June 30, 2005

The Knight in Shining Armor

Did I really say he was a Knight in Shining Armor? No! I said, she said he was her Knight in Shining Armor. I guess every dad’s nightmare is that his little girl will bring home a wimp-in-a-can. I must say he
(Oh yeah, his name is Andrew) is a fine young man. He is man’s man. I like that. He is masculine, but kind, gentle, and sensitive to her needs. He is patient, yet firm. He is frugal and yet enjoys spending money on her. He will be a good provider. He came from good stock. All of this is true, but I am still struggling. For one, he shoots around the mid 70’s in golf. While I will be looking for my ball in the woods, he will have to patiently wait on me. I hate that! While he is on the green I will still be at the tee box or in the mosquito infested woods. You wait and see, he will be able to do most things better than me. I will end up living in his shadow. OK Andrew, I give in, she’s yours, but you make sure you help me look for my lost ball in the woods without a smirk on your face.

SoaP
Son of a Preacher

Good-Bye Baby

It was written long ago that a man should leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. I knew all along it would eventually happen, but I kept telling myself that day was a long way off. But now the inevitable is in sight. In a few days I will have to walk that long walk down the center isle of some church and say, “her mother and I.” I love her so much, and I even like him, but this whole thing happened so quickly. She may be almost twenty-six but that is awful young to be getting married these days. They couldn’t possibly know each other well enough to make this kind of a decision. It’s just too short of a courtship. They need to spend more time getting to know each other I said. My wife, reading over my shoulder said, "look, they have been courting for 4 years". I don’t care I said, it’s not long enough. She called last night to tell me she loved me and promised to read all my blogs. So as I was saying in a few days it will happen. I will take that once tiny little hand that wrapped itself around my big finger and place it into the hand of her new knight in shining armor and they will ride off into the sunset without her mother and me. Good-Bye Baby!

Dad

Soap Son of a Preacher
www.sonofacountrypreacher.blogspot.com

June 29, 2005

Guilt...the gift that keeps on giving

Guilt...it has been called the gift that keeps on giving. There seems to always be plenty to go around. And when you think the supply can not keep up with your demand, someone will show up out of nowhere to drop a new load on you. I heard a friend say that her mother was self-employed, she worked for Guilt Trip International. You see I grew up in a church world that seemed to believe one could not be a good Christian without carrying around a proper amount of guilt. It's like one needs a little guilt sprinkled with fear to keep one "pure" and "holy". In so many words, I was taught that God being pleased with me, and me being pleased with me, at the same time, was not possible. So I must always feel a little bit guilty to know I am a good Christian. Where did this crap come from? I can't find it in the Bible. Maybe it's not there. Maybe this is a lie from Hell to make sure we never really enjoy life. Look, I understand the small voice of God speaking through our conscience to warn us and show us the right way to live. But feeling bad for days, weeks, even years after I have made the proper adjustment is not from Him. So where does it come from? You guessed it! There will always be plenty of pushers to peddle the guilt that you may have become addicted to.

SoaP
Son of a Preacher

June 28, 2005

Building Generationally

Thankful best describes how I feel about the great heritage that has been passed along to me. I am grateful to be a third generation preacher. My grandfather, Lockett Adair, was a Presbyterian evangelist who preached throughout the State of Texas. My dad was a Baptist minister for over 55 years.

I will never forget my first pastoral experience. I was feeling disheartened by some things people were saying about me, so I decided to call Dad. I knew I could count on him for good dose of encouragement. Instead he said, “Son, if the mailman stopped at every barking dog he would never get the mail delivered." That's just the kind of encouragement one could expect from my Dad, the man known as the Country Preacher.

The Lord has used other faithful spiritual fathers like John Wilder to prepare me for ministry. He was a pioneer in South Texas. I remember sharing with him that I was very nervous about doing my first funeral. He explained, "Ron, you can't say anything wrong if you'll just share with sincerity the love that is in your heart." Sure enough it worked.

As a natural and spiritual father with many spiritual sons, I have been able to share my experiences as well as many of the wonderful things that have been passed along to me.

SOAP
Son of a Preacher

The Little Big People In Your Life...

