I Remember When…

chevron

I used to hate it when my grandparents or parents broke out the “I remember when talks.” As I grew into my 20’s it became more tolerable, in my selfish little world. Into my 30’s it became more interesting as the remembrances and changes became more evident. By my 40’s it was nostalgic and at 57, it has finally come full circle. Not only am I the one saying, “remember when” but I really value the generation that came before me and the remembrances they have shared with me.

Here are a few of my own “I Remember When” favorites:

  • I remember when we went to church Sunday Morning, Sunday Afternoon (RA’s, Training Union and Youth Choir) and Sunday Night (warmed over Sunday Morning), Tuesday Night Visitation and Wednesday Meal and Wednesday night Prayer Meetings. For the record, I like the 2017 church schedule much more than that gauntlet.
  • I remember when gas was 20 cents a gallon and the sky was falling as the news started saying that some day it would be more than a dollar a gallon. I also remember that gas stations were known as filling stations and a guy, in uniform, came out and pumped your gas, checked your oil, cleaned your windshield and collected your payment (in cash). They also could repair your car. I filled up my truck last night at $2.19 a gallon, pumped it myself and paid for it at the pump. Those predictions proved right. I thought $2.19/gallon was a good price.
  • I remember my first Little League team receiving a t-shirt and cap. everything else was up to you. Most of us played in jeans where our mom had ironed on a patch at the knees. And we wore sneakers as cleats. Cleats were unheard of for a few more years. I like seeing young kids with uniforms, cleats and under eye black. It’s pretty cool. But the price for a kid to play baseball or softball is enough to take out a second mortgage.
  • I remember when we honored the Office of the President of these United States and the man sitting in the Oval. I fear those days are a distant memory that will never return.
  • I remember when there were no cell phones or pagers. If you needed to call someone, you needed a pay phone. You could drop a dime in it and dial the number. I’ve yet to decide if this is a better world with iPhones. What a dumb statement, of course, we are better! Maybe…
  • I remember when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon as the first person to ever do so. I was watching it with my Pop in Daytona Beach, Florida. It still blows my mind that we did that. Especially considering that my watch has more technology than the Apollo flights had. We watched it on a black and white TV, with rabbit ears.

I could go on and on, but here’s the point. You cannot stop change. We live in an ever evolving world. I believe that we must embrace change and set our course on how to utilize that change for the glory of the Divine and the enlargement of His Kingdom.

I’d love to hear your “I remember when stories.” Just reply to this post below.

Peace, AChuck

 

TRUMP, RUSSIA, HEALTHCARE & YOU!

trump

Trump, Russia, Healthcare & You by AChuckAllen


I’ve not hidden the fact that I voted for Donald Trump. I still believe that he can get the job done. But O My Stars! How many ways can we screw up this Russian deal, and how in the world could the healthcare issue be that complicated? I saw a poll yesterday that put the Russian Issue well behind Healthcare, terrorism, immigration, jobs and the economy! And yet, we can’t seem to get out of our own way when it comes to either healthcare or Russia.

For anybody that might care what I think about this political malaise  that has our country suffocating under the stupidity of political gain, personal wealth, grandstanding and back biting, here are a few thoughts to ponder on this Monday:

  • Mr. President, I’ve pleaded on a previous post – Please step away from Twitter! I think you continue to propagate the media frenzy around the Russian investigation. Just Stop! Most of us are bored out of our minds with the Jeff Sessions, Special Prosecutor,  he said, she said garbage. Stop fueling it. Own it! If you, your family, or your staff met with Russians – Own it and put it behind you!
  • If the Affordable Care Act is so complicated that the Senate, the House, the President’s Cabinet, POTUS and everybody else associated with healthcare can’t figure it out, why have we heard the party of elephants ramble on about repeal and replace? Those statements must have been politically expedient rather than realistically achievable. Republicans! If you lose the House and the Senate in 2018, it’s your fault! Stop pandering and pouting about what the other side of the aisle has said or done and work it out! Why not go the opposite direction and let the free market handle this, across state lines and provide a single payer system that qualifies folks with catastrophic and chronic illnesses.
  • Keep trusting General Maddox and let him get your military ready to cope with North Korea. That nut job running the rogue state of North Korea is capable of all measure of stupid! And turn our troops and technology loose so they can get dirty and kick Isis and all of its cousins in the mouth!
  • We have a businessman in the Oval Office – Run the business of this economy, before it crashes and burns again. If we spent the same energy ensuring that tax reform, business friendly regulations, and trade deficits as we do booking time on Fox News, MSNBC or CNN, we might get something done.

This is a drop in the bucket, but we must stop chasing shiny rabbit trails that sizzle in the media and get laser focused on the business of protecting our people and securing our economy. I know there are dozens of issues that have not been mentioned in this post – But come on Man! The present foolishness is proof positive that we are only a few years behind the economic, political, spiritual and moral decline we see across the UK and Europe.

