Friday, July 14, 2006

What's In A Name?

At church recently, my pastor shared a great illustration that some of you may have heard, but I had not heard it before. For those of us who call ourselves Christians, this illustration should mean something. We have a very detailed guidebook (The Bible) that tells us how we should live as Christians. Yet, many of us fall vastly short and end up often giving Christ and His cause a bad name.

I invite you to read through this...let me know what you think. I'm not sure where the illustration originally came from, but I found it online at

Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great, one of the greatest military generals who ever lived, conquered almost the entire known world with his vast army. One night during a campaign, he couldn't sleep and left his tent to walk around the campgrounds.

As he was walking he came across a soldier asleep on guard duty - a serious offense. The penalty for falling asleep on guard duty was, in some cases, instant death; the commanding officer sometimes poured kerosene on the sleeping soldier and lit it.

The soldier began to wake up as Alexander the Great approached him. Recognizing who was standing in front of him, the young man feared for his life. "Do you know what the penalty is for falling asleep on guard duty?" Alexander the Great asked the soldier.

"Yes, sir," the soldier responded in a quivering voice.

"Soldier, what's your name?" demanded Alexander the Great.

"Alexander, sir."

Alexander the Great repeated the question: "What is your name?"

"My name is Alexander, sir," the soldier repeated.

A third time and more loudly Alexander the Great asked, "What is your name?"

A third time the soldier meekly said, "My name is Alexander, sir."

Alexander the Great then looked the young soldier straight in the eye. "Soldier," he said with intensity, "either change your name or change your conduct."

For those who call themselves a Christian, but do not live up to the standards set forth so clearly, change your name, or change your conduct...

White Lightning - Spring 2006


From left: Coach Roy, Elise, Hannah, Molly, Bella (Isabella), Clara, Princess (Jessica), Kyndal, Nicole, Coach Chris. Posted by Picasa

White Lightning!!


I've already posted some shots of Noah's spring soccer season. Clara also played in the Bartlett City League this past Spring. This was her fourth season, her third on the same team. This is a photo from one of the games. (Note: We were VERY fortunate that one of Clara's team member's dad's was a photographer, so we got lots of great shots...I'll post some other ones later).

Again this season, Clara's team lost only one game. They had white uniforms this year and selected the team name White Lightning!! We think Clara is really enjoying the sport and she will play again this fall. Posted by Picasa

Annual Pilgrimage


Our dear friend Amanda Lymburner made her annual pilgrimage to Hotel Smith recently, and brought a SURPRISE for Hannah with her. I'd mentioned in a recent post that Hannah's best friend is Taylor Adams, who lives in Dayton, Ohio (where we also lived for 12 years). As a surprise for Hannah, Taylor came with Amanda to Memphis for a recent visit! Hannah was SOOOOO excited.

It's hard to believe it, but we've known Amanda for around 15 YEARS now (give or take). We met Amanda when we first volunteered with the youth ministry at Far Hills Baptist Church in Dayton. Amanda quickly became a part of our family. We actually knew her long before we had CHILDREN!

We've been friends through thick and thin. We saw her grow and mature, stood with her when she ran the family car into the family garage, exit high school and enter college, exit one college and enter another, graduate college and enter a life of teaching and coaching field hockey in Kettering, Ohio. We moved from being a ministry leader for her to being a ministry partner with her (in the early days of The Cellar)...all the while solidifying our relationship as family. It's a treasure that she still keeps us in her annual vacation plans.

See you in October, Amanda!

Later... Posted by Picasa

Early Summer Visitors


Yes, as you can tell, I'm playing catch-up on my blog postings. Earlier this summer we were pleased to have our friends Jeff and Tracey Adams, along with children Taylor and Jacob, spend some time with us here in Memphis at Hotel Smith.

In this picture, you see the Adams along with our daughters Hannah (making the fashion statement) and Clara as well as Chloe, a border collie owned by our friend Mark Murdoch.

We've known the Adams for years and years. Taylor and Hannah are best and probably lifelong friends. We had a great visit!


David. Posted by Picasa

Facing The Giants

I've intended to make this post for a while, but kept getting distracted. For any of you who haven't already heard about it, there is a new moving being released this fall on September 29 called Facing the Giants.

Personally I'm very excited about it because the movie was made by the church that Diane and I attended when we were first married…Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. Coincidentally, our first day there in 1989 was the pastor's first day there. His name is Michael Catt. A dear friend from college, Katrina Hutson, was in town visiting Michael and took the opportunity to introduce us to both him and the church. We were a part of the church during our brief stay in Albany in 1989 and 1990.

I have probably more respect for Michael as a pastor than I do for anyone I know...and I also have a high degree of respect for the ministry of Sherwood. I've kept up with Michael's and the church's ministry through the years and have been happy to see how the Lord has worked through him and the church to do amazing things.

To level set you, frustrated by the content of the movies emerging from Hollywood, rather than cursing the darkness the church made the decision to shine their light.

