Notes From Dr. Marty

On this page, you'll find updates about our church, our building program, and what's going on around Sand Ridge. Check back frequently for updates!

Devotional Thought - "I Love Humanity, It's People I Can't Stand"

I love McKay's Bookstore in Nashville. You can find out of print books there for pennies on the dollar. Recently I purchased a book by Calvin Miller called "Letters to Young Pastors." While I'm more of a middle aged pastor, the book looked interesting and for 75 cents was worth a shot. It has been terrific. 


Miller writes about the cartoon where Charlie Brown says "I love humanity; it's people I can't stand." If you are honest, there are times when you agree with Charlie. 


In the Bible we meet lots of difficult people. Paul indicted the false apostles (2 Cor 11:13-14) who were a group of vicious and difficult people. They were a self-righteous bunch who loved to be adored. And Paul had trouble with them. 


Then there was Euodia and Syntyche (Phil 4:2). These two ladies (I used that term loosely), were always in a petty quarrel with one another over some minor issue. They were good at nitpicking the flaws in one another. These petty quarrels can turn into a Hatfield and McCoy feud. The sad thing is that a lot of people can get hurt when you start fighting over a pig, like our Appalachian friends did. 


Then there was Demas (2 Timothy 4:10). He was a person who folded when times got tough. These people were known as the lapsi. When persecution or problems came, he lapsed in his commitment. He was undependable. You couldn't count on him. 


And then Paul had his problems with Alexander the Coppersmith (2 Timothy 4:14). Some call him derisively the "copperhead." Alexander was much like Judas Iscariot. He was once a trusted friend, but in the end, he caused Paul a lot of harm. Copperheads are dangerous!


People can be difficult. It's just the way folks are. But dealing with them can reveal a lot about us. Paul, who lists all these folks, tells us in 1 Corinthians 13 that love "keeps no record of wrongs." I've always found it true in my life that it's easier to tell others what to do than to do it yourself. I think Paul had that problem. He seemed to have kept a record of those who wronged him. 


For Paul, like us, it was easier to tell someone to forgive than to actually forgive. It is easier to teach on love than to be loving. It is easier to proclaim that we shouldn't be bitter than to actually live without bitterness. And that is true of us all. 


Let's remember this. 


God can deal with the self-righteous false teachers. Usually the answer for their condition is a little pain in life. Pointing out their flaws is pointless. But let calamity strike, and over a period of time, they can be cured of their condition. Just as Nebuchadnezzar. 


God can deal with the petty, bickering, nitpickers. Either they repent of their behavior or they descend into bitterness by which they are chastened (see Hebrews 12). And it's a whole lot easier to repent that to receive the discipline of the Lord. 


God can deal with the quitters too. Demas was a disappointment to Paul, but I'll bet he was a bigger disappointment to himself. When you surrender your commitment to Christ, the one who really knows the pain is the one who failed. And that's true of you and me too. 


God can deal with the betrayers too, like Alexander. Guys like Alexander and Judas don't end up too happy in life. 


But the real question is "what about you?" If you're a troublemaker, how happy are you? And if you are not, do you have a forgiving spirit toward those who trouble you? Or do you keep "a record of wrongs?" 


I love Charlie Brown. And feel his pain. But when it comes to loving humanity, you've got to be able to stand people!

Your Gifts Matter

What do your gifts to the Lord through Sand Ridge Baptist Church accomplish? 

We all know the ways SRBC is engaged in evangelism, discipleship, and worship ministries. We all rejoice in our compassion ministries where we reach out to feed those who are in need and clothe the unfortunate. We celebrate our ministries to the orphaned and homeless children through the Bethany Children's Home in Mexico and our own Tennessee Baptist Children's Homes. We give thanks for the way SRBC touches those impacted by hurricanes and other natural disasters through our ministry of Disaster Relief. 


Wow! What an amazing impact your gifts are making to touch this world with the gospel of Christ. 

I received a note this morning from Randy Davis, Executive Director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board. He reminds us that our gifts are flowing far beyond the community in which we live. 

Through our Cooperative Program gifts and Golden Offering gifts to the TBMB, we were able to be a part of the revitalization of 187 of our Tennessee Churches. Many churches are not growing and many are in decline. But through our TBMB ministries we are helping to revitalize churches across this state. 

Through our Cooperative Program gifts and Golden Offering gifts to the TBMB, we were able to engage 40 of the 145 distinct people groups living in Tennessee, many of those are among the worlds' most unreached people groups. We are building cross cultural bridges that are touching lives. 

Through our Cooperative Program and Golden Offerings gifts to the TBMB, we are providing on-site evangelism training for volunteers to share the gospel at the Jesus Tent event at Bonnaroo, one of the nation's largest outdoor concerts, 

Wow! Your gifts are making a difference. 

But it doesn't end there. Through our gifts to the Beech River Association we are reaching our community through our ministries at the Henderson County and Decatur County fairs, reaching out to sportsmen at the Carl Perkins Bass Classic, and training pastors, church leaders, youth and children to be fully devoted followers of Christ. 

And on top of it all, we are building for the future at SRBC, constructing a new worship center that will allow people to gather for prayer, preaching, and praise for generations to come. 

Your Gifts Matter. 

Thank you for your faithfulness. May God bless you richly during this season of giving. 

Dr. Marty

Devotional Thought - Blind Spots

In America, there are millions who are visually impaired. The American Foundation for the Blind says that every 7 minutes another person becomes blind or visually impaired.

 

I am thankful for my vision. But there are areas in my life where I have found myself to be blind to things that should have been obvious to me. Let me give you an example.


When my Dad died suddenly and without warning in February, 2005, I was shocked. As the months and years have rolled by, I cannot tell you the number of times I just wanted to call him and ask him something or see how he was doing. 


At the same time I have realized that while he was alive there were many times I should have called, should have gone to see him, or should have reached out when I was too busy or too preoccupied with something else to do so. I was blind to the blessing of my father. 


We all have our blind spots. Before my father died, I had told countless other people that “dead noses smell no roses” and that they should appreciate their loved ones while they are here. But I was blind to that in my own life. And now I see, but its too late.


Max Lucado says that just because you live near a garden doesn’t mean you’ve see the beauty of one flower. Just because you are married doesn’t mean you’ve paused to really see the beauty of your wife. Just because you have children doesn’t mean that you’ve viewed every moment with them as a gift from God. 


We can be blind in so many ways.


Let's take a moment to reflect on the blessings God has given to us and appreciate them. Let's also ask God to show us our blind spots. We all have them. 


When is the last time you told your child you loved them? When is the last time you did something spontaneous to show your spouse their importance in your life? When was the last time you called that friend you haven't seen in years? When was the last time you told a struggling friend about Jesus and invited them to church with you? When is the last time you spent time with Jesus in prayer, worship, and study? 


We all have blind spots. Where is yours?