And Then Came the End… And the Beginning of a NEW BLOG!

Well, folks, it’s been great. But it’s time to pack up and move.

I haven’t posted in a few weeks, but it’s because I had to pack the boxes! You see, starting next week, I will discontinue the use of this blog, and will make the big move to my shiny, new, self-hosted blog. The name?

mdanielhowell.com

With that being said (or rather, typed), It is my hope that you will move your RSS feed reader subscription from THIS blog, to the NEW blog. You can do that by CLICKING HERE.

*Note – If you subscribed via email, I’ve already made that change for you. No need to worry or do anything! This moving of subscriptions only applies to those of you who use a feed reader, like Google Reader (watch a video about using it here).

Just so you know, all the content from this blog has already been moved to the new blog, and the new blog has lots of NEW content on the way!

I’m excited about the new blog, and what’s in store. I hope you’ll join me in that excitement.

Just in case you missed it, SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEW BLOG BY CLICKING HERE.

Thanks!

-Daniel

Leave a comment

Filed under Article

A Non-Memory Memory

I might have problems remembering what someone just said, or the reason I walked into a particular room in our house, but for some reason I can remember events in my life from my very early childhood.

I can remember the layout of the trailer we lived in until I was about three. Actually, I can very vividly remember some things from my first birthday party. Now I don’t claim that I knew what it was at the time, but later in life I saw pictures of it, and connected the memories with what they were from. I may even have some memories from earlier. I just don’t have anything to connect them to.

My wife used to make fun of how I claim to be able to remember the day I was born. I don’t. But the point of what I’m writing is not to impress you with my abnormal long-term memory. To use the words of a famous television detective, “It’s a blessing, and a curse.”

But rather, something someone said to me after Wednesday night Bible study got me to thinking about something I don’t remember.

This person was asking where Martha (i.e., the baby) was. I knew they had gone downstairs to the baby Bible class, so I pointed downstairs and told them where they could find her. Then the person smiled at me with the smile that only someone wiser and more knowledgeable than myself about raising children could have, and said, “Start ‘em young!”

That got me to thinking about one thing, that despite my freakish memory, I don’t remember. I don’t remember the first time I went to Bible class. Really, I don’t remember ever not being in Bible class. Obviously the gratitude for that non-existent memory goes to my parents. I pray that Jenaleigh, and whatever other children we may have can say the same thing, and not just because they are forgetful.

Now don’t mistake what I’m writing to mean that taking your children to Bible class as infants guarantees anything, or that someone who hasn’t done that has scarred their child for life. But on the other hand, however important or unimportant Bible class is to you, it’s an opportunity to make a lasting impression on your child. Don’t think of that impression lasting years. Think in terms of eternity.

Let me share some good advice that I once heard from someone much older and wiser than myself about children and Bible class: “Start ‘em young!”

-Daniel Howell

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” Deuteronomy 6:4-7, NKJV

Leave a comment

Filed under Article

Tech Tip Tuesday – Fix the Mix: Audio Recording Problems Solved

If you have questions, send me an email at dhowell86@gmail.com

~Daniel Howell

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Article

A Drink for the Baby? No? What?

Yesterday, Martha, Jenaleigh and I decided to go to Ponderosa for lunch. Well, maybe it was Martha and me who decided to do that. Either way, we were going to the buffet.

If you’ve never been to Ponderosa, let me fill you in. It’s a little like Golden Corral. If you’ve never been to Golden Corral, well, I’m out of comparisons. You pay for your dinner upfront. The hostess takes you to your seat. You feast.

Well, being as Draffenville is a small town, a lot of teenagers work at Ponderosa. In fact, the guy working at the cash register this day looked to be about 16 or 17. But he seemed nice, and was very friendly.

As we walked up to the register to place our order, he nervously glanced down at the baby carrier I was holding, which contained Jenaleigh. He took our order (two buffets and two waters) then asked a couple questions, the answers to which I thought should be obvious.

“Would you like to get her anything to eat?”

Keep in mind, Jenaleigh is a 10 week old at this point. She has absolutely no teeth poking around in that pretty little mouth. Still, I smiled and said, “No thank you!”

He seemed okay with my decision. But then he asked a second question.

“Well, would you like to get something for her to drink?”

“No thank you,” I said, smiling again at his silly questions.

This time he seemed genuinely concerned at my response. He had a worried look on his face, as though he was teetering on the edge of thinking I was barbaric for not getting something to drink for my daughter. Still, he checked us out, and passed us on to the hostess, with the same worried look on his face.

Here’s the point of this story. Some things can seem blaringly obvious to us, yet slip through the minds of others. This doesn’t mean they aren’t smart people. They just might be completely unaware of some vital information which could help them in their reasoning. Consider the following this week, especially as it pertains to sharing the gospel.

• You don’t know some people’s background. For all I know, the teen at the register could have been an only child, with no little cousins, and has never had a chance to be around babies. The same is true of some folks who walk through our doors. Just last week I had two different conversations with people who attend our services regularly. One was a member from a denominational background who had a few questions. The other was not a member, but was from a Catholic upbringing. History shades the present day’s perspective. History also illuminates the present day’s problems. Keep the person’s background in mind when you assess their questions. Let this help you to be understanding towards them. If you don’t know their background, ask! I’ve found that people love to tell their story. Let that knowledge shape how you approach them with the Gospel.

