Obed's House

In 2 Samuel 6:10-11, we are told that God blessed the household of Obed-edom for his safekeeping of the Ark of the Covenant. As God blessed Obed's house, may He, too, find us faithful of guarding the treasure that He has entrusted to us in His Word.

Location: Lexington, KY

Thursday, August 17, 2006

It's finally here...

Well, if you have been anxiously awaiting the new blogsite that I promised long ago, it's finally here! Yes, I know you all can hardly contain your excitement, but please, try not to wake the neighbors.

The new blogsite is quite simply: timmorrison.blogspot.com. I have not idea how my name suddenly came available, but I am elated that it did. So, there you have it. Check it out. Surely I can come up with something creative to say every now and then.

Oh, and Brutally Honest Man, you're invited, too. But please note that noone will ever see your comments so long as you are veiled in secrecy. In fact, your comments will likely be deleted before even being read. Just a forewarning. :)

So, come along, everyone, as we take on the new adventures that await us.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

This One's for Adam

OK Adam, you get your wish. This one, though, will be the last blog for Obed's House. Soon, I hope to begin a new blog, with a new name. I figured why not start a new blog just to add to the new adventures in my life. Of late, I have begun a new ministry position in Florence, KY at Florence Baptist Church. Though a lot different, my family and I are seeing and reaping blessings that come only when we are obedient to His calling on our lives. It has been a difficult transition in many respects, but a very easy one in others.

Allow me to conclude this blog (maybe) with some things that I have learned over the past few months.
  1. You absolutely cannot please everyone - or even most a lot of times.
  2. Brutally Honest Man is a coward.
  3. Ministry is brutal sometimes - and sometimes the church is the most brutal entity on the face of the planet.
  4. Some people in the church can make Satan look like he truly is a friend.
  5. Some people in the church make ministry all worth while.
  6. Most people in the church have no clue what true ministry really is.
  7. Most people in the church would not want to know about people what ministers know about people.
  8. God is good - all the time.
  9. Brutally Honest Man is a coward.
  10. Kindness and hospitality truly are two of the most forgotten character traits in today's world. My wife, Jenny, is the best at these things. She will write you a thank you card for nothing - just because she believes people should feel loved and appreciated.
  11. Sometimes, all people need is a little love.
  12. Minister's wives are some of the most overlooked, forgotten people on the planet - even by those in the church who claim to 'love their staff.'
  13. My wife is a priceless jewel - and a lot of people have missed out on getting to know her due to their own negligence and self-absorption.
  14. My little girl is a precious gift - and a lot of people have ignored her because they were too busy trying to "get in good" with me.
  15. If you want to love you ministers, first and foremost love and accept their families.
  16. Do not expect minister's families to be overly involved in various ministries if they are not invited or do not feel welcomed. They are people, too, and need to feel welcomed.
  17. Have I mentioned anything about Brutally Honest Man being a coward yet?
  18. The church is God's bride - and just as human bride's sin, so does the church.
  19. The church, in spite of all of her faults and imperfections, is still God's bride and she is to be loved, respected, and cherished.
  20. And, lastly, when you feel loved and appreciated, you will die for those you are serving. This one took me a while to figure out.
  21. OK, one more thing - my wife and daughter are awesome.
These are simply some of those little things I have learned lately. Nothing too theological about most of them, just good ole' practical lessons learned - mostly through the school of hard knocks.

So, there ya go. When I start a new blog, I'll be sure to post the details here and the new address. So long! :)

Friday, May 26, 2006

An Invitation

Brutally Honest Man -

Please give me a call and explain to me 1) how my last post was propaganda and 2) why it is wrong to use my blog for self defense.

My cell phone number is 533-3642. This is not a challenge, just an invitation.

What to say but . . . goodbye.

