Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The God of the Second Chance

Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.” -Jonah 3:1-2

The fateful day was September 14, 1986. Third baseman Bob Brenly was about to experience one of the worst days of his life. The San Francisco Giant tied a major league record by committing four errors in one inning.

First, Bob let an easy ground ball bounce off his glove. Second, he bobbled another easy catch. Third, he actually caught the ball, but threw it twenty feet over the catcher’s head.

Fourth, another ground ball came Brenly’s way. A reporter, relating that ball to a live grenade, said, “Should Brenly throw himself on it and save his teammates, thereby salvaging a measure of honor in death, or turn and run? Courageously , he stood his ground, and the ball kicked off his glove.”

The opposing Atlanta Braves scored four unearned runs because of Brenly’s errors.

The next day Bob told reporters of his despair, humiliation, after error number four. “You know how you hear the old saying, ‘If you make an error you want the next ball‘? After the fourth one, I never wanted to see the ball again.”

After that inning he hid in a tunnel trying to pull himself together. Ever had a day like that?

But Bob Brenly did not give up. In the same ball game, in his next two at bats he hit a home run and a single.

In the bottom of the ninth inning Bob came to bat again. The Giants had two outs and the score was tied. With a full count of three balls, two strikes, a miracle happened. He hit the next pitch for a home run to win the game.

About his four errors in one inning, Bob said, “It’s easy to laugh now, but I was ready to commit suicide. If I could’ve found something sharp, I would’ve slashed my wrists.” Because he did not quit, he heard boos turn to cheers.

Fifteen years later Brenly was the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. In games four and five of the World Series against the New York Yankees, the Diamonbacks were just one out from a win. Each time the Yankees came from behind and won the game. After those two crushing defeats, in the seventh and final game, the Diamondbacks came from behind in the bottom of the ninth and won 3-2. Perhaps part of that was because Manager Brenly understood that you never give up, and sometimes you get a second chance.

Did you foul up in 2009? Have you failed? Christianity is a faith of grace, mercy, forgiveness. Jesus, God the Son, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins, and miraculously rose again. He gives us the gift of salvation, forgiveness, eternal life when we turn our lives over to Him. Even after we accept Him as Savior, we continue to sin, we sometimes fail. Yet Jesus loves us still and comes to us again. Jesus Christ offers His mercy and forgiveness, if we will simply confess our sins to Him, and get back in the ballgame. God is a God of the second chance. So whatever your failures, make your life count in the Year of our Lord, 2010.

May you all have a Happy New Year.

Reference: WORLD magazine, Marvin Olasky, November 17, 2001.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, December 30, AD 2009.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Global Warming, Global Cooling, & Climate Change

The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. -Psalm 24:1

As a boy in grade school, I distinctly remember being taught the danger of Global Cooling. That’s right, not Global Warming, but Global Cooling. We were taught that pollution was clouding the skies and blocking out the sun. Crops would become more difficult, then impossible, to grow. If we did not radically change our ways, we would all freeze to death, if we did not first starve to death.

Somewhere along the line, the “authorities” completely switched their science and opinions. They began teaching the opposite, Global Warming, as though they had never taught anything different. They never issued a public apology for having taught error. No one ever apologized to me or my parents for teaching junk science in my grade school.

Seldom if ever do Global Warming activists, or the media, allow a fair hearing from credible authorities on the other side. They just proclaim all scientists, or at least most scientists, agree that man-caused Global Warming is accepted, uncontestable fact. I have never once seen Al Gore, Global Warming’s chief spokesman, asked tough questions and follow-up questions. He is asked “softball questions” over and over.

Lately, it seems the scientific and climatic evidence is stacking up against the Global Warming alarmists. It was amusing to seen the recent Copenhagen, Denmark Global Warming Summit plagued by unusually cold weather. So Global Warming authorities have begun a new tactic. They seem to be referring more to Climate Change rather than Global Warming. Why would they do so? Simple. With Climate Change you can’t lose. Guess what, the climate changes no matter what we do.

Weather obviously goes through cycles on a yearly basis. In the summer we complain about the heat. It seems hotter than it’s ever been before. In the winter we complain about the cold and rain.

