Tag Archive for Jacob Bembry
By Jacob Bembry
When I was in college, there was a song out that people couldn’t help but smile when they heard it. If they tried singing it, it was impossible not to take its words to heart and feel them. You probably know the song; you may have even sung it. The song was Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”
My sister, Abbie, absolutely loves that song. She even loves my old broken down voice singing a different version of the song I came up with: “Don’t Worry, Be Abbie.”
Believe me, I am probably one of the biggest worrywarts in the world and I know that God did not intend for us to be like that. Jesus told us “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:34 In other words, he was telling us, “Don’t worry, be happy.”
With the cares of the world encompassing us and threatening to strangle us, sometimes we have to step back and think if what we are worrying about is really worth our time. Is it just FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real? The majority of the time, I’ve discovered that many things are not worth worrying about and I don’t need them crowding and clouding my mind.
We should just hand our cares to Jesus and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”
I had played tennis on a team in high school and I played for myself in college. I was amazed Sunday afternoon as the swing and the grip came back to me. The fellow across the court was not hitting the ball very hard or very often, but I was burning calories. Everything was going fine until he hit the ball and it traveled to the out-of-bounds marker.
In high school or college, I could have easily hit the ball back to young J.W. Phillips. I made a move that back in the day would have been balletic, even poetic, as I hit the ball and followed through; not this time, however.
What should have been a graceful, athletic move turned into disaster. I must have looked like a whale trying to beach himself. Somehow, as I saw eminent disaster looming, I had the mental state to remind myself to dive for the grass and not fall on the court. I managed to get most of my body on the grass with only my feet and the lower half of my shins on the court. If I had not done that, it would have meant broken bones, including probably broken ribs. I survived with a few scratches and minor bruises.
It was at my church’s Family and Youth Day at Lee Town Hall and my pastor, Retis Flowers, said that I had taken the chain like fence on the side out. I think the fence was like that before and I do not remember hitting it. He fixed what I think had already been leaning over.
Jacob Everhart, the church’s youth director, jumped the fence to help me up. I just wanted to lie there for a moment because I had no breath left. I don’t think it was from getting it knocked out of me, though. I think it was because I had exhausted all of my energy hitting the ball around. It felt good, though; even the pain from the fall.
It is so hard to take time to get the physical exercise one needs. This past week, I’ve had to run from one end of the county to the other covering things for the newspaper. I spent last weekend working and I spent a couple of nights this week doing things for the newspaper. By the time I get home, it’s hard not to just sit and chill. My mind hurts and my body aches. I know the tonic for both problems, though.
The remedy for the body aches is to exercise and the remedy for the mind hurts is to pray and read God’s Word, to meditate on Him and to find quiet time alone with God.
For more writings and thoughts on life, books, music and the universe in general, please visit www.jacobbembry.us
She had done it to me before but never had she put me in the predicament I now found myself in. “Uh-oh,” I thought, “I’m going to go to jail.” I could see the headlines emblazoned across the front of the newspaper, “Editor Arrested.” Then I thought, maybe we could send her to jail. After all, evidences of the crime were on her mouth. The judge would probably release her on her own recognizance. Me? The judge would probably keep in jail.
I looked at my hands. All the evidence a prosecutor would ever need to prosecute me was in my right hand.
I looked at Abbie, who looked perturbed that I had taken the Twix bar out of her hand before she had finished eating it. We were in Winn-Dixie and I had just paid for my items and I did not have enough money left to pay for the candy, which Abbie had picked up in the line. She had opened it and started munching.
We were now criminals. Should we take it on the lam or should we turn ourselves in? I made the executive decision to do neither. Instead, I turned to a superhero. I had one of the store managers page my younger brother, Super Danny, who was also in the store.
Faster than a speeding bullet, Danny arrived on the scene and paid for the candy bar. All was once again well in Metropolis.
I told Abbie not to do that again, but I can’t really fault her. She was hungry at the time and that candy bar looked so good to her. She did not realize that I did not have the money to pay for it. Other times, I would let her eat something in a store and take the wrapper and pay for it at the checkout counter.
Sometimes, there are temptations that look so good to us. Like the gold and red-colored wrapping on the Twix bar that Abbie took, they are bright and shiny. When we yield to temptations, they become sins and sins have consequences. When Abbie, who knew no better, took that Twix bar, there was a consequence. It had to be paid for and, fortunately, Danny was in the store to help us out with it. Sins have to be paid for and, fortunately, we have an advocate there for us also. Jesus Christ died on the Cross for our sins. When we mess up, He is there to help us, but He tells us to resist temptation and not to yield to it.
The consequences we face when we sin can be much more overwhelming than the consequences of the Twix bar Abbie picked up in the store.