Well, the time has come to either celebrate or reminisce, depending upon whether or not you are happy or sad that I am leaving Porter Memorial on Sunday. Some, I know for sure, will celebrate my departure and see it as a sort of victory - one which they hoped would come in the form of Dr. Henard leaving. For you guys, I hope that you gain some semblance of satisfaction that you are looking so desperately for in this glorious days of Porter. Yes, I said glorious days of Porter. There were many who thought that God would undoubtedly turn His back on Porter Memorial if the pastor did not leave. Here are some stats for you: Since April 23, Porter has baptized in the neighborhood of 27 people; children, adults, men, and women are joining the church on a regular basis; and something like five people have walked in off the street asking what they need to do to be saved! All of this has occured after the pastor shared his heart on April 23 to a standing ovation at the moment that he declared that only God can call a man to a church, and only God can call a man away - then he said with boldness and conviction "I am not resigning." What a joy it was to hear this man that I think so highly of and respect so deeply take a stand. It is a pleasure and a joy to work with someone with such a desire to see God work that he would place himself on the chopping block time and again for the principles that God has laid out so plainly in Scripture. I will miss Dr. Henard's leadership and preaching more than anyone could ever know. He has shown me what it means to fight with dignity while remaining gracious to those who oppose you, for whatever reason. He has taught me that standing on Scriptural foundations are more important than popularity and accolades. For that, I will always be thankful to Dr. Henard. One last thing on this section of thoughts. I know, and readily admit, that I have not done everything right in my time at Porter Memorial. But, I have learned from my mistakes and over time I have learned that God works in my failures as much as He does in my successes. Having said that, I know that there are some who have, for whatever reason, become disenchanted with me. Please allow me to say, in this public forum (sort of), that if I have offended you in any way, I apologize. There is a 99% percent chance that I have absolutely no idea what you are offended about or how I hurt you, but that does not negate the fact that you feel that way. So, if at any time I have offended or hurt you, please accept my apology. Some would say "Why are you doing this in a blog rather than in person?" This is a good question and one that I would love to answer. It is difficult to apologize to someone when they blatantly ignore you when you look straight at them and smile. It is difficult to apologize to someone when they will not even look in your direction, knowing where you are standing. It is difficult to apologize to someone when all that is said on their end is "Well, he should know what he did, so I am going to wait for him to come to me." There are times when a person has absolutely no idea that they even need to apologize. This has been the case a lot of times in this situation. There are some that I have no idea what I have done, yet I am expected to come and apologize for something specific that I have no clue what it is. That makes it difficult to apologize. Should I have made more of an effort? Possibly. Should those who are offended or upset have approached me directly and given details of why they were upset with me (as opposed to doing it to others)? Probably. Both of us are at fault, and I readily admit that. But, I do have this to say. Bitterness only hurts the one who harbors it towards another. I can say with all confidence that I sleep well at night knowing that my conscious is clear before my highest authority, my Heavenly Father. It is to Him and Him alone that I owe my highest and deepest loyalties. So, again, if I have hurt you, offended you, or hurt or offended your friends, etc., I apologize and hope that one day you can forgive and let it go.

Then, there are some who might actually be bit saddened that Jenny, Reese, and I are moving on to another place of ministry to which God has called us. To you guys, I simply say thank you. Thank you for your continual love, support, and encouragement, both in the good and bad times. You were patient when I messed up; encouraging when I was down; and supportive when we needed it the most. I cannot express adequately both mine and Jenny's appreciation for all that you have meant to us. I will always be humbled by the fact that God would use me to proclaim to you the message of Christ each week. It has been a joy to see you grow in your faith as a result of being immersed in the Word of God. There are numerous parents, students, and volunteers that have made these three years such a joy and blessing. I will miss you. To all of the teachers in the student ministry of PMBC, thank you! To all of the volunteers and those who work so tirelessly to ensure the spiritual development of the teenagers at PMBC, thank you! To the students who have remained positive in light of adversity, remained faithful to the Lord in your support of the church in times of great trial, and who have blessed me with your faithfulness to His Word, thank you! Thank you for your support and encouragement of both Jenny and me. You will be missed. I can only hope that there are students like yourselves at Florence Baptist Church who are willing to go against the grain, choose the road less travelled, and place their lives on the line for Christ as you have done at Porter. Please keep in touch and bless Jenny and I with all that God is doing in your life. Make every day count for Christ and leave no one wondering whether or not you serve a Living God. Silent evangelism does not work. The lost world needs to hear of the hope that is within you. Knowing a lot of you as I do, I have no doubt that this will be your lifestyle and your mission in life, to share with a lost and dying world that Jesus Christ is Lord of all and desires a relationship with each one of us.

