Posts by Andy Oliver

Posts by Andy Oliver

God Will Prevail

I was going to write concerning another topic until I typed in the date of today’s newsletter offering….9/11. Most of us remember where we were and what we were doing on that date, back in 2001. I was Minister of Youth at Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church at the time and our church secretary was our own, Christa Harmon’s mother, Peggie Williamson. She brought a small TV from her home and was watching it. This was quite unusual for her because…

An Old Dawg Learns

It took me a couple of years before consenting to participate in speech therapy. At first, I did not want to admit I needed it. I just needed to read a book or pray real hard and I would soon become the new 2020 version of Billy Graham. I had convinced myself that I was an old dawg unable to learn new tricks and that the aforementioned therapy would consist of gimmicks, tricks, and shortcuts that could be used to…

An Unwanted Vacancy

When Sharon Fisher told me that she was interviewing for a position at a neighboring congregation, I couldn’t blame her though I did consider, for very selfish reasons, contacting the aforementioned inquiring congregation and sharing some harmful or questionable information but I couldn’t dig up any dirt on our volunteer newsletter editor. I could always use innuendo and some incomplete information to keep her in our midst. She misspelled a word in my newsletter article once and I think she…
Image of 2 go carts with riders

Sunday School

I was a junior at CCU (Clemson Christian University) when I volunteered to teach a Sunday School class of eleven year old boys. I prayed about the situation, felt a calling to fill the vacancy and I reassured myself with these words, “How hard can it be?”  It did not take long for Ol’ Andy O. to realize he had taken on a God-sized task. The first Sunday I taught the class, I understood that there was more to preparation…

FRI:S,B,E,E

A group of Poplar Springs folks have been playing Ultimate Frisbee for quite a few years. My acquaintance with this rather small but welcoming, enthusiastic group of flying disc fanatics started about 10 years ago when I brought a group of youth group members from my former church to toss Frisbee at Gardner Webb. A friendly herd of youth and adults asked us to join them in a friendly game of Ultimate Frisbee and I was properly introduced to a…

It’s the Children’s Church Too!

As most of you already know, I was a minister of miscellaneous for 20 years. The proper titles I had at my prior places of ministry were Minister of Youth and Children, Minister of Youth, Children, and Senior Adults, Associate Pastor/Education, Youth, Children, and Adults. In other words, I did a lot of ministry with quite a few groups and I never felt like I gave any of my areas of ministry their proper attention. I remember thinking how pleasant…

A Pastor’s Pet Peeve

I am gonna let you in on a little secret that does not need to get into the wrong hands. The “wrong hands” would be….the 3rd Saturday breakfast crew, the church staff or a couple of people I will only identify as “Tony B.” and “Hugh B.” Fortunately, not many folks read the weekly ramblings of yours truly. So I am fairly secure in sharing this privileged, personal information.  It drives me crazy when someone looks at me, places their…

Volunteers Have Real Jobs Too

Committees get a bad rap. We often joke around in Baptist circles about these decision making groups in our church bodies. Many say that we Baptists have a committee for everything and though I disagree, I do appreciate the numerous committees and the generous folks in our congregation that comprise their numbers. I think I can confidently say that I believe Poplar Springs does committee work right. Please note I did not say perfect. But in my almost 40 years…

Considerate Freedom

1st Corinthians 8:9……Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. (NIV) We are living in a polarized and confrontational world. It seems that many are intent on making their views known and their practices a statement of their enlightened choices. I don’t have a Facebook account but I do look over my spouse’s shoulders as she catches up on the happenings of the day or week. It seems there are…

Listening and Responding

Kent Russ sent me this quote from a church in France which is contained on signs inside a number of sanctuaries in that European country. It reads: It is possible that on entering this church you may hear a call from God. On the other hand, it is highly unlikely that he will contact you by phone. Thank you for turning off your telephone. I love the optimistic and expectant attitude of this sarcastic public statement. I appreciate the recognition…