysville and get her hair done. She was excited, as you might expect, not having been able to do much of anything for months. We made the trip well, got something to eat, and went back. As you can see from the picture of her and Billy, she is looking good. Her 80th birthday is coming up on June 20th. She is such a special person.
Another of my special people, first grandchild Addi, had her last day of kindergarten today and yesterday was her closing program. She is a dear little girl and it is hard to believe she is already finishing kindergarten. Congratulations Addi.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Leslie and Sally on the Lose

Chasing animals can be great exercise, and I have been getting more than I bargained for lately. Yesterday, I finally got 2 goats. We affectionately named them Leslie(the white one), after our niece, and Sally(the tan one), after a dear friend. I paid $35 each for them from Mr. Varner in Mulga. He has quite a few goats, maybe 20. I have wanted some goats for a long time to help clean off some of my 9 acres of overgrown weeds and brush. For several weeks I have been reading and working to get an electric fence finished to put them in and built a small shed to shield them from the weather(they don't like rain). Well, one of my bargains wasn't so much of a bargain after all. I bought a new(in the sealed package) fence charger from Odd Lots Hardware(a great place to shop in Hueytown). It was supposed to charge a fence for 20 acres. Well, I had no more got the goats in the fence than they got out. They touched the fence and didn't seem to mind so I knew something was wrong. My tester showed it was charging. Well, it wasn't charging much and soon died completely. James Copeland, my neighbor, brother and friend, came out and helped me herd them back to the house and he checked the fence and it wasn't charging at all. He had an spare charger. We hooked it up and they were still in there this morning, so I'll keep my fingers crossed. I think the one who got the most out of all of this is Susan. She got a dose of medicine laughing at me. She would have really enjoyed it if she hadn't been sick. Hope you are feeling better, honey. I'm sure I'll be posting more about this adventure later.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bandit On The Lose Again

Hard to believe I haven't blogged in so long. Well, a good way to start catching up is to revisit an old topic. One of the first things I wrote on this blog was about Bandit, our Border Collie, getting lose and having to chase him down. He stays in the back yard in a fence, so when he gets out he is a wild buck. Friday the A/C repairman came and had to get in the back yard. Bandit was penned up on the poarch for his visit. The repairman told me to turn the air on and when I went inside, in spite of my best efforts, Bandit slipped past me and off to the races. He marked the entire area first, then went back and forth running as fast as he could. He would not even pay attention to me calling him. I think I saw a grin on his face as he looked at me standing there with my rope. I knew he would wear me down, so I decided on wearing him down instead, chasing him on the lawnmower. He went to three houses, that had dogs. He took a trip down the middle of Shady Grove Road(busy highway) as if he owned it. Then he settled in at a house that had a fence with at lease 10 ankle biter dogs. He circled the fence several times, with all the littly yappers following him around on the inside. This included a stretch right through these folks newly planted garden. The lady came out of the house in her gown and was very kind. She grinned too, as Bandit circled the house and I kept trying to get him to come to me, to no avail. After a while she walked out into the yard and said, "Come here, Bandit" and he went right to her. She held him for me til I could get the rope on his collar. I walked him home, then went back to get my mower. Whew. Never let anyone tell you that dogs are loyal to their masters. I feed him every day, water him, pet him, buy him dog biscuits and treats and what do I get- heartache. He's a good dog!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Snow Day

Any other day, this snow would be so much fun. Our Gospel Meeting starts today with David Sain. We will likely meet for those who can come, but I know there will be several who can't make it. I guess it will be up to me to eat all of that extra delicious food that Susan has cooked. What a chore!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Put On Your Mask First