It is the little big people in your life that make the difference. I had the privilege of growing up in small town USA. From the time Mom and Dad brought me home from the hospital until Anne and I were married, I lived in the same town and same house.

Few people have heard of Roy and Gladys Williams, but they made a big difference in my life. They were our next-door neighbors. Roy and Gladys were well known in our little town as people who really lived their Christian life daily. People needing help could always count on them. It was their two daughters, Nita Sue and Dora Jean, who kept me out of a lot of trouble and helped me graduate from school. The Williams family always seem to believe in me whatever road I was traveling, and in youthful days I spent too much time traveling the back roads going nowhere.

They were just good country people who helped shape this country boy’s life. It was my Sunday School teacher, Mrs. McGuffie, who prophesied that I would be a preacher, but it was Roy and Gladys Williams who paid my first year’s tuition to Bible College. They were not rich people materially, but they were spiritually wealthy. They invested in their church as well as in other people’s lives. They knew their return would be greater than the stock markets.

I could tell many stories of their input into my life, but one seems to stand out above all others at this time.

Anne and I graduated from Baptist Bible College in 1973 and were serving as associate pastors in our first church in Longview, Texas. In August of that year I needed a major operation, so I checked into Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, Texas. The operation was a success, but I was told that I would need to remain in a wheelchair for four months. It would be impossible for Anne to work and care for me and our two children at the same time.

What would we do? You guessed it! Roy and Gladys opened their home to us for the next four months and cared for our family while Anne worked and I recovered. They loved us and cared for us like we were their children. We will forever remember and be grateful for the Williams family.

A few years ago, I was called home to officiate at Roy’s funeral. At the graveside I decided to break a traditional mold. As we stood around the open grave to pay our last respects to Roy Williams, I led the people to give a clap and a cheer to one of God’s favorite heroes.

Maybe today you can think of one of the little big people in your life and give thanks to God for them. If they are still with us, you may write a card or give them a call just to thank them.

SOAP
Son of a Preacher

visit www.sonofacountrypreacher.blogspot.com

She Made A Believer Out Of Me

In time, it happened just as she said it would…

She was a door-to-door Avon lady by day and a Bible teacher by night and on weekends. Her name was Mrs. McGuffie. I will always remember her as a person who gave direction and inspiration to my life.

This story begins when I was a nine-year-old boy attending Sunday School and Training Union at the First Baptist Church in Howe, Texas. One Sunday evening in class, I was doing what mischievous boys will do. I was throwing spitballs across the room at a friend while Mrs. McGuffie was writing on the blackboard. As I was in the middle of launching one of my bombs, Mrs. McGuffie turned quickly and fixed her eyes on me and said, “Ronnie Corzine, you are going to be a preacher someday.” I laughed like Sarah when she was told she would have a child in her old age. Under my breath I said, “Over your dead body.”

Well, my life continued seemingly on course. I was living fast and furious as a teenager, doing my own thing and giving no thought to my future. On my 18th birthday, I was invited to a citywide crusade. That night as the minister spoke, my heart was touched as I was faced with the reality of my life, how I was living it, and what I would do to make a difference in this world. Having forgotten what Mrs. McGuffie had spoken years earlier, I went forward at the end of the service and committed my life to do God’s will. I later discovered it was God’s will for me to be a preacher of the gospel. And here I am today.

I think it is ironic that many years later I received a call from Mrs. McGuffie’s family. They said that she had just gone to be with the Lord and that she had requested that I do the funeral service. Because of her influence and the impact she had made in my life, I accepted. On that day at the First Baptist Church in Howe, Texas, I stood and told the above story to those gathered in her remembrance. “Today, I stand here over her dead body as a fulfillment of what she spoke over me many years ago as small boy.” I then proceeded with my eulogy.

So when people speak positive things concerning your life that you cannot explain or understand, do not despise them or their words. It could just be the Lord speaking to you through them about your future.

SOAP Son of a Preacher

www.sonofacountrypreacher.blogspot.com

Mom was always working behind the scenes

Some of you are avid sports fans, others are just casual viewers, but we’ve all seen it. The camera zooms in after a spectacular play by our sports heros and what do they do and say? With one finger in the air they say, “Hi Mom”! Not “Hi Dad”, not “Hi Sister” but “Hi Mom”. What they seem to be saying is, “Mom, I wouldn’t be here and couldn’t have done it without you.” So it was with my Mom.