• You don’t know the real knowledge level of some people. This is a simple “ask and find out” proposition. Preacher friends, especially the young ones (not that I’m old, but I’ve had some advantages) please wipe that shocked look off your face when a member of 25 years asks a question that you and I both feel they ought to know the answer to (cf. Hebrews 5:12-14). Some simply haven’t done due diligence in their study. Some can’t, because they lack the education. You’d be surprised who never finished high school. It’s not your job to condemn, but to help them grow (cf. Ephesians 4:11-16).

• Never think something is too obvious. The reason ought to be obvious. What, you don’t see it? I guess you’ll never learn…

• Avoid the “curse of knowledge.” This curse happens when you’ve done intense study, which you should do. Then, you take that scholarly knowledge and try to explain all the eccentricities of the work of the Holy Spirit to a person who doesn’t understand the purpose of miracles to begin with (see Mark 16:17-18). It won’t work well for you.

I hope you will try to keep some of this in mind as you are out and about this week. Now go out and help those who don’t know to know.

~Daniel Howell

2 Comments

Filed under Article

The Other Side of the Jordan

This past Thursday evening I made a trek to some familiar territory. I had some business to take care of in my old town of Clarksville, TN. Since I was by myself, I decided to take a trip down memory lane and drive by the house that Martha and I rented when we lived there.

Now to put this in context, realize that Martha and I lived in Clarksville for four years while we attended college: one in dorms, one in a little apartment the first year of our marriage, and the last two years at the house on Sevenmile Ferry Road North.

As I saw the house from a distance, I realized that even though I hadn’t laid eyes on it in three years, nothing had changed. As I drove by the house, I noticed my former land-lord (who lives next door) mowing his grass. I don’t know why I acted so impulsively, but I pulled into his driveway. I rolled down the window, and he stared at me, a confused look on his face. I could tell he was trying to figure out who I was. I said, “Remember me?” Then it dawned on him who I was.

I can honestly say that he seemed genuinely happy to see me. He admitted that he couldn’t remember my name, and I didn’t admit to him that even though I’d written him 25 checks over the course of two years, I couldn’t remember his. But it’s what he said next that floored me.

“I heard that y’all had a little one!”

I don’t have any idea how he knew that we had a baby. Really, I don’t. I thought I had absolutely no associations with this man left. In fact, he couldn’t even remember my name! I’d spent the last three years in two different towns, in two states, and hadn’t talked to him or his family in all that time. I’m not “friends” with him, or anyone else I think he knows on Facebook. I have no idea how he knew.

Still, it got me to thinking about the following: People are watching, even when we don’t think they are. They can hear things, even from a different city. I think some people have the “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” mentality about their trips and vacations. They might “let their hair down” when they travel, or after they move. After all, who is there to see? Well, trust me, “they” are there, and “they” see, and “they” call their family and keep them up to date.

In Numbers 32, the tribes of Reuben and Gad petition Moses to let them posses the land east of the Jordan, for the sake of their livestock. They reach an agreement, and that is that the men of these tribes still have to fight with the other ten tribes when they cross the Jordan to posses the land. After they have served, then they can return home. If they fail to keep their word, he directs a statement to them in verse 23 which was as true for them as it is for us today, even when we think we are on the “other side of the Jordan” and that no one is watching: “…Be sure your sin will find you out.”

Rest assured (or uneasily), it will. Even if “they” don’t see us, and God is the only one who sees our sin, there will be consequences.

But on a positive note, we can also know that we might be a positive influence to someone, and never know it! Remember, they are always watching, even if you are on “the other side of the Jordan.”

~Daniel Howell

1 Comment

Filed under Article

Why I Love Camp

I had the privilege this past week to be a teacher at the Teen Week of West Kentucky Youth Camp. While it was the first time that I had ever set foot on the campus of WKYC, I’ll have to say that it brings back some old memories.

I grew up going to Bible camp during the summer. I first attended Backwoods Christian Camp near Linville, AL (I still have a t-shirt that says “I survived Backwoods Christian Camp!”). When I turned 13 I had the opportunity to go to Fall Creek Falls Bible Camp. I attended there every year until I graduated from high school. I even got the chance to go back there as a counselor a few years ago.

As I reflect on my camp experiences, I want to share a few reasons why I cherish those memories:

  • I made friends at Bible camp who I still know and love today. Actually, as I look back on it, I think that there are several of us who met at camp who are now preachers! I can’t help but wonder if the fellowship that we had together, and continue to have at various events throughout the brotherhood, had something to do with that.
  • Camp was a time to re-charge. We often talked about it as being a “bubble.” I was always upset when I had to go back out into the world. Despite what a teenager might think, it only takes a few hours in that kind of environment to start forgetting about the problems and temptations you experience where you come from. I always came back home with a passion to keep going until the next year! (Note: That’s why I love PTP as an adult – It’s like camp for grown-ups!).
  • The singing. ‘Nuf said.
  • Time on the waterfront. I can’t count the number of new births I saw there. The walk from the common area to the creek was a long one, but from the one from the creek back to the camp was a lot shorter.

I could probably ramble on for a while about camp, but I mention these few things for this reason: I hope you see the need to encourage your kids to go to a GOOD Bible camp if they aren’t! My memories of those weeks continue to encourage me, even today! Two words really sum it up: Life altering. In a good way.

-Daniel Howell

1 Comment

Filed under Article