The morning paper has another account of a child who was critically injured by her own family’s carelessness. This time, an 11 year old girl drank from a bottle that she thought was Sprite and came inside choking. It turned out that the bottle contained hydrochloric acid, an ingredient for crystal methamphetamine and she was severely burned. The authorities found three meth labs in a small trailer near where the girl was playing. One wonders if the family member(s) responsible would have forced the young girl to drink such a substance? Probably not. But their failure to obey the law cause the young innocent to be harmed. This story made headlines because it was an unusual circumstance, but there are millions of similar stories each day that are not reported.
Children of alcoholics are more likely to become alcoholics themselves. Often they start drinking when it is given them by their parents, or when the “forbidden fruit” is taken from the family refrigerator or liquor cabinet. No, these children are not likely to be taken to the emergency room. Seldom do such things get reported in the newspaper.
An even more subtle danger is when children follow in their parents footsteps away from God. The materialistic parent may wonder what happened when their child grows up and fails to ever visit them or show any type of love. You see, there is only a very short space between breaking the greatest commandment to honor God (Matt. 22:37-38), and the one that tells children to respect their parents (Ep. 6:1-2). Lawless parents breed lawless children. That is true regarding God’s law as well as civil laws.
Last week I had a public conversation with a lady who was telling me about her financial and health problems. She remarked that she was working two jobs to try to make ends meet. Her doctor had told her that she badly needed surgery but she couldn’t take off from work because she couldn’t provide for her son who was in college. I suggested that he might have to take a semester off and reminded her of an example that I had heard some time ago. When the stewardess gives emergency instruction to airplane passengers, she tells them how to use the oxygen mask. Her instructions tell parents accompanied by small children, “Put yours on first, then the child.” A helpless child needs his parent to help him to safety.
Parents must be diligent to make sure that first, they do what is right. Then instruct the child in the principles of truth. Unfaithful, non church going parents seldom bring up children to know God. In careless incidents where children are harmed, parents are often heard to say, “I never meant for my child to end up like this.” But the question is, did you take the necessary precautions to prevent it?
Any judge will tell you that regular Sunday school attendance will go a long way in crime prevention. Don’t send your child to church, bring them.
David Courington

Saturday, February 14, 2009

To The Love of My Life on Valentine's Day

It started with a greeting,
By blind chance a meeting,
Or was it by God’s providence,
I believe there is much evidence,

For whatever the reason,
A friendship bloomed in season,
The two became a pair,
It seemed something special was there.

It wasn’t very long,
Until the passion grew so strong,
The spark was now a flame,
The two would soon share a name,

Days turned to months, then years,
Sharing happy days and a few tears,
One thing never wavered,
It was the One that these two favored.

And the love that was born of a spark,
Was a wildfire that raged in the heart.
It kept growing by leaps and bounds,
Spreading light to those around.

Children came and grandkids too,
There were friends, more than a few,
But the others never distracted,
From the deep love they contracted,

With growing, faithful, love you see,
That’s the way it’s meant to be,
Love never ends or dims in time,
When it’s the special, godly kind.

Friday, February 13, 2009

David Sain at Sylvan Springs Church of Christ

It is a joy to be able to invite you to our revival on March 1-4, 2009 at Sylvan Springs Church of Christ. Our speaker will be Bro. David Sain who is preaching for the congregation at Fayetteville, Tn and working with the International Gospel Hour. Bro. David has been with us before and he always does an outstanding job of preaching the truth in love.

On Sunday we will have lunch together after the morning service and then have a singing at 1:15 p.m. Following that, we will have our afternoon service at 2:00 p.m. Then on Monday through Wednesday nights we will be meeting at 7:00 p.m. We always enjoy the pleasure of having our visitors, and we do hope that you will come as you have opportunity.

Marty, Marty

Many of you know my good friend and brother, Marty Glenn. He is an elder at Sylvan Springs and a prince of a fellow. Marty is in Baptist Princeton Hospital recovering from serious surgery. He is improving and supposed to get out of ICU today. Please continue to remember him and his family in your prayers.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Calm Today

Haven't posted for a while so I thought I would give a quick update. How calm is it? Well I just checked my unmedicated blood pressure and it was 113/60. Guess that weight loss(74 pounds) and treadmill work are paying off. It was even quite calm at the nursing home today. Mom and Dad are doing well for the time being. It was even quite calm at church today. While the sea of life has lots of waves, and we have to roll with the punches, it is nice to have calm, even for a short time. Susan and I are really looking forward to getting back to FHU this week for the lectures. Since we didn't get to go last year, we are especially excited about it. Keep in touch.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cold Days In Bama

No snow, but plenty of frost here. Hope you are staying warm.