Just stop it! You can say “this is part of the process,” or you can stand up and be the adult in the room that is willing to serve the country that gave you this opportunity…the opportunity that you asked for!

Peace, AChuck

Sunday Vibes


Sunday Vibes with ACHUCKALLEN 

There are a couple of things in my house that I want to control. In all truth, I do not think that I am in control of either of them, but I’m feeling super positive today. 

I’d like to think I can control the remote to the television and the thermostat. That’s it! 

As a pastor, I’d like to do the same at our church. If church had a remote, I’d like to help set the pace of what is said, seen and sung. And the church most definitely has a thermostat. I know that because half of you freeze while half of you are burning up. 

The thing about a thermostat is that it is supposed to control the temperature of the room. The remote determines what you see, sing and say. 

Here’s the cool part! You are the remote! You can choose to sing and worship this morning. You can also complain about the fact that it was too loud or not your preferred genre of Jesus music. But you! Yes, you! You are the one with the remote in your hand. You choose to praise, worship and listen for the Divine to speak peace into your life! Get it? You are the remote!

You can also choose to be either a thermometer, or a thermostat. There is a HUGE difference in these two items. A thermometer can tell you if the room is too chilly, too hot or too much whatever. A thermostat, on the other hand, can change the temperature of the room. It can set you, your family and your church on a trajectory of joy-filled worship, praise and prayer. If you turn that same thermostat the other way, you can set your heart on a course headed to whinerville, with no desire to praise or hear from God Almighty. Again – YOU GET TO CHOOSE!

I trust you will choose to let your remote and your thermostat be in tune with your Creator and Savior this morning. 

If you are in our little part of the world, I’d love to meet you at Sugar Hill Church at 9:30 or 11:00 this morning. We always stream our services live on our Facebook page and on the Sugar Hill Church APP. You can also watch online at Live.SugarHill.Church

Peace, AChuck

Saturday Share with AChuck


This Week’s Saturday Share July 22, 2017

Each Saturday I like to share another author’s BLOG. I like to share it because it has blessed or encouraged me. I trust that it will sharpen and encourage you as well. Happy Saturday, and thanks for being a part of my family!

Today’s Saturday Share comes from what many would consider an odd place for an evangelical pastor. But when you read it, I think you’ll agree that it is worth the share. 

We tend to race through life. Our society is fast-paced, speeding from idea to idea, fad to fad. Even in our Christian lives, we often like to hurry. We love St. Paul’s image of running the race, of being an athlete of Christ (2 Tim 4:7). It is an image that speaks to our high-velocity lifestyles. 

But speed can beget impatience—impatience with others who are slower than we, who don’t measure up to our flurry of expectations, and impatience with ourselves, when we don’t turn out to be such pro-athletes of Christ. Invariably we stumble. Other times it seems like we are just limping along.

But limping is better than remaining stagnant. If one is limping toward Christ, he is still moving along the way to the fullness of truth and love. As St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, 
“Augustine says… ‘It is better to limp along the way than to walk briskly off the way.’ For one who limps along the way, even though he makes just a little progress, is approaching his destination; but if one walks off the way, the faster he goes the further he gets from his destination.”  
Our progress in the Christian life may seem slow—sometimes pitifully slow—but limping on the way is far better than racing towards destruction. Our direction matters more than our speed.  
To limp along the way is better than to race off of it because our way is Christ, as St. Thomas points out. “If, then,” he says, “you are looking for the way by which you should go, take Christ, because he himself is the way.” As Christ Himself told His disciples, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me” (Jn 14:6). 

 Christ is the way that leads to the fullness of truth and abundant life with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Limp along that way and, limp though you may, you are limping aright.  

It is good for us to recognize that often we only limp. Having wrestled with God during the night, the Patriarch Jacob “limped along” afterwards (Gen 32:31). The cunning and bold Jacob, the great athlete who strove with the Lord, received a wound that caused him to limp for the rest of his life. 
 With that crippling injury, however, Jacob understood his weakness and dependence on God. He no longer relied on his own strength of mind and body. The Lord had made him as His own possession. Although Jacob limped for the rest of his days, his feet were set on the way of the Lord, the way of truth and life.

When we are strong and successful, the fact of our total dependence on God can easily slip our minds. But when, like Jacob, we limp—when we come up against our brokenness, our sinfulness, our bad habits, our disappointments—then we are faced with our absolute need for God. And God provides for that need. 
 If we share Jacob’s weakness, how much more do we share in the gift of God’s grace. “How much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ overflow for the many” (Rom 5:15). His grace is the crutch that allows us to still limp along the way of truth. 