I have written about the great impact my dad had on my manhood and ministerial life, but it was mom always working quietly behind the scenes that shaped my character. As most moms are, she was always there working, praying and believing in me.

She raised seven children almost single-handedly. Dad was always on the road as a traveling minister. She was a Proverbs 31 woman who was a homemaker as well as one who had to be employed outside the home.

There are so many memories I have of her, but two things stand out in my mind as I write of her:

Mom picked a lot of cotton as well as worked for many years at Sherman Steam Laundry. Both were hot, sweaty jobs. After completing her work week on Saturday at the laundry, she would take her meager little check and walk to the city square in Sherman making payments on items she had purchased on credit for her children. She was faithful to do this every week. It was her diligence in paying her bills on time that taught me honesty, faithfulness and integrity. She would remind me that it was your name and testimony that was most valuable in life.

She was a pastor’s wife for over fifty years and this was a job within itself. I will never forget the night I surrendered to do God’s will and become a preacher. Dad cried when I told him of my decision. Mom cried as well, but for a different reason. She was concerned about what my wife Anne would be facing as a pastor’s wife. She knew about the loneliness, the hardships, the sometimes scrutiny and rejection of her children, but she accepted it because she knew God’s hand was on my life and she wanted my new bride and me to be happy.

Mom was not an outwardly religious person, but she was a very inwardly spiritual woman. It took me years as a minister to understand the difference. While some women are called beyond the duties of their home to a more visible ministry, others, like my Mom were always working behind the scenes.

She is with the Lord today, and I am quite sure upon her arrival in heaven she tried to slip in quietly and go unnoticed. Mom, thanks for who you were and all you did for your family. We love you!

SOAP Son of a Preacher

www.sonofacountrypreacher.blogspot.com

Dad left me wealthy

OK, so I only got $700.00 when dad died. It could have been more, but my two brothers and four sisters thought it best that we divide it equally.

Since then, I have learned that money may make one rich, but being wealthy is something totally different. My dad left his kids wealthy.

A spiritual legacy is one of the greatest possessions you can leave your kids.

I was reminded of this several years ago when I drove into our hometown to take care of some family business. This was years after mom and dad had both gone home to be with the Lord. The kind lady who checked me into the motel saw the name on my credit card and ask if I was related to Brother Corzine, known as “The Country Preacher”. I told her I was his youngest son. She proceeded to tell me the story that when she was a young girl how my dad had led her to Christ. You see, he was a part time school bus driver. One day she boarded the bus early, and as she sat there all alone he took out a New Testament and began to talk to her about trusting Christ. She said she would never forget him, or the day she prayed to receive Christ.

That story really didn’t surprise me. All my life I've heard stories from people about the way my dad impacted their lives. My dad lived a long and fruitful life. His good and godly example helped shape me partly into the man I am today. My almost 56 years of life and 37 years of ministry have been influenced by his legacy.

That's the way it is supposed to be. When God told the nation of Israel to pass His teachings from one generation to the next, He established the definition of legacy. In Deuteronomy 6:6-25, God tells the parents of children to "teach them [the words of God] diligently to your sons and talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."

God uses His people to build His Kingdom, and He wants each succeeding generation to know what He did and how they can be included.

I learned faithfulness from my dad. I learned how to be a gentleman. My dad took divided churches and brought them together. He was a consensus builder. He was kind and sensitive and he taught me how to deal with people out of kindness. He encouraged me to memorize scripture and taught me how to outline a sermon. He was a man of integrity and character and I wanted to be like him. He always taught me to stand for what's right even if no one else does. My dad showed me I could, without compromise, stand against anything that was wrong, but still be kind in my opposition. I've not always succeeded in that, but I've tried.

I always knew God led my dad and mother in the moves we made. They built into me the confidence to always trust the Lord's guidance.

Only God knows the number of people who have been touched as a result of the faithfulness of my dad. I know I am wealthy today because of him.

Who knows, maybe one day my son and daughters will be wealthy too.

SOAP Son of a Preacher

www.sonofacountrypreacher.blogspot.com