Monday, January 12, 2009

10 Tips- Practical Advice From the Treadmill

10 Tips- Practical Advice From the Treadmill-

Being on the treadmill for 40+ minutes gave me some time to think and I am ready for some Monday morning straight talk. Here is some no pulling punches, no holds barred, down to brass tacks solid advice for this young year. If you don’t want to read it, delete it. Go to another site…you have my permission (No, of course you don’t need it, but this is for the wimpy among us.) So here it is:

1) Self Improvement- Turn off the TV and look in the mirror. Yes, I was watching TV while on the treadmill, and one of the talk shows had several “experts” critiquing the “stars”, showing video clips from the Golden Globe Awards. One was fat, the other had one of the worst hairdos that I have ever seen, and none of them were dressed in any way that would make you think that they deserved a “Best Dressed” award. Yet they could laugh and find all sorts of fault. Sadly, they are like most of us. They find it easier to criticize others than to improve themselves. Remember the scripture, “Judge not, that you be not judged….And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? ...Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.”(Matthew 7:1-5). Mirrors are great for getting specks out of your own eye. The Bible is the best mirror of all, but too often a man “forgets what kind of man he was.” (James 1:24-25). Take a good look at yourself in God’s mirror. He will help you become who you need to be.

2) Work- Get off the snooze button and on to work. Yes, there are a lot of folks who are out of work, but industrious people usually find a way to find a job. Jobs are found by those up and awake, not those in bed or on the couch. The more you work at finding work, the more likely you are to find it. If you can’t find a job that pays what you want, find one that pays what you can get- a little is always better than nothing. Some take the approach- “I can make more at home.” That may be true, but you can find a job easier if you already have one, and it is much better for your health and mental well being to be working. If you can’t find paying work, work at something that will help someone else (God’s work always pays off), or pay off for you later, such as getting a better education. Remember what you Mama told you- “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”

3) Weight loss- Forget the latest fad diet and do what you already know to. You know you can’t get skinny eating double Whoppers. Eat smaller portions. Leave off the bread, butter and bacon for a while. Remember you can have anything you want to eat- but not everything you want to eat right now! It will taste even better tomorrow. Drink water- It will save you calories, money and make you feel better than all that caffeine.

4) Money- Get off of Ebay and on to God’s plan- Give some, Save Some, Spend Some. Next time you start to bid or buy- stop! Give ½ and save ½ and both you and the church will prosper. Or were you going to spend money on that credit card you did not have in the first place? If so, did you really need it or really want it? If it was a want- delay buying for just 24 hours and see what you think then. Shop for groceries at Aldi or the local bent and dent save bunches. Stop going to the bingo hall and go to the credit union instead(Few of them are in any financial trouble and they pay more interest and charge less fees than banks.)

5)Feeling Blue- Do all of the above. Getting out of the house, making small improvements in your health, finances, and spiritual condition will give you a sense of well being. True depression is a medical problem. If you are clinically depressed, see a doctor before anything else. If one doesn’t work, find another. Spend time with happy people.

6)Sex- Not married- take a cold shower, not someone else’s mate. Married- stop being selfish and spend more time doing something to make your spouse happy. Sex is all about unselfishness. (Read 1 Cor. 7:1-5). Having physical problems, see a doctor, now!

7)Child Rearing- Since all of my children are grown and gone, I can now advise others. Perhaps advising is more fun than rearing children. Not really. Here goes- tell them you love them a lot, spank them when they need it, but praise them twice a much. Be consistent, united, and determined. Don't get down on your child. Never give up on them- one day, or year does not a life make. Have fun with them. Remember that your most powerful teaching tool is your example. Make good memories for them and they will make good memories for you.

8) Prayer- Pray instead of worrying (Phil. 4:6). Fretting solves nothing, just makes problems bigger. If you can’t quit worrying, refer to number 2 above.

9) Politics- Don’t give much attention to politics. The world was helped more by Jesus, a carpenter’s son, than any politician that ever lived. Political power may reside in Washington, but all power rest in Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18). We can probably change the world more by saving one soul than passing a hundred laws.

