Andy

Help!

I have spent my 40 years of ministry asking for assistance in a variety of ways: “You wouldn’t be able to… would you?”“I’ll bet you couldn’t… could you?”“I will go ahead and do that… unless you want to.” “I’ve got time… I’ll just do that” (This statement comes with an intentional, overworked, overwhelmed voice tone). This past week, I was recovering from an already memorable Christmas health-wise, when my week began to deteriorate. It soon became apparent that Thee Most…

“By Faith” Steps

Take a moment if you will and read Hebrews Chapter 11. I and numerous others through the years have identified this passage as, “The Faith Hall of Fame” and it is an accounting of numerous biblical figures and the acts of faith they performed as they simply decided to trust God. Each comment on these characters is preceded with this empathetic phrase…”by faith”. As an example and as the starting point for my article this week, I will use my…

Scrooge Takes a Sabbatical

Today will go down in the official Rev. B. Andrew Oliver archives as a truly great day for at least two reasons. Number one, I think with God’s help I have returned to the sunnyside of life after a couple of weeks in the clouds. I will confess to you I am not a giant Christmas person. I am a Thanksgiving guy. Now don’t go telling everybody in town that your pastor doesn’t love Baby Jesus because he does. It’s…

Ill Prepared for Christmas

December arrived like a thief in the night this year and the Oliver family in a quandary. In younger years, I despised the times when Thanksgiving was a week to ten days before the arrival of December. This was when Christmas seemed so slow in arriving and simply being in December meant that Santa has his sleigh packed and he was ready to ride. It was also in December when we could officially start playing Christmas music. Today, Christmas tunes…

Sushi

My friend Justin texted me with some welcomed and appreciated words this morning ……”Wanna get sushi today?” My first response was, “No Justin, it’s Monday and I have too much to do.” It was then that I experienced the conviction of turning down a young man who probably needed to talk to a wise and seasoned clergy figure. God was calling me to eat sushi and help Justin find one of those figures. Not wanting to disappoint God or miss…

Good News

It wasn’t just good news, it was great news. I haven’t been this happy since Jolene Litton showed me how to start a new paragraph when I was writing on my computer. The great news is this. Boiling Springs, NC now has a bagel shop. Have you been there yet! Life is worth living! My world has achieved completeness and my Parkinson’s disease is now only a headache and some muscle stiffness! I am happy and I know it though…
sanctuary

Obligations, Opportunities, Fundraisers and the Priority

No one appreciates a guilt trip whether they are deserved or not. We have all received our share of these excursions from family, in the workplace or it could even be an unintended consequence of church membership and participation. I am a firm believer that guilt is a very temporary motivator and a most unsatisfying way to fulfill any task. In church activities we are hopefully motivated by none other than the The Holy Spirit, who makes us aware of…

A Sand Castle Parable

We are a family that loves the beach. In the Carolinas you are either a beach person or a mountain person and you have to declare a preference. It could be a state law but don’t take my word for it. The B. Andrew and Kimberly H. Oliver family many years ago declared our allegiance. We are a beach crowd. One of my favorite pastimes on the coast is playing on the beach. This vague recreational designation includes a number…

Koinonia

You can call me spiritually insensitive. You may think I am irreverent. You could even believe that I am unconcerned about spiritual preparation. But I was energized and prepared for worship by the enthusiastic banter and the occasional peal of what I would describe as hysteria or at least unbridled laughter heard on Sunday morning, prior to our sanctuary service. There is a very legitimate school of thought that believes the moment prior to the entrance of choir and worship…

A Valuable Phone Call

I recently established contact with a great friend that I attended school with for twelve years in Gaffney and at least one semester at CCU ( Clemson Christian University). We enjoyed a lengthy discussion as we covered quite a few topics. We talked about our wives and families. It was a joy hearing about spouses and the accomplishments of our children. Career paths were discussed. Mark was the strength coach for the Utah Jazz and I used my association with…