A few years ago, they made a very low budget film ($25,000) called Flywheel. Yes, when you watch it you might observe that it is low budget because of the lack of bells and whistles that holiday includes, but when I saw it I can personally vouch that the Holy Spirit is using this movie to reach people. Often the media doesn't have to be perfect for the message to flow through. Long story short…Blockbuster picked up the movie and put it in 4000 stores nationwide. The movie was shown on various Christian cable networks and to this day the church still gets mail from how that film is impacting lives. It's about a Christian used car salesman. For a good family evening, check out Blockbuster for this movie.

Ok, that's just an intro…recently the church decided to make a second movie. Again somewhat low budget ($100,000 is all they spent, just to rent equipment). This one is called Facing The Giants. It appears as though God has bigger plans for this film. The movie late last year, pre-release, was picked up by Provident Films (owned by Sony Pictures) and with the help of Samuel Goldwyn Films will be released nationwide in theatres this fall. This film is about a burned-out, depressed high school football coach at a Christian high school. The distributors plan to release the film to coincide with fall high school football season (September 29, 2006). The film has been previewed around the country at places such as national conferences for church activities' ministers and has received standing ovations. Earlier this year it was shown at the Merrimack Valley Christian Film Festival near Boston and over 600 people were turned away from the packed theatre. Next it was previewed at the Greater Syracuse Christian Film Festival where it quickly became the most popular film at the festival. It was most recently shown at the Purpose Driven Worship conference at Saddleback in California.

It appears as though the Lord is wanting to get news of this film to a broader audience. Recently the Motion Picture Association of America released its rating on the movie and designated a PG rating. Their reason? The movie is too evangelistic and may offend persons of different religions. They even used the word proselytizing in their comments. See this article on the rating.

Some Christian groups...and even members of Congress...have taken notice. From what I can read, Sherwood is not angry about the rating...rather they prayed that God would use the rating to cause more people to see the movie. The pastor of the church (Michael Catt) and the movie director/star actor (also the church's media director) Alex Kendrick have been interviewed recently by Foxnews, Time magazine, CNN, and Good Morning America. In other words, word is getting out.

I'm posting this because I think this movie could have an impact on the country. Fro any of you who read this who might be in ministry, there are screenings planned around the country for pastors. Check out this web site to see if there is one in your area.

For more info, including movie clips, please see the movie's web site…

For more info on the church, see

Let me know what you think!


Big D.


There is a TV series called Numbers that I enjoy watching occasionally. I like numbers. I like math. I like statistics. Often they say a lot.

Some numbers have jumped out at me recently. This is just an opportunity to share what's on my mind...

17 - Approximate rank in US City size held by Memphis, Tennessee, where I currently live.

96 - Current tally of murders committed in Memphis this year. Many...too many...are being committed by kids.

40 - Current school dropout percentage rate in Memphis.

4 - According to the Apologetics on Fire organization, who hosted a conference at my church recently, the percentage of American teenagers who regularly attend church.

Shifting gears, but just a little...

78 - Current price of a barrel of oil.

7 - Number of test missiles launched by North Korea recently.

60 - Number of rockets fired at three Israeli towns by the gorilla terrorist group Hezbollah this morning.

200,000 - Number of Israeli citizens currently staying in bomb shelters.

8 - Number of bombs that exploded in the Bombay transit system earlier this week.

4 3/4 - Number of years since the 9/11 attacks. Our military has been in Afghanistan and Iraq almost that long. That's a little longer than amount of time between the attack on Pearl Harbor and the end of WWII.

A lot of those numbers appear bleak. There are also happy numbers...

2 - Number of work days until I start vacation.

4 - Number of WONDERFUL children I have.

Dozens - Number of friends that I have been blessed with.

2 1/2 - Number of months until the premier of Facing The Giants...a movie I'll talk about in an upcoming entry.

16 3/4 - Number of years I've been married to my awesome wife!

That's enough for now...

Big D.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Surprise Visitor!!


What a pleasant surprise!! We got an unexpected phone call a couple of Sundays ago from Cindy Mefford.

Bill and Cindy Mefford are friends of ours from our time in Dayton, Ohio. They have wonderful children that we were able to spend a lot of fun time with when we volunteered with the youth ministry and college ministry at Far Hills Baptist Church. Cindy was also a ministry volunteer and helped with many events, including catering unnumerable college lunches for College Life.

Cindy was in Memphis for a few days with their son who was participating in a basketball tournament here. She had some free time on Sunday morning so she came over and attended church with us. We were able to spend lunch and the afternoon catching up.

It was most enjoyable to see her and hear all of the family news and news from Dayton.

Big D.

P.S. You TOO can appear here. We LOVE visitors at any time!! Others have made their way to and through Memphis coming!! Posted by Picasa

Recent cuteness


Yes, I know it's about time I put SOMETHING out here. This is a recent shot of Elijah. Hey, it's summer...there's recreating to do... Posted by Picasa