10)Music- Add a little music to your life. Nothing invigorates quite like singing as loud as you can, in the shower or out. Singing praises to God is one of life’s greatest blessings. Regarding secular music, listen to bluegrass, more than blues- it will put pep in your step. David Courington

Friday, January 09, 2009

Grandma's Glasses

“Two small boys were discussing eye glasses and one said, “Wouldn’t you hate to wear glasses?” The other boy replied, “No. Not if I could wear the kind grandma wears. My mother says she can always see when people are tired, discouraged and sad. But best of all, she can always see the good in others.”
Too often we look at one’s physical appearance and fail to see the true person inside. John 7:24 says, “Judge not according to appearance.” I believe if we were to look through the glasses of Christ, we too would see people in a totally different perspective”
Author Unknown

Though I do not know the author of this short article, I do believe the lesson is powerful. As a young boy or girl, who would take up your case and stand up for you like Grandma? Her love was genuine and unconditional. She loved first, and did not look for our faults. In fact, she overlooked them. Isn’t that what Peter taught in 1 Peter 4:8 when he said, “ Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8 ESV). It is amazing what one will endure for one he loves. But if love does not run deep, one will not put up with much out of another person. Not only are their character flaws (everybody has some) magnified, but even their looks, health, and strength can become a source of disgust.
The next time you start to get really aggravated at another, particularly a brother or sister in Christ, it might do good to ask, “How would I feel about this if it was my grandchild, or my brother, or my mother?” Paul actually told Titus to think on these lines in his work as a minister. He said, “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father. Treat younger men like brothers, 2 older women like mothers, younger women like sisters, in all purity.” 1 Tim 5:1-2 (ESV)
So next time you have a problem with another, it might be good to take a look at them through “Grandma’s Glasses.”
David Courington

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Greeting

One of God's greatest blessings is dear friends and family with whom we can share our lives. Thanks for being a special part of mine. All my love and best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Would You Sell Your Soul For A Fruitcake?

(Here is some "food" for thought, and a sermon idea or bulletin article for you preachers out there.)
Many folks would quickly tell you either, "I love fruitcake," or "I hate fruitcake." I can fall into either category depending on what kind of fruitcake it is. I have had some that I hated. I really liked the Benson Old Home Fruitcake that came in my Aunt Marie's package from Virginia each year. But my love for fruitcake started many years ago with a dear Parrish preacher's wife, Betty Bramlett. She gave Mom and Dad one that she made and it had no filler cake- practically all of it was candied cherries and pecans. Whatever else was in there was delicious. In recent years I have made some that I really liked. This year I found that Costco has a fantastic fruitcake that is better and much cheaper than I can make one. Enough about that, what would you do for a good fruitcake?
Hosea 3:1 shows how the Israelites left God and served idols. Part of the reason was they loved the "raisin cakes of the pagans." That reminds me of Esau who sold his birthright for a bowl of stew(Gen. 25:29-34).
I would hope that none of us would forsake the true God for a fruitcake, but some forsake him for worthless things:

Some forsake God for earthly riches that will persish(Matt 19:21-24; 1 Tim.6:17-19)
Some forsake God for alcohol(1 Cor 6:9-11; Prov 20:1)
Some forsake God for sexual pleasure(Heb 12:14-17; 1 Cor 6:18-20).

Nothing is more important than our relationship with God that will lead to eternal life. Would you sell it for a fruitcake? Some do it for less! David Courington