Please visit www.jacobbembry.us for “Jacob’s Ladder” and other writings by Jacob Bembry.
Have You Prayed For Madison County?
Have you been praying for Madison County during this Lenten season?
The Madison County Ministerial Association is encouraging the churches in Madison County to pray for 40 days in an effort to help Madison County. Families are being prayed for, schools are being prayed for and the economy is being prayed for.
Have you been praying for Madison County?
The church I attend – Midway Church of God – is in the midst of a revival. On Monday and Tuesday night, Mike Carson, who is conducting the revival, has led those attending in prayer for Madison County.
Mike lives in Lafayette, Tenn., where he says church attendance is sparse. His church runs approximately 200 people in attendance each week, down from 300 a week. Of the 20,000 people in the county there, only 3,000 attend church.
I wonder if there are even 3,000 people in Madison County (which has roughly the same population as Lafayette) attend church here?
Have you been to church lately?
Have you taken your children to church?
Have your children been to church, but not you?
Maybe it’s time some children take their parents to church.
Look around and see all the problems in Madison County today. A look at this week’s Jail Report in this newspaper shows people arrested for drugs, for DUI, for domestic violence, for burglary and even shows one person registering as a sexual offender. Look at the businesses in town that are drowning in the sea of desperation as the economy grabs them by the ankles, holding them under water. Look at the schools and the poor grades the children have. Most of all — look at the families. There are children who go hungry because their parents are willing to pay more for crack or alcohol or gambling than they are for food. Look at all the unwed mothers.
Madison County needs to pray. Madison County needs to be churched and they don’t need just every once-in-a-while, go and smile, church attendance. We need regular attendance in Bible-believing and Bible-practicing churches.
May God bless you!
Hope to see you in church on Sunday.
Visit Jacob Bembry’s blog at www.jacobbembry.us
I wrote last week about my mentally-challenged sister, Abbie, and her God-given ability to make friends. This past Saturday, I saw that Abbie also has some of the gifts of an ambassador.
For the first time in her life, Abbie, went to a manicurist. I took her to TL Nails to have her fingernails done. Believe me, Abbie did not act like an ambassador at first. If I were to evoke memories of seeing film clips of Nikita Kruschev pounding his shoe on a table and telling America that he was going to bury us, it would be closer to the truth. Abbie is a very protective person and no one – and I mean no one – had better try cutting her fingernails.
Even as small as Abbie is, she would have made two of the girl who was doing her nail. Another problem I thought that they had – and I was later proven wrong – was that they could not communicate with each other. The girl could not speak English, and well, Abbie (although she can) just won’t speak most of the time.
Anyway, after I wrestled Abbie’s hands to the table and held them while the manicurist – if I remember her name right, I think it was Thien Ho – trimmed and filed her nails. After she had finished that part, and put lotion on Abbie’s arms and massage them a bit – Abbie liked her. Enter Abbie the Ambassador.
At times like that, if Abbie reminds me of anyone, it is my grandmother, Ava Lee Sealey. She becomes the sweetest person ever, if the situation suits her.
I am always proud of Abbie, but there are some times more than others, my heart swells with pride that she is my sister. Despite her handicaps and shortcomings, she has so many qualities that I wished that I possessed myself. She is truly a gift from God.
I just wonder if President Obama could appoint her as an ambassador. She would probably do better than most of the ambassadors they have now.
Okay, here’s a question that I have for all atheists and agnostics: If God does not exist (as the atheists say) or may not exist (as the agnostics say), why do you get upset about anything that has to do with Judaism or Christianity?
Another question is, “If you’re an atheist or agnostic, why try to convince others to be like you?” It doesn’t make sense, does it.
An atheist does not believe in God. I don’t believe in the tooth fairy or in Santa Claus, but I’m not going around trying to convince anyone — least of all little children – that they don’t exist.
An agnostic doubts God’s existence, yet he will try to convince other people to believe like him. Why should I believe in doubt?
If atheists and agnostics get upset with something they consider “Christian,” they run bawling to the ACLU. The ACLU recently complained that a voting precinct in Suwannee County was in a church. Hey, atheists, if it is in a church and if God does not exist, why should you care where the voting location is?. Are you afraid that the God whom you do not believe is going to sway the vote?
The atheists have also complained about municipal boards praying before their meetings and about prayer before sporting events in the area.
Why should someone who does not believe something exists work so hard to make you believe that it does not exist?
My simple answer to this is that I think they are afraid. I believe they are afraid of the convicting power of Christ.
I also know that some Christians are also afraid. They hear that our beliefs offend people and they run scared. They hear ACLU and jumped in bed and hide under the covers. Stop it! The battle is not ours but it is the Lord’s.