Weather goes through decade or more cycles. Here on the Gulf Coast we have several years of above average number of hurricanes. Then we barely notice when we go through years of few hurricanes. Every 20 to 50 years or so, we have incredible freezing weather. Some have even argued that if Global Warming were true, it would not necessarily be a bad thing.

Is Global Warming true? Yes. Is Global Cooling true? Sure. Is Climate Change true? Of course. Weather goes in cycles, regardless of what man does.

Points to ponder:
* Al Gore erroneously claimed 2006 was the warmest on record. A new documentary reveals the warmest year actually was 1934. Not too many SUVs on the road in 1934.

* The polar ice caps are receding - and advancing; just as they have done through the years.

* Glaciers are receding - and advancing; just as they have done through the centuries.

* Polar bears are not dying out; they are increasing to the point of being a danger, and being overpopulated, in much of the north. Their increasing population should be managed by hunting. Stop showing that lonely polar bear on a melting iceberg. Stop scaring school kids. The polar bears are just fine.

* Global Warming alarmism often ends up hurting the disadvantaged. It prevents economic development in the world’s poorest areas.

The 1 ½ hour DVD documentary, Not Evil, Just Wrong, by the Cornwall Alliance does an excellent job of presenting the facts and a more rational view of Global Warming. See their website at or you can click their icon at the sidebar to the right of this blog.

Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, should be followed up with Not Evil, Just Wrong in our public schools. Why not give both sides equal time?

Baptist Press (, also in sidebar) has done an outstanding job of reporting on the Global Warming issue. Professors Craig Mitchell and Benjamin Phillips at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX ( have been vocal on this issue. See BP December 15, 2009 article, “Profs contest global warming alarmism.”

Concluding Thoughts on Global Warming/Climate Change:
* I do not view this as a strictly Christian issue. You can be a Bible believing Christian and be on either side of the Global Warming debate. I just believe one side is right and the other wrong.

* This is an issue of truth and honesty. Environmental extremists have too often been untruthful.

* Christians should be concerned about the environment and wisely using our God-given resources. We should favor realistic ways to improve the environment and reduce pollution. Leave this world, both spiritually and physically, a better place because you were here.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, December 28, AD 2009.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

10 Commandments for Christmas

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. -Galatians 4:4-5

10 Commandments for Christmas

I. Thou shalt not leave “Christ” out of Christmas nor refuse to use the word “Christmas” during this season.

II. Thou shalt demonstrate joy to the world, for the Lord is come.

III. Thou shalt not let Santa Claus take the place of the reality of the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem.

IV. Thou shalt remember that the value of gifts we give and receive is not so much the cost as the love that is behind them.

V. Thou shalt consider the words of Jesus, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

VI. Thou shalt not neglect Christ and His church during the Christmas Season.

VII. Thy Christmas Cards shall bear the good news of the coming of Christ and His salvation.

VIII. Thou shalt be kind to those who serve; the cashier, the merchant, and the mail carrier.

IX. Thou shalt remember the greatest gift of all, when God gave His only begotten Son.

X. In all thy giving, thou shalt give a gift to the One whose birthday we celebrate. Appropriate recipients shall be missions, thy church, and those in need.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, December 10, AD 2009.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

That Night, A Christmas Poem

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.” -Isaiah 9:2

That Night

That night when in the Judean skies
The mystic star dispensed its light,
A blind man moved in his sleep-
And dreamed that he had sight!

That night when shepherds heard the song
Of hosts angelic choiring near,
A deaf man stirred in slumber’s spell-
And dreamed that he could hear!

That night when in the cattle stall
Slept child and mother cheek by jowl,
A cripple turned his twisted limbs-
And dreamed that he was whole!

That night when o’er the newborn babe
The tender Mary rose to lean,
A loathsome leper smiled in sleep-
And dreamed that he was clean!

That night when to the mother’s breast
The little King was held secure,
A harlot slept a happy sleep-
And dreamed that she was pure!

That night when in the manger lay
The sanctified who came to save,
A man moved in the sleep of death-
And dreamed there was no grave!

I remember R. G. Lee calling this the best poem ever written about Christmas.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, December 8, AD 2009.