I love you guys and have been honored and blessed to be your student pastor for the last three years. Thank you for the honor and privilege. The blessing has been all mine.

For His Glory,

Tim Morrison

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Vines and the Vinedresser

I have a question that I have been pondering of late. I know that, according so some, very few people actually read this blog. (NOTE: This is not surprising for me, for I have never claimed to have a widely read blog. Proof: I never post.) Anyway, on with the question. I have been pondering John 15:1-2 lately for my own purposes. Largely, it has been out of a sincere desire to be fruitful and productive for the Lord. But, my question is this, and then we will see if we can get some meaningful, non-inflammatory discussion going.

Question: Is John 15 merely individual in nature or is it, or could it be, corporate in scope, as well?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Gossip and Evangelism

Two weeks ago, we had the distinct honor and privilege of having Dr. John Avant as a guest speaker at Porter Memorial Baptist Church. To say that Dr. Avant's message was challenging and inspiring is like saying that Ted Williams was a decent hitter. The message was phenomenal in every manner in which a sermon can be judged. Dr. Avant was speaking on the need for revival within the Southern Baptist Convention. Relaying his perception of what would come of the SBC in the next twenty years, he said that the convention is either on the verge of imploding or exploding with phenomenal growth as a result of spiritual awakening. I believe he was correct when he said that it could really go either way at this juncture. We are at a pivotal place within the life of the SBC and, more importantly, the individual local churches which make up this great evangelical entity. During the course of his sermon, Dr. Avant perceptively noted that we as Southern Baptists are so busy fighting each other that we forget that ultimately our enemy is Satan, the great deceiver, the liar, the counterfeit, the ultimate enemy. We have ultimately made our love for feel good Christianity, that which does not offend us, our litmus test for what is tolerable within the local church. This ultimately will cause conflict within a Bible believing fellowship of believers since Scripture, doctrine, and the Truth which comes about when both are followed closely are by their very nature divisive. So, along those lines, in keeping with the issue of those within the local church making each other the enemy, Dr. Avant said the following (I am, for the most part, paraphrasing here): "If you are busy gossiping, habitually complaining, or in general speaking negatively of others, then there is no way that you can 1)have time for sharing the gospel, or 2)have the love of Christ in your heart in order to share the gospel. The rousing applause and many "Amens" coming from the congregation, Dr. Avant made the following challenge, and it is one that I offer to those of you reading this blog.

The challenge is this: If you are one who is a complainer, gossip, or overall negative towards those who are simply trying to do the job that has been assigned to them, I have one question: When was the last time that you saw someone come to Christ as a result of your witness to them. When was the last time you shared the gospel? When was the last time that you prayed for that person that you are negative toward? Gossip about? Complain about?

Tough words, I know. I am simply repeating the words that received such rousing applause only two weeks ago. But, I am sure that none of those who have plenty of time to gossip, complain, and be overall negative were applauding that day. Nor are they now.

Lord, may I be one who seeks to share your lovingkindness with all you ordain for me to come in contact with during any given day. May I desire to share your love more than I desire to be right in the midst of a debate. May I love you more than I love the idea of seeing someone fail. Forgive me, O God, when I fall short in these areas. Have mercy on us for seeking vengeance against others before bringing them before your throne in prayer. Amen.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Leadership: What a calling!

Ok, I know it has been a while. My apologies, Adam. From my recollection, you just might be the first person that has EVER told me that they check my blog every day. What a humbling thought. Thank you, Adam Baird, for giving me a reason to write once again. This has the potential to be a lenghty post, so please bare with me. I think it might be worth it and hopefully, maybe, even encouraging.