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Home Again for the Holidays

Home Again for the Holidays
There is some truth to the saying, “You can never go home again.” Since change is a part of every life, home is not the same when you go back. But you can go home again, with wonderful reminiscences.
No, I did not grow up in the day when you got just an apple and some nuts for Christmas. Yes, we had fruit and candy in a stocking, but there were always presents and and usually at least one special toy that myself or my brother Billy were excited about. I recall us getting a Creepy Crawler Maker, pogo sticks, and Billy getting a dancing monkey named Clancy.
Guns were always Christmas favorites for me. I remember Mama and Papa Courington getting me a really nice set of metal cap pistols with holsters and all, just like the kind Hoss had on Bonanza. I had admired them in the window of Wilson Beard’s grocery story for some time. By the time I got them, my anticipation was built to a fever pitch. Perhaps my favorite gun was a big bazooka called a “Big Blast.” Dad had to go to Birmingham for that one. You pumped it up and it did indeed have a “Big Blast” as it shot a ball of air several feet away. You could set up a paper cup or something and knock it over if you were a good enough shot.
I remember when I was 11 or 12 and wanted a real gun. I had made sure that Mom and Dad knew that I really wanted one. I don’t remember anyone saying, “You’ll shoot your eye out,” but I do recall that there was no small amount of discussion as to whether I should have one. I kept looking at the packages under the tree and hoping. I really didn’t think I was getting it. There was one box that was heavy enough, but not nearly long enough. Little did I know that rifles come in two pieces. Excited was not the word when I opened it and found that I had not only gotten a gun, but a really nice one, a Remington 22 semi-automatic with a handsome wooden stock.
Yes, I still have it and I think I’ll get it out and shoot some next week, and reminisce some more about how much fun it was to go to the dump with Dad and shoot it. I would also get to shoot the WW I Colt 45 that his uncle Bill left him. I didn’t want to shoot it much- too much recoil(and I think that my be what damaged my hearing in one ear.)
No, I have never shot anyone or even come close, but Billy did almost shoot me once. We went squirrel hunting with Papa Studdard in Winston County. I used my Remington and Billy used an old single shot that belonged to Papa Courington. As we were walking along(with a bit of snow on the ground in the shady spots,) I heard that rifle’s sharp, loud pop right by me- so much for the theory that guns don’t go off accidentally. He was in front of me, holding it over his shoulder pointing back, but luckily I was a little to the right. Hmmm- seems like it always pays off to stay a little to the right.
I guess that is enough cogitating for now, but remember, in the musings of the mind, you can always go home again for the holidays.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


We were saddened to learn of the death of Mandi's(Daniel's wife)grandfather, Mr. Bradford(David's dad) on Saturday. He had a car accident in Albertville. He was a member of the Blessing Church of Christ. The funeral will be on Tuesday at Albertville Memorial Funeral Home at 2:00 p.m. Not only have we grown to love Mandi very much, but her Mom,Dad and family as well. I want to express my deepest sympathy to all of them.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Come For A Visit

Many of the readers of this blog are members at Sylvan Springs, but several are not. Some are friends, perhaps just acquaintances who hopefully will become friends, family and others. I wanted to give you a reminder during this time of the year when many are thinking of spiritual things, that you are always welcome at Sylvan Springs Church of Christ. In fact, you are more than welcome. We really want you to come for a visit. Have a great day.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thank You for Being My Friend

This morning, I read the paper as usual, and went to the financial page to see how my IRA was doing. Of course it took another big fall this week, not that I had much in there anyway. Instead of feeling blue, for some reason, I was overwhelmed with a warm feeling of how blessed I am. Only a short time afterwards, Kim called to tell me of the good news that Paul had passed his National Board Teacher Certification, and we are thrilled about that. Paul is such a good son in law. You know, most every day brings some good news, and some bad.
But every day is a time to give thanks. Nothing can compare with the debt of gratitude that we owe to God our maker, for his abundant blessings. That old song, “There shall be showers of blessing”(Ezek 34:26), should be sung on rainy days and sunny days, both of which are given by God. But with the approach of this Thanksgiving Day, I want to say thanks to him for all of the wonderful friends (kinfolks included) that have helped sustain me.
During this past year I lost one of my closest friends, Bob Norris, to an early death. His warm voice so often buoyed me when we talked. He was one of those kind of friends that you were always comfortable with, that some people only find once in a lifetime, but I have been so blessed to have many. I can’t tell him how much I appreciate him, but I can tell you how glad I am that you are my dear friend.
In 2008, one of my dearest friends moved away. Instead of talking to him several times a week and working with him closely at church, we talk less frequently and see each other far less. I miss him, but I am glad that we are still friends though separated by a few miles. If I am separated from you, my friend, by distance near or far, I want you to know that you are still my good friend and I appreciate you.
During this past year, my Mom and Dad were both hospitalized at the same time, seriously ill. I thought we were going to lose both of them. They are doing much better at present and I am so thankful for that. No, Dad still doesn’t know me, but I know him, and his smile when I go to visit is priceless. One of the nurses told me some time ago, “If she could pick a disease to have in old age, it would be Alzheimer’s. It is hard on the family, but you don’t know you have it.” Well, I hate it for him and the family, but I am thankful especially for all of the good friends who have been so helpful in this hard time.
There have been so many medical people, and others who have gone out of their way to be helpful. The folks at Cherry Hill Healthcare have been topnotch in showing compassion and concern. Our church family has been very supportive. Many friends have continued to send cards and express concern. Our family has rallied to help, as they could. For all of these friends, I give thanks.
On October 9, my sister in law, Mary, finally got her new liver. She is making slow, but sure progress getting back to “normal.” Was Mary ever “normal”? Her zest for life, good humor, and knack for getting into “predicaments,” have prompted some to call her “Lucy”. We surely would not want to be without her. We are so thankful for God’s blessing, but also for so many who prayed, and continue to offer help in so many ways. We have many friends who are not of the “fair weather” kind, and for that we are so thankful.
Day before yesterday, Jasmine, my niece, had a car wreck. I felt so sorry for her because she had just paid off her car the day before, and only had liability insurance. Did I mention that she was hit by an 18 wheeler? Wow, and she did not have a single scratch, though her car was demolished. The truck ran a red light and the police wrote it up that way, so, hopefully they will get her another car, but we couldn’t find another Jasmine. I am thankful today that we still have her, and our other family and friends.
I could go on and on, but I simply wanted to say, “Thanks” to so many of you, who mean so much to me. I love you. David

