This is awkward.  But I want to tell you about an experience I had a long time ago, when I was young and stupid (as opposed to middle-aged and ill-advised). 

I was in a season in my life when I had lost nearly everything.  I don’t mean that poetically.  I mean, everything.

Job… fired.

Career… lost.

Health… busted.

Friends… nearly all vacated.

Marriage… destroyed.

Kids… gone.

Integrity and credibility… a bad joke.

Finances… bankrupt.

Sanity… toast.

I was a shell of a man, crushed under the weight of stupid choices, addictive behavior, and shame.  I would sit and, without realizing it, rock back and forth. (Braves fans, remember how Leo Mazzone, the former pitching coach would rock on the bench?  Yeah, that was me and worse.) 

On this particular day, I was sitting in a hospital day room when somebody stuck his head in the door.  “Anybody here named Andy Wood?” he asked. [click to continue…]

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The Royal Priests of Balkum

by Andy Wood on October 20, 2010

in Uncategorized

On a county road in rural Alabama, in the heart of peanut country a long time ago, a unique, once-in-a-lifetime gathering of people took place.  It was about this time of year.  And I happened to be there.

It was a meeting of the Royal Priests of Balkum.  And I had been asked to address them.

Let me hasten to say that there wasn’t much about those in attendance that day that looked particularly royal.  Priestly either, for that matter.  There were some farmers, a few teachers, lots of retirees, some pastors, some homemakers, a missionary or two.

The program actually said “Henry County Baptist Association.”  The sign outside said, “Balkum Baptist Church.”  And I had been asked to speak on an assigned subject:  the priesthood of the believer.

They didn’t hear me groan.  But groan I did.  The “doctrinal sermon” they called it.  And this year’s doctrinal theme had become a denominational hot potato.

But duty called, and the Baptists of Henry County awaited.

And so did the Lord.

He was waiting on me to learn a priceless lesson. [click to continue…]

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Our granddaughter, Laura Kate, with Elmo’s help, is learning about holes.  The square hole, the round hole.  The star-shaped hole, the rectangle hole.  She’s learning to put the square piece in the square hole, and Elmo tells her how awesome she is. 

At 20 months, that’s pretty good.  Before long, she will graduate from Elmo and his octogons  and stars.  And she will discover new holes to fill.  Deeper holes.  One downright abyss.  And many more complex shapes.

Who Said That?

There’s this quote that’s been ascribed to all kinds of people over the years.  I’ve heard that Billy Graham said it.  Then Augustine.  Or maybe C. S. Lewis.  But most popularly, Blaise Pascal.  The quote reads, [click to continue…]

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money-trash1Things got a little weird that day at the Taco Bell in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.  A customer tried to pass two 1928 five-dollar bills as cash to pay for his meal.  The clerks had never seen such old money before, presumed it to be counterfeit, and called the police.  Here’s the sad part – as currency, the cash was legit.  As collectors’ items, they had to be worth way more than a bean burrito combo or a chalupa.

What a waste, right?  Right up there with Esau, selling his birthright for a bowl of peas. Or the prodigal son, wasting his inheritance on a never-ending party.

But another part of my brain wants to defend our fast food shopper.  After all, maybe he was hungry, and that was the only cash he had.  Maybe he had no idea what he had!  I’ve learned that if you don’t know the value of what you possess, it really doesn’t matter to you what you waste it on. Esau and the prodigal learned that, too – the hard way.

Anyway, what’s so different about the taco king?  [click to continue…]

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House Fortress 2Tense Truth:  God promises a life of genuine security for His children.  But those who seek security by hiding behind what is “safe” have no security at all.  Security only comes as a result of bold obedience and courageous faith.


Want to experience real security?  Live dangerously.  Seriously.

No, I don’t mean being a reckless gambler.  But I do mean living with purposeful boldness and courageous faith.

Who was the guy who talked about the Lord being his shepherd, or who said with such confidence,

“The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid?  The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?” (Psalm 27:1)?

It was David, the giant killer.  A simple look at his life, especially the younger years, reveals a life constantly protected, and amazingly powerful.  A closer look also reveals that he seemed to skip from one dangerous situation to the next.  He didn’t always go looking for trouble, but he never backed down from it, either.

Contrast that with somebody who so focuses on risk avoidance that they never really live.  Like the guy (true story) who left California to avoid earthquakes and settled in Ohio – where his house was promptly leveled by a tornado.  Or the wealthy Australian who foresaw global trouble brewing in the 1930s and decided to move to a safe place.  So he settled on a tiny island called Guadalcanal!

[click to continue…]

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