A question to my Christian friends and readers is, “Why aren’t we working as hard as they are to convince others that Christ is real and that He forgives our sins and trespasses?”
Yes, He will even forgive an atheist or an agnostic.
The words are written in books read around the world. They have been translated from their original language into English, Japanese, Mandarin, Hindi and virtually ever other tongue spoken on Earth. The words find themselves displayed in homes, businesses and even government bodies. In fact, even the United States Supreme Court has them on their walls. They are the Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments have power. They have power to share the love of God and they have power for God to convict people of their sins. Jesus Christ saves us through His Grace, but He didn’t come to destroy the law but to fulfill the law.
The Ten Commandments are a standard of excellence for everyone to strive to live by. We should have no other God besides the Lord our God. We should not kill or steal. We should not lie. We should not commit adultery.
A monument of the Ten Commandments now sits across the street from the courthouse lawn. The courthouse lawn is where private individuals had asked for them to be placed but some lawmakers chose to fear lawsuits and complaints from others rather than to have faith and allow the commandments to be placed there.
Even if the Ten Commandments monument is never placed in another public institution again, we should read them, write them down and memorize them. Most important of all, however, is that we live them. If everyone did, imagine how much better the world would be.
My father was born Jan. 21, 1936, in the midst of the Great Depression to a family that didn’t have much money even during the good times. His father, Gene Bembry, was quite a bid older than his mother, Iduma Conine Bembry. Daddy was the second child born into the family.
Daddy’s older brother, Sam, moved away. As soon as he got old enough, he joined the Navy and later settled in San Jose, Calif. His widow, Ada, and their three children, Jeff, Kathy and Diane still live in the Golden State today. As a matter of fact, Daddy talked to Jeff on the phone the other day.
After Daddy, there was Frank, who was killed in a car wreck on an icy road in Bozeman, Mont. on his 30th birthday in 1968; Lewis, who died in Atlanta, Ga., in the 1990s; Sarah, who works as a nurse for the VA in Huntsville, Ala.; Horace, who worked for JB Davis and then the City of Jasper, who died in 2009; Carlton, who also died in 2009; and Nina, who lives in Lee. My father loves all of his brothers and sisters and he still misses the ones who have gone on before him. He, Sarah and Nina are the only surviving children of Gene and Iduma Bembry.
I believe that Daddy loved my mama more than he ever loved anyone else. I didn’t really see this until the times that Mama was sick in 1994 and in 1998. Daddy visited her bedside every day until her death on Jan. 16,1999.
Daddy also has a deep and abiding love for me, my brother and my sisters. We irritate him a lot of the time, but I think he knows that his love for us is returned to him.
My father has never had much money but he has given all his children love. I thank God for him and wish him a very happy 75th birthday.
By Jacob Bembry
Called To Coach
The first book I read from cover to cover in 2011 has been the book Called to Coach by Bobby Bowden. The book gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse at college football during Bowden’s 40-plus years of coaching.
The book is more than a book about college football and even more than a book about Bowden. The book is about a calling from God that Bowden felt that he had to fulfill. He was called to be a coach.
The book details how Bowden shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with his players and coaches. In one chapter, Bowden writes about Pablo Lopez, an offensive lineman for the Seminoles, being murdered one fall Saturday evening when Florida State did not have a football game. He spoke at Lopez’s funeral about the faith that Pablo had found in Jesus Christ. He told his team and coaches that he knew where Pablo was and if they wanted to know how to get to Heaven also, his office door was always open. One of the people who took up his invitation was Mark Richt, an assistant coach, who is know the Georgia Bulldogs head coach. Richt invited Jesus into his heart.
One heartbreaking chapter in the book is about the deaths of his son-in-law, John Madden, and his grandson, Bowden Madden. John and Bowden had been headed home from Tallahassee on a rainy Interstate 10, when they were killed in a traffic crash. Billy Smith, a retired highway patrolman who escorted Bobby Bowden at football games and another trooper came to Bowden’s house to break the news to his daughter, Robyn, who had remained in Tallahassee with the family following a 19th birthday celebration for another son.
The book details devotionals that Bowden and team chaplain Clint Purvis shared with the FSU team over the years. It talks about how some of the players were able to change their lives during their time at FSU and even about how some of them failed to turn their lives around.
I would recommend the book to anyone, whether they are a diehard Seminole fan like me, or even a Florida Gator fan. I’m planning on reading Tim Tebow’s book when it comes out because I admire his stand as a Christian. Bowden has the same stand, so I urge everyone to buy the book, borrow the book (I would loan you mine, but I only have a copy on my Kindle) or check the book out from the library. The book is truly inspiring.
I hope and pray that one day, my calling as a writer, will inspire people to give their lives to Jesus Christ.