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Now That The Election Is Over

About half an hour ago I went to the polls and voted. Whatever happens regarding who becomes our president is now out of my hands. Though some will disagree, I have always felt that living in a country with a democratic form of government places a responsibility on me to vote and do what I can to ensure that our country will be a nation that allows men freedom to follow Christian principles without restriction. After all, the Bible does teach that we are to do all of the good that we can and that we will be judged in part by how we use our opportunities.( See Gal. 6:10, James 4:17). Pilate was not right in simply washing his hands of Jesus. He had opportunity to do something about it. Can I sit idly by and do nothing when such issues as abortion, gay marriage, and gambling issues are on the ballot? That is irresponsible., But I also believe that Christians and churches can be too wrapped up in politics. Some are so caught up in their “party” they do not even consider issues. Still others will consider only what a man says that he is for and not what he has proved to be by his record. We need to remember that if the world is to be changed for the good, it will be by the gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16-17), and not political means. Governments can change laws, but the gospel changes lives. I believe what the scriptures says in Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people.” Righteousness is practiced, not voted in. Sin is a result of men turning away from God and his word. Political parties won’t change that. Now that the election is over, no matter which way it went, my main focus should be on spreading the gospel of Christ, and living a righteous example before all. Elections change leaders, but the gospel changes hearts., Furthermore, we need remember that though we do not have a command to vote, there are 2 specific commands that we do have regarding our government authorities. First, we must be subject to them. Romans 13:1-3 says, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.” There is no place for a rebellious spirit among the saints., Too, we are told, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”(1 Tim 2:1-3). We should pray for our new leaders, whoever they are. David Courington

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Where is Jimmy Carter when you need him?

The Birmingham News reports that there are 6 counties in South Alabama that have more registered voters than people. Jimmy Carter has travelled the world to see that 3rd world countries have fair and free elections. Would someone send him to LA?(for the ignorant- lower Alabama).

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Old Book Case

The Old Book Case

In that old case, there were many books,
Varied size and color gave them many looks,
A story was told by every one,
How old books make our memories run,

The books of wonder on that old shelf,
Tell of Grandma and her studious self.
She loved history books and dictionaries,
She wasn’t into ghosts and fairies.

Grandpa had no books up there,
He worked with his hands, no books to share,
But there was one book that had his name,
The Holy Bible, where he placed his claim.

The book of Bible stories from which my Mother taught,
Brought uncontrolled tears, that I had not sought,
But reminded me of how as a little child,
I was molded by her love that taught me, so mild.

There were other shelves that had books a plenty,
These belonged to Dad, there were so many,
They were not about golf, and hunting, and such,
But the Lord and his church he loved so much.

That old book case now belongs to another,
It wasn’t kept by me or my brother,
But the memories live in our heart and soul,
That old book case, helped to make us whole.
David Courington