As I write, one word is on my mind and heart: leadership. There is one word that did not come to mind when God called me to leadership within His Kingdom. That word is 'conflict.' Nowhere in my contract that I symbolically signed with God was conflict ever mentioned. Not in my eyes, at least. It is not something that those called to ministry like to talk about a whole lot. It is not one of those 'feel good' topics that people discuss in their mentoring relationships with those called into ministry, though my argument is that it should be a very prominent issue in this area. God has used many tools to shape my thinking in this area, some of which I will divulge in this post. Though I once thought that conflict would be a minor part of the ministry, I have learned that the decision to serve as a spiritual leader (for example, surrendering to a call to ministry) signs one up for conflict. You submit yourself to be ridiculed, maligned, slandered, gossiped about, criticized falsely about anything under the sun, and just as Moses endured, those that you care so deeply about and strive with all of your heart to lead toward God will turn against you in some cases. All of this is part of leadership, but not just any leadership. It is more specifically part of spiritual leadership. The encouraging thing for leaders is this fact; God uses conflict to shape the leader's heart. Conflict is a primary tool used by God to strengthen the leader and mold them into a more effective soldier for the Kingdom of God.

Some leaders, maybe even some of you reading this, view conflict with others as a sign that God is displeased with you. The presence of conflict does not necessarily signal the displeasure of God with the leader. Sometimes, leaders encounter conflict precisely because they are doing the right thing. The truth is that some criticism has absolutely no merit either in logic or, most importantly, in Scripture. The spiritual leader, however, must seek God in how to deal with conflict and those who initiate conflict. An important point to remember is this. Never place so much attention on whose who are 'unhappy' about perceived problems, whether true or untrue, that those who wholeheartedly support and encourage you on a daily basis are neglected.

Just some thoughts on conflict. Comments are welcome, but let's not be anonymous or unscriptural.

Note: The chapter on Conflict in Reggie McNeal's A Work of Heart has been vital in my understanding about dealing with conflict as a spiritual leader. I highly recommend this work to anyone who is struggling with conflict presently or who is in ministry and will inevitably face conflict in the future.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Sad Day in the Bulldawg Nation

Yesterday had all the makings of the perfect day in college football. Earlier in the day, Alabama beat Texas Tech to give the SEC another bowl win. I am not one of those football fans that declares undying allegiance to my conference, the SEC. In fact, there are a couple of teams that I pull against any time they play anything, no matter what is on the line. Alabama is not one of them, so I was thrilled when the pulled out a win on what was likely the ugliest field goal I have ever seen. Following their victory, one of those teams that I despise, the Auburn Tigers/War Eagles/Plainsmen (they can't seem to figure out what they want to be called, so they just integrate them all into their culture somehow) suffered greatly at the hands of the emotional Wisconsin Badgers!! GO BADGERS!!! If the day would have stopped their, it would be fulfilled the makings of a great day. But, no, there was still more to come. In the Fiesta Bowl, I saw Ohio State show up in a big way and lay the smack down on the Irish of Notre Dame. Now, for my Irish loving friends, it's nothing personal. I just find something wrong with a team that could go 6-5 and still be playing in a high profile bowl game, as the Irish inevitably would do and have done. What other team in the country has a national television contract and has a bid to a BCS bowl, all without even having to go through the hoops of every other team that must win a conference? For these reasons, I was glad to see the Buckeyes triumph. Plus, it's just funny seeing A.J. Hawk sack Brady Quinn, who will one day be his brother in law.

But, then, the sky fell during the Sugar Bowl. I have been a University of Georgia fan through some pretty bad showings from the Dawgs. But never, EVER, have I been so shell shocked as I was in the first quarter of the Sugar Bowl. West Virginia (WHAT??!!) came ready to play and they simply cleaned our clocks during the first 16 minutes of the ball game. Down 28-0, the Dawgs rallied back to outscore the Mountaineers 35-10 the remainder of the game. To no avail, though, as I saw my beloved Dawgs succumb to another team from the Big 'L'East. Mark Richt is now 20-2 against non-conference opponents. Both of those losses have come to Big East schools (although when they were defeated by Boston College in the Music City Bowl in 2002, the Big East was a much stronger conference). I must say, however, that West Virginia, based on their offensive and defensive showing last night, will and should be a top 10, possibly even top 5, team when the pre season rankings come out.

I guess all I am left saying this morning is: GO BADGERS!!!