And if we but continue to limp now, then we will one day run with the freedom and strength of the children of God. Even in our weakness now, God is preparing us for that everlasting day of abundant life. For, as the Lord told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). 
 His grace overflows in our weakness to carry our weary limbs and tired hearts to His own loving Heart wherein are found the truth, the love, and the life that we so desire. Having limped along this Way that is Jesus Christ, praise the Lord whose grace allows us to limp along this Way of Truth!

4forFRIDAY with AChuck 


This Week’s 4forFRIDAY – July 21, 2017 ______________________________________________

Each week I like to share with you four resources that have challenged, sharpened or encouraged me. These recommendations aren’t necessarily church related or even spiritually focused. They aren’t doctrinal statements. They are just a few recommended reads, listens, learnings, gadgets or reviews.

  1. A Fun Ride & a Great Dinner: Bourbon Street Grill in Dahlonega, GA Jenny and I enjoyed dinner “on top” and truly loved the quaint vibe of this mountain town restaurant. I loved the Shrimp Po’Boy!
  2. A Great Business Read: Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni. Getting Naked is about vulnerability and the incredible power it holds. This is a tale about how to build trust with clients and overcome the three most common fears that prevent you from showing your true vulnerability.
  3. What I’m Listening to: On My Side by Kim Walker-Smith. Powerful and encouraging music that I’ve been walking with!
  4. A Book I waited 26 years to read: Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins. Before you send me one of those scathing emails about why a pastor would ever read this – read this! Awaken The Giant Within argues that, ultimately, we’re all in control of our own lives by changing our habits 

And a quote we should all ponder- “If more information was the answer, then we would all be millionaires with perfect abs.” –Tony Robbins

Thanks for joining me on my weekly 4forFRIDAY! I’d love to put a face with a name, so stop by and check out SUGARHILLChurch. Live at 9:30 & 11:00 Sunday Morning. Streaming live at Live.SugarHill.Church

21 Days of Good Vibes Day 10

Good Vibes Week 2.001


Download 21 Days of Good Vibes Day 10:
21 Days of Good Vibes Day 10 [pdf download]

DISCOVER, EXPERIENCE AND SHARE GOOD VIBES!

Seek a place of quietude and gratitude. Focus your heart and mind on the Divine, read His Word, learn His Word, express our gratitude, bring our prayers to Him, and engage in serving people in need. Here are today’s GOOD VIBES:

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.” —Edward Mote

DAY TEN

Read Ephesians 5:1-2
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”

Understand:
Walk in love. These three words inspire, stirring us to love others with the love we received from Jesus. But the apostle Paul didn’t stop with inspiration, he moved on to instruction. And then, to strengthen his instruction, Paul pointed us to the individual who can be an example for us – Christ Jesus is our model for what walking in love looks like.

On the cross, Christ presented Himself to God as an offering. Paul adds it was a “fragrant offering,” a phrase that appears forty times in the first five books of the Old Testament. The Lord’s sacrifice was pleasing to His Father and was accepted as the means of being made right. When a Christian identifies with Christ in His death, the believer’s life becomes an acceptable sacrifice to God.

Real love—Christ-like love—makes sacrifices for the good of others and the glory of God. This kind of costly love has a sweetness to it that others find attractive and encouraging. This love not only smells good, but it sounds good as well. There is something uplifting about being around people who have a song in their heart and encouragement on their lips. You notice these rare individuals and appreciate them because they are so refreshing to be around.

A life that is like the love of God, will be a life of love. Love is the essential mark of the Christian’s character. Our model for love is Christ Himself. Because He laid down His life for us, we are to love others to the point of the sweet aroma of sacrifice. He now lives in us and through us, and that is why we are able to imitate Him and resemble Him.

“Lord, teach me to walk in love—staying close to You—so that Your presence will be a winsome aroma and a sweet song of worship to those around me. Amen”

I am grateful for these three things today:

1. _______________________________

2. _______________________________

3. _______________________________

Today’s reading taught me: _____________________________________________________________________________.

Today, I am praying for:

1. _________________________________

2. _________________________________

3. _________________________________

Today, I will serve: ____________________________________________________________________________________.

See you back here tomorrow for another DAILY GOOD VIBE!

21 Days of Good Vibes Day 9

Good Vibes Week 2.001


Download 21 Days of Good Vibes Day 9:
21 Days of Good Vibes Day 9

DISCOVER, EXPERIENCE AND SHARE GOOD VIBES!

Seek a place of quietude and gratitude. Focus your heart and mind on the Divine, read His Word, learn His Word, express our gratitude, bring our prayers to Him, and engage in serving people in need. Here are today’s GOOD VIBES:

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.” —Edward Mote

DAY NINE

Read Matthew 7:24–29
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

Understand:
Edward Mote wrote just one hymn in his lifetime. From what we know of his life, “My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less” was just as much an anthem of his own testimony as it has become for believers all over the world. Having grown up knowing nothing of God or His existence, Mote first attended church and became a Christian as a young adult. While still a new believer, he was compelled to try his hand at hymn writing. Thus, Mote wrote from a basic, yet profound understanding of his salvation. Christ is the sole means of our salvation. Our hope is truly built on nothing less than Jesus.
“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.” from the Great Hymn On Christ the Solid Rock

I am grateful for these three things today:

1. _______________________________

2. _______________________________

3. _______________________________

Today’s reading taught me: _____________________________________________________________________________.

Today, I am praying for:

1. _________________________________

2. _________________________________

3. _________________________________

Today, I will serve: ____________________________________________________________________________________.

See you back here tomorrow for another DAILY GOOD VIBE!

If I Live til I’m 75…

old

If I Live til I’m 75 by AChuckAllen


I had the privilege of preaching a funeral for a friend’s father Saturday afternoon. I was significantly moved by the grandkids describe their Papa. I was touched as my friend described his dad, and I was honored to have been the fortunate pastor to preach, not only this man’s memorial service but his wife’s memorial service, just a few months ago as well. These two people spent many of their last years not being able to communicate as we think about healthy conversation. Illness and aging had taken them hostage. As a result, I couldn’t help but imagine how awesome their conversation must’ve been on that first night that they were in Heaven together. How awesome!

Since that service, I have pondered the realization that both of my parents passed away at 75 years of age. If the Divine chooses to keep me around until I am 75, I have only 18 years of life on this planet.

That may seem a bit of a downer, but I am motivated by it! So much so that I created a list of the things that I truly want to accomplish in the next 18 years. I will strive to…

  • Eat, exercise and work with greater determination to live until I am 85, not 75.
  • Pray with more fervency and intentionality, without ceasing.
  • Limit the hours that I give to ministry and work to 60 hours each week.
  • Spend every moment pursuing my wife with a never-ending love.
  • Spend more quality and purposeful time with my daughters.
  • Be the greatest Pop on the planet to my grandchildren (this is a very big deal to me).
  • Shepherd Sugar Hill Church with passion, focus, and intentionality as we serve more people,  share the gospel with every person in our community, help every kid graduate from high school and end the curse of poverty in Sugar Hill.
  • To create a transitional living community for single parents in the northern part of Gwinnett County.
  • To write and publish at least one book each year.
  • To become a much better friend.
  • To be grateful each and every day for the overwhelming blessings of the Divine!
  • To give away every dollar I can for the cause of Christ.
  • To leave Sugar Hill Church debt-free, healthy and in the hands of leaders far more qualified and Christ-like than I am.
  • To fish more, travel to the beach more and camp out more.
  • Oh! and I really want to buy a motorcycle and ride it til I die!

Okay, so it’s a pretty significant list. But that’s the point! If I could do any or all of that list without the hand of the Divine, it wouldn’t be worth striving for. I would love to live a healthy life for about 30 more years, but my family history would beg to differ. I’m equally, and maybe more so, to celebrate walking on streets of gold as Christ calls me to my eternal home. Either way, I really want to leave a legacy of serving my family and my church like Christ has directed!

Don’t You?

-AChuck

21 Days of Good Vibes Day 8

VW BUS VIBES.001

Download Day 8 of 21 Days of Good Vibes:
21 Days of Good Vibes Day 8

 

DISCOVER, EXPERIENCE AND SHARE GOOD VIBES!


Seek a place of quietude and gratitude. Focus your heart and mind on the Divine, read His Word, learn His Word, express our gratitude, bring our prayers to Him, and engage in serving people in need. Here are today’s GOOD VIBES:


“Occasionally in life, there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.” ― Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

DAY EIGHT


Read 1st Peter 3:10-12 For the one who wants to love life and to see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit, 11 and he must turn away from evil and do good. He must seek peace and pursue it, 12 because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their request. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

Understand:
Today’s passage isn’t playing around. The tongue – our words have great power. They can speak truth and life and they, just as easily speak deceit and hate. Apart from the power of the Divine at work in your heart, you cannot tame your tongue. Isn’t it interesting how the words immediately following the statement about our words (tongue) speak of turning from evil and turning our hearts toward peace? That is because of verse 12. The Lord desires to hear us call on Him and Him alone for strength, might, power and peace, Today, call on the Lord. Allow Him to direct your steps and control your words!

I am grateful for these three things today:

  1. _______________________________
  2. _______________________________
  3. _______________________________

Today’s reading taught me:

_____________________________________________________________________________.

Today, I am praying for:

  1. _________________________________
  2. _________________________________
  3. _________________________________

Today, I will serve:

____________________________________________________________________________________.

See you back here tomorrow for another DAILY